Makayla + Morgan

I haven’t had the privilege of meeting this Bride in person but after discussing this blog with her, I can tell she is the sweetest! I asked her a few questions about her and Morgan and I am in love with their story.

How did Makayla and Morgan meet?

This love story began on Facebook. Morgan, from Lebanon, PA and Makayla from Portales, NM originally became friends on social media through mutual friends. Morgan graduated from Eastern New Mexico with a degree in Criminal justice and Makayla graduated from Clovis Community College with a nursing degree. After chatting on Facebook, the two decided to go on a blind date to Chili’s. They instantly connected and spent nearly 4 hours getting to know each other. Morgan and Makayla dated for a little over 3 years before he popped the question.

How did Morgan propose?

Makayla’s story of the proposal is just perfect.

 “For about 2 months we had family pictures with his family planned and my friend, Alli, who is a photographer was going to take them. After taking several family photos at our first location and discussing where our next location will be, Morgan and I jumped in the car with Alli who looks at the both of us and says, “Okay, I have a surprise for the both of you.” She pulls out two blind folds and tells us to put them on. Little did I know, I was the only one who put the blind fold on. Alli starts driving around and I’m sitting there saying over and over again, “Morgan, what could it be?! Where are we going?!” He’s playing along the entire time saying he has no idea! The whole time I’m freaking out because we are supposed to meet Morgan’s family at a different location to take more family photos and here we are doing this! The car finally stops and Alli opens our door and helps me out of the car. She guides me a few steps and says, “okay, you guys can undo your blind folds!” To a VERY BIG surprise, Morgan was not by my side blind folded, but instead on one knee with all our family and friends behind him holding signs and balloons that said, “Marry Him.” It was the most perfect day ever! I was completely caught off guard!”

What is one of your favorite memories from you wedding day?

“Our favorite memory from the wedding was getting to spend that entire day with our friends and family getting ready and finally soaking in the reality and the fact we were getting married! Walking down the aisle was so surreal getting to see Morgan standing there at the alter. It was a beautiful day!”

We absolutely adore this couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness together!




Top 5 Favorite Pinterest Wedding Ideas

If you aren’t looking on Pinterest for wedding inspiration you are missing out! I often find myself scrolling through Pinterest thinking “why didn’t I have this when I was getting married!” I had a really hard time narrowing my list down to 5 of my favorites to share with you.

  1. Polaroid Guest Book

One of my best friends recently did this at her wedding and it was so much fun. It is such a great way to remember each friend and family member who attended your wedding. Not only does it create a special memory for the Bride and Groom but it is a lot of fun for the wedding guests as well!

2.Framed Wedding Guestbook

Another unique wedding guest book idea is something framed that you can hang in your home. I love the idea of each person signing their name on a heart and dropping it in the frame. This is such a cool idea that you can hang somewhere and be reminded of all your loved ones who attended your wedding day.

3.Instagram Sign

I’m sure most of your wedding guests are snapping selfies and posting them on Instagram and Facebook throughout your ceremony and reception. This is a fun way to make sure you get to see all the wedding pictures your guests took of your wedding day.

4.Honeymoon Fund 

I have attended several weddings lately where a honeymoon fund was part of the reception. A dance with the Bride or Groom is the most popular I have seen but I love the idea of guessing who will get the wedding cake in the face.

5.Remembering Loved Ones


I saved the best for last. This is by far one of my favorite ideas. This is an idea I wish I would have thought of for my wedding day. Framing pictures of loved ones who have passed or creating a family tree with framed photos is such a sweet, sentimental touch. We’ve had several brides at Autumn Oaks who beautifully displayed pictures of passed loved ones. See a few of them here, on our Autumn Oaks Event Center Facebook page.



Bailey + Ben

Meet Bailey and Ben

Bailey and Ben tied the knot at Autumn Oaks Event Center in August. They had a gorgeous outdoor wedding on a beautiful, summer day where they were surrounded by family and friends. The couple ended the night with an indoor reception in the banquet hall celebrating with guests and dancing the night away. These two are the sweetest couple! Can’t you just feel the love from the pictures?! We were so excited for them when they came for their wedding venue tour. Get ready to fall in love with these two and their sweet story.

How did the Bride and Groom meet?

Bailey is originally from Arizona but moved to Lubbock, Texas where she later met Ben her Junior Year in High school. That’s right- High school sweet hearts. Bailey went on to college at South Plains in Levelland, Texas and Ben chose to attend Columbia Southern University. These two weren’t about to let long distance get in their way. They dated for 8 years before Ben popped the question.

The Proposal

One of the couple’s favorite things to do together is hike. While on a camping trip with Ben’s best friend, a hike led to Ben getting down on one knee and proposing. Bailey had no idea Ben was planning a proposal and was completely surprised. She was thrilled that Ben’s friend was there to capture the moment for them.

Favorite Wedding Memories

Bailey says their favorite memory from their wedding at Autumn Oaks was “having all our family together in one place.” Isn’t she the sweetest!

Autumn Oaks Event Center was honored to host Bailey and Ben’s wedding and had so much fun with this sweet couple. The Bride was gorgeous, the ceremony was intimate, and the cake was delicious! We wish them a lifetime of love and happiness.








Top 10 Things To Do Immediately After Engagement

1.Tell your family

Share your excitement with your family. They will be thrilled to hear your news and want to know all the details! Make sure to send them a picture of the engagement ring!

2.Tell your close friends

After sharing the news with your family be sure to tell your closest friends. Let them know that you want to be the first to post your “We are getting married” announcement on social media.

3.Pamper yourself

Make an appointment at the spa and salon. Everyone you see will want to see your ring so you will want your nails to look great too! Don’t forget the engagement pictures you will want to take!

4. Schedule engagement pictures

Ask friends and look online at portfolios to find your photographer. Decide what style of photography you like best and choose a photographer with the same style. Keep in mind this can be a wedding photographer interview for the big day!

5.Choose a wedding date range

Decide with your fiancé on a wedding date range that would work for you both. Keep in mind setting a specific date could be challenging when picking your wedding venue so setting a range of dates may make things easier.

6.Set your budget

Before you can really start planning your big day it’s important to set your budget. Forget the traditions of what the Bride’s family pays and what the Groom’s family pays. Sit down with each family and see what they are willing to help with. Once your budget is established you can move on to making choices like how many people you will invite.

7.Create your guest list

Creating your guest list is something else you should do while you are sitting down with each family- the moms won’t let you forget anyone! Once you have an estimate on how many people you will invite you can start looking for a wedding and reception venue that will accommodate all your guests.

8.Choose a location and venue or event center

Now that you have narrowed down your guest list you can decide on the location and venue or event center for your wedding. Make sure to schedule a tour so you can visit the venue and see what all they offer.

9.Pick your wedding party

There are so many fun ways to ask your closest friends to be bridesmaids and groomsmen and share your special day with you. My sister in law sent me a box full of goodies and a card that I still have. Check out Pinterest for inspiration!

10.Pick your wedding dress

Now for the fun stuff!! You have most of the big choices out of the way it’s time to find THE dress. If you haven’t already, get online and find several different styles you think you are interested in. Then, invite your girls or just go with your Mom and try on as many as you want until you find the one. Take pictures, laugh, and soak in all the memories!







Letter of Gratitude

To anyone and everyone we have worked for or with in the past 2 years: Thank you!!! When we started this new adventure, we really had no idea the blessings that were headed our way. We have had the pleasure of working with so many incredible people. You guys make our job so much more fun and enjoyable.

To the brides: Thank you for choosing us! We know you have several options for wedding venues in and around Lubbock, Texas, and we are so honored and grateful that you chose Autumn Oaks for such an important event! We have sincerely enjoyed each and every one of you. You have all been so sweet, so appreciative, and SO GORGEOUS! Words cannot express how much we adore you all.

To the parents of our brides and grooms: You have all been so wonderful. We know how stressful and exhausting a wedding can be and you have all been so good-natured and easy to work with! We have made genuine friendships with many of you and we feel so blessed.

To the vendors: Lubbock, Texas has some of the most incredible wedding vendors! We have seen such a wide variety of styles of weddings and each has been incredible in its own way. It takes such a distinctive person to decorate and arrange flowers and bouquets. It does not look easy and we have seen some of the most beautiful wedding décor and arrangements! The food. Wow! Can we talk about the food?? I can’t imagine cooking for 200-300 people – keeping it all fresh and warm has to be a task and it’s always so tasty! Of course we always sneak a plate when there’s enough (i.e. research ;)) and we are rarely disappointed. The same can be said for the wedding cakes we see. So many photographers have shared their photos with us to use for marketing and have tagged us in their posts, and we cannot tell you how much it is appreciated. So much talent here in and around Lubbock, Tx!

To the planners: You make everyone’s lives a little easier! You always keep everything so organized and keep all the wedding vendors and members of the wedding party on task and on time. Not to mention you are all so kind and so fun to work with. We are clearly very fond of you all!

We have been on quite a journey these past two years. It has been exhausting and overwhelming at times, but has also been incredibly exciting and rewarding. YOU are such a big part of why this wedding venue has become such a blessing in all of our lives, and as a family, we just wanted to send out the most heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you! XO, Autumn Oaks (Thornberry and Smith families)



A Passion for What We Do

Since our opening, we have hosted various events, which we are so grateful for. We have had several weddings, varying in size and style, and we’ve learned a lot from each! We created our venue to be versatile, and I am pleased to say that it has been just that.

We’ve had a wedding for 100 guests and a wedding for 500 guests. We’ve had a casual, country wedding, an elaborate, elegant wedding, and everything in between. Each wedding that we have hosted has been different and beautiful and so special! Each bride has been unique and absolutely gorgeous.

One of the things I’ve discovered that make a wedding special is the details. It’s the photos of family that has passed on the reception tables, so everyone remembers they, too, are there to celebrate. It’s the sign in book, or painting, or bench that was made by someone special just for the bride and groom. It’s the unique trinket given by the groom to the bride to wear or carry on her walk down to commit to forever with him.

Moments also make a wedding noteworthy. It’s the story during the ceremony that is told of the bride and groom that brings a tear to everyone’s eye. It’s the secret moments the bride and groom have when no one else is watching when they realize they can finally call each other husband and wife. It’s the instant the parents of the bride take a deep breath of relief knowing their daughter is in good hands.

Maybe I’m just 40 weeks pregnant, but thinking back on these moments I’ve witnessed the last few months absolutely gets me emotional. I feel so fortunate to get to see this all the time. Marriage is such a beautiful thing and one of the most exciting things in life, and I get to see this commitment made every weekend. How lucky am I??

There are certain people that you meet that just really make an impact. We’ve certainly met several families that have been that for us. We feel so incredibly blessed to be able to interact with so many incredible families. It makes all of these 16 hour wedding days so completely worth it! 🙂





Creative Ways to Include Scriptures in Your Wedding Day

Among the many things my mom did for me on my wedding day, she was able to give me a very special surprise that I will cherish forever. After helping me get my dress on, she lifted the train and showed me something that immediately brought us both to tears. She had a scripture embroidered on the inside of my train in blue. During one of our busy wedding planning days I mentioned to my mom that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 was a verse that my fiancé and I referred to often.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

I absolutely love this special keepsake from my mom. I still remember walking down the aisle and thinking about the scripture embroidered in my dress. I hope to one day do the same for my daughter and carry on the tradition that my mom started.

There are many other ways to incorporate a scripture into your wedding attire or décor. I’ve seen a few Brides get creative and paint a verse on the bottom of their wedding shoes or on the ribbon wrapped around their bouquet.

I love these ideas I found on Pinterest, too! Walking down the aisle and seeing one of your favorite bible verses is a beautiful way to start your journey with your new husband.

You could also share one verse or several verses with your guests as they walk down the aisle to their seats.



Whether you chose to display a scripture for everyone or simply keep it somewhere for yourself, I am confident it will be a special addition to your wedding day that you will cherish forever!




Wedding Day Emergency Kit

My sister in law created an emergency kit for her wedding day and it was a HUGE blessing! Who would have thought one Bride, six Bridesmaids, two Flower girls, and two Moms could have so many last minute “emergencies”.  Throughout the day, we had several unexpected opportunities to use our emergency kit- someone needing a snack, someone sick at their stomach, a stain or two, and lots of happy tears. We were lucky to have the necessities and not have to leave the wedding venue for any of our “emergencies.”

Below is a list of everything included in my sister in law’s wedding day emergency kit. By the end of the day everything in our bag had been used at least once.

  1. Granola Bars                                    12. Stain Remover Pen
  2. Advil                                                  13.Mouthwash
  3. Razors                                               14.Gum
  4. Deodorant                                        15.Bobby Pins
  5. Feminine Products                         16.Eye Drops
  6. Band Aids                                         17.Scissors
  7. Mints                                                 18.Clear nail polish
  8. Lint Roller                                        19.Nail File
  9. Sewing Kit                                        20.Pepto-Bism ol
  10. Tweezers                                           21.Tissues
  11. Safety Pins                                        22.Hair Spray


During all the wedding day commotion it can be easy to forget to eat a bite so granola bars can come in very handy. Trail Mix would be a great snack also!

If your bridesmaid dresses are short, razors may be very important for your forgetful girls!

Band Aids, a lint roller, sewing kit, stain remover pen, and clear nail polish are all great to have around for your fun, clumsy girls. Clear nail polish works wonders on runners!

Most importantly, don’t forget the tissues. In each wedding I have been apart of, I made sure to wrap a few tissues around my bouquet just in case and was happy to have them each time.

These are just the items that were usual for us, but there are many other things you may feel are important for your emergency kit! I posted more ideas on our Autumn Oaks Event Center Pinterest page, here!
















Rainy Wedding Day at an Indoor/Outdoor Wedding Venue

This morning my two year old looked outside and said “rain, rain go away come again so I can play!” Something like that anyways! I’m sure many Spring Brides can relate to her feeling- a feeling of disappointment and worry. In her case, will she be able to go outside today? Will the rain wash away her sidewalk chalk? As a Bride you worry if you and your guests will be rained on, will the venue be muddy, will guests come if it is raining, etc.  After planning your dream outdoor wedding for months, a rainy wedding day forecast can be very disappointing and stressful. This is when an indoor/outdoor wedding venue comes in handy!

Growing up in the Texas Panhandle, this was something we knew we wanted to be prepared for when designing Autumn Oaks Event Center. We took in to consideration how unpredictable the weather can be and made it very easy for Brides to quickly transition their wedding indoors. We also added a 2,400 square foot back porch in case Brides want to move the wedding out of the rain but still enjoy the view outside.

However, the” old wives tale” is that rain on your wedding day means good luck, so why not embrace it! I’ve found a few photos of daring couples who decided not to let the rain ruin their special day and continue with their plans.


This couple definitely seized the moment. What a gorgeous picture to remember the pure joy they felt on their wedding day in the rain!



rain blog


The couple who dared to dance in the rain! What a fun first dance as husband and wife!


rain 2

Wedding Forward | Inspirations Ideas Planning


What a fun picture and great idea! This couple incorporated their rainy day umbrellas in their photos while enjoying the sunshine!


rain 3

Jonathan Ivy Photography


Love this picture of the Bride and her girls having some fun in the rain! The clear umbrellas make for a gorgeous photo!


rain 4

Bartlett Pair Photography


Lastly, the couple who decided to be prepared and prepare their guest for a fun, rainy wedding day!



Inked Weddings


Be sure to check out our Autumn Oaks Event Center’s Pinterest page for more rainy day ideas and wedding day inspirations!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!



Open Vendor Wedding Venue- Perfect for “DIYers”

Do- it- yourself weddings have become very popular and are a great way for couples to show some creativity and save on their budget! Whether you are a craft enthusiast or your skills are less than superior, I have found DIY projects for every skill level! From DIY wedding invitations to centerpieces and wedding favors, you can do it all. At Autumn Oaks, we offer an Open Vendor Policy making us the perfect wedding venue for “DIYers”!

DIY Wedding Invitations



If you are planning a big wedding, a big chunk of your budget can go to invitations. Recruit your groom, mom, or bridesmaids and create your own invitations. You will want to send out your invitations 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding date so make sure to start this project early! Don’t forget to include the name and address of your wedding venue! I love the simple, elegant look of the invitations pictured.


DIY Wedding Centerpieces


Centerpieces are a great way to add your personal touch to a wedding venue. My sister in law decided to get creative and make her own centerpieces for her wedding. The bridal party pitched in and we made them at her wedding venue the morning of her wedding. We had a lot of fun putting them together and of course they turned out beautiful!


DIY Wedding Favors


After your loved ones join you at your wedding venue to celebrate your big day, send them home with a fun DIY wedding favor! I attended a wedding last year where Smores were the wedding favors and they were delicious! My sister in law was a bridesmaid so I knew they were DIY favors created by the bride and bridesmaids, but I wouldn’t have known otherwise. They looked professionally done and tasted even better!

These are just a few of the DIY wedding ideas I have seen. I dropped some more ideas for you on our Pinterest page. Check them out! I am the least creative person ever but still found several I think I could manage!