There are some weddings where one element stands out and seems to speak for the entire wedding; in the case of Nikki and John's wedding, it has to be her veil. Photographed beautifully by Shy Laurel Photography, Nikki's veil is elegant (and beautiful) yet captures the playful spirit of the couple and their setting - a ranch with a stunning backdrop in the heart of Texas.

I love that Nicki gave a nod to her adopted home state without going too over-the-top. The couple gave Texas cookie favors and display some killer cowboy boot signs, but the details never undermine the elegance of the event. It's really so beautiful!

As always, be sure to keep reading after the photos for lots of behind-the-scenes thoughts from Nikki about her wedding day.

Nikki's Thoughts
Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?
The wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Marquardt Ranch in Boerne, TX - in the Texas Hill Country. The Hill Country holds a tremendous amount of meaning to me! I was born in NJ and I grew up in South Florida, but I got to Texas as soon as I could...for college. Since I moved around when I was younger I never really felt that anywhere was "home"...until I found Texas. I particularly fell in love with the area surrounding San Antonio and Austin: the Texas Hill Country. The country charm, southern hospitality, and Texas spirit just captured me. Luckily for me, I found a great Texas Man that loves the state as much as I do. No matter where I live for the rest of my life, I will feel truly at home while in the Texas Hill Country.

What was the most meaningful part of your day?
Having 200 of our closest family members and friends in one place at one time was awesome! My family flew in from New Jersey and Florida, and my husband's family traveled from all over Texas....his Granddad even came home from doing mission work in China. We ate great Italian food (we are both Italian), drank lots of wonderful beer, wine, and cocktails, and danced the night away! We are truly blessed with the most fun friends and families in world and having everyone together made it the best PARTY ever!

Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?
A table collapsed...and it was the kids table! Apparently someone did not lock the leg to the table, and as dinner started getting served there was a horrible crash.; the leg gave out and the table just dropped! The center piece and glasses spilled or broke. Luckily, no one was hurt and the caterers took care of the problem very quickly...but it sure was exciting for a moment. We found out later that the kids were most upset that their sugar cookies (we served Texas shaped sugar cookies as favors) got wet when the water spilled...of course we gave them all new ones.

Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding as well.
We were engaged for a year, so we had a lot of fun events leading up to the big day. My girl friends took me to New Orleans a few months before the wedding for a bachelorette weekend. 8 of my closest friends flew in from all over the country, along with my Mom and 2 of her closest friends, and my Mother in Law. We all know how to have a good time...and we did just that in New Orleans! In fact we closed down Pat O'Briens at 5am...and my Mom and Mother in Law were still going strong. It was a wonderful weekend of good friends, great food, and lots of drinks! My husband's friends took him to Austin, Texas for his bachelor party. I know they had a blast, but the details have not been revealed yet. We had 2 wedding showers in December where we got lots of neat Christmas ornaments along with some registry gifts!

How did you know your partner was "the one"?
I can't think of just one moment when I realized he was the one. When we first started dating we took it pretty slow so I got a chance to figure out a lot about him. His loyalty, honesty, and drive were some of the things I learned to love about him immediately. I think the one thing that makes me realize every day that he is the person I am meant to be with is that he lets me be me...even if that means embarrassing him! I never feel like I have to hide what I am thinking, saying, or doing around him, and that is very important to me! We love each others families and friends and we all just have a great time together. The pieces just fit.

Any advice you'd give new brides who are just getting started?
ENJOY IT! Every minute of it! Everyone warned me that planning a wedding was stressful, and it definitely had it's stressful moments, but I made sure to enjoy it all. Especially the wedding day. There were definitely things that I could have been worried about on the big day, but I didn't let myself, and because of that it truly was the best day of my life!
Photographer: Shyann Harker
Venue: The Marquardt Ranch
Dress: Amy Michelson's "Fancy"
Shoes: Nina
Men's Attire: Men's Warehouse
Catering: Absolutely Delicious
Event Planning: Me! With a lot of help from my Mom and friends!
Flowers: Amanda from the Marquardt Ranch
DJ: Mike Lavendar

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