January 26, 2024

Different wedding venues have different vibes, but the rustic, elegant feel has been very popular. There is good reason for it - it still has a Texas feel to it, but matches the upscale nature of the moment of a classy wedding. If you are looking for something that feels both rustic and modern, and features the rolling hills of Texas without having to really leave the city too far behind, you should definitely check out Stone Crest, located in McKinney, just 30ish minutes north of Dallas. We have had the extreme honor of shooting quite a few events at this award winning venue (theknot.com's Best Of winner for wedding venues in Texas), including the wedding photography and wedding videography of Kayla & Evan.

Kayla & Evan were one of our favorite couples to work with - everyone involved was there to have a good time, and were super excited about the day. The laughter and smiles never stopped in the upstairs bridal suite, were Kayla and some of her best friends got ready for the big day. Even mom was having a good time, singing and dancing around the room to the music that was playing in the room. Vanity lights and multiple mirrors made for a pretty place for the girls to get ready. Evan and his groomsmen had a similar setup down the hall in the groom's suite, and both parties got all of the details put in place.

An overcast day gave way to some rain clouds, but the perfect light for us to capture the first look with Kayla and her dad on the back porch. There were more than one or two happy tears shed when Kayla's father got to see her in her wedding dress for the first time. The wedding couple decided to keep things traditional and keep Evan from seeing Kayla until the ceremony, but with the help of a camo blindfold covering Evan's eyes, they got to share a few precious moments together and shared a prayer together. The stack of wooden logs behind them made for a picturesque background for some of these shots.  After a few group shots of the different wedding parties, it was almost time for the ceremony.

Originally, the ceremony was going to be located on the outdoors ceremony space, which features superb views overlooking the 20 acres of breathtaking surroundings. Modern wooden benches and a wood awning serve as the altar for outdoor ceremonies here, with greenery all around them. The field beyond the ceremony space features wildflowers and exquisite backdrops for photos, but it was not to be on this rainy day. Instead, the ceremony got moved inside in the main event space, which was not a downer for the day at all. Featuring huge vaulted ceilings, rustic chandeliers, string lights and huge windows on both sides of a stone fireplace, this space was fantastic.

Evan (and his cowboy boots) waited anxiously for Kayla to make her entrance down the huge, almost movie-like wooden staircase, and did his best job to keep his emotions in check. The couple didn't QUITE keep it steady during their vows to each other, but that made the ceremony even more beautiful. As soon as the ceremony ended, any anxiousness of the day was gone, and both the bride and the groom were ecstatic and ready to enjoy the night.

During a cocktail hour in which some guests enjoyed the patio and the weather (while covered from the sprinkles of rain) the room got flipped and prepared for the reception. A large bar in the back of the room served as a drink station, with plenty of room for the buffett of mexican food on the other side of the staircase. The Stone Crest is a BYOB and open vendor policy  venue, which means anyone who rents out the space can bring in whatever catering and bartending service they want, which always help make things more flexible. The stained concrete throughout meant everywhere was a dance floor, but the middle of the room served as dance central, and it remained packed with guests all night.

After hours of fun, and a cake cutting that was slightly less than professional on Evan's part (haha) it was time for a private last dance, and then a sparkler grand exit out into the night. We had a great time with Kayla and Evan, and if you are searching for a modern, rustic venue with great views and dreamy backgrounds for photos, you should check out The Stone Crest just outside of McKinney, one of Epic's favorite wedding venues in Texas!

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