The best of this year’s wedding gowns span the spectrum from glamorous to alternative, dramatic to handmade. There’s something we love about all of them, so thank goodness we don’t have to narrow it down any further!
You guys know I’m a sucker for a non-traditional dress. Alison’s pink Vera Wang was a show-stopper, but still looked perfectly whimsical to fit into her outdoor brunch “I do’s” with hubby, Brent. I am absolutely loving their breezy ceremony set-up, calligraphy details and lush green florals, courtesy of The Byrd Collective. We wish we could join in on Alison + Brent’s fun wedding from Paige Newton Photography!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Wow. It was quite an experience. I fell head over heels for the blush dress in Vera Wang’s collection for David’s Bridal the second I saw it. I was trying to save money and ended up buying another dress that I wasn’t happy with. After lamenting the decision and trying the blush pink dress on several times with friends, I stumbled upon a Three Nails Photography giveaway for my dream dress in my size! I held my breath for weeks and jumped straight out of my chair when I WON!
Brent knew that advent calendars were one of my favorite Christmas traditions. So when I made one for us, he decided to surprise me with a very special present on the last day! The ring was tucked in a chocolate candy wrapper (I have a major sweet tooth). I was in such a state of shock that it took me a minute to realize that he was down on one knee! It suddenly made sense why my parents had been avoiding me all morning. They had known since Thanksgiving when he had asked for my dad’s permission and they had all gone ring shopping together!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? No. That moment when I was walking down the aisle and we were both crying our eyes out was well worth the wait.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes! Brent’s were amazing. My favorite parts were the opening and the end. They started out very sweet and simple. “I promise to hold your hand under tables, in public, during the movies, while you sleep.” And the end was so special. “I look forward to the day it is no longer just us. To the day that we begin a family, and to working together as one body. I will be our hands, while you are our eyes. And you will be our heart, while I am the flesh, bones, and even armor that protects us.”
Two things I love: fun accessories and happy couples. Don’t y’all love Alison’s little black hair bow above and her adorable post-ceremony photo with Brent, below?
Ashley with The Byrd Collective is a floral genius. I wanted the flowers to be romantic and wild and she captured it perfectly. The room smelled gorgeously of sweet buds and delicious brunch food.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? I went over budget, broke down and hired a wedding planner. If I had been smart about it, I would have saved a lot by hiring her earlier on! We hit around $25,000. It could have been done for much less if I had planned my rentals earlier in the game and been better at budgeting — another handy reason to hire a planner.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Prioritize. If you aren’t good with budgets, then find someone who is immediately and follow your gut. Write thank you cards as you receive the gifts and make a list of those you’ve sent. Also, don’t borrow or buy your dishes. Washing 300 dishes isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun way to spend their first two weeks of marriage.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We became the best of friends during our last year of college at Texas State University. My maid of honor was also his good friend, so when he invited me to be his date at a wedding in his hometown, I didn’t hesitate. There is something extremely charming about a Southern gentleman and a small town wedding. But I bet I don’t have to tell y’all that!
In what month did you get married? I have always wanted to be a June bride and loved the date 6-2-12. Should be easy enough to remember!
How many guests attended your wedding? Close to 120.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Julia Ward sang “Love is a Big Deal” by Miya Dunets as I was walking down the aisle and as our first dance. It is hauntingly beautiful and has always brought tears to our eyes.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: When we sat down at the bakery to taste flavors, we had no idea what we were in for. We ended up choosing four different flavors because they were all so incredible. We chose to leave off the outer icing and drizzle the top with caramel. It gave it that wild and undone look that matched the flowers, but we placed two romantic brass swans on top to give it a polished touch.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The way it all felt very “us” from the bridal party outfits to the decor and food.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our families are from the South (Mississippi, Alabama, and deep in East Texas) so the accents alone made it feel very Southern. Other than that, we had several Southern touches. For brunch, we served scratch biscuits and gravy, I wore my something old/new/borrowed/blue in the form of wedding jewelry from our grandmothers and great grandmothers. The entire wedding had a family reunion feel which we loved, and we asked everyone to dress for my favorite Southern love, Sunday brunch.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I tried to do it all myself, while living in Arizona. If we hadn’t moved back to Austin a month before the wedding, I don’t know how I would have pulled it off. Having our friends and family around helped tremendously.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The photography! We’ll cherish these photographs forever.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The look on Brent’s face when I saw him standing at the altar. It was the sweetest moment of our entire relationship.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We just moved home to Austin because we’d like to settle down, begin planning a family of our own, and enjoy every day that we are back where the people are friendly and the land is beautiful.