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