On a sunset walk along a lake near Austin, Texas, Trevor Dunlap issued a challenge to his longtime girlfriend Randi Reed: Prove you love me, he dared her. "No, you prove it," she replied. And he did, in immediate and spectacular fashion. There, he got down on one knee and popped the question, catching his future bride-to-be entirely off guard.
The decision to host their April 25, 2015, wedding in Austin was an easy one. The city held special meaning for Randi and Trevor, who spent time there together while the groom earned his master's degree at University of Texas. Plus, with Trevor's family from Houston and Randi's family in Virginia, the location allowed the couple to host a destination wedding for all their guests — albeit a closer destination for some.
Selecting the striking Roman-revival Central Christian Church for their ceremony and the Vineyards at Chappel Lodge for the reception helped guide the tone of their big day and a Texas-meets-Los-Angeles vibe quickly emerged. They wanted their nuptials to be a mix between laid-back country and chic city, and with the help of Liv By Design Events, they were able to strike that balance perfectly. And thanks to Ashley Garmon Photographers, we get the huge pleasure of enjoying their hard work now.
When Randi set out to find her wedding dress, she was determined to take home a fitted-but-bohemian style. "Once I tried something like that on, I realized it wasn't what I was looking for at all," she admits. With the help of her matron of honor, Randi narrowed her choices down to two classic options by Vera Wang.
She ultimately chose a ball gown that featured a corseted lace bodice and a layered tulle skirt. To add a bit of bling to the look, Randi added a beaded Carolina Herrera belt to the waistline and slipped on Jimmy Choo shoes. She carried an all-white bouquet of peonies, ranunculus, garden and spray roses, and dahlias, with subtle hints of blush astilbe.
Trevor, who was an active member of the United States Marine Corps at the time of his wedding, wore his dress uniform for the ceremony, reception dinner, first dance, and cake cutting before changing into a custom suit from Indochino that coordinated with his groomsmen's attire.
The couple's bridesmaid selected their own Monique Lhuillier and Jenny Yoo dresses, ending up with three distinct floor-length styles in varying shades of pink, including one style that showed off a bit of metallic blush. "I'm an only child and my cousins are like my sisters, so naturally they were my co-matrons of honor," Randi says.
Two flower girls wore ivory dresses with floral details at the waistline, while the couple's ring bearer donned a soft-blue collared shirt and shorts. But it wasn't the ring bearer's adorable outfit that stole the show. "When Nicky, our ring bearer, made to the end of the aisle, he entertained the crowd with a quick nose pick," Randi laughs.
It's easy to see why Randi and Trevor chose the Central Christian Church for their ceremony. "It is beautiful inside and out," Randi says. "I fell in love with its ornate iron doors and the courtyard, and I was taken with the Romanesque revival interior with large green columns, wooden rafters and a magnificent soaring altar." With its stunning architecture, the couple decided the church needed little in the way of ceremony decor, opting to place eucalyptus and Italian ruscus runners along the altar and white blooms tied in blush-hued ribbons on the pews.
A family friend flew in from Virginia to officiate the ceremony. "His daughter was one of the friends that introduced Trevor and I," Randi explains, "and she's one of my closest friends and was a bridesmaid. A few weeks after meeting Trevor I told her I was going to marry him! It was special to have her dad be the person who married us ten years later."
Since he knew the couple so well, their pastor was able to tailor the ceremony to fit Randi and Trevor's personalities. "His sermon was touching, funny, and brought a real air of intimacy into the church," says the bride. The couple further personalized this portion of their day by weaving in special readings performed by family members.
A string quartet performed throughout the ceremony. "I love music, and it was one of the things I felt most strongly about for the ceremony and reception," Randi says. To get it right, the bride worked with her longtime piano instructor to choose specific songs for the ceremony that would work well with the quartets capabilities, including the couple's recessional song: "Come Fly With Me" by Frank Sinatra.
Randi and Trevor had initially struggled to find a reception venue that conveyed the Hill Country vibe the couple so desired. But when they saw the Vineyards at Chappel Lodge's fields, they knew it was the perfect spot. "The open spaces immediately transport you from downtown Austin into true Texas Hill Country with large oak trees and countless wildflowers," Randi says. But building a tent from scratch in the open field wasn't an easy undertaking. "Up until a month before the wedding we were still trying to find someone to custom build items for the tent."
Despite the logistical headaches, the final product was well worth the effort. "The reception venue was extremely special," Randi says. "We were the first wedding to be held in their wildflower fields. Planning long-distance had me second-guessing myself a few times, but it was more beautiful than I could have imagined."
She continues, "The large oak trees surrounding us for cocktail hour while a local bluegrass band played was idyllic, and seeing the tent in the middle of a huge field of bluebonnets really felt like the epitome of Texas. At the end of the night, before our exit, there was a moment when it was just Trevor, myself, my parents, and our wedding planners. We looked at the empty tent all set up exactly the way we had imagined and I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to leave."
During the outdoor cocktail hour, guests sipped the couple's two signature drinks: The Pear Press, a mix of champagne, St. Germaine, and fresh pear juice, or the Crockett's Corona, raspberry juice, vodka, and Corona. Since Randi and Trevor wanted this to be an interactive portion of the evening, they served freshly-shucked oysters and made to order guacamole.
Once guests finally made it inside the tent, the look entirely encapsulated the Hill Country vibe Randi and Trevor were going for. Stem Floral created towering centerpieces of red, blush, and ivory blooms that were arranged in gold trumpet vases. The florist also added greenery garlands the back of the couple's chairs.
One of the bride's favorite elements of the reception décor were their watercolor dinner napkins, which coordinated perfectly with their floral envelope liners, ceremony programs, and dessert bar display. "I can't be sure a single guest noticed, but I appreciated it," she says.
Food was also hugely important to the couple, who insisted that everything served throughout the evening be sourced as locally as possible. "We put all the farm information on the dinner menus since everything came from somewhere in Texas," Randi says of their family-style meal. "We loved the idea of serving everything family-style because it promotes interaction and dialogue at the table. Also it's perfect for someone like me that is a more picky eater, or Trevor who is ready for a second helping before most have started."
The design of the dance floor was one of the most vexing problems for the couple throughout the planning process. "We had a specific vision for the elevated dance floor, along with the ivy glass bar backs with shelves," Randi says. With the right vendor, however, they were able to achieve their vision of high-gloss white floor flanked by green shelves and lit by several crystal lanterns.
The couple took their first dance as husband and wife to "Cowboy Take Me Away" by The Dixie Chicks, an appropriate selection for a Texas wedding, to be sure.
A live band kept guests on the dance floor all night long, playing everything from Garth Brooks to Iggy Azalea. Then, the couple left the reception through a tunnel of sparklers and headed to their honeymoon in Australia.
"Take your time in choosing who you work with because it will make a huge difference," Randi advises future couples. "Whether it's your wedding planner, photographer, or even florist, you want to be comfortable with them and that will show through the day of. It will help create a team atmosphere with the end goal being your perfect day."
Ceremony Venue: Central Christian Church || Reception Venue: The Vineyards at Chappel Lodge || Wedding Planner: Liv By Design Events || Wedding Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Jewelry & Wedding Bands: Ritani || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Erica Gray Beauty; Katherine Crenshaw || Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhulliher; Jenny Yoo || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Indochino; Little Boots || Flower Girl Attire: Children Chic || Ring Bearer Girl Attire: Lylian || Florist: Stem Floral || Invitations: Meldeen || Music: Barton Strings; Milk Drive; Blind Date || Catering: Royal Fig Catering || Transportation: The Cake Plate || Rentals: Whim Event Rentals; Posh Couture Rentals; The Good Life Furniture Collection; Nuage Designs; BBJ Linen; Marquee Rents || Videographer: Robert Fondue || Photographer: Ashley Garmon Photographers
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