There was only one flaw about country singer Josh Abbott’s July 8 wedding to his love, Taylor Parnell, and it was an intentional one. The happy couple, who got married at the Brazos Hall in downtown Austin, Texas, naturally revolved much of their big day around music, and one song in particular held special resonance for their wedding for the sweetest of reasons.
“A friend of mine owns and operates a high end jewelry store in Austin called Sam Majors Jewelry, so I knew that’s where I wanted to spend my money,” Abbott, 37, tells The Knot. “He worked with me for months in selecting the diamond I was looking for. We must’ve brought in a dozen different stones through the process and every time he was in agreement with me on passing until we both agreed on the right one … a beautiful, almost-flawless stone that had only one flaw.”
“We both instantly knew it was the one not only for its appearance and quality, but because I wanted a diamond with only one little flaw, the reason being because the first song I wrote about Taylor is called ‘I’m Your Only Flaw’ and it’s a big piece of our story,” he continues. “We even named our daughter after a lyric in that song (Emery means ‘brave’ which is in the second verse).”
The diamond ring wasn’t the only thing that felt meant-to-be. When the pair first met back in 2016, they both knew there was something special about the other person, though it would take a few months before they would go on their first date.
“I was living in downtown Austin and went out with some friends,” Abbott says of Parnell, 25. “One of them knew Taylor and saw her at the bar we were at. We introduced ourselves and I remember thinking how cute and put-together she was.” After following each other on Instagram and chatting via text and phone for a few months, they finally went on their first date on May 9, 2016, at a restaurant in Austin called Olive & June.
“Immediately, we just had that instant connection, conversation, and vibe,” Abbott says. “We spent the summer dating when we could, and in late August, we had ‘the talk’ about being ‘official’ and exclusive. I love this girl so much and I’m eternally grateful for her being on this earth and in my life.”
Here, a few key details from Abbott and Parnell’s first day of their forever.
Family is a big part of both Abbott and Parnell’s lives, and so they wanted to be sure to pick a spot that would be easy for their loved ones to get to. Parnell in particular wanted her grandparents to be able to make it out to the wedding. “We considered the Hill country but ultimately the convenience and proximity of a wedding in downtown Austin was too perfect to pass up,” she says. “I had looked at several venues but Brazos Hall stood out from the beginning of the process for its versatility and location downtown.”
As an added plus, the pair’s wedding planner, Becky Navarro, was familiar with the venue, so she was able to ensure a smooth experience on the day-of.
Much like the diamond in her engagement ring, Parnell’s wedding dress also had one of those “try it and you just know it” moments. The gown, which she took great care not to reveal to Abbott prior to the wedding day, was a Milla Nova design with a mermaid cut, slim through the bodice and hips with a slight flare down at the bottom. The top of the dress was sheer with lace appliqué that continued all the way down to the floor with an open back to add a tiny touch of sexy to her overall look.
Parnell tried her best to keep the rest of her wedding day look very simple and “her.” “I didn’t want to feel too ‘bridal,’” she says. “My goal was to look back at photos and it still look like me and not someone else. I styled my hair and makeup to be an elevated version of how I would get ready for a date night. I took notes for months on the hair and makeup Josh complimented so I could replicated it on wedding day.”
THE WEDDING PARTY
Parnell had eight of her best girlfriends up with her at the front; in order to let each of their individual personalities shine, she told them to pick out their own dresses (“Eight women do not fit in one dress style!” Parnell says). Abbott’s eight groomsmen had a slightly more uniform look with tuxes from The Black Tux, a company that allows men to rent and return their garments with ease. Abbott’s own tux was also from Black Tux, though his was a Midnight Blue tuxedo for a unique twist.
For their cocktail hour, Parnell and Abbott served alcohol curated by Bud Light, Deep Eddy Vodka, Rebecca Creek Whiskey and Lost Draw Cellars. “Bud Light printed us our own unique label, as did Lost Draw Cellars on our wine bottles,” Abbott says. “We used Deep Eddy vodka for the bride signature cocktail (chilton) and the Rebecca Creek Whiskey for the groom cocktail (old fashioned) following the ceremony for a cocktail hour.”
For the reception food itself, Abbott turned to the BBQ and catering company that he is currently part-owner with, Mac’s Texas Bar-B-Q, to provide delicious noms for their 250 guests. The menu included everything from bacon-wrapped quail and crab cakes for passed appetizers to brisket, turkey and green chili Mac & cheese for the dinner meal itself. “We wanted to incorporate who we are into the wedding as much as possible, and this was a great way of doing so,” Abbott says.
Instead of registering for the traditional housewares or cutlery, Parnell and Abbott opted instead to ask their guests to donate to their favorite nonprofit. “We actually decided not to register,” Parnell says. “Instead, we asked our guests to make a donation to our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called JABCares, run by our bridesmaid Sarah Crim. Additionally, we are specifically utilizing the funds to start an endowment scholarship at our alma mater, Texas Tech University. We are naming the endowment after Brandi Peters, a dear college friend of Josh’s who passed away last year in a car accident.”
There are four main nuggets of wisdom that the happy couple have to impart on others bracing for their big day. “Keep it as small as possible, integrate your lives into the event, hire a wedding coordinator who has a good reputation, and prepare to spend over your budget!” they say.