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Al Fresco Texas Wedding at the Gruene Mansion Inn

An al fresco wedding under the stars and twinkling lights is easily one of my favorite types of fêtes. Whenever I see a beyond pretty one like this stunner from Forever Photography Studio I get a little jealous that I wasn’t there to witness this party unfold first hand. From the florals designed by Last Petal to the lovely setting of the Gruene Mansion Inn, peeling back the layers of this pretty party is one fabulous way to spend your day – and you can see just what I mean here

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Fall
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HotelOutdoor
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Romance

From Forever Photography StudioAlicia and Mark met on July 17, 2011 at Old City Park in Fort Collins, Colorado where Alicia runs a home spa and Mark is a Professor of Oncology at Colorado State University. Alicia had given up on dating for a while – for a long while. It had been several years since she had been on date. But she had not given up on the idea of meeting her soul mate and finding perfect love. Mark, too, had been out of the dating scene for several years when he decided to give the world of online dating a try. His first online date would be his last.

In early July 2011, Mark posted a profile on the popular dating site, Zoosk, under the name of “Young Professor.” Alicia had tried online dating years before but had given up after several weeks of meeting all the wrong guys. It was destiny, then, that Alicia’s friend and work colleague, Carrie, happened to be on the Zoosk site on the day that Mark posted his profile. “Alicia. I just found this guy online who would be perfect for you!” Carrie pulled up “Young Professor” and showed his profile to Alicia. There he was…. The man of her dreams. Alicia spent the evening creating a profile so she could interact with this “Young Professor” and learn more about him online. Late that evening, Mark went onto to the Zoosk site and discovered a new profile of a beautiful woman. She called herself, “Doglover11.” After all, Alicia did have two dogs and 11 was her lucky number. Mark sent her a virtual “wink.” He got nothing back. So he sent her a short message… Still, nothing in reply. One last try, he sent one more message. Third time was the charm. Alicia replied and engaged in several days of online icebreaking. The sparks began build. So they set a date to meet next to the lake in Old City Park.

Following their first meeting, Alicia thought Mark was too good to be true. Mark thought he had blown the date. They were both wrong. Their second date included dinner and a long, late night walk around old town Fort Collins. That led to an invitation for a home cooked meal at Alicia’s house. Then another date…. And another. In early fall, Alicia traveled to Maryland to visit her grandmother for two weeks. How convenient! Mark had academic meetings in Washington, DC at the same time. Their romance traveled to the east coast where they spent their evenings romping around Mark’s graduate alma mater, Georgetown University. Each evening was spent at one of DC’s finest restaurants…. 1787… Old Ebbitt Grill… etc. Then they would spend the later hours at one of Mark’s old college bars. First it was the Tombs in the old Georgetown District…. Then Murphy’s in Alexandria, Virginia. And once the bars closed, they spent the wee hours walking and admiring the beautiful row houses and gardens around Georgetown University. Early fall in Washington, DC is hot and humid. Their romance was heating up too. By the time they boarded their plane to return to Colorado, Alicia and Mark had fallen in love. Mark would travel to DC for business 5 more times that year. Alicia joined him for every trip. And each evening, following Mark’s day of business, they relived their first trip to DC together. Dinner, bars, and long night time walks.

Mark proposed to Alicia in January 2012. They had driven up to spend a winter weekend outside Rocky Mountain National Park. The snow was falling and the temperatures were in the single digits when Mark parked his jeep next to Bear Lake. The lake was frozen under almost two feet of ice. It was after 10PM and the only light for miles around was a small flashlight that Mark carried. Walking out onto the lake, Mark asked Alicia to hold the light for second. As she took the light, he dropped to one knee and held up a ring.

That spring, Mark took Alicia to visit his home state of Texas. While driving the winding Texas hill country roads lined with bluebonnets, paint brush, and Mexican blankets, Alicia decided that the Texas Hill Country would be the perfect location for their wedding. And so it came to be, on October 3, 2013 that Alicia and Mark, joined by their immediate families were married outside Gruene Hall , one of the oldest dance halls in Texas, on the banks of the Guadalupe River. Mark’s oldest brother had just been appointed by the state governor as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. The swearing-in occurred in Austin on the morning of October 3. And his first order of business as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, was the marriage of Alicia and Mark.

Alicia and Mark are living happily ever after in Fort Collins, Colorado with their three dogs, Norman, Rio, and Kya.

Photography: Forever Photography Studio | Flowers: Last Petal | Cake: Serendipity Cakes | Makeup: Maris Malone Calderon | Venue: Gruene Mansion Inn

Last Petal and Forever Photography Studio are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Rustic Porch Wedding in Texas

If this Texas wedding doesn’t hit you deep in the heart, then you either need to check out the full gallery, or we need to rewrite that song. It simply doesn’t get more charming than this. Of course it helps to have Sweet Pea Events on your side, a quintessentially Texas venue like the TPC Craig Ranch, and lush bouquets from Di Fiori. So keep scrolling for more pretty captured thanks to Ben Q. Photography.


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Fall
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Ranch
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Rustic

From Ben Q. PhotographyTaylor and Ryan had a gorgeous wedding on September 28th, 2013. Some inclement weather made them switch to a plan B and get married underneath the most charming porch ever at TPC Craig Ranch. Taylor’s family is so sweet and we loved how involved the families were in the wedding. Her parents actually grew succulents in their garden that were used in the floral arrangements. The reception florals were arranged inside wooden stumps cut by Taylor’s father. The entire vibe was Southern charm and effortless comfort.

Photography: Ben Q. Photography | Event Planning: Sweet Pea Events | Floral Design: Di Fiori | Cake: Legacy Cakes | DJ: Simply Music | Venue: TPC Craig Ranch

Sweet Pea Events and Di Fiori are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Rustic Elegant Wedding at the Vineyards At Chappel Lodge

A gorgeous fall, Texas wedding with a color palette so pretty I could cry and beautiful blooms around every corner from Visual Lyrics - does it get any better? Sprinkle in some perfectly planned details from 3 Apples Events and some stunning photography by Forever Photography Studio, and I’m pretty sure we can say this is as good as it gets. See it all here.

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Seasons
Fall

From the Bride…When we started discussing our wedding, we had our hearts set on an intimate outdoor ceremony followed by a celebration underneath the stars. October 19th was the day we chose for our wedding for several reasons: We love the fall weather in Texas (who doesn’t!?), we were both born on the 19th, and it would be a full moon that night…which would be perfect for our outdoor festivities. Our goal was to find an awesome team of vendors who would work well together and make our dream outdoor wedding a reality. We wanted our wedding to be a night of celebration and romance surrounded by our favorite people in the world.

So, our wedding planning with choosing the venue. We wanted a unique venue for our outdoor ceremony, so when we went to look at The Vineyards at Chappel lodge, we knew it was perfect for us. We immediately fell in love with the gorgeous tree canopy over the ceremony site and the rustic elegance of the reception site.

One of the things we were adamant about is making sure we had delicious and memorable food for our guests. Working with the Royal Fig team to create a perfect menu for our wedding day was so much fun…. and delicious. We are still receiving compliments from guests on how wonderful our food was!

As a long time blog-follower of Forever Photography, my decision was easy when it came to choosing a photographer, and it was further solidified as soon as I met adorable Jona and Jerry Blackwell. The dynamic duo that is Forever Photography has been absolutely wonderful to work with, and their attention to detail is incredible. We can’t wait to see all of the photos from our wedding day!

Walking through an antique fair in Round Top, Texas looking for inspiration, we stumbled across amazing rusted tractor parts that knew would make the perfect centerpieces for our wedding. When I took them to our florist, and told her about our concept of industrial romance, she loved our idea. Visual lyrics designed gorgeous floral arrangements to accompany our unique pieces, and created a stunning floral arbor and beautiful bouquets and boutineers for our ceremony, as well. She even included tiny watch gears on the boutineers to coordinate with our theme, which I absolutely loved! We could not have been more pleased with how everything turned out!

I also wanted to make sure to incorporate a few more personal touches to make our wedding a unique celebration. So, I designed the table numbers, menus, ceremony programs, bar & signature drink menu, and any other signage used. Ernie’s very talented niece also made our thumbprint guestbook for us, and it turned out beautiful!

We hand-selected our own musical selections played by a Musical Discovery of Austin. For the wedding party, we chose for them to walk to ‘Happy Together’ by the Turtles because it is such a happy, upbeat song! I walked down the aisle to Bryan Adam’s ‘Everything I Do’, and we processed down the aisle after the ceremony to Luke Bryan’s ‘I Don’t Want This Night To End’.

I wore a strapless lace Pronovias wedding dress, a cathedral length veil, and ivory peep toe flats. For my something old, I had a lapel pin of my grandfathers pinned in my bouquet. For my something new, I wore a diamond tennis bracelet from my parents. For my something borrowed, I wore my great grandmother’s wedding band on my right hand. And for my something blue, I had my grandmother’s sapphire earrings. My bridesmaids wore wine-colored, one shoulder gowns from Bill Levkoff. Ernie and his groomsmen wore navy Signature Collection suits from Jos A Bank with ivory French cuffed shirts. Ernie also wore special Lucchesse Caiman belly boots that he had made specifically for the wedding and Texas State Bobcat cufflinks that I gifted him on our wedding day.

We wanted someone who knew us as a couple to officiate our wedding so we asked Robert Emmitt, Senior Pastor of Community Bible Church in San Antonio, to marry us. Luckily for us, he also happens to be the father in law of Ernie’s sister and he did an incredible job. We also asked Ernie’s three sisters to each select a scripture to read before our vows, which was a lovely addition to our ceremony. One surprise I had up my sleeve, was that I had Ernie’s wedding band custom-made. So, the first time he saw it was when I placed it on his finger during our vows! The entire ceremony was absolutely perfect…from the gorgeous weather and Robert’s wonderful message to Ernie surprising ME with a dip during our first kiss as man and wife! After our ceremony, our guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the courtyard of our venue where guests could enjoy appetizers and try one of our signature cocktails: The Hilarita or Ernie Palmer. Our guests were seated once we were done taking pictures, and dinner was served family-style. After dinner came the toasts, first dances and cake cutting…and of course, the dessert bar that Ernie chose in lieu of a groom’s cake. Best. Night. Ever. Our wedding went by so fast, but it was everything we had hoped it would be…and SO much more!

Each phase of planning our wedding will be cherished; from getting engaged on the campus of our Alma Mater, to shopping and finding the perfect dress with my mom and sisters, to seeing my handsome hubby-to-be at the end of the aisle on our wedding day while being escorted by my Dad. We look back on our wedding day and feel completely blessed to have been surrounded by such an amazing support group of family and friends. We feel honored to have had the ones we love most around us on our most special day, and are so thankful for an amazing “A-team” of vendors that turned our dreams into a reality. I am so fortunate and so thankful for Ernie’s resourcefulness with power tools and a glue gun. I am also appreciative for my mom and sisters, who came to our rescue to finish several last minute details the week prior to the wedding. We are also thankful for the lovely Margaret Bedikian from 3 Apples Events for being our month-of coordinator. She is an amazing planner and talented organizer. She was our calming voice of reason when things got a little hectic towards the end, and being the planner that I am…that is not an easy task. I am grateful for her team who made sure everything was in place and the night went smoothly. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making our wedding day the most perfect day for us!

Photography: Forever Photography Studio | Coordinator: 3 Apples Events | Flowers: Visual Lyrics | Cake: Sugar Mamas | Makeup: Adrienne | Vineyards At Chappel Lodge: Vineyards At Chappel Lodge

Forever Photography Studio is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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