This Wildflower-Centric Wedding in Texas Was Full of Personal Touches
Abba, left, and Ash—set up by friends on a blind date—were one year into their romance when their love story was capped by not one, but two engagements. "The first time was on a vacation with my family in the Outer Banks, North Carolina," says Abba. "We were cooking a big dinner when Ash asked if I wanted to go for a walk on the beach. A bit into the walk I started reflecting on what a great year it had been and how grateful I was to be there. She then said she had an idea on how to make it even better and dropped down to one knee." Abba was so confused and shocked that she went down with her. "Eventually I stopped questioning her enough for her to ask and when I said yes my family came running out of the dunes to celebrate."
As for their second engagement? It came after they had decided to move to Los Angeles from Austin for a new job opportunity. It was a big decision, and right before they moved, they took a trip to Todos Santos, Mexico, to celebrate. "This time I was the one who asked Ash to take a walk with me to watch the sunset from a hill overlooking the water," shares Abba. "About half way up, I took out a ring and asked her to marry me."
Since they had begun planning their nuptials in Austin before they knew they were moving, the couple's wedding was organized from afar with the help of some wonderful people, including their day-of coordinators, Maryann Menzies Alspaugh and Caroline Tosbath. "Every single vendor we had at the wedding was a near and dear friend," says Abba. "Not only were we surrounded by their love and talents on our wedding day, but it made the process of planning a wedding feel like it was rooted in our community, which for us was the purpose of having a wedding—to celebrate with our loved ones. Looking back, we're still so inspired by how talented they all are!" Above all else, they wanted a laidback event that wasn't too formal. "We wanted it to feel like our Saturday nights—hosting friends for a family-style dinner with good music, good wine, and good food," says Abba. "Many of our friends and family were traveling from all over to be with us and we wanted them to experience the beauty of Texas, too." This led to them choosing Prospect House for their venue. "Prospect House was minimal and sleek," explains Abba. "It really let the natural landscape around it become the attraction. We loved how seamlessly the outdoors came inside."
A Textured Bouquet
Abba's bouquet, created by Taylor Cumbie Designs, was designed to reflect the untamed Texas hill-country landscape that surrounded the venue, and included garden roses in shades of dusty rose, taupe, and peach as well as apricot ranunculus. Flaxen dried grasses and wildflowers with cream-colored cosmos rounded out the arrangement.
All Dressed in White
The Reformation wedding dress Abba fell for had the light, flowy look she was searching for—however, it was also a deep shade of sand. "I did a little research, and found a family-owned business in East Los Angeles that typically does wholesale fabric dying," she says. "After speaking to the owner, she agreed to try to dye it white for me without ruining the fabric." With no promises made, Abba picked up the dress a week later and held Ash's hand while she took it out of the hanger bag—and it was the perfect shade, not to mention perfectly intact.
A Pre-Wedding Peek
Ash and Abba did a first look in a little wooded area outside of The Prospect House, before their guests arrived. "We hadn't hidden our wedding looks from the other, but we hadn't seen each other in our respective outfits either until that afternoon," says Abba, who was especially happy to see Ash's The Tailory NYC suit on display.
"The biggest source of stress on our wedding weekend was that my suit was stuck in New York City when we were already in Austin," says Ash. "On Thursday before our Saturday wedding, we put out a frantic call to our friend Mike in New York City, who was traveling down to attend. He went out of his way to midtown Manhattan to pick it up and personally escort it down to Austin to us. I don't know what I would have worn on our wedding day were it not for him!"
Hand in Hand
Abba and Ash walked each other down the aisle to "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child, covered by Hozier. "It was important to us that we started the marriage together, beginning with the ceremony," says Abba.
The pair wrote their own vows, but discussed the general structure and feeling they wanted to express ahead of time. "We both agreed to end on, 'I promise to stay open to change, to say yes to wild and new adventures, to listen to your hopes, fears, and dreams, and to always pack a swimsuit,' which is our own personal joke and commitment to fun, wherever it pops up," says Abba.
An Exquisite Ceremony Display
Their ceremony—lovingly officiated by Abba's father—took place beneath a simple, square structure that framed the hill country background. "All we said to our incredible floral designer was 'Texas wildflowers' and she ran with it," says Abba. "She made sets of big pampas and wildflower-inspired bunches that she placed at points around the altar. The platform itself was concrete, so the florals, coupled with a vintage rug we laid down, really brought in warmth. We kept almost all other décor minimal—but integrating lots of flowers and grass was really important to me because when I think of Texas, that's what I think of."
A Touch of Texas
Custom drink koozies were displayed during the cocktail hour for guests to use during the event and then take home as favors.
Find Your Seat
Calligraphed greens served as unique escort carts—and offered another nod to traditional Texas flora.
"Ash and I love good wine and cocktails so we spent a lot of time thinking about what we were going to serve. Luckily our friend, Addie, of Another Round Cocktails, owns a craft cocktail bar business and is a long-time veteran of the hospitality industry," says Abba. "She helped us put together our dream bar, which included a spicy margarita, Texas old fashioned, mezcal for sipping, a non-alcoholic watermelon agua fresca, and a selection of wine—including our favorite rosé from northern Spain. And you can't have a celebration in Texas without Lonestar and Ramblers."
Emily Eisenhart, an artist based in Austin, contributed almost every piece of hanging signage featured in the space, including the painted bar menus and an eight-foot-long "Welcome Y'all" banner that they hung outside the venue.
Long, communal tables were set up throughout the reception space, which had a vast, airy quality that achieved a balance between elegant and unfussy. A sweet halo of greenery was installed overhead, adding an organic touch to the room.
Terra-cotta-hued butcher paper swept the tables as runners, creating an easy and relaxed look. Vines ran down the center of the tables for a touch of greenery, while wildflower bunches brought subtle color. Tea lights and vintage candelabras added a touch of romance throughout.
Pretty Place Settings
"Our caterers (a husband and wife team) are not only fantastic cooks, but builders and collectors, who over the years have sourced various vintage plates and glassware that we used," explains Abba. "The patterns and colors were so beautiful, we didn't feel like we needed a ton of additional décor." Menu cards were designed by Los Angeles-based professional Lindsey Willis and featured a linked ring motif that was prominent on the couple's invitation suite.
Garden roses, ranunculus blossoms, creamy cosmos, and dried grasses composed the centerpieces.
An Eclectic Décor Piece
The couple's friend and DJ set up an area that became a focal point for the room. "Dodds spins everything from '70s country to recent hip hop, and creates an altar to reflect that," says Abba. "Her stage included everything from vintage vinyl and prayer candles to flowers. Her creativity and taste is amazing, so we really let that shine through."
A Quiet Reflection
"Having all of our family from both coasts and as far away as Hong Kong all gathered deep in the heart of Texas to celebrate with us was one of the most memorable moments," says Abba. "It was so much more emotional than we thought it would be to have all of our loved ones in one place."
And celebrate, they did—with plenty of dancing, which included a group Conga line that snaked around the venue.
Photography, Julie Cope Photography
Engagement Photography, Shane Timm
Venue, The Prospect House
Day-of Coordinators, Maryann Menzies Alspaugh and Caroline Tosbath
Flowers, Taylor Cumbie Designs
Invitations and Stationery, Lindsey Willis
Signage, Emily Eisenhart
Officiant, Kit Binns
Abba's Attire, Reformation
Abba's Shoes, Jeffrey Campbell
Ash's Attire, The Tailory NYC
Hair and Makeup, Gertie Wilson
Engagement Rings, J. Hannah Jewelry
Guestbook Drawing, Jessica Fontenot
Catering, The Burk Family
Rentals, Loot Rentals
Favors, Industry Print Shop
Bar consultant and services, Addie Hauber for Another Round Cocktails
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