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It wasn’t until this summer while foraging around at our team retreat that I learned I might be a “flower person” after all. With that in mind, I couldn’t stop staring at Ruthie and Tyler’s stunning blooms by Gypsy Floral! These botanic beauties brought fabulous pops of color to their wedding day and provided a sweet way to remember Ruthie’s grandfather, “Poppy”–she carried poppy pods in her bouquet as a tribute to him. I also can’t help but chuckle that Tyler and his groomsmen walked into the ceremony to “Another One Bites the Dust!” BDK would have thought that was funnier than an electric switch in a candle factory!

Thanks to Sara & Rocky for sharing R and T’s big day with us!

We were lucky to work with the incredibly talented Sunni and Emily from Gypsy Floral. From the moment I first talked with them on the phone, I trusted them with the vision I had for our wedding. Flowers were very important to me, as my grandfather, “Poppy,” opened arboretums and gardens all over the country. I wanted lots of colors and the feel of the Hill Country. Sunni and Emily delivered with beautifully saturated blooms and exquisite arrangements. In my bouquet, I carried poppy pods in remembrance of my grandfather.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Tyler and I decided to do a first look, and we are so happy we did! Not only did it give us a chance to see each other before the ceremony, which helped calm my nerves, it also gave us the opportunity to get our amazing photos taken so that we could be fully present to enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with our closest friends and family. It was such a special moment when I first saw Tyler–it was the perfect culmination of our journey together and the start of our adventure as a married couple.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Tyler is a HUGE music fan and we both love it, so we were very intentional about the songs we picked for our wedding. Our grandparents and parents walked in to “Stand By Me,” which was a nod to how important and instrumental they are in lives and how thankful we are for them. Tyler and his groomsmen walked into the ceremony to “Another One Bites the Dust,” which was such a perfect fit for Tyler’s sense of humor, and made the whole audience laugh. My bridesmaids walked in to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and my dad walked me down the aisle to Canon in D by Pachelbel. I can remember my mom playing both on the piano when I was a child.

Tyler and I designed our entire wedding ceremony with the help of our amazing officiants, who are longtime family friends and trusted advisors. We decided to handpick our vows instead of writing our own. Our favorite part was “I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I will make my home in your heart.”

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was the beautiful gray wrap that I wore throughout the evening, my something blue was the lining of my Toms, my something old was my grandmother’s pearls that all her grandchildren have worn on their wedding day and my something new was the earrings my parents picked out for me.

The details were one of my favorite parts of the wedding to plan. For our ceremony, we hung lanterns on the oak trees and brought our own altar table. Today, those items are in our house and are a sweet reminder of our wedding. We had lawn games and a mariachi band during our cocktail hour, and we also brought in a vintage Airstream trailer that was renovated into a photo booth. Tyler loves shoes, so he designed his and his groomsmen’s shoes.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had lots of out-of-town guests, so we wanted them to really get a feel for the city of Austin and Texas in general. Salt Lick catered our reception so that everyone got a chance to have the best BBQ in the state. Tyler loves bourbon, so it was featured in our signature cocktails.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cakes were made by the amazing folks at Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. It is a small local bakery and we love that it’s so Austin. We had trouble picking just two cakes, so we finally decided on four! My bridal cake was blueberry lemonade with buttercream frosting. Tyler’s groom’s cake was called the James Brown, and was a Valrhona chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream. We also had a cake called the Frida, which a sweet and spicy cinnamon Valrhona chocolate cake topped with coffee liqueur buttercream frosting and cinnamon sugar. Our last cake was a pumpkin spice and apple naked cake with cinnamon frosting.

During our reception, one of Tyler and I’s favorite songs came on. Not many people know it, so we were the only ones on the dance floor, singing and dancing with each other. In that moment, it felt like there was no one else there. We love that we can sing at the top of our lungs together, dance, and jump around like idiots, and have the best time!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Since we lived just down the street from each other my sophomore year of college, we used to see each other at the bus stop, at nearby restaurants, or walking to campus, but it wasn’t until the summer that we were officially introduced. I ran into an old friend from Norway at my apartment complex and was invited to a party later that evening. I rustled up some friends to go with me, and later that night, I saw Tyler from across the room–he had a white Longhorns hat on! Tyler introduced himself, and after running into each other a couple of times more on campus, he got my number and asked me out on a date.
Tell us all about the proposal! On July 12, Tyler told me we had reservations to get drinks at the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff–it’s the most Austin-esque place in Dallas. We had both stayed there one summer when we were working in Dallas and Fort Worth, and while in the pool, we had found a fish pool toy that I still carry in my car to this day. We arrived early for our reservation, so Tyler suggested that we go check out the pool and maybe dip our feet in. As we got closer to the pool, I started noticing the flowers, the set-up, and that fish pool toy we had found, and I suddenly dropped my purse on the grass. Tyler got on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised, I couldn’t really talk, so Tyler told me I couldn’t have the ring unless I said yes! I finally said “Of course!” After many hugs and kisses (and photos!), we finally made their way to the bar to grab that drink reservation! As we walked into the bar, my mouth dropped open as I saw my baby sister, Amy, luckily in town from China, along with some of our favorite friends and family waiting to celebrate. It was the perfect start to a weekend full of fun!
When did y’all get married? November 1, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Both Tyler and I changed jobs within months of our wedding, and trying to balance our careers while planning an out-of-town wedding was definitely an experiment in juggling priorities. Luckily, we were recommended a fantastic wedding planner, Meaghan with Sweet Pea Events, who was able to step in and orchestrate the plans we had made up to that point, help us think through anything we missed, and make sure the day went smoothly.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be thankful. It’s not often that you have almost all of the people you love in the same place to celebrate your journey with your favorite person. So stop, breathe, take it all in, and be thankful for all the love you’re surrounded by.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Tyler and I are both excited about finding a house with a porch, fireplace, and yard (for our two huge puppies!). We are looking forward to traveling both in the US and around the world. We can’t wait for more adventures outside and more great music shows!

Photographer: Sara and Rocky Photography / Planner: Meaghan Cody of Sweet Pea Events / Venue: The Vineyards at Chappell Lodge / Florist: Gypsy Floral / Wedding Cakes: Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop / Caterer: Salt Lick BBQ / Rentals: Marquee Event Group / Band: The Nightowls / Calligraphy: Natalie Grace Calligraphy Co. / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Bride’s Veil: “Kate” Veil by Nina / Hair and Makeup: Lola Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Wild Beet by J. Crew / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Photo Booth: Airstream Photo Booth / Mariachi Band: Mariachi Jalisco / Ceremony Musicians: Terra Vista Strings

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    STOP IT! This wedding is beautiful. The colors of the bridesmaid dresses and the flower arrangements, swoon! Love everything little thing about this, beautiful!

  2. avatar Ruthie + Tyler | sara & rocky reply

    […] Ruthie and Tyler are precious, and they are SO FUN. I don’t know another couple that laughs as much or cares so deeply about others as they do. Their wedding in Austin was incredible – the weather was unbelievable, the team of vendors was absolutely perfect, and their friends and family were CRAZY ridiculous. HUGE thank you today to Southern Weddings for the feature, we are always so grateful to those ladies! This team included: Sweet Pea Events, Gypsy Floral, Natalie Grace Calligraphy, The Vineyards at Chappell Lodge, Sugar Mama’s Bake Shop, and many more. Check out their Southern Weddings feature here.  […]

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So pretty! Love the flowers and her dress!

  4. avatar Tyler reply

    One of our favorite parts was the wedding rap our friend Marcus Perkins wrote and performed for us:

  5. avatar Bonnie & Lauren reply

    Those reds! Beautiful celebration and beautiful photos.

  6. avatar Classic Wedding Invitations reply

    Love the colour in this!

  7. avatar Rahul Jindal reply

    Well, these are really very beautiful wedding pictures, showing the real love and traditions.

  8. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The oak trees make for a beautiful wedding location! Love the bright groomsmen socks and the thoughtful family details like the poppy and grandmother’s pearls.

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I can’t help but smile every time I see Jamie and Blake’s wedding in V6! Jamie, a University of Texas alum (like me!), and Blake bought their gorgeous house shortly before choosing a venue, and with just four months to plan their wedding, they decided to open their own doors to the 230 loved ones who joined them–the ultimate in Southern hospitality. This was no small feat, but with the help of Mary Beth Events, their wedding became a true celebration of their relationship and their love for the city of Austin. I always tell people that Austin is so easy to love, and likewise, it’s easy to love Jamie and Blake’s fabulously fun, lively wedding!

We’re so grateful to Cameron & Kelly Studio for sharing Jamie and Blake’s wedding with us!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in 2011 at a little start-up called Facebook, where we both work. Ever heard of it? Our relationship actually started when I sent Blake a friend request (which he accepted in 2.2 seconds), even though we had never officially met. Blake was much more senior at the company and all of the girls had crushes on him. A few months later, we were both in NYC for a company event and I swear Blake followed me to get coffee so that he could say hello. And so the fairy tale began, with every weekend spent traveling between Austin and Westport, CT, where Blake was living at the time. Ten months later, Blake, along with his son Spencer, proposed in NYC at the Gramercy Park Hotel over Christmas. Not surprisingly, everyone’s Facebook news feeds were literally flooded with the news and pictures.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was actually fairly easy for me. My mom and I always thought we would find my dress in NY, but I was quite impressed with selection in Dallas and Houston. I ultimately purchased my dress from the original Neiman Marcus store in Dallas. Neiman Marcus is a client of mine at Facebook, so the decision to purchase there was an easy one. I did have to do an eight-week rush on my dress, and it arrived one week before the wedding. It was perfect though.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? The ceremony was very intimate, and one of our favorite parts of the weekend. A Facebook colleague and friend of ours, Kirsten Neville Manning, co-officiated the ceremony with Tarrytown pastor, Margot Perez-Greene, and was absolutely brilliant. It was very personal, heartwarming, and hysterical at times. Blake’s son, Spencer, walked me down the aisle and stood at the front as the ceremony took place.

I always knew that I wanted to get married in Austin, but finding a venue with less than year lead time is pretty impossible. When I called places in December 2012, they were not available until 2014! We had just purchased a new home in Austin that we are totally in love with, so it made sense to build a platform and put up tents and have everyone at our home. It was much more intimate and we could plan the wedding exactly the way we wanted to.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We had a ceremony with just our close family, so the cocktail hour was truly the start of our celebration. We arrived at our wedding reception greeted by all our wedding guests welcoming us in front of our home. It was incredible to see all our family and friends at our home at one time! The cocktail hour was hosted in the courtyard and featured passed appetizers, a signature cocktail (a Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita), pink mini-bottles of champagne, and a variety of cocktails. The passed appetizers included shrimp creamy cheese grits, shrimp scampi, red-eye gravy served in mini mason jars, beef tenderloin canapé with speck aioli, port gastrique, and sweet corn fritters with chipotle honey

What was the design inspiration for your reception? I love the contrast of fun and lively colors with pops of bright white. Mary Beth Events designed the decor around a gorgeous bright pink and orange ikat fabric, which was beautiful and fun at the same time.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? There were two things. One was timing. We didn’t want a long engagement, which made it challenging with some timelines/vendors. We had four months to plan a big party! In the end, it was plenty of time, but we definitely had moments of panic because some things seemed so last minute! Second was logistics/space at our house. Our backyard is on the small side and we have a pool. We chose to put tables out there for the cocktail hour. The side lawn is huge, but uneven, so we ended up having a 13-feet tall floor/platform built in so that we could use the entire yard. No one knew they were dancing 13 feet in the air!

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. I wanted to have a non-traditional take on desserts, so we opted for a dessert station that we called Ellie Mae’s Sweet Shop, in honor of our beloved maltipoo. Mary Beth Events created a gorgeous dessert station featuring a variety of delicious desserts that came from all around Texas—french macarons, brownie pops, Tiny Pies, pie pops, fabulously decorated cakes in a variety of flavors, lemon bars, mini cupcakes, caramel and chocolate popcorn, chocolate covered almonds and decorated sugar cookies, just to name a few! It was amazing!

What was your reception like? We wanted our reception to include elements of our personality and things we love, including Texas, Austin’s independent spirit, great music and lively dancing, the natural beauty of Austin’s landscape, and delicious drinks and cuisine. Since I’m a Southern girl from a big football school, I surprised the guests with a full cheer, featuring The University of Texas Cheerleaders (my alma mater) and me. We had a vintage airstream photo booth for guests to capture their memories from the evening. The Maxx played all night in the Boom Boom Room, a secret tent created by Mary Beth Events. We loved being outdoors on a beautiful Austin spring evening, and a clear-top tent allowed guests to celebrate under the stars. A Southwestern margarita was our signature drink. Guests also loved our Southwestern comfort food, especially our mac and cheese bar. Mary Beth Events seamlessly blended outdoor and indoor environments with a clear-top tent for dining and a draped tent for dancing. The reception featured various areas for seating and incorporated bright pink, orange and white colors.

We spent our wedding night at our house, but knew that we would have to leave so that our guests wouldn’t stay all night! Our guests lined our sidewalk with sparklers in hand as we raced to our pedicab and drove away carrying a large Ropollo’s pizza. We hung out around the corner eating pizza on the bike until the house was clear!

Describe the proposal: From Blake: It was during our “Christmas wish” weekend in NYC, where Jamie, my son Spencer and I each got a wish to do something. At the Gramercy Park Hotel, Spencer came up to me before dinner, after I had chickened out at the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, and told me it was time. He orchestrated the whole moment, including how I would drop my napkin to get on my knee in the restaurant.
How many guests attended your wedding? 230 people attended the reception. We could only fit 90 people into the Chapel for the ceremony portion.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: There are so many details that I loved, but my favorites were either the hot pink bottles of Pommery Pop Rose that we passed to our guests as they arrived, or Ropollo’s, the late-night food truck that served pizza to our guests. It’s a 2 a.m. staple on 6th Street in Austin and brought everyone back to our college days. I loved that we chose to do a hashtag (#chandleepartyof2) that was printed on napkins and various signage. Now we have over 100 pictures that we can search on Instagram.
Describe your wedding flowers: They were romantic and whimsical florals consisting of peonies, roses, orchids, hydrangea, snapdragons, ranunculus, and stock in a bright spring palette of oranges, hot pinks, corals and pops of lime green.
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? I had a bridal brunch with all of my girlfriends and family that my aunts hosted at Z’Tejas. Since I didn’t have bridesmaids, it was nice to be able to spend the morning of my wedding with all of my closest friends. Blake hosted a large group at Abel’s on the Lake, one of our favorite restaurants, that sits on Lake Austin! Our wedding was the same weekend as the Masters, so we didn’t have to do too much entertaining during the day.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My girlfriends from college and I have a white lace handkerchief that we pass down as each person gets married. It’s monogrammed with our names and wedding dates, and each girl carries it around her bouquet. Such a sweet tradition!
What kind of food did you serve? Our menu, coordinated by Mary Beth Events and created by Pink Avocado in Austin, featured delicious, Southwestern-style comfort food, including a build-your-own stuffed avocadoes station, a gourmet mac and cheese bar, and a beef tenderloin bar.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We originally wanted our first dance to be “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie, and we actually tried our best to have him at the wedding as a surprise for our guests. It ultimately didn’t work out and we opted for a song that our band knew, rather than playing one on our iPod. “Stand by Me” ended up being the winner.
What was the funniest moment? The funniest moment was that someone did a cannonball into our pool. Sadly, we missed it, but we were able to see pictures from those that caught the moment!
What was Southern about your wedding? We know a good Southern home is one that is open and inviting. We loved welcoming our friends and family to celebrate with us in our home.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? Yes! We spent a couple of days in Dubai and stayed at the Burj al Arab. We were able to go on a desert safari and even had time for a little shopping in the gold souk. We then hopped on over to the Four Seasons Maldives where we spent nine days in total paradise. The flight home was a little rough. 30 hours—ouch!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Starting a family and settling into our home in Austin, although we split our time between there and NYC. We have exciting trips to look forward to over the next months, as traveling is one of our favorite things to do together.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. If those custom cocktail napkins don’t turn out perfectly, is it really going to matter? Make sure you trust your wedding planner, and have a great photographer and florist, as well as good food, booze and entertainment. The small stuff is just icing on the cake!

Photographer: Cameron & Kelly Studio / Planning, paper, lounge furniture, lighting and linens: Mary Beth Burrow of Mary Beth Events / Ceremony venue: Tarrytown United Methodist Church / Reception venue: private residence / Florist: Posey Floral and Event Design / Caterer: Pink Avocado Catering / Cake and desserts: 3 Brothers Bakery / Bride’s gown: “Amaranth” by Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s veil: Toni Federici / Bride’s ceremony shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bride’s reception dress: Jovani ( / Bride’s reception shoes: Yves Saint Laurent / Hair and makeup: Miss Z / Rentals: Swift Events / Tent: Aztec Party Rentals / Band: The Maxx / DJ: El John Selector / Photo booth: Airstream Photo Booth / Getaway car: Capital Pedicab / Pizza truck: Roppolo’s Pizzeria

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Cameron Clark | Cameron & Kelly Studio reply

    It was an absolute delight to work with Jamie & Blake and photograph their true love and special day. Pie pops in the shape of Texas? Yes, ma’am. Mary Beth Events and Posey Floral outdid themselves this time.

  2. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    Oh wow! This wedding is simply stunning from beginning to end! I absolutely love the fun color scheme. Stunning!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I adore their cake wall and Texas pie pops! Very good looking sweets at this wedding :)

  4. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies reply

    Gorgeous wedding! Each and every details looks just so pretty! Loved the pretty bright pink used for the decor and also the floral details looks so beautiful.

  5. avatar Surprise Engagement Session by Love, The Nelsons and Hey Gorgeous – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

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  6. avatar Jamie and Blake AustinTexas Backyard wedding-Austin Wedding Photographer-Cameron & Kelly Studio reply

    […] this wedding with you. It was accepted as a feature in Southern Weddings Magazine V6 and also on their blog This couple could not have been easier to work with! They just wanted to have a fun wedding day and […]

  7. avatar colorful bouquet @ wish-upon-a-weddingwish-upon-a-wedding reply

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  8. avatar Happy Valentines Day, xoxo Everthine – Everthine Bridal Boutique – a bridal shop serving Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Boston, and Beyond reply

    […] by Tim Gibson via Oh Happy Day  *Mini champagne bottles image by Cameron & Kelly Studio via Southern Weddings *Heart wall decals available via Darling Clementine *Pink and red centerpieces image by Lauren Ross […]

  9. avatar TX wedding musician reply

    What a great couple and wedding party. Looks like everyone had a blast. And spectacular reception decorations!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Though wedding films generally put a smile on my face, Shirley + Lijay’s big day in Austin, Texas, was one that truly reflected their fun-loving personalities and chemistry together. Though a storm was headed straight for the city, their ceremony was all sunshine, making their vows even more special and showing us how adorable these two are together and how excited they are to start their married life! Sending big hugs to Vanessa McKellar for sending this our way!

From the bride:

Lijay and I live in San Francisco, but with both sides of our families back in Texas, there was no place more perfect to get married than our college town, Austin, TX. Our friends and family thought we were insane to have an outdoor wedding in Texas in the middle of the summer, but we assured them that we would keep the ceremony short and then everyone can retreat back into the hotel.

The one thing we could not plan for was the Texas thunderstorms. The week leading up to our wedding, temperatures averaged 109 degrees, so we planned to have the ceremony as close to sundown as possible. As we were getting ready, I kept looking out my window to watch the trees and the Texas flag blowing violently from the winds of the coming storm.

Our florists, Petal pushers, called my fiance to let him know that they were going to start moving their arrangements indoors. He said to wait as long as possible before doing so and “whatever you do…don’t tell
Shirley!” Our friends from Houston were calling to tell us that the storm had already blown past them and it was headed straight for Austin! My husband made the gutsy call to keep the ceremony outside and it turned out to be a wonderful ceremony. Once we got through the beautiful, picturesque ceremony, everyone moved inside for the cocktail hour. It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes before it started pouring outside. It was a Texas miracle!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Vanessa McKellar reply

    We love this couple and we loved this wedding- so happy to see it featured!

  2. avatar Georgeann reply

    Wow, this was stunningly well-captured! Beautiful work!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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