Family Builds Wedding Chapel Following Santa Fe HS Shooting

After losing their “Grammy” Cynthia Tisdale in the 2018 Santa Fe high school shooting, the Tisdale family opened the Still Waters Ranch in her honor.

SANTA FE, Texas – Thursday marks the fourth anniversary of the Santa Fe high school shooting on May 18, 2018.

One of the victim’s families turned their grief into good. They took the worst day of their life and used their motivation to help others celebrate the best day of their life at Stillwater Ranch.

In the peace and quiet of Still Waters, Jennifer and Recie Tisdale have found a new dream…and a healing.

“It has been great for us. We needed it,” Jennifer said.

“For me, it was a way to help her and help teach our kids that tragedy…bad things happen in life, but you always have to move on,” Recie said.

In 2018, they lost his mother, substitute teacher Cynthia Tisdale, in the Santa Fe high school shooting.

“It impacted our lives and it will be forever and we will never forget this day,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer was a teacher for 19 years and Recie was in law enforcement for 25 years. After the shooting, they knew they needed a change.

“We don’t know anything about the wedding business. We just decided to go for it,” Recie said.

The couple purchased property, built a banquet hall and outdoor chapel, and began booking brides.

“I feel like I have 156 girls right now because they’re all texting, calling, emailing, all the time,” Jennifer said.

The Tisdales have never looked back.

“I think our story has helped a lot of people, I hope it has. I hope we’ve inspired some people,” Jennifer said.

It wasn’t just the loss of the Grammy that the Tisdales had to overcome. They also lost Grammy’s husband Poppy five months later and decided to dedicate their new dream to their memory.

“When we decided to do this, one of the most important things was the name,” Jennifer said.

For inspiration, Recie thought of his father, a former Baptist pastor.

“We had the little lake there and the bayou and I said, ‘He’s driving me next to Still Waters.’ So I said why not use Still Waters?” Recie said.

The psalm hangs above the entrance, a gift from a bride.

“That’s the kind of thing that makes this job so great,” Jennifer said.

A reminder that every time they book a wedding, they tell their story.

“It’s so hard not to be angry and resentful,” she said.

But a chance after the worst day of their lives, to be there for the best in someone.

“It’s people’s lives and their future, it’s just a great place, great atmosphere,” Recie said.

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