One Couple Brought a Little New York City Style to Their Texas Hill Country Wedding
In June 2014, Aly Dailey and David Schneidman met at The Rusty Knot, a dive bar in Manhattan's West Village. "Let's just say there was an incredibly cheesy pick-up line used," remembers Aly, who works as a senior account executive for Jonathan Adler. "We ended up playing a round of pool and the rest was history. We've spoken every single day since that night." A few years later, David (the U.S. Brand Director for COVERGIRL) planned a memorable proposal. He first told Aly that his friend was visiting them in New York City, so she prepared by cleaning the apartment, buying flowers, and organizing an itinerary. Then he secretly called Aly's boss and shared the proposal plans, asking if she could play hookie the following day. "We headed to Tribeca for dinner to meet David's friend, and despite the drizzle, David made me get out of our cab to cut through our favorite spot in the city, Duane Park," says Aly. "As I complained about the rain, David started to act super strange before finally getting down on one knee. It turns out that my brother-in law was hiding in the bushes taking pictures of the whole thing!"
After the proposal, Aly and David headed to Hudson Clearwater restaurant, the site of their first date. The couple's family members, some of whom flew in from Texas, surprised the bride-to-be at the restaurant—and the next night, she was taken aback yet again with an engagement party at The Rusty Knot with her best friends from Texas. "As it turns out, these were the real house guests staying with us in our teeny one-bedroom apartment! We spent the rest of the weekend surrounded by our families and best friends and had one giant slumber party. It was absolutely perfect," says the bride.
A year-and-a-half after that wonderful night, another special celebration took place. On October 21, 2017, Aly and David got married at Barr Mansion in Austin, Texas. There were 160 guests in attendance at destination celebration, which had an urban, moody, and romantic aesthetic and a dark color palette. "It was perfect blend of New York City in the Hill Country, combining all of the best parts of our two favorite cities—and most importantly, the people," says Aly.
The Stationery Suite
One of the couple's best friends, Robert Alvarez, created the stationery suite. "These are some of our most treasured keepsakes from the wedding. He watercolored and handwrote the majority of the paper goods, and he even calligraphed the envelopes for the invitations!" says Aly. The moody and romantic feeling of the suite hinted at the wedding's elegant urban theme. Quik Print, also owned by a friend, printed the paper elements.
Aly and David tied the knot at Barr Mansion, located near Aly's hometown of Austin, Texas. "I don't even think we discussed having the wedding in Austin. It was just something we both always wanted to do," says Aly. "I grew up in the Hill Country and it was important for me to show that side of Austin to our guests, as so many people only experience what the new downtown Austin has to offer." Although David spent his life in the New York Metro area, he always loved the South and thought Texas was the perfect destination.
The Welcome Boxes
While getting ready, Aly donned a black floral robe by Stone Cold Fox, as well as fuzzy slippers from Etsy. Her bridesmaids—including Aly's older sister, David's sister, and Aly's two best friends—wore comfortable black robes from Aerie.
The bride says one of her favorite moments of the day happened in the bridal suite: "I started to get a little nervous before walking down the aisle and was feeling a bit stressed by all the people around me. My sister and I walked into a room where we were getting our makeup touched up, and I was instantly hit by the scent of my grandmother's perfume. This was impossible, as she had passed nearly 20 years ago. I turned to my sister thinking I was crazy, but the look on her face told me that she smelled it, too. It was honestly one of the most surreal moments of my life. It was so special to feel like she was with me on my wedding day."
Aly intended to design her own wedding dress, but she visited some bridal salons with her mom and sister in New York City anyway. Their first appointment was at Mark Ingram Atelier, where Aly noticed a dusty rose Monique Lhuillier gown on the shop's only mannequin. "It was the very first wedding dress I had ever tried on, and I pretty much knew instantly," says Aly. "I tried on a number of other dresses that day just to satisfy my curiosity, but I knew I couldn't get married in anything else." She especially loved the countless layers of tulle and organza. Earrings from J.Crew, her yellow-gold engagement ring with a solitaire stone (designed by David), and a gold ring with tiny sapphires (given to the bride by her sister on the morning of the wedding as her "something blue") completed Aly's outfit.
David wore the "Capstone Italian Wool Shawl Tuxedo" by Bonobos, which he paired with a black bow tie from the same designer, black velvet smoking slippers from Del Toro, and custom-made monogrammed silver cufflinks.
Aly was a blushing bride from head to toe, including her pale pink crushed velvet "Clarita" shoes from Alexandre Birman. "These seemed like they were made to go with my dress!" she says.
Posey Floral + Event Design created Aly's lush, cascading bouquet with dinnerplate dahlias, chocolate cosmos, astrantia, scabiosa, pampas grass, astilbe, and ranunculus with lots of loose greenery and berries. Most flowers had an oxblood or blush hue, and the stems were wrapped in velvet ribbon. The bride pinned her grandmother's gold monogrammed pin on as her "something borrowed."
All Dressed Up
The bridesmaids dazzled in long Alexia Maria gowns.
David's groomsmen, who were his best friends from childhood, sported their own tuxedos.
The Ceremony Site
The ceremony took place in Barr Mansion's roofed farmstead, which had open sides to let in the breeze and scenery. While preparing the site, Aly and David found one problem with the location: large and obstructing poles behind their would-be altar. To compensate, Posey Floral + Event Design filled the space with a pampas grass installation, and she scattered various décor elements (including blush-colored dahlias and wooden furniture) nearby. "We loved the look of the raw, organic materials creating such a modern and angular sculpture," says Aly. "The breeze that day gave everything such incredible movement. Our florist totally nailed the New York take on a Hill Country setting!"
Greenery and black candles in glass containers dotted the aisle. The accents popped against the wooden folding chairs and were a fitting decoration for the candle-loving couple.
The couple asked the friend who created the stationery suite to also design minimalistic wedding programs. "He nailed the perfect juxtaposition of his cursive handwriting with a very angular typeface," says Aly. "We found a beautiful wax seal with the letter S on it, which we stamped in the corner of each program."
The bridal party processed to "Victim of Love" by Charles Bradley, then Aly's dad walked her down the aisle to "You and Me" by Penny and the Quarters. "The song speaks so beautifully about how nothing in the world matters outside of you and this person you love so deeply," she says.
Since David is Jewish and Aly is Catholic, they decided on a non-denominational ceremony officiated by the bride's brother-in-law, Scott. "It was very important to us that we had someone who intimately knew both David and I to officiate. David and Scott are incredibly close, and he knows our relationship better than most. He's one of the smartest and funniest guys we know so it all just sort of fell in to place perfectly!" says Aly. The couple wrote their own vows together, and they incorporated a line from the poet Cleo Wade into their ceremony: "I promise to never stop being better at us, working harder at us, and giving us our best shot."
The newlyweds recessed to "Oogum Boogum" by Brenton Wood; the upbeat music perfectly accompanied their ear-to-ear grins. "We were just so supremely happy!" says Aly.
"Cocktail hour was 90 minutes because we selfishly wanted ample time to enjoy it," says Aly, adding that it took place outside near the ceremony site. Barr Mansion served appetizers with an "Austin" feel, including devils on horseback (bacon-wrapped dried fruit), fried okra, and an "elotes y mas" station with street corn cups, pork and chicken pastor tacos, and black bean sopes. Local singer/songwriter Taylor Baker played covers of popular love songs. "We tried to incorporate as much live music as possible!" says Aly. The wedding guests, who came from all over the United States, took the time to socialize during cocktail hour.
Since Aly drinks champagne and David prefers whiskey, they set up "Bubbles" and "Whisky" stations in lieu of signature cocktails. Guests enjoyed six different varieties of whiskeys and bourbons, chosen based on extensive research by Aly's father. "I was hearing rave reviews about the whiskey bar for months to come!" says Aly, who drank Laurent-Perrier throughout the night.
Beer burros walked the property with saddles full of Shiner Bock, a local Texas beer. "I had kept the burros a secret from David, so he was totally shocked when his first beer of the party was served by a little donkey named Loretta Lynn!" says Aly. David added that guests absolutely loved the burros. "Most of our guests said it was the highlight of their evening. Their handlers took pictures with a Polaroid camera, which ended up being special mementos for our guests to take home," he says.
Words of Wisdom
Aly spent some time with her dad and mom, who wore a sequined Parker gown, during cocktail hour. "My parents have been married for 35 years and they are the most 'in love' people I know," says Aly. "My sister and I were so lucky to grow up with them as relationship role models. Their advice to us has always been to marry your best friend and to find someone who likes to hold your hand. It doesn't hurt that my sister and her husband also have one of the most solid marriages I know!"
The Seating Chart
Simple white cards attached to a framed mirror served as a seating chart.
The Reception Venue
The reception took place in a ballroom at Barr Mansion, where the couple meticulously planned an unforgettable celebration for their family and friends. According to David, "It was important to me to have something unique. In your late 20s and early 30s, you go to dozens of weddings a year, and you end up seeing the same things over and over again. Aly and I didn't want that. We wanted friends and family to not only have an amazing time, but a distinct and memorable experience that they would cherish forever."
The Reception Décor
Inside the reception, communal tables (chosen by Aly) and round tables (preferred by David) were covered with charcoal linens. "As New Yorkers, our uniforms are all-black everything," says Aly. "Our bedding is gray, our sofa is charcoal, and even our puppy's fur is black! It was a no-brainer to do a dark, romantic, moody color scheme complete with charcoal tablecloths."
The Place Settings
At each place setting was a charcoal napkin, matte black plate, black-and-gold flatware, and mismatched glassware. Robert Alvarez designed a menu with handwritten details and a modern typeface aligned along the right side of the card with a rough left edge. Barr Mansion catered a dinner of homemade rosemary ciabatta; a salad with kale, feta, and apples; beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce; fire-roasted chicken thighs with raspberry and balsamic BBQ glaze; ratatouille; and roasted potatoes. According to Aly, "The food was delicious. The ratatouille was surprisingly the fan favorite!"
Black candles and vases containing a variety of different flowers including ranunculus, dahlias, and anemones, arranged by Posey Floral + Event Design, served as centerpieces.
Since the groom loves strawberries, the newlyweds served a four-tiered vanilla chiffon cake with strawberry mousse, baked by Barr Mansion. A sprig of greenery accented the white confection.
The First Dance
Aly and David's "couple song" is "Loving You Easy" by Zac Brown Band—but after realizing the song was too fast-paced for their dancing skills, they tossed it as a first dance option. Instead, they swayed to "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young. "I want to spend the next 60 years of my life dancing with David to this song!" says Aly. "For Christmas, he even found me a limited edition Neil Young record with 'Harvest Moon' on it." Afterwards, Aly and her dad danced to "Crazy" by Patsy Cline, which is one of her favorite songs.
Later in the night, Memphis Train Revue from Austin Music Works ended up playing the initial contender for the first dance song, which caused Aly and David to dance like "total fools!"
For David, a cherished moment of the wedding took place at the reception. "I remember at some point in the night, Aly and I left the dance floor and went to the back corner of the reception area. We just wanted to take a step back and admire this once-in-a-lifetime moment. It was a piece in time I will never forget," he says.
The next week, the newlyweds ventured to Tulum, Mexico, for their honeymoon. They loaded up on margaritas, binged on tacos, and enjoyed the first days of married life together.
Photography, The Edges
Location, catering, cake, Barr Mansion
Event planning, 36th Street Events
Flowers, Posey Floral + Event Design
Videography, MoonLit Weddings
Stationery and calligraphy, Robert Alvarez
Bride's gown, Monique Lhuillier
Makeup, Christy DeMonte Edlin
Bridesmaids' dresses, Alexia Maria
Groom's tuxedo and bow tie, Bonobos
Groom's shoes, Del Toro