We go to a lot of weddings—I am Southern, after all—but there’s nothing remotely comparable to seeing your best friend marry her absolute perfect match in a wedding that is just so…them.
Lemon and I met when we were randomly paired as suitemates at Sewanee in 2002. She has been my confidante, travel partner, happy hour buddy, bedmate (hey, it was New York and I was victim of a Craigslist scam; don’t judge) and even wedding officiant. She’s the most loyal, thoughtful and kind best friend that any girl could ask for, and in 2009, she met the only guy I’ve ever known who was deserving of her wealth of character.
While playing touch football in 2009, she found Chris. As I told her guests during my
maid matron of honor speech, their first date was kinda sorta maybe the fault of my mom, who turned 60 around the time they were starting to get friendly and decided to send out an inspirational group text about making time for things that are important the very day Lemon had denied Chris a happy hour at a local wine bar. She took what my mom texted to heart (bless her) and changed her plans. The rest is history: He popped the question in December 2012, they had a 16-month engagement during which they made sure to do every facet of this wedding right, then they tied the knot at Stonehouse Villa in Austin on Saturday.
My mom and I made the easy hour-and-40-minute flight on Thursday afternoon, checked into our room at the Omni (they gave us the option to upgrade to a two-bedroom suite for $75 a night so we did), then went out for Tex-Mex with Lemon and her family. SVV would be joining us the next day (the tail end of tax season means no rest for those who work at accountant firms).
On Friday morning, the bride, a couple friends and I had a little brunch (on South Congress), did a little shopping (you know I had to stop at Allen’s), got our nails did then headed to 219 West on iconic 6th Street for the rehearsal dinner and welcome drinks.
This was such a great venue for a casual dinner; it was walking distance from our hotel, the rooftop was beautiful, the food was tasty and the bartenders knew how to pour a strong drink.
Saturday started early with hair and makeup beginning at the Omni Austin Downtown at 9am. I’m so glad we opted for that suite upgrade as we needed that space for all these ladies and our stuff. Lemon had hired LoLa Beauty, a mobile hair and makeup salon in Austin, to come to us, and man were they great. Personable, professional and produced great results—can’t be that!
I loved my hair, but I really loved Lemon’s hair.
Isn’t she pretty?
We had five hours to kill while getting all prettied up (which didn’t take long in this gorgeous group, of course), so we drained quite a few bottles of champagne in the process. It’s not a pre-wedding party without mimosas!
Then, it was off via swank party bus to the venue: Stonehouse Villa in Driftwood, about half an hour outside of Austin and right next door to the famed Salt Lick. It was a hazy, brisk today, but that didn’t detract a bit from the mood or the fun had by all.
In true Lemon and Chris fashion, there were already games set up on the lawn, including the custom cornhole boards SVV had made them and shipped from Tennessee. Niners for him, Cowboys for her.
We had a lot of time to kill as we were already dressed and raring to go but the groomsmen wouldn’t be there for nearly an hour and a half. So I explored the expansive grounds.
This place is a design-lover’s dream, and I want to decorate my entire house to mimic its style. Little Yellow Flower Design did all the floral arrangements and lighting, and I was obsessed with the finished aesthetic.
Upstairs, the bridal suite was quite comfortable so we lounged, ate and drank some more.
Then, the guys finally arrived and it was time for the first look and group photos.
And before you say it, I’m well aware of what you’re thinking: That Hayley Paige is a dream and easily the most stunning wedding dress you’ve ever seen. And it has stripes! So fitting for the preppiest bride I’ve ever known.
I seriously can’t wait to see the professional images from the wedding photographer as my iPhone photos don’t do this whole day justice (and also we did some Vanity Fair-style mugging with the bridesmaids/groomsmen shoot).
My escort Tim—Chris’ brother with whom I’ve been Instagram friends for years now—and I had to take a moment to selfie it up. It only seemed right.
After what seemed like forever—we started getting ready at 9am, mind you—it was finally 6pm and time to get ready to walk down the aisle.
The ceremony was cute and quirky and funny, just like the two of them. It was also very quick, no doubt because Lemon and Chris were ready to get to the bar after 16 long months of anticipation.
After the cocktail hour, we all sought out our assigned tables and chowed down on Southern food served family style. The reception was a sweet lover’s paradise. There was a s’mores station. There were sugary featured cocktails (strawberry jalapeno and spicy fig). There was even a Rice Krispies treat cake (!). And, at the end of the night, doughnuts to go. I tried them all, Paleo be damned. (I paid for it dearly the next day.)
There are so many other things to say, but you know when something is just so surreal and magical and you can’t find the words to convey the emotion? Well, that’s how I feel. The whole weekend was absolutely perfect, and while I’m sad it’s already over, I’m so excited for my best friend and her new husband and the lifetime of happiness ahead. Now the only thing left for them to do is add a six-pound Maltese to their NYC posse (*hint, hint, guys, hint, hint*)…
And because SVV and I took approximately a bazillion photos, here a few more outtakes from the weekend:
Shocking (not) but the Omni Austin Downtown is my favorite Omni property! Looks like a beautiful Texas weekend (which makes me so homesick!)!
Ha! It was a nice hotel. We had a handful of service issues but at least our suite was beautiful =)
These are so lovely! What a gorgeous dress, too – never seen one quite like it but I love it. I’m so glad the day was as dreamy as a wedding day should be. Congrats to Lemon & Chris!
I want to get married again just so I can wear her dress—well, the same dress but in my size; I’m no size 2 like Lemon =)
Sounds like it all went well, Kristin. I hope the Omni did a good job after all the headaches! Beautiful pictures!
Well, they downgraded the bride the day she checked in so there’s that 😉 (I will email you feedback directly.)
You have got to be kidding me. I have never heard of a hotel downgrading the bride. I hope you pitched a fit.
I wasn’t there when it happened unfortunately. I owe them an email, though.
Such a awesome pics. God bless u. thanks for posting nice views………..
I love this wedding. The bride looks so beautiful and blooming. And I love every pic you got here.
Wow, positively gorgeous – the dress, the bride, the location, everything! Also, I’ve always meant to comment that your husband reminds me of a young(er) Gary Sinise…does he hear that alot??
Haha, no he hasn’t! He gets a lot of Matthew McConaughey (from girls and dudes alike) but also has gotten The Mentalist and Monroe from Revolution. Basically, he gets a lot of comparisons to any 30-something actor type with a lot of hair, HA =)
Her dress is stunning and so unique – I love it. These pics make me want to renew my vows (again) and plan another wedding (kind of). Great pics – maybe you should do wedding photography on the side… 🙂
Same! At what point is it considered “too early” to do that, exactly? 😉 Uh, because we’re about to hit five years…
And thank you for the wedding photographer comment! I love photography as a hobby and have the utmost respect for anyone who can shoot weddings full time as they are exhausting! For now, I prefer to just take a whole lot of for-fun shots at my friends’ nuptials 😉
What a beautiful wedding. Through your description and photos, I can practically feel the love! I’ll be headed to a southern wedding in May, for my best friend’s wedding – can’t wait!
That sounds amazing! Where is it–Savannah, right?
Absolute perfection!!!!!! Your friend looked beyond amazing and I loved every single detail of the wedding. Congrats to them!
Don’t you want to go back and have a second wedding (to the same guy, of course) when you see other weddings? I definitely do! =)
Indeed a fairytale wedding! OMG, I’m jealous of the wedding set up and all! We are getting married soon, but due to my visa situation our original wedding plans were changed to a flexible one. Not even sure if my dream wedding would materialize. Then again, as long as I will be with him forever makes it the dream wedding ever. Isn’t that all marriage is all about?
I think whatever you do will be the absolute perfect wedding!
That dress …..!!!!!!!! I feel the need to find some stripey paper 😉 Seriously though, what an absolutely gorgeous wedding.
OMG, I bet Mayhem/Mayhem’s Mama do a beautiful Hayley Paige recreation!
Awesome pictures. Wish I could plan my wedding in the same way as you guys did..!! Really awesome. I can really compare it with fairytail stories which I use to read it in my school times.
Lovely wedding! Nice setting and dresses. 🙂
thank you so much for awesome blog Enjoyed reading this. Your pictures are great. What kind of camera takes such beautiful pictures?