Rustic Elegance in the Hill Country
August 1, 2014
Classic WeddingsRusticRustic Weddings
This is one of those crazy amazing weddings that takes the term "heartwarming" and totally kicks it up a notch, from the bride and groom's adorable story (high school sweethearts reconnected after college) to the carefully thought out details ripe with meaning.  It's a day that is as amazing as it is pretty, and thanks to a talented team of vendors (think Austin CateringPetals, Ink. and Francis Joseph Photography), we can share in all of the beauty.  See it here.
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From the Bride... When Doug proposed with a rose gold engagement ring underneath the 100-year-old oak tree in our backyard, it was sort of implied that we would have an outdoor wedding and I couldn't wait to start planning! As high school sweethearts who reconnected after college, we had known each other since we were kids; we met when I was 15 and he was 17. His brother and best man joked at the wedding that we were lucky to have each other, and luckier still that our crazy parents let us go our on our first date so many years ago! We really wanted our wedding to be uniquely us, and to be a celebration of all the hard times that we have overcome, the joys we have shared and the beautiful unknown that is the future. We made sure to use as many important family members and friends as possible when planning our wedding. My aunt sang and loaned me some jewelry to wear and our close family friend officiated the wedding. We also wanted to make sure we tried to keep all of our vendors local and support small business owners.

Sadly, my dad passed away a few years ago, so we tried to incorporate memories of him into our day as well. I was so lucky to be walked down the aisle by my brother and then to get to dance my father/daughter dance with my adorable grandfather. My dad used to love my mother-in-law's homemade grape jelly, so as a favor my mother-in-law made awesome grape jelly for all the guests to take home.

For our guestbook we had all the guests sign a thick piece of wood. Once we returned home from the honeymoon Doug sealed the board, drilled holes into it, and it is now hanging as a swing beneath the tree where he proposed. We loved this idea and every time we go out in our backyard it is happy reminder of our proposal and our wedding!

After much searching we fell in love with Stonehouse Villa for our ceremony and reception. A design house turned venue, this historic building and grounds had the rustic feel outdoors, complimented by modern decor and touches inside. The event manager, Christina, made our life incredibly easy by allowing us to book quickly and visit a few times to get those details in our heads just right. We even went to far as to use a ceremony site that they had never done before, but it turned out just great!

After picking our venue we set out to find a photographer who shared out vision. We found that in Francis Joseph Photography. His attention to detail and journalistic style was perfect for what we wanted. We also knew he was the one because he braved our request to do our engagements out at the family ranch and he did it with style, grace and a fedora. We were so lucky to have him capture all the candid and emotional photos. We chose to do a first look, because we knew that stress would be high and we both wanted to be as ready as possible to say our vows without totally losing it (we wrote our own vows). I can say that our first look photos might be my favorite of the day, because they are so real. I can just hear the words we were saying even as I flip through the photos many months later.

As for food, there was no question but to go with Austin Catering. The capable and amazing owner is a friend of the family and her attention to detail is impeccable. Kristin brought our tastes together and created a truly amazing menu based on fresh local foods that both Doug and I loved. The guests raved about the quality and taste of the food all night long. But Kristin's expertise doesn't stop there, she was also there to coordinate and tie up all the loose ends. Having Austin Catering there for our food and coordination took away any stress I might have had about our big day. Our cake was very simple and instead of a groom's cake we choose to do cookies instead since Doug isn't a big cake fanatic.

I cannot forget to talk about the amazingly talented Gretchen from Petals, Ink. Based out of her funky South Austin studio I knew instantly that Gretchen was going to be incredible. When she didn't flinch as I rattled off my top requests for flowers (Purple kale, artichokes and succulents) I knew I had found a creative, brave and talented florist. She captured the unique idea we had for non-tradtional flowers while still making sure everything looked elegant and cohesive. Best of all, most of the succulents from the arrangements are growing on the patios of our guests' and our South Austin home.

Keeping with the style of using people near and dear to our hearts, we used Gertie Glam for hair and make up. When she isn't out primping music artists and models, Gertie lives next door to Doug and me! She is a wildly talented makeup artist and hair stylist. Gertie glammed up much of the wedding party, the MOB and myself. She kept us all calm and smiling while making sure we looked beautiful. I still swoon over how perfectly she captured my vision of looking like myself, but just prettied up a notch or two.

As for jewelry, it seemed natural to go with Austin native Kendra Scott for bridesmaid jewels. The bridesmaids were able to choose any dress style in a palate of purples from Dessy Group in Lux Chiffon. The matching green Kendra Scott Danielle earrings helped tie everyone together. The house party wore black dresses with purple Danielle earrings. For my jewels I was so blessed to borrow beautiful rose gold pieces from my aunt who owns a jewelry store, Eartworks in Los Altos, California. (She also sang at our wedding! A talented AND successful lady!)  I wanted to wear the understated, but striking pave rose gold hoops with laser cut diamond drops and the antique looking necklace forever! It was a sad day when I had to send those beauties back.

After our heartfelt ceremony it was time to dance and party all night long. We loved working with our DJ Jonathan from Live Oak DJs. He made sure to play a mix of music that made all the generations present feel comfortable dancing. When it was finally time to leave the party we exited to a row of sparklers into the vehicle that Doug took me on our first date in! He had the truck cleaned and made to run again just for our special exit. It was the best surprise and a great ending to our night.
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