Finding a venue can be a challenging part of wedding planning (at least, it was for both me and Emily!), but for today’s couple, the decision was one of the simplest they made. From the sweeping lake views to the dramatic architecture, it’s easy to see why Katie and Ben fell head over heels in love with Villa del Lago–it was the perfect setting for their romantic, elegant, outdoor wedding. With the help of the prettiest blush florals and a touch of sparkle, the talented gals at Keely Thorne Events brought Katie’s wedding day vision to life!
Thank you kindly to Akil Bennett for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!
Tell us all about the proposal! I kind of knew it was coming when he told me, “Don’t plan anything for this weekend because I’m taking you on a special trip to the W in Austin…” He found out through the grapevine that I knew it was happening that weekend, so he decided to surprise me at his house before we left instead. I showed up with my bags packed. He was in the front entryway on one knee with roses strewn all over the floor, and he said, “Kathryn Leigh Sheen, will you marry me?”
My bridesmaid and wedding planner, Emily Moise, did a wedding at Villa del Lago and showed me pictures from the event. After I saw the pictures, I never even looked at any other venues. It was the first and only venue I looked at and I knew immediately it was exactly what I wanted. With a gorgeous pavilion, a perfectly cut lawn, a waterfall, and a ceremony site that overlooked Lake Travis and the Hill Country, it felt like a dream.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, I wanted him to be surprised. As the ceremony began, he turned around and faced the water. When I came down the aisle, he turned around and saw me for the first time. I couldn’t stop smiling and he was tearing up.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had beautiful music for the ceremony. We hired Hill Country Strings and they were amazing–they played the harp, guitar, and violin. I especially loved the song I walked down the aisle to: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” That was one of my favorite moments of the day.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we really liked the traditional vows.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ben and I read surprise poems for each other. We each picked a poem that reminded us of one another. I choose “Sonnet XVII” by Pablo Neruda for Ben and he choose “These I Can Promise” by Mark Twain. It was really special to finally hear what his poem for me was.
A few of my favorite things I remember that made the day more perfect were my gorgeous bouquet, fried macaroni cheese appetizers, the rose-decorated cake, my father’s speech, our first dances, our final dance, and our heart-shaped sparkler grand exit. It was everything I had hoped for and more. All of the planning my amazing wedding planners and I had done really paid off. Of course, none of it would have mattered if I hadn’t had the perfect guy to say “I do” to, but luckily, I did.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The outdoor setting, wooden benches and table, and lanterns added a Southern feel to our wedding. Fried macaroni and cheese appetizers were pretty Southern too! Our band also played a lot of country music, and our first dance was to a Southern song, “Feet Don’t Touch the Ground,” by Stoney Larue.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to high school together and knew of each other. He was a few years older, and we hung out with a similar crowd, but our paths never crossed much. It wasn’t until after college that we met again. I went up to him at a bar and started chatting away. When he asked for my number, I was so nervous that I ignored him and changed the subject. He messaged me on Facebook a few days later. We went on our first date the following weekend, and after that date, I knew he was the one, despite the fact that he took me to see Borat.
When did y’all get married? October 5, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 190
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to Brickhouse Bridal in The Woodlands with my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law. They each picked a dress that they wanted me to try on and I wound up choosing the first one I tried. I especially loved my veil–the lace on it matched the lace on the dress perfectly.
Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers had a very soft, romantic feel. I wanted muted colors like white, ivory, blush, and champagne. My bouquet had hydrangea, majolica spray roses, ivory ranunculus, gardenias, champagne vendela roses, and blush Keira garden roses. The stems were exposed and wrapped in ivory satin ribbon and topped with pearl beads. The bridesmaids carried spray roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, dahlias, and Juliet garden roses wrapped in ivory satin ribbon. The groom and groomsmen wore ivory ranunculus, accented with ivory snowberry and wrapped in natural woven ribbon. The reception flowers were similar, and we also chose to include a lot of candles, lanterns, and mercury glass accents.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money in our floral bill because the wedding venue was so naturally beautiful that we didn’t need an excessive amount of flowers. Our wedding planner, Emily Moise, also advised me on where and when to cut costs. She was really good at telling me where I needed to spend a lot and where I should save.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Keely Thorne Events wedding planners, Emily Moise and Sydney Mafrige. They made sure everything went perfectly! Our photographer, Akil Bennett, was amazing too. He not only did an excellent job at our wedding, but also on our engagement and bridal portraits. Ben liked him a lot. He made our engagement photos so easy and relaxing–nothing was forced or awkward.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Get a wedding planner!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are expecting our first child this June. It’s a boy! We can’t wait to meet him!
Photographer: Akil Bennett / Videographer: The Pros Wedding Videography / Planner: Emily Moise of Keely Thorne Events / Venue: Villa del Lago / Florist: Merveille / Cake Baker: Simon Lee Bakery / Catering: Pink Avocado Catering / Rentals: Premiere Party Central / Lighting: Illios Lighting / Band or DJ: The Grooves / Bride’s Gown: Enzoani / Bridal Salon: Brickhouse Bridal / Alterations: Beautiful U / Hair and Makeup: Nicki from The Perfect Face / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Groom’s Attire: Tom James / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank