“Taylor was born and raised in Austin. Her grandparents are influential in her life and we didn’t want to make them travel for a destination wedding. Ultimately, the convenience and proximity of a wedding in downtown Austin was too good to pass up,” Abbott, 37, tells PEOPLE of the significance behind the location.
“The greenery and lighting was a really important part of the theme. We wanted everyone to forget they were indoors for the night, but in the middle of a Texas summer, air conditioning is a must,” the couple explain. “The wedding colors were neutral and soothing … green from the arrangements and the champagne from the girls’ dresses.”
For the big day, the bride, 26, wore an open-back mermaid style gown by Milla Nova that was slim through the bodice and hips, and flared slightly at the bottom with sheer detailing and lace appliqué on the top.
Abbott and his groomsmen, including brother Chance as well as bandmates Austin Davis and Preston Wait, rented their tuxes from The Black Tux.
And the most important member of their bridal party was their daughter Emery. “She was one of the flower girls. She is a huge part of our life, so it was only fitting to have her about on the big day,” Abbott says.
On his favorite part of the ceremony, which he calls an “incredible day and life event,” the newlywed shares it was a “dream come true” to see Taylor walk down the aisle as a string quartet performed the band’s song “I’m Your Only Flaw.”
Before they were officially announced as husband and wife by Steven Hicks — a pastor and former fraternity brother of Abbott’s — the musician jokingly shares why he could not write his own vows. “I wanted to but Taylor said she didn’t want to compete with a professional songwriter, so we let our officiant choose the way they’ll be presented,” he says.
After the “I dos” were over, guests were treated to the couple’s favorite food: barbeque from the groom’s restaurant Mac’s BBQ.
As for why this month was the perfect time to get married, Abbott says July is a significant time in their lives.
“I proposed last July. We fell in love in Cabo two years ago in July. Both of our birthdays are in July. So we saw this as an amazing opportunity to have our anniversary in the same month and therefore every year moving forward, we will vacation most of the month to celebrate life and love!” the “Girl Down in Texas” singer explains.
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On the key to a successful relationship, Abbott says he and Parnell are a “team so we try to do everything we can together,” adding, “We don’t bring up the past. We don’t call each other names or curse if we disagree on something. Also, Taylor said I need my own bathroom so maybe separate bathrooms will be a rule too! My fiddle player told me that’s the key.”
“Being deliberate in spending time together, we still go on dates almost every week,” his new bride shares of how they keep their relationship strong. “We’ve been together for a couple years now, have a child together — we’re very much in love.”
And not only is Abbott looking forward to spending the rest of his life with his longtime love, he is also excited for her to share his last name, explaining that the cherry on top is “us being officially recognized as a family and partners.”
After the wedding, Abbott is excited to spend some quality time at their favorite vacation spot for their honeymoon.
“I’m ready for the honeymoon vacation! Adios!” he says of their trip to Cabos San Lucas, Mexico.
“We fell in love there a couple years ago so it made a lot of sense for us to return there. Plus it’s close and an easy flight home. We didn’t want to be a day away from getting home in case something happens with our daughter while we’re gone,” he adds.