Photography by James Moes.
If you’ve read our recent post on whether or not to do a first look and you’re still on the fence, this couple’s amazing photos might just help you decide! (I honestly cannot get over how excited today’s sweet groom Derek is in this picture, and believe me, you’ll want to see the rest of the of this very special moment, so be sure to read on.) This couple’s oh-so-visible love for each other helped them to create a day that was warm, meaningful and personal, both for them and for every one of their five hundred guests! And it was also pretty darn gorgeous – Emily & Derek took full advantage of the romance of wintertime and included dark green ferns, soft blush and lilac florals, plenty of candlelight and one seriously incredible oversized Christmas tree!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I did! I followed the ‘something old’ traditions. So my something old and something borrowed were my two gold and diamond bracelets. One of them was given to me by my mom, which had been given to her on her own wedding day by her mother. The other identical bracelet was given by my mom to my sister on her wedding day. Something new was my lace veil and something blue was my garter (which was tossed at the reception!)
PS – these may just be two of the most darling child attendants we’ve ever seen!
Getting ready on your wedding day isn’t only about all the girly prep – it always makes me so excited to see elegant photos of the boys getting ready, too! These shots of Derek and his groomsmen before the ceremony are so Mad Men, and completely timeless.
That First Look
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? And is there anything you would do differently? Honestly, there’s not much I would change, besides my general approach to wedding planning. It’s easy to lose yourself in the details and worries of the next thing to organise, without taking the time to stop and remind yourself of the purpose behind what you are trying to achieve. Some woman desire a fairy tale wedding, and I am definitely one of them! But if you’re not careful and get swept up in the details and logistics, you’ll find yourself unprepared on your wedding day for what it’s all about – you marrying your person. With that being said, enjoy it all, be creative, drink lots of champagne, have fun at the events leading up to the wedding, and don’t forget to cherish the one you’ll be standing with at the altar.
Emily says of their twenty-five person wedding party: “it was full of dear friends and family! Derek and I asked each other’s siblings to be in our wedding, because when we considered the future, we felt that it was important to share the most treasured memory of our lives together with the people who would always be there! So although our wedding party was insanely large, we enjoyed every moment with the ones closest to us and have loved seeing them all together in our beautiful photos.” (And we just have to add that if you’re planning a winter wedding, don’t feel like you have to be restricted to deep, moody hues. The palest blush and muted gray Emily’s bridesmaids are wearing look gorgeous in the soft wintery light!)
What was your favorite thing about your wedding? I loved that our ceremony was in the evening. It gave our whole wedding ‘day’ an elegant and magical feel, especially during the holiday season when the city is all lit up, everyone is bundled up in their warm coats and anxiously awaiting the moment we all get to unwind and celebrate!
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? Austin has always been one of my favorite cities to explore and spend time in. While studying at Texas A&M University, I spent a summer living in downtown Austin doing an internship. I fell in love with the city all over again and dreamt of one day having an urban wedding right in the middle of the hill country! I grew up in Midland and Derek’s family is from Sugar Land, so conveniently enough Austin made for a great half way marker between the two. Central Christian Church was my number one pick when looking for downtown churches for the ceremony. Originally, it wasn’t available the weekend we wanted it but our incredible wedding planner, Melanie of Mayhair Design, made our dream happen!
Your ceremony in three words. Life-giving, memorable, elegant.
What was your ceremony music?
Processional: To My Knees by Hillsong Young & Free
Worship Song: Faithful to the End by Bethel Music
Communion: Be Thou My Vision
Recessional: You Make My Dreams by Daryl Hall and John Oates
Emily says “all of the people we chose to sing at our ceremony were dear friends of ours and not only beyond talented, but also have a marvelous destiny in their lives to go places with their music.”
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Tyler Hardy, who is the lead pastor of Antioch Community Church in College Station, Texas, where Derek and I attend church. We chose Tyler to officiate our wedding because of his character and integrity in all aspects of his life. Tyler and his wife, Ashlee, have been committed and faithful in walking alongside us throughout the course of our relationship and still continue to challenge, encourage, and inspire us towards loving God, loving each other, and loving the people around us. Derek and I will always be thankful for the impact this couple has on our lives and for offering us the sweetest gift of all – their friendship! Plus their little girl, Evelyn, was our sweet flower girl.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? I had a very specific vision when it came down to planning the flow of the ceremony. It was important to Derek and I both that our wedding ceremony paint a clear picture of Jesus Christ and His Church as clearly as we could! We wanted our pastor, Tyler Hardy, to reference this as often as he saw fit and for our first act as a married couple to be taking the Lord’s Supper together. Derek and I have been on a crazy journey throughout the course of our relationship and saw it fitting to make sure Jesus received all the glory and honor for bringing us to the altar to make a life-long promise to never leave each other’s side. We wanted the worship to be life-giving and to refresh the heart and soul of every listener!
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Initially I imagined our reception outdoors on a grassy lawn underneath an elegant tent, with chandeliers and candles. However when we took into consideration the unpredictability of Texas winter weather, we started looking for an indoor venue that would create the same feel of the reception I had pictured. The Driskill Hotel‘s incredible ballroom brought some Texas history to our reception. (And I have to say when we were given a tour of the space, accompanied by complimentary mimosas and sweets from the hotel’s bakery, we were sold!)
How would you describe your reception? Romantic and moody with beautiful shades of white and nude, along with hints of peach, mauve, antique lavender, and burgundy, mixed with textured foliage. The evening was sophisticated and elegant, yet also completely magical.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I’ve always loved the moody colors of the Pacific Northwest and feel as though those deeper shades give off a warmth that is particularly lovely in the winter time. I was never the type of girl that started planning her wedding at a young age or building an endless Pinterest board, but I knew I wanted to get married in the winter the exact feeling and atmosphere I wanted to create.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First Dance: Heaven’s Knife by Josh Garrels
Father/Daughter: I Loved Her First by Heartland
Mother/Son: My Wish by Rascal Flatts
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? InsideOut made our reception an absolute blast! The entire feel of the night would not have been the same without them performing. They were able to set a romantic, elegant tone during the cocktail hour as guests arrived, then build the excitement throughout the evening, right up to our departure!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We served both a Bride’s Cake and a Groom’s Cake. The Bride’s Cake served 250, and included four tiers: the bottom two tiers were Italian Cream; the second tier was Wedding White with Strawberry and the top tier was Almond Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream. The entire cake was covered in deep marbled buttercream (a mixture of light grey and light peach) with flecks of gold. // The Groom’s Cake was a lumber jack cake of Valrhona chocolate with slated caramel filling and chocolate bark.
If you’ve been thinking even for one minute about a Christmas time wedding and all the warmth and fun that time of year brings, I’m just going to leave you with these last two photos…