As a Texas wedding planner I’m passionate about the great state of Texas and making sure your wedding is what you’ve always dreamed. I love old traditions and new customs and I especially enjoy when they can both come together on your special day.
With that said, there are a few traditions that I wish would just go away. These three Texas wedding traditions top my list:
I’ve found that the day goes a little smoother —and the bride and groom are more satisfied with the outcome— when the cost is spread out between the couple and their families.
You may prefer adding a honeymoon fund to your registry so guests can contribute easily. If you still love the idea of collecting some cash but want to ditch that dollar dance, here are a few of my favorite alternatives:
If you want to incorporate a wedding money tree into your big day, make sure it’s not the focus as guests won’t want to feel pressured to give money, especially when they’ve likely already purchased a gift. Destination weddings (one of my favorite kinds to plan) are a great place to incorporate the money tree because transporting a lot of gifts home may be difficult and you can choose to have guests just give cash in lieu of gifts.
Remember, this is your day, and there’s nothing that says you have to incorporate this tradition at all if you don’t want to. Keep it true to who who are!
3.One word: barns. Is there a rule that says to have a Texas wedding it must be in a barn?
Don’t get me wrong, barns are beautiful, especially if they are a reflection of you and your hubby-to-be, but they shouldn't be the holy grail of Texas wedding tradition.
Texas boasts so many beautiful venues (like this Lucky Arrow Resort venue with yurts) and places to get married, and the options for finding something that suits your style are limitless. I can help with this! Ask me about some of my favorite spots and let's find the location of your dreams.
As your Texas wedding expert, and an enthusiast for adventure, I’m going to make sure your wedding is beautifully fun and unique, while still incorporating those tried-and-true traditions that you love.
Photos by Map + Compass Photography
New Years Inspired Elopement
Inspired by New Years celebrations and a black and white photo that makes me smile (see below) brought this elopement styled shoot at Ivy Hall in San Antonio Texas together. I wanted to inspire a story of a spontaneous elopement between two fast lovers who find themselves getting married on New Years Eve. Keeping with the simple black and white color scheme while allowing the holiday that just past to bring a bit of red pop in color. My hopes is to remind us of old Hollywood black and white movies with the dramatic girl and the smoldering guy.
Being a wedding planner in Texas, I see lots of barns, burlap and baby’s breath. I’m not sure when rustic is going to go out of Texas style but so far it’s still here. And I wanted to keep this inspiration elopement far from that. Designing the bouquet and buoutineer, I kept it simple and seasonal, as would be in a quick elopement.
Anyway, Anna Kay Photography and I joined up for this little pop up styled shoot at Ivy Hall. Anna and I became quick friends after she found me on Insta and asked me to pair up with her for a Big Bend Texas styled shoot (click here to see more).
I choose a high low dress from Olivia Grace Bridal in order to give the bride that old Hollywood glamorous look. Along with the bling hair clips to keep the elopement look simple. If the dress would have been too heavy the shoot would have lost that quick elopement feel.
Mugshot Photo Booth joined in for the fun with their vintage luggage printer case and free standing camera. Using New Years Eve booth props for the bride and groom to goof around with was natural and entertaining as these love birds who were still newly weds themselves (only being married a year or so) and kept the giggles coming.
Charcuterie boards full of color and depth were catered by Tim the Girl. Sage and wine cheeses added bright fun colors to the table as the couple enjoyed a toast and some bites under one of Ivy Halls big backdrop trees.
And speaking of the San Antonio wedding venue
Ivy Hall Wedding Venue
My biggest inspiration was Ivy Hall itself. As it sits south of downtown San Antonio with all the bustle and lights of the city. The venue is a well established garden and although you can’t see all of it’s gems in January (January is such a good month to get married outdoors in Texas. She never even shivered in that strapless dress) it’s still a magical spot with the city and tower of America’s in the background.
Ivy Hall is a few acres of lush tropical foliage and greenery. With a modern styled, small indoor area that an holds 80 comfortably for dinner, Ivy Hall is ideal for smaller intimate weddings. But the outdoor space is what people fall in love with. Four hundred people is far from intimate but if that is what your guest count is than Ivy Hall can accommodate, with the adjoining restaurant (The Good Kind). As a bonus, there is a neon Ivy Hall sign along with the famous “make tacos not war” neon that rises above one of the greenery walls.
This venue needs little design work as God and the gardener are the ones who have made it naturally beautiful. With so many different backdrops to a ceremony couples really have there choice of trees, cactus or greenery.
Ivy Hall offers events and weddings with full in house catering from Tim the Girl as well as in house bartending and basic rentals.
From a planners perspective having less vendors is a breeze and for the couple this means savings. Also, the design work is easier to keep cohesive, especially at a naturally beautiful venue like Ivy Hall.
Weddings of 100 start at $10,000 and include tables, chairs, food and some other amenities but that is just a base rate.
Take a peak at how Anna Kay captured this inspiration shoot and keep your eye out for the Tower of America’s in the background.
Planning your intimate Ivy Hall wedding
Does planning an intimate wedding or elopement at Ivy Hall near downtown San Antonio sound like you? Contact me today to set up a time to check out the venue together. Or if you are interested in help finding a different venue I am open to that as well.
And if you are curious what Ivy Hall looks like in spring time than check out this intimate wedding ceremony in April.
Texas is the epitome of adventure. Where else can you find sandy beaches, rocky mountains, desert plains and swamplands all wrapped up in one giant (awesome) package? That’s why I am so passionate about Texas adventure weddings. Regardless of the type of adventure you’re seeking, Texas probably has it.
There are many reasons why couples choose both Texas and adventure as the theme of their wedding, but these are the top three.
1.Texas reflects who you are.
Texas is modern and urban, but also rugged, vast and rich in so much history. Many people choose Texas for their wedding because it reflects who they are. Whether you’re a native to the Lone Star State, just moved out here (hello booming economy!) or have visited family here for years - there’s something about Texas that just speaks to you, and you want that incorporated into your big day.
2.You’re more about experience than tradition.
Sure, tradition has its place in your big day, but I bet you’re here because you want the experience (and the wedding) of a lifetime. Am I right? Sometimes a small, intimate wedding that checks all the boxes in the ‘experience’ department (like Harmon wedding here) is better than a huge wedding where you barely get to say ‘thank you’ to each guest! Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to ditch all those beloved traditions, like walking down the aisle with dad, but maybe we can say “adios!” to the cheesy dollar dance?
3.You want your guests to remember it too.
This is your big day, but shouldn’t your guests enjoy it too? It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Instead of a koozie or a bottle opener, say ‘thank you’ to guests for attending with ziplining, paddle boating or horseback riding. An intimate wedding that’s geared around an awesome experience will be memorable for you and your spouse (and a cool vacation for your guests - but better because they get to watch you marry the love of your life!)
If all of this sounds like you, let’s get together and figure out how to make your adventurous Texas wedding dreams a reality!
From the Hill Country Wedding Planner
This love story starts way back in 2004 when Ashley and Drew met at a camping trip at Garner State Park, Texas. Their paths would cross each summer as both of their families camped the same time every year. They would float away the days and dance late into the night but it was young love and fleeting. A few run-ins in college and failed relationships in between led them back to each other in 2015 to once again dance the night away at one of their favorite bands shows. There love led them to engagement and planning a destination adventure wedding at the Rio Bella Resort, on the Rio Frio River, just mins from where they first met and spent their summer vacations.
Ashley and Drew are both easy-going, adventurous and outdoor-loving which reflected their wedding design of a simple ceremony next to the river, and soft sunset colors mixed in everywhere. Photography was a big factor in their wedding aesthetic and as you can see the photo gallery Jackie Willome Photography captures the romantic elements that make up this fun couple as well as keeping the river landscape in the background. This was the perfect touch for this "river rat" couple.
From the sunset reception above the water, to a dance floor filled with their favorite tunes from middle school, to a grooms cake of a river floating inner tube, this wedding was the perfect mixture of romantic outdoor adventure with a touch of party. For three days and two nights the wedding guests enjoyed celebrating with Ashley and Drew as they floated the rivers, ate barbecue and relaxed by the fire pits. A must for adventure weddings by the river!
Don't miss the photo of Drew with the rust colored smoke bomb and the imaginative video that captures the weddings elements.
About the venue
Rio Bella Resort offers the best accommodations for any adventure wedding, retreat or vacation. The resort offers 13 cabins and sleeps approximately 100 people, including a big Rio Grande Cabin that sleeps 18 (where we wined and dined a barbecue rehearsal dinner for all the guests) and a little casita for two (a great place for the couple to spend their wedding night.) Rio Bella sits above the river with beautiful landscapes had has its own private access to the river bank. The resort offers a load of river fun for guests including paddle boarding, kayaking and tube rentals. And if you wanna stay closer to your cabin they have volleyball, tether ball, rock painting (see the pics of some rocks), and firepits for late night snuggles and smores by the fire.
I could go on about what a treat this adventure destination wedding was but for now I will leave with the photos and some inspiration for you own adventure wedding.
Talented Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: Jackie Willome Photography
Venue: Rio Bella Resort
Partial Planning + Styling: Social Planner Events
Floral Design: Foxglove & Grace
Videography: Lux Vinci
Hair & Make-up: Artistee Lane
Invitations + Signage: Minted
Cakes: Oh Yeah Cakes and Sweet Sunrise Cakes
Catering: Bill Miller BBQ
DJ: DJ Connection
Bride’s Dress: Allure
Tambourines: Hand painted by bride and family
Ribbon: Moonlight & Moss
Hat: Lack of Colour
Rings: Robin Brothers
Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu
Groom’s Attire: Ben Sherman, MuMu, Wrangler, Tony Lama
Some of you know that I recently narrowed down my wedding business to a specific clientele and with that I also re-branded my wedding planning business. For me I knew I wanted draw a certain type of bride and groom. My ideal client loves the outdoors and adventure. The couple wants to create more of a wedding experience than keep with traditions. And typically my couples aren't afraid to get a dirty, are laid back and value adventures more than things.
Finding Leah to help me with a new logo design and to narrow down my business vision was a big blessing! And because she was such a help to me I wanted to share the process with you and introduce you to her. So below is her wedding business branding tips and ideas.
Hi y’all! My name is Leah and my new friend Caroline asked me to write up some tips and things to keep in mind when branding a wedding business. These are the same things that I went through with Caroline to develop her new logo! Let’s break it down to three main points.
FIRST, IDENTIFY WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT
You have your service identified, now we have to identify what makes you stand out. I asked Caroline to identify adjectives that define her business and she said:
It was incredibly helpful that Caroline knew exactly what her style is and who she is as a business owner. Now, the next step is crucial: we have to help her ideal clients find her and choose her for their wedding.
SECOND, THINK OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
For your wedding business, what is your ideal bride like? Really picture her and think of things like:
Why should you dive into questions like that? Because you need to remember: you are building a logo, site, service package, etc. that reels her in and helps her choose you for her special day. You must know exactly who she is and what she’s looking for so you can serve her well.
For Caroline, she had her established color scheme and had a distinct style which was clear in her moodboard and photography from her website.
With her ideal client in mind, it was my job to create options:
Caroline narrowed down the selection to two options then asked her Instagram following, including her ideal clients, which stood out to them best. With that in mind, we chose her final logo and branding elements.
FINALLY, MEET HER WHERE SHE IS
Where is your bride hanging out? She’s likely scrolling Instagram, pinning away on Pinterest, and Googling for YOUR website. Here’s a quick checklist to cover your bases on where to place your logo:
Sprinkle in your branding elements too! For Caroline, she should use that coral color as little touches on her site. She could also add little groupings of her dots in the background of her pages and the leaf in the corner of some photography to tie together all of her branding elements.
Remember that you charge big bucks, or should be ;), because you are a pro and brides should trust you with their time and investment. Earn that credibility and show your client that you have your business together with a strong brand and presence, online and in person, so she will trust you with her big day. :)
I hope you found this post to be helpful and encouraging! If you have any questions or would like help with your branding and online presence, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I am building my new business, Leah Marie Creative, to serve small business owners just like you. Until my new site is up, visit leahschumacher.com to see what I can do. Also follow her on Instgram at Salted Brew or Leah Marie Creative.
All designs are copyright protected by Leah Marie Creative and cannot be used or reproduced without permission.