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A Cinematic Wedding in Marfa, Texas

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Mandee Johnson

Betsy Koch and Josh Zetumer first discovered Marfa during a cross-country road trip together. “We stayed in a teepee at hotel El Cosmico, saw the Marfa Lights, and immediately fell in love with the art, people, and wide open sky,” says Betsy. When they later got engaged, they both knew the picturesque Texan town would be the perfect setting for their wedding. Aiming to keep their big day fun and casual, they went looking for a setting that would evoke images from favorite director Terrence Malick’s films.

The couple worked with wedding planning company Magic Hour Marfa in order to set up a ceremony and reception in the rustic location they ultimately settled on. “We found a spot in a field, mowed a path, set up a champagne trailer, brought in bleachers, and rolled out a colorful welcome mat for the guests arriving via school bus,” Betsy explains.

To fit in with their minimalist venue, the bride kept things low-key when it came to her wedding dress. She ended up choosing two separate pieces from two different designers: a top by Andrew GN and a skirt by Monique Lhuillier. She even did her own makeup and hair on her wedding day. The only accessory—other than her ring—that she felt really strongly about? Her Original White Nike Jordan III’s reception sneakers, which allowed her to dance comfortably all night long.

Josh wore a custom made suit by Richard Lim of High Society, although there was one slight problem: he didn’t know how to tie a bowtie. “He spent most of the pre-ceremony trying to find someone in Marfa who did,” Betsy remembers. “Finally, one of our guests came by and saved the day.”

The ceremony was held under the blue Marfa sky, with guests seated on top of bleachers that had been brought in for the big day. Their choice in music was just as original as their wedding setting, too. Josh walked down the aisle to Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” while Betsy chose “As the World Falls Down” from the movie Labyrinth—both performed by an all-female mariachi band, no less. They were married by a close friend and exchanged their own wedding vows, which included a run through of the highs and lows of their relationship narrated by Betsy.

After the ceremony, everyone migrated next door into Marfa’s agricultural center. There, colorful flying Picado banners and string lights hung over custom built tables dotted with local gemstones, succulents, and hand printed runners. “Add a piñata, fantastic Mexica food from Chef Krista Steinhauer, and beautiful live music by Mariachi Las Coronelas and you have yourselves a party!” laughs Betsy.

Once dinner was over, the newlyweds danced to Billy Stewart’s quirky, scatted rendition of “Summertime,” with moves put together by award-winning choreographer Kathryn Burns. Later on, DJ Simone Rubi, who had her turntables set up inside a school bus, kept the party going all night!