In Focus

February 5, 2014

Real Weddings: Sarah Leach & Michael Packer

Sarah always wanted a romantic, traditional wedding. All Michael wanted was a Texas Rangers-themed groom’s cake.

“He’s a huge Rangers fan, and he asked me if we could make it happen,” says Sarah Leach, a Texas Christian University alumna who married her high school sweetheart. “He was gone for the entire planning process because he’s in the Air Force, so I picked everything. But that was the one thing he wanted.”

Usually reserved and spotlight shy, Michael Packer proposed to Sarah in the middle of a circus arena while they were on a date. The couple is now stationed in Kansas but hosted their nuptials in Fort Worth with a marriage service at Robert Carr Chapel and reception at The Fort Worth Club.

“Everything about The Fort Worth Club was so traditional and so romantic,” Sarah says. “It was everything I wanted for my space, and I didn’t see me using anything else once I saw it.”

Paper Planet designed and printed the invitations, which included an artistic map of the wedding festivities as well as spots that are meaningful to Sarah and Michael. These included, of course, the location of the Ringling Bros. circus where he proposed.

In lieu of a guest book, friends and family wrapped the couple with love by writing sentiments on a handmade quilt using fabric pens, an idea that Sarah found on A nice dinner was important, Sarah says, “because nobody wants to go to a wedding and have just ‘OK’ food.” Guests were treated to a seated dinner of tenderloin and quail in the club’s champagne-lit ballroom before moving to a different location for dancing.

“We really wanted the second space to be a little more upbeat and fun compared to where we did our dinner and cocktail hour,” Sarah says.

A cookie bar set with sweets such as French macarons and chocolate chip and sugar cookies kept guests with a sweet tooth satisfied, as did the lace- and flower-detailed wedding cake and the Rangers Ballpark-themed groom’s cake, all created by the Fort Worth Club’s pastry team.

“There was a really subtle ‘lock and key’ look and feel to the wedding,” wedding planner Tami Winn says. “It started with the save the dates. [The bride’s] mom handmade them. She sewed a beautiful fabric inside very heavy card stock and hand-dyed pieces of vintage lace that she put around them, and there was a tiny vintage key on each [one].”

Sarah’s Alvina Valenta gown, which was modified to be strapless, featured lace, a detail she always had wanted in her wedding dress, she says.

“The most memorable moment was when my mother and my husband’s mom had a slide show made that we didn’t know about,” Sarah says. “That was a big surprise and very memorable.”

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