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Having your wedding somewhere that isn’t traditionally a venue comes with its fair share of challenges, but if a place has special meaning to you and your beau, all of the headaches that come with tasks like mowing lawns and renting generators can be so very worth it. Charlotte and Zachary have been visiting Zachary’s family farm together since they started dating, and especially after he chose the location as the place where he proposed, they knew it would be the most meaningful place for them to become husband and wife. As you can see, all of the work they put into preparing the farm for their 225 guests paid off, and every sweet bit of it was captured beautifully by our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Mint Photography!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Zach and I have known each other since we were children. We were both born in Temple, Texas, and grew up there. My family and I moved to the Dallas area in 2001. After relocating to Austin with my family in 2010, Zach and I reconnected. Our romance blossomed at a summer concert in Belton and we started dating.
Tell us all about the proposal! Zach proposed in March 2012 during a picnic on the bluff overlooking the river at his family’s farm in Temple, Texas, where we were later married.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The Baird family farm, where Zach’s grandfather lives, has a special place in the hearts of the Baird family. It is where Zach proposed to me, and where we have spent many happy times fishing and kayaking.

The long walk with my dad across the pasture to the ceremony site was so memorable. During that walk, it seemed that everything had come together, even despite the threat of rain. I could finally relax and enjoy the moment.

The rustic setting–the farm’s pecan orchard and hay barn–was very Southern. We loved serving Southern foods, from the fork-tender barbecued brisket, sausage, and turkey, to the pies displayed on vintage cake stands and topped with Blue Bell ice cream. The bridal party, as well as many of our guests, wore boots, and we gave away jars of Texas honey as favors

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing a venue where we had to bring in generators for electricity, lighting, tables, chairs, a dance floor, decor, restroom facilities, etc. proved to be more work than we had anticipated, but my family and friends pitched in to help set up, decorate, and clean up. All of the hard work was worth it to have our wedding and reception at the Baird family farm, a place that means so much to me and my husband’s family.

When did y’all get married? April 27, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Describe your wedding flowers. We were married in the pecan orchard on the bluff overlooking the river. Two towering pecan trees wrapped with billowing tulle bows and two large, flower-filled garden urns framed the wedding party during the ceremony. White ceramic vases hung from shepherd’s hooks along the aisles of white chairs. My bouquet was a natural gathered bouquet of white and ivory flowers and the boutonnieres for Zach and his groomsmen were made of white lisianthus blossoms. Tables at the reception were decorated with simple flowers displayed in vintage vases, milk glass, and jars. Hay bales covered with burlap provided extra seating for the children to have a better view of the ceremony, and additional hay bale couches draped in cloth served as extra seating at the reception.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We both love pie, so we had 27 assorted pies instead of a wedding cake. The flavors included Southern pecan, peach, apple, cherry, blackberry, strawberry rhubarb, buttermilk, and Almond Joy.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The fact that everyone seemed to have a great time. The barbecue, pies and band were great, and it was so much fun to see generations of family members dancing together!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We built a new home together in Salado and moved in after our wedding. We are enjoying settling into married life and our new home, and we are looking forward to building a family and future together.

Photographer: Mint Photography / Planner: Michelle Jones Meeks at Majestic Time Wedding & Event Planning / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Creative Innovations / Pie Baker: Texas Pie Company / Caterer: Louie Mueller Barbecue / Rentals: Marquee Rents, Party Rentals of Texas, and Best Memories Tent & Dance Floor Rentals / Lighting: Action Rental / Band: Sloppy Joe Band / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Bridal Salon: Serendipity Bridal / Paper Products: Studio W Designs / Hair Stylist: Christopher Rodriguez at Allure Salon / Makeup Artist: Timea Peterfia / Men’s Attire: Jos A. Bank / Transportation: Fairway Sports Vehicles

Mint Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Breanna reply

    What a beautiful wedding! How blessed Zach and Charlotte must feel to have been able to get married in such a special spot with so much meaning to the two of them and the groom’s family. I love the idea of pies in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. The photographs are unbelievable! And, of course, I have to mention how stunning the bride looks!

  2. avatar Lindsay reply

    such a lovely farm wedding! And a beautiful bride!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Adore those sweet flower girls :)

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We love seeing gorgeous Real Weddings (obvi!), but there is something so magical about actually attending one! I was honored to be a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding over the weekend (and y’all, it was amazing–complete with corn hole on the beach!). While it was completely wonderful to attend, I can’t help but have a greater appreciation for Laura and Grayson’s beautiful day after being reminded firsthand of all that goes into a wedding! After knowing each other for over ten years, Laura and Grayson’s courtship began more recently and fell into place to create Laura’s favorite part of their sweet ceremony. I must say, I swooned over this line as well: “God has been slowly weaving His two masterpieces together, and today, you become one.”

Big hugs to Kelly at Mint Photography for sharing their big day with us!

Describe your wedding flowers. They had a romantic feel with pastel colors and deep green and purple succulents. We also decided to bring in driftwood and moss to add a rustic touch. My bouquet was vintage-inspired with creamy dahlias, pale pink spray roses, creamy and purple astilbe, light purple veronica, cream scabiosa, and pale peach garden roses. My favorite part was the metal “C”–I ordered it from Land of Nod and Posh Floral did an amazing job filling it with florals.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew that I wanted something timeless and unique. I started looking up a ton of designers and kept going back to Hayley Paige. Her designs are to die for and it was love at first sight! I didn’t even try my dress on until it came in for my first fitting!

With breathtaking views of Lake Travis and an estate that will make you drool, Villa del Lago was the venue of our dreams! We weren’t inviting a ton of people to our wedding and I knew that I wanted one long table for dinner so that it could feel “family style.” I knew as soon as we pulled up that I could picture the entire day happening at this location, and it took absolutely no convincing Grayson–he knew it too!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Grayson’s fraternity brother and college roommate officiated our ceremony. Although we didn’t write our own vows, we had a huge part in choosing each portion of our ceremony. My favorite line from our ceremony was, “Grayson and Laura, you have known each other for well over a decade, but in the past three years, God has been orchestrating and preparing you for this moment. Even though perhaps no one would have guessed you two would end up together all those years ago, God has been slowly weaving his two masterpieces together, and today, you become one.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of my favorite parts of our ceremony was the Celtic hand fasting. We had of our very best friends read “These Hands.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The lounge area from Loot Vintage Rentals was my favorite part of the wedding. Their warehouse is amazing and I was like a little kid in a candy store in it! I knew the colors our floral would be when we visited, so I was able to pick things that I knew would coordinate. I loved how everyone was lounging around the dance floor and relaxing on some of the cutest furniture!

Having an outdoor venue presented its challenges. I had a countdown to when I could see the 10-day forecast, and I was checking it morning, noon, and night. Getting a tent was the best decision we made. We decided to have it regardless of weather, and making that decision early helped, because I was able to choose some amazing lighting to dress it up.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I am a sucker for the naked cake trend and we decided to do something smaller and then have an ice cream sandwich food truck come later in the evening. The truck pulled up during our first dance and I remember how excited I was seeing it for the first time. It was so cute!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Grayson and I went to high school together. We reconnected years later when Grayson was working for the Dallas Stars and my dad was buying tickets from him. We ran into each other at a hockey game, and of course, I then became a huge hockey fan!
Tell us all about the proposal! Grayson planned the entire thing around my birthday. He took me on a horse-drawn carriage ride in Highland Park to see the Christmas lights. The carriage pulled up to a gazebo, where we got out to take some pictures. I knew right then that something was about to happen. I literally said “I am so excited right now, it feels like the first day of school!” We walked up to the gazebo and he got down on one knee and gave me the most gorgeous ring!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. We cut so many traditional things out of our wedding, like the cake cutting and bouquet toss, so we decided this was the one tradition we would keep, and I am so glad we did! There was something so calming about walking down the aisle with both of my parents and seeing Grayson standing there.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The bridal party walked down the aisle to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” and I walked down to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” During the ceremony, Grayson’s cousin and her fiancé sang “Amazing Grace” in honor of those who couldn’t be with us on that day. When we were leaving the band played The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? It is easy when you first start planning to go crazy with every vendor you meet with. As we got closer to the wedding, I had discussions with each vendor to see where we could make necessary cuts. We tried to cut things that people wouldn’t notice and that we wouldn’t miss. For example, passed appetizers during cocktail hour wasn’t a necessity for us.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were blessed with so many amazing vendors but I’ll begin with Angie at Posh Floral. She made each bouquet and centerpiece for our wedding because she wanted us to love everything! Then there’s Kelly at Mint Photography. I will forever cherish the photos she took that day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be organized! I had spreadsheets coming out of my ears! I kept everything in a binder with sheet protectors for each different vendor and contract. When we went to meetings, I was ready with photos that I loved and specific questions to ask. Looking back, one thing I wish I would have done differently is set up an email address to be used just for communication with vendors.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my new hubby! Planning a wedding can be like a second job, so now it’s time to soak up all of this free time! We want to travel as much as we can before we start planning for a family.

Photographer: Mint Photography / Day-of Coordination: Megan Metzger of Pearl Events / Venue: Villa Del Lago / Florist: Posh Floral Designs / Cake Baker: Sugar Mamas Bakeshop / Caterer: The Peached Tortilla / Tent and Rentals: Premiere Party Central / Lighting: Intelligent Lighting Design / Band: Goga Music / Bride’s Gown: “Anya” by Hayley Paige / Invitations: Minted / Hair Stylist: Kim Wolbrink / Makeup Artist: Christine Harrington of Nisa Nicole / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: 6697 and 6680 by After Six, 2879, 2863, and 2845 by Dessy, all in Frost / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Ties: Burberry / Vintage Furniture: Loot Vintage Rentals / Ice Cream Truck: Cool Haus / Cotton Candy: Cloud9 / Map: The Seaside Press / Welcome Kit Candy Wrappers and Water Labels: Tableau Party / Airstream Photo Booth: Austin Imagery

Mint Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Your desserts were fabulous, y’all – ice cream truck + naked cake? Yum!!

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It has been so neat to hear from so many of you over the past weeks and months about vendors you think should be added to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. I love that it’s a resource y’all can both add to and draw from – either from or for your own wedding! Here are a few more recently added creative partners that we think you should meet:

Marissa Joy is a kind and intuitive photographer, making it easy for her to genuinely portray both intimate and candid moments. Her natural style is elegant, and, combined with the personality of her couples, results in heartfelt and personal work. She shoots primarily in North Carolina, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

Traci’s work is atmospheric and intimate. She has a knack for capturing quiet, unnoticed moments that will be treasured for years to come. Anne Marie Photography is based in New Braunfels, Texas.

Jillian’s designs are just gorgeous to look at, aren’t they? We love the juxtaposition of wild and elegant she achieves with her art for loose arranging and selecting the most beautiful blooms. Mimi Nicole Events is based in South Carolina.

Mint’s work is simply lovely. These two gals have a beautiful and unique way of seeing the world, one that allows them to capture the beauty, intimacy, and love between their couples in a soft and peaceful way. Mint Photography is based in San Antonio.

Francesca and her team’s work is elegant, soft, and sophisticated — just like a Southern belle! We love Pure Luxe’s focus on creating “genuine” weddings — totally in line with the SW manifesto. They are based in South Carolina.

Chloe’s wild and wonderful blooms are the perfect mix of texture, color, and composition. We adore her work!
Supposey Wedding Florals is based in Florida.

Tamara is a sweet and earnest soul, and is about as hardworking as they come. Her flowers are lush and romantic, but we especially adore her passion for nurturing strong marriages as well as beautiful weddings! Tamara Menges Designs is based in Groves, Texas.

We love Abby’s sweet heart and love for what she does, and think it shows in her images! They’re simple and timeless, just like the weddings she most enjoys capturing. Abby Grace Photography is based in Virginia and Washington, DC.

Brittany’s work is polished but natural — she is a genius at making gals look like the most beautiful version of themselves! We can’t decide whether we prefer her gorgeous updos or beautiful waves more, but we know we’d be happy with either on our wedding day. She and her team work throughout the Southeast – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee!

Heidi and the folks at The Dandelion Patch just get it – they have a keen eye for what brides want, and carry a selection of some of the most beautiful stationery and invitations we’ve seen. You won’t regret stopping for a peek at their collection! They have locations in Vienna and Reston Virginia, and in Washington, DC.

As always, if you think there’s a talented vendor we should be introduced to, send me an email! I’d love to hear. In the meantime, you can see all of our Blue Ribbon Vendors (and search by state and category) right here.

emily Written with love by Emily
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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