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I Loved Her First…Aggie Wedding || Tara & Matt || Tara Barnes Photography

September 18, 2018
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We strongly feel that we have some of the best couples here at Inn at Quarry Ridge, and Tara and Matt are no exception! Aggie sweethearts, Tara and Matt, had their Stonehem Hall wedding in May, and we are thrilled to share all the pieces leading up to the wedding day! One of our favorite parts of this whole process is learning their love story. It is even more exciting when we get the groom’s side!

aggie proposal engagement inn at quarry ridge texas wedding venue

When chatting with Tara about how her and Matt met, she said, “Matt and I met in one of our classes at Texas A&M. We were both in the same major, but he was a year older, so we had only really just seen each other around our building. But we had this class together and the same mutual friends so we ended up sitting beside each other and quickly becoming friends. We were friends for quite a while before we dated, but apparently Matt had liked me the whole time.”

And boy was she right! Matt knew it was love at first sight, and we absolutely love his version of their love story!

“Let me start by saying, I fell for Tara first, and I fell hard. She will debate who said I love you first (also me), but I knew she was the one as soon as we sat down next to each other.

Even though we were both studying chemical engineering, I didn’t really know Tara until the vague memory I have of this cute girl in Fluid Dynamics who rocked the t-shirt and nike shorts flawlessly.  Between then and the start of the spring semester in 2016, I really didn’t see Tara or know much about her. However, on the first day of Controls, I immediately fell for her.  Everything lined up perfectly because of a few quirks of her’s and mine, and the mutual friendship we shared with Brooke. To this day, I’m not really sure if they were actually friends at that point, but Brooke pretty much forced Tara to move up a row to sit between her and I. Tara didn’t seem like someone who wanted to sit at the front of the class, but somehow Brooke talked her into it. And I was not one to want to sit right next to someone so there just so happened to be a seat open next to me.  I’d say for the first couple classes Tara and I didn’t talk much because I couldn’t find just the right words to win her over right then and there. So of course I just sat there quietly (maybe that was the key… probably not though).  Slowly but surely, my awkwardness led to us playing games in class instead of actually paying attention (just kidding Mom we were super focused and studied diligently *wink wink*).  I’ll never forget one day in class when we were doing Laplace Transforms or some other kind of non-sense, I for some reason thought the best move I could make on Tara was to stroke her pinky after trying to peal off her nail polish that she had been complaining about. To my future son, you may think this is the right move since it worked on your Momma, but please trust me on this one, God was doing something amazing in your Mom’s heart because she didn’t get up and run out of the room when I did this. At some point or another I found out that Tara was seeing someone, so I started trying to play coy and act like I wasn’t completely head over heels for her. Near the end of the semester, I remember texting Sidney and Alyssa basically asking them if I even had a shot with her. Sidney pulled the mom card and said “just be patient… It’ll happen when it happens”. Alyssa gave me about the same, but I was comfortable enough telling her that one day I would marry Tara no matter how long I had to wait.

Now moving on into the summer of 2016.  I spent the summer down in Lake Jackson working with Olin.  I truly believe God allowed me to have that internship because one, it gave me something to do all summer instead of thinking about Tara, and two, it kept me far enough away from College Station that I didn’t want to drive there every weekend.  Around the middle of July, I started texting Tara again, and ended up going to College Station for a weekend not too long after.  We went to go get a drink with a couple of her friends, and at some point, I figured out that Tara was FINALLY single.  Of course, I still had to play it cool because I didn’t just want to be that rebound.  Long story short, I got to comfort Tara in her kitchen that night and thought I had finally gotten my chance with her. However, the big Man upstairs said no no no, and made me wait just a little bit longer.

The fall semester finally arrived, and honestly, I didn’t even want to talk to Tara. I was fed up waiting and basically just wanted to sulk and act like a child.  But of course, as soon as I saw her, I fell just as hard as I had back in the spring. We spent many a late nights in the lab acting like fools (and me acting like I didn’t want anything other than just to sweep her off her feet). Every night, I’d walk her to her car to make sure she was safe, and she was the last person I got to see before I went home for the evening.  The sophisticated redneck that I am, I brought the bass boat down from the lake to take out fishing as much as I could, and it led to our first date. Tara will also debate this because she says its not a date, but there were snacks, a boat, and a dog. THAT’S A DATE. But in any case, I once again thought this was my chance. I even went over to her apartment thinking that that was Day 1 in our relationship, but once again, I had to wait a while longer.  Finally after pretty much giving up hope, Tara finally came around and gave me the chance I had been begging for for almost 10 months. On October 10th, we finally got our Day 1.

Looking back on our relationship over the past year and a half, we have experienced so many adventures and made memory after memory.  From Breckenridge to semi-formal to Video Game Friday, it seems like a blur.  The old cliche saying, “Time flies when you are having fun” is an understatement for the time we’ve shared.  Tara is my best friend and I am beyond blessed to get to spend life with her. I know I will always have someone who is happy curled up on the couch or taking trips out to the deer lease to sight in our guns for the upcoming season. I am so lucky to see a side of her that not many get to witness.  I get the opportunity to watch her play with little Brittany and watch how she can put a smile on the little girl’s face. I get to watch her grow as a leader at work and care so much about making others happy before herself. Now as we are looking for our future home, I get to watch her wheels turn and imagine raising a family there. I cannot wait to continue to grow in our relationship as we keep Christ at the center. Tara Michelle you are my world, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us.”

tara barnes photography college station aggie wedding inn at quarry ridge

How incredibly sweet right? Shortly after they started dating, Matt and Tara had the chance to visit the Inn at Quarry Ridge where an organization at Texas A&M had hosted their winter semi-formal Fall of 2017 – pre-Stonehem Hall days! The happy couple was out at the gazebo taking pictures with other couples when one of Matt’s friends made a joke about Matt proposing to Tara…The couple both laughed it off with everyone else, but later realized that both were each thinking the same thing…they both wished that was the truth. When it came to picking a wedding location, College Station just made sense. Aggieland is where they met, and had a crucial part in so many first memories as a couple. With family coming in from across the state, College Station was a great middle ground between the traveling friends and family. When it came to choosing a wedding venue, Tara said the Inn had a part in a fun memory of their relationship and once they found out we were building Stonehem Hall to accommodate indoor receptions, they realized it was the perfect venue for them.

All that waiting and patience led to a wonderful relationship, that was celebrated with a beautiful wedding in their Aggie hometown, College Station, which Tara Barnes Photography captured beautifully!

college station indoor wedding venue stonehem hall at inn at quarry ridge


Tara and Matt incorporated some beautiful details into their wedding day! Who doesn’t love a good Aggie wedding complete with maroon? WHOOP!



A classic color for College Station weddings is Aggie Maroon. Tara’s bridesmaids wore a timeless bridesmaid dress from Nordstrom, that perfectly complimented the florals provided by Petal Patch. Celebrity Spa & Salon pampered the ladies the morning of and created a cohesive look between the brides and bridesmaids. The groom and his crew wore dashing grey tuxes from Al’s Formal Wear, and incorporated the maroon color scheme through their ties, bouts and pocket squares.


Tara and Matt’s sunset ceremony at our outdoor gazebo was dreamy! The way the sun cast the perfect lighting for pictures set the mood for the entire ceremony, and resulted in gorgeous memories captured by Tara Barnes.


I think it is safe to say, the wait was worth it for both Tara and Matt. The love they so obviously have for one another radiates through all the images captured on this special day!


Their reception was casual elegance incorporating some rustic touches. Events to Remember provided the linens to really bring their color scheme to life, and in-house rentals from Inn at Quarry Ridge helped dress up the tablescapes. The white drip cake from Cakes by Blondie was absolutely stunning, and per the couple, equally as delicious! When the dance floor opened up, everyone of all ages was showing off their best moves thanks to Downtown Event Services! The private last dance and sparkler send-off were the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful wedding celebrating the newlyweds!

Huge thank you to Tara and Matt for choosing the Inn at Quarry Ridge for as their wedding venue, and to the stellar team below who brought their vision full circle.

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