This interior designer by day bride takes DIY to another level. How so you ask? Well she not only designed the bridesmaid dresses, boutonnieres and so much more but she also designer her own gown. Yes, her own gown. How amazing is that? I am just in awe of all she was able to accomplish, and still make it such a fabulous party at the end of the day. My party hat is off to this couple for sure! For even more inspiring images from stella alesi/photography be sure to check out the full gallery.
From the Bride… When we started planning, we agreed wholeheartedly on one thing: we wanted a party. We wanted great food and all of our friends, and we wanted to dance. At some point during all of it we would actually get married, but we wanted to CELEBRATE our love. Like throw your hands up in the air, get down with your bad self and celebrate, because we are in love.
We live in Houston but decided a wedding in Austin would be part destination, part totally affordable weekend getaway. We also thought, from a planning aspect, it would be a blast to make periodic trips westward together, sort of punctuation points in our 18-month engagement. Sometimes things don’t go according to plans, but in this case, we couldn’t have gotten off to a better start… Austin is where it’s at.
So much of the mood was determined when we chose our wedding venue. Green Pastures is beautiful and romantic and Victorian. It has vintage wallpaper and charm oozing around every corner, a teeny little bar tucked secretly under the eaves upstairs, wraparound porches with blue painted ceilings, resident albino peacocks that patrol the grounds and giant live oak trees wrapped in lights, which we were married under. As if it could be any more magical, GP happens to also have an incredible menu, talented chefs and wonderful staff, so that didn’t hurt either.
When not a starry-eyed bride, I am an interior designer and have access to millions of fabrics, which is where I started after we settled on Green Pastures. I wanted the style and colors of the wedding to match the style of the home, yet still be current and not look like a trip back in time. I settled on a palette of neutral tones, so we would compliment the atmosphere: ivory, pearl, gold, tea rose, brownish-grays, soft, muted pink undertones and black. I did some online research for garments but didn’t fall in love with anything. Also, it seems like things are out of whack these days with regard to price and quality, so it was easier for me to just have everything made custom to be exactly what I had in mind. I designed my gown first, made of a gorgeous off-white silk and tremendously comfortable (for all-intensive dancing purposes) before moving on to the other parts. For the maids, it had to be chevron stripes! Which don’t even exist, for the most part, but I found a beautiful gray/brown fabric with ivory stripes and my seamstress turned it into some of the most adorable and flattering dresses I’ve seen yet. I loved how all of the dresses were formal, yet sort of casual because of the fabrics.
I made the boutonnières for the men from vintage ribbon I bought at Liberty of London, and modeled the pieces after old medals and awards. In the centers, I added a compass button, as a memorial to my grandpa, who couldn’t be there. I’m from Kansas, and he always gave me compasses when I returned home, so I could always find my way. I made floral rosettes for the mothers, Brad’s nanna and the house party from leftover silk from my gown, so they would be able to keep them after the big day, sort of a part of me. I added vintage buttons from a collection I inherited from both of my late grandmothers. We all had a bit that was old that day!
Not long after deciding upon GP, I launched a massive eBay search for vintage birdcages. Brad liked to joke that birdcages were the perfect wedding metaphor, but I wanted a collection to use in our exterior decor. Petal Pushers, our florist, filled the birdcages with moss and flowers, and then hung them from the branches of the oaks under which we were married.
I also collected the vases for each table-assorted sizes in groupings of 5-7 containers per table. This wasn’t expensive, as vases ranged from 25¢ to $2, but I underestimated how long it would take to source, sort, and then spray paint all these containers. 5-7 containers per table x 45+ tables x spray painting = not my best idea. They ultimately looked lovely and exactly how I planned, but it was a labor of love to complete.
The day before the wedding, I had to run over to Michaels to pick up ribbon for our cakes. Do you know what else they sell at Michaels, especially the week before Halloween? GLOWSTICKS, that’s what. Part of me thought I was crazy, but part of me knew that glowsticks would be absolutely perfect for our dance party. They were 15 for a dollar (!!!!) so I limited myself and walked out of Michaels with $30 worth of awesome…. Or 450 glowsticks.
The reception was always designed with a dance party in mind. I had been hearing (via blogs, mind you) about a guy in Los Angeles called The Flashdance, aka Michael Antonia, who is part wedding DJ, part musical mash-up genius. DJ Mike had never been to Austin before but was game to travel, and our lives were changed forever. After the formality of first dances, somebody hit the lights and the dancing began in a frenzy. I’ve never seen so many adults dancing for such extended periods of time. Glowsticks were everywhere, on every guest, and I’ve never been so happy.
I’m writing this from our honeymoon, and our six month anniversary is tomorrow. We have been so thrilled to re-live these details, and will always feel like our wedding was the hands-down best time we have ever had! It was a wonderful time, including all the planning that went into the event, and I hope every bride has an experience as happy and exciting as mine!
Wedding Photography: stella alesi/photography / Wedding Coordination & Design: The Bride / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Green Pastures / Catering & Wedding Cake: Green Pastures / Floral Design: Petal Pushers / Ceremony Music: Will Taylor & Strings Attached / Wiring & Equipment: SoundCheck Austin / Linens: Austin Party Central / Wedding Invitations: Dauphine Press via Katie & Co. (Custom Design by the Bride) / Wedding & Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Kim Couture (Custom Design by the Bride) / Neck Ties, Bow Ties & Vests: Quiltworks (Custom Design by the Bride) / Flower Girl Dresses: Quiltworks (Custom Design by the Bride) / Groom’s Ring: Titanium Knights (Custom Design by the Bride) / Wedding Veil: A Busy Mother (Custom Design by the Bride) / Clothing Labels: Name Maker (Custom Design by the Bride) / Invitation Stamps: Zazzle (Custom Design by the Bride) / Wedding Cake Topper: Melabo / Bride’s Ring: Custom, The Groom / Save The Dates & Wedding Programs: DIY, The Bride / Ribbon Boutonnieres: DIY, The Bride / Silk Fabric Flowers: DIY, The Bride / Flower Girl & Bridesmaid Hair Accessories: DIY, The Bride / Flower Girl Baskets: DIY, The Bride / Ring Bearer Box: Vintage / Bridesmaid Bracelets: DIY, The Bride / Moustache on a Stick: DIY, The Bride / Shoe Basket: DIY, The Bride / Guest Book: DIY, The Bride