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.