Even though I only lived in Texas for a year, it definitely stole a piece of my heart, so it’s a real treat to feature this elegant Austin wedding from The Nichols.

Bridesmaids wore floor-length nude chiffon dresses that were the perfect complement to the bride’s Vera Wang gown.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom celebrated with a champagne toast for two.

The couple chose The Driskill, an historic hotel in downtown Austin, for their reception.

BHLDN’s Hollyhock Table Cards let guests know where to sit.

How great is this shot of Katy tossing her bouquet?! Perfect!

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  What better way to lure out of town guests to a Texas wedding than by promising music, BBQ and the fine Texas wine that Austin has to offer? In addition to these reasons and more, Cort and I chose Austin, mainly because we met and started dating here while we were in college. Austin is such a vibrant and colorful city, full of personality, teeming with good restaurants and rich in Texas history, that it seemed an ideal place to celebrate our nuptials and a great city to ring in our marriage with our closest family and friends.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  I have a deep appreciation for the messy, natural and neutral look and I tried to incorporate different shades of beige, gold, ivory and white throughout our wedding to achieve that style. Who ever said they needed more beige in their life? Me!

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  I had so many! My favorite part of the day was, hands down, our wedding ceremony itself. Time seemed to move slowly and allowed us to absorb all of the positive energy of our past memories, present wedding day and our future as a couple! Leading up to the ceremony itself, I absolutely loved being with my mom and my bridesmaids as we got ready in the morning sipping on mimosas and nibbling on peanut-butter pretzels. And, lastly, when the doors opened to the church and I walked down the aisle with my dad towards the altar and Cort, and saw all our family and friends there to celebrate with us, was the moment that truly filled my heart with excitement and love.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  Cort and I are both Catholic and having a full Catholic mass was very important to both of us to celebrate our marriage. During the ceremony we included the Presentation to Mary, a Catholic tradition where the couple brings a flower offering to the statue of Mary and offer special intentions together. It was a beautiful moment, with the cantor singing Ave Maria, and it allowed us time to say a small prayer for our family, our friends and our future together.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  One of my girlfriends, told me to take in every moment and before walking down the aisle, look at your husband and your family and friends and take in the feeling. I am so happy I did this – the wedding ceremony was hands down my most memorable and happiest moment of the day.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Try to not fixate on any one specific detail related to planning. Let different elements from the invites to seating charts to flowers, fall together organically. Select items that represent you and that make you happy and comfortable, and the end result will be a satisfying platform to celebrate your marriage. Always remember to keep your focus on the real and the important parts of your upcoming wedding: your spouse, your family, your friends, and all of the memories you are forming throughout the planning process, those you will make at the wedding and those of your future. Lastly, let your fiancé have a part of the planning if he wants – I was lucky to have such great opinions and support from Cort!


See more of Katy and Cort’s Texas black tie wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: The Nichols / Event Planner: Lauren Carillo, Something to Celebrate / Ceremony Venue:  St. Mary’s Cathedral in Austin, Texas / Reception Venue: The Driskill Hotel / Dress: Vera Wang “Emmaline” purchased at Casa de Novia / Shoes: Prada / Groom’s Suit and Shirt: Brooks Brothers / Groom’s Tie: Norton Ditto / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale purchased at Bella Bridesmaid / Stationery: printed by Letterpress Finesse / Floral Designer: Last Petal / Rentals: Premiere Party Central / Band: Blind Date / Catering and Baker: The Driskill Hotel / Favors: Tiff’s Treats / Photo Booth: Say Cheese
21 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

I’m pretty sure St. Patrick’s Day marks the unofficial start of Spring, so it feels like perfect timing for this bright and herby Ethereal 75 from Maggie at Eat Boutique and Heidi at White Loft Studio. With orange bitters and quince and apple citrus syrup, this signature cocktail is a new take on the classic French 75.

From Maggie: “J’aime un Français 75. I do, I just love a French 75! It was first created at the legendary Harry’s New York Bar in Paris and eventually (gratefully) brought to New York’s Stork Club, a joint owned by an ex-bootlegger and frequented by glitterati of the 1930s and 40s. Champagne bubbles send the gin’s herbal aromas straight to the top of the glass; that botanical kick lingers, and almost medicates, in the best possible way. A sprig from a garden plant reminds you that gin is really mostly leaves, herbs and berries, so it has to be good for you, right? For this recipe, feel free to substitute your favorite brands and/or make your own citrus syrup. I prefer a dry Prosecco (over a sweet Prosecco).”


Ethereal 75
Serves 1

• 3/4-ounce Berkshire Mountain Ethereal Gin
• 1/2 ounce Quince & Apple Citrus Syrup
• 2 drops Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
• 3 ounces La Marca Prosecco
• 1 3-inch sprig of garden oregano

1. Pour gin, syrup and bitters into a Champagne flute. Carefully add Prosecco.
2. Garnish with a 3-inch spring of oregano, cut from a potted plant or the garden.


See more of this early Spring signature cocktail in the gallery.

8 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Inspired Ideas, Signature Cocktails

Trying to find the right dresses for your bridesmaids can be nearly as tricky as finding a wedding gown for yourself! Thankfully, with 13 designs in more than 15 colors, Donna Morgan has made it a snap to find lovely attire for all of your ladies. And who says they have to look identical? Here, two dress styles in three colors coordinate perfectly…

Maybe you imagine just your Maid of Honor in something long, or maybe each girl will wear a different shade of blue. With so many options – and the ability to search by either style or color – the Donna Morgan Bridesmaids Collection has something for every wedding vision.

Another big plus when you order your bridesmaid dresses from Donna Morgan? Same day shipping! As long as the dress you want is in stock, it will be sent off to you within 24 hours.

So I’d love to know: if you were to mix and match two or three different colors or styles from Donna Morgan Bridesmaids for your wedding, what would you choose? I must say, I’m loving the combination in these pics: Midnight, Amethyst, and Grey Ridge. So elegant and sweet!


Photography by Trent Bailey Photography.
Styling by Jacqueline Weppner for Merci New York.
This post sponsored by Donna Morgan Bridesmaids.

1 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Sponsored Posts

I don’t know if it’s all the color, or the bride’s smile, or what, but this wedding conveys such a sincere happiness that it makes you feel a little like you were there. Beautiful flowers by Sarah Winward add to the sweetness of it, and photos by Leo Patrone capture it perfectly.

Elizabeth wore a short lace dress with three-quarter length sleeves – perfect for a backyard wedding.

She carried a large, lush bouquet that included roses, peonies, jasmine and thistle.

Says the bride, “Even on a 100-degree day we were comfortable under the canopy of the maple trees, and the mountains in the backdrop reminded us that we were in the presence of something monumental.”

The cake was a white chocolate buttercream with local strawberries – perfect for a summer wedding!

What inspired you when you were planning?  In the months leading up to our engagement, Brian and I spent a lot of time discussing our “ideal” wedding. Over time we discovered that neither of us were interested in a big affair. We wanted something small, relaxed, and family-oriented. We also wanted something that reflected our love of nature and embodied the atmosphere we were going for. Above all we wanted to emphasize that the most important thing to us was that we were getting married, not that we were having a wedding. For these reasons my aunt’s backyard in Salt Lake City was the ideal space. The yard was spacious and green, inviting guests to celebrate in the fresh air well into the night.

What was your favorite moment of the day?  The ceremony itself. Brian’s cousin Brad generously agreed to be our officiant. The proceedings were filled with funny stories, poignant readings, moving music, and powerful words of wisdom. He drew upon our answers to questions he had asked us to reflect upon and write about. This allowed him to give the occasion a deeply personal touch. The best part of it, though, was the vows. Brian and I took care during our engagement to come up with something that perfectly expressed what this day meant to us, and how we saw our lives taking shape together. We made vows to each other and then we blessed our rings. We recited them from memory without a hitch! At the end of it all, it was extremely gratifying when so many of our family members approached us to tell us how moved they were by the ceremony. It was one of a kind.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received came during the ceremony itself, when Brad stopped the proceedings and told us to be quiet, and look out onto all our loved ones gathered there. We spent a good sixty to ninety seconds just taking in all that love and feeling present to the moment. With all the emotions and thoughts floating around, all the things that I had to remember to do and say, I really felt still at that moment. The atoms and molecules all around seemed to be charged with a new kind of energy.

What advice to you have for other brides?  Be present! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the details, and forget why you’re really doing this. You won’t remember the planning, even though it feels like everything right now. Take the time to focus on how special this day is. You and your partner will thank each other for it.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  There were so many wonderful family-oriented things that occurred throughout the weekend, especially the speeches from friends, siblings, and parents. Most memorable to me, though, was the final quiet moment that Brian and I shared just before the ceremony began. We prayed together, and shed a tear. That’s when I felt totally ready to meet this moment.


See more from Elizabeth and Brian’s romantic backyard wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: Leo Patrone / Venue: private residence in Salt Lake City / Floral Design: Sarah Winward / Planning, Design: Jessica Bender / Dress: Tibi / Shoes: J. Crew / Suit: Hugo Boss / Tie: Steven Alan / Catering: The Blended Table / Cake: Carlucci’s Bakery / Hair & Makeup: Tina McGregor, High Life Salon / Music: The Gatsbys / Stationery: Bjorn Press
  • Backyard Wedding with Romantic Flowers

    18 March 2013
  • 14 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings