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Texas Gardens Engagement Session

I love when I can legit feel the happiness of a couple, when the love between them is radiating out of a photo – and this VAULT gallery is chock full of such pics. From strolling through the beautiful McGovern Centennial Gardens with their adorably photogenic pup to dancing in the streets, these cuties are pure joy. Dana Fernandez got it all on camera – see every picture perfect moment right this way!

From Dana Fernandez Photography… When Esther and Andrew approached me about ideas for their engagement session, they wanted somewhere outdoors, colorful and that matched their fun personalities. We ended up deciding on two locations, one being the new McGovern Centennial Gardens and the other which was Esther’s vibrant and eclectic neighborhood called Montrose. Esther and Andrew also wanted to bring along their dear pup, who (let’s be honest) ended up stealing the show while she received a ton of love and belly rubs. During the session, they both were absolutely wonderful to work with as their love for each other (and their pup!) was so sweet! My favorite part was towards the end of their engagement session, where we soaked up the last bit of light with some twirling and dancing in the streets as well as some fun piggy-back rides!

Photography: Dana Fernandez Photography | Makeup Artist: Eye-Do | Venue: McGovern Centennial Gardens | Film Lab: The Find Lab

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Jewel-Toned Austin Wedding + 4 Tips from a Real Bride!

Curating the pretty for you is a job we’re honored to do on a daily basis, especially when it involves sweet little fur babies like this one. This entire day from Feather & Twine is loaded with sweetness, from the jewel-toned hues to the blended rustic elegance. Before you dive into this gem of a gallery freshly added to THE VAULT, make sure to read the Bride’s real planning tips below!

Rustic Venue

From The Bride…Our favorite moment was our “first look” before the ceremony. The whole day was very emotional and fast paced, it was nice to have a private moment before the ceremony and reception to reflect and enjoy a moment alone. We loved our first dance. We planned on practicing the dance in advance so we would be comfortable dancing. However, we didn’t get the time to properly practice. So, after the ceremony and right before making our entrance into the reception, we took a moment to practice the two-step. Though our first dance was clumsy, we laughed the whole time and loved the moment when Michael spun me around at our favorite part of our wedding song. One other moment that Michael and I both loved was having our dog Luna in the wedding party. It was nice to have a bit of home with us during the wedding. She helped calm us down and made the guest laugh as she was walked down the aisle by my two year old nephew.

When planning the wedding, we tried to involve as many local vendors as possible. We loved that Barr Mansion is USDA certified and plan their menus by the season and harvest produce from the venue’s grounds. We used local artist from our home town to design and create the wedding invitations. We wanted the floral accents to reflect the organic and local vibe, as well. Stems ATX was able to incorporate fresh kale, grapes and lavender into the center pieces. I really loved the fun and quirky accents. The runner for the main table was hand died a really pretty lavender color, that worked well with the deep jewel tone centerpieces.

1. Start booking as many things in advance as possible. It’s amazing how quickly venues and vendors book up. Not only do you have more options, it’s less stressful as you get closer to the wedding date.

2. Have an alternate plan for inclement weather. Our wedding was initially planned to be outside under a beautiful pecan tree on the Barr Mansion grounds, but the day of the wedding we had really severe weather. Luckily, the Barr Mansion has a cover pavilion.

3. Have a wedding coordinator the day of the wedding. Shannon with Barr Mansion was amazing. The whole wedding was timed perfectly. She helped route the guests from ceremony to reception and had appetizers and drink service waiting. She made sure that Michael and I were always satisfied.

4. Since our venue was located 15 minutes from downtown Austin in a rural area, I was nervous guest would get lost on the way to the venue. We booked a 30 person bus to shuttle guests to and from the wedding. I think it put guests at ease that they didn’t have to drive and could enjoy more cocktails.

Photography: Feather & Twine | Floral Design: Stems Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Watters | Invitations: Triple Threat Press And Anna Tovar | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Hair And Makeup: April At Ron King Salon | Venue: Barr Mansion | Bridal Boutique: Stardust Celebrations | Bride's Hairpiece: Twigs And Honey | Catering & Cake: Barr Mansion

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Romantic Summer Texas Wedding

The Rosewood Crescent Hotel in downtown Dallas is a wedding blogger’s dream come true, from the romantic architecture to the beautiful blooms surrounding the venue, it screams style; it was the perfect accompaniment to this summer celebration captured by Stephanie Brazzle. Open up those Pinterest boards ladies, there’s a whole lotta lovely in the Vault right this way!


From Stephanie Brazzle Photography… Katherine and Brooks have the compassionate, loving, fun and romantic relationship we all hope for, built on faith and a deep love for each other. The pair wanted to capture all of this in their wedding and turned to Alex Stein of Events by Alex who provided flawless execution of their vision. The ceremony took place in the romantic Garden Room of the classic Rosewood Crescent Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas on a lovely early summer evening, with the beautiful accompaniment of the European Ensemble String Quartet, and officiated by Brooks’ grandfather. Following the ceremony guests were welcomed into the Grand Ballroom filled with lush arrangements of blush, champagne and mint, along with lace accents and candlelight, creating a timeless and romantic feel for the reception. Fun and dancing continued long into the evening with the live band.

Photography: Stephanie Brazzle Photography | Cinematography: Nolan Grose | Event Planning: Events By Alex | Floral Design: Antebellum Designs | Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones | Invitations: Checkerboard | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Hair And Makeup: Maitee Miles | DJ: Leforce Entertainment | Band: High Definition | Venue: Rosewood Crescent Hotel | Robes: Silk And More

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Bouquet Breakdown: Modern Austin Garden Party Wedding

Sometimes you just need a little something bold and colorful to brighten your day, and this lush little posy from Austin-based Verbena Floral Design is just the thing! Filled with seasonal florals in the richest pink and burgundy hues, designed by the lovely LuAnn Dickson, we got the scoop on this beauty below, and there’s even more pretty from the Modern Austin Garden Party Wedding right here in The Vault!

Modern Austin Garden Party Wedding

  • 3 Stems David Austin “Kate” Garden Roses
  • 3 Stems Burgundy Peonies
  • 6 Stems Ivory Vendela Roses
  • 3 Stems Hot Pink Freesia
  • 2 Stems Hot Pink Ranunculus
  • 2 Stems Light Pink Ranunculus
  • 2 Stems Burgundy Ranunculus
  • 2 Stems Ivory Majolica Spray Roses
  • 3 Stems Hot Pink Boronia Heather
  • 2 Stems Burgundy Astrantia
  • 3 Stems Jasmine Vine Foliage
  • 2 Stems Olive Branch Foliage
  • 3 Stems Variegated Bush Ivy

From LuAnn…. Lindley, the bride, and I spoke long distance about her wedding concept overall. She had a very clear vision incorporating black and white striped linens, gold metallic accents, and colorful florals. Traditional with a modern edge was the vibe she wanted to express that day. The garden setting was an essential feature for us to accentuate. We wanted her bridal bouquet to have a structured style with a garden feel.

It needed texture and depth with a compact shape overall. It was also a priority to utilize seasonal flowers in the color palette we set out for the day. Lindley shared several inspiration photos with me before we spoke on the phone. We landed on two bouquet images that we took elements from, along with some seasonal florals we had discussed, to create her custom bouquet. A few months before the wedding, Lindley and Joseph flew down to Austin from their home in the northeast to finalize their wedding details. We reviewed the inspiration photos and discussed the details, adding gold ribbons as the finishing touch on her lovely bouquet. 

I love creating custom floral designs for my brides. It’s important for me to bring out the personality of each of my bridal clients. I want the bridal bouquet and all of the wedding designs to tell the couple’s story. It’s a skill I’ve worked on for a long time. I try my best to listen to the bride as she tells me her likes and dislikes, to hear the little highs and lows when she describes a certain style she saw somewhere or tells me her favorite flower. The inspiration photos she shares with me also help guide me to narrow in on those elements she is drawn to for her wedding flowers. I take all of those elements and do my best to extract the ideal combination of colors and seasonal varieties to bring out her personal style in flowers. The flowers should always compliment the bride and each bride deserves something unique and her all own.


Floral Design: LuAnn Dickson of Verbena Floral Design | Photography: Jen Dillender

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SMP Blogger Bride: Meet Olivia of LivvyLand

When we heard Olivia of Livvyland was rocking some sparkly, left handed bling, we promptly began jumping for joy. Because when the sweetest lil’ lady says “Yes” it means we get to welcome her to the Blogger Bride tribe. She’ll be sharing her fashionable journey down the aisle with us, starting with her lakeside e-sesh. Dive right in to The Vault for more, and be sure to follow along every step of the way!

From Oliva of LivvylandHello Brides-to-be, my name is Olivia and I run a fun little fashion and lifestyle blog based in Austin, Texas called Livvyland, and also work for a tech company full-time. I’d like to think of my style as approachable, casual and a little boho here and there – much like the city I live in. Let’s just say when SMP asked me to be their latest Blogger Bride, I quickly stepped outside the office (okay, so I may have sprinted…) to call my fiancé and geek out about the news. Given that Blake is not a social media lover like myself (opposites attract, right?) nor has he been ogling all things wedding related since, well…ever, I’d give him a 10 out of 10 in his acting abilities to share my level of excitement. He’s a keeper!

Blake and I met back in high school when we were teenagers. Funny enough, our young love began on a class field trip when my bus buddy didn’t show up, so Blake asked if he could sit with me on the three hour ride from Austin to Houston. I guarantee you that my teenage self was in full panic mode because all the girls in school knew who he was, but between composing my anxiety to keep conversation alive for six hours and worrying whether or not I had food caught in my braces (remember those days?), there was a spark that was undeniable

Flash forward two years later when we were both attending college at the University of Texas. Blake broke up with me and we went our separate ways for four years. We both focused on school and dated other people throughout – however, I had this thing I called “first love syndrome” where no matter what, I could not shake my feelings for Blake! Let’s just say I mastered the breakup wallowing phase and it kind of stuck around for another two years following the breakup…as did my routine of blasting sad Taylor Swift songs and belting them in the car…(White Horse, anyone?).

It was a blessing and a curse that the Biomedical Engineering building and the Journalism school were along the same pathway, which meant I’d run into him regularly. Though it was tough to see him so often, it also gave us time to catch up and stay in each other’s lives over the next few years.

I graduated UT in 2012 and began working in the marketing department at Kendra Scott Jewelry shortly after. I was at home when I received a text from Blake telling me in the midst of cleaning his apartment he found an old note I’d written him years ago and that after re-reading it, he felt inclined to reach out. He asked me to grab a drink and catch up, and of course, I accepted the invitation.

One drink led to over six hours of conversation and it was clear that timing was in our favor this time around. Those four years apart were the best thing for us and gave us time to mature and grow as individuals. After six months of dating “part deux,” we moved in together and our relationship felt stronger than ever!

As for the proposal…Blake works in cancer research as a scientist/software developer and he used his coding background to create a website that chronicled our full story and history together. He surprised me one morning during what appeared to be normal coffeehouse work session at one of my favorite spots along Lake Austin that we’ve been going to together since we were teens (and it’s also where we took the photos in this post). He kept his cool all morning and finally said he wanted to show me something on his computer…and when I read the first line and saw a picture of us from 2007 as kiddos, I completely lost it. After I scrolled through the site reading through little snippets of our life together and wiped the endless stream of tears away, he got down on one knee…and the rest is history!

Given my workload managing Livvyland and my day job, we decided a long engagement was best for us so that we could have ample planning time. In terms of a dream wedding, our biggest hope is that it’s ultra romantic, personal and above all, fun! I am most excited about working with people we’ve known since high school or college who have started their own businesses and now work in the wedding industry in Austin – pastry chefs, florists, calligraphers, photographers, etc. I think it’s so sweet to keep things intimate and “in the family” per se. Aside from that, I’ll be sharing the rest as it comes! Next up on my to-do list is wedding dress shopping this weekend…I’m thinking something feminine and whimsical! You can follow my dress shopping adventures on Instagram, I’m certain I’ll be sharing any news!

I am beyond thrilled and so honored to a be the newest Blogger Bride and I can’t wait to chronicle our wedding journey leading up to the big day on October 15, 2016. Thank you so much for following along!

Follow All Our Blogger Brides HERE

Photography: A Dandy Pear