This fall floral-filled open house at Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh in Dallas included the surprise of a lifetime: the stand-in bride and groom were actually real-life bride and groom, and this wasn’t just a styled wedding event – it was also a real wedding! Meke and Antonio enjoyed a destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, but wanted a way to celebrate locally with friends and family who couldn’t attend their Mexico nuptials. Enter: The Stoneleigh Wedding, an event for wedding professionals as well as future brides and grooms. Meke and Antonio modeled for the event but invited their loved ones to enjoy “dinner” as a way to surprise them as they walked down the aisle to a real ceremony unfolding before everyone’s eyes. How unforgettable!
A historic venue in the heart of Dallas, The Stoneleigh hosts weddings of all sizes and styles. For this event, bold ruby tones, overflowing blooms and art deco details played up the venue’s aesthetic, and Top Tier Event Rentals of Dallas helped transform the ceremony and reception areas into a magical setting for this one-of-a-kind wedding. Read below to hear more of this special couple’s story! Cheers!
Photos // The Amber Studio
About the event: “For Meke Stephens and Antonio Smith, both hair industry professionals in the Dallas area, it took crossing paths for a year and half for the two to realize they were meant to be. Four years later, the happy couple was vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico, when Smith dropped to one knee and proposed. With the plan to get married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Stephens and Smith wanted to find a way to have a ceremony in Dallas for those friends and family that wouldn’t be able to make it to their destination wedding. The Stoneleigh, a luxury boutique hotel in Dallas, came to the rescue.
‘Our minister called me one day and explained that he had a friend who was organizing a wedding open house at The Stoneleigh, and that they wanted a bride and groom to actually get married,’ Stephens explained.
“After meeting with wedding planner Marion Marshall of Absolutely Blooming, the couple agreed to be a part of The Stoneleigh Wedding, a semi-private progressive wedding open house for wedding planners and engaged couples. The magical evening would feature gourmet desserts and beverages, informal modeling and various entertainment in the enchanting backdrop of The Stoneleigh, complete with indoor and outdoor settings including the majestic historic penthouse on the eleventh floor featuring Art Deco elegance and sensational views of the city skyline. They would surprise friends and family members with an actual wedding! Stephens and Smith told their unsuspecting guests that they were hosting a reception at The Stoneleigh for those that couldn’t attend their wedding in Cabo.
“Just four weeks later after speaking with the event planner, the surprise wedding was underway. The ceremony took place outside in The Stoneleigh’s courtyard on a crisp fall evening. Students from the Booker T. Washington Jazz Choir began singing as guests were asked to take their seats. To everyone’s amazement, Smith joined the minister at the altar as Stephens started to glide down the aisle.
‘Most people assumed we were treating them to dinner,’ said Stephens. ‘So they were shocked with joy when they realized that we were actually getting married.’
“Both weddings – the ceremony in Dallas at The Stoneleigh and the celebration in Cabo – will hold special places in their hearts, and the newlyweds plan to celebrate two anniversaries every year.”