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I firmly believe in love at first sight. I knew the very moment I met BDK that he was the one I wanted to marry, so I can completely understand why Ellen jokingly asked Robert to marry her on the night they met! Though he turned down that “proposal” in lieu of his super sweet one just a few years later, I’m sure Ellen was completely fine with that, especially since Robert included their family in such a momentous occasion. For Ellen and Robert, their family and a sense of community also played an important role in their wedding design, from the rows of estate tables to a total of twenty wedding cakes in three different flavors to encourage sampling and mingling. Ellen and Robert celebrated their wedding day in true Southern fashion, surrounded by those they love!

We’re sure glad Matt & Julie were there to photograph such a lovely day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted: a lace, fit-and-flare gown with delicate sleeves. My mom, sister-in-law, and I went to the original Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas, and my dress happened to be the first I tried on. After trying on a few more, I kept going back to it and knew it was the one. I added a crystal and pearl belt, and had a fingertip-length drop veil made with Alencon lace edging to match my dress. The veil was incredibly important to me, because I have been obsessed with drop veils since Kate Middleton’s wedding. I also had my mother’s wedding dress altered (no more poofy sleeves!) and used it as my getaway dress.

We used garden roses for the bouquets, plus LOTS of greenery. We had three of the prettiest vintage pink and cream ribbons hanging from each bouquet. At the reception, we decided to forgo traditional floral arrangements and put individual garden roses on the 19 cakes that were used as centerpieces. We used garlands made of salal, podocarpus, and eucalyptus greens that extended the lengths of the tables–it looked gorgeous and smelled amazing. Our altar flowers were made up of white hydrangeas and lilies.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Last minute, yes. Robert had originally wanted to wait, but after talking to the photographers, we knew it was the best option and we are so glad we did it. Not only were the photographers able to capture such a sweet moment, it definitely calmed our nerves before and during the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we did not. We had a very traditional Episcopalian ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Given the formality of the church and ceremony, we chose traditional songs played on the church organ. My dad and I walked down the aisle to Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” and we recessed to “Hornpipe” by Handel.

I had always known I wanted to be married at my family’s church, so that was never a question. The reception venue proved to be a little harder, but as soon as we saw it, that decision became easy, too! Robert and I met, dated, got engaged, and bought our first home together in Dallas, so the Downtown/Uptown area is such a big part of our relationship. After researching and visiting several venues, we came across the 42nd floor at Cityplace Tower, which happened to be across the street from our church. We were blown away by the views of city and I loved its urban, lofty vibe. The giant windows let in so much natural light, but without the 100 degree August heat.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cakes were amazing. Instead of getting a bride and groom’s cake, we decided to give every table their own. We chose to make our cake cutting participatory, and we all cut the cakes together. There were eighteen one-tier cakes, plus a two-tiered cake for the wedding party. Heidi from Sugar Bee Sweets did a fantastic job designing the cakes, which incorporated all of our wedding colors: blush, gold, emerald, and mint. We offered three flavors, so people walked around sampling the different varieties, which encouraged mingling.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The long rectangular tables with the gold sequin tablecloths, garland, and cakes looked so beautiful in the room as the sun set. I love the look of rectangular tables, so we used three super-long tables that expanded the length of the room. It created such a grand statement when you walked through the door!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We formally met at the beginning of 2012 at a mutual friend’s birthday party. We had seen each other around prior, but had never actually spoken. At the time, I was living in Spain teaching English and was home for the holidays. I was supposed to go back in March, but that was not meant to be! I didn’t even want to leave the house on that particular night, so I know it was fate when we met. Robert came up to me, introduced himself, and immediately started dancing. I knew there was something different about him, and he said the same about me. I thought he was funny, and jokingly, I even asked him to marry me! We stayed up talking and joking about how our “grandchildren” would laugh that I proposed to him the night we met. We went on our first date the next week, and when I got home that night, I cancelled my flight and wrote down that I had finally met the man I was going to marry!
Tell us all about the proposal! For Robert’s 30th birthday, I had planned a big party on a vintage trolley that would take us and our friends around town while we celebrated. Before the party, Robert and I had a “scooter date”–one of our frequent trips together on his scooter–and went to dinner at our favorite local pizza place. Robert was acting a bit strange, and I was slightly upset because I thought he was mad at me. As soon as we got home, I saw both our families standing in the living room. When I turned around, Robert was on one knee. It was all a blur, but I do remember him saying I was the only thing he wanted for his birthday and for the rest of his life. We then joined our friends on the trolley and celebrated his birthday/our engagement for the rest of the night!
When did y’all get married? August 1, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a special monogram created of our initials printed on our save the dates, invitations, cocktail napkins, cups, and cake boxes! Robert gave his groomsmen monogrammed leather flasks, and they all wore paisley print bow ties! We both had very large wedding parties (eight for me, twelve for him), which I think is definitely more popular in the South.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went to a couples’ weekend at our church, which was extremely beneficial. If your church offers one, I highly recommend it! Each couple was given a mentor couple and ours was such a blessing. They gave us great marriage advice, as well as helped us work through the challenges we had already faced as a couple.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Making sure everything came together! My sister-in-law and I planned the wedding. We have our own event planning business, E+Mc², and our resources were a huge help. At the same time, as the bride, staying calm and not stressing over every detail (while in charge of it all) had its challenges.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Planning a wedding can put stress on your relationship at times, but don’t lose sight of what the day is about. Remember that it is just the beginning of your life together, and that is the most exciting part. Also, have your budget figured out before you buy/decide on ANYTHING!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently living in Louisiana for Robert’s job, so we are concentrating on settling into our new home, making friends, and having fun as a newlyweds! We love to travel and want to take a few extended trips abroad before we start a family.

Photographer: Matt & Julie Weddings / Planner: E+Mc² / Ceremony Venue: Church of the Incarnation / Reception Venue: 42nd Floor Loft at Cityplace Tower / Florist: HEB Blooms / Cake Baker: Sugar Bee Sweets / Caterer: Andrew Ormsby Catering / DJ: Jeff Burris / Special Details: Garland / Paper Products: Studio3eleven / Bride’s Gown: Liancarlo / Veil: Toni Federici / Hair Stylist: Tovah Prue and Savanah King / Makeup Artist: Taylor Frettoloso / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August, Erin Fetherston, and Jill Stuart / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / Flower Girl Dress, Shoes, and Flower Crown: Playful & Posh

Sugar Bee Sweets is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Studio 3 Eleven reply

    Yay! This wedding is beautiful! It was so much fun pressing Ellen’s custom Save the Dates and wedding invitations. She was such a great bride to work with!

  2. avatar Sarah Walters reply

    Where is that gorgeous ring from?!

  3. avatar Elegant Dallas Wedding by Matt & Julie Weddings – Southern Weddings | Salam Alikoum reply

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We’re back with part two of Samantha and Samuel’s beautiful Austin wedding (see part one here)! After the sweet ceremony, guests headed to cocktail hour to check out the margarita bar, and then joined the newly married Sam and Sam for an al fresco dinner under the chandeliers. The perfect end to the night? A killer dance party on the monogrammed dance floor!

Thanks so much to The Nichols and Lovely Little Details for sharing Samantha and Samuel’s special day with us in V7!

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Since I study and work in interior design, the aesthetics of our wedding were really important to me. I grew up following my mother to antique stores and estate sales, so I have had a love of found objects for most of my life. I knew that I wanted a touch of antique design to weave throughout the wedding; however, I wanted to keep the feel romantic and fresh, rather than overly whimsical or rustic. Vintage brass candlesticks, French settees, and whitewash Chiavari chairs helped to bring in this classic feel. We also added a few custom touches that Sam and I brainstormed with the help of our planner, Jacin, like the gray and white painted bars and the gold calligraphy “Cheers” sign behind the main bar. We kept our color palette soft so that it wouldn’t distract from the beauty of the large oak trees covered in string lights and lush green surroundings: blush, gold, champagne, ivory, and soft blue, with pops of coral. The evening was all about taking the beauty of the outdoor landscape and enhancing it, rather than distracting from it.

We were taking photos during the cocktail hour, but we wanted to keep our guests entertained and enjoying the night. We had an open bar as well as a margarita bar, to incorporate one of our favorite drinks! Guests could choose from a variety of margarita combinations, from a blueberry jalapeno margarita to a classic lime margarita garnished with cotton candy! Sam and I also both chose to have a signature cocktail. The Mrs. Sam was a champagne cocktail with St-Germain elderflower liquor. The Mr. Sam was a classic Manhattan.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I loved our setting for dinner. We did a family-style table set up for our guests with long tables, rather than round ones. The florals, place settings, and candlesticks were some of my favorite items to pick out with Jacin, and I was so thrilled with the look we created! I wanted to have the dinner underneath the stars to enjoy the beautiful evening, but at the same time, I thought it would be so romantic to dine under chandeliers. To incorporate both of these elements, we used a tent frame to enclose the dinner tables and to hang the chandeliers from. Leaving the tent frame open allowed guests to look up and see the beautiful night sky. While Sam and I were having our first dance before dinner, I remember glancing up and seeing the gorgeous sky and just soaking in the beauty of the night and that moment.

What was Southern about your wedding? I did a cake pull during my bridesmaids’ brunch! It was so fun to read the girls their fortunes and incorporate this tradition. We also incorporated many Southern touches throughout the wedding, as my family has roots in Texas and Oklahoma. We served mint juleps and a margarita bar, in true Tex-Mex style. We also utilized family heirlooms in the décor–pottery that has been passed down through my mom’s side of the family held florals and decorated the guest book table. We also had a cigar roller during the reception that created cigars for our guests to enjoy.

We wanted to carry the soft, romantic feel of the ceremony and dinner into the reception aesthetic, while also adding a bit more drama. We had our monogram (created by Moya Minns) projected onto the dance floor, and set up three outdoor lounges next to the dance floor that incorporated French settees, tufted ottomans, and throw pillows with our monogram on them.

As we made our way out to our awaiting getaway car, our amazing band, Matchmaker Band, performed a New Orleans-style procession out through the main grand entrance to Green Pastures. The best man and maid of honor led the procession out down the hedge-lined path as our guests waved both Australian and American flags to send us off. As we rode off in our vintage Bentley, we couldn’t believe how amazing a night it was–we felt like the luckiest couple alive.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: You mean beside my wife’s dress and all the fun we had?! We were able to incorporate so many Australian hints throughout the wedding, some subtle, some not as much, which made for such an amazing experience. Aside from Samantha and I uniting, bringing together all of our favorite people from all our different walks of life and seeing everyone enjoy themselves was amazing.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? We both agree the BEST decision we made was hiring a wedding planner! Jacin of Lovely Little Details was an absolute delight to work with, and made the entire wedding planning process so fun and stress-free. Knowing that she was on top of all the tiny details made it possible for us to enjoy the fun that comes with being engaged and putting together a day to celebrate the merging of two families!
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? I am just looking forward to doing life with Sam. He’s such an incredible person: hilarious, kind, sensitive, supportive, and strong. I know that no matter what we might face, having him by my side will be a comfort.

Photographer: The Nichols / Videographer: Elysium Productions / Planner, Designer, and Florist: Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details / Venue, Caterer, and Cake: Green Pastures Restaurant / Bride’s Gown: “5844” by Liancarlo / Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier / Bride’s Shoes: “Hangisi Satin Pumps” in Light Pink by Manolo Blahnik / Bride’s Veil: “9849” by Liancarlo / Bridesmaid Dresses: “G560C,” “G629C,” and G425C in Blush by Amsale / Hair Stylist: Katie Sullivan of Azur West Salon and Jeni Hoover / Makeup Artist: Kristin Daniell Makeup Artistry / Groom’s Tuxedo: Burberry / Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse / Invitations: Southern Fried Paper / Calligraphy: Moya Minns of MM Ink / Watercolors and Bridesmaids’ Brunch Invitations: Momental Designs / Rentals: Marquee Event Group, Loot Vintage Rentals, and Townsley Designs / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Guest Shuttles: R&R Limo Bus / Getaway Car: Antique Limousines of Austin / Lighting: Ilios Lighting / Cigar Roller: Bobalu

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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What do you get when an interior designer and blogger bride teams up with the talented Jacin of Lovely Little Details in one of the most unique and creative cities in the South? You get Samantha and Samuel’s Austin wedding, and while I may be a little biased about the location, I guarantee there is plenty to love about this beautiful day–so much so that we split it into two posts! After drawing inspiration from their hometowns in Oklahoma and Australia, Sam and Sam brought their loved ones together at a meaningful celebration that represented of each of them individually, as well as the home that they had found in each other. We’re tickled pink that The Nichols and Lovely Little Details shared this gorgeous day with us for V7!

Labor Day 2011 is where it all began. I was enjoying a “staycation” with girlfriends at a local boutique hotel in Houston, Hotel Zaza. On Labor Day Monday, around 3 P.M., we thought we would catch the last few hours of sun before ending our weekend. Meanwhile, Sam had just landed in Houston from Australia to begin a new job at Macquarie Energy the following day. His apartment wasn’t quite ready, so at the recommendation of a fellow Aussie friend already in Houston, he checked into Hotel Zaza for a few days. Jet-lagged, all he wanted to do was go to sleep, but he wanted to get his body clock on track for his new job, so he decided to go lounge by the hotel pool instead. When Sam walked out to the pool to look for a lounge chair, I spotted him from afar and immediately thought he was attractive. Fatefully, the only available lounge chair poolside with any sun exposure was right next to me! He hesitantly sat down, and we slowly began a conversation. Being new to town, Sam didn’t even have a cell phone at this point. After an hour or so of casually chatting, he asked me to write down my phone number on a cocktail napkin. I have horrible handwriting, so Sam misread the number when trying to get in contact with me and contacted the wrong person. Thinking he had been blown off, he was embarrassed, but he managed to track me down via Facebook, thanks to the fact that I wrote my first AND last name down when sharing my phone number. I knew he was interested when he added me on Facebook only seven hours after meeting (isn’t modern technology great?!). We had our first date at a sushi restaurant two weeks later, and I was sold when Sam let it slip over edamame and sake that he was an “old-fashioned romantic.”

What is one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? I felt like we worked so closely with our planner to really get creative input from both Sam and me. Having someone who had experience with the Australian culture and all the idiosyncrasies that come with being an Aussie really allowed us to bring in some amazing touches all throughout the event, whether it be in the floral arrangements (including king proteas) or in the welcome bags /favors (Australian and Texan sweets), everything felt like it had a personal touch and significance to both of us.

I found my Liancarlo wedding dress at Ivory Bridal Atelier in Houston. It was such a special moment to share with my mom! I had secretly dreamed about trying on wedding dresses for years. We went to Ivory Bridal for our very first appointment of the morning, and I tried on a few all-lace gowns first, because I always thought that’s what I would want to wear on my wedding day! However, at the prompting of the girls at Ivory, I tried on some different styles too, just to see what I liked. When I spotted the detailed French lace on the Liancarlo, combined with the romantic tulle, I had to try it on. I had never seen the type of lace that was on the dress—it was so special and different! When I put the dress on and walked out to the mirrors, my mom started to tear up. I loved the fit and knew this was “the dress.” The dress was strapless, and I had always wanted to do a gown with straps and a keyhole back, so thankfully, Carlos Ramirez, the designer behind Liancarlo, worked to create a gorgeous build-up that made my gown feel so special!

Briefly describe your wedding flowers: Soft and feminine with an ethereal feel. We wanted to create a romantic, lush backdrop with the flowers, consisting of Japanese ranunculus, garden roses of all kinds, peonies, sweet peas, and hints of dusty miller to bring the sage gray color into the mix. The flowers were all shades of pink mixed with creams and whites.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? From Samuel: Definitely the task of coordinating a group of groomsmen that spanned five countries across three continents!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? From Samuel: The first look will always be a moment I will never forget. Laying my eyes on my bride for the first time, hearing her shoes on the sandstone as she approached, and the overwhelming happiness that overcame me at that point will never be replicated throughout my life.

Three adjectives that describe the day are: Romantic, personal, joyful–the day really was a real-life “fairy tale” for us both. Having our closest friends and family from all over the world in one place was unforgettable. The day was romantic and intimate for us both, while also being a joyful, lively celebration. Bringing together a mix of Australians, Oklahomans, Texans, Scots, and Germans made for an incredible party.

We chose to write our own vows, which made reading them to one another in front of our loved ones so special. I loved walking towards Sam down the aisle. That is a moment you dream about your whole life, and it was so special to walk towards him and see so many of our friends and family surrounding us with their support and love. One funny moment was that I could feel my veil slipping out of my hair as I got further and further down the aisle, because it was so long. It finally fell out completely, and I kind of just stood there and smiled, not knowing what to do! Luckily, my mom and a few family friends sitting on the ends of the pews stepped out and helped me get my veil situated back into my updo. It was a funny moment that helped lighten the mood!

Describe the proposal: On Sunday, May 16, 2013, Sam and I met for a casual dinner at one of our favorite local Tex-Mex restaurants, Torchy’s Tacos. Once we were finished, we decided to meet back at my house to watch a movie. Before I could even process what was happening, Sam jumped up and practically raced to his car as he said goodbye to me. Realizing he hadn’t said he loved me, he raced back to where I sat, kissed me quickly, and said, “I love you.” I was a little confused as to why he was in such a rush, but I didn’t think too much about it and took my time getting home. When I walked inside my house, I found a pathway of tea candles and rose petals lining our winding staircase. I followed the path all the way up to our rooftop deck, which overlooked the beautiful Houston skyline, lit up in the night. Sam was there waiting for me, surrounded by more candles and rose petals. He took my hands and told me all the reasons he loved me, and how blessed he felt to have found a home with me in a city once so foreign to him. Although he grew up in Australia and I grew up in Oklahoma, together, we had made Texas our home–the place where we met and eventually fell in love. Having the Texas skyline as a backdrop for Sam’s proposal was perfect and so romantic!
When did y’all get married? March 21, 2014
How many guests attended your wedding? 125
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? At the end of our ceremony, just after our officiant announced us as husband and wife and before our processional, we had an a capella group that were sitting as “guests” in the congregation stand up and sing the Beatles’ song, “Love.” It was a surprise for all of our guests, and seeing their reaction as we stood looking out from the altar was so fun!
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? I am just looking forward to doing life with Sam. He’s such an incredible person: hilarious, kind, sensitive, supportive, and strong. I know that no matter what we might face, having him by my side will be a comfort.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? We both agree the BEST decision we made was hiring a wedding planner! Jacin of Lovely Little Details was an absolute delight to work with, and made the entire wedding planning process so fun and stress-free. Knowing that she was on top of all the tiny details made it possible for us to enjoy the fun that comes with being engaged and putting together a day to celebrate the merging of two families!

Photographer: The Nichols / Videographer: Elysium Productions / Planner, Designer, and Florist: Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details / Venue, Caterer, and Cake: Green Pastures Restaurant / Bride’s Gown: “5844” by Liancarlo / Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier / Bride’s Shoes: “Hangisi Satin Pumps” in Light Pink by Manolo Blahnik / Bride’s Veil: “9849” by Liancarlo / Bridesmaid Dresses: “G560C,” “G629C,” and G425C in Blush by Amsale / Hair Stylist: Katie Sullivan of Azur West Salon and Jeni Hoover / Makeup Artist: Kristin Daniell Makeup Artistry / Groom’s Tuxedo: Burberry / Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse / Invitations: Southern Fried Paper / Calligraphy: Moya Minns of MM Ink / Watercolors and Bridesmaids’ Brunch Invitations: Momental Designs / Rentals: Marquee Event Group, Loot Vintage Rentals, and Townsley Designs / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Guest Shuttles: R&R Limo Bus / Getaway Car: Antique Limousines of Austin / Lighting: Ilios Lighting / Cigar Roller: Bobalu

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love the venue and the flowers!!! also, the fact he proposed after buying her torchys was genius!

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