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What’s your first memory of being at a wedding? I think for many of us, those first encounters with weddings help define our all-time favorite details, and the moments we want to create on our own wedding days. In Whitney and Parker’s case, Whitney has always remembered staring up at the cake when she attended a neighbor’s wedding as a little girl, and when she and Parker celebrated their new marriage at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the rotunda lent itself perfectly to creating that same moment with a magnificent cake. That isn’t the only meaningful tradition they included in their day, either–don’t miss the story behind Whitney’s gorgeous dress!

Thanks so much to Jennifer Lindberg for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I am one of three girls and we are all very close. When Parker and I got engaged, my sister, Caroline, was studying abroad in Paris and couldn’t be there. I was so sad she couldn’t be a part of the engagement celebrations, so my dad surprised me and flew her to New York to be with my mom and I to try on wedding dresses! Thank goodness he did, because Caroline is the stylist of the family, and I couldn’t have imagined choosing a dress without her seal of approval! We visited lots of different designers’ showrooms over the course of several days, but I finally decided on a Carolina Herrera dress with a trumpet skirt and unique lace appliqué. I subtly incorporated my initials into the lace–a “G” to represent my maiden name and an “A” to represent my new last name. Laura Gonzalez of Coutures by Laura added the illusion neckline, which she accented with vine-like embroidery.

We were married at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. It is the church I grew up attending, so it was really important to me to have the wedding there.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It was special to have a moment with just my dad as we peered around the corner of the bridal room at the church, watching the wedding party walk down the aisle. Because Parker and I chose to stick with tradition and not see each other before the wedding, there was so much anticipation as the doors to the sanctuary opened and I could see Parker for the first time. It was emotional, and I was so glad that we had decided to add a hymn to the service at the last minute. It allowed Parker and I a couple of minutes to regroup, but it was also such a powerful experience to be able to look back at the audience and see all of our closest family and friends standing together in support and celebration of our marriage. I know that throughout our lives together, being able to reflect on that feeling will help Parker and me through both the good times and the bad.

The reception was at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. I love the tall ceilings and the unique rotunda and staircase, but more importantly, I am a very homesick Texan, so the venue allowed us to show our friends from out of state what a great place Austin is! We had a great view of the Capitol, and our wedding coordinator, Becky Brock, created an outdoor space by bringing in boxwood walls and incorporating the oversized star in the front of the museum. I also loved that the dance floor was a granite picture of the state, so our guests danced across Texas all night!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We incorporated both of our home states into the wedding, including the venue and late night tacos to represent Texas and the peach-themed desserts to represent Georgia. In addition, Parker and I have lived in and made friends in so many different Southern cities, so we included coffee table books from each city, so that our guests could sign the book that represented where we knew them from: Austin and Atlanta where we each grew up, Nashville where we met and went to college, and Winston-Salem where Parker attended medical school and I attended graduate school.

As a little girl, I attended my neighbor’s wedding, and still have memories of looking up at her cake in awe. I knew I wanted a big cake that would have the same effect, and the rotunda at the reception venue offered the perfect place to showcase it. The cake was five feet tall and had a beautiful swag of sugar flowers, but my favorite part was that the flavor was funfetti. Parker has many interests, so it was fun to incorporate those into his groom’s cake. He graduated from medical school two weeks before the wedding and is going to be an orthopedic surgeon, so the cake was a doctor’s bag with an X-Ray of a hand wearing a wedding band. The cake also included a Braves baseball hat and Vanderbilt football to represent his favorite teams, as well as several golf balls.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t be afraid to incorporate unique details. My mom was skeptical of our unusual first dance song and the funfetti cake, but they ended up being a hit. My favorite weddings to attend are the ones where the details let you in on who the couple is and their personalities.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Nashville, Tennessee, where I am a CPA and Parker is in his Orthopedic Surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After living in different cities before the wedding, we have loved being together in Nashville and are enjoying our new lives together, one day at a time.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Parker and I met at Vanderbilt, where he was a grade ahead of me. I had been invited to KA’s “Old South” Fraternity Formal, but since freshmen couldn’t have cars, we caught a ride with the upperclassmen. Parker says he had tried to introduce himself throughout the semester, but hadn’t had a good opportunity, so he arranged to drive me and my date to the formal. After spending six hours in the car together, Parker asked me to dance later that night. Unfortunately for my date, Parker is a great dancer and swept me off me off my feet, both literally and figuratively.
Tell us all about the proposal! In his last year of medical school Parker was in between orthopedic surgery rotations at various hospitals across the Southeast. Before starting his away rotation at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Parker came through Atlanta, where I was living, at the time to visit. He told me that he wanted to take me to a special dinner before leaving for Texas, and he knew I was excited about the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” exhibit that was showing at the High Museum in Atlanta. When he called to tell me his uncle had tickets to a private viewing of the exhibit that he had offered to us, I was thrilled! I got off late from work, and despite getting ready in 10 minutes, I was still running late. Parker was visibly anxious, but he has always hates being late, so his behavior didn’t seem odd. When we got to the room with “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” I walked up to the painting to look at it more closely. When I realized Parker wasn’t standing next to me, I turned around, and he was on one knee. I was so shocked, I hardly remembered to say “yes” when Parker proposed! After we left the museum, we went to dinner. The hostess led us to a private dining room, and both of our families were there waiting for us. I was surprised all over again and burst into tears! I love that we had that private moment, but were also able to celebrate with family.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 450
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Fishin’ in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It was an unusual choice for a first dance, but it was special to us because it is the first song we ever danced to when we met at Old South in college. My father/daughter dance was to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys are my dad’s favorite band and we grew up listening to their greatest hits on repeat, so this was a special moment with my dad.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed the garter that my mother-in-law and her mother had worn at their weddings. I wore a sapphire band on my right hand that my grandmother had given me as a high school graduation gift. For my something old, I wore my great-grandmother’s engagement ring on my right hand and carried Parker’s KA pin attached to my bouquet. Parker’s grandfather was very special to both of us and passed away a few months before the wedding. When Parker pledged KA in college, his grandmother gave him the KA pin that his grandfather had used to “pin” her with. Parker gave me the pin when we got engaged, and it was a special token that helped us include his grandfather’s memory in the wedding. As my something new, I wore pearl and diamond earrings that my mom gave me as a wedding gift. The pearl drops reminded me of the “Girl with the Pearl Earring” painting by Johannes Vermeer that Parker proposed in front of. I also wore a Cartier Love Bracelet that my dad gave me as a wedding gift. It was such a sweet gift for the occasion because the bracelet screws on and my dad has the key. His note said that even as he gave me away, the bracelet was a reminder that I will always be his little girl.

Photographer: Jennifer Lindberg / Videographer: Mason Jar Films / Planner: Brock + Co. Events / Ceremony Venue: Good Shepherd Episcopal Church / Reception Venue: The Bullock Texas State History Museum / Florist: Westbank Flower Market / Wedding Cake: Simon Lee Bakery / Caterer: Rosemary’s Catering / Rentals: Townsley Design / Lighting: FILO Productions / Band: Pure Party Band / Paper Products: Personally Yours / Bride’s Gown: “Aveline” by Carolina Herrera / Bride’s Veil: Coutures by Laura / Bride’s Earrings: The Menagerie / Bride’s Bracelets: Cartier and Meira T / Hair Stylist: Laura Wyrtzen / Makeup Artist: Christy Edlin / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G787C” in Champagne by Amsale / Menswear: Wally’s Menswear

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Kirsti reply

    This is one of my favorite weddings I’ve seen in Southern Weddings!! I love all of the little details to make their day even more special! I have to say, all of the heirlooms and memories intertwined into her “something old, something borrowed, something blue something new” was the best I’ve ever heard of! This fills me with so much joy to read such a sweet story!

  2. avatar Becky Brock – Brock + Co. Events reply

    Thanks for sharing Whitney + Parker’s wedding! Such a great family + we all had so much fun on designing the details. One of our 2014 faves!

  3. avatar Most of all I remember… reply

    […] One of the most exciting things happened yesterday and we totally missed it! Please look at Whitney & Parker's AMAZING and super-fun wedding featured on the Southern Weddings Blog! http://southernweddings.com/2015/04/16/texas-state-history-museum-by-jennifer-lindberg/ […]

  4. avatar Jenn Lindberg reply

    Love seeing this wedding get the press it deserves! There were so many fun details, and a real spirit of playfulness throughout that you could tell emanated from the love between W & P, and their families.

  5. avatar Tracy reply

    What gorgeous images! I especially love the embroidery on the gown. Congrats on a beautiful wedding and new life together.

  6. avatar SOUTHERN WEDDINGS FEATURE | Brock + Co. Events – Austin Party + Wedding Planning reply

    […] were so excited to see Whitney + Parker’s wedding on Southern Weddings last week! It was one of our 2014 faves + we loved designing all of the fun details, along with […]

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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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