Romantic “Old World” Style Wedding at Contigo Ranch – Fredericksburg, Texas

Kaitlynn and Wade’s wedding was such a blast! Kaitlynn had a really specific vision for her wedding day and it was so much fun making that come to life. After a CRAZY year (for everyone on the planet) it was such a breath of fresh air to be a part of a CELEBRATION for such genuine and kind people. I love the way her invites turned out… check out those beautiful flowers and details in the print. The pretty silver tray we photographed on was her grandmothers, which is so special! They had generations of good taste in her family!

Contigo Ranch was the perfect place for her family and friends to celebrate.  Jen Dillender captured the joy and love in their hearts and faces and ALL the pretty details! Sarah Stip Videography was great to work with and I cannot wait to see the footage! Sunkissed and Made Up did her squad’s hair and makeup, and this Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dress  really did look amazing on all of them.

Viridian did the florals and really “wowed” everyone with this grounded arch. It looked dramatic and stunning but like it belonged there forever! 

See what I mean by “joy and love”? They look so genuinely happy! Now on to the partay…

The Painted Cake designed this beautifully detailed masterpiece. It was stunning.

And onto the reception shenanigans…. these are a few of my favorite moments!

Thanks to all of the vendors that made it possible!
Venue: Contigo Ranch
Catering: Cartewheels Catering
Planning & Design: Emily Burgess with Hill Country Bride
Photography: Jen Dillender
Videographer: Sarah Stip
Florals: Viridian
Cake: The Painted Cake
Table Linens: La Tavola Linen
Rentals: Whim Hospitality

Bright Charming Wedding at The Barn at Swallows Eve- Fredericksburg, Texas

Valisa & Ben’s hill country wedding at The Barn at Swallow’s Eve here in Fredericksburg, Texas was such a bright lovely occasion! Valisa chose a colorful and feminine palette that reflected her sunny sweet personality. Valisa & Ben chose to lodge and do their first look just down the road at Hoffman Haus, with transportation by the adorable Fredericksburg Trolley’s. They made a stop at the pretty Fredericksburg Library for a couple of photos on the way! Feather & Twine photography captured the day beautifully and were such a pleasure to work with. I can’t say enough about how amazing the flowers were by Sprout Flowers, well you can see for yourself!
moodboard_0030.jpg

This teal chair at Hoffman Haus tied in perfectly with Ben’s tie and her ring box. I love when the venue happens to have pieces that incorporate perfectly with the palette! Thanks to Feather and Twine for including it in styling her shoes.
moodboard_0031.jpg
moodboard_0034.jpg
moodboard_0033.jpg
moodboard_0032.jpg
moodboard_0035.jpg
moodboard_0041.jpg
moodboard_0036.jpg

We actually chose to use their typical cocktail hour spot for the ceremony. I just fell in the love with stucco modern fireplace and how it provided a really minimal backdrop for the organic arrangements that Sprout designed. Valisa’s parents had a special connection with a French antiques collector and were able to source all of the charming cast iron pots for the flowers.
moodboard_0037.jpg
moodboard_0038.jpg
moodboard_0039.jpg
moodboard_0040.jpg
moodboard_0046.jpg
Ben’s suit was one of Valisa’s first choices for the wedding. The sky blue seersucker was perfect for the spring occasion. I love when couples choose a statement outfit for the groom. His suit really inspired the La Tavola Linen choices as well. The watercolor style painting on the cake by Sophie’s Bakery really tied the cake into the design of the event. I love how Sprout placed the real flowers to create a 3D continuation of the painting.
moodboard_0042.jpg
moodboard_0043.jpg
moodboard_0044.jpg
moodboard_0045.jpg

Feather and Twine used the perfect sunset glow to capture these beautiful hill country wedding portraits in the field, just behind the venue!
moodboard_0048.jpg
moodboard_0047.jpg
moodboard_0049.jpg

Venue: The Barn at Swallow’s Eve
Lodging: Hoffman Haus
Event Styling: Emily Burgess with Hill Country Bride
Photography: Feather & Twine
Florals: Sprout Flowers
Cake: Sophie’s Bakery
Transportation: Fredericksburg Trolley’s.
Table Linen:La Tavola Linen 

Here is the mood board I created for Valisa when we first started planning her wedding…. It’s so fun to see how the real wedding photos compare to our original vision. I think we nailed it! 

Pecan Springs Ranch Winter Wedding Editorial

I know we are wusses down here in Texas when it comes to the cold, but it has been freezing here lately! As much as i hate loading in groceries in the cold wind and rain, I am totally fine with it when I’m sitting by the fireplace indoors with a cup of hot cocoa. It really makes it feel like it is the winter season! I’m ready to put out Christmas decor and we are still two weeks from Thanksgiving! Anybody with me?
I guess in the meantime, I’ll just swoon over winter weddings and cozy color palettes…The palette for this shoot was all neutrals with just a hint of warmth in the red tones. I styled this shoot for the Cedar & Stone Workshop with Sarah Goss Amy Gawlik photography at Pecan Springs Ranch. When I put this shoot together I was really nervous about this patterned jacket, but I absolutely adore how it photographed! Also, fun fact, our model’s hair is actually really long, but our HAMU (short for hair & makeup) gal, Celissa Rae, gave her a faux bob! Didn’t even know that was a thing! All the amazing vendors who helped pull this shoot together credited at the bottom of the post and a super fun behind the scenes “mannequin challenge” video by SLF weddings!


The more serious beautiful video of this sweet couple here !

Venue: Pecan Springs Ranch
Event Styling: Emily Burgess with Hill Country Bride
Florals: Paige Morgan Smith
Hair and Makeup: Weddings by Celissa Rae
Dress: Lazaro
Bridal Salon: Serendipity Bridal
Ribbons: Silk and Willow
Cake: Chef Ryan Ross
Candles: IKEA
Table Linen: La Tavola
Stationary: Paper and Posies
Groom Attire: The Black Tux
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Cinematographers: SLF
Rentals: Bee Lavish
Flatware: West Elm
Invatation Styling: Kayla Barker
Jewelry Box: Mrs. Box
Styling Board: Heirloom Bindery
Hosts: Sarah Goss & Al Gawlik

Some of My Favorite Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

I get asked all of the time, “do you have any great bridesmaid gift ideas?”! I’m really a fan of gifts that combine useful and meaningful, so that is how I have categorized them! I’ve included links to some of my favorite products and specifically geared these gifts for ‘destination weddings’ because so many of you are having a destination wedding in the hill country!

So let’s start with the practical…

This tote is one of my absolute favorites for several reasons. You can find lots of cute matching totes for your gals, but this one is especially useful in the destination wedding scenario for a couple of reasons.
1. It’s closes completely! This is really great for actual traveling. It’s the perfect size for a plane carryon and has practical straps (hand or shoulder). It’s also the perfect size for all of your hair and makeup supplies a couple of extra pairs of shoes and wallet to double as their bridesmaid bag on the day of the wedding.
2. It’s stylish, and is it too old lady of me to call it “adult”? We all have a million Victoria’s secret totes that have sparkles and sequins and say “PINK”, but if you are old enough to drink, or mature enough to be married, it’s time to put those away.  Save those for beach trips where they will get trashed with sand, but it’s really time for something a little more sophisticated.
3. It’s quality. So I actually own this weekend tote and love it. I can attest to the fact that the zippers are heavy duty, it’s lined nicely and the straps are comfortable and secured really well. I actually use this as my bag for bringing my change of clothes to weddings and it’s perfect! The embroidery is also a really nice touch.
Tip: Use first names if many of your friends aren’t married yet.   

I also love this tote, because I’m a sucker for stripes, but I think it lends itself to a more spring/summer wedding.

 

Secondly, if you dream of having those matching getting ready photos, you’ll want to purchase those for your ladies as well. There are lots of options here, but try to think of the weddings that you and your gals have been in recently, and pick something different. For example, you and two of your gals were in a wedding last spring that did robes, so avoid robes. We all know what it’s like to get the same things wedding after wedding.

If you want to go the robe route, these are darling:

I love these hoodies for a fall or winter wedding, or Shirts/PJ’s are a good choice also:

Last, and possibly most importantly, would be the personal/meaningful gift. This is the gift that makes each of your girls remember why they were chosen. Hopefully not because your groom had 5 groomsmen and you had to match that number, but because they are genuinely one of your tribe. The people that have and will help you through life. When you are picking out this gift, don’t think that it has to be the same for each girl. Start by thinking, what would you get them for Christmas or a birthday? One of my brides (an English teacher) gave each of her girls a book where the lead character reminded her of them. Then she wrote an inscription in the front of why, and how they were the leading lady and what each of them meant to her.  How sweet!

(image credit: Lori Blythe Photography & Contigo Ranch)

Another option would be a journal (if you know they like to write) with an inscription and a photo of the two you in the front. Maybe for a musical friend, it’s a mix cd (yes, I know this is old school) of all of the songs you guys grew up screaming with the windows down, about your high school beaus. Maybe it could even be a personal experience! An individual friend date (not wedding task related) where you take them out to a concert, or dinner, or mani pedi’s and remind them how important they are to you.  Even a personalized letter for each of them could do the trick. Yes, this one takes time! Not just a quick order and go, but it’s the one they will remember the most!

Hope this helps spark some ideas for gifts for your gals!

 

How do I form my Wedding Guest List?

I get asked this question really often when working with couples. Hill Country weddings are a little different than say Dallas or Austin weddings. Typically they are smaller and more “destination-like”. If you follow the rules and formula below you’ll end up with a really close number to use for your budget and give to vendors!

First, divide up the guest list. No matter who is paying for the wedding, the general split is 50% bride & groom invites, 25% to each set of parents. This may not be applicable if one side of the family is significantly larger than the other, but if there are questionable invites use the rules below to decide whether or not they should be on the list.

 

 

Rule #1: If neither of you has spoken to or met them before, including distant family relatives, don’t invite them (this doesn’t include dates of people you do want to invite).
Rule #2: If anyone is on the list because you feel guilty about leaving them off (maybe because you were invited to their wedding or they are friends with a lot of people who are invited) don’t invite them.
Rule 3: If don’t see yourself being friends with them in 5-10 years, don’t invite them.

 

 

Some common questions to address…

1. Do I have to allow everyone a date? Yes! No explanation needed. Just yes. You don’t have to account for everyone having a date if you are pretty sure they won’t bring one, but you must give them the room to bring one if they wish.

2. Do I have to invite kids? Absolutely not! Even if you have kids in the bridal party, you don’t have to invite everyone’s kids. Just try to keep the rule consistent, like bridal party kids but no one else, or just relative’s kids but not friend’s kids.

3. Do I have to invite my parent’s friends? Well, in general, if it is within the allotted percentage of guests that you gave them, yes, even if it is annoying. If you are really worried about cutting back, I’d present your parents with a guest list of the family/friends related to them you want to invite and maybe just give them a few other invites (but make sure they still fall within the rules listed above).

The Magic Formula to Estimate Your Guest Count Correctly

How do I know how many guests will come? How many guests should I account for in my budget? A lot of websites will give you a general percentage, but for me that’s just not good enough! It also doesn’t take into account the fact that Hill Country Weddings are often “destination-ish”, with people coming from all over and very few actually living in the area.

Make a master guest list and split it into three different categories:

  1. Wouldn’t miss my wedding for the world.
  2. I have no idea whether these guests will be able to make it.
  3. I’m sending them an invite as a courtesy, but I know they won’t come (maybe you know they won’t be able to swing the travel cost, or get away from work or school).

Then take the following percentages:

  1. 100% of these guests
  2. 75% of these guests
  3. 0% of these guests

This always yields a number within 10 guests of the actual count! It’s a magical formula! Well maybe not magical, but it is customized to your guests (because you know them the best!).

After putting together these numbers, see if your budget is realistic to your wedding head count and cut back even more if necessary. You’ll want to work on this guest count number BEFORE booking your venue. After it’s final, its final! You do not want to lose several thousand dollars in deposit money because you have more people to invite than what your venue can handle.

Hope this helps some of you out there put together a Hill Country wedding guest list!

Photos thanks to Amy Karp  from a wedding at Camp Waldemar. More from this gorgeous wedding to come in later posts!

 

Moody Peach & Lilac Hoffman Haus Wedding

Lindsey & Cody’s April wedding at Hoffman Haus was such a fun palette to style! Lindsey came to me with the idea for this palette from a Jenny Yoo bridesmaids dress inspiration photo and it was so fun to bring to life. This palette could work in Spring, Summer or even Fall. Lindsey designed these invitations herself using Minted’s custom color matching service.

Viridian put together the perfect loose bouquet that incorporated succulents and blooms. I love the way the Fredericksburg limestone in the buildings at Hoffman Haus brings out these peachy tones in our palette.

These Anthropologie copper terrariums filled with lavender, brought the lilac color to the ceremony and smelled fantastic! Lavender grows really well here in the Hill Country and was a nice local touch.

I love to use these farm tables at Hoffman Haus for the head tables. They are so beautiful and unique!

Whew that dress! Mckenzie Baird was the wonderful photographer, i just love the way she uses light! Her images just feel so warm and cozy.

The linens were one of my favorite parts of this wedding! La Tavola’s lilac velvet print for the cake table and Trouseau Smokey Amethyst for the cocktail tables added the purple touches we needed in the Great Hall. I also just love the greenery on the drapes, just a nice little installation that looks so custom!

We ended the night with a little sparkler fun!

Venue: Hoffman Haus
Photographer: Mckenzie Baird Photography 
Planning & Styling: Hill Country Bride 
Catering: Otto’s 
Cakes: Sophie’s Bakery 
Hair & Makeup: Brandy Pate
Officiant: JR Nutt 
Music: Anthony Garcia

My Top 5 Favorite Wedding Ceremony Songs for 2019

I have a lot of  people ask my advice on wedding ceremony song choices when we are in the wedding planning process. I’ve seen a lot of different things, but admittedly I have my favorites. Ultimately, the more the song is meaningful to you and your fiance, the more memorable it will be. However, here are some ideas that you might love or might get the ball rolling for you! These are in no particular order and I’d recommend the instrumental versions without words for all of these.

  1. Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast. If you grew up dreaming of being a princess (like we all did!) this one might make your hear flutter. You might sub this with whatever Disney Princess soundtrack is your favorite. These usually sound beautiful played by a string quartet!
  2. Cowboy Take Me Away by Dixie Chicks.  If you are going for more of a Texas country wedding this is a good choice. This makes a great entrance song in the instrumental version, but it’s also one of my favorite first dance songs for a couple. Come on, “in the comfort of your arms… on a pillow of bluebonnets…” you can’t get more Texas than that.
  3. Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. Cause we all turn up the song and sing all the words when this comes on the radio, and the instrumental version is beautiful and builds really nicely. This is another one that makes a great first dance song (with words). Also, Ed Sheeran shows up at wedding video, because you need something to do on your lunch break. Your welcome.
  4. Here Comes The Bride. I mean you can’t go wrong with traditional. We all put pillowcase veils with flower crowns on our heads and practiced to this one when we were kids. It will for sure make your Mom and Dad cry and it will never feel dated.
  5. Cannon in D. This is another traditional bridal entrance song. It’s a little less obvious than “Here Comes the Bride” but still a beautiful melody. I linked a harp here, because it’s become one of my favorite ceremony instruments. It’s sounds classic, but more subtle and acoustic sounding than a string quartet.

These are some of my favorite bridal entrance songs for Texas wedding ceremonies, but you could use a mixture of these for your bridal party or family processional. Just for those who don’t know, this is a typical order of walking and songs you might need for the ceremony:

  1. Seating of the families (grandparents and parents usually)
  2. Procession (entrance) of the Bridal Party
  3. Procession of the Bride
  4. Recessional (Exit song at the end)

Depending on how large your bridal party is, or how long your aisle is, may determine how many songs you need, but you can always loop a song to make it longer. It’s never good to have a song play for just a short amount of time because you want multiple songs. It tends to feel rushed. Better to have one song loop (if it can be done smoothly) than have multiple songs that you aren’t even getting through the first verse. Especially if you have live musicians, since there will be a pause between different songs. Often at weddings, if the aisle is fairly short and the bridal party is fairly small, we use the same song for seating of the families and procession of the bridal party.

I hope this info helps in planning your Texas Hill Country Wedding! What are some of your favorite wedding ceremony songs?! Please share with us!

Photos by the lovely Amy Karp Photography! of a wedding at Camp Waldemar in Hunt, Texas!

Pretty Pink & Red Wedding at Hoffman Haus

I got these photos back this week and was so excited to share them! This fall wedding at Hoffman Haus, photographed by Benjamin Garrett Photography, was filled with such happy colors and smiles. The bride, Grace Anne, is one of those girls that is so pretty, especially when she isn’t trying to be! Some of my favorite shots are the candids of her just laughing with her gals. Feast on the lovely florals by Sprout; Michelle’s use of the really dark greens in the bouquets, centerpieces, and ceremony arch tied in perfectly to the greens on the invitations and the dark ivy foliage at Hoffman Haus. Whoever said red and pink don’t match (my mom never let me wear red and pink together) just didn’t know how to do it well (Sorry, Mom). The champagne  undertones in Grace Anne’s dress complimented the palette perfectly! Champagne was also the linen color we chose from the Nuovo collection from La Tavola Fine Linens. It’s a great neutral that lends just slightly to the feminine. Sophie’s made the lovely, and tasty, cake and Feast & Merriment catering designed those beautiful cocktails and the food was amazing!

I hope you enjoy these lovely reds and pinks in the spirit of Valentine’s Day!

Benjamin Garrett Photography

Hill Country Wedding Venue

Hill Country Wedding Venue Feature: Hoffman Haus Fredericksburg, Texas

As a part of my brand spankin’ new snazzy website I now have a vendor referral page, in the hopes that you will bring a long the best of the best Hill Country Wedding vendors to make your day PERFECT (or as close to it as possible). I’ll be debuting my personal favorites on the blog weekly, then they will get added to the vendor page with contact info and all the important deets. Photo above thanks to Two Pair Photography.

And the first Hill Country Wedding venue feature goes to…. drum roll please… Hoffman Haus in Fredericksburg, Texas! It is one of my most favoritest (yes, I know, not a word) venues ever to work with for so many reasons. Here is the simplified list below:

1)It’s pretty. Actually beautiful. Pottery Barn furniture, marble top bar, antique mirrors, stage with silk dupioni draping, beautiful accent pieces like farmhouse tables and pine tables for your buffet. I could go on for a long time. See for yourself. Photos thanks to Breanna McKendrick Photography. Hill Country Wedding Venue Photo

Hill Country Wedding Venue Photo

Breanna McKendrick Photography

2)The staff and owners are fantastic people. They care about their clients and do what it takes to make things go really smooth. They treat their guests like family. The kind you choose, not the kind you are stuck with. ha ha. Photos thanks to Benjamin Garrett Photography & Sarah Goss Photography.

Hill Country Wedding Venue Photo

Benjamin Garrett Photography

Benjamin Garrett Photography

3)Location. In the heart of amazing, lively, downtown Fredericksburg. Need I say more? If you are reading this and you haven’t been to Fredericksburg, continue reading, then book your stay immediately for a girls weekend or romantic retreat to our lovely town. Don’t forget to stop by and say “Hi”, I’m likely hanging at a winery, shopping main street, working on my porch with a view of the hills, or watching live music and eating yummy food at one of our amazing restaurants…. Do I sense jealousy?? Yes, I live in the most amazing town ever.
Hill Country Wedding Venue Photo Hill Country Wedding Venue Photo 4)Logistics. They provide tables and chairs and pretty furniture, you get the property mostly to yourself for the weekend, and the guests can leave the reception and walk back to their rooms or some close by hotels, or to a local dive bar for late night shenanigans.

Hill Country Wedding Venue

Sarah Goss Photography

5)It really is just lovely here. They pay attention to the details. The art hanging, how the ivy crawls along the stone, the beautiful bathtubs in the rooms, and the amazing breakfast delivered to your door every morning (seriously, they do that). There are so many reasons why this place is just plain awesome. Visit them and discover for yourself! Photos thanks to Sarah Goss Photography.

Hill Country Wedding Venue

Sarah Goss Photography

Cedar & Stone Workshop Stylist- Sneak Peek!

Happy Fall everyone! I can’t get enough of this 70 something weather right now. I fear the heat returning, so I’m wearing scarfs and making yummy fall treats to celebrate. One of my girlfriends always says, “buy the pumpkins and the weather will follow!” I hope that’s true!

Another exciting thing about this fall is the Cedar and Stone workshop that I’m styling! I’m super pumped about working with the amazing team of vendors (see some listed here) we have lined up. It’s going to be a weekend of hard work and hanging with cool people, but I’m most excited about the creative side. It’s so fun to create something original and have people engage with it. We will be setting up our styled shoots at three really great Hill Country Wedding Venues- Montessino Ranch, Pecan Springs Ranch, and The Liney Moon.

wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0081

Since I mentioned it last week as a teaser, I thought I would share a little inspiration with you for one of the shoots! I can’t share all of the details, because that would ruin the fun, but here are some of the inspiration images, colors, and patterns that showed up on our mood board.

wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0084 wedding_planner_fredericksburg_0085

For those of you that aren’t familiar, mood boards are super helpful in setting the tone for a shoot or event. They guide all of the vendors on the “feel” and the color story, but are never meant for copying. We want to come up with something original, but this allows us to communicate the vision. Then each vendor can come up with an original design inspired by the mood board. It’s really neat to see the initial mood board and compare it to the final product. I can’t wait to show you the results!

There are a couple of spots still available if you are interested in attending. It’s going to be super inspiring and amazing!

Inspiration thanks to: HappyWedd.Com; Elizabeth Anne Designs; One Summer Day Photo; My Sequined Life; Green Wedding Shoes; Amy Lynn Photography; United With Love; Luck & Love Photography;