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 (jovani.com) / 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