Ever since I saw some gorgeous sunset photos of Alison and Jason's riverside wedding, taken by their photographer Lauren McGlynn Photography, I've been DYING to get the details. And now ... Look! Here they are! Alison and Jason were married in Austin, Texas in a city park called Fiesta Gardens. Alison crafted all of her decorations, her card box, and baked her own dang wedding cake. They did the iPod playlist thing rather than have a dj. There were so many adorable details including wildflowers in antique glasses, Jason's wedding ring with Allison's finger print on it, and, as I mentioned before, some beautiful photos taken at sunset that'll make you feel the sun and smell the fresh Texan air.

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Did your wedding location and date hold a special significance for you?

Honestly, no.  We wanted an outdoor wedding and in Texas there's a small window of time when you don't melt or freeze outdoors... and that window is October.  Our venue, Fiesta Gardens, is a City of Austin owned facility that overlooks Lady Bird Lake and already has lots of trees, flowers, and color which we liked.  It is also MUCH more affordable than many of the wedding venues in Austin, which was definitely an added bonus.

Tell us about the details of the day.

As far as decorations go, we would have been lost without the help of family and friends.  My mom hosted craft parties at home to make tissue paper pom-poms and paper fans.  Our family and friends arrived early the morning of the wedding to decorate, and they made it look better than I could have imagined when I left to get my hair and makeup done.  We wanted to keep things relatively simple, so we tried not to go overboard with expensive decor.  We sewed fabric flowers and attached them to twine to use as garland.  We cut yellow burlap fabric to use as table runners and our centerpieces were simply jars and vases of flowers with a couple of small candles.  My mom had postcards printed, stamped, and addressed so people could write us after the wedding and it was so nice to receive sweet notes for weeks after things had returned to normal.

But more importantly, the ceremony ... we had a dear family friend officiate the ceremony who made us feel so loved with his thoughtful words.  My mom and dad both walked me down the aisle (to Cat Power's version of 'Sea of Love'), not to "give me away," but to support me and show their love.  We each chose a reading we thought reflected our ideas about marriage, we wrote our vows together, and my voice shook (a lot) when I repeated them.  Our music and ceremony were not traditional, but that wouldn't have represented us.

How was the wedding day?

The morning felt like an emotional roller coaster ride as we tried to coordinate everyone who so graciously volunteered to help set up the venue, arrange flowers, and hang decorations.  After I left to get ready, I tried REALLY HARD to just let go and suddenly things felt much calmer.  I'm a bit of a control freak so that was much easier said than done, but totally worth the effort.  After getting dressed there was nowhere for me to hide at our venue, so I didn't try, and it was great to get to chat with people before the wedding and probably helped ease some jitters.  Once the ceremony started it was a long, fantastic blur. I remember walking back down the aisle with a huge smile on my face, and I think it was permanently planted there the rest of the night.  The fact that the evening ended with an amazing dance party, surrounded by people, I love was the icing on the cake.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?

I won't lie, there were definitely moments when I wished we had just eloped.  I regularly freaked out about money, not to mention all the things I didn't want to care about but found myself worrying over.  I know it's easy to say in hindsight, but don't make yourself crazy over the little details.  Yes, they're nice touches, but honestly at the end of the day you're going to remember how you felt and who you saw, not that the colors of your decorations matched perfectly. Stop looking at wedding blogs after you've made your decisions - you'll drive yourself crazy.  Ask for help when you need it (this was a hard one for me). Make decisions based on what's important to you and your partner, not to everyone who has an opinion to share.  Give yourself permission to have wedding-free days... it's very easy for the planning to take over and it will be okay if you take a day off - I promise.

Vendors

photography: Lauren McGlynn Photography - Lauren was recommended by a friend and we couldn't have been happier with her services.  Apart from her fabulous photos, she worked with us on price, made us feel comfortable when we felt cheesy, and joined the dance party at the wedding!
desserts: Wildflour - Erin is a fellow social worker / co-worker who runs a part-time dessert catering business.  Her desserts are amazing, and it was wonderful to work with someone I knew and trusted.
catering / rentals: Whole Foods Catering
dress: Jim Hjelm Occasions - It was actually a bridesmaids dress in ivory and it worked out perfectly (AND was affordable).
shoes: Steve Madden - I wear flats almost every day and am not the most graceful in heels, so I kept it simple for the wedding.
hair & makeup: Waterstone Aesthetics
invitations & wedding poster (instead of guest book): ellothere on etsy - they did the design for the invitations and we printed them ourselves
necklace: soradesigns on etsy