Tanya&AlexTanya went above and beyond today as our guest blogger, so we’ll get right to it!  One thing to note, if you decide to skim, make sure you check out the last section "Tips for future brides:".  This is great advice for being truly present and enjoying all those little moments throughout the day. From the newly wed bride:

Our story:

Alex and I met in Seattle through a mutual friend, and truly, it was love at first "meet". We met at Kell's in Seattle's Pike Place Market, a touristy stop that locals don't typically frequent. Alex was out for his birthday while I was out for a ladies' night on the town. Our conversation was electric and after that first night, I'm fairly certain we saw each other every single day for the first month or so. After three months, we were living together and planning an eventual move somewhere warm.

Our engagement:

Five years later, on a trip back from our new home in Austin, we met our families for dinner on the Seattle waterfront. Each time we came home to visit, we would make a stop at Kell's to share a drink at the place where we met. So naturally, after dinner we planned to grab a drink with everyone there. I had actually been grilling Alex earlier that day about not having a ring or being prepared and how this would have been the perfect moment to propose. Little did I know, he had been planning this for a few months and sure enough, had a ring in tow. As it turns out, he's an amazing actor!

The moment we all sat down at Kell's he got down on one knee and proposed in the exact place where we had met five years prior. I was shocked. I actually thought he was joking at first! But it was wonderful to have our families there to share the moment, plus we got some great pictures!

Choosing the venue:

We always knew we wanted to get married in Austin so that our friends and family could get to know our new home and hopefully fall in love with this city as much as we have. So immediately after we got engaged, I wanted to get our venue locked down. My parents actually found the Hummingbird House by searching venues online from their home in Washington state. And once Alex and I toured the venue, we knew it was perfect for what we envisioned--a lush green garden showcasing the beauty of Austin.

Choosing a photographer:

Choosing Mike was a no-brainer for us. I literally was looking for exactly what he says on the homepage, "Fun, bright and colorful wedding photography" and when I saw his work, I was sold. Working with Mike is easy, fun and laid back, but he knows the drill and knows exactly how to time the event. He knows precisely how long it takes to get "burned out" taking photos and keeps things moving so that you can enjoy your event. And it was as if he and his assistant were invisible the whole night, but magically would appear the moment I needed them. It was amazing! I love my photos and would hire him again in an instant!

Choosing flowers:

The Hummingbird House is already so beautiful, so I wanted to keep table settings and decor fairly minimalist. I had seen a great photo of simple bud vases with delicate blooms and succulents and immediately knew that's what I wanted. With most of our guests coming from out of town, we wanted to keep tables conversational. Big bouquets in the middle seemed too intrusive for our family-vibe. I made the succulent favors/table cards myself and had Verbena Floral (amazing ladies!) do the bouquets, boutonnieres, table centerpieces and fill in the arch a bit with greenery. Everything turned out perfectly.

Choosing catering:

We chose Pink Avocado specifically for their family-style service. We wanted to showcase light, yet subtly Texan fare and the menu they developed was impeccable. We also wanted to do pie rather than cake and they came up with a great selection of individual pies for dessert. I can't say enough great things about Pink.

Choosing colors:

We're pretty casual people so we didn't really "choose" a color scheme. Once Alex chose his navy suit, we decided the groomsmen could wear navy, but they didn't have to "match" their suits. And for the bridesmaids, I told them to choose a floral dress of any style they wanted. I really don't like the idea of putting people in uniforms and being super matchy. Surprisingly though, the bridesmaids dresses matched one another perfectly! I think everything turned out really nice and fit the "bohemian garden" theme we were going for.

Our style:

All we really wanted was for everyone to have an amazing trip down to Austin and have a blast. With that in mind, we kept formalities to a minimum. BBQ pool party instead of fancy rehearsal dinner? Why not! Magic school bus transportation to/from the venue? Sure! Father John Misty instead of Pachelbel Canon in D? Badass! The best compliment we received was that our celebration felt totally "us".

Tips for future brides:

The best advice I received was from one of my coworkers. She said, "Enjoy every sweet sweet moment," and for some reason, this resonated with me. I repeated this over to myself throughout our week of wedding festivities and embraced being "in the moment" as much as possible. Everything happens so quickly that you need to just enjoy the people around you and forget all the rest.

Alex's boss, my mom and many many other people, reminded me over and over again that this day is all about me and him and that nothing else matters. I don't know why this is hard for couples to remember, but it's imperative. You are the ones getting married. You are the ones paying for the event. And you are the ones celebrating your lives together. Everything else, and everyone else's opinions, just really don't matter. If you are able to embrace that, your wedding day truly will be one of the best days of your lives.


I’m engaged and want to...

contact mike about shooting my wedding

• view portfolio 

• find mike on Facebook