Remember this adorable engagement session? Y’all loved Sara and Austin, and their bright, preppy style, as much as we did, and we’re delighted to share their wedding today! With the help of Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events, Sara and Austin planned a colorful celebration in the heart of Texas, complete with Kate Spade-inspired details, plenty of gorgeous blooms, sweet nods to their families and Southern roots, and a few cameo appearances by their lovable bulldog. It’s impossible not to smile looking at these photos by Love, The Nelsons, and be sure to read about the heart that was poured into every detail of this joyful day!
Describe your wedding flowers. Mind-blowing. Beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t even know where to start. Rhi took a video of my first look at my bouquet–I was just so giddy and excited, and the squealing sound I made was embarrassing. There were flowers everywhere at our wedding–dahlias and hydrangeas and various kinds of garden and sweetheart roses were used throughout the floral elements as base blooms. Ranunculus, anemones, stock blooms, and sweet pea were used to create lush texture. Boxwood greens, laurel-like garlands, and small amounts of green jasmine vine were used throughout the event to add a touch of kelly green to the color palette, while lending to an understated preppy look. There were also pops of succulents and the most amazing accents of vibrant, wine-colored leaves! Rhi seriously outdid herself!
My something borrowed was my grandma’s bible, which my dad and I held together as we walked down the aisle. All the women on my dad’s side of the family have carried it with their bouquets. My something blue was a small piece of satin that had “love and loyally” embroidered on it with blue thread, sewn into the hem of my dress. The saying is the closing salutation used in formal correspondence with other members of my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. My something old was a diamond earring (just one, because I lost the other as a child) given to me by my mom, which was a gift from her parents when she was young. I had the single diamond reset into a tragus earring. My something new was my amazingly sparkly Kate Spade glitter shoes! The second I saw them, I knew I had to have them for my wedding!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did! We really wanted to have those traditional words in our ceremony, like “to have and to hold” and “for as long as you both shall live,” but we also wanted to add our personal vows, so our ceremony ended up being a hybrid of both. Exchanging our vows was very emotional–I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. I have to say, Austin totally knocked it out of the park! My favorite line from his was, “I promise to always bring you flowers when I am wrong and carry your shoes home when I am right.” It got a great reaction out of the crowd, because everyone knows I always end up complaining about my feet hurting due to my impractical choices of shoes.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. In March 2013, my mom and my sister came to help us pack and get ready to make our move from Florida to Texas, so we took advantage of the three of us being together and went to every bridal store in the Tampa Bay area. After trying on what felt like a million dresses, we were exhausted and I was discouraged. Wedding dress shopping took a backseat for about five months while we got settled in Texas. That September, my parents came for their first visit, and again, I had a jam-packed schedule of bridal appointments. From the beginning, I had said that I didn’t want strapless and I didn’t want mermaid. After yet another long day of trying on dresses, the sweet stylist at the boutique pulled a strapless mermaid and said, “Please just try it, you might be surprised.” Boy, was she right! I fell in love with the strapless mermaid sample that came as-is, needed to be altered into a sweetheart top, couldn’t be let out, and was totally outside what I ever imagined myself wearing on my wedding day.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our invitations were very traditional, with a twist. The front of the invitation was simple and understated, with traditional wording straight out of the Emily Post etiquette book, but the back had this beautiful floral pattern, designed by Lemon & Lavender, that was used throughout the wedding. Our food was very Southern–we served Texas BBQ, complete with beef brisket and sausage, mesquite-smoked chicken, macaroni and cheese, and jalapeño cornbread. People said it was the best wedding food they had ever had!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: So many details, so many favorites. The blush-colored sequin linens (Rhi was right, a tablecloth can make such a statement), the laser-cut cake topper, the boxwood Mr. & Mrs. chair swag, the programs that doubled as fans (because it was HOT and those came in handy for our guests), our hand-lettered chalkboard welcome sign, and clear plastic beer cups that incorporated our clever wedding hashtag: #mrmrslafinally (our last name is LaFaille, and after a four year, seven month, 30-day courtship, followed by a one year, nine month, 27-day engagement, we FINALLY got married!).
Our cake was so amazing! It was a three-tiered round cake with black and white stripes on the top two tiers and an all-white bottom tier. It was sitting on a base covered in beautiful bright green boxwood, had a small, perfectly-placed cluster of HGE blooms, and was topped with a gorgeous gold laser-cut cake topper that said “happily ever after.” We also had a groom’s cake in the shape of Howard’s Rock at Clemson University, Austin’s alma mater. The groom’s cake sat on a marble table that was adorned with all of Austin’s favorite things: hot tamales, cigars, golf balls/tees in big apothecary jars, an old gumball machine that was given to him by his late grandfather filled with peanut M&M’s (his grandpa’s favorite candy), a square gold vase that held the state flags of all the places Austin has lived, and even a ceramic figurine of an English bulldog.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in March 2008 while we were both vacationing in Negril, Jamaica. I was in my junior year of college and on a trip with two friends–girls only, relaxation required, and no drama allowed. Austin was on his high school senior trip with 15+ friends–last hurrah, no rules, and a whole lot of memories to make. It was hard not to notice them. We were officially introduced after running into each other on the beach. Our groups exchanged friendly conversations and hollow declarations of meeting up again. It wasn’t until a fortuitous encounter at the hotel bar that same evening that we started to recognize there was a magnetism that existed between us. We had our first kiss in a Jamaican discotheque, and thanks to the sheer scandal of this budding relationship, we have a picture of our first kiss. We spent the rest of the week getting to know each other and hoping it would never end. Once the trip was over, the reality of the situation set in. I lived in Colorado. Austin was in South Carolina. It all seemed crazy, but we knew we had a connection and we knew we wanted to make it work. So, a zillion dollars in plane tickets that first year while I was still in Colorado, a lot of miles on our cars once I moved to West Virginia, four years of college for Austin, three moves, and one ornery-but-lovable bulldog later, here we are–starting our lives in Texas. We couldn’t be happier or more excited to finally be husband and wife.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was the week of Thanksgiving 2012 and my parents and sister were visiting us in Florida. On Saturday morning, the only thing on the agenda for the day was decorating our Christmas tree, which I really wanted to do while my family was still there. Since decorating a tree and dropping people off at the airport hardly requires getting ready, I was going to go sans shower, which was met with extreme opposition by my sister and mother–so much so that they ended up convincing me that I smelled and I reluctantly heeded their demands that I get ready. Once everyone was showered and looking cute (unnecessarily, in my mind), we began to decorate our Christmas tree. True to form, The Colonel (my daddy) was filming the whole event on his iPad. We emptied four boxes of ornaments and topped it off with a giant gold glittery bow (obvi). My parents said, “Okay, now let’s light it up and get a picture of y’all in front of your first Christmas tree.” We turned the lights on as I hammed it up in front of the camera, and then Austin got down on one knee in front of everyone and said, “Sara Ashley Lucas, I love you more than anything in this world–will you marry me?”
When did y’all get married? September 20, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My Uncle Steve officiated the wedding; he also married my parents 35 years prior. That was really special to us. We took his standard ceremony and made a few tweaks here and there to put our own stamp on it. My mama loves 1 Corinthians 13, so we spilt that up between two of my sorority sisters and they each read a portion. It was really special to be able to involve them in such an intimate way!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. My daddy and I walked down the aisle to “Shape of Us” by Ian Britt. I did struggle a bit with whether or not I should use the original version with the words or find an instrumental version. I took my wedding planner’s advice to just do what felt right to me and not to worry about what people would think, so I ended up using the original. After all, it’s the words that made my first listen of the song so profound. A crowd favorite at our reception was “Country Roads” by John Denver. It was the last song of the night and such a perfect way to pay tribute to West Virginia. My parents both grew up there, we still have a lot of family there (many who were in attendance), and I even lived there for three years right after college. A part of my heart will always be in the “Wild and Wonderful” state of West Virginia!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We loved the concept of juxtaposition; the idea of our guests eating good ol’ Southern BBQ off of gold-rimmed china with gold flatware was so perfect! The whole BBQ notion lent itself seamlessly to a buffet rather than a plated dinner, which is inherently less expensive. I mean, let’s be honest, everyone wants to serve up their own helping of macaroni and cheese!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner–not just any wedding planner, but one that shares your aesthetic and style, one that understands your vision, and one that you can be honest with. Hands down, the best investment. I would have lost my mind without Rhi! And make sure you “click” with your photographer. Feeling comfortable in front of Shalyn and Drew was really important to us!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have planned so much of everything up to this point, so we are really just looking forward to living and not planning! We are excited to continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. And eventually, grow our family! But for now, Austin, Rumpelstiltskin, and I are looking forward to a long weekend cuddling on the couch!
Photographer: Love, The Nelsons / Planner and Florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Venue: Vista West Ranch / Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes by Lori / Caterer: PoK-e-Jo’s / Rentals: Premiere Events, Loot Vintage Rentals, Whim Event Rentals / DJ: Complete / Paper Products: Lemon + Lavender / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Bride’s Gown: “Sorento” by Ines Di Santo / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Bride’s Sash: Venust Bridal Design / Bride’s Bracelet and Shoes: Kate Spade / Bride’s Garter: Fallen Star Couture / Bride’s Earrings: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway / Hair Stylist: Mindy Fuller / Makeup Artist: Makenzi Laine / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Bridesmaids’ Monogrammed Chambray Shirts: Crystal Faye / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbons: Oatmeal Lace / Flower Girl’s Tutu: Tutu Girl / Dog’s Bow Tie: Mia’s Closet
Vista West Ranch is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!
What vibrant colors! I’m in love with the teal blue bridesmaid dresses and how the bride mixes in the coral flowers. I also love the asymmetrical dresses, though I’m partial (I had similar bridesmaid dresses but in nude at my own wedding) :) Great work, SW!
Thank you for showcasing one of my FAVORITE weddings we have planned! Loved working with Monica and Jerrod… dream couple to work with. Thank you Southern Weddings and Joshua Aaron Photography! xoxo, Meagan Warren
Meagan Warren Weddings
Hi! Was this just submitted online or in one of your actual magazines?
Hi Monica! This wedding was featured online, not in the magazine! :)