I am truly delighted to be sharing Ali and Austin’s wedding with y’all today! Not only are the pictures from their Texas wedding so beautiful and full of joy, their story–from both of their perspectives!–is also the absolute sweetest. From a first date “adventure” to a proposal that, yes, made me cry at my desk, to a wedding full of meaningful music and details, these Baylor sweethearts captured my heart. I hope their love brightens your day as much as it has mine!
Hugs to Jennefer Wilson for sharing Ali and Austin’s wedding with us!
I had the opportunity to go dress shopping with my mom, Sally, my little sister and one of the maids of honor, Emma. We began the day at The Blushing Bride, which is a boutique in my hometown of Frisco, TX. Right away, I noticed a beautiful, natural-waist dress with bits of lace detailing and absolutely fell in love with it! I asked to try it on first and was head over heels for it once I put it on! Both my mom and I cried when I showed it off! For the sake of getting perspective, I did try on more dresses at the Blushing Bride and went to one more boutique in Dallas later that day. However, while other dresses were beautifully made and very flattering, I couldn’t get dress #1 out of my head! I think that the important part about choosing a wedding dress is finding one that makes you feel radiant from any camera angle, that reflects your personal style, and that you feel comfortable eating and dancing the night away in!
Describe your wedding flowers. When gathering ideas on Pinterest, I was drawn to pictures of garlands and free-flowing arrangements. I wanted the bouquets to look organic and effortless–like they were picked from a beautiful garden. I also wanted to create a kind of arbor effect inside the Chapel at Chestnut Square with large arrangements that drew the guests’ eyes to the altar. All of the things on my wish list were masterfully created by Ashley Kirk of Ashlilium! The bridesmaid bouquets were whimsical and full of different types and textures of lavender, white, and soft pink flowers. Each was wrapped in soft gray velvet. My bouquet was a beautiful combination of large blooms and delicate accents. I was touched by the way that Ashley incorporated the handkerchief my mother-in-law had carried on her wedding day by wrapping it with the velvet around the base of the bouquet!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we decided to do a first look and we believe it was an excellent decision! I was anxious to see Austin and to have precious moments with him before the big day really got going! The photographs that were taken during the first look are some of my favorites and are proudly displayed on the walls of our new little house! Doing the first look before the ceremony also allowed Austin and me to be the first people to arrive at the reception. This gave us the chance to check out how everything we had been planning had come together! We also decided to do a receiving line as guests entered the reception. This was one of our FAVORITE decisions because we were able to greet and thank each one of our guests! It was important for us to communicate how much it meant to us that all of our friends and family were able to be a part of our big day! Brides will tell you that waiting to talk with people during dinner or dancing is a challenge. Because of the receiving line, we were able to sit down and enjoy our delicious dinner and have a blast on the dance floor knowing that we had already spoken to everyone!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? While preparing for the wedding, I was touched by a prayer for marriage that I found in the Common Book of Prayer. I asked Austin’s uncle, Ruben, who was officiating, to include it in some capacity during our ceremony. He included the sentiments in a personal prayer he had been preparing. “Make their life together a sign of love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.”
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of my wedding day was walking down the aisle with my daddy and squeezing his arm tight as we neared the altar. I am blessed with an amazing dad who has always been by my side and supported me through every season of my life. Having him give me away was very meaningful to me because of the closeness my family shares. I remember locking eyes with Austin and feeling my tears turning to a smile full of excitement for our life together! I hope to create a new family with Austin that is as positive, nurturing, and loving as the family that raised me.
We were so blessed by members of our church family, who offered to let us use their stunning 1957 black and white Chevrolet Bel-Air to drive away from the chapel in! We hopped in the car with petals falling and church bells ringing! It was such a fun exit!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married in a historic little white chapel commonly found in farming towns around Texas. We incorporated monograms on getting-ready robes, the cake, and in other reception details. Mason jars were used for drinks at the reception, as well as vases for flowers. We served Southern comfort foods at our reception and BBQ at the rehearsal dinner. Austin chose homemade apple pie as a groom’s cake. My house party was made up of two of my dear friends, Chelsea Cunningham and Bonner Briggs, who did a wonderful job of welcoming guests as they passed out programs and handed out muslin bags filled with lavender for our exit!
Austin and I had so much fun choosing the flavors of our wedding cake! We decided on white wedding, amaretto, and red velvet and each layer was delicious! Lace details from my dress were incorporated into the design of the cake. The bottom layer was ruffled with lace at the base, the next two layers were shades of lavender that gradually became lighter, the next layer incorporated more of the lace details, and the top layer highlighted a monogram that we had used on our invitations, which was encircled with a garland. For his groom’s cake, Austin chose to have apple pies made. Sonya Jacobs, wife of Warren, who performed the ceremony music, made all of the yummy apple pies and even put a little letter A on top of each of them!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ali’s version: On the first Tuesday of spring semester during my sophomore year at Baylor University, I took my seat in American Educational Thought a few rows behind a tall, dark-haired freshman, whom I quickly judged to be obnoxious. To my credit though, my opinion of Austin changed as the semester went on and I noted his intelligence, sense of humor, and passion for people with special needs. I distinctly remember the day that I considered Austin more than just a boy in my class. I was walking to my Children’s Literature class and passed Austin, who was reading on one of the campus’ swinging benches. As I approached the bench, Austin set aside his book to say hello. We made small talk about the classes we were headed to and parted ways. I knew Austin was a really friendly guy and I did not imagine that our quick conversation had made any lasting impact on him. My class that day ended early, and since it was a beautiful, sunny day, I decided to eat my lunch outside. I sat on the small stone wall and entertained myself by people watching, until I heard my full name called out from across the street. I then watched Austin wave enthusiastically, dismiss a group of his friends, and drag a friend across 5th Street to see me. After meeting his friend, I was told that I was quite a lucky girl to have Austin Amaro come over to talk to me and that Austin knew just about everyone on campus. I remember laughing as Austin teased his friend about embarrassing him, but I also thought I saw him blush. Once my classes were done for the day, I went home and immediately talked to Kylie Rhodes, my best friend and roommate at the time, about what had happened that day. We decided to “creep” him online so that she could see what Austin looked like. When we couldn’t find him on Facebook, Kylie and I resorted to looking Austin up on the Baylor directory and finding his school ID picture. Kylie then informed me that she had been told by a mutual friend that Austin had been interested in being set up on a date with me all semester and that he was “in love” with me. I recall my face burning as I blushed, but also feeling excited about his interest in me. After class that next week, Austin asked to walk me to my car and invited me on an “adventure.” We have been on an incredible adventure ever since! Austin’s version: The spring of my freshmen year, I somehow registered for a sophomore-level education class called American Educational Thought. On the first day of class, I was struck by a tall, beautiful blonde that walked through the door. I anxiously waited to see where this beauty would sit. Unfortunately, she sat behind my right shoulder, which meant I had to completely turn my body just to strike up a conversation. I did not let this deter my pursuit. A friendship developed and by April, I had mustered up enough confidence to ask her on a date. On April 20th, 2010, I walked Ali to her car at the business school parking garage, and asked her if she wanted to go on an “adventure” with me that weekend. I have no idea as to why I asked her on an “adventure” as opposed to a date, but now I had to live up to it. We exchanged numbers and walked away. As I headed through the business school lobby on my way back to Penland, I began high-fiving those around me and throwing my hands in the air with excitement. Little did I know that Ali was watching through the parking garage staircase and had seen me jump around with excitement and high-five random people. On April 24th, 2010, Ali and I went on our first date, and apparently it went really well. The spring semester ended with me receiving a C in American Educational Thought, and Ali receiving an A. Apparently, turning my shoulder all semester had not been good for my grades. I may have not gotten a good grade in the class, but I did get my best friend and my future wife.
Tell us all about the proposal! Our special date began with Austin taking me to Waco Hall to watch The Nutcracker performed by the Waco Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Ballet Company. It was very sweet and thoughtful of him to take me to The Nutcracker, because that has been one of my family traditions since I was a little girl. After the ballet, we went to the store to decide on some wine to take to dinner at Baris, which is one of our favorite Italian restaurants. We made a quick stop at Katie’s Custard to share a “Dirt and Worms,” which is my favorite ice cream treat, before driving down Austin Avenue to look at Christmas lights. Austin Avenue is one of the streets in Waco that Austin and I love to drive down to look at the beautiful old houses. It was also something we did on our very first dates. Austin Avenue led us straight downtown to a beautiful fountain next to Waco City Hall which had the Waco W lit up in Christmas lights. When we reached this location, Austin parked the car and asked if I wanted to walk around for a bit. He took my hand and walked around the fountain with me to a spot that had lights and candles already set up. At this point, Austin turned to face me and I heard our song, “Your Hand In Mine” by Explosions in the Sky, begin to play in the background. He somehow got me to stop looking at him and look up at the ALICO building, a Waco landmark, and it was then that I noticed that the C and the O had been turned off so my name was lit up for the whole city to see!!! He shared that it was no coincidence that we drove down Austin Avenue, that ALI was shining in the sky, and that we were in the same class together years ago. He quoted scripture, spoke incredibly kind words over me, and then knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him! After I said YES, our friends and family were in town to celebrate our engagement with us! The entire night was incredible!
When did y’all get married? July 6, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I asked Warren Jacobs, the incredible worship pastor from my home church, Preston Trail Community Church, to perform during our sweet ceremony. We decided that the songs I had chosen would really sound beautiful if two guitars and a violin were used. Explosions in the Sky’s song “Your Hand in Mine” has always been meaningful to Austin and me. We listened to it on one of our first dates and Austin had it playing while he proposed! Warren was able to adapt the song so that the music built as each of the bridesmaids walked down the aisle and came to a climax when the doors opened for my entrance. Austin and I chose to take communion while Warren and Becca, my sister and one of the maids of honor, sang “Your Glory” by All Sons and Daughters. We chose this song because it spoke so clearly to the purpose of communion and marriage. We are first and foremost committed to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is through this relationship that our marriage is strengthened and can have a lasting impact on the people around us. We left the chapel on a happy note with “You Always Make Me Smile” by Kyle Andrews. Our band, Identity Theft, performed all of the special songs at our reception. Travis, Austin’s brother and best man, suggested the song “Feet Don’t Touch the Ground” by Stoney LaRue as a possibility for our first dance. We loved that the song communicated how different life was once we found one another and that now we can’t imagine life apart! My dad and I danced to “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle because when I was little, that is the song I always pretended to dance with him to. Austin and his mom danced to “My Wish For You” by Rascal Flatts, because it communicated her love for him and her great hope for our future! The last song that we danced to was “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake, because it ended the night on a fun, energetic note, while also being sentimental!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and old was the handkerchief from my mother-in-law. My something blue was the bow on my garter and the bows on my bustle. My news were my dress and Kate Spade earrings. I also carried a lucky penny in my shoe throughout the ceremony and reception thanks to my bridesmaid, Kendal Miller!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I have told everyone I know about how much I LOVED our photographer Jennefer Wilson. I walked away from our initial meeting telling Austin how much I wanted to be real life friends with her and her sweet husband Michael! Jennefer was so much fun to work with because she was easygoing, genuine, and incredibly talented! She was always willing to talk things through with me and even met me an extra time before the big day to walk through each location! She was also the one to draw up the final schedule for our big day which was SO beyond the call of duty, but was such a blessing to me! I can’t say enough nice things about this girl. She is wonderful and we were so happy to have her as a part of our wedding!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just do you! If your wedding is a reflection of you and the relationship that you have with your future spouse, then it will be beautiful and enjoyed by all! My mom was great about reminding me throughout the process that at the end of the day, you are married, and the marriage is what matters! Don’t get caught up in the details! But, if you do need help with the details, throw a craft night! My mom and I invited friends over, turned on some fun music, served snacks and punch, and set up stations of the remaining wedding crafts for them to help us with. We had so much fun socializing and checking crafts off our list!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are currently living in San Antonio and have both found jobs teaching in the area! Austin will be teaching Special Education in Alamo Heights ISD. He will be focusing on life skills with students who have graduated from high school and helping to prepare them for life after school! I will be teaching Kindergarten in Northside ISD! We are most looking forward to having the opportunity to settle into our little house and to spend every day learning more about each other!
Photographer: Jennefer Wilson | Videographer: Jerod Chambers | Ceremony Venue: The Chapel at Chestnut Square | Reception Venue: The Flour Mill | Florist: Ashley Kirk | Wedding Cake Baker: Shannon Star from Layered Bake Shop | Pie Baker: Sonya Jacobs | Caterer: McKinney Catering Company | Band: Identity Theft | Bride’s Gown: “Deidre” by Lis Simon | Paper Products: Love vs. Design | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Kate Spade | Hair Stylist: Montanna Wilson | Makeup Artist: Denise Basden | Bride’s Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 320” by Bill Levkoff | Men’s Vera Wang Attire: Men’s Wearhouse