Brandy Anderson Weds Albert Leyva | Charming Southern Wedding Captured by Allen Tsai Photography
by Lindsey Craig February 22
The incredible team at Keestone Events helped create Brandy and Albert’s seriously charming Southern wedding captured by Allen Tsai Photography. One of our favorite highlights from their sweet celebration were the delicious signature cocktails including a “prickly pear margarita” and “panda punch” crafted by the experts at HD Liquid Catering! Cheers to Brandy and Albert!
Photos // Allen Tsai Photography
Written by Abby Broyles
The sun looked down on dirt roads, tall green grass blowing in the wind, and a trickling blue pond. The setting was serene with pops of Texas charm from the hay wagons to the adult lemonade stand waiting for thirsty guests. “Our overall vision was to have something that was elegant but at the same time made you feel comfortable and welcomed,” the bride remembers. Soft, dreamy florals crowned the tables in the rustic reception barn, and greenery adorned each of the wooden chairs of the ceremony site. It was the perfect landscape for a heartfelt union of two people who met by chance at an unlikely place.
Many couples have comical stories of how their first dates came about, but for Brandy and Albert, their initial meeting was a bit rocky. Both of them are avid Crossfit athletes, and Albert had just switched to Brandy’s gym. They would run into each other once in a while at class but just exchanged a “hello” here and there. After a couple of months, Albert finally approached Brandy. “I had taken a few practice swings,” Albert says of his previous “hellos.” This time, he took a “full swing” and blurted out, “So what’s your story? Are you married? Have kids?” Brandy smiled and humored Albert’s opening line, but went on and finished her workout. Albert went home and talked to his best friend to try to devise a plan to ask Brandy on a date. The Imagine Dragons concert in Dallas was soon approaching, and he thought he would invite her to go with him and a couple of his friends. He got cold feet, though, and didn’t ask her when he saw her at the gym the day of the concert. Instead, he went to the concert with his friends and an extra ticket. “I had been completely oblivious to the fact that he was trying to ask me out,” Brandy remembers. At the concert without her, Albert didn’t give up. With a little encouragement from his friends, he sent Brandy a direct message on Instagram, and they ended up getting together for drinks after the concert with their friends. That’s when Albert told her they were going on a date that Sunday. They hit it off talking for three hours over sushi at a place that would become very special to them.
Brandy and Albert dated for ten months before he popped the question. They had seen each other every day since their first date, whether it was over dinner or at the gym. Every month on their anniversary, Albert sent her flowers. Little did Brandy know, after that tenth bouquet, he had an amazing date planned that she would never forget. On a Thursday night, Albert picked Brandy up to go to dinner and a play. She grew a little suspicious when Albert missed his turn for dinner and took her back to the same sushi restaurant they went to on their first date with the same server. After a delicious meal, Brandy was still suspicious, and was surprised when they ended up at the Addison airport. That’s where a helicopter was waiting to fly them above the downtown Dallas skyline. Looking out the window at the lights from the cars to the skyscrapers, Brandy was thoroughly enjoying herself, while Albert was anxiously preparing for the moment that was about to unfold. “It was a stressful day. I was gripping the seat in front of me in the helicopter,” Albert remembers. When they landed, the pilot asked if they wanted another photo. Brandy was distracted, and Albert took her hand to spin her around. He was on one knee with a stunning diamond engagement ring. One of their photographer friends was there to capture the moment Albert asked Brandy to spend the rest of her life with him. “It was everything I hoped for,” Brandy says.
After the newly engaged couple threw a housewarming party at the home they had just purchased, they jumped into wedding planning. They initially looked at having a destination wedding but ultimately decided to marry in Texas. “We really wanted to paint an intimate picture of us and who we were in every detail of the day,” Brandy says. To do that, they planned a charming southern celebration at the Summerfield at Tate Farms venue nestled in horse and cattle country in Rockwall.
The day of the wedding in March 2017 began with the bride sipping mimosas and getting ready with her attendants, while Albert and his groomsmen kicked the day off with a Crossfit workout (of course!). Eventually everyone loaded up on charter buses to the countryside. Guests were taken on hay rides to the ceremony site down by the water. Even though they were just a half hour from downtown Dallas, everyone felt they were at home on the ranch dressed up for an elegant soiree. The bride and groom chose not to do a first look, keeping the surprise for the moment Brandy walked down the aisle.
Escorted down the aisle by her father, the bride wore a classic lace A-line ivory gown with a sweetheart neckline and lace detail by Justin Alexander. Albert was all smiles. “Getting to see the look on his face in that moment was absolutely priceless. If we had a chance to do it all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing,” Brandy says. The bride and groom each wrote their own vows and also exchanged traditional vows under the arch built for them that now sits in their backyard. After the two exchanged rings, their officiant (one of Albert’s fraternity brothers) pronounced them husband and wife. Albert kissed his bride and led the way to the lively reception.
String lights warmed the long wooden tables topped with creamy florals and greenery. The familiar tunes from Taylor Swift and George Strait streamed from the musician’s circle full of Dallas Symphony performers. The reception had the personalities of the bride and groom coming through everywhere from the calligraphy signs Brandy did herself to their favorite foods like street tacos and sliders to the signature “Prickly Pear Margaritas.” Brandy and Albert shared their first dance as husband and wife to “All I Ever Need” by Anderson East. Albert and his mother danced to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, and Brandy and her father danced to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. Under the stars shining brightly in the North Texas sky, guests danced for hours and snapped photos at the “photo wagon.” “I really don’t know how we would have done it without a planner. There wasn’t a single thing we had to think about or do except to enjoy our wedding” Brandy says. “I wish we could have been guests at our wedding. It was that fun,” Albert remembers. The fun finally came to a close that evening as loved ones made their way outside the barn for the couple’s big exit. Meanwhile, Brandy and Albert shared a last private dance to “Still Falling” by Hunter Hayes. After that special moment, the newlyweds smiled as brightly as the sparklers twinkling around them on the way to the Jaguar waiting to whisk them away. They were off to begin their new life together, making new memories, but keeping some things just the same – like their daily trips to the gym where their story first began.
Other Local Vendors: Elan Makeup Studio, Absolute Entertainment, Premier Transportation, Signed, Sealed, Delivered Band, Trinity Event Staffing, TLC Rentals, Layered Bake Shop, Allen Tsai Photography, Keestone Events, Shapiro Diamonds, Henry Weddings, Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront, Caodan Tran, Lonestar Forged Works, Abelia Floral Studio, Leyco Lettering, Photowagon Texas, Summerfield at Tate Farms, Off the Wagon Mobile Bar, Dallas Symphony Orchestra