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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

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    […] 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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Any time I spot wedding details inspired by the great state of Texas, it never fails to make me smile! Even though Julia and David’s love story started in Minnesota where they grew up, they chose to invite their loved ones to their new home city of Dallas for their wedding. From the Lone Star State flag pin Julia attached to her bouquet to the tables named after roads in Texas, it’s clear that these Northern cuties have embraced their Southern locale wholeheartedly. Kristyn Hall of Event Elements helped them pull every sweet detail together so that Julia and David could focus on saying the vows they wrote, enjoying their abundant dessert table, and soaking in every one of their first moments as husband and wife!

Thanks so much to Elisabeth Carol for sharing this lovely day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed diamond earrings from one of my bridesmaids; they were a gift from her parents on her wedding day. My something new was my wedding dress and shoes. For something blue, I had a navy blue ribbon that matched David’s suit tied around my bouquet. Lastly, my mother surprised me with my something olds on our wedding day: a handkerchief that was handmade by my great-grandmother.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? From David: I’ll go ahead and answer this one. We did a first look mostly for my benefit. I come from a family (mostly on my mother’s side) of emotional people, and I knew that seeing my beautiful wife-to-be for the first time would be a joyous and emotional moment for me. Not that I’m afraid of shedding a tear in front of our family and friends, but I didn’t want to make everyone sit out in the Texas heat for too long while I tried to get myself back together.Our photographer, Elisabeth Carol, set me up on the front porch and had Julia come up from behind to surprise me. It was a good thing we did a first look–Julia was absolutely stunning and I’ll cherish that moment forever.

We both thought it was important to express our love for each other in our own words, and ended up writing both separate vows and joint vows. Our personal vows were more of a story of what our love means to us. In our joint vows, we thought carefully about the things we wanted to promise to each other and what we wanted our marriage to become. Our favorite line was, “I promise to take you as my only love from this day forward and to join you on our journey of adventure and wonder. I promise to challenge you and myself to every day become a better person and spouse.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was having my grandfather, Larry, marry us. It was so special to hear my grandfather say the words “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” We will never forgot that special part of the day!

I have a serious sweet tooth and couldn’t decide on just one cake, so we went with a whole dessert table. It featured five different cakes and a variety of bite-sized desserts–everything was so delicious and beautiful. I almost didn’t want anyone to eat them!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. David and I met and became very close friends during high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We never dated in high school, but we remained in touch when we both went away to college–David to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and I to Boston University in Boston. David and I continued to spend time together as friends over the summer back in Minneapolis until one magical night at David’s family summer cottage, when he finally worked up the courage to kiss me. We have been together ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! A few days before Christmas, I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas when David went downstairs to get my Christmas present. David can be pretty last-minute when it comes to buying gifts, so I thought he was joking when he said he already had a gift for me. When he came upstairs, he was hiding something behind his back, and then he got down on one knee and proposed to me in our living room. We ended up keeping our engagement a secret for a few days, as we were heading home to Minnesota to be with our families for Christmas, and we wanted to tell everyone in person at once. We enlisted the help of David’s brother-in-law to gather everyone together, and when we arrived in Minnesota after a 14-hour drive through the night, we shared our news and celebrated with our families!
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My parents live in Minnesota, so my mom came to Dallas for a weekend of wedding dress shopping. I knew exactly what style I wanted: lace, straps, and something somewhat modest. We shopped at a few stores, but I kept going back to the same beautiful Mori Lee dress–one of the first I had tried on. After sleeping on it, we went back the next day and tried it on again. That time, my mom and I both knew it was the perfect dress for the wedding.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our recessional, we chose “The Jurassic Park Theme Song.” This song selection was really just for the fun of it–the song and movie are a little inside joke between David and I. It was a special moment for us and definitely intrigued our guests quite a bit. We got a lot of, “Was that the Jurassic Park theme song?” during the reception.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Julia: After the ceremony, David and I were able to spend time just the two of us. It was so special to have those first few moments as husband and wife together to celebrate our love, our marriage, and our future. From David: By far the first look. A close second would be having everyone that means the most to us together for one fun night.

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography / Planner: Kristyn Hall of Event Elements / Ceremony Venue: Texas Discovery Gardens / Reception Venue and Catering: The Belo Mansion / Florist: Raquel Lovern of RLove Floral Designs / Dessert Baker: Emily Allen of Cakewalk Bake Shop / Lighting: Brian Prescott of Simply Music / Band: Astounding Sounds / Calligraphy: Polished Pen Calligraphy / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Gown: Mori Lee / Hair and Makeup: Tracy Melton Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm / Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Hannah reply

    So funny, I just photographed a different wedding where they walked out to Jurassic Park as well! It works surprisingly well! :) Beautiful wedding and best wishes for your life together!

  2. avatar Elisabeth Carol reply

    Love!! Thanks SO much for the feature! <3

  3. avatar Tracy Melton Dallas Hair Styling & Makeup Artistry | Julia’s Wedding Day reply

    […] might have seen me share that our bride Julia’s wedding day was featured on Southern Weddings Website not too long ago (on my social media – if you don’t follow along you totally […]

  4. avatar Deidre reply

    Hi! Doyou know by chance where they got the gold face for the centerpiece?

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We are so very lucky that the South is home to some of the most beautiful locations to tie the knot–many of which are filled with rich history and generations of love stories that have passed through their doors. Catherine and Nelson’s gorgeous venue not only has those sweet details, but so much more! Their venue story goes all the way back to the summer before Catherine turned five–this sweet couple actually celebrated their marriage on the land where Catherine grew up, and where her parents intentionally built cottages (one for each of the children in their family), an adorable chapel, and their family home. Catherine grew up imagining herself walking down the aisle in Grace Chapel to join the man of her dreams in marriage–swoon! I’m sure of all the weddings the Heritage Haus has hosted, this one in particular will never be forgotten.

Gracious, we’re happy our Blue Ribbon Vendor Loft Photography shared this sweet day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to several appointments with my mom, my mother-in-law, and friends, but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. Many of the dresses were so close, but were missing that something special. Finally, I made an appointment to go to a different store by myself. The second I put on my dress, I knew it was what I had been looking for, and I purchased it that day.

My bouquet held white peonies, patience garden roses, white ranunculus, vendela roses, silver dollar, and seeded eucalyptus. The bridesmaids’ bouquets mimicked mine and included brunia berries to accent the slate color of their dresses. The same flowers were used throughout the wedding–attached to chairs along the chapel aisle, in a garland adorning the chapel entrance, dotted around the pavilion for cocktail hour, and in the reception table arrangements.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? It all started the summer before I turned five when my parents moved our family from Houston to the small town of Dripping Springs, Texas and bought a house on a 30-acre plot of land. My mother is a dreamer and a creator, and she had a vision to build on our property. Although the intent was to create this estate for our personal family use, I don’t think anyone could have imagined just how special our home would become to so many people. It was a very slow process: the cottages (one for each of the children in my family), then Grace Chapel (which was dedicated by our family pastor who performed my wedding ceremony), and then the rest fell into place. I adore my family home. I have lived there for the majority of my life and have countless cherished memories of growing up out in the country. I had imagined walking down the aisle in Grace Chapel to join the man of my dreams in marriage so many times when I was growing up. It meant so much to be married there and share my home with my closest and dearest family and friends.

My most memorable moment was waiting for the doors of the chapel to open. Standing with my dad on one side of the doors and the anticipation of becoming a wife and standing with my husband on the other side was a moment in time that can never be recreated.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married in my family chapel on the property where I grew up. A pair of antique cypress doors from my mother’s home state of Louisiana mark the entrance of Grace Chapel. The ceremony was officiated by our longtime friend and pastor, who had baptized me when I was a child. Several pieces of silver that have been passed down through generations of my family were incorporated into table settings and displays.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It will all get done, so enjoy this moment! If your budget allows, a wedding coordinator will help tie up loose ends and ensure your day runs smoothly. I loved my coordinator! Try not to stress about the small details (even though you probably will). Inevitably, those will be the things you don’t notice as much on the wedding day. Focus on building your love and encouraging each other, because this is the beginning of the rest of your life.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Dancing! Nelson and I are typically not the first to bust a move on the dance floor, but the band’s energy and our wonderful DJ kept the party flowing and full of life! We didn’t stop dancing until the very end, and even our guests chanted for an encore from the band.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I had just moved to Houston the month before I met my husband. One night, at a fun local bar my friends and I used to go to, this tall guy came up to talk to me. After chatting for a while, we found out that we had mutual friends. I explained to him that, being new to town, I was looking to get to know people and that I wasn’t ready to date anyone. He got my number and the phone calls rolled in (he even called me that night and left a hilarious voicemail that I still replay to this very day!). He would call me at 2 P.M. on the dot each day when I got off of work to ask to hang out. I made lots of excuses about being busy, but after a full week of his phone calls, I came up with what I thought was the perfect solution: we could be running buddies! I figured that if he saw me sweaty and in workout clothes, he wouldn’t want any romantic relationship with me. We ran together regularly for a month, and talked about our jobs, families, friends, and everything in between. Since we had become friends, I invited him to a Super Bowl party at my house. After the game was over, he asked if we could take my dog for an evening stroll through the neighborhood. When we were approaching my house at the end of our walk, he stopped walking, leaned in, and kissed me. Completely shocked, I said “I can’t believe you just did that.” It probably wasn’t the response he was looking for! The rest has been history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Nelson, our dog, Teddy, and I drove up to Colorado last June to stay at my family’s summer home–a fun getaway from the Texas heat! The second day we were there, we took a scenic drive with Teddy on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so incredible! After nearly three hours of sightseeing, we finally reached the top. I offered to drive back down, since the roads were so narrow that Nelson hadn’t gotten to fully enjoy the views on our drive up. On the way down, he kept insisting that I stop at the lookout points we had already visited. I, being tired, told him I wanted to keep driving so we could get home for lunch. I could tell something was up when he didn’t let up about stopping, saying he wanted Teddy to have one final run around outside. Finally, I pulled over into a thicket. I was hungry, tired, and exasperated that we had already stopped at every lookout point there possibly was, so I told Nelson that I would wait in the car while he and Teddy played. That definitely didn’t work, because he came up to the driver’s door, opened it for me, and said he REALLY wanted me to get out and play with them. Thankfully for Nelson’s sake, I got out of the car and started walking toward the thicket. When I turned around, Nelson reached for the zipper on his fishing shirt pocket, got down on one knee, and proposed.
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The recessional song was “Blackbird” by The Beatles. The first time I went to Nelson’s apartment when we were dating, he played that song for me on his guitar. I am very emotionally attached to music, and every time I hear that song, it reminds me of the excitement and joy of the relationship we were building. Our first dance was to “In My Life” by The Beatles. The lyrics of the song resonate with me–I’ve been on many adventures in my life, some even taking me across the world, but those experiences all brought me to Nelson. “Though I know I’ll never lose affection, for people and things that went before, I know I’ll often stop and think about them, in my life, I love you more.”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was my grandmother’s pin, attached to ribbon on my bouquet. The pin was given to her as a young woman by her father. My something new was my wedding gown. I borrowed my mother’s pave diamond earrings, which were a gift to her from my father on the day I was born. My something blue was my sapphire ring, a keepsake belonging to my husband’s aunt that was given to her by her father.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Taking on the role of husband and wife bears a lot of responsibility. I am excited about the opportunities God has in store for us to grow and learn together, whatever those may be.

Photographer: Loft Photography / Planner: Jessica Upton / Ceremony Venue: Heritage Haus / Florist: Wild Bunches / Cake Baker: Cakes by Lori and Sweet Treets / Caterer: Whole Foods Catering / Rentals: Whim and Marquee / Band: London Calling / DJ: Josh of Penguin Entertainment / Invitations: Crane / Save the Dates and Programs: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “9258” by Alvina Valenta / Bride’s Veil: Ivory Bridal Atelier / Hair Stylist: Lauren Hoy / Makeup Artist: Lauren Davis of Hint of Shimmer / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G849C” in Slate by Amsale / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Transportation: Cynthia’s Manhattan Limousine

Loft Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Allison Miller reply

    Where can I find that fabulous box clutch?!?

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