What more could you ask for from this beautiful wedding? Sloan and Jose had a ultra-trendy venue, The Nichols as photographers, and an afterparty/second reception to celebrate their New Years’ Eve fête all-in-one. Stems brought in vibrant colors to amp up the otherwise cool-weathered Austin wedding day, and with the festiveness of the day, Olive and Belle reined in all of the hip details. We would have loved an invite to this glorious event!
From the bride, Sloan: Right from the get-go we knew we wanted something different than a typical “all in one shot” wedding. We also knew that we wanted our wedding day to evoke two different feelings: Ceremony, intimate. Reception, non-stop party. Having lived together for three years before getting married, we really wanted to get into the heart of a wedding and marital union from a non-traditional, non-religious standpoint. We felt we could achieve this with a very intimate ceremony that felt both personal and communal. It was important to us that our family and guests knew how appreciated their roles in our lives to the point of our marriage meant and how much we look forward to having them in our futures.
Initially, we wanted a private ceremony one night followed by a reception the following night, but had a hard time wrapping our heads around how to not make guests feel excluded from the ceremony. When our ceremony venue, Union on Eighth had New Year’s Eve as one of their only remaining available dates in 2015, the idea of a split event on the same day was born.
We decided to host a morning ceremony followed by brunch at The Union on Eighth and a reception later in the evening at Easy Tiger. This turned out to be the best decision we made for our wedding day. It allowed us to have time with our guests twice that day which made the day feel all the more special. It was also really fun for our guests. We got to hear stories about their adventures between the ceremony and reception, how they hung out with other guests between each event, and how it made their New Year’s Eve so unique.
Flower recipe: Icelandic poppies, king protea, ranunculus, astilbe, kumquat branches, eucalyptus, and lisianthus.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Take your time and go with your gut. Jose and I had a long engagement, 2.5 years. Throughout that time we came up with a million ideas, viewed over 20 venues in multiple cities, etc. I’m so glad that we took our time, did our research, and didn’t jump into anything that didn’t feel right. Hire a coordinator, or if you can fit it into your budget, a planner. We ran into Sydney of Olive and Belle at a mutual friend’s wedding the April prior to our wedding. After a few months of thinking I could handle everything on my own I sent a desperate, ragged message to Sydney inquiring if she would be interested in working with us. Thank goodness she said yes! Our day wouldn’t have been as seamless or anywhere near wonderful if it weren’t for her.
Stand your ground, but also learn to pick your battles. One question I would repeat in my head during times of conflict or battling preferences was “If this happens/doesn’t happen at your wedding will you be devastated?” While that sounds a bit extreme, it allowed me to figure out what I absolutely had to have, what I could compromise on, and what I absolutely did not want.
If possible, write your own ceremony. My godfather was a gem and officiated our wedding. He, his husband, Jose, and I collectively had a hand in the writing and planning of our ceremony. We chose to honor our family and friends with community vows and a ring warming passing. We also infused a loose take on a hand tying ceremony. It meant so much to us to be married on our terms, in a ceremony that was uniquely ours, and even more, that it was delivered by someone who means so much to us.
View all images from this wedding in the gallery
Processional (family and groom): Steady as the Rising Sun by Robert Ellis Processional (bride walked down by parents): Wonderful (The Way I Feel) by My Morning Jacket
Recessional: Rave On by Buddy Holly
Father/Bride: Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Mother/Bride and Mother/Groom: Stand By Me by Ben E. King
First Dance: Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) by Talking Heads
Actually the First Dance: I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston