Kelsey and Nathaniel “Nate” Thompson started out as just friends when they were working for the same dental firm in Austin, Texas. After several months, he mustered up the courage to ask her out—and then in Paris on Bastille Day, after two years of dating, he proposed near the Eiffel Tower just before a fireworks show began. That night for dinner, two of their friends from home joined the newly-engaged duo for dinner at Le Georges.
Because Nate is half Colombian and his family primarily lives in Bogota, the two contemplated hosting a wedding there. “We visited several venues in Cartagena but ended up deciding that as much as we loved the romantic city, we wanted something a little more centrally located for our guests and a little cooler. Since neither of us were keen on a beach wedding, the search continued,” explains Kelsey. The two ended up finding two historic sites: Chesterwood and The Mount in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. Chesterwood “was the old summer home and studio of Daniel Chester French, the sculptor best known for the Lincoln Memorial. Behind his studio lies a garden with a blooming aisle of the most amazing hydrangea trees in late summer and gorgeous pink and white peonies in the spring,” says Kelsey. And The Mount was Edith Wharton’s residence. With two beautiful locations to choose from, they decided to host the ceremony at Chesterwood and the reception at The Mount.
After trying on countless wedding dresses, Kelsey had nearly lost hope until she found Nardos, a custom couture bridal designer from Dallas. “Nardos and I clicked immediately, and she was able to help me achieve the perfect style for our big day by taking certain elements from a few of my favorite dresses I had tried on previously and combining them into one cohesive look. She nailed it. One of my favorite features was the detachable train,” says Kelsey. For beauty, she opted for a low, sleek bun and natural makeup. The groom and his groomsmen wore charcoal morning coats paired with grey, stripe pants and a pale grey tie.
In the early afternoon, Kelsey and her father walked down the natural aisle of hydrangea trees and peonies as violinists played Coldplay’s “Yellow” in the background. The weather was sunny and perfect as the pair read their own vows to each other. “Fun fact, I wrote my vows on the plane ride from TX to MA and proofread them to two sweet little girls that I sat by who were flying to visit their grandparents for the summer. It was a sweet reminder of how I used to dream about my wedding day as a little girl,” says the bride.
After the first kiss, guests moved to The Mount, where they were greeted in the courtyard with a glass of champagne and given a moment to take in the natural beauty. “A few bears were spotted on site the day before, right where the table was set up!” recalls Kelsey. Once the couple made their grand entrance, everyone gathered in the garden for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Dinner was served at a 120-ft.-long table set between an aisle of trees. “We served the options of pan roasted chicken breast, grilled sirloin, and orecchiette followed by French pastries and wedding cake for dessert.” During the meal, Kelsey’s father and several of the couple’s friends made toasts to the newlyweds.
The party started on the terrace, where the band was playing. “Having all of Nate’s family there from Colombia made for a fun night of salsa! (and teaching my family how to salsa, ha!),” Kelsey says. “We had forgotten to get a sign in book so we ended up passing around a huge Colombian flag for everyone to sign, which we ended up loving even more!”