The Guy’s Eyes- A word from Brent to the Groom


I am the husband of a wedding professional.  There is some power in the admission.  For any of you out there who are husbands, you were at least the husband of a wedding professional once in your life.  Why?  Because most brides love planning their weddings.  Not all, but most.  And for most of us, during the time of our engagement, our brides lived and breathed weddings; decorations, guest lists, invites, attire…oh my, the list could go on and on!  Don’t you dare roll your eyes though, gentlemen!  The unattended details were best left with her I assure you.  Had she not lived out her passion with such reckless abandon, you might have been the one picking out the color of icing on your cake.  So for her passion, be grateful!

Truth is, however, I have more to admit than just being the husband of a wedding nut.  This one is a little more difficult, so give me a moment to take a deep breath of courage…

I enjoyed helping in the planning of our wedding.

Okay, that one wasn’t easy.  But it had to be said.  Why? Because I care about my wife’s passion for weddings. And what’s more, I care about your future as a husband, and your present moment as a wedding planner, whether you wanted the role or not. I did enjoy helping with the planning.  And if you think it is a compromise of my so-called man card, I assure you I can likely ride a horse better than most of you, have thrown my share of hay bales, have fired a few rounds from my 30-30 Winchester, and have done enough to earn the right to not be a “girly man”.  But honestly, I don’t care whether you’re a guy who likes to knit sweaters or you make a part-time occupation out of beating up hippies.  I care about one thing as I’m writing this blog. I want you to love your wedding. Live in this moment in a way that you will never forget, and love your bride for the rest of your life.  To that purpose I make my contribution to Hill Country Bride.

Now, that being said, it is also true that there were many conversations during our wedding planning where I felt like I was listening to the eighteenth verse of a twenty-verse song, and I had the melody in my head but was no longer aware of the words.   This was especially true regarding the small details of our table decorations. Each table was custom designed by my wife with various candlesticks, books, antique items, and other retro décor.  They looked amazing.  But really, being asked to have an opinion on the matter was like being asked to count the blades of grass in our yard.

On the other hand, there were aspects of our wedding that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I am a musical person, and I have a deep love for music.  So I gladly took on the responsibility to put together the DJ, set up the playlist, take requests from the guests, and make sure the dancing and music were on point.  I managed to get one of my lifelong best friends to write a song telling our story, to perform it at the wedding and the reception, and to have another best friend accompany him on a guitar that I once owned. It was beautiful.

In one of my pre-wedding bright shining moments, I had this genius idea to order an array of cupcakes for display at our reception instead of a traditional wedding cake.  I truly thought I had created an original idea that would forever change the annals of wedding tradition.  Little did I know, Pinterest thought otherwise.  Yes, my idea must have been conjured by countless other brides and grooms who were happy to post their pinterestolosophy for all to see.  But if you ask me, I thought of it first.

There were some shaky moments in our wedding planning.  At one point I thought we might lose our engagement over port-a-potties.  I’m not kidding.  You see, our wedding location was on a piece of ranch land owned by my parents. The house was on septic, and my family was terrified the system would overflow if guests used the house facilities.  They insisted on having a portable toilet.  What did I care?  Us guys will gladly free the pee anywhere there is some grass and a shrub for privacy, and even those are open to compromise.  My bride, on the other hand, was equally insistent that her guests adorned in elegant attire would not climb into a port-a-john in the Texas heat.  I was soon the diplomat in a nuclear arms race between parents and bride.  I wasn’t sure whether to go to war or flee to Canada.

But here is the deal to all of you brothers in bridal battle, you can love your wedding. Why? Because there are things that you love to do. Maybe you love leadership and management.  Take the initiative to be the facilitator of the wedding volunteers.  Perhaps you enjoy manual labor.  Come up with an item you can build for the wedding décor, or help out with the landscaping of the wedding site.  Have an artsy edge to you?  Come up with a creative location for guest photos. Some parts of a wedding tend to feel boring to us guys. Instead of griping, come up with a plan to make them exciting.  For example, I think that a guestbook full of signatures is a complete waste of ink and bookshelf space.  Why do I need the autographs of my wedding guests?  Now, what I would love to have is pictures of everyone that I’ll look back at and laugh at their goofy haircuts and outdated styles.  So instead of a guest book, we had a friend photograph our guests with a Polaroid, and then they wrote us a note next to their photo in an album.  Much cooler than a boring old autograph book!  But I came up with that idea because I wanted to make the wedding fun for me. Turned out the ideas was fun for everyone.

You might be surprised at your capabilities.  There are characteristics in you that your bride absolutely loves, otherwise she wouldn’t have said “yes”.  What are they?  Now ask yourself how you can use those characteristics to help make your wedding unforgettable, and uniquely suited to you and your bride.  Don’t make the mistake of seeing your wedding day as “her deal”.  Instead, think of it as the one party in your life where you get to invite all of your favorite people on the planet and do whatever the heck you want to do.  Trust me, you won’t get many more opportunities like that.  Don’t miss it.

D.I.Y. Monogrammed Table Runners-Hill Country Wedding Planner


Today I am going to teach you how to stencil these lovely runners for your wedding or your home! Being from the south, I can’t really get enough of monograms, especially at weddings. What better way to debut your new last name then at your wedding reception with a monogram! These runners are perfect for your wedding tables (banquet only please, maybe sometime in the future we will chat about why you should never put a runner on a round table). You can put them on just a few tables, like the head table or family tables, on just decorative tables like cake or buffet or all of your tables if it works with the rest of your décor. It can be a great way to decorate buffet tables without being cheesy (I wouldn’t recommend doing all the tables, plus buffet, pick and choose what fits best). Plus, after the wedding you’ll have a wedding keepsake to put on your own dining table at home. If you have several extra give them away to your new family for their homes, or sell them to brides about to inherit your same letter (I recommend selling on Ruffled’s recycle your wedding page).

1. Burlap Runners ($5-$11 each on Etsy, or make your own for less than $4.00 each)
2. Black acrylic paint (or a different color if you choose) ($0.50)
3. Spongy paint brush ($1.79)
4. Hobby Knife ($2.50 after 40% off coupon at Michael’s**see note below)
4. Stencil Kit ($4.00 after 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby**see note below)
3. Cardboard you can throw away (free)

Your total cost for one runner is going to be around $14 (or $13 if you make one). If you make multiples, say 6 runners, you would be at around $6.50 per runner (or homemade for $5.50 each). These go on Etsy for $26-$40 each. Convinced yet?diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-3

Get the Runners. The first step is to get the runners. You can buy them on Etsy or at several hobby stores. I made this one. I’ll do another blog in the coming weeks about how to make this runner yourself (sew and no-sew version). Making them yourself is handy if your picky about the color of burlap, need a specific size for tables, or are making several. For now, let’s assume you have the runners.

Pick out a stencil. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell pre-made stencils in all patterns. I sadly couldn’t find a “B” that I was super happy with. So, I bought this handy dandy kit that allows you to cut your own stencil.  You can search on google fonts or just look through your Microsoft Word fonts to see if there is one there that you like. If you are super artsy, just search on Pinterest for ideas and hand draw your letter (that is what I did). If you find a stencil at one of these two stores that you love, great! Don’t you dare buy that stencil without a coupon, girl (see note below). Congrats, move two spaces past go and you can keep the 40% you just saved with the coupon!

Cutting the stencil. diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-5If you found a stencil you liked, you can skip this section. If you are cutting the stencil yourself, keep reading. I traced the letter onto the stencil plastic. I also bought a handy little hobby knife to cut the plastic with. I had to cut two separate pieces to get the outline of my “B” and to keep the center without paint.
I considered (as you may be also) just cutting cardboard or something sturdy to make the stencil. The reason I opted out of this option was for several reasons 1) if you are tracing your letter, not hand drawing it, it is so much easier to do through the semi see through stencil plastic 2) you can keep the stencil for future use (I have done pillows with that same stencil) 3) the plastic wipes clean super easy to make clean up a cinch 4) the thin material helps you to get really close to fabric so the edges of your letter are clean and crisp.

diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-6Attaching the Stencil. Next, you place your stencil on the runner in the placement that you desire.  Make sure to put cardboard (not newspaper, it will glue to the back of the fabric when drying) under your burlap, paint will definitely leak through the fabric. I used masking tape to tape down the stencil to keep me from accidentally scooching it. It also helps to irondiy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-17 your burlap with a good steam, you don’t want the wrinkly fabric to cause you to smudge. Jonah my kitty decided she would help…


Painting it. Choose a permanent paint, like acrylic paint. I prefer not to use fabric paint as it seems to get a little gunky with the fibers on the burlap. I recommend using a spongy paintbrush. It helps to blot the paint instead of stroking it to keep the stencil in place. Go for the method of multiple blots with the spongy brush instead of large amounts of paint on each blot. Too much runny paint on your sponge will cause it to bleed under the stencil onto the fabric outside of your letter. I recommend doing a practice run on a spare piece of burlap to get the hang of it.



Allow the paint to dry before removing the stencil or it will smear. Same with the card board, make sure it is totally dry before removing the burlap, or it will smear on the back side.





You have your beautifully stenciled runner!diy_monogram_runners_wedding_texas-15 Plus extra paint and a perfectly good stencil to use on other items that need monogramming! This technique will work on other fabrics and with other paint colors as well. Feel free to change it to whatever fits your theme best.


**DON’T YOU BUY THAT STENCIL WITHOUT A COUPON. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby ALWAYS have a coupon. If you are planning a wedding or are into craft projects at all, just download the Michael’s app and the Hobby Lobby app on your phone. Then you will have access the coupon anytime you need to pick up something. I went to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby at least 40 times in the 9 months I was planning my wedding and never bought a darn thing without a coupon. They usually have a 40% off one item, or 20% off your purchase. It adds up, trust me. Even if you aren’t that worried about $2.50 here and there, if you go half as much as I did you will have save $50. That 10 extra gin and tonic’s, or 5 really strong margaritas on your honeymoon. See what I mean? Mmm… Margaritas….

Hoffman Haus Review- Hill Country Wedding Venue

In my last post I mentioned a venue as an example of how guys and gals think differently. Well, I know that might have been a huge teaser for y’all, so I decided I would do a review of this venue to give you all the dirty details. The venue I am speaking of is called Hoffman Haus and is in the heart of the Hill Country in Fredericksburg, Texas.


The ceremony space. The ceremony is typically held in the garden right outside the Great Hall. Under tall oak trees lit by the light of twinkle lights and two beautiful antique chandeliers, your guests will watch you appear to your ceremony through the ivy trellace. Equipped with ivory padded dark stained wood chairs this space is always romantic, but can evolve to whatever style wedding you choose.





The reception space. The guests can proceed to a cocktail hour in the courtyard, just a few seconds walk from the garden. This outdoor space is landscaped with an antique fountain surrounded by covered walkways for shade. Set up an outdoor bar here and have passed hors d’oevres served to your guests. After cocktail hour your guests will be invited in to the Great Hall for dinner and dancing. The Great Hall is an actual 1800’s Kentucky tobacco barn that has been renovated to reminisce Pottery Barn with a Texas charm. The gray timber walls, antique ornate mirrors and paned glass windows make for a dreamy vintage mansion feel. In the center of the room a wood stage framed with ivory linen curtains is perfect for a Texas Country band or can be made into a lounge area with their pottery barn (yes, actual Pottery Barn) furniture. Two large chandeliers with hurricane votives light the dancefloor equipped with dimmers to give you the feel you want throughout the evening. If you choose to do a buffet meal, the serving room is adjacent to the dining room and your serving pieces will be placed on the beautiful antique dining table and buffet. For those that might want to get away for a bit, they can step into the quaint library or right outside onto the patio. The patio. I’ve seen so many great photos of this patio. At night it just feels like Texas summer.



Why this Hill Country wedding venue is so stinking awesome?


Paned windows, large patios, southern charm. Need I say more? Well, I will! Onsite lodging (also basically Pottery Barn cottages) make is easy to get home at the end of the night or run to the room to change shoes. It’s yours for the weekend. Yep. When you have your wedding here, they let you setup and tear down the day before and after the wedding. Hopefully you’re just dropping your stuff off with a wedding coordinator, but you can come and see the setup the day before. Super nice people. Leslie Washburn, the owner, lives in Fredericksburg and inspired the great style of the entire property and established the one wedding per weekend idea to make sure you feel like the only Bride in town. The details. Southern black shutters, farmhouse accent tables, claw foot bath tubs, vintage trunks…. This could go on forever!