Today marks our two month anniversary (woohoo! I love being married!) and we’re currently honeymooning in Spain, so this seemed like a great time to share some pictures and details from our wedding day!
I’m linking the vendor information at the bottom. We seriously LUCKED OUT with every one of our wedding vendors! There wasn’t one company that we used that I didn’t absolutely love. If you have an Austin wedding coming up, check out some of those links at the bottom of the page.
I can only describe our wedding day has “pure happiness.” I didn’t stop smiling all day, and it truly was a magical and perfect day. At the end of the night, just before Nate and I stepped outside for the sparkler exit, we stood alone in the venue, admiring the beautiful, messy aftermath of the wedding. “Did that really just happen?” we asked each other. It almost felt like we stepped into a different, perfect, fairy-tale world for a day. It was as if the opposite of Murphy’s Law had happened: everything that could go right, DID go right! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin our adventure as husband and wife.
Nate and I met on an online dating site at the end of 2013 while I was in grad school at UT Austin. After around two-and-a-half-years of dating, he surprised me with an engagement ring during a weekend trip to San Francisco on the 4th of July. Talk about fireworks!!
We opted for a 9 month engagement. Neither one of us wanted a big, formal wedding. But we also wanted to give ourselves enough time to plan without being super stressed out. 9 months ended up being just about the perfect amount of time. Toward the end of the engagement, I started to realize that no matter how long you’re engaged, you’ll find planning stuff to do! So whether I had done a 3 month or a 3 year engagement, the wedding planning process never really stops until you get to the wedding day. There’s just always “one more thing” that could be done!
[Psst: this is the blog post I wrote about how it feels to be 3 weeks away from getting married! It’s interesting to read it now that I’m on the other side of the wedding….]
Lots of brides are good about picking words to describe their wedding, like “Island Chic” or “Boho Vintage.” As much as I admire the lovely ladies who have such a vision for their wedding style, I just didn’t have that. So the three words I chose for my wedding were “Great Big Party.” I just wanted it to be fun! I didn’t stress about colors or style. I was, however, lucky to be able to use all of the fun, vintage furniture that our venue already owned. We were working with a place that already had great bones, so the rest of the decorating was pretty simple. (It also helped that my mother-in-law is an artist and has an excellent eye for arranging flowers!) In general, we just wanted our wedding to have that fun, casual, funky, “Austin-y” vibe that every local Austinite knows and loves!
I woke up at 8 am on our wedding day to the sound of birds chirping under a clear, blue, 65-deegree spring sky. My sister, Cara, knocked on my bedroom door and came in to my room, sitting on the bed with me while we shared giggles and memories and expectations for the day ahead.
My day-of coordinator, Amberley at Blue Boots Events, recommended starting my wedding day with some sort of relaxing exercise to calm my mind. My three sisters and I went to a Hatha Flow class at my favorite Austin yoga studio, Yoga Yoga. Class always begins with each yogi introducing herself, and I loved being able to say, “I’m Kelsey and I’M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!”
Brides: I can’t recommend this enough!! The morning yoga glass did so much to calm me down on the morning of my wedding, plus it was just one more fun memory to share with my sisters.
Nate and I chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen, so I spent the day getting ready with my three best friends: my sisters! Our wedding venue was just a few blocks from where Nate and I live, so I was able to use the house as my “getting ready station.” Adrian from All Dolled Up came to the house to my hair (I wanted loose waves with a waterfall braid) and my makeup in the afternoon. The house was a frenzy of excitement all day as my relatives came and left, bringing food to snack on throughout the day, taking flowers and decorations over to the venue, and pausing for lots of hugs. My sisters and I sipped champagne throughout the day as we all got ready!
Our wedding venue was The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery. Nate and I had been to the original Denver location while visiting his parents. Then about two years ago we heard that they were opening an Austin location walking distance from his house: SCORE! Since its opening, it’s been one of our favorite Austin spots to hang out and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening. Throughout our dating years, we’d often cook dinner together at his place and then walk over to The Infinite Monkey Theorem to enjoy a post-dinner glass of wine.
About an hour before the ceremony, Nate and I met in front of the winery to see each other. Oh, the smiles! And hugs! And kisses! What everyone told me is true: as soon as we saw each other, I immediately felt calm. Any and all nerves disappeared, and the rest of the night was the happiest party of my life.
My dad walked me down the aisle to the sound of four of my friends from grad school playing the slow movement from Beethoven String Quartet No. 15 Op. 132. I had every expectation to cry as I walked down the aisle, but in reality I was only grinning the biggest, cheesiest smile the whole way. I had truly never felt so happy in my entire life to see Nate’s handsome face at the end of the aisle, knowing that I get to keep him forever.
We wanted our wedding to be a good representation of Austin so our out-of-town guests could enjoy our local food! We had our favorite coffee shop, Houndstooth, set up an espresso cart so guests could get cappuccinos or lattes while they were mingling before the ceremony. Instead of a seated dinner, we opted for a food truck from Chi’Lantro, one of Austin’s most well-loved food trucks. And our cake was from Sweetish Hill, one of the oldest (and best!) bakeries in Austin.
All night long, guests enjoyed wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem and beer brewed by my husband. After the sweetest speeches from my sister and Nate’s friend, pictures galore, and all sorts of crazy dancing shenanigans (oh my goodness….our DJ was SO MUCH FUN!!), Nate and I left under a glowing ceiling of sparklers as husband and wife.
Photographer: Sam Hugh: Sam shot our engagement photos and our wedding day. He captured in pictures every feeling I had on the wedding day, and I’m so thankful for that. Anytime I want to re-live the day, I can just scroll through the massive group of photos he sent us. He’s also just a really sweet guy! After our engagement photos on Rainey street, he recommended Emmer & Rye to us for dinner (which is now one of my very favorite Austin restaurants), and even gave us his parking spot so we wouldn’t have to pay for parking that night. He was so much fun to work with, easy to be around, and I’m so happy we decided to go with Sam for our wedding photos. Thank you, Sam!!
Venue: Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery: Ours was the first wedding ceremony to take place here, so I was a little unsure how it will all turn out! But the IMT staff is AMAZING (hi Cat!!). They were accommodating with pretty much everything, and they let us transform the space into what we wanted! Although, “transform” is probably the wrong word here; the tap room is already a pretty sweet space, and we didn’t have to do too much to change it. Their wine is awesome (I love the Blind Watchmaker blend), and we put the dance floor right next to the open bar so guests could keep refilling their wine glasses….then jump right back on the dance floor!
Day-Of Coordinator: Amberley at Blue Boots Events: Friends, if you’re getting married in the Austin area, CALL THIS GIRL! First off, she’s one of the most well-organized wedding planners I’ve ever worked with (and I’ve been playing violin in weddings for 15 years, so I’ve come across a lot of wedding planners!). She made me feel calm through every detail, and I can’t imagine the wedding day without her there. Amberley was so good at making sure that my only job was to have fun, and she took care of everything else! In fact, she had me so well-trained to not lift a finger on my wedding day, that a couple nights later when I woke up hot in the middle of the night, I thought, Oh, I’ll just call Amberley to adjust the A/C. Haha… Also, she’s a fraction of the cost of any other planner in Austin! I can’t imagine it will be that way for long because she’s just SO GOOD at her job. Seriously, I can’t recommend Blue Boots Events enough to all the brides in Austin!!
DJ/Lighting: Altared Weddings: If you want a REALLY good DJ, use this company! We picked Sean to be our DJ after the owner of the company, Ryan, talked us through all the “personalities” of his DJs. We wanted to choose one that fit the age demographic and the feel of our party! Altered Weddings also did our uplighting and those three chandeliers you see in the wedding ceremony. They did a beautiful job and I’ll definitely use them again if I ever have another big party in Austin!
Catering: Easy Tiger and Chi’lantro: We had Easy Tiger’s famous pretzels and beer cheese to go with Nate’s home brew, and Chi’lantro’s food truck was parked outside so guests could walk up and get dinner when they got hungry. // Cake: Sweetish Hill: Their cakes are not only beautiful…they taste AMAZING! Nate and I planned to keep our “anniversary piece” to eat on our one year anniversary, but we actually only made it three weeks before taking it out of the freezer to enjoy… #oops. // Florist: Central Market: I grocery shop here anyway, so one afternoon while I was running errands I stopped by the floral department. I dropped off an “inspiration photo” of the bouquet I wanted, ordered the cheapest option for the bridal bouquet (which is $85), and then picked it up on my wedding day! I only spent about 5 minutes ever thinking about the flowers for my wedding day, and I LOVE how they turned out. To me, that speaks volumes about Central Market’s floral department. Gown: BHLDN: I went with the “Charlotte” gown (no longer available.) // Hair/makeup: All Dolled Up: My wedding coordinator recommended this company to me, and now I’m recommending it to everyone! Adrian was my stylist, and she’s the sweetest thing. She gave me the exact look I wanted (even though I did a bad job explaining it), and my hair and makeup stayed in place for 12 hours!! // Manicure: LACQUER Nail Salon. Jewelry: Both of our bands and my engagement ring are from Kruger’s, a diamond store that’s been family-run in Austin since 1929. The beautiful diamond necklace I wore was my late grandmother’s. She passed away shortly after Nate and I got engaged, and my grandfather loaned it to me for my wedding. Being able to wear her jewelry close to my heart made her feel near to me all day. I cherish every memory of my grandmother, and I’m thankful that those memories now extend all the way to my wedding day.