Raise your hand if you are are a lover of a “relaxed dinner party” with an “awesome dance party” to follow.  Because that, my friends, is exactly what we have in store for you today.  Two awesome components wrapped up in devastatingly gorgeous details captured by Valeria Duque Photography; a slice of wedding heaven with enough stripes and sophistication to keep you drooling for days.  It’s a Mercury Hall masterpiece with pretty, pretty blooms from Posey Floral and Events and a big ol’ dose of Southern awesome.  See it all in the full gallery.

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Spring

From Valeria DuqueOne of my favorite things about my job is that I get to travel, A LOT! and I like it even more when it takes me across oceans and to places I’ve never been before, and such was the case with Kate and Justin’s wedding that took me for the first time in my life to Texas!

I met these guys a couple of years ago while shooting Kata and Sam’s wedding in Cartagena, Colombia, and the minute I met them and all their friends, sparks flew and it was instant chemistry– I was in love with them all. So, as you can imagine, when we all met again last year for Josh and Meg’s wedding in Palm Springs we were not just photographer-client anymore, we were friends! So, when Katie called me up to shoot her wedding not only was I happy to travel somewhere new but also to be meeting up with these lovely people again!

Kate and Justin got married on April 6 in Austin, and I was lucky to be there from Wednesday until Sunday photographing all the pre-wedding extravaganza and sharing tons and tons of laughs with all my lovely friends.

For the welcome dinner, the day before the wedding, the couple decided to do it the Texas way, so we went to The Salt Lick, an amazing barbeque place just outside of Austin, where I was lucky enough to try the Texas triad of meat: brisket, sausage and ribs, all covered in yummy bbq sauce and with sides of cole slaw, mashed potatoes and pickles. As many of you know I’m a bit of a foodie, I love eating and besides taking pictures that’s what I put most of my energy into in Texas!

And then the wedding day was up, everyone got ready at the Radisson Hotel. Everything was mint-inspired and lots of lovely flowers were to be seen. Katie was calm and having fun, and the minute she was ready we went down to the river edge for their first look which was, if you don’t mind my saying, awesome!

After the family shots we went to McKinney Falls State Park, an amazing place with beautiful huge oak trees where we shot the bridal party and the couple pics. I loved shooting Katie and Justin, they are so much fun! They are the king and queen of odd funny faces, but they also love each other so much and have such a great time together that my job was almost entirely done! After an hour of fun it was ceremony time. It was held under two gorgeous trees, everything was planned outside and the decoration was so beautiful! Long tables filled with my favorite American flowers: Peonies and Ranunculus.

After the ceremony the couple went inside to have some alone time, rest and share, but the minute I saw the sunset light hitting the trees and making them look oh so golden and pretty I had to get them back out for some more pictures of looooove, and it was definitely worth it!

Finally it was party time: there was dancing, there was roaring laughter, there were speeches, there even was a speech made like a rap by the fabulous Maid of Honor, and there was lots of fun in the Photobooth.

From the Bride… When Justin and I started the wedding process, our goal was to have a relaxed outside dinner party with an awesome dance party at the end of the night. When we found Mercury Hall we knew we had struck gold. It had the typical romantic feel of the Texas venues but was fun and bright and the grounds were gorgeous. The color palette was due to the fact that I’ve always been a lover of black and white stripes. From there we went with gold as a metallic accent and pulled mint/aqua since they pair well together and it was one of the colors in the stained glass windows of the venue.

Our wedding was everything we wanted it to be. It was relaxed and comfortable, the food was fantastic and culminated in awesome dance party.

My favorite moment was after Justin and I were married we went to the back room to sign the marriage license and just to have a moment to take it all in (and have a drink). It was so relaxing and such a happy moment.

My advice to brides is not to be afraid to delegate. People want to help you out so make sure you utilize them. It will also be a proud moment for those guests to see what they helped with on the day of the event. Also, have fun. It’s the best day ever so if things go wrong, it’s ok! Just relax and enjoy the day.

Wedding Photography: Valeria Duque Photography | Wedding Venue: Mercury Hall | Wedding Coordination: Alison of The Simplifiers | Floral Design: Bonni Taylor + Madeline Landry of Posey Floral and Events | Catering: Word of Mouth | Cake + Cupcakes: Word of Mouth | Decor + Programs + Signage: DIY by Bride | Balloons: Arne’s Warehouse, Houston | Lighting: Ilios Lighting | DJ: Jeremy of Spacecraft Entertainment  | Transportation: R&R Limo Bus | Favors: DIY by Bride — Coffee, Starbucks Kimodo Dragon Blend + Texas BBQ Rub | Invitations: Smitten on Paper | Wedding Gown: Wedding Bell in Washington | Shoes: Sam Edelman from Nordstrom | Groom’s Suit: Dragon Inside | Groom’s Shoes: Aldo  | Groom’s Tie: The Tie Bar  | Groomsmen’s Ties: Mercy Streams | Flower Girl Dresses: J Crew Factory | Makeup: Gertie of Rae Cosmetics  Hair: Brittnee Pope

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