This Couple's Texas Wedding Took Place on a Baseball Field
Shannon and Jason started out as friendly co-workers. Both were newly-single and became close while sharing the details of their lives and past romances over lunches and happy hours. When Shannon began to date again, everything clicked. "I found myself just wanting to spend time with my friend and colleague," she remembers. She finally admitted her feelings to Jason, just before she was about to move away from Austin to Georgia for a new position.
They spent the time apart taking things slow; after a few months—after they'd really gotten to know each other—the slow burn finally blossomed into a relationship. Three years later, Jason knew Shannon was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He proposed at the couple's favorite swimming hole in Austin on a late-May day that ended with the duo stumbling upon a string quartet playing Beethoven near another one of their favorite spots.
Ten months after their engagement, the couple invited 80 of their loved ones to celebrate their wedding in Austin, Texas. Their venue, The LongTime, acts as both an art workshop and the homefield for a local sandlot baseball team, which made for a unique, arsty, and casual setting. The mix of baseball motifs (including hand-painted signs, bat décor, and a dugout) mixed with the surrounding live oak trees and wildflowers gave their ceremony a backyard honky-tonk feel.
"We wanted people to relax and feel like they didn't have anywhere to be except where they were," said Shannon. "No cake cutting, no bouquet tossing, just the ceremony and then let the good times roll."
A Rustic Invite
Both Shannon and Jason are designers, so they drew from their own creativeness to map out their invitations. They wanted a suite that mixed simplicity with sophistication, which led to these embossed red clay-colored paper goods; they paired the warm paper with formal navy inserts and packaged everything into a cream envelope.
The couple took full advantage of their venue's homefield by using the dugout for their photo booth and spelling out "Let's Boogie" on the fence.
Shannon fell in love with a dress by Rue de Seine Bridal that was nearly triple her budget. "It stopped me in my tracks," she remembered, but, since it was out of her price range, she went home empty-handed. Weeks later, she happened to stumble across a woman in Austin selling the exact dress she fell in love with. "It was in perfect condition, needed minimal alterations and now was in my budget," she recalls. "I felt like this dress was meant for me."
Shannon wanted her bouquet, filled with local wildflowers, grasses, brambles, and butterfly ranunculus, to feel like an extension of the natural landscape.
A Touch of Copper
"Our motto was 'Classic with a Twist'," says Jason, which he says informed his big-day look. "I wasn't looking for a black or blue suit with a white shirt—I wanted something that looked nice, but felt casual." He landed on a charcoal ensemble from Suit Supply with copper accents.
A Cold Snap
After a few days of 80-degree weather, the temperatures dropped down to 34 degrees on the day of Shannon and Jason's wedding—so they improvised and set up mini campfires for guests. "I ended up borrowing a fur coat from my day-of-coordinator, which was so glamorous and a fun juxtaposition in such a casual setting," says Shannon.
The First Look
Jason's favorite moment of the day was turning around to see his bride for the very first time. "I had no doubt that she was going to look gorgeous, but I would have never imagined that coat," he says. "She looked like an ice queen, or like a 1920s Hollywood movie star! That image is unforgettable."
Before their ceremony, Jason and Shannon exchanged handwritten vows in private. "We were both so worried we would be emotional messes and not be able to get through them," explains Shannon. "So we wanted to have a quiet moment to ourselves to share our feelings."
Under the Oak Tree
The couple's ceremony took place to the west of a ranch-style home on the property. The "altar" was marked by a large oak tree surrounded by wildflowers and grasses from the Texas countryside. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by an eye-catching, moody purple sign.
A Custom Processional
Shannon's father walked her down the aisle as Jason's brother played a version of Broken Social Scene's "Pacific Theme" that then morphed into the traditional bridal march.
Bless These Rings
Before they exchanged their rings, Shannon and Jason placed them into a silk bag and passed them around the crowd, asking each person to bless them. "It was a very personal and emotional moment of the ceremony that allowed us to connect with each person that had come to celebrate with us," Shannon says.
Shannon and Jason's officiant was their boss, who they think of as family. "Since he knew us both, he was able to speak personally about our relationship and watching us grow together," Shannon says.
A Cheerful Exit
The couple chose to forgo music as part of their recessional. Instead, they walked back up the aisle to the cheers and whoops of their loved ones.
Signing of the Bats
In lieu of a traditional guest book, the couple asked attendees to sign two wooden baseball bats that featured a hand-painted version of The LongTime's logo.
A Backyard Party
The couple's reception was set up to feel like a backyard party with sofas, pillows, coffee tables, and games. During dinner, they skipped assigned seating, but encouraged guests to eat at the wooden farm tables or wherever they felt most comfortable on the property.
A Live Fire Dinner
A buffet style dinner was served; all throughout dinner, a cook smoked meats and grilled veggies over a live fire.
For their first dance, the couple did a two-step to Charlie Pride's "Kiss an Angel Good Morning"—a song that Jason would often sing to Shannon as she was traveling for work. He would remind her that he would "love her like the devil" when she got back home.
Photography, Julie Cope Photography
Location, The Long Time
Event planning, Taylor Cumbie Design
Catering, David Burk
Florals, Taylor Cumbie Design
Music, Nathan Wilkins (ceremony), Mayeux & Broussard (reception)
Signage, Emily Eisenhart
Bride's gown, Rue de Seine Bridal
Hair and Makeup, Lavish Beauty ATX
Groom's attire, Suit Supply
Officiant, Herman Dyal
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