When rustic meets romantic in the Hill Country, it’s always a beautiful thing.  Especially when it’s a pink and gold hued beauty like this one filled with sweet DIY details, soft florals from Wild Bunches and some Texas meets Louisiana goodness.  That’s a combo that makes for one crazy cool party, and when you throw in some amazing images from Bird And The Bear, it’s also an awesome Tuesday.  See it here.

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Spring
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Barn
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Rustic

From the Bride… I’m from Louisiana and so connected to my state – I never in a million years thought I’d end up in Texas, much less find the love of my life and settle down here. Since we were closing on our house in Austin (and I’d agreed to marry a proud Texan and UT grad), I felt like this wedding was my last hoorah as a true Louisianan! I wanted to have as many nods to my culture as possible.

Although I am far more comfortable in a hoodie and Chucks than a dress, I really wanted our wedding to feel beautiful and feminine. When else would I have a chance to go all out? With that in mind, we settled on a color palette of pale pinks and ivory with gold accents as a contrast to the rustic outdoor setting of our Hill Country venue. The groom and groomsmen wore gray tuxes with pale pink ties; the bridesmaids and maid of honor wore pale pink floor-length dresses.

I put off dress shopping until the last few months before the wedding – I wanted a dress that didn’t exist on any rack and I got so frustrated after trying on gown after gown and feeling like I was never going to find the right fit. I’d gotten recommendations for Cotures by Laura (a bridal designer and customization boutique in Austin), so I ended up buying a Maggie Sottero gown off the rack and brought it to Laura to work her magic! I wanted a lower cut neckline, very specific in shape, bustling, and – the most important and difficult piece – a bolero that fit perfectly. I was so afraid every time I went in for a fitting that something would be wrong, or that Laura would tell me that there was no way this would work, but she put me at ease every time! On the day of my final fitting, I totally cried – the dress was PERFECT and Laura truly took what was in my head and made it a reality after only a couple conversations and trial fittings. She was a dream to work with — such a passionate artist who is an expert in her craft. She made me feel like family. I am so incredibly blessed that she took me in and delivered my dream dress, and all for a very reasonable cost!

We researched so many venues before we found Heritage House, but we knew it was a fit from the first call with owner Cindi Baker. We clicked immediately and I thought, I have found my people! As luck would have it, Cindi is from the same small town my family is from. We locked in the venue in on the first visit – our best decision by far. Even the date of our ceremony was a Louisiana nod – our wedding fell on the last big party weekend of Mardi Gras before Fat Tuesday, so we celebrated double! Other Louisiana details: My best friend and maid of honor, Meagan, hand-sewed tiny gold charms from Etsy on the lace of my bridal bouquet – Mardi Gras masks, fleur de lis, alligators, even a crawfish!

Speaking of seafood, we chose Quality Seafood to cater the wedding – we knew we wanted good, Southern comfort food and their gumbo and hushpuppies are the best! We tried caterer after caterer trying to recreate their taste, but we knew Quality didn’t do weddings, so assumed they wouldn’t do ours. After many failed tastings, I finally gave them a call – their events manager, Carol, was such a dream and worked so hard to make sure their first wedding catering gig was a success. Both Brian’s and my grandparents owned seafood restaurants/markets when we were younger, so there’s a real comfort and connection for us when we’re there. We decided on a final menu featuring mini crab cakes with remoulade and andouille sausage at our happy hour, then big bowls of seafood gumbo, cornbread and hushpuppies with lavender butter for dinner. We were so happy with the food (even down to silly details like the pink seashells our appetizers were served on).

In lieu of a groom’s cake, we had our officiants (who live in New Orleans) bring up king cakes from the world-famous Randazzo’s bakery – strawberry cream cheese, my favorite! The cakes were placed in the bridesmaids’, groomsmen’s and family cottages onsite at Heritage House. Our music selections for the reception were a mix of Louisiana and Houston hip-hop, zydeco and New Orleans jazz. We also had the DJ immediately follow our first dance (The Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes For You”) with Rebirth Brass Band’s “Do Whatcha Wanna,” which got everyone out on the floor. The only thing missing was a second line!

We were careful to make sure Brian’s Texas pride was also represented – we had a full on Texas-themed rehearsal dinner in the Cattle Baron’s room at Texas Land & Cattle, a favorite steakhouse of Brian and his Dad. And we can’t say enough about the gorgeous natural setting of our venue, about 30 minutes outside of Austin in the gorgeous hill country of Dripping Springs. The whispy grass, cool breezes and endless sunset made for amazing photo ops. To continue the Texas theme, Brian (who loves craft beer) made sure we featured all local breweries (Real Ale Brewing Company, Austin Beer Works, and Southern Star Brewing) at the reception.

We wanted our ceremony to feel intimate and asked close friends to officiate. We involved our families as much as we could! Brian’s Gran opened with a prayer, and my brother Blake, a pianist, provided the music in the chapel. Brian made an awesome custom LEGO ring bearer’s box, and our flower girl, Brian’s niece, walked our two dogs, Ed and Ollie, down the aisle! (Their leashes, handmade by my sister Eli, were my “something blue.”) It was so special to have them there. The processional was a piano version of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” my bridal processional was a piano version of Etta James’ “At Last,” and our recessional was a sped-up piano version of “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes. We wrote our own vows and laugh-cried through them all.

I was so lucky to have help from creative friends and family to make all the gorgeous ideas in my head come to life – I DIY’d a lot! I knew I didn’t want big centerpieces on every table, so I spent weeks scouring flea markets and garage sales for vases I could spray paint gold. Mixed with hand-me-down crystal from my great-grandmother’s collection, they made for awesome centerpieces on the cheap! Our gorgeous sequined blush table runners came from Etsy seller Jessmy (linked below) and were the perfect pretty detail to tie them all together. I knew I wanted at least one statement piece and enlisted my sister and bridesmaid Eli to help me cut, papier-mâché, duct tape, spray paint and glitter our way through this 100 Layer Cake tutorial for a giant sequined gold heart! It was so awesome (and well worth the work)! We got so many compliments on it! Eli also made custom gift bags for all the kids at the wedding – they were filled with snacks, Legos, stickers, and coloring books. They were a huge hit! Additionally, my Maid of Honor Meagan made our DIY chalkboard signs with cardboard we spray painted and paint pens from a craft store. I’d collected the gold frames while thrifting, so total cost was less than $15 for all the signage at the wedding. It meant so much to me so see her handwriting on everything. Brian supplied everything necessary for a games table, and we framed photos of our grandparents and ourselves as kids to feature around the reception hall.

My favorite part of the wedding was giving Brian his wedding surprise! We have this inside joke about crabs – it sounds weird, but if one of us is feeling down, the other will text a crab with a description of what it does. For example, if I was scared to fly, Brian might text me a Bravery Crab, who would ride along with me on the plane and help with my nerves. Anyway, while thrifting for vases I found this amazing pair of vintage crab pins – gold, pearl and diamond – which totally matched the wedding! I can’t explain why these silly little wedding crabs were so special, but I just knew Brian was going to love them! At our First Look, I got to reveal them—he wore his on his suit (and pinned mine to my veil). They were a conversation piece all night!

We had a fiasco with the florist we originally chose — she totally dropped off the map less than a month from the wedding, and I was a mess. Luckily, our venue recommended Wild Bunches, a Dripping Springs local florist with a great reputation and (thankfully!) an opening on our wedding date! I scheduled an ASAP consult and they hooked me right up! I cannot explain what it felt like to walk into the venue and see the table arrangements for the first time — truly, they were beyond my wildest dreams and I just could not believe how gorgeous they came out! In my DIY vases were white and peach stock, blush pink and white spray roses, white ranunculus, pink veronica (my absolute favorite, also used in the groomsmen’s boutineers), seeded eucalyptus, silver dollar eucalyptus, and dusty miller. The swag draped across our sweetheart table was equally impressive — I will be buying blush pink spray roses and peach stock for the rest of my life to bring me back to our magical day!

One piece of wisdom I’d pass on to future brides is not to let vendors get you down if they flake or aren’t feeling your vision. There are so many amazing creative wedding professionals — keep talking to folks until you find the perfect fit.

Additionally, even if you are a crafty DIY bride, enlist a wedding coordinator for month-of help. I didn’t think I needed a coordinator, but I was so wrong! Maggie Gallant, our coordinator, was a lifesaver for me and gave me a reality check early on about how many tasks were left to complete (and how best to tackle them)! She taught me that no matter how much work you put into the wedding months before, you really owe it to yourself to be able to stop working and actually enjoy those blissful days before the ceremony with your soon to be husband, family and friends who have traveled so far to celebrate with you. I’m so glad that I took her advice!

Photography: Bird And The Bear | Wedding Coordinator: Maggie Gallant | Floral Design: Wild Bunches | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes By Lori | Ceremony Venue: Heritage House | Reception Venue: Heritage House | Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal | Catering: Quality Seafood | Hair & Makeup: Ron King Salon | Grooms Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Bouquet Charms: Etsy Seller 95 Boutique | Bridal Jewlery: Forever21 | Bridal Sash: Etsy Seller Get Noticed | Custom Dog Leashes: Eli Byerly | Custom Signage: Meagan Whiteley | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Heart Centerpiece: DIY - Instructions Here! | King Cakes: Manny Randazzo King Cakes | Sequined Table Runners: Etsy Seller Jessmy | Wedding Dress Customization: Coutures By Laura | Wedding Dress Shop: La Reve Couture