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When Tiffany and Andy decided they were going to get married in Texas (Chicago and Utah were also on the list!), they knew they wanted to give their wedding day the Southern flair they felt it deserved. Our Blue Ribbon Vendor venue Vista West Ranch proved to be the perfect place to say their vows and celebrate as husband and wife–it effortlessly combined the Southern feel of the Texas Hill Country with the chic, vintage vibe that Tiffany was hoping for. It also provided the backdrop for Tiffany’s most memorable moment of the day: when she and Andy saw each other for the first time. She remembers that “He looked at me just the way I had always dreamt about as a little girl.” Y’all, please pass me a tissue ASAP–that makes my heart melt!

Sending big SW hugs to Jessica Gold for capturing Tiffany and Andy’s sweet day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The first time we met was in 2009, and to be honest, it was rather unmemorable. Our paths wouldn’t cross again until summer 2011, on the 4th of July. I was spending the weekend in Austin with family when Andy happened to show up at the same 4th of July party I was at. It wasn’t love at first sight, but as fate would have it, we ended up on the same team for a game at the party, which led us to becoming Facebook friends later that night. When it was time for me to return to Utah, we said our goodbyes and agreed to keep in touch via text. Despite the thousands of miles between us, we both found it easy and natural to confide in each other. In November 2011, I headed to Texas again for my cousin’s wedding in Dallas. Andy and I made plans to hang out while I was in town. For the first few days, our relationship seemed to stay relatively platonic, but the night before I left, we kissed for the first time and decided that this was something more than just friendship. In December, Andy took the leap and flew to Utah to spend time with me and my family for Christmas. That was when we decided that we wanted to give a long distance relationship a try, and we haven’t looked back since.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing Andy for the first time. That moment was so perfect. He looked at me just the way I had always dreamt about as a little girl. I also love seeing my family have so much fun at the wedding. We wanted to throw a special and memorable celebration, and seeing that come to life was really special.

We had a special quote from “How I Met Your Mother” that our officiant read at our ceremony which speaks so loudly about our relationship. “The great moments of your life won’t necessarily be the things you do, they’ll also be the things that happen to you. Now, I’m not saying you can’t take action to affect the outcome of your life–you have to take action, and you will. But never forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change forever. You see, the universe has a plan, and that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings, and it starts to rain. It’s a scary thought but it’s also kind of wonderful. All these little parts of the machine constantly working, making sure that you end up exactly where you’re supposed to be, exactly when you’re supposed to be there. The right place at the right time.”

Describe your wedding flowers. Oh my goodness! They were amazing. I met with Bouquets of Austin early on in the planning process, and they saw and understood my vision immediately. I was blown away! Seeing all of the flowers for the first time was the perfect moment. It was emotional, but it really felt like they tied everything together.

I am from Utah, but I moved to Texas from Chicago. Andy is a born and raised Texan. When it came to picking a location, we had a lot of options! When we decided we were going to get married in Texas, I wanted to make sure to give our wedding the Southern flair it deserved. Vista West Ranch was the last location we saw. I knew from the pictures that I liked it, but when we stepped onto the property, I fell in love immediately. It combined the sweet, Southern feel of the Texas Hill Country with a chic, vintage look that I’ve always been drawn to.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The special, subtle details we included about our “right place at the right time” theme. It’s a saying we truly believe in, and it has made all the difference in our lives.

Tell us all about the proposal! Andy had been planning on taking me to a nice brunch when I arrived in Austin, so I woke up extra early to shower and get ready. When I landed in Austin, I called Andy, and he told me he couldn’t wait to see me. When I reached the end of the steps to baggage claim, I saw a familiar face, but it wasn’t his–it was his cousin. “Bao? What are you doing here?” “Hey… I’m picking you up.” “Where’s Andy?” “I don’t know…” He then handed me a letter. I opened Andy’s letter, labeled “Airport” and read it. By the end of the letter… I would be lying if I said at this point I didn’t kind of know what was happening, but I wasn’t 100% sure. After getting my luggage, Bao gave me another letter labeled “Bao” in the car. The letter said to watch a video message Andy made on the iPod in the car. Following the video, I received another letter labeled “Music.” At this point, I noticed myself shaking, and I immediately texted both my parents, “I think Andy is going to ask me to marry him today.” I listened to each song until we arrived at our next destination: the house where Andy and I first met. Inside, Char was waiting with another letter, labeled “After Her.” When I finished the letter, we continued onto our third destination, lunch at Taco Deli, our favorite taco place. From there, we headed to Starbucks–I learned later that this stop was a decoy because he needed more time! After the coffee, I received my final letter labeled “Decision.” We pulled up to the Long Center, one of the first places Andy and I went when I visited in November 2011. Butterflies were heavy in my stomach as we made our way to a grassy area where I saw both my cousin, Jeicille, and Andy waiting for me. I gave Jeicille a hug and then walked over to Andy and hugged him. He took my hands, and looking right into my eyes, he said… “You’re really pale.” (THERE’S NO SUN IN CHICAGO, ANDY!) He got down on one knee, opened a little black box with a sparkly ring inside, and asked me to marry him.
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress at a consignment store. It was a sample dress, and I knew I liked it the minute I saw it on floor. Once I put it on, there was no doubt that I had found THE dress. My wedding coordinator came with me, so my dress was a surprise to everyone on my big day!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we didn’t want to do a first look. We wanted the traditional first look at the aisle to be really special. However, we did do a secret look where we exchanged cards and gifts.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue, Vista West Ranch, created an incredible ambiance, and Petal Pushers helped bring it to life with small details. From the rustic barn to the vintage tables, mason jars, local food, chairs, etc., everything came together perfectly and felt so Southern.
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? Picking an almost all-inclusive venue. Vista West Ranch included a lot of the components that many places ask people to pay extra for. We had the ceremony and reception in the same place. The venue was also so beautiful that a lot of it “decorated itself.” We also got a great deal on our catering and were referred to our photographer just as she was on the rise, so we really found some great deals!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t be afraid to ask for help and organize early on. If you’re not into wedding planning, think about a coordinator. Make a list of must-haves, like-to-haves and can-live-withouts. Most importantly, soak in every moment! The time leading up to the wedding feels like forever, but the wedding day flashes by in the blink of an eye.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re building our first house together and raising two adorable puppies, Hugo and Po. There are a lot of new changes in the forefront, and we can’t wait for the next chapter and every chapter after that.

Photographer: Jessica Gold Photography / Videographer: Photohouse Films / Planner: Iby Setzer / Venue: Vista West Ranch / Florist: Bouquets of Austin / Cake Baker: Sugar Mama’s Bakery / Caterer: Jack Allen’s Kitchen / Rentals: Petal Pushers / DJ: Tristan Tulley / Paper Products: Tiffany Lieu / Bride’s Gown: Essense of Australia / Hair Stylist: Propaganda Hair Group / Makeup Artist: Nisa Nicole / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Sarah” by Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Vista West Ranch and Petal Pushers are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Stacy bauer reply

    This ceremony set-up is incredible! xo

  2. avatar Real Wedding: Katie & Seth at Ovation | Shannon Gail Weddings and Events reply

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I went to college in Austin (hook ’em!), so Austin weddings will always have a special place in my heart. Claire and Adam did the city proud at their Allan House wedding–it struck the loveliest balance of sentimental, personal, unique, and fun. After a sweet first look and personal letters to each other read at the ceremony, Claire and Adam celebrated their marriage with dancing, emotional toasts (be sure to read about them below!), and even a little ping pong. We’re so glad that Caroline + Ben were on hand to capture every moment, and then share it with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! I borrowed my mom’s earrings. My something blue was the tag/logo on my TOMS shoes. I had an old cufflink of my dad’s with his initials on it sewn into the skirt of my dress. He passed away in 2010, so it was an emotional day, and I wanted to incorporate him in little, subtle ways. My something new was my dress!

We said short, traditional vows, but also chose to write letters to each other that were read by the officiant, since we didn’t want to be confined to the format of vows when saying what we wanted to say. Adam’s letter was the perfect combination of sentimental and funny–just like him. I was definitely both laughing and crying throughout the ceremony!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted something central to downtown Austin so our family and friends could enjoy the city for the entire weekend, since most of them were coming from out of town. We loved the relaxed, backyard feel the Allan House provided, as well as the live oak trees. Growing up in Houston, I have always LOVED them, so having the ceremony and reception under a canopy of live oak tree branches was the ideal setting in my mind!

The venue was an old Victorian house and courtyard covered with live oak trees. The food, served family style, was all upscale comfort food–our passed appetizers were lobster corn dogs, bacon-wrapped dates, and tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese wedges. Dinner included short ribs with truffle mash, roasted chicken, green chili mac and cheese, green beans with tomato jam and fried onions, and more. Our late-night snack was frito pies!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Right after walking down the aisle, I accidentally kissed Adam, so I yelled “Oops!” and burst out laughing. After over a year of planning the wedding, I made the most common sense mistake! It was such a sweet moment, and it immediately took the edge off and made everyone more comfortable and relaxed for the rest of the ceremony. Another memorable moment was hearing the toast that my dad wrote for me and Adam before he died. He had passed away four years earlier, and Adam and I were only dating at the time, but we had been together for awhile, so I think he knew this day was coming, and he wanted us to have something special from him. Overall, when I think back to our wedding, I remember looking into each other’s teary eyes, squeezing each other’s hands, and hearing our letters to each other, all in the presence and with the support of the people we love most in the world. It doesn’t get much better!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I don’t think we could possibly narrow it down, although I did love our life-size cardboard cut out of our dog–my mom wouldn’t let him be the ring bearer, much to my dismay. He wore a bow tie and stood by the front door, greeting guests! I also liked the personal touches that made the wedding “us,” like using a travel coffee table book as our guest book because I love to travel (we asked guests to recommend their favorite place to visit), and writing the table numbers on framed book pages because Adam loves to read. Those little details really made the whole wedding feel more personal and meaningful.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Although we grew up about 45 minutes away from each oher, we met in Nicaragua, of all places, in January 2007, when we were working with a community development non-profit organization (Manna Project International). We became good friends and didn’t start dating until about a year later when we were both back in the States. We are thankful that our relationship started on the strong foundation of being best friends first (as cheesy as that sounds)!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were living in Chicago at the time and often did “tourist-y” things around the city. While visiting the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Adam suggested we take a picture in the Skydeck, a glass ledge/box 103 stories above ground. Right as the picture was being taken, he got down on one knee. Chicago will always hold a special place in our hearts, and I love that we have an awesome picture of the proposal with the city lit up behind (and under!) us!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, mostly because we wanted to get as many pictures with our wedding party and families done before the ceremony so that we could enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with the rest of the guests. We are nontraditional in a lot of ways, so we didn’t think twice about our decision not to wait until the ceremony to see each other–that wasn’t important or significant to us.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Trumpet Voluntary” and one of Adam’s groomsmen played the trumpet–he was awesome! Our first dance was to “Wonderful” by My Morning Jacket, one of our favorite bands, who we’ve seen live and listened to together over the years. We also had a last slow dance to John Legend’s “Stay With You”–we love the lyrics.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The bride’s cake was very simple, decorated with messy frosting and a few coral peonies. The tiers alternated between white cake with cream cheese and white cake with strawberries. The groom’s cake was chocolate and Dynamo-themed, since Adam is a big soccer fan and Dynamo is the local MLS team.
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? We saved money by bringing in our own alcohol and returning unopened bottles! We also used a DJ instead of a band.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just bought a house! And now that we’ll have a yard, we want to get a furry friend for our dog, Pico.

Photographer: Caroline + Ben / Planner: Pearl Events / Venue: The Allan House / Florist: Posey / Cake Baker: Simon Lee Bakery / Caterer: Royal Fig / Lighting: ILD / String Trio: Musical Discovery / DJ: Greenbelt DJ / Invitations: William Arthur / Program Fans: Magnet Street / Bride’s Gown: “#8709” by Jim Hjelm / Bridal Salon: Glamour Closet / Hair Stylist: Simply Mandy / Makeup Artist: Nisa Nicole / Bride’s Shoes: TOMS / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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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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