The Secret Garden Texas Wedding from Al Gawlik Photography + Country Sugar
April 20, 2012
The Secret Garden is really one of those classic childhood stories that has introduced so many of us to the world of romance. It was just a matter of time before some genius bride planned a perfect day around the book, and with help from Country Sugar, this bride has done it. The day is everything we could have imagined - romantic, pretty, nature-filled. The images from Al Gawlik Photography induce a giddy girlish glee in all of us here at SMP. We're positive you'll feel the same effect in the gallery!

Click here to see the whole wedding in the gallery!

As a girl I loved the children's classic The Secret Garden. The theme of new life really spoke to both Chris and I, and we knew we wanted to experience this with our wedding.

We found the venue of our dreams in Camp Lucy. Tucked away in the Texas Hill Country over Onion Creek in Dripping Springs was this wonderful property. The French Colonial chapel was brought over piece by piece from Vietnam and given new life. When we were looking at pictures of the property we came across a quote from the owner Mr. Whit Hanks that sealed the deal; "Camp Lucy was created to celebrate life, family, and new beginnings, whether it's a repurposed Amish barn originally built in the early 19th century or a French Colonial chapel from the other side of the world, giving new life and a new purpose to old buildings embodies that spirit."

We incorporated the beautiful trees on the property into our save the dates, invitations, and programs. We found on Etsy, tree stump personalized magnets that had our initials carved into it. We put those into bags that had some of our favorite quotes from the book shredded into thin slivers of paper. For our invitations we used an image of a tree and the image of our initials carved into the tree trunk. We created programs that would help guide our guests through the ceremony.

We decided to put together our own service after meeting with Chris' lifelong pastor. Chris grew up in a Lutheran church and I grew up in a Episcopal church. I've always loved the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer, and when we met with pastor he felt comfortable enough with us to let us construct the service how we wanted. As our guest arrived, they were greeted by an old mantel that Chris converted into a chalkboard. On the chalkboard were the names of our wedding party. Everyone was included even our precious golden retriever Brodie who served as our ringbearer. We were married in the French colonial chapel under a arch of grapevine with flowers suspend above us as we said our vows. It was magical.

Our reception was in the old Amish barn on the property. All of our centerpieces were objects we had found that you would see in a garden. Our amazing florist gave life to these curious finds creating beautiful floral displays in each of the pieces. We wanted each centerpiece to look as though you could have stumbled upon it in a garden. On one side of the barn we had a live magnolia tree surrounded by moss and flowers. The tree is now planted in our front yard as a constant reminder of that day. Nested among it was a basket with our favors for our guests. Our favors were little bird seed hearts you could hang in your garden. Alongside the magnolia tree was a vintage white iron garden set for our guests to sit and visit. Our guestbook sat on a table that we created from an old wooden door. We used small tree trunks to give the table more of a garden feel. Next to Chris’ Mom’s childhood copy of The Secret Garden was a puzzle hand carved in the shape of a tree that our guests wrote well wishes on On the opposite side of the gorgeous fireplace was a vintage green steamer trunk that held our gifts. An old iron greenhouse wrapped in ivy sat next to the trunk for our guests to place cards in. Another surprise for our guests was a dessert table filled with family recipes and treats from both of our families. We tried to create a whimsical atmosphere full of enchantment while we celebrated two families becoming one.

Photography: Al Gawlik Photography / Event Coordination: Country Sugar / Flowers: Casa Linda Floral / Event Design: The bride / Ceremony + Reception Location: Camp Lucy / Shoes: BHLDN / Catering: Primizie Austin / String Quartet: Divisi Strings / DJ: Altared Weddings / Cake: Classic Cakes by Lori / Rentals: Marquee Rents & Mancino Iron / Makeup: The Retreat, Lori Goode