It’s Magazine Monday! And today we have a closer look at the wedding of Abby and Matt — featured on our 2021 glossy pages! It’s their 1-year anniversary this week, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than scrolling through their heartfelt celebration.
TWIST THEM PRETTY // Aug. 18, 2020
Abby Smith married Matt Hoskins in a twist of fate. Surrounded by their kids at their summer garden party last year, the two families officially blended together with love, laughter, heart, and hope.
History + Heartbreak When Abby first got married 14 years ago, the plan was forever and happily ever after. The subsequent years brought her four beautiful children and a full and happy life. Abby’s career took off with Twist Me Pretty, where she posted hair braiding tutorials that gained her hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube and Instagram (@AbbyLHoskins). Those tutorials were then joined by behind-the-scenes glimpses into her fun and busy world. But then, as it so often does, life brought unexpected twists and turns. And a couple years ago, Abby found herself divorced and heartbroken. “I saw my family — the things I wanted and had worked so hard for — dissolve right before my eyes,” Abby says. “Letting go of the expectations I’d had for myself and what I wanted my family to look like was terribly painful. All I could do was move forward with faith and hope. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.” Abby eventually shared her heartbreak with her online followers. They mourned with her, rallied around her, and continue to uplift and encourage her. Abby has found so much power in the vulnerability of sharing the realities of both a hard and joyful life. “I’ve been sharing my life on Instagram since the beginning!” Abby says. “It was heavy navigating what to share and what to keep private. I felt it was important to be authentic to the pain I was feeling and also the incredible growth I was going through.” That growth and pain were real and raw. “My life blew up so suddenly,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘Who’s going to love me now? Who’s going to help me love my kids the way they need to be loved?’ There were so many questions and so few answers.”
Now + Then (and DMs) Abby first met Matt when she was a senior in high school. They went out a few times before she left for college, but the timing wasn’t right. They lost touch over the years, and when Abby’s marriage ended, her friend told her of Matt’s difficult divorce. “I decided to DM him on Instagram! I hoped life hadn’t hurt him too much and wondered if he was still the same caring person I once knew. If he was, I had nothing to lose by putting myself out there.” The DM was along the lines of: “Hey, Matt. It’s Abby … I think we have a lot in common. Wanna go to dinner and give me tips on how to handle all this?” In the cutest of coincidences, Matt had actually been following Abby on Instagram. As a single dad to two daughters, he and his girls watched Abby’s hair tutorials so that Matt could learn how to French braid their hair. “Isn’t that so crazy and sweet?” Abby says. “It also meant that when I met his girls for the first time, they felt like they already knew me.” That fateful DM led to dinner, which led to talking until 4 a.m. at Farmington Station. Their friendship connection was instant as they began to help each other heal. Friendship then turned to love. “Matt is super adventurous. He camps, hikes, rock climbs, and travels. Going through trauma makes you realize that things don’t matter,” Abby says. “I decided I wanted to start collecting adventures, and Matt took me on so many. Even though unfortunate circumstances brought us together, we were able to see through the darkness and realize that we were a risk worth taking.”
Dearly-Beloved Family It was important to Abby and Matt that their kids be a big part of the wedding. They closed on a new house the day before they got married, and they were able to get ready there the morning of. Abby’s oldest son, Boston, walked her down the aisle. Abby’s twin boys entertained guests as they stuck their neckties in each other’s ears. And Matt gave the three girls rings of their very own. “This wasn’t just about Matt and me,” Abby says. “This was about our new family.” At the reception, under floating flowers, bistro lights, and hanging basket chandeliers, Abby sang to Matt “Don’t Give Up On Me” by Andy Grammer. “There’s a lyric — ‘I’ll reach my hands out in the dark, and wait for yours to interlock. I’ll wait for you.’ No matter what, I know we won’t give up on each other. We’ll keep showing up. And no matter what I’m feeling — no matter what walls I’ve put up or fears I have — I know Matt will continue reaching for my hand in the dark.” Abby and Matt know they have a lot of hard work ahead — but it’s a journey they’re determined to fight for. “I’m coming to find out that our story is not so unique,” Abby says. “There are so many people going through trauma or working to blend families. We need to speak up for each other so we know we’re not alone. There truly can be so much beauty and grace through the grief and the pain.”
THE WEDDING DETAILS
This was Abby’s second time planning a wedding, and she knew exactly what she wanted. “Back in 2007, hot pinks and tangerines were all the rage,” she says. “This time around I wanted something classic, beautiful and timeless.” Abby also knew she wanted a wedding planner so she could focus on making sure her children were settled in all the change. “Hiring Rachael Ellen Events was the best thing I did,” Abby says. “Worth every single penny!” Rachael helped Abby define her garden party theme. “We wanted something that felt fun and bubbly like Abby’s personality — yet romantic to suit the beautiful outdoor summer setting,” Rachael says.
“Abby’s color inspiration started around, believe it or not, a protein bar wrapper that she loved,” says Rachael, of Rachael Ellen Events. “From there, we incorporated other shades of coral and orange to create a playful look, and then paired them with soft blush and neutrals to give it a romantic balance. The decor was a spin on modern romanticism with lush blooms and modern table settings.” Fun fact: Abby found the pink plates at IKEA — and now gets to think of her wedding day every time she uses them.
Due to Covid, the guest count was constantly changing. But the intimate gathering of their dearest loved ones was the perfect balance of chic charm and comfort. From the food trucks to the sugar cookies to dancing under the bistro lights and basket chandeliers, every detail was full of heart. “Most of all, we wanted our wedding to be family friendly,” Abby says. The wedding was also bursting with flowers — Abby’s biggest splurge. “My advice is to pick what’s most important to you and invest in that,” she says. For her hair, Abby donned a braid — because how could she not?!
COUPLE Abby Smith + Matt Hoskins // PLANNING + DESIGN Rachael Ellen Events // PHOTOGRAPHY Jordi Jerae Photography // GOWN Alta Moda Bridal (a #UVBvendor!) // VIDEOGRAPHY Krissi Cook Films & Photos // RECEPTION VENUE USU Botanical Center // MAKEUP Marisa Rose // HAIR Schiess Styles // CAKE The Sweet Tooth Fairy // CATERING Fiore Pizza + Zeppe’s Italian Ice // COOKIES Twisted Sugar // RENTALS Diamond Event & Tent (a #UVBvendor!) // LIGHTING Moon Light Holiday Lighting // PAPER SUITE Persnickety Prints