Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel, Austin, TX, US
Thewmatt Photography beautifully captured Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel in Austin, TX, US.
Event Date: June 10, 2017 – Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
From Thewmatt Photography: Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
Michelle and William’s wedding was a unique, reasonably small—fewer than 80 guests—wedding in an urban boutique hotel on South Congress in Austin, Texas including elements designed by the bride.
Q and A with the couple: Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
We did a lot of hunting around for venues and tossed around a lot of different ideas for how we wanted everything to feel. We realized we didn’t want a field, forest, flowers and barn kind of day—rustic isn’t our thing, but we did know that we like to walk a fine line between being fancy and casual. We personally love to dress up, but still like to be able to kick back, relax, and have a good time. South Congress Hotel was the perfect combination of scenery and vibes we love.
My husband loved some of the industrial aspects of the architecture and the fact there was a vintage motorcycle shop out front. I loved the dark mid-century modern vibes and the courtyard that felt intimate and already had beautiful greenery. The location was also meaningful as South Congress Ave. was where we had one of our first dates. Everything was too perfect to pass up. The venue ended up being the main source of inspiration for everything else we did.
We wanted to find inspiration from weddings that had a brighter, more party-like vibe while still feeling sophisticated. I did some digging around on Pinterest and mid-century modern home blogs and came across weddings that had been held in Palm Springs, California. We didn’t know too much about the city at the time, but we loved the colors, plants, mid-century home architecture, and fashion vibes that we were seeing in the photos.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
Overall, the decor for the wedding was sprinkled with DIY projects.
The venue offered one of their wooden picnic tables to us for our welcome table. Our florist laid down a few palm leaves across the table and then put our white IKEA picture frames, a white metal floral IKEA bowl for cards, and a woven basket for programs on top. We were super pleased with the way it turned out!
For the ceremony, our florist had this lovely idea of putting piles of palm leaves to line the aisle. She also repurposed some of the glassware, candles, and succulents we were originally holding for the reception on the staircase. For the glassware, my husband and I went around to just about every Goodwill in town and picked up hurricane vases of varying sizes. We then put in pillar candles, that were sourced from Amazon, of corresponding heights and also black aquarium sand with succulents and cactus plants from Lowe’s.
The reception was really all about the foliage. The centerpieces were half DIY and half done by our florist. Each table had one tall hurricane glass that we filled with black aquarium sand and a cactus. For the table numbers, I used a lovely mid-century numeral typeface, printed them out on a nice paper stock and simply placed them in card holders.
Behind our sweetheart table, on the wall was a giant cut out of the monogram I designed for our invites. They were originally going to be used for the welcome table but our florist loved them so much she asked if they could be used on the wall behind us. They were made out of foam core and had orange tissue paper that was fluffed and stapled to them. Other pieces I had designed myself was the invitation suite, menu, seating arrangement chart, ice cream menu, and our version of a guest book activity on the table.
What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
The florals for our wedding was actually mostly foliage! I am not an overly frilly flower kind of woman, and our florist really nailed it despite that. One of the few flower species that I do love is orchids and to pull in the Palm Spring vibes, we needed lots of palm leaves and cactus.
For my bouquet, I loved the idea of it just dripping in huge orchids backed with palm leaves, and the bridesmaid’s bouquets echoing that. Our florist delivered on that! My husband’s boutonniere was one big orchid bloom to match my bouquet. For the groomsmen, we actually opted out of boutonnieres. My husband ordered a unique colorful pocket square for each them from The Tie Bar and included it in their groomsmen gift.
We recognized our florist is an artist and designer in her own right, so we gave her a lot of freedom to execute however she felt was right for the reception. We had only loosely discussed the plan for the reception hall, and we trusted whatever she decided to do. She surprised us with the big artful palm leaf installation on the ceiling and the sweep of palm leaves behind the sweetheart table on the wall. It was beautiful and the guests were just as blown away. The foliage really helped warm up the space and created a cool indoor/outdoor vibe. She then used more of the glassware we sourced in various other areas like the cocktail tables, on the food tables, and all over the sweetheart table.
Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
We really tried to stay true to ourselves for the entire day. I suppose you could say just about everything was personalized. I, being a visual designer, designed everything I could — website, invitation, menu, ice cream menu, programs, table activity cards, etc..
We chose to serve fancy tacos for dinner as it fit the fancy but not too fancy vibe. Also, instead of a cake, we utilized the super adorable ice cream truck the venue owned and selected a few different types of ice cream flavors and ice cream sandwiches the guest could then personalize themselves with whatever topping they liked. Instead of the standard photo booth, we found a vendor that made slow-motion videos. This was super entertaining, fun, and definitely a favorite for us and the guests!
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
I felt like I definitely had the standard difficult time of finding a dress I liked. I actually ended up buying two dresses. The first one I had bought, I found at a second-hand wedding dress store. It was beautiful and fit like a glove, but the more I tried it on over the months after I bought it the more it felt like a costume and I didn’t feel truly like myself. It was all white with a corset top and fluffy mermaid bottom. I could barely sit comfortably and I sure as heck couldn’t dance in it— but of course every sales person tells you “Oh don’t worry! You won’t be sitting that much and barely have time to dance!” I thought surely they had to be wrong in some capacity (and they were).
I was online looking for something to wear to our rehearsal brunch and spotted an all beaded gown that had vintage vibes, wasn’t fluffy, off-white, and had straps. I was amazed and intrigued. So, when I went to the store to try on the rehearsal outfit, I asked if I could try on the dress, too. I was floored, amazed, and really comfortable! I knew that was the dress I wanted to wear and made a mistake with the other one.
My husband, knowing, of course, we should coordinate somewhat, brought me along to look at suits. Because my dress was various shades of off-white, cream, and silver and also pretty intricate with the heavy beading we had a few options to choose from in terms of suit colors, but also needed to keep it lighter and fresher to off-set the fanciness of my dress. We could go either lighter with a dark tie, or dark with a lighter tie. He really loved a light grey suit he tried on and I thought he looked pretty damn handsome myself so we ran with it.
One of the secondary colors we used in our invitation suite was a dark navy blue. So we got my husband a navy blue tie, and the groomsmen got sophisticated and fresh with khaki pants, light blue dress shirts, dark navy blue blazers and no neckties. That, combined with their fresh pop of pocket squares, they looked well put together and also ready to party.
For the bridesmaids, I let them pick their own all-white dress and nude colored shoes. I loved them wearing white! I wasn’t wearing bright white myself, so I was still able to stand out on my own anyway. It was also cost-effective for them as they were able to spend as little or as much as they wanted with the potential of getting to wear it again for a different occasion. Their hair was simply curled and their makeup was done to highlight their best features.
For my jewelry, I kept it super simple. I went to a costume jewelry shop and picked up a pair of faux diamond studs for about four dollars— and that was it. For my shoes, I picked out a rad pair of nude, laser cut, high heels online. Pepper Pastor polished me off by giving me a hairstyle that could tolerate the Texas heat but still be flowy and elegant. She even incorporated an artful twist and knot in the back that was unique and different. Overall, I must say, we looked fly as hell!
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We initially met briefly through mutual friends at a house party on New Year’s Eve 2011. We didn’t get to talk for more than 5 minutes that night, but we met again, through our same mutual friend, when she got her separate crews together for a night out about a month later. We chatted and laughed through the night and at the end of the night he got my phone number. He ended up asking me out to lunch a couple of days later, which happened to be Valentine’s Day. I thought it was super sweet and low pressure. We thoroughly enjoyed each other and then the rest was history.
The proposal — Oh the proposal! The proposal was something he had, turns out, been planning for over a year and his whole family was in on it. We went to his mother’s house in Houston one weekend for, what I thought, was a belated birthday celebration for his mom. We started out the day going shopping and having some fun. He had mentioned that he wanted to visit some old friends while he was in town, so he split from the mall while we were out. I hung out the rest of the day with his mom and stepdad.
Evening time rolled around and his parents asked if I wanted to tag along for some Starbucks. While we made our way to Starbucks, his step brothers went back to the mall to pick something up. (I thought this was odd, because why didn’t they join us earlier that day?!) While at Starbucks, his mom got a phone call from his step brothers saying the car broke down in the parking lot. So we left to go help them. While we were trying to figure out what was wrong with the car and “waiting for a tow truck to come”, someone driving a DeLorean (like the car from the movie Back to the Future and also thank you to his father!) came speeding through the parking lot and stopped abruptly in front us.
Blake proceeded to do a ‘Back to the Future’ themed proposal by exclaiming excitedly that he was glad we were all there, had just gotten back from the future, and had photos for proof. He started swiping through these ridiculously photoshopped images of our heads on other people.
Apparently, in the future, we became astronauts, bought huge pieces of land, and rode motorcycles with Trent Reznor— and he wanted me to “come with him to the future” — so that’s when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him! Of course, I said yes! You can’t say no to someone who is so funny, smart and creative. 🙂
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
The first look was our most anticipated moment. Getting to see each other all polished up for the first time before we vowed our commitment to each other was super emotional! The year and a half build up of anticipation was finally being released and it was all happening for real!
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Our biggest advice in regards to wedding planning is “Keep it simple”. If you go back-and-forth too much on something it’s either not worth it or too complicated. This methodology can be used in regards to the decor, the flow, the guest list— everything. The guests will remember a lot less than you think, so don’t stress too much.
Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel:
Associated Pros/Vendors: Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
Venue: South congress hotel
Equipment Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals
Second Shooter: Jakobeit Photo
Cinema and Video: Spinning Leaf Films
Event Planner: Ashley Nicole Affair
Groomsman Attire: The Tie Bar
Groomsman Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Calvin Klein
Other: Sargent Brothers Printers & Typographers
Bakery: Tiny Pies
Dress Store: BHLDN
Floral Designer: The Moonlight Manor
Hair and Makeup Artist: Pepper Pastor Beauty
Photographer: Thewmatt Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights
Thewmatt Photography: Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
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Gateway to the West. Finally went inside this captivating monument, the tallest in the United States. I’ve been enthralled with it since our yearly drives from Texas to Central Illinois and beyond to visit family while growing up, but there was never time (or patience on my dad’s part perhaps? 🧐) It was pretty neat and the tram is definitely something to behold, though I don’t know if it’s something that needs to be done multiple times. The recently renovated grounds and museum are great, and the many interactive exhibits kept my 6 year old plenty entertained. . . . #travel #visitstlouis #sky #clouds #nationalpark #usnps #findyourpark #nationalparkservice #shotoniphone #iphoneography
Jakobeit Photo: Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
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Michelle-William Wedding-South Congress Hotel
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