The day started off with hair and makeup at the Hyatt, where I had spent the night with my sister and two girlfriends. The amazingly talented Nancy (owner of The Hills Salon & Spa) paid us an early morning visit and made my hair and make-up look fabulous. My parents and sister in law joined us at the hotel to help me finish getting ready, and then I rode with them to the ceremony site, just in time for the 11am start. My sister and friends were kind enough to leave early and run by the reception site to make sure everything was set up just right. So appreciative of all their help!
After making our way to Zilker Park, my dad and I hopped on the pedicab and rode up to Lou Neff Point. We picked this ceremony spot for several reasons- it's beautiful, it's where my grandfather used to take me to feed the ducks with my siblings as young kids, and it's also a spot that Hank and I run by just about every week. It overlooks downtown, and it has that intimate feel that we wanted. It's also a public space that cannot be rented, so we knew we ran the risk of having anything come up that could interfere with the ceremony.
We were in luck though. Hank got down there early, and with the help of my brother and the pedicab, they transported a few chairs and flowers to the spot and got it all set up. I knew the people of Austin would be kind enough to allow us time to get married without much fuss, and they did not disappoint. Sure- we had plenty of spectators, but who can blame them? I would have stopped if I had seen a wedding going on as well. It was fun riding on the trail hearing "Oh look- it's a bride!" as we passed by all the runners and walker.
My adorable niece Georgia met us just outside the point (I was hidden from Hank's sight) and she made her way up the aisle to kick off the ceremony. There was also a guitar player singing "Can't Help Falling in Love" as I walked towards Hank. The second I locked eyes with him, I just about lost it. I tried so hard not to cry, but my lips kept quivering and my eyes got all teary. There's just no way to describe that moment when you see the man you are about to make such a big commitment to. It was wonderful!
My brother Blake performed the ceremony, and every little bit of it was so personal. We wanted someone who really knew us, and were so glad that he accepted our request to get ordained online so that he could perform the ceremony. We worked on it together, but he had a section for the things that he wanted to say to us as a couple. My favorite part was lyrics he incorporated from the Coldplay song "Strawberry Swing" (so appropriate, given how much we love them).
The sky could be blue, could be gray
Without you I just slide away
The sky could be blue, I don't mind
Without you it's a waste of time
It's such a perfect day
One of the funniest memories of the ceremony was when I noticed that everyone was still standing after we had said a prayer and Blake had started his section of the ceremony. I finally whispered to Blake to tell everyone to sit down, and then laughed at our audience- telling them they were making me nervous. I think they were thankful I noticed though!
After Blake's part, Hank and I each read our own vows to each other. We had no idea what the other would say, but I loved how they balanced each other out. We both referenced similar things, but also had our own unique promises to the other. Then we exchanged rings and before we knew it, Blake was announcing us husband and wife. As soon as the ceremony was over, we walked towards the water to feed the ducks and to mingle with our friends and family. My aunt made the most adorable duck food bags to coordinate with our black, yellow and white theme, and we had fun grabbing those and feeding the ducks and pigeons who came by to grab a snack.
Our guests headed on to the reception while family stayed behind to take pictures. Our photographer, Melanie Wright Photography, took some of the most amazing pictures for us! We wrapped up quickly and headed on to the party too.