This al fresco fete from Jen Dillender is all the proof I need that a wedding doesn’t need to be jam-packed with details to knock it out of the park. It’s proof that sometimes all you need is a breathtaking setting like Lillian Farms, a couple of the sweetest photo-bombing donkeys ever, and your nearest and dearest at your side. The darling DIY details are icing on the cake. Get your dose of pretty in this sunny gallery!
From the beautiful Bride, Emily… I think from the very beginning of our engagement, Jason and I had the exact same vision for what kind of wedding we wanted. This made it so much more fun to plan!
The funny thing is, I had been staunchly against outdoor weddings for as long as I can remember (too many risks). However, a best friend’s wedding and Jason’s passion for the outdoors brought me around to where I couldn’t imagine any other setting than outside. Lucky for us, we found the perfect dream venue about 45 minutes away from home.
We knew we wanted and needed a place that was accessible to people driving from both Austin and Houston. After hours – and I mean HOURS – of researching venues online (from bed and breakfasts to museums) I came across Lillian Farms Country Estate. One day Jason and I were driving to Austin, and I asked him to take a slight detour so we could drive by it. I can’t describe the moment that happened when saw it from the road for the first time. It was… gorgeous. Our jaws actually dropped. We knew we had to make an appointment to go see it. After meeting the owner, Barbara, and walking around the beautiful 200-acre property, we knew we were getting married there.
Even though my mom and I are both schoolteachers, something convinced us that we could do an entirely DIY-decorated wedding in the middle of the fall semester. With a lot of unexpected help from Jason, we somehow managed to pull it off. My mom did all of the table decorations (flower arrangements, table runners, centerpieces). I painted signs, stained picture frames, and scavenged in junk shops. Jason put in hours of woodworking including building freestanding wooden light poles. It was such a joy and relief to see it all come together on our wedding day.
We wanted a wedding that was simple and naturally beautiful. We wanted people to see how much we loved each other and then have a good time partying with all of our family and friends. We wanted it to be distinctive and true to our personalities. So we served barbeque, strung lights up everywhere we could, and played a lot of good music in a barn. As far as the weather, it could not have been a more perfect Texas October day. And the donkeys were just an added bonus.
Photography: Jen Dillender Photography | Floral Design: Heritage Gardens And Mercantile | Cake: The Garden Market & Bakery | Bridesmaids Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: Chappell Hill Bakery & Deli | Bartender: Luke's Bartending Service | Bed & Breakfast: Lillian Farms Country Estate | Bridal Gown: Weddings By Debbie | Bridal Hair: Medi Spa & Salon | Venue: Lillian Farms Country Estate