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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

    […] Guide Photo Credits: The Style Co., Finch & Farrow Photography via Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings, OUR LABOR OF LOVE via Refinery 29, Closer to Love Photography via Style Me […]

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While it’s inevitable that a few things will go wrong while wedding planning, it is so much more fun to hear about the things that go right! In Gabrielle and Dustin’s case, a few details came together serendipitously as they planned their summer Vista West Ranch wedding–in particular, when Gabrielle chose her gorgeous wedding dress (don’t miss the sweet story below!), and when she stumbled upon pictures of their dream venue, only to realize it was located a few hours away from Dustin’s hometown. Even if not a thing had gone the way they had planned though, Gabrielle and Dustin’s hearts were in the right place from day one –she said, “At the end of the day, you get to marry the love of your life. That in and of itself is a perfect day!”

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Feather & Twine, for sharing this sweet celebration with us!

The story of finding my dress is pretty magical. My internship in Dallas was with Watters in their Communications, PR, and Merchandising departments. I spent my days admiring all of the gorgeous gowns and picking out the ones I would love to wear if I were engaged and dress shopping. When I returned from my graduation trip engaged, my director, David, had a little gift on my desk! Later that day, Vatana Watters herself came up to the office to congratulate me, and as a gift, told me I could choose the dress of my dreams for my big day! At first, I thought it was just a joke, but then realized she was serious! I was so overwhelmed, I started crying! I felt truly blessed and that God put me in that internship for that reason! I tried on five dresses before David brought in a gown from the design room that had just been completed that day for next season’s collection. I put it on and it was just perfect! Totally not what I thought I wanted, but it was definitely the one. He told me that they would be able to make it for me in time for the wedding and that I would be the first bride to ever wear that gown!! David Lopez and Vatana Watters, I am truly so thankful for you!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many moments we’ll remember forever–our families and friends helping us celebrate, our first dance, my dress, the nervous jitters, our vows… but I think we can both agree that the most memorable moment was the moment we became husband and wife in front of God, our families, and our friends!

Our pastor from college, Reggie, was able to fly out to officiate our ceremony, which meant so much to the two of us! While we had beautiful readings, I think our favorite part of the ceremony was the foot washing. We decided to incorporate this because it is a tradition of service and symbolizes that not one of us is above the other.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Dustin and I knew that we wanted our wedding to have a laid back, celebratory feel. When we got engaged, we started looking for rustic chic wedding venues online, but I couldn’t find any in Florida (where I’m from) or in Houston (where Dustin is from). One day, while I was on Pinterest, I saw a gorgeous photo of a venue and clicked on it, thinking it would be somewhere out of reach, like Colorado or something. To my surprise, it was in Austin! It was so beautiful and exactly what we had been envisioning. Dustin wan’t able to come to the open house with me, but he trusted me enough to book it! It was the first and only venue I had to see, and we were both sold!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the biggest challenge we overcame was wanting to please so many people who were a big help with the wedding. When it came down to it, we realized that it was our day and that it was all about us getting married. Everything would work itself out as long as we were calm and remained focused on this day being a a celebration of our union! Everything could have gone wrong, but it would have still been the best day ever because we got to marry each other.

My wedding flowers were more amazing than I could have ever dreamed! Petal Pushers and our family friend, Cathy, did the most amazing job. I wanted a color palette of clean white, light blush accents, and mercury glass and mason jars everywhere. The barn looked like a dream and our head table was just breathtaking! I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked. My father-in-law made benches that ran the length of the farm tables, and our friend, Cathy, decorated them beautifully! They made such a statement!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was beautiful! We chose a really simple white ruffle design with metallic gold dusting on the edges. We had three flavors: chocolate with fresh strawberry filling, chocolate with chocolate filling, and vanilla with bavarian cream filling. We also had mini pies in mason jars at each place setting as our favors, because who doesn’t love a good mini pie in the summer? We chose apple pie and Texas Two Step (half brownie, half pecan pie). They were a hit!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Dustin and I met our freshman year of college at Florida State University. I was on the FSU Golden Girls dance team and he was on the FSU football team. It was winter break and both of our teams had to be in Tallahassee to practice for the UDA College Dance Team Nationals and for the football team’s upcoming Bowl Game. It wasn’t love at first sight, but we did start hanging out a lot. We started attending the same bible study and church together, and things quickly grew from friendship to something more. On March 20, 2010, Dustin was driving me back to my dorm one night, but then took a detour to the stadium, claiming he had to go get his cleats from the locker room. He told me to follow him, so I did. Instead of going to the locker room, he led me out onto the football field and asked me to be his girlfriend on the 50-yard line of Doak Campbell Stadium! That was almost five years ago, and we’ve been together ever since. It was so fun being able to cheer him on from the sideline for all four years of college!
Tell us all about the proposal! After Dustin graduated, he was drafted to the Buffalo Bills and moved to New York, while I still had a semester at FSU and an internship left to complete. After I completed my internship in Dallas in December, I flew back to Tallahassee for my graduation. Dustin had told me that he wasn’t able to come due to his football schedule, which was totally understandable. I was invited to a holiday party for the head football coach and his wife’s organization, Kidz 1st Fund, and my best friend, Courtney, and my old boss, Carrie, begged me to steal away from my family for an hour to go with them. I told them over and over that my mother was not going to go for it! The night before my graduation, I arrived in Tallahassee and found that my mother had had some sort of change of heart and decided to let me go for an hour. As we were approaching the stadium, I noticed that all of the lights were on, but it seemed pretty quiet for a big event to be going on. Upon rounding the corner to enter the field, I was totally shocked to see Dustin, alone, standing on the 50-yard line in the empty, but lit, stadium! As I walked (as fast as I could with heels on) towards him, I turned around and saw both my family and his sitting in the stands above! After walking the longest 50 yards of my life, I was met by Dustin asking me to be his wife, in the exact spot where our journey began four years prior!
When did y’all get married? July 4, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Dustin and I did a pre-marital course with our pastor and his wife every week via Skype. In addition to this, we prayed fervently together and devoted time to the Bible every day.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did do a little bit of DIY. I addressed all the save the dates and invitations, we had a friend help with flowers, we made our own programs, and we provided a lot of the decor instead of renting it (mercury glass, mason jars, frames, etc.).
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax, breathe, and HAVE FUN! Too many brides get stressed about the wedding being perfect and forget that it’s supposed to be a fun process. You don’t want to look back on this time in your life and remember how awful it was. Everything works itself out in the end, and at the end of the day, you get to marry the love of your life. That in and of itself is a perfect day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving to New Orleans, Louisiana where Dustin is playing for the Saints! We look forward to finding a home, getting settled, and enjoying life together with our two precious pups. Hopefully, lots of traveling is in our future! We’re looking forward to making memories, creating traditions, and growing closer to each other and God!

Photographer: Feather and Twine Photography / Videographer: Forever Film Studios / Planner: Coordinate This / Venue: Vista West Ranch / Florist and Rentals: Petal Pushers / Dessert Baker: Classic Cakes by Lori and Tiny Pies / Caterer: Verde’s / Rentals: Petal Pushers / Band: The Royal Dukes / Bride’s Gown: “Santina” by Watters / Bride’s Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade / Makeup Artist: Maris Malone Calderon / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Feathered Ruth Dress” by French Connection / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

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

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The dress is stunning, I love the cut on the top. And, the use of different chairs at the reception table adds vintage rustic charm!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    her dress is sooo beautiful!!!

  3. avatar Stacey (petal Pushets) reply

    love this couple & so happy to see their beautiful wedding on your gorgeous blog!

  4. avatar Morgan reply

    I am looking at this venue for my wedding. The only dates available still are summer dates. How was your summer weddings as far as the heat and the ceremony?????

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It’s been awhile since we introduced a few Blue Ribbon Vendors to y’all, and in the meantime, their numbers have been growing! So without further ado, meet a few very talented and very kind wedding artists who would love to lend a hand at your celebration…

You can tell that Abigail Bobo, based in Tennessee, has a background in journalism — we love how well her images from a wedding day flow together, and how well, taken in whole, they tell the true story of your day.

Becca Lea’s work is clean, beautiful, soft, and honest. Her heart for her clients and for creating timeless images for them shines in everything she does! She is based in Texas.

It’s hard to describe Ben & Colleen’s work, but we know we adore it — colorful, filled with light, a little bit dreamy, and very atmospheric. They are based in Georgia.

Josh and Rachel’s photos are light-filled and love-filled. We think their priorities in life shine through in their photos, and know you will love working with them! Best Photography is based in Florida.

Dana Cubbage’s work is colorful and joyful, just like her personality. We love her talent for capturing the tiniest details of each wedding day, and for forming strong relationships with her couples! She is based in South Carolina.

Emily Chidester’s photos are beautifully dreamy and ethereal, but at the same time, 100% authentic and truthful. You can tell her couples feel comfortable just being themselves in front of her lens! She is based in North Carolina.

Jennifer’s genuine adoration for flowers shows through in her work — she truly loves what she does, and delights in sharing it with happy brides! Freshly Picked is based in Florida.

Andrea’s work is personal, detailed, and as individual as the guys and gals she works with. We love her creative approach to design and love for her couples’ stories! Gray Harper Event Maker is based in Georgia.

The details that Jennifer Laraia creates are absolutely lovely — that much is clear. But what we love even more is how rooted in her clients’ love stories they are, something we find truly beautiful. She is based in Tennessee.

Stacey and her team turn out some of the loveliest bouquets and floral creations we’ve ever seen. We love their commitment to exceeding their couples’ expectations! Petal Pushers is based in Texas.

You can see all of our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors in our newly revamped Directory! Have a vendor you love? Be sure to email us!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Abigail Bobo Photography reply

    Thank you so much for the sweet mention and kind words Southern Weddings! You are some classy women and I love working with you. Can’t wait to team up with even more Southern Weddings brides! <3

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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