Blessed in Love

Story by Holly Ruppel

When Doriane Woolley and Scott Wray, formerly of Russellville, exchanged vows in a copse of cottonwood trees shaded from the heat of the Santa Fe summer, they were surrounded by family and friends and the warmth inherent in the nearness of loved ones.

The couple met in late 2008, when she was working for an advertising firm in Austin, Texas, and he was training horses there. Scott’s employer hired Doriane’s firm to do advertising.

“It just kind of evolved,” Doriane said. “He became one of my really close friends, and I just couldn’t imagine life without him.”

The two soon moved to Ringling, Okla., where for three years, they worked for horse trainer Bill Riddle. Through that time, marriage was on their minds, but because of their busy work schedules and financial constraints, they delayed it.

“We talked about getting married and talked about it and talked about it,” Doriane said.

Finally, in early 2010, Scott proposed to Doriane in the kitchen of their tiny temporary house.

“It came in a FedEx box,” she said, laughing. “It wasn’t romantic.”

It wasn’t a fairytale, but that was fine with her. She was happy to be marrying the love of her life. She soon realized though, that planning the wedding wouldn’t be easy.

“It was tough trying to plan my wedding from that remote place in Oklahoma,” she said. The nearest grocery store was over 40 miles, Doriane said. Living so far from the nearest town made planning the wedding of their dreams difficult, and that combined with spotty Internet access and hers and Scott’s busy work schedules, it was almost impossible.

One thing they decided early in the planning was to have the wedding in Doriane’s hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, which during his visits, Scott has come to love, as well.

Four generations of Doriane’s family have called Santa Fe home. She and Scott chose La Mesita, the beautiful ranch where her father, Mott, grew up, as the site for their wedding. His family sold the property years earlier, so Doriane never lived there, but it was special to her to have her wedding at her father’s childhood home.

“I was able to get ready in my dad’s old bedroom,” Doriane said.

The ceremony took place on a hill, beneath the cottonwood trees, where her dad had played when he was a little boy. Their guests were brought up the hill to the site on horse-drawn carriages.

“It was so special,” Doriane said. “It was really unique.”

Doriane said one of the most memorable parts of the day was her entrance into the ceremony.

“Arriving on the horse-drawn carriage was really special,” she said. “Horses are such a big part of our lives.”

It was her most cherished memory of the day, she said, when she was riding in the carriage and came around the bend to see friends and family gathered to witness hers and Scott’s vows. She vividly remembers the bells around the horses’ necks ringing in time with their steps. She said that moment combined the fairytale wedding she had in her mind with the emotion of marrying Scott on the ranch that had been in her family for years.

A special part of the wedding for Scott was having Max Whitfield perform the couple’s ceremony. Whitfield was the minister at First Methodist Church in Russellville, where Scott was baptized as a baby, and it was important to Scott that he perform the ceremony beginning the next chapter of his life.

New Mexico is steeped in rich Native American culture, and La Mesita is now owned by the Pueblo, so a Native American blessing was also part of the ceremony. As part of that blessing, Scott and Doriane received miniature marble bears.

“It was a symbol of luck and hope,” Doriane said. “It was so cool.”

Scott’s mom, Kay Wray, said it was special to her that so many family members made the long trip from Arkansas to attend Scott’s and Doriane’s wedding. It meant a lot to her that they wanted to be with them on one of the most special days of their lives.

Doriane, who had never been to Arkansas before she met Scott, but now loves the state and its natural beauty, echoes that sentiment.

“Oh gosh,” she said. “It took our breath away that they found a way to get there.”

She said Scott was especially touched that his friends and family had come such a long way. “Really and truly,” she said, “it’s a journey from Arkansas. He was truly moved.”

Some members of Scott’s family were in the bridal party, as well. His brother, Hunter, was his best man, and his nieces were Doriane’s flower girls.

“Everybody was so just so happy,” Kay said. “There was just this whole atmosphere of happiness and love.”

“It was just beautiful,” she said.

Prior to the ceremony, Scott’s parents, Kay and Lewis, hosted the couple’s rehearsal dinner. Even though the dinner was in Santa Fe, many local vendors provided their services to make the event a successful one. Mullen Team Sports did screen-printing for the napkins. Todd Sweeden of Sweeden Florist consulted with the florist in Santa Fe for floral arrangements. Kay also bought décor for the dinner at Gifts On Parkway and Millyn’s in Dardanelle, and John Montgomery of IMC Studios Incorporated shot some video footage.

Kay said Scott’s family is elated to welcome Doriane. “I just feel so blessed that we have her as a part of our lives,” Kay said. “I’m thankful to have a daughter. I always wanted a daughter.”

Doriane said while she and Scott have been through some difficult times in the last few years, he was always there to comfort her and help her through those trying times.

“I always knew, no matter what, I had somebody there for me,” she said.

Now, things are looking up for them. The couple recently started their own horse- training business in Whitesboro, Texas. They have two dozen training horses of their own.

“We’ve been really busy,” Doriane said, “but I’m so grateful.”

Doriane said she cannot imagine a better life partner than Scott, and that together, they work to accomplish their goals.

“Most importantly, we have the same goal in mind,” she said. “The little things fall into place and we keep the bigger picture in a frame.”

She said it makes her the happiest that she gets to see Scott doing what he loves and what he’s best at every day. The trade is hard work, she added, but she loves to learn, too.

Doriane said she and Scott feel grateful that they lived through those tough times of the last few years. Remembering those difficult times helps them appreciate everything they now have and what they’re building together.

“I say this as humbly as possible,” she said. “We are so blessed.

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Category: Bridal

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