Bride Kate melded her love of the tropics and Old Hollywood to create a hybrid theme that had all the glamour and style of a Wes Anderson movie set. Even the venue looked like it came straight from The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Although not set in Europe, Kate and Grant’s wedding took place in an equally exotic location. They were married at Hotel Galvez, a Texas (USA) hotel built in 1911 which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel is grand and historic, with lots of palm trees, and this formed the basis of the wedding theme. With her ballgown, ROSEBURY crown and tropical bouquet, Kate’s glamorous bridal look was red-carpet ready!

The ‘Tropulence’ theme

The beachfront Hotel Galvez features lavish ballrooms and tropical gardens, and these features took centre stage when Kate was planning the wedding.

“The venue was so beautiful already that I really wanted to incorporate all those details and just turn it up a notch,” says Kate. “The theme ended up being Tropical Glam with a little bit of an Old Hollywood feel.  I was reading a wedding blog the other day and they were talking about a ‘Tropulence’ theme – Tropical Opulence. And I was like “That’s it!” I had no idea; I was just doing what I liked.”


To Kate’s surprise, her wedding dress was completely different to the dress she’d imagined wearing, which is why she suggests not rejecting dresses until you try them on first.

“If you would have asked me what kind of dress I was going to wear when I first got engaged, I would have told you all fitted, no poofyness, and no strapless because I didn’t want to be bothered with pulling up my dress all night! But after trying on some fit and flare type dresses – while I loved the way they looked – I felt like I couldn’t really move, walk, or sit down. I love to dance and one of the things I was most looking forward to about our wedding was our amazing band so I ended up going a different direction with my dress.”

Kate choose a strapless Reem Acra gown with an embellished lace bodice which sat snugly on her hips. The dress had a tulle skirt, which she detached for the reception, to reveal a flowy organza skirt.

“The tulle skirt had these layers of horsehair netting to give it this beautiful structure. One of the layers was pure glitter which really sold me because I’m extra like that.”

Kate was attracted to the gold tones and crystal details of the ROSEBURY crown, which beautifully matched the beading on her dress. She styled the crown closer to the back of her head, allowing strands of hair to frame her face.

“I chose Old Hollywood curls for my hairstyle. Inspiration was a photo of Blake Lively on the red carpet, who is GOALS!,” says Kate.

Kate’s budgeting tip: If you need a place to cut back on budget, pick the shoes – no one will see them!

Musical moments

In line with Kate’s love of dancing and music, there were a couple of special musical surprises throughout the day.

“For our recessional music I had the string quartet play the Star Wars theme song. It was a surprise for my husband, as we are both huge Star Wars fans, he was stoked!,” says Kate. “My dad is a musician and he and my uncle performed the Beatles song ‘Twist and Shout’ to kick off the dancing during the reception. This was another surprise – I thought he might play a sappy song, but this was so much better! I’m a huge Beatles fan and my dad pulled it off perfectly and really got the party going!”

Best Advice

Kate has three top pieces of advice for couples planning their wedding day…

  • Have a discussion early on about what is important to each of you, how much each one of you wants to be involved or what you want to be involved with. For instance, Grant couldn’t care less about flowers or theme or any of that but he wanted to pick food and what he and his groomsmen were wearing. Also, talk about budget upfront and who will pay for what so there is less heartache as your day approaches. And if you can afford it, get a good wedding planner! They make a huge difference and ease a ton of stress.
  • If you can, take your time. Our engagement was one year and 10 months. This gave us time to do some wedding stuff and then take a break, and then do some more wedding stuff, and take another break, etc. We also had first pick for every vendor we wanted – no one was already booked. I highly recommend having a long engagement. I was able to enjoy the process and wasn’t stressed to constantly be making decisions or settling for things I didn’t want. Plus, I loved being engaged.
  • An important thing to remember is that there will likely be fights, but try to remember that this day is for both of you. You can work it all out. And when the day finally arrives try to enjoy every second of it, bask in the love that you share and be surrounded by your friends and family who love you too. And if you do that, I promise it will be the BEST. DAY. EVER.

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