Q. What are your day jobs?
A. Anne is the Director of Business Development at Vida Capital (I raise money from institutional investors for a hedge fund). Mark is the Corporate Retirement Specialist for Principal Financial (Sells 401k plans alongside financial advisors in Austin/San Antonio).
Q. Where did you both grow up?
A. Anne was born in Dublin, Ireland and lived there for a few years, then was raised in San Antonio, Texas. Mark was born and raised in Austin, Texas.
Q. How did you meet?
A. We both worked at American Funds in San Antonio where we met, mostly through mutual friends there since I traveled a ton for my job. Mark told me that he would teach me how to shoot a gun because a lil lady shouldn’t travel on the road without knowing how to protect herself. That started our conversation, and it went from there! Our first date was a cold February day, at an outside venue with pizza/wine/live music (that I chose). Pretty sure Mark was freezing. Our second date was at my (then) five-year-old daughter’s track practice. A good way to a mom’s heart is through her daughter!
Q. Tell me about the proposal?
A. Mark took me to the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Vail, CO, for our 3rd year anniversary/Valentines present. I had NO CLUE this was a weekend he was proposing. We had never looked at rings before. When we arrived at the breathtaking resort, Mark said he was going to go explore a bit while I got ready for drinks/dinner that evening. He came back, we changed, and went downstairs where he went on to tell me there was a balcony he wanted to show me with beautiful views of the mountains. I follow him to an empty hallway, and he opens the doors at the end to reveal a gorgeous balcony covered in rose petals with Veuve champagne, blankets on a couch, and the most over-sized vase of flowers I have ever seen. My initial thought was that we accidentally walked into someone’s anniversary suite. And were trespassing. He laughed and said no, it was for me. I then thought that it was a super sweet anniversary present. Nothing more. I wasn’t prepared when he paced, then got down on one knee and opened a red velvet box revealing the largest, sparkly diamond known to mankind. He asked for me to be his wife, and I sobbed and was in complete shock. I normally hate movies when girls do that, and I was one of those girls! It was one of the most magical moments in my life.
How did you choose your venues: Central Christain Church and Hotel Van Zandt?
We chose Central Christian Church and Hotel Van Zandt for a few reasons. First, both are centrally located, and we had a lot of family from out of town staying at Van Zandt. We wanted convenience, and to minimize travel time. They were both very flexible and accommodating. Central Christian has an amazing pastor, Eric Gates, who created a unique and very special ceremony including our ten year old daughter. The church itself is breathtaking, from the exquisite front door, to the massive stained glass windows. Esthetically, it was lovely and representative of our Christian backgrounds. Van Zandt has delicious food, contemporary décor, and a true Austin vibe. It is also conveniently located on Rainey Street so that our friends could continue the fun after the reception!
Describe your decor and how you chose it?
Our wedding coordinator, Katie Fingerhut, with Pearl Events, was very helpful in choosing the décor. Hotel Van Zandt lends itself well to a contemporary look, with a mix of art deco, smoky charcoal and grey walls, and lush turquoise velvet lounges in the cocktail area. We chose tall, white flowers to open up the ballroom and brighten it. Our colors were royal purple, white, and charcoal, which we thought would be elegant and still fun for a black tie winter wedding. Overall, we stayed simplistic and trusted the experts who know what they’re doing.
Tell me about your attire – who designed your dress and where did you buy it?
I bought my dress at Stanley Korshack, and it was the opposite of what I thought I wanted. I envisioned a simple ballroom gown with long sleeves and a low back. I tried every place in Austin and finally went to Dallas in my final attempt to find a dress. My dress is Ines Di Santo, and is sheath, beaded, and sleeveless.
What shoes did you choose and what jewelry did you wear?
Jimmy Choo heels, jewelry from Joe Koen and Sons and the wedding jewelry division of Nordstrom’s.
Who designed the bridesmaids dresses?
They came from Bella Bridesmaids, and I loved the royal purple color!
And your groom – tell me about his look – who was his suit designer? Any other significant accessories?
He had a custom tuxedo made for him through Knot Standard. His 6’6 height is the only other accessory Mark needs!
Why did you choose me, Jenny, to be your wedding photographer?
She is the best! Mark and I had a list of the top 10 wedding photographers in Austin, given to us by our wedding planner at Pearl Events. We independently looked at their galleries online, and ranked them, #1-10….Even though we ranked them separately, we both chose Jenny DeMarco Photography as our #1 pick!
What was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day?
One of my favorite moments was the last dance between me and my husband after everyone had left the ballroom. It was so special and we were able to let loose!
What was your favorite image from your wedding day?
Our monogram! I loved it on the dancefloor, on the ice sculpture, napkins, everywhere!
Did any of your other vendors go above and beyond for you?
All of them were phenomenal, but I have to say that our wedding planner Katie Fingerhut at Pearl Events was amazing. We spoke throughout the day, every day for a year! She went above and beyond to make our wedding phenomenal and memorable. The band Memphis Train Revue also MADE the wedding the party that it was! They rocked.
Do you have any tips to share with other couples?
Have fun, and make your wedding your own! Everyone will have strong opinions about music, colors, invitations, etc., but at the end of the day, it’s about you and your spouse- so you call the shots!
Special thanks to the following:
Wedding Planner: Katie Fingerhut
Event Coordinator: Pearl Events
Ceremony Venue: Central Christian ChurchFlorist: Westbank Flower Market
Reception Venue & Caterer: Hotel Van Zandt
Band: Memphis Train Review
Ceremony Musicians: Hill Country Strings
Cake and Desserts: Simon Lee
Florist: Bouquets of Austin
Hair Stylist: Pearl Hair & Makeup Studio
Makeup Artist: Maris Calderon
Videographer: Adam Grumbo Films