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Astin Mansion Wedding

Oh my goodness, are these two in love.  Like that kind of love that you wish you could experience for just one day, because it is so very, very awesome.  It’s a love that literally bursts from every last image captured by Alicia Pyne, from the epic “First Look” (try not to cry viewing that amazing moment) to that beautiful hug post-marriage to the sparkler-enhanced getaway.  See it all in THE VAULT.


From the Bride… Todd and I met in Houston one afternoon in May of 2005 when mutual friends of ours decided to meet up in Rice Village to eat Cuban food! I remember seeing Todd for the first time and all I saw were his blue eyes… I was smitten!  It wasn’t too long thereafter we decided to go on our first date. Unfortunately, I had just committed to a new career opportunity in Chicago so we decided to stay in touch and continue to date by taking turns visiting one another. As a Texan, I missed home, my family and Todd, so I moved back a year later. Although Todd asked both my parents to marry me several years ago, he finally popped the question on November 17, 2012 in New Orleans (one of our favorite quick get away destinations).

Since we are a bit of a non-traditional couple, we wanted our wedding to be intimate and more of a dinner party focused on our 40 guests. We also wanted to celebrate our family history, so wanted to incorporate a vintage theme. Keeping the venue close to Todd’s parents in Bryan/College Station so his mother could attend, as she has been ill, was also key.

My mother, sister, and I stumbled across The Astin Mansion in Bryan, Texas after my sister did some quick research after a long day of trying to find the right place. As we drove up to the venue our jaws dropped and knew the 1920’s mansion, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was our venue and a perfect accompaniment for our vintage theme!

After touring the venue we realized that it did not require a huge amount of decorating, as the home already had so much character with its beautiful features and fixtures. I knew I wanted to utilize our family heirlooms as décor, however needed additional items and found Ashley Tinsley with Bourbon & Bloom Vintage Rentals in Houston. Ashley has a great collection of everything vintage, and also helped me with special requests for writing on mirrors and picture frames.

Todd and I settled on a color palate of ivory, blush, and navy with gold and silver metallic accents. I decided to do the planning myself, which led to a lot of research online and on the blogs in order to come up with our theme of Vintage Texas Elegance. In doing so, I ended up finding so many absolutely wonderful vendors on EBay, Etsy, and in the Houston and San Antonio areas that provided our vintage post cards, stationery, welcome sign, favors, favor tags, silhouettes, jazz music, cakes, and my veil, to name a few.

To ensure we kept the celebration intimate, we decided to only have our siblings and our Chihuahua in our wedding party. My sister was my Maid of Honor and walked with our Chihuahua during the ceremony, and Todd’s two brothers were his Best Men.

My something new was my Hailey Paige wedding gown from Now and Forever Bridal Boutique in Houston. Kim Vo and team are exceptional and took very good care of me! I was told that it was the first time this grown was worn in Texas. This gown was unique, fit my personality, and was so special since it was a gift from my father who unfortunately passed away less than two months before our wedding day.  For my something borrowed, I wore my mother’s diamond earrings that were a gift to her from my father.

For my something blue, I had my mother find someone to sew our family’s horse and cattle brand (the cross bell) and my monogram in baby blue onto a piece of fabric that she sewed into my dress.

Looking back there is so many details that I adored, but some of my favorites were our family pictures and special pieces, like my father’s spurs and Todd’s great, great grandfather’s business ledger from the 1880’s, that we placed on the bookshelves in the dining room. Another favorite were the vintage Texas post cards that were used for our guest sign-in. Also to keep my father with me as my mother and I walked down the aisle, I placed a picture of us together on horseback, when I was just a baby, in our families black onyx heirloom broach, and affixed it to my bouquet. Todd, of course, liked that we used his favorite New Orleans Abita beers and Texas Becker Vineyard wines at our bar, which were in honor of my late grandmother and family in Fredericksburg.

In the end our day turned out to be very special, and all the planning in the world couldn’t prepare us for the day’s events. It rained on and off all day long, but about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony the sky opened up and monsoon-like rains commenced. The Astin Mansion’s day of coordinator, Chelsi Coldiron, their florist, Christopher Dodgen, and the Astin Mansion team did a phenomenal job of ensuring that the entire ceremony setup, which was scheduled to be outside, was moved indoors. This turned out beautiful and harmonious with our vintage theme, as it was common historically for couples to get married in their homes.

All of the floral turned out just beautiful and complimented the décor so nicely. Even though our 36-foot baby’s breath garland that was originally supposed to adorn the front of the mansion had to be moved indoors, it still turned out so lovely decorating the two fireplace mantles in the mansion.

Also, our vintage jazz trio from South Texas Jazz did such an outstanding job during the ceremony and reception. They even learned to play the theme from the movie Giant (1956, Tiomkin) for our recessional!!

Overall our day was magical, full of love, and we hope that our guests felt the same.

Photography: Mustard Seed Photography | Floral Design: Astin Mansion | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture, Inc | Cake: Cinderella Stories | Ceremony Venue: Astin Mansion | Reception Venue: Astin Mansion | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Astin Mansion | Favors: Choicolate | Men's Suits: Jos. A. Bank | Ceremony Music: South Texas Jazz, The River City Stompers | Bride's Dress Monogram: Chandelier Grove | Bride's Hairpiece: Johanna Johnson | Bride's Veil: Angela Marie | Decor: Bourbon And Bloom Vintage Rentals | Dress Hanger: BHLDN | Favor Tags: Smatsunaka | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Hair & Make-up: Kim Marachinni & Company | Linens: House Of Hough | Maid of Honor's Dress: Bella Bridesmaid | Maid of Honor's Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Mr. and Mrs. Signage: BHLDN | Reception Music: South Texas Jazz, The River City Stompers | Robes: Natori | Signage Holders: BHLDN | Silhouettes: Mac Garcia | Stationery and Paper Signs: By Invitation Only On Etsy | Welcome Sign: Beth and Borrow

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Bryan Wedding at Traditions Club from Everest Road Photography

People often ask me if I grow tired of weddings. I am quick to answer, never.  And all I have to do to make them see why weddings will always have my heart is show them a wedding like this one. A wedding focused on family and the belief in marriage. A wedding that is gorgeous, yes, but one that is layered with love. It’s enough to make anyone fall in love with weddings, and with images from Everest Road Photography you can do just that right here.


From Everest Road PhotographyOne of the things great things about this bride is that she doesn’t meet a stranger. Ali let’s brand new friends know her in a way that makes them feel like they are her people. It’s so unique…and because of that, their wedding had no shortage of guests!Every one of Ali and JR’s wedding guests knew that this couple was HAPPY to be married. I’ve not seen a bride walk down the aisle with such a wide open-mouth smile before Ali’s. They are CRAZY about each other. Surrounded by gorgeous floral design, a fabulous church steeple all on the greens of the Traditions Club, I could almost see actual light coming from her glowing smile that day.

From the Bride… When picturing my wedding, only a few things mattered to me, marrying JR, honoring God, and being with lots of friends and family. We picked the Traditions Club in Bryan because of the rental properties on site. All of our extended family and wedding party stayed on site all weekend. My mom then went above and beyond to make everything special. We wanted people to walk away from the ceremony and reflect the beauty, of our love, of the ceremony and of the decor. Keisha’s Kreations put together a beautiful wooden backdrop with floral accents and mason jars full of flowers on shepherd hooks. I was inspired by the simplicity of other weddings I’d seen on Pinterest and blogs. My mom made reserved signs on pieces of chalkboard slate with chalkboard paint. Instead of printed programs, we opted for framed printed signs that looked like chalk board detailing the members of the wedding ceremony. Many children have played an important role in our lives so we choose to have 7 members of our flower brigade. The girls carried metal tins with petals to drop and the boys carried burlap signs. 

For the reception, we wanted people to walk away thinking about what a great time they had. Center pieces were simple, repurposed flowers from the ceremony and bouquets placed on beautiful wooden slabs cut and stained by my wonderful in-laws. Our wedding coordination and all of our printing was handled by Cheryl Bell of Little Root Creative. She made everything wonderful. The cake was incredibly delicious and made by Piece of Cake in Brenham. Our groom’s cake was made by the Traditions Club and was a hot molten cake with hot fudge and bluebell ice cream. This dessert was highly praised.

Photography: Everest Road Photography | Coordinator: Little Root Creative | Floral Design: Keisha's Kreations | Wedding Dress: Linda's Couture | Cake: Piece of Cake | Bridesmaids Dresses: Festivity | Men's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Wedding Venue: Traditions Club | Steeple Rental: Lone Star Steeple