A Natural, Traditional Wedding at Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park in Texas boasts magnificent natural beauty, but to Anna Booher (30 and a teacher) and Chris Kroese (31 and an entrepreneur), th

Big Bend National Park in Texas boasts magnificent natural beauty, but to Anna Booher (30 and a teacher) and Chris Kroese (31 and an entrepreneur), the desert mountains, hot springs, cacti and wildlife hold special memories. Since they fell in love and got engaged here, they knew it was the perfect place to host their wedding full of desert details and Native American traditions. They invited their guests to join them in this remote natural setting for a ceremony in the park ranger amphitheater, where spirit feathers and the unity-blanket ceremony united Anna and Chris under the hot Texas sun. Many of their wedding details were DIY, including the watercolor stationery and flowers, but Andrea Barbosa and Javelina Ranch helped them plan and design the rest in a desert-inspired palette. At the reception at Chisos Mountain Lodge, Anna made sure they had lots of her favorite Texas foods to share, including spicy margaritas and breakfast tacos for dinner and a tower of donuts for dessert. The best part no one could have planned for? There were a couple of bear sightings! In a place as wild and magical as Big Bend National Park, you never know what you might find. See the stunning details, captured by Amber Vickery Photography, below.

Natural Big Bend National Park Wedding
Anna and Chris participated in the American Indian blanket-unity ceremony tradition. The blanket they were wrapped in symbolizes the comfort and love they bring each other, as well as peace and happiness. This blanket can be displayed in their home and later passed down as an heirloom.
Shortly after choosing Big Bend National Park as their venue, Anna and Chris found out they were not allowed to bring in flowers. All the wedding flowers were picked up from a roadside stand just outside Big Bend. The hand-tied wildflower bouquet was full of desert colors and perfect for the natural wedding style.
Turquoise Brooch with Burlap Bouquet Wrap
Big Bend National Park Wooden Sign
Anna wasn’t sure what kind of wedding dress fit her desert wedding—that is, until she found the one. It was an Essence of Australia A-line strapless wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline and lace appliques on the bodice, which trailed down into a flowy skirt with an organza overlay. As soon as Anna put on this dress, she knew it was perfect.
DIY Wildflower and Feather Crown
One of Anna’s bridesmaids volunteered to make all the paper products. The DIY watercolor details and Big Bend photo on the save-the-dates tied into the natural wedding style.
Wooden Wedding Ring Box
Anna’s bridesmaids all wore short, neutral lace dresses with brown shoes. They fit right into the desert palette and Texas feel of the wedding, and all looked beautiful.
Short Brown Bridal Cowboy Boots
Since Chris didn't wear a tux, neither did his groomsmen. They all wore tan or brown pants and a light-colored shirt, and chose an accessory to match the desert wedding colors to reflect their personalities.
Natural Garland Wedding Arch
Chris knew he didn’t want to wear a tux or anything formal for the natural (and hot) desert wedding. Dandy’s in Austin, Texas, made him a custom vintage-style suit—Chris picked out the fabrics, and the staff at Dandy’s measured and started sewing. His purple floral-patterned bow tie added a nice whimsical touch to the neutral suit.
Anna and Chris got married in the park ranger amphitheater in Big Bend National Park in Texas. They chose this spot because it didn’t require hiking to reach and could accommodate their 75 guests. Bonus: It offered some shade from the sun in the extremely hot weather.
In American Indian culture, spirit feathers are given as a symbol of honoring a person's respect and love and as a sign of gratitude.
American Indian Blanket-Unity Tradition
Feather and Wildflower Crown with Tulle Veil
Boho Bride with Organic Flower Crown
Signature Cocktail Texas Cocktail Glass
DIY Wooden Painted Table Numbers
Anna and Chris loved the music style of Anthony Ray Wright—he could do slow, traditional, fast-paced and modern music. He had just moved to Austin, Texas, from the Big Bend National Park area, and was excited about returning to play music. His band ended up being a lot of fun!
DIY Painted Wooden Table Number With Succulent Centerpiece
Casual Taupe Groom's Suit with Blue Shirt