How did you choose your venue?
James and I have very different styles – I wanted a space that was more classic and traditional, and he likes things a bit more contemporary. Hotel Ella was a perfect blend since it is a historic location but beautifully updated. We wanted a venue that was in central Austin (we had so many out of town guests and we wanted them to be able to explore the city!), had the capacity to hold the ceremony, cocktail hour & reception, and ideally had lodging on-site. I did not want a big hotel that would potentially have other weddings/events taking place, so Hotel Ella fit the bill perfectly!
Describe your decor and how you chose it? What inspired you while planning?
Overall, we wanted the wedding décor to be classic and elegant. My biggest fear when planning is I would choose something too trendy and end up hating it by the end of the wedding planning process. We went with all white flowers with a large amount of greenery. The tables and décor were accented with muted / antique gold pieces. While I saw a lot of images in magazines of white and green bouquets which helped inspire me, the biggest inspiration was the venue of Hotel Ella and the ballroom. The venue itself is gorgeous and doesn’t need a lot of dressing up, so I wanted the décor to complement the existing features, as opposed to competing with them.
Tell me about your attire – who designed your dress and where did you buy it?
My dress was made my Maggie Sottero, but we had the sleeves and back details customized. I bought and worked with a seamstress in San Diego at Aria Bridal.
What shoes did you choose and what jewelry did you wear?
I wore deep wine colored shoes (which perfectly matched the bridesmaids’ dresses!). I wasn’t too particular about the shoes I chose – I just wanted something that wouldn’t slip off or be too uncomfortable. The only jewelry I wore, besides my rings, were pearl & diamond earrings that were my grandmother’s, and a pearl & gold bracelet that is my mother’s.
Who designed the bridesmaids dresses?
Hitherto was the designer through BHLDN. I originally thought I wanted dark grey, but once I saw the stunning deep wine color of this dress, I immediately changed my mind. They were the only pop of color and looked gorgeous against the light flowers.
And your groom – tell me about his look – who was his suit designer? Any other significant accessories?
James and his groomsmen wore dark grey tuxedos from Menguin. I wanted tuxedos, he wanted a grey suit, so a dark grey tux was a perfect compromise! With groomsmen all over the world, this was the simplest way to order tuxedos and they were amazingly easy to work with. James also wore cufflinks which I had given him that day. And, of course, all the men wore fun socks!
Why did you choose me, Jenny, to be your wedding photographer?
When looking at venues they always give you a “preferred vendors list” and you, Jenny, were on so many of them I had to look at your site! The photos I saw were incredibly beautiful. From the moment I reached out to you, I felt comfortable – which was important to James and me, since we don’t often have photographers following us around for hours! Out of all the decisions we needed to make during the planning process, this one was easy!
What was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day?
Walking down the aisle. Seeing my soon-to-be husband and so many people you love smile at you, cheer for you, and be there for you, was overwhelming and amazing. James and I had some time alone before the reception to let the monumental moment sink in, which was very special. We had so much fun at the entire reception – we have a wonderfully fun group of friends and family! We keep saying we wish we could relive that entire weekend, it was absolutely perfect.
What was your favorite image from your wedding day?
This is hard, we love all of them! The photo taken in the parlor of James and I is incredibly beautiful and different from the standard wedding photos. The photos that show my veil, especially from the back, are dear to me since that is the veil my mother wore on her wedding day. I also really love the reception dancing photos – when I look at them I feel the joy and excitement I felt that evening!
Did any of your other vendors go above and beyond for you?
All of them did! We were very lucky to have had a fantastic group of vendors. Our florals from Verbena Floral Design were so much more beautiful than I could have imagined, and the music was perfect – it definitely kept our group dancing all night!
Do you have any tips to share with other couples?
Even though planning can be stressful, enjoy it because it goes by so quickly! Find people outside of the two of you that you can talk things through with. Of course, it was our wedding so we made the final decisions, but I cannot tell you how much I talked with our moms, sisters, and best friends just to think through things and get another perspective from someone we loved and trusted. After pictures during the cocktail hour, we went into a room by ourselves to have some champagne and celebrate – our planner at the hotel recommended this and I am so happy she did! It was a nice way to celebrate just us two before the reception kicked off. Lastly, find good vendors. There might have been little hiccups during our wedding but we never knew because we had an awesome team that took care of everything.
Special Thanks to the Following:
Event Coordinator: Joyful Designs
Florist: Verbena Flowers
Cake Artist: Coco Paloma Desserts
Musician: Greenbelt DJ Productions
Caterer: Hotel Ella
Hair Stylist: Hair by Kelsie
Makeup Artist: The Beauty Bar
Videographer: R. Scott Media