I have so much admiration for brides and their families these days. Not only do they seem to have impeccable taste, but they also seem to be masters of DIY projects and design. Not 100% sure how that happened, but I am forever grateful for the crafty brides and weddings like this darling Mercury Hall Austin affair by Nessa K Photography. They make my days ever so lovely, and the full gallery of this wedding is sure to make your day lovely as well.

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I am a wedding photographer (visit me here), so I am lucky to have seen plenty of weddings and have had plenty of time to become addicted to way too many wedding blogs (I’m becoming better at my job by reading all of those…right?). Initially, it was pretty overwhelming. There were so many things that I wanted to do. But, I’d just like to say that with the help of some amazing people (MOM!), my wedding turned out way better than I had imagined. Dru proposed to me July of 2009, so I had over a year to figure out what DIY details I wanted to accomplish. Armed with many great ideas and inspirations, my mom and I set out on a grand wedding-planning mission. My two main things were that I wanted to get married outside and in theĀ  fall. Austin has so many great outdoor wedding venues, it was hard to choose. But, Mercury Hall won my heart with its beautiful, outdoors-y charm right within a mile or two of downtown Austin.

I also, obviously, needed an awesome photographer- and I am so lucky that I found Nessa K. Let’s just say that she is amazingly talented and so great to work with. My wedding day-of coordinator (though she did so much more work than just day-of), Lindsey Watts of Lilleypad Events, made the day run SO smoothly. There are no words to describe how awesome she and her team were and I definitely couldn’t have pulled it all off without her. A few DIY details include: flower arrangements by my mom, ring embroidery hoop by the Groom’s grandmother, napkins and muslin table cloths sewed by my mom, guest favors (flower bombs) made by my parents and I- muslin bags included (the Gocco printer was my friend), paper goods (table assignments, save the dates, invites, programs, signs) by me, wooden bean bag toss by my grandfather, bean bags sewn by my mom, “celebrate” and bunting by me and my mom.

There were a few minor issues, but they really did not matter to me in the grand scheme of things. The weather was ALMOST a problem- it started pouring down rain the morning before, on our rehearsal. I also had a bit of a panic attack when my mom and I brought all of our flowers back to the hotel room to arrange them the day before. You should have seen our room- it was like a greenhouse. Not sure if I would recommend arranging your own flowers in a hotel room…especially in a hotel room (though awesome it was) with very limited floor space. But, let’s forget about that stuff, shall we? Because it turned out amazingly and I had such a good time, and so did our guests. My main tip would be to make your ceremony personal- pick out your own music (it doesn’t have to be the traditional “Here Comes the Bride”- I had a bluegrass band play), have people who are important to you participate in the ceremony (my brother and aunt did readings, and my cousins sang a song by Cat Power, my uncle was the minister), and don’t worry about the traditional details- do what you want! Everyone kept telling Dru and I how our ceremony was so “us.” Also, have a photo booth with props. People love that- and the photos are hilarious.

Photography: Nessa K Photography / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Mercury Hall / Day-of Coordinator: Lindsey Watts of Lilleypad Events plan@lilleypadevents.com / Band (ceremony and cocktail hour): Shotgun Party / DJ (dinner and reception: Byrne Rock / Food: Hoover’s Cooking / Pies & cocktail food: Feast Gourmand / Flowers: Austin Flower Company (arranged by my supermom) / Dress: custom made by Shirin Askari / Groom’s clothes: J.Crew / Boutenniere + Hair pin: Emersonmade / Paper Poms: Pom Love / Hair & Makeup: Consuelo at Salon by Milk + Honey / Hotel: Hotel San Jose (getting ready) / Hotel: Saint Cecilia (first look)