The Making of a Modern Fairytale Wedding for Tara and Hunter

McKinney, Texas
BY SHIRA SAVADA / 02 01 23
Photo by Megan Kay Photography

Every wedding vendor team is created a little differently. In this series we explore how and why each couple selected the right wedding vendor team for their wedding day.

In 2021, Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall were craving a vacation. Both professional track and field athletes, the couple had recently finished their six-month season and were ready to unwind. Wanting to go somewhere and just relax, they headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for a week.

On the final night of their trip, the pair went out for food and drinks. When they returned back to where they were staying, Hunter revealed he had a surprise for Tara. On the beach, a tiki hut was set up with chairs and a rug, and after guiding Tara to the picturesque spot, Hunter declared his love for her and asked her to marry him.

About a week after the engagement, when they were back home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Tara started researching how to plan a wedding and where to start. The first step they made: deciding where and when they’d say “I do.”


Wedding Venue & Caterer

Tara loved the vineyard vibe of many venues in her home state of California, but with ties to Texas and a lot less distance to travel from Arkansas, she and Hunter looked for a vineyard closer to home where they could tie the knot. They checked out a few other options before they visited D’vine Grace Vineyard.

“The other venues didn’t make us feel the same way as D’vine made us feel.” —Tara, bride

Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis pose for a portrait at their modern fairytale wedding in McKinney, Texas.
A bride and her father overlook the guests seated at the ceremony of this modern fairytale wedding before walking down the aisle.

One perk, realized after booking the venue for Sunday, October 16, 2022, was that it was dog-friendly. That meant their two pups could serve as their ring bearers, an adorable extra plus of the venue.

Another benefit of getting married at the vineyard was its in-house catering. After enjoying a vast charcuterie spread and signature cocktails named after their dogs (a Milo Mule and Winnie Rita), guests enjoyed a seated dinner inside. The meal included a spinach and strawberry salad, and a choice of chicken scallopini or seared sirloin for entrée. Mini pizzas made the rounds later that evening.

A groom and his two dogs take a photo together during his modern fairytale wedding in Texas.
An overhead view of a modern fairytale wedding reception, inside D'vine Grace Vineyard's event space, with greenery and flowers hanging over the long tables.

Wedding Planner & Designer

With a date and wedding venue in place, Tara and Hunter approached Alexa Kay Events (whom they found on Instagram) to help bring Tara’s dream to life. She’d long had a Pinterest board of the big day she envisioned, but needed a professional to pull it off, particularly because she and Hunter were planning a destination wedding and had demanding schedules.

Tara wanted a modern fairytale wedding that felt very “happily ever after.” And she also wanted the celebration to feature her favorite color: pink. Alexa took her cues from those requests and  created an event that was equal parts beautiful and enjoyable.

“Hunter and I wanted to keep the wedding fun and lighthearted. We’re both still young and wanted the day to be surrounded by love and good vibes.” —Tara, bride

Bridesmaids in pink gowns escort the bride down the stairs to get to her modern fairytale wedding ceremony.
Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall exchange vows during their modern fairytale wedding ceremony in Texas.
A modern fairytale wedding reception, with dripping flowers and greenery installed over a series of long reception tables decorated with plum glassware, pink taper candles, and lush centerpieces.

Wedding Photographer

The first vendor Alexa recommended was photographer Megan Kay of Megan Kay Photography. Alexa had worked with Megan before and knew she would get along with the couple and make them feel comfortable in front of the camera.

“Tara said that she liked that a lot of my work was very dreamy or even fairytale-like. She wanted to feel like that on her wedding day and wanted her photos to look and feel like that too. She and Hunter are fun-loving and goofy and we had a lot of fun during our time together. I got the chance to get to know them during their engagement session, providing a great level of trust and comfort prior to the wedding day itself. This allowed my team and I to really capture the true emotions present: tears, laughter, and all the emotions. These two truly love each other and it shows. ” —Megan Kay, photographer

Tara Davis (wearing a Galia Lahav floral-embellished dress) and Hunter Woodhall (in a classic tuxedo) take a portrait at their modern fairytale wedding in McKinney, Texas.
The bride and groom share a laugh during their modern fairytale wedding reception.
Newlyweds Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall are all smiles from their getaway car at the end of their modern fairytale wedding.

Wedding Videographer

Shortly after securing Megan as their photographer, the couple chose their videographer: Kevin Cochran of 718 Creative. Alexa suggested him and only him because of the energy he brings to the table.

“I thought Kevin would be a good fit and I was not wrong! If you watch their YouTube video of the reveal you can see they loved the video!” —Alexa Kay, planner

“When Tara and Hunter were together, they were complete, and needed nothing else. I have never seen a couple enjoy their day more. It was like the rest of the world melted away. It didn't matter how many people were watching them, or what else was happening. They were fully present and enjoying the moment with the people around them. Instead of stressing, they hired a great vendor team, and trusted us completely. It made the logistics effortless and the day unforgettable.” —Kevin Cochran, videographer


Wedding DJ

Music was a big part of the celebration for the couple, so making sure they had the right sound was their next focus. Alexa had worked with Adante Mayo of LeForce Entertainment before and felt he’d be a great fit for the reception, providing DJ services as well as serving as the emcee. He played a mix of hip hop and pop and songs from the early 2000s, with the newlyweds dancing to “Biblical” by Calum Scott to kick off the reception.

A bride and groom share a first dance under an installation of greenery and flowers at the reception of their modern fairytale wedding.
A groom and his mother share a dance during a modern fairytale wedding reception in Texas.

Wedding Dress & Florist

The look of the wedding began to take shape as Tara selected her stunning Galia Lahav “Poet” dress, which exemplified the day’s modern fairytale wedding theme with a plunging neckline, corseted top, and ballgown skirt, all embellished with floral embroidery and 3-D organza flowers.

Petals Couture wove in plenty of white, textural blooms into the actual flowers as well. A big talking point for the bride and groom, the floral design blew everyone out of the water.

“Tara had no idea what her bouquet was going to look like on the wedding day, but I will never forget her reaction when she first saw it. She was ecstatic.” —Alexa Kay, planner

A bride wears a floral-lace adorned sleeved wedding dress and veil, and holds a white-and-pink bouquet the morning of her modern fairytale wedding.
A modern fairytale wedding ceremony setup with pink baby's breath arch, glossy white aisle, and white-and-pink floral arrangements.

The bride’s bouquet was only one of the “wow” elements. A baby’s breath ceremony arch popped against a glossy aisle set with lush and low arrangements of pink and white flowers. For the reception, an installation of greenery, dripping wisteria, and inverted roses hung over the long tables, which were decorated with centerpieces incorporating more baby’s breath, roses, nerine, and scabiosa.

An indoor reception for a modern fairytale wedding, with long tables, flowers and greenery hanging overhead, and a cake sitting atop a clear box with pink baby's breath inside.
A placesetting at a modern fairytale wedding reception, with white-and-gold flatware and a gold-rimmed charger pairing with wax seal-embellished place cards and monogrammed menus.

Wedding Stationer

Alexa turned to another go-to when it came time to talk stationery. Linda Lyons of Lyons Paperie was ready to design a suite for the occasion, melding classic with fun to set the tone. An elegant leaf motif, wax seal, and vintage stamp accompanied a QR code linked to the couple’s wedding website for more details.

On the big day itself, the 200-plus guests found their seats thanks to paper passports—a nod to the couple’s frequent international travels—designed in a shade of pink within the event’s color palette. Inside the mini booklets, guests also found fun games and must-sees during the outdoor cocktail hour, like trying both specialty cocktails and visiting the photo booth. Meanwhile, menus topped with monograms and wax seal-embellished place cards awaited guests at their seats.

A pink-and-white modern fairytale wedding invitation, with a garland motif, monogram, and wax seal.
Instead of traditional escort cards, guests found their seats thanks to pink passports at this modern fairytale wedding.

Wedding Cake Maker

Butterfly Cakery joined the vendor team next. They created a strawberry and lemon cake decorated with a cascade of dimensional white blooms, which sat atop a modern, acrylic box filled with blush baby’s breath.

A three-tier white cake with edible white flowers cascading down the side is perched atop a clear box filled with pink baby's breath at a modern fairytale wedding.
Upholstered chairs softened the reception space of a modern fairytale wedding.

Wedding Rentals, Photo Booth, & Coffee Cart

To round out the reception look and feel, rental pieces from Posh Couture Rentals’ vast inventory were picked out—including plum glassware, modern white flatware, and sleek velvet chairs. Textured blush pink and soft tan linens from BBJ La Tavola Specialty Linen were also chosen. And a MirMir photo booth was brought in for everyone to pose in, as well as a coffee cart from Night Owl for a late-night caffeine fix.


Wedding Hair & Makeup

Tara wanted a natural hair and makeup look, with glowy skin that let her feel like herself and slicked back hair to balance the more ornate elements of her dress. (Her hair was put up into a long ponytail when she changed into a jumpsuit for the later part of the reception.) Ashley Honeycutt of Honeycutt Beauty handled Tara’s hair (as well as the bridesmaids’ hair and makeup) while Karah Aleanna Artistry took care of her makeup.

Before putting on her dress, bride Tara Davis pauses for a portrait, showing off her sleek updo and natural-but-glowy makeup.
A bride and her mother take portraits while getting ready for her modern fairytale wedding.
The ladies and gentleman in this bride's wedding party wore blush pink, in honor of her favorite color, which was used throughout her modern fairytale wedding.
A bride wears a jumpsuit and long ponytail and kisses her now-husband as he dips her amidst their guests holding sparklers and sending them off at the conclusion of their modern fairytale wedding.
A modern fairytale wedding ceremony, with the bride and groom standing under an arch of pink baby's breath.
A Classic Wedding for Tara and Hunter
Megan Kay Photography