Elegant Texas Grooms
We were married on February 4th, 2017 at The Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Mansion, located in the West Campus neighborhood of The University of Texas in Austin, Texas. We like to think that our wedding was a unique and spirited event that was true to our quirks, shared passions, and a desire to have an all-out party that our guests would never forget!
How we met:
Our story is a bit unconventional, but we would have it no other way. We met in October of 2010 at a dive bar on karaoke night—one of the few places that we were likely to have ever connected, given our wildly different personalities. Mutual friends introduced us on that first night, but the attraction was not immediate. Truth be told, the two did not hit it off right away; Andrew found Trace to be very handsome, but also extremely loud and obnoxious. Trace was still living the college life and Andrew was trying to come into his own as a young professional, after all. Though we eventually began to draw closer to each other thanks to a mutual love of horror movies, it took some serious work before Trace could convince Andrew to take their relationship from casual hangouts to official dating status. Many karaoke outings and movie nights later, Andrew finally agreed to make things official with Trace on April 11, 2011. Over years filled with steak dinners and bottles of wine, laughs and tiffs, TV binge nights and film festivals, and— above all — growth and love, we developed an unshakeable bond. Our mutual decision to solidify this partnership for life was made a reality when Trace proposed on January 31, 2016.
From the beginning, our wedding was planned as a lively and quirky affair. Held at The Mansion (AKA The Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Mansion), a historic Texas landmark boasting Georgian Revival architecture and personality galore, we wanted to create an atmosphere of fun, love, and modern beauty amidst an otherwise very traditional setting.
The evening began on a rather unexpected note with the ceremony taking place right on the front steps of The Mansion—a rather unprecedented decision in a venue featuring three other very different areas regularly used for ceremonies! Thanks to our coordinator Gina Whittington of WHITT, we fell in love with this novel idea as a means of showcasing the venue’s striking façade before the festivities really kicked off inside. When the processional music began, the guests congregating in the front driveway of the venue created a pathway for our wedding party and the two of us right before coming together once again to witness the brief, but truly heartfelt ceremony, enveloping us with love and support. Despite the fact that the venue is located in the busy (and often rowdy) West Campus area of The University of Texas at Austin, it was as if the entire neighborhood grew silent during our ceremony. Following our exchange of vows, guests flooded the front rooms of The Mansion to enjoy beer, wine, and a selection of hors d’oeuvres provided by family-owned Austin staple Dagar’s Catering before moving into the grand ballroom for a fantastic dinner (also provided by Dagar’s), dancing courtesy of GirlFriend ATX, and delectable cakes provided by Simon Lee Bakery.
Even from the time of the first guest’s arrival, our coordinator and team of vendors ensured that nods to our shared loves—from horror films to Broadway to pop music to sweets to dogs—were subtly woven throughout the evening. Our pre-ceremony soundtrack consisted of string quartet renditions of themes from our favorite movies and television shows, while our dog, Coach McGuirk, just about stole the show as the ring bearer. Once the cocktail hour kicked into gear, movie theater candy was made available to all while pianist Ross Margitza played selected songs from our favorite musicals. Meanwhile, a fortune teller provided divination services for more adventurous guests wanting to get in touch with the spirit realm. In addition to a traditional guestbook, guests were also directed to sign wine bottles dressed with tags designating future anniversaries (e.g., “1st year,” “5th year,” “10th year,” and so on); it was our idea that we could enjoy each bottle on the corresponding anniversaries to come. The reception space itself notably featured table numbers accompanied by quotes from some of our favorite movies, not to mention a cake setup that highlighted one of our favorite details of the evening—a delicious, three-tier raspberry, mascarpone, and Chambord cake inspired by our love for the Scream film franchise--complete with two tiny “Ghostface” chocolate covered strawberry toppers!
Amidst the many references to film, music, and their personal lives, a sense of simple elegance and impressive modern event design still permeated our wedding’s décor. Our stunning head table featured hunter matte satin linens, hunter Kensington napkins, Windsor gold glassware, Majestic gold-rimmed plating, Fiori gold flatware, and ghost chairs provided by Premiere Events. Candelabra, floating candles, and a lush greenery garland provided by Westbank Flower Market completed the breathtaking table design. Our guest table design mirrored this look, but with deep navy linens highlighted by pin spot lighting provided by the pros at Ilios Lighting Design, who also brought out the best in the sprawling ballroom with subtle perimeter lighting and a truly magical starlight pattern on the dance floor.
In what was very likely the most unforgettable moment of the night, Trace and his family managed to surprise Andrew (who, as a meticulous planner in life, is not easily surprised!) with a jaw-dropping, energetic dance number that interrupted his own very traditional mother-son dance. The room was ablaze with cheers and laughs as Trace and his family tore up the dance floor to an energetic megamix before bringing Andrew and his own family to the floor, and SMS Photography perfectly captured the moment (and Andrew’s surprise) that no one in attendance will ever forget. This highlight of the evening exploded into an all-night dance party courtesy of DJ GirlFriend ATX featuring our favorite pop songs and underrated dance tracks. Our "Do Not Play" list was specifically filled with those wedding reception songs that have been played far too often over the years, providing for a refreshing change of pace for many of the guests who are used to hearing the same playlist over and over during wedding season. Lastly, in a fittingly romantic, if not appropriately spooky, sendoff, the hordes of guests in attendance guided us out of The Mansion with taper candles through a billow of fog to our getaway car—and to a brand new chapter in our lives!
Our wedding was truly a magical event and we will never forget it and everything our family, friends, and vendors did to help make it unforgettable!
- Photography By SMS Photography
- Venue By The Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Mansion
- Coordination By WHITT
- Catering By Dagar's Catering
- Florals By Westbank Flower Market
- Rentals By Premiere Events
- Lighting By ILIOS Lighting Design
- Cake By Simon Lee Bakery
- DJ By Girlfriend ATX
- Signage By Kara Wardwell (of Little Fox Facepaint)
- Fortune Telling By Doc Saul Ravencraft
- Pianist By Ross Margitza