Vista West Ranch Wedding by Half Orange Photography
April 6, 2012
Rustic Weddings

I may have squealed like a little girl when I first laid eyes on this ranch wedding by Half Orange Photography.  OK, there may have been a few shrieks of glee.  But can you blame me?  The flowers!  The lace details!  I'm just crazy about the whole soiree! Scrolling through the gallery is like floating on a little cloud of rustic wedding perfection.  You really won't want to miss a single inspiring detail so head over there right now!

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From the Bride... When Rene and I got engaged, we soon found that we had two very different opinions of the perfect wedding. I wanted something small, personal, and sweet, while he wanted a huge party. We met somewhere in the middle and our wedding turned out to be a perfect combination of the two. We both love the Texas Hill Country and knew we couldn't get married anywhere else. Vista West Ranch in Dripping Springs was the perfect fit for us: gorgeous views, rustic surroundings and tons of tiny details. They have an outdoor ceremony site overlooking miles of Hill Country, a stunning reception venue, a biergarten with fire pits for socializing and adorable lodges for guests to stay the night. We were sold.

Rene and I agreed that we did not want the day to feel formal or stuffy, so we worked to make it rustic and beautiful with tons of personal touches. To make it comfortable and personable, I wanted to decorate with antiques, family heirlooms and quirky treasures that were all in some way special to us and our families. My mother was the workhorse of our collecting and began to sift through (what felt like) every antique shop in Texas, collecting old lace, tablecloths, doilies, jars, doorknobs, lanterns, books and anything she could get her hands on. I wanted the tables to all look different but be completely covered in old, beautiful things. I probably took on too many projects for the wedding, but I wanted every single detail to be done by hand. I made the table numbers and page parcels out of old discolored book pages, the burlap signs, the place cards, the thank-you notes, menu displays and more. With help from a few friends and family, we were able to set up everything the day before so that it was exactly how we envisioned it. It was so much fun!

The wedding day was December 30, and we were expecting cold drizzly weather for an outdoor ceremony with no contingency plan. Last minute, we arranged for outdoor heaters to be set up and put together a table piled with antique quilts and warm wassail for guests to grab on their way in. We had the fire pits lit, ready to warm our guests with some hot chocolate and s'mores. As luck would have it, December 30 came and we laughed at how blessed we were to have 75 degree weather with the most gorgeous light we had ever seen. It was perfect. The ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt, and the reception was the most fun celebration, thanks to our amazing band who fed off of the party. Everything went seamlessly and we enjoyed every second of day. After we left the reception, we wanted our friends to continue the celebration. We rented out the Vista West Ranch lodging and loaded the refrigerators with food, alcohol and goodies so they could continue the party late into the night (how many venues allow you to do that?). Later we found out that the caterer and bartender even brought over all leftover food and alcohol to the lodges to be finished off by our friends! At the end of the day we were so blessed to have exactly what we both wanted, to make it out of wedding planning alive, and to finally be married! If I could give any advice to future brides, it would be to take a deep breath and roll with the punches. A wedding is not worth bickering with loved ones or losing sleep over. Although it doesn't feel like it, everything eventually falls into place. You are fortunate enough to have found your better half, and no matter what kind of flowers or silverware you have, at the end of the night you will be married!

Wedding Photography: Half Orange Photography / Wedding Venue: Vista West Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas / Floral Design: Petal Pushers + H-E-B Blooms / Wedding Cake: Sweet Traditions (210-654-6122) / Wedding Invitations: The White Aisle / Lighting: Filo Designs / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride's Shoes: Vera Wang Lavender / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters + Wtoo