It’s been ages since we’ve posted – literally over two years – but we are BACK, and what better reason to return to this Drift and Refine space than with tales of our December 21st wedding…
After years of knowing we would be each other’s ultimate, when the engagement ring arrived, we were determined to just get the damn thing done. We’ve all heard the horror stories that come along with wedding planning – our goal was to avoid each and every one of them! We could have taken our nuptials in a million different ways, for starters: jetting off to a foreign land and celebrating all on our own. Our initial ideas were limitless! Yet it quickly boiled down to the fact that despite being uniquely untraditional people, the wedding ceremony to-dos resonated very strongly with both of us! We so dearly wanted to bring all of our friends and family together – to meet and to witness in the celebration of our love – yes, a wedding, a wedding with all the usual motions, yet full to the brim with special details and the energy that make us uniquely Us. A wedding that we would plan in 6 months!
The planning required a few rules; remain as environmentally conscious as possible, remain as financially conscious as possible without DIY-ing ourselves crazy, AND pick a venue that speaks for itself, a venue that tells the story of who we are all on it’s own.
The Invitations: When it came time for invitations – my mind went to Grandma’s maps. My grandmother had been collecting Texas Road Maps from various road trips around the state for years on end. Being one of those who doesn’t like to waste anything – this large mound of maps had recently come into my possession. With the maps as our starting point, we then found a custom stamp maker on Etsy, who mastered our wedding invite stamp.
We lucked out with 2014 offering up Winter Solstice on the same day as the final New Moon of 2014. This solstice’s marking of longer, brighter days into Spring and a fresh moon to boot, was the perfect beginning for us to venture into married life with.
The Venue: Turning off of 281, somewhere between Marble Falls and Johnson City (just outside of Austin in the TX Hill Country), we drove two miles down a slow, dirt road. Pulling up to the Three Points Ranch pavilion, we could immediately feel it – this was our space! TPR is a sprawling, ranch property – in good Texas style! They have multiple ceremony sites, and we just fell in love with Eleven Oaks. It is literally, eleven Live Oaks, all seemingly growing out of one another. This site was a hidden gem that TPR’s owners stumbled upon – as it was once buried under tall grass and weeds. The Live Oak trees keep all of their leaves through the seasons, and their huge branches swoop and drape, creating the perfect canopy under which 100+ guests can sit. Magic.
The Dress: As a Fashion Designer by trade – of course, the dress is my most prized creation! After trying on a handful of options and spending hours brainstorming on Pinterest, both my Mother and my Maid of Honor offered up their dresses for redesign. I took these very special offerings to heart – utilizing and maintaining some of their original elements, I designed a dream wedding gown that could incorporate both dresses – a repurposed dress for a Sustainable Bride. I then found an amazing wedding dress tailor & designer, Lilia Balli, who ran with my idea!
And of course, Josh’s suit wasn’t far behind on the list of most important wedding details. After meeting the oh, so talented, married duo behind Dandy’s at Austin Fashion Week – we worked with them to alter one of their classic designs into a custom suit, built for Josh.
The Ceremony: A boom box lead processional guided our guests from pre-cocktail hour to ceremony site. Images of our grandparents and great grandparents who are no longer with us, hung from the trees to bless us in spirit. My father and I enjoyed a lengthy, graceful walk down the aisle to Nina Simone’s Feeling Good – in which my father improvised a perfectly timed twirl. A blissful, laughter-filled walk down the aisle to cherish!
Josh’s eldest sister served as our Master Officiant. She spoke of us, honestly and lovingly as she knows us – then Josh and I shared our own personal vows with one another. Once that hardest (and BEST) part was over, we turned towards our guests while a shawl ceremony was performed.
My Maid of Honor then read the following Apache Wedding Prayer, to bless us…
Now you will feel no storms,
For each of you will be shelter to the other –
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other –
Now there is no loneliness,
For each of you is companion to the other.
You are two persons,
But there is one life before you, and one home –
Turn together to look at the road you traveled to reach this –
The hour of your happiness,
It stretches behind you into the past.
Look to the future that lies ahead,
A long and winding adventure filled road –
Whose every turn means discovery.
New hopes, new joys, new laughter,
And a few shared tears –
May happiness be your companion,
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead,
And through all the years to come.
Go this day to your dwelling place,
And enter into your days together –
May your days be good and long upon the earth,
Your adventure has just begun.
This moment of turning to look at our guests was so overwhelming! How grand it was to feel such love and support from so many of our cherished ones, all at once. In this intimate, canopied space, having just pronounced our deep love for one another – turning to look at our guests, to directly take in all of the joyous energy they were beaming at us – it was insane! I now recommend for every couple to take a quiet moment during their ceremony, to turn and look into the eyes, smiles, and open hearts of your guests – it’s truly an unexplainable feeling.
From there, we recited some more uniform vows to one another… and “I now pronounce you, Mr. & Mrs. Green”! We DID it!
The Reception: Post ceremony we shared a candlelit, Southern meets Cajun-style dinner in the barn – reveled in our delicious, organic, non-dairy cake (seriously, the best cake we’ve ever eaten) – and we danced the remainder of the night away! Fire-pit S’mores entertained the kids and satiated the late evening crowd. It was bliss!
When all was said and done – we truly felt complete! We had remained as present as possible throughout every element of the day, our memories of it’s entirety are strong, our guests were happy – everyone got along beautifully, the food was wonderful, we danced until our feet hurt, AND WE WERE MARRIED!!! It was our dream wedding.
Upon returning to the hotel and stepping into our room – as we walked by the full length mirror together, we realized we had literally not seen ourselves in full lengths once that day – in these beautiful outfits that we had spent so much time planning! Wedding prep in an Airstream might get ya there – needless to say, in the moment, a full length mirror was the least we were concerned with. The after party rocked on into the early am, and with thanks we weren’t too hungover to enjoy brunch the next morning.
It was the best Winter Solstice ever – and now, two months into marriage, we couldn’t remain happier…
Being in love was the explosion that started it all.
PS: Have your officiant start the ceremony off with an Instagram moment, then tell everyone to put their cell phones AWAY! And when you are moving through those perfectly, posed family photos – don’t forget to have some fun.
Venue: Three Points Ranch
Planner: Lindsay Smith of Three Points Ranch
Photographer: Laura Morsman Photography
Hair & Makeup: Lauren Neal, friend of the bride’s
Dress: Mallory C Green, designer; Lilia Balli, seamstress
DJ: Toast Entertainment
Caterer: Pink Avocado Catering
Cake: Green Lily Bakery
Planning a wedding? Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message, I’ve TONS more ideas & tips to share!