Erin+David - Vista West Ranch Wedding

wedding at Vista West RanchIt poured rain by the buckets the days leading up to Erin and David’s wedding but nature saw fit to send some high winds that morning.  It was like a mother nature blow dryer just for the grounds.  The wind settled a little bit, and we were left some AMAZING wether for an afternoon wedding! Erin has graced us today as the guest blogger with all her wedding details, more from Erin after the pictures!



From Erin:

David and I met while attending The University of Texas at Austin through mutual friends. I majored in Business and Marketing and played on the club volleyball team, and David was a Geography major and 3rd baseman on the Texas Baseball team that won a National Championship in 2005, his senior year.

Once we started dating, our relationship was long distance for most of the first five years with David playing professional baseball for the San Francisco Giants’ minor league teams. Inconveniently, he played on the West Coast when I lived on the East Coast, then we both switched coasts until finally both moving back to Dallas in 2010, after David was finished playing baseball.

After a few years of finally living in the same place and just over 8 years since we first started dating, David proposed on a picnic at Turtle Creek. Although we had been together for quite a long time, I was completely shocked by the proposal, as he proposed on his birthday- February 15, 2014. As someone who doesn’t like a lot of attention, he later told me that the day was now “our day.”

I immediately started thinking about what I wanted our wedding to look and feel like, and bought every bridal magazine I could get my hands on. I was also able to extend a work trip to New York City to go dress shopping with my sister, and fell in love with one of the first dresses I tried on at Lovely Bride NYC- a stunning Hayley Paige dress.

Next on the list was finding a venue. We both knew we wanted to get married near Austin, since we met there and love the city, and we also knew we wanted a fun, rustic venue, preferably for both the wedding ceremony and the reception. After looking at some of the best wedding venues in the Texas Hill Country, I visited Vista West Ranch and immediately knew it was “the one”! I was not only drawn to the fact that the venue was so beautiful and well thought out with the ceremony site, beirgarten, and rustic barn reception venue, but I also loved the all-inclusive offering they provide.

We were happy when we continued our search for vendors and found local companies that did exceptional work and also suited our rustic, romantic vibe, which included Mike Reed Photo, Sweet Treets Bakery, Petal Pushers, Pok-e-Jo’s, and The McKellars Wedding Cinema.

The day of the wedding it was quite chilly and windy, so I am so thankful we were still able to get married outside, as we had envisioned, and take advantage of the beautiful property for outdoor pictures and video. We really wanted to do a first look to take advantage of the light, since there wouldn’t be much after the ceremony, and we were so glad we did. The first look definitely helped calm any nerves and allowed us to have a special private moment with just the two of us.

The rest of the evening was a whirlwind with a beautiful ceremony, pictures with family and friends, delicious food, and dancing. We couldn’t have asked for a more amazing day that we will cherish the rest of our lives together- it was definitely a “dream come true”!

We are so thankful for all of the wonderful people who have been a part of our journey, and we are excited to start this new chapter in our lives!

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Samantha and John Roddy wedding at the Marquardt Ranch

Samantha-John-RoddyGreat wisdom for the detail-oriented bride and the perfect wedding day.

Samantha is our guest blogger today.  She has some great advice for the bride that likes to be in the driver seat when planning her wedding!

From Samantha:

Hello all! Now that my wedding has come and gone, I would like to share three simple pieces of advice about my experience.

First of all, you should know that I absolutely love weddings. I think they are all beautiful and special, no matter how much money is spent on them. My #1 favorite thing about every wedding I have ever been to is seeing the look on the groom’s face as soon as he sees his bride for the first time. There’s something magical about that moment. The entire event is magical, but those few seconds are even more special, in my opinion.

Because I wanted my wedding to be as enchanting as any wedding I had ever attended, when John Roddy proposed to me and I began the wedding planning process I wanted everything to be PERFECT. I would probably categorize myself as slightly obsessive when it comes to details. But as we all know, things tend go wrong here and there. So, in attempt to balance my desire for perfection on the one hand with the reality that issues would arise along the way on the other, I made myself a deal that I believe you should keep in mind as well: plan, plan, plan your heart out—but if you start feeling stressed about something, stop planning that particular aspect of the wedding for a little while. You have plenty of time, I promise. The most important thing to remember when you are feeling tempted to stress is that this is supposed to be one of the happiest and most fulfilling things you will do in your entire lifetime. Please don’t let things that are small in the grand scheme of things (like bridesmaids dresses, flower options, or a difficult vendor) ruin it for you.

Secondly, it really does matter who your vendors are. The right vendor can make things so much easier on you. On the other hand, a difficult vendor can make your life miserable. I had many great experiences with my vendors. The company I used for hair and makeup was My Makeup Movement, and they were wonderful. Mary, the owner, was so accommodating and professional. Plus, everyone looked great on the wedding day! Mary and her team were fun and laid back and did a wonderful job. Mike Reed, our photographer, was also a favorite. Mike really helped make our day special by capturing all of the memories we will cherish forever. Throughout the process, Mike was always there to help in any way he could. He was humorous, punctual, and professional. His flexibility and kindness are noteworthy qualities that should encourage brides to seek him out. I would also like to mention our venue, Marquardt Ranch. It was a fabulous place to get married. Our ceremony backed up to the Guadalupe River, which provided the perfect backdrop for our fall event. Any time there was an issue, the Marquardt team was quick to act and find a solution. They definitely helped keep my nerves down throughout the process, and for that I am thankful. My advice when it comes to choosing your vendors is to do your research, talk to several, and ultimately go with your gut feeling on what will work best for the vision  you have of your special day.

My third and final piece of advice requires a short story (and has less to do with wedding planning and more to do with life and love, generally). John Roddy and I met just before we started law school, and we quickly started country dancing together on a regular basis, which drew a connection between us that grew into…well, husband and wife, as you know by now. He often jokes because the first several times he asked me on a date, I flatly refused. In fact, it took many attempts and several weeks before I accepted an invitation to dinner. But what he doesn’t know is that the reason I refused his requests is because I knew what kind of man he was. I knew he was kind, intelligent, and Godly. I knew that this could be the guy I had been looking for—and quite frankly, that scared me. Was I ready? What did these feelings mean? Was this truly my fairy tale right before my eyes?

It was. It absolutely was. I’m not saying that all things have been easy along the way, but I am saying that he is unquestionably perfect for me. Although I was hesitant to get into a serious relationship while trying to earn a law degree, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I came to one realization: I wanted to be his wife. In my mind, there’s a difference between that statement and “I want him to be my husband,” which is that I wanted to make him happy.  I wanted to be selfless and focus on what was going to help him through life and what would be best for him. And then I realized that what I was feeling was true love. Right then and there I dove in and never looked back, and I could not be more happy with that decision. So if you catch yourself saying the same thing, do yourself a favor and don’t fight it. Dive in and enjoy life with the person who has been waiting for you. Everyone deserves the happiness I have found.

Congratulations, best wishes, and good luck in all of your endeavors.

Much love,

Mrs. John Roddy Pace (aka Sam)

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Melannie+Rance Wedding at Nature’s Point

Melannie&RanceMelannie and Rance’s wedding at Nature’s Point was a fun one!  The wedding started with the groom’s brother-in-law performing the ceremony - very heartfelt.   The reception was quite the party - including the same piano player/singer who was present the night they met - very romantic! Melannie is our guest blogger today with details about their story.

From Melannie:

I remember the feeling of laughter, the breeze on the lake hitting my chest, my husband’s smile against mine, and most of all my father’s tears running down my cheek. There are so many emotions and feelings that hit you on your wedding day. When it’s all done you wonder how that one moment you’ve waited so long for runs past you so quickly like a speeding train. Your left looking back, wondering how to grab on to it and hold on to those memories. I’d love to press pause, play, and rewind about a thousand times during that whole day. From riding in windows down with my best friends, to crying my eyes out in our vows, and then back to holding my dad’s hand as he gave away his little girl. I remind myself though that time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. If I could offer one piece of advice to new brides, enjoy every second and savor it. I’ll think of those moments for the rest of my life.

Thank you, Mike, for capturing the most special day of my life so beautifully. Your work is truly magnificent.

How we met...

The summer of 2010 Rance and I were both living in College Station attending Texas A&M. On August 11th, Rance decided to go out with a few of his work buddies for his birthday. I had just moved in to a new house around the corner from a local bar called The Tap. Several of my girlfriends were heading there for piano night (Russell was playing that night and he also played at our wedding) and asked me to join. One of my best friends Shea and I were chatting about this cute guy in a white shirt on the patio with us (Rance). She decided she was going to get us to meet. She made a bold move and suddenly ran over him without another word to me. We ended up chatting all night. Rance got my number and we've been together ever since! If it weren't for Shea or Russell playing that night, we would have never met. Thank you to the both of you!

How he proposed...

Our favorite thing is to travel. We love to spend time outdoors and see new places. Rance had been bugging me about going on a vacation somewhere north. We decided on Whistler, Canada after asking around. The whole trip Rance was a bit off, but I wasn't sure why. He got upset with me every time I went through his backpack which was pretty frustrating. Little did I know he was keeping the ring at the bottom. He planned a gondola ride to the top of the mountain for us one day. When we arrived at the top, he found a quiet place on the edge of a cliff to sit down and enjoy the view. He asked if we could take a picture together. I sat down in front of him, but was so focused on his muddy shoe on my jacket that he slipped out the ring box instead and held it in front of my face. When I finally looked up I just burst into tears and he whispered in my ear, "Will you marry me?". Of course my answer was yes!

I’m engaged and want to...

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Laura+Ross HorseShoe Bay Wedding

Horseshoe Bay, wedding couple having a private momentFireworks, Irish dancers, bagpiper, line dancing lessons, and an after party with dueling pianos!  What more could you want for your wedding day?  Shooting Laura and Ross’ wedding was so much fun but how could it not be?!?!  They had everything you’d ever want out of your big day celebration but what really got me was the couple and their families.  They were so nice, all of them and so down to earth and very genuine.  Oh and they all love to party!  It’s true the original plan was to be married outdoors on the water but the wet weather didn’t phase anyone when that all changed.  I need to give big props to Sierra at Heavenly Day Events and the staff at Horseshoe Bay for a seamless last minute transition from an outdoor event to an indoor event!  Also a big thank you to Laura and Ross for letting us be a part of their big day.  :) So Laura also happens to be our guest blogged today, she was very gracious in sharing some of her planning details.

From Laura:

Ross and I met in 2004 in Westport, Connecticut right after I moved from California and Ross moved from Ireland within a month of each other. We immediately became close friends and have been inseparable for the last eleven years. Anyone who was around us could tell you there was a spark between us but we waited until after I graduated college in Tampa, Florida and moved back up north to officially start dating... and well we all know how that ended!

Ross and I got engaged in June of 2014.  We had plans to move to Austin in August where we decided we were going to have our wedding since it would be our new home. After searching around for the perfect venue, we finally found the gorgeous Horseshoe Bay Resort & Yacht Club. We wanted our wedding to be outside and loved that we were at water level and the views are breathtaking. After finding the venue 1+ years out, my Mom and I started planning. I knew I wanted my colors to be navy (anyone that knows me knows I love navy and it's my go-to color), pink, and grey/silver. The first thing I found were my bridesmaid dresses. I knew I wanted something that did not scream bridesmaid and something that they would all wear again. When I found the long navy lacy dress online I knew it was their dress right away - the only problem was finding them. The designer was an Australian designer and there were not many left but we managed to find 3! I actually had the girls order their dresses before I even officially asked them to be my bridesmaids, but since I only had my sisters and sister-in-law they pretty much already knew they were in my wedding :)

We shopped for my dress in New York City.  I immediately liked Victor Harper as a designer and had one of his dresses in mind. When I went to Bridal Reflections in New York to try it on with my Mom and sisters, my sister Megan found another dress of his and encouraged me to try it.  The proverbial gasp from my Mom and sisters once they saw me in it made it clear this was "the one."  I loved it!

Next my Mom and I started to secure the vendors. While we were looking at different venues we had picked up several handouts and information along the way. We complied it all and narrowed it down to our favorites. The vendors we ended up with were Picture Perfect Events for the flowers - Sandra is located about a mile from the Horseshoe Bay Resort and does beautiful arrangements. We chose Mike Reed as our photographer - he does an amazing job at capturing the day and it was an even bigger plus that his turn-around time was much shorter compared to others and he takes way more photos than other photographers we looked into.  We used MoonLit Weddings as our videographer - we really liked their work that we had seen and they were very discreet on the day of.  All Dolled Up did the hair and make-up for me, my bridesmaids and the mothers. And we used Bee Lavish for our rentals.

The ceremony and cocktail hour music was performed by Arundel Ensemble and it was beautiful.  We worked with Margaret there and had a string quartet plus a harp.  The Ave Maria with cello and harp brought tears to our eyes.  Most of their ensemble play with the Austin Symphony so are very talented and professional.  My mother surprised us with a bagpiper, Hylton Cruickshank, as a nod to Ross's Irish heritage.  He played the pre-ceremony prelude and Amazing Grace during the ceremony.

For our cake we chose Sweet Treats Bakery.  Jackie's cakes were all delicious and it was hard for us to narrow down which type of cakes and filling we wanted. We ended up choosing red velvet with cream cheese filling on the bottom, white chocolate cake with salted caramel filling in the middle, and the top was a white cake with fresh chopped strawberries and buttercream. They also did a groom's cake for us with Ross's beloved Manchester United logo on it!  The cakes turned out just how I had imagined and we look forward to ordering a cake from her for our anniversary.

Abe the Assassin was our DJ at the wedding - we have known him for a few years and knew he was going to be our DJ from the beginning. He does a great job playing to the crowd and different genres of music.  We had a surprise performance by championship Irish dancers from Irishfree Dance Studio who totally wowed the crowd.   We also had Austin Uptown Dance come in to teach our guests, who were mostly from out of town, some Texas line dances. The wedding reception ended with fireworks by Sky Wonder Pyrotechnics, who were a joy to work with in navigating the red tape involved.  We had Pete's Dueling Piano Bar provide music at the after party - they kept everyone on their feet and no one wanted to leave - even at 2AM!

Even though my Mom and I planned the whole wedding by ourselves, we knew we wanted a day of coordinator so we would not be running around all day trying to make sure everything was how it was supposed to be. For our day of coordinator we hired Sierra Steiber at Heavenly Day Events - she was amazing! She was very organized, knew everything that was supposed to happen and when it was supposed to happen and kept us on our timeline.  She and Rachel Harris from Horseshoe Bay Resort were really important in this process as Mother Nature did not cooperate with our outdoor wedding on the lake.  At the last minute we had to re-tool all our plans and bring the wedding indoors.  I have to say Rachel, Sierra and all the vendors really stepped up to bring me and Ross the day of our dreams - rain or shine, it even surpassed my vision of the day.