This couple returned to Austin for a simple and bright celebration at a venue with boundless views and interesting architecture.
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After college, Amanda moved with her best friend to Austin, Texas, on a whim without a job or a plan. To meet people, she joined the online dating app Tinder. But only briefly: The first person she connected with became her husband, Chuck. "Now it's so common to meet someone online or on a dating app, but back then I was so nervous!" Amanda says. "This was way out of my comfort zone. We met at a dive bar in Austin called Lala's, which is decorated for Christmas all year round. We made an instant connection."
The couple dated for four years before their engagement, but less than a year was spent together in Austin before Amanda moved to Philadelphia to attend medical school (since the wedding, she's become an internal medicine resident physician). Chuck, an architect, found a job in Philadelphia and moved not long afterward.
Despite their new home on the east coast, the year-and-a-half long engagement kicked off at the end of a trip back to the Lone Star State. "One of our last stops was my favorite place in Austin, Mount Bonnell," Amanda says. "I stood on top of one of the concrete tables overlooking Austin, and that's where he proposed."
It made sense, then, that they returned to Austin once more; this time for their wedding on May 5, 2018. They planned a purposefully simple and natural ceremony and reception at Prospect House in Texas Hill Country, about 25 minutes outside the city, and celebrated with 80 of their closest family members and friends.
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An Interesting Location
Amanda and Chuck couldn't wait to show their friends and family all the things they love about the city that brought them together. Chuck initially picked out the Prospect House, and they were attracted to its interesting architecture, simplicity, and beauty. Amanda asked a friend and bridesmaid who was still living in Austin to take an in-person look before they put down a deposit. "I saw it in person a few months later and was blown away," Amanda says.
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Amanda visited eight bridal salons—"Sorry Mom!" she says—and found a few she dresses she liked, but ultimately fell in love with a sleeveless V-neck wedding dress by Mikaella by Paloma Blanca with a keyhole back and a train. "I was looking for something with clean lines, nothing too boring, and something that fit me well," she says. "I loved my dress. It was so simple."
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Choosing the Bouquet (and Everything Else)
Most of the vendors at Amanda and Chuck's wedding were found through their wedding planner, Wild Sky Events. "Hiring a wedding planner was the best decision I made," Amanda says. They saved time searching for their florist, Color Theory Collective, who created this arrangement of roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, and tulips.
"Every decision you make for your wedding can seem like the most important decision, but at the end of the day, you just want your wedding to reflect who you are as a couple," Amanda says, and she felt that being in-tune with her wedding planner helped make that possible.
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The First Look
Amanda and Chuck opted to see each other before the ceremony and shared this sweet embrace.
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The Bridal Party
The bridesmaids—Amanda's sisters, two best friends from high school, and two best friends from college—wore dresses in various styles in shades of pink and lavender. Designed by Azazie, BHLDN, Jenny Yoo, and Watters, the dress selections were paired with pink and cream bouquets with long pink ribbons, similar to Amanda's. "I really wanted them to wear something they felt good in and wanted to wear," she said.
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Chuck wore a black tux and bow tie. His groomsmen stood by him in various blue suits and the same dark tie and white boutonnière.
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The outdoor ceremony site framed Amanda and Chuck against a light blue sky with just a few clouds. The 5 p.m. service took place at the end of a sunny day of 80-degree weather.
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Amanda's dad walked her down the aisle. "We had a classical guitarist play during the ceremony and cocktail hour who was fabulous," she says.
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A Personalized Ceremony
Chuck's dad officiated the wedding. It was important to Amanda and Chuck to be married by someone who knew them personally and had a good marriage themselves. Chuck's parents have been married for 42 years. They exchanged their own vows to also keep the ceremony personal.
The groom received Amanda's grandfather's wedding band, who had the same name. "My grandfather, Chuck, passed away a few years ago and my aunt had the ring," Amanda says. "She found it and it was pretty much exactly the ring Chuck wanted: gold with a few small diamonds in the middle."
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"It was important to us to have an unplugged wedding, especially during the ceremony," Amanda says. They used a few signs, a note in the program, and a reminder from Chuck's dad to encourage guests to leave their phones behind and enjoy the moments, like this one, as the newly married couple exited the ceremony toward cocktail hour—making a quick stop in the wedding suite to eat some appetizers and share the first ten minutes of their marriage in a quiet moment together.
"When Chuck and I were doing long distance while I was in medical school, we kept journals to each other," Amanda says. "When we would visit each other, we'd exchange the journals. For our wedding gift to each other I bought two journals for us to write to each other for our first year of marriage."
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The Youngest Guests
One of Chuck's nieces was the flower girl and wore a leotard with a white tutu. Amanda is holding Chuck's other niece, and Chuck is holding up Amanda's niece—and the entire trio was simply adorable.
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The cocktail hour took place in the venue's breezeway and was accented by music from the classical guitarist. Appetizers served reflected the Austin cuisine the pair loves, including a brisket tostada with queso fresco and lime sour cream, baked gulf oysters served with bacon and bourbon butter, and mushroom risotto cakes with goat mousse and fried beets.
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The floral wall was the masterpiece of Color Theory Collective and Wild Sky Events. Taped to the white surface, the single stems and assorted leaves made for a pretty epic backdrop for photos.
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A Photo-Filled Guestbook
Finding a good photographer was important to Amanda and Chuck, and the pair is pleased that Feather & Twine's genuine and professional demeanor produced stunning photos. "It was like having a best friend photograph your wedding," Amanda said. But best friends really did photograph each other at the wedding too, though they used rented Polaroid cameras to do so. They placed the old-school prints next to a note in Amanda and Chuck's guest book.
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Wild Sky Events designed a simple seating chart for the reception dinner that hung from barn doors and was adorned with a few bits of foliage.
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The Dinner Menu
Prospect House's light wood chairs and tables were used for the reception, with gauzy runners, bud vases, and a mix of candles softening up the modern space.
The dinner menu included choices of grilled New York strip steak with bacon jam, whole roasted chicken with red pepper Romesco, green chili mac and cheese, roasted asparagus, homemade focaccia, and Italian breadsticks.
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The First Dance
Amanda is from Long Island, so she and Chuck chose Billy Joel, another Long Islander, for their first dance song, "Just The Way You Are." The track features this sweet verse: "I said I love you and that's forever / And this I promise from the heart / I could not love you any better / I love you just the way you are."
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Amanda and Chuck had a simple Italian cream cake adorned with tulips and ferns to pay homage to Amanda's mom, who is Italian. As favors, the couple gave out to-go bags for leftover Italian cookies, a second dessert option from Feathers and Frosting.
The happy couple continued to enjoy Italian treats while honeymooning in Rome, as well as in Santorini, Greece.
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Photography, Feather & Twine
Location, Prospect House
Event planning and Design, and day-of paper goods, Wild Sky Events
Catering, Royal Fig Catering
Flowers, Color Theory Collective
Stationery, Just Jurf
Cake and desserts, Feather and Frosting
Music, DJ Gatsby
Rentals, 10th Collection
Bride's gown, Mikaella by Paloma Blanca
Hair and Makeup, Mindy Orsak
Lighting, Ilios Lighting Design
Transportation, Austin Elegant