Posted Wednesday, Mar. 06, 2013
"When you're single, every friend wants to set you up," says local TV personality Tammy Dombeck.
The west Fort Worth native admits she wasn't a huge fan of blind dates, but there was something about Donnie Campbell, an Internet radio account executive, that sparked an immediate connection.
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"We began to talk about marriage and were initially planning on the fall of 2013," Tammy says. "But we kind of did everything backward."
On a whim, the couple visited the Ashton Hotel to look at spaces for a ceremony and reception. They wound up booking the venue for a wedding on a Sunday evening in December 2012.
"We left and I said, 'Well, now we've got to get engaged,'" Tammy says.
Although she knew a proposal was coming, Tammy was shocked when Donnie took her for a drink on Reata's rooftop patio, the site of their first date, and surprised her with a proposal in front of an applauding crowd of restaurant patrons.
"He tricked me because before he had said, 'Let's take a weekend trip,' and that's when I thought it was going to happen," Tammy says.
On a crisp winter night in downtown Fort Worth, which was twinkling with Christmas lights, Tammy and Donnie married in the Ashton Hotel's basement-level wine cellar in front of 29 close family and friends, including two small children.
"My nephew was the ring bearer and my childhood best friend's daughter was the flower girl," Tammy says.
Tammy designed the look and feel of her entire wedding on her own, using snowflakes and shades of silver and red to create a holiday-inspired soiree. The local celebrity also took to Facebook to gather input from her thousands of fans regarding table settings and decor.
Floral pieces were arranged by Kelly Norvell of Bridal Blooms of Fort Worth and primarily consisted of crimson red roses. Illuminated snowflake patterns were shown on the walls while lit Christmas trees, borrowed from the Ashton's lobby areas, dotted the room.
"It was very dark in there, so we also used lots of candles," Tammy says.
A string quartet played Christmas carols as guests arrived; then the traditional wedding march played as Tammy's father and mother walked her down the aisle. Tammy's floor-length mermaid wedding gown with halter top was ordered from Sunp, an online wholesaler.
Upstairs in the Ashton's Winfield Scott ballroom, one long table covered in black linens, gold chargers, votives and small vases of red roses seated all 29 guests, as well as the bride and groom, for a three-course dinner.
"We talked about doing [round tables,] but I thought, 'We'll be all separated and how do we figure out who's going to sit at what table?'" Tammy says.
Guests enjoyed a salad of mixed greens, creamy tomato bisque and choice of grilled chicken or beef tenderloin with seasonal vegetables and whipped potatoes. For dessert, holiday-themed bride and groom cakes were designed and baked by Tammy's longtime friend and local TV personality Rebecca Miller.
"I was at NBC for 12 years, so we go way back," Tammy says. "She began making pet treats at home and starting getting into cake making. She told me she would make my cakes as a wedding gift to me. She's something else."
Although Tammy reminded Rebecca of her small guest list, Rebecca insisted on making both a bride's and a groom's cake. Sugar snowflakes adorned the bride's white cake, which was layered inside with strawberry filling. The chocolate groom's cake was designed to be a present, complete with a large red and white fondant bow.
"It was such an honor to make Tammy's wedding cake," Rebecca says. "Her friendship means so much to me, and I wanted to do something special for someone who is so special herself. We are so happy she's found a wonderful man."
A small dance floor amid red up-lights allowed guests to let loose to DJ tunes before Tammy, rosy-cheeked with a white faux fur wrap covering her bare shoulders, and Donnie, beaming while waving off the bubbles guests blew at them, exited in a Lincoln Town Car.
"I'm so glad we didn't wait," she says.
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