After spending many summers together at Laity Lodge Youth Camp in Kerrville, Texas, it was only fitting that Brodie Sherman return to the summer retreat to propose to Madeline Bowen. Naturally, she accepted and the two Texans gave themselves just shy of a year to plan their Austin celebration. "Barr Mansion was the first venue we visited and I immediately knew it was the one," Maddy says of the estate they booked for their big day. "It is a gorgeous old plantation home and has some of the most beautiful grounds I have ever seen. Gardens and wildflowers galore!"
With Barr Mansion's gorgeous gardens at their disposal, the couple quickly decided on an elegant garden-party aesthetic for their wedding and entrusted Shelley Gay of Leave the Details to Me to bring their vision to life. Three hundred guests joined the couple on August 18, 2015, and SMS Photography was on hand to document Maddy and Brodie's spring celebration. Keep reading to see all of the photos below!
Maddy's lace Essense of Australia gown hugged her body perfectly. "It fit like a glove and it was so comfortable!" she says. While she loved this mermaid silhouette, she made sure to try on different styles to be sure she found the right look. "You may be surprise with what you end up liking on your body."
Her cascading bouquet was comprised of hanging pepper berry foliage, peonies, garden roses, scabiosa, lisianthis, tweedia, and mixed foliage.
Brodie was his bride's perfect match in a custom midnight blue tuxedo.
Maddy's six bridesmaids wore mismatched crinkle chiffon Amsale gowns. "I wanted everyone to feel beautiful, so I was really happy to give them each the option of choosing their own neckline," the bride says. "Luckily there were no overlaps and it really looked amazing in the photos. It was exactly what I envisioned for them."
The couple asked their groomsmen to wear traditional black tuxes, favoring a formal look to complement the groom's attire.
"We got married outside, surrounded by wild Texas bluebonnets and lush green grass," Maddy says of the ceremony space. Two tall floral arrangements flanked the bride and groom as an altar while chairs were decorated with garlands of greenery and flowers. The bride's young cousin, Cort, served as the couple's ring bearer and made his walk down the aisle dressed in adorable pale blue shorts and a white shirt. "My aunt used to design children's clothing, so his outfit was her creation," the bride says. His entrance was made all the more adorable thanks to his partner — the couple's dog, Harvey, joined the young attendant on his walk towards the altar.
Maddy's father walked her down the aisle as a string quartet performed Pachelbel's Canon in D. She and Brodie shared vows they had written themselves, and admittedly became quite emotional as they made their promises. "I cried the whole time as I was reading them but it was so beautiful," she remembers.
With a monsoon bearing down over Texas, Maddy and Brodie wisely chose to tent their reception, but ended up having great weather straight through dinner. "The weather held up all through the ceremony, cocktail hour, and our dinner under the stars, but at about 10 P.M. the monsoon came through," the bride says. "My dress was completely brown on the bottom from the mud, but it was so much fun!" Luckily, the bride loves a tented reception — "There is something about eating under a tent that is just so magical to me!" — and was excited about a partially enclosed reception. The couple chose a mix of long vineyard and round tables and found glass chargers and hemstitch napkins for their place settings.
Mixed mercury glass vessels were filled with loose arrangements of flowers, including blooms like clematis, scabiosa, garden roses, lisianthus, and seasonal greenery. Other tables were draped with a garland of greens, studded with garden roses and pepperberry, which wrapped around taller centerpieces containing a mix of roses, hydrangeas, and tulips.
Before the skies turned, guests were treated to a decadent organic and locally sourced family-style dinner, which included beer-brined chicken, beef tenderloin, and oven-baked bread.
Maddy and Brodie's five-tier wedding cake was decorated with fresh flowers and white ruffled buttercream. Inside, guests found layers of honey lavender and carrot cake.
The bride wanted to surprise her groom with something special just for him, so she brought in a hand-rolled cigar station, along with a coffee and espresso catering company that served up freshly ground drinks.
Despite the rain, the couple and their guests made it back outside for a classic sparkler exit. "Don't sweat the small stuff," Maddy advises. "And, if you can, hire a wedding planner at least for the day of. My wedding planners saved me from so much unnecessary stress."
Venue & Catering: Barr Mansion & Artisan Ballroom || Wedding Planner: Leave the Details to Me || Bride's Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia || Veil: Blush Bridal Lounge || Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. || Shoes: Heritage Boot Co. || Hair: Lola Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: Texas Clothier || Groomsmen's Attire: Wally's Menswear || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: The Menagerie || Flowers: Flora Fetish || Invitations: Dromgoole's || Other Paper Products: Swell and Grand || Music: Musical Discovery; JUICE the Band || Cake: Michelle's Patisserie || Rentals: Monarch Event Rentals; Premiere Events; Intelligent Lighting Design || Favors: Bobalu Cigars || Transportation: Cynthia's Limo || Videographer: ML Photo & Film || Photographer: SMS Photography
Did you love this Texas celebration? Then check out another couple's Austin bash in the video below.