A romantic ceremony at a Mediterranean-inspired villa followed by dinner beneath the stars – it sounds like a dream come true! Christi and Shawn thought first and foremost about their guests as they planned their wedding at Villa Del Lago in Austin, and the results are simply beautiful. Some of our favorite details include: the flower girls darling dresses, escort cards attached to dramatic gold-dipped fruit, and the single long table for dinner. Spectacular!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? People remember weddings that uniquely reflect the personality of the bride and groom – and that can be achieved on any budget. Focus on incorporating special details that celebrate who you are as a couple and don’t be afraid to edit out the things that are not important to telling your story. You will be glad that you put your energy and your budget towards the things that are lasting.
“Some of my most cherished memories of the year we spent planning our wedding are the moments I spent with my mom, sister and other family members crafting special details. My mom made the flower girl dresses out of silk faille I picked up on a trip to New York, and needle pointed the ring bearer’s pillow based on the design of one of my grandmother’s tapestries. My sister spent days designing the most precious children’s table full of fun treats and a custom wedding coloring book. I love that our DIY approach allowed us time to spend together and let the whole family share in creating a meaningful celebration.”
“It was important to us to have a religious ceremony that reflected our relationship and our beliefs. Our ceremony was an Episcopalian service followed by a Persian blessing. We strongly embrace our heritage and culture, and knew from the onset that we wanted the ceremony to incorporate meaningful traditions.”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, casual, elegant.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? Shawn and I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather in Texas with a romantic, outdoor wedding. When we discovered the green garden at Villa Del Lago overlooking Lake Travis, we loved that it was intimate and elegant without being stuffy. It perfectly matched our vision for our ceremony.
What was your favorite thing about your ceremony? The ceremony was held at sunset, and the warm, natural light was incredibly beautiful. There is such a great energy at dusk when the day turns to night. It was the perfect way to transition the event from the ceremony to the celebration.
Who officiated your ceremony? Our family minister, Reverend Wyckoff of St. Luke’s on the Lake officiated the Episcopalian ceremony, and Shawn’s family members gave the Persian blessing.
What was your ceremony music? The processional was a live, acoustic cover of Elvis Presley’s “Cant Help Falling in Love” sung by our close friend, Bonnie Bishop. The recessional was Natalie Cole’s “Everlasting Love.”
What were your ceremony readings? Our readings made our ceremony very personal and helped to express our feelings for one another. We included Song of Solomon 8:6-7, Colossians 3:12-17, John 15:9-12 and Rumi’s This Marriage Ode.
“Our reception was absolutely magical and incredibly intimate. It was a clear night, perfect for dining in the garden beneath the café lights. All 160 guests sat at the head table, and the family-style, candlelight dinner made the newly-acquainted feel like they were feasting with close friends.”
Persian wedding celebrations often include an ornate table or display called the “Sofreh Aghd.” Each item laid on the Sofreh, an ornamented cloth, represents a quality the couple hopes to bring into their marriage.
“I always wanted a small wedding, but as we drew up our guest list, we realized that small was not possible – or at least not as small as we hoped. That’s why we loved how intimate eating at one long table on the lawn felt.”
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Carve out a portion of your budget for a honeymoon, even if it’s a couple days at a nearby location. The bride and groom spend so much time during the week of their wedding with friends and family that it’s nice to have the days following the celebration to share time with just each other.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Sour cream cake with fresh berry filling.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We loved how the Spazmatics, our 80′s cover band, quickly turned the reception dinner into a serious dance party!