We’re convinced at Southern Weddings that we get to share the stories of the absolute sweetest couples in the South, and Caroline and Chase are certainly no exception to that! After their dorm cafeteria meet-cute and a perfectly literature-themed proposal (Caroline is a high school English teacher!), they spent their senior year of college thoughtfully planning for their Heritage Haus wedding and preparing for marriage. Caroline’s advice for brides hit the nail on the head: “We absolutely loved our wedding, but the day was such a crazy blur. Being husband and wife is a forever commitment and blessing, so enjoy the season of engagement, but prepare yourself to be committed ’til death do you part!”
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom, grandma, future mother-in-law, and four of my closest friends spent a Saturday morning in Austin looking for a dress with me! We went to two different stores. At first, I fell in love with a traditional dress that had a full skirt. That evening, I went back through pictures we took of our favorite dresses of the day. I realized the dress I thought I loved didn’t feel very “me,” so I went with a more form-fitting dress that had also caught my eye that day! In order to add some flavor to the dress, I had the designer create off-the-shoulder sleeves that could be removed. I’m so glad they were able to add in this lovely detail!
I absolutely loved our flowers! They definitely exceeded my expectations. I wanted the color palette to be simple–we had greens with white and pink. Everything looked very earthy and ethereal.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We didn’t do a first look. I think our wedding was more traditional overall, so I wanted to keep with that idea. Plus, I’d always envisioned what my husband’s face would look like when he saw me walking down the aisle!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Although we didn’t have a Catholic ceremony, my aunt, who is a nun, spoke after a reading from Ephesians 5 from our pastor. She spoke about the covenant of marriage and the history of my family from Switzerland. She is the kindest, most Jesus-loving woman I have ever met, so it was an absolute honor to have her speak on the best day of our lives! It meant so much to me and my entire family that she made the trip down to Texas and that she was able to speak such truth during our ceremony.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We knew from the start that we didn’t want something with an urban feel. That just didn’t feel like us. We perused venues around Austin and found Heritage Haus. We knew right away that this was the place for us because of the beautiful Hill Country setting, the quaint white chapel, and the stately barn! Not to mention, the lovely owners of Heritage Haus made us feel like family.
We chose a simple white, three-tiered cake adorned with real flowers. The surprise was the strawberry frosting between the layers–when we cut into the cake, you saw a hint of pink! The cake was delicious and just what I wanted! Although we didn’t get to join the cocktail hour, we also had cookies and cupcakes from Polkadots available to our guests. I knew from the start that I wanted to have sweets available to our guests during the cocktail hour! We had sugar cookies in the shapes of Texas with a heart over Austin, longhorns, and cookies with the letter “A” in the center. All of the sugar cookies were white with gold details.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chase and I met in a dorm cafeteria at the University of Texas during our freshman year. We had mutual friends and started having lunch together. He even made his famous gourmet PB&J for me! Although we were fast friends, we didn’t start dating until the beginning of our sophomore year, much to Chase’s chagrin. When I finally confessed that I did indeed want to date him, we both knew we were in it for the long haul. We got engaged our senior year and were married just three weeks after graduation!
Tell us all about the proposal! Chase proposed on November 22, 2014. He asked me to dinner under the ruse of celebrating my recent birthday. We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Austin. As we were eating, the storm of the year ended the drought of 2013-2014 emphatically. We braved the torrential downpour and drove around Austin, slowly making our way to the overlook where Chase had first asked me to be his girlfriend, and where he had first told me he loved me. At our favorite spot in the city, overlooking the Greenbelt, our friends had gone out on the cliff in the rain to set up a tent, candles, and my favorite books. Chase had written a literary scavenger hunt in my journal. Each clue directed me to another page in one of my favorite books, declaring his love for me and telling our story. The last clue directed me to 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” In the margins, Chase had written his proposal.
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we had traditional vows!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was “Green Eyes” by Coldplay. We both love Coldplay, and the song really resonated with me because of Chase’s green eyes, and the line, “Honey, you are a rock upon which I stand.” This line made me think about the ways Chase holds me up and points me to Jesus. My dance with my dad was also extremely special! We danced to Johnny Cash’s “You Are My Sunshine.” My dad used to sing this song to me when I was little, and it is still one of his favorite songs. He didn’t know that we would be dancing to that song, so of course, the tears really started to flow when he realized what song we were dancing to!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many details we loved! Since our wedding was in the Texas Hill Country, the gorgeous summer sunset was the best free detail we could have asked for! The flowers really tied my vision together. We also used floral china plates for dinner, which was a perfectly sweet, feminine detail!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We always knew that we wanted to do some kind of pre-marriage counseling to help prepare us for spending the rest of our lives together. The Austin Stone, our church, has a great pre-marriage counseling service that we signed up for the day after we were engaged. We were matched with a couple from the church who took us through the curriculum, challenging us every step of the way to confront each other and grow together.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We wanted to make sure we did our senior year right by spending as much time with friends as possible, which was sometimes difficult because of wedding planning! Other than that, we were very blessed to have very minimal stress during the whole wedding planning process.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The ceremony was just so sweet. Walking toward my husband, hearing Sister Alice speak, praying with my husband, and walking hand-in-hand with him out of those chapel doors was something I’ll always remember!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Prepare yourself for marriage, not the wedding! We absolutely loved our wedding, but the day was such a crazy blur. Being husband and wife is a forever commitment and blessing, so enjoy the season of engagement, but prepare yourself to be committed ’til death do you part!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Currently, we call Houston, Texas home! I am a ninth grade English teacher and JV soccer coach, and Chase is an engineer with a general contractor. We look forward to continuing to call Houston home, and also are exploring the possibility of doing mission work abroad in the next couple of years.
Photographer: Kristen Kilpatrick | Planner: Natalie Conlon | Venue: Heritage Haus | Florist: Flora Fetish | Cake and Dessert Baker: Polkadots Cupcake Factory | Caterer: Whole Foods | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals and Bee Lavish Vintage Rentals | DJ: Byrne Rock | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Augusta Jones | Bride’s Veil and Hairpiece: BHLDN | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Makenzi Laine | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August and Nouvelle by Amsale | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank