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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
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  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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We are feeling particularly festive today after a magical evening at the V7 Launch Party (THANK YOU to all those who came to celebrate with us!), so we can’t think of a better day to kick off our first annual Southern Newlywed holiday series! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing special traditions, festive decor, tasty treats, and more from some of our favorite newlyweds. Since we, along with many of y’all, are working on coordinating our plans for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, we thought we’d ask some friends to share what they’ll be doing this year. Whether your families live across the street or across the country, holiday planning can take some creativity and grace, and there’s no one right solution for every couple. If you’re a newlywed navigating this situation for the first time, we hope these ideas will get your wheels turning for a plan your whole family will be happy with!

Jacin (of Lovely Little Details) and Pat, by Jessica Burke

What are your holiday plans this year?

Jacin: This year, we are driving up to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with Pat’s family. His aunt makes the yummiest Thanksgiving dinner, and we love being close enough to enjoy this holiday with them after living so far away for so long! For Christmas, my family is flying down to stay with us for a week, and I cannot wait!!
Caitlin: This year, we are excited to stay at home and celebrate with my family, who lives near us. We also hope to host a holiday party or two!
Megan: For the first time since getting married almost five years ago, we will be spending Christmas at home. I have never taken decorating too seriously because we have never been present for the holidays, but this year, I plan to spend time preparing.
Juliet: We are looking forward to going back to my home state of North Carolina this year for Christmas. It will be our first married Christmas in North Carolina, so we are both so excited to spend some time with my side of the family.
Alex: We are still figuring out our Christmas plans for this year–there are so many logistics to figure out when you are dealing with several families spread out over a few different states! We feel blessed that both of our families are very understanding and super flexible! We are doing a combined Thanksgiving meal at my parents’ house for the second year in a row–it’s so much fun having everyone under one roof.

Caitlin (of Kruse and Vieira Events and Glitter Guide) and Austin, by Abby Jiu

How do you and your husband coordinate where/how to spend the holidays? What have you tried in the past? What are you doing this year?

Jacin: Until we were married, we still did separate holidays! Since we lived so far away from our families for so long, we typically would do Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine–both of our families are content with this arrangement, and we are too. It takes a bit of planning each year to decide where we’re going to be, but it works out well!
Caitlin: This is always a tricky situation! We typically do Thanksgiving with my husband’s family and Christmas with my family, and then celebrate Christmas with his a week before the actual holiday. It’s a lot of travel, but it works for us and we love every second we get to spend with family.
Megan: Mike and I’s families live on opposites sides of the country; his is in Texas and mine is in Michigan. Since getting engaged, we worked it out with our families that we would trade off holidays equally unless, for some reason, there was a major reason we needed to change it. This way, we were not traveling right in the middle of it all and complicating the whole thing. It has worked well, and this year, we even offered to spend Christmas with both of our families in Raleigh, but it didn’t work out–one day, it will happen! This year, we are glad to be spending Thanksgiving at our new home with my family and Christmas with his family.
Juliet: Since both of our families live in different states from us and each other, it makes it very hard to see both families for one holiday. We visited David’s family in Michigan last year, so this year, we are spending the holidays with my family in North Carolina. We try our best to alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas each year with both sets of families. As of now, this works for us. :)

Megan and Mike (of The Fresh Exchange), by Brett & Jessica

Have you and your husband started any new holiday traditions together?

Jacin: Yes! We both love the holidays so much. We have two favorite traditions. The first is an ornament exchange “game” we play during our Friendsgiving dinner (a big supper party we host two weeks before Thanksgiving with our local friends–this will be our seventh year, and we even have friends flying in from California to enjoy the festivities!). Everyone brings a wrapped ornament and we set a timer for a certain amount of time and take turns rolling dice. Every time someone rolls a 7, 11, or doubles, they get to take an ornament from anyone at the table. The game continues until time runs out, and it’s really fun to see everyone vying for the favorite ornament! Our other tradition involves one of our favorite things: champagne! During the tree trimming every year, we pop open a nice bottle of bubbles and put Charlie Brown Christmas on in the background. We save the muselet (cage), write the year underneath, and hang it on the tree! It’s always fun to find the cages in the ornament boxes to remind us of all our past tree trimmings (and bottles of champagne!).
Caitlin: We are eager to start new traditions this year, as it is our first Christmas as husband and wife! We got engaged last December right after we got our Christmas tree, so this will always be a very special time for us! We are hoping to cut down our tree this year and go out for lunch at our favorite Irish pub afterwards.
Megan: Getting married meant we were open to accepting the traditions both of our families have. I remember the first year I spent Christmas with his family in Texas–as a northern Michigan girl who never knew Christmas could happen without snow, it was a little difficult. Since then, I have come to enjoy that instead of making warm cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, we instead mix up fresh guacamole and margaritas. It is different, but for both of us, we know those are things that formed us into who we are and who we each fell in love with. I figure when we begin a family, we will begin to form more of our own traditions, but for now, our holidays are about experiencing each other’s traditions from growing up.
Juliet: We both have our own family traditions that we would love to continue in our marriage. Aside from those, every Christmas, we find one special memento or ornament to represent that year’s Christmas. Last year, it was a snow globe with the year carved on the bottom. It is something we will treasure for years to come, since it was the year we were married.
Alex: We started collecting colorful glass food ornaments for our tree. Trevor is a chef, and we both love to garden (and eat!), so it’s fun to have some of our favorite things on the tree. We even have a hamburger ornament!

Juliet (of Juliet Grace Design) and Dave (Dave Lapham Photography)

What do you eat for Christmas breakfast?

Jacin: My mom makes chocolate chip waffles and omelets or biscuits and gravy!
Caitlin: Oh boy! Usually a ton of coffee and some sort of breakfast casserole my parents have made. We usually spend the night at their house, even though we live 20 minutes away. There’s nothing like waking up with your family on Christmas morning!
Megan: Both of our families serve a big, warm breakfast. Mike’s family makes breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls, and my dad always makes french toast or pancakes with bacon. Oh, and of course, plenty of great coffee!
Juliet: We love to have an assortment of food to choose from–donuts, bagels, miniature egg frittatas…the list goes on and on. We have no limits when it comes to Christmas morning breakfast!
Alex: On Christmas morning, we usually eat a breakfast casserole. Christmas pajamas are a must!

Alex and Trevor, featured in V7, by Clark Brewer

Real or fake Christmas tree?

Jacin: Real! But we might snag an artificial tree to put in the front hallway this year–the first time we walked through our house, I was already plotting where to put the tree(s)! :)
Caitlin: Always real! I deal with cleaning up pine needles and wrestling with the stand for that wonderful scent!
Megan: I grew up with both. Mike always had a fake one, but I have such fond memories of living in Michigan, bundling up, going to the tree farm, and picking out our tree. My dad would even pull us in a wooden sled. Sure, real trees are a total mess, but the process of getting a tree feels so special. Now, living in North Carolina, I am trying to find a place to go and purchase our first tree in our new home so we can have this experience, and share it with our kids one day as well.
Juliet: It’s got to be real! We love hunting for the perfect tree together!
Alex: We definitely have a real tree! I put real greenery anywhere I can around the holidays!

We’d love to hear, what are your holiday plans? Any advice for newlyweds?

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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