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Wedding Tips

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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Brett+Nick’s St. Mary’s/Barr Mansion Wedding

brett.nickGorgeous wedding to share and guest blogger today!  Our amazing bride Brett was super generous to share here wedding planning experience with us. From Brett:

After months of flipping through wedding magazines, reading wedding blogs and pinning uncontrollably to my “Wedding Day” Pinterest board, Nick and I celebrated the best day of our lives on August 15, 2015, with all of our closest family and friends by our side.

I couldn’t count the number of times people told me not to stress about the details because it would fly by so fast that I wouldn’t even remember what happens. However, they were all wrong. While it was a crazy whirlwind and did go by faster than I could have possibly imagined, it’s a day that I will never forget – from the stained glass windows in the church, the lanterns lighting the pathway to the reception, the “Grab a drink” chalkboard sign sitting on the bar, the calligraphy that tied the invitations to the name cards, the blueberry-lavender macaroons, to the smell of the lavender that was mixed in with rose pedals tossed at us on our way out – I’ll never forget those tiny details that I obsessed over for months, which were the same details that made my heart smile throughout the entire night.

A romantic, summery and bright wedding full of life, was my dream. I’ve always been a girl who leans towards the pinks, oranges and yellows on a color palette so that’s exactly what I went for to be true to myself. Loose floral arrangements and a mix of antique silver and gold candles were mixed throughout the reception, and with a dreamy venue like Barr Mansion, it was important to highlight the greenery and garden aspect of the environment. I’ll be honest, I love some sparkle, and my bridesmaid dresses from BHLDN provided the perfect shimmer to complement Nick and the groomsmen’s navy tuxedos. My four-tier cake was made up of alternating textures and bright flowers to balance each other out and looked as creamy and scrumptious from the outside as it tasted on the inside. As I put all of these pieces together, I found some pretty incredible people to help out:

Mike Reed Photo was absolutely the best. After Mike made me feel so at ease during my bridal portraits, I knew he’d be the calming force on my wedding day. Sure enough, he had everything under control and made me breathe when emotions were running high. He told me exactly where to put my hands, where to look, to smile or not to smile as I told him over and over how uncomfortable I am in front of the camera. Yet somehow, he made me forget about my uneasiness.

My floral designs by STEMS were whimsical and romantic. They listened to all of my opinions and sat down with me to pick out every single stem that would go in my arrangements and bouquets. I’ll never forget looking around the reception and seeing all of my favorite flowers and colors fill up the room. They also created the chalkboard signage to bring a cozy and inviting feel to the evening.

Lola Beauty did hair and makeup for my bridal portraits, rehearsal look, day of look and bridesmaids/mother of the bride. Lauren from Lola Beauty absolutely nailed the romantic look I was hoping for and happily responded to all of my “look idea” emails without ever seeming annoyed, and she even agreed to a last minute hair trial to calm my nerves just four days before the big day!

My invitations from Bella Figura were the perfect mix of traditional and modern I was looking for, and to top it off, Jen with Feather and Ink matched the outer and inner envelope calligraphy to the invitation design I had selected. She also knocked out 20 name cards in the same calligraphy style just one week before!

London Calling played all of Nick and I’s favorite songs throughout the night – from classics like “At Last” by Etta James to our finale of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, they did an amazing job of engaging the crowd the entire night for a super fun dance party.

Last but not least, Barr Mansion was the venue Nick and I knew we wanted to get married at before we were even engaged, and it was a wonderful experience to work with them in planning our event. We received countless comments on their beautiful venue and out-of-this-world food! It truly is one of the most serene venues in Austin.

My advice to any bride-to-be would be to enjoy the planning process even though it can be overwhelming at times. Hire people that you feel comfortable around and love their work. Stick to your guns and don’t be swayed by other’s opinions or the latest-and-greatest posts on Pinterest. Eat your wedding dinner. I kept hearing over and over how other couples didn’t get to eat any food at their wedding and I was determined NOT to be one of those brides. I was going to eat the food and cake that I had carefully picked out for my guests and I’m so glad that I did!

Last but not least, one of my bridesmaids gave me some words of wisdom before we left the hotel room, which is the best advice I could pass on. She told me things were about to get crazy and to take “mental snapshots” at certain points of the night, which will be the memories that stick with you forever.

Photography: Mike Reed Photo | Hair and Makeup: Lola Beauty | Floral Designs: STEMS Floral Design| Signage: STEMS Productions | Invitations: Bella Figura through Paper Place | Calligraphy: Feather and Ink | Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: Mike’s Formal Wear | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Cathedral  | Reception Venue: Barr Mansion | Food and Cake: Barr Mansion | Alcohol: Spec’s | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BHLDN | Wedding Dress & Veil: Celebrations Bridal | Shoes: Jimmy Choo



Lindsey+Nick at the Winfield Inn

The planning process was a mixture of Pinterest, wedding blogs, lists, daily calls to my long suffering mother, Etsy and fantastic vendors who helped make our visions a reality while staying within our budget. I feel so lucky to have worked with each and every one of them. We settled on a bohemian vibe, full of DIY projects and artistic touches. It was small-scale and so perfectly us.