Google+The Royal Dukes Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: The Royal Dukes

One of the most fun aspects of working at Southern Weddings is seeing firsthand just how many ways there are to have a “Southern wedding.” From classic ballroom celebrations to rustic ranch soirées and everything in between, Southerners embrace so many distinct styles! One look that we don’t see too often is colorful, Southwestern-inspired weddings, which is why I immediately fell head over heels for the way Alicia and Ian celebrated their marriage. They dreamed up an outdoor wedding full of their favorite Tex Mex details (y’all, they even had a queso bar!) and only the traditions that meant the most to them as a couple. They also did an amazing job of showing their guests the utmost in Southern hospitality–be sure to take a peek at their advice about this below!

Thank you so much to Archetype Studio for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look despite my reservations about it. I loved the idea of Ian seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle, but in reality, I didn’t want to spend any time after the ceremony posing for pictures. Once the ceremony started, I wanted the evening to be about the wedding, the celebration, and being around the people we love rather than the photos.

Ian and I knew that we wanted to get married outside in San Antonio in the fall. I wanted to get married in Ian’s parent’s backyard, but Ian wanted to get married at the McNay Art Museum. We compromised, deciding to have the rehearsal dinner in his parent’s backyard and the wedding at the museum. They’re both beautiful outdoor locations, but the museum’s architecture more closely matched our Tex Mex-inspired vision.

We wrote our own vows and it was probably my favorite part of the entire wedding. I think about them and carry them with me in my heart. I have two favorite lines from our vows. From Ian’s: “I promise to always nurture your dreams and help you exceed your goals. I promise to always listen and always comfort you, in the best of times or the blurst of times.” Not only is his promise to help me exceed my goals and comfort me critical to our daily life, but “the blurst of times” is a reference to a Simpson’s joke, and it always makes me smile when I think about it. It’s such a classic Ian joke, and I love it. From mine: “I promise to remember that the quality of our inner life together is more important than anything I can create or accomplish in the outer world.” I think about this line from my vows nearly every day. It really resonates with me because I’m a determined attorney in Manhattan practicing criminal law, and I have to remind myself that the greatest accomplishment, the greatest privilege, and the greatest responsibility in my life is the happiness of my marriage to Ian. Living my vows is the best homage to pay our beautiful wedding.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Start with the macro, the bigger goals. For Ian and I, we started with the ultimate goal of wanting our wedding to be easy on our guests. We didn’t want our guests to feel that a lot was expected of them monetarily or in terms of their time, and we wanted the people we love to really feel that love. With that main goal in mind, all the other questions were easy to answer–yes to ceremony and reception at same venue, no to a seated dinner with pre-planned meal, yes to a great variety of food and seating options, yes to transportation being provided, and no to a wedding party and the expectations that go along with it. It’s easy to get caught up in the frame of mind that, “This is MY day,” or, “This is what I want,” which sometimes leads to cutting things guests enjoy. But, if you get to live with the love of your life forever, you’re getting your way every day. Make the celebration about the people who taught you how to love, and the day will be even more special for everyone.

Describe your wedding flowers. We had a fresh and bright, watercolor-ombre, Southwestern palette with a fusion of cacti, succulents, and soft-petalled blooms in every shade of pink (except peach) peonies, garden roses, dahlias, and ranunculus. Our wedding flowers were out of this world.

Most of our wedding details were south Texan with Mexican flavor. Our save the dates were a hand-drawn watercolor of a man’s bullfighting/mariachi jacket and a woman’s embroidered dress, fabulously painted by a college friend of mine. The decor on the tables at the reception included Mexican textile runners and geometric brass terrariums. Our south Texan-inspired food included fried quail with jalapeno gravy, hand-pressed gorditas, avocado halves stuffed with shrimp, ceviche, or vegetables, and a table dedicated to queso, a melted Mexican cheese dip.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was vanilla with caramel filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting. The design was classic and simple in white with the wedding flowers on and around it. We also had a groom’s cake, which was a collection of about 15 chocolate cakes decorated as cacti.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ian and I went to high school together in San Antonio, Texas in the early 2000s. We became friends over instant messenger my sophomore year of high school (Ian’s junior year), and were on the cusp of becoming romantic when I went abroad to Spain during my junior year. That year, we religiously kept in touch over phone and email, and Ian planned to visit me for his senior year spring break. He booked tickets and reserved a hotel room, and then, the day before his flight, terrorists attacked Madrid. Ian cancelled his trip and we lost our momentum. Over the five years that followed, we both dated other people, we both went to undergrad in Southern California, and both periodically kept in touch. After graduating from undergrad, we also both happened to move to Austin. I had just sworn off of eternally pining for Ian, but within a week of both living in Austin, we were dating. We moved to New Orleans together so I could attend law school, then moved to New York. We dated for six years before getting engaged.
Tell us all about the proposal! One frigid day (March 7, 2015, to be exact), I dragged Ian to a brunch with me and about a dozen of my girlfriends in SoHo. I had been misinformed and didn’t know that none of their boyfriends were coming to brunch, but we had a ball. Afterwards, we walked across Washington Square Park to get a cab home, and Ian just took the ring out of his front jean pocket, held it up, and said, “Wanna get married?” like it was no big deal. Of course, I said yes! We called the girlfriends we had just been at brunch with, met at a bar in West Village, and celebrated all day into the night. Neither Ian nor I like formality or over-the-top gestures, so it was true to us and, in my opinion, that made it perfect.
When did y’all get married? October 31, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Ian and I were only having a six-month engagement, so I couldn’t spend a lot of time searching for a wedding dress (which I wasn’t sad about). I’m really not into shopping, so I knew I could only go to one or two stores before starting to hate the experience. Based on some internet research, I knew I wanted my dress to be from an Israeli designer because I loved several Israeli brands online, especially the lace they used. I brought one of my best girlfriends to a boutique on the upper east side of Manhattan, where they carried several Israeli designers. I tried on about seven dresses and narrowed it down to two. I went home to sleep on it and realized the next morning that one of them was much more “me,” and the other was more who I wished I was. I went back to the store the next day to put down my deposit.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? In writing our own vows, we really had to reflect on who we were, our weaknesses, and what was important to promise to each other for all time. Confronting those things with love in front of your guests is very powerful and freeing. Saying every line sincerely and not for show or because everyone has that specific thing at their ceremony makes you really think about what’s important and relevant to your unique relationship.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? After dating for about six years and knowing each other for 12 years, Ian and I knew exactly what we wanted: a short engagement, a small(ish) wedding in San Antonio, and lots of delicious Tex Mex at the reception. However, our biggest challenge was picking the venue and the date. We had a six-week window in which we wanted to have the wedding, and we wanted to accommodate our family and friend’s schedules. It worked out that Halloween was the best date for most people, and the venue was available. I wasn’t thrilled to get married on Halloween, but it ultimately became a very special part of our wedding. Our niece and nephews dressed up, making everyone laugh.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We decided not to have a videographer. We frequently see wedding videos on social media of people we only distantly know, and we wanted our wedding experience to be somewhat private–only for us and the guests we invited. We wanted to remember the events the way they happened, and not through the eye of a camera.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After such a fun wedding and honeymoon in South Africa and Mozambique, we’re looking forward to traveling more together, including traveling to attend our friends’ weddings.

Photographer: Archetype Studio | Planner: Sweet August Events | Venue and Lighting: The McNay Art Museum | Florist: Clementine | Cake Baker: Cakes by Cathy Young | Caterer: Don Strange Ranch | Rentals: Aztec USA and Luxe Event Decor | Band: The Royal Dukes | Special Details: Sogi’s Honey Bakeshop | Paper Products: Girl General | Bride’s Gown: “Veronica” by Flora | Bride’s Veil: L’Fay Bridal | Bride’s Earrings: Bloomingdale’s | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Madame Make-Up and Hair | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Groom’s Attire: Club Monaco and Cole Haan

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Adrienna reply

    Oh wow, those succulent cupcakes are SO CUTE!

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!

Reply to:
close

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?????

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!

Reply to:
close
Top