This Pair Turned Their Romantic Big Day in Texas Into a Micro Wedding for Two
"Wedding planning was a tad bit stressful for us, to say the least," says Shanece Solomon, a speech language pathologist and health and wellness mentor. (She met her groom, Jarrid Durand—a civil engineer—back in college in August 2011 during their time in AmeriCorps. Two years later, in May 2013 to be exact, they officially started dating.) Following a big move from Louisiana to Austin, Texas, the couple nailed down an April 2020 wedding date and chose a private venue nearby—and then the coronavirus pandemic sent their original plans into a tailspin.
"We had planned to get our marriage license the week the shutdown happened, and because of COVID-19, we then had to wait until May," Shanece recalls, noting that obviously, that original date wasn't happening. "By then, we were just so ready to get married." So, the pair and their planner, Ashley of Saunter Weddings, went back to the drawing board. They decided on a micro wedding, one that vendors—and vendors only—would attend, while friends and family watched via a streaming service. They gathered with their team on July 17, 2020, at the Chapel Dulcinea—and their reimagined day is one they will always cherish, they say.
"Small does not mean less or lacking," Shanece stresses to couples in similar situations. "Our wedding planner did a phenomenal job of ensuring that our miniature wedding was spectacular. We did a cake cutting, had a first dance, and had a videographer—even though it was just us two! It was still so special and dreamy."
With This Ring
Jarrid sourced his bride's engagement ring from Steve Charles Jeweler and proposed to her on October, 11, 2018, during a fake photo shoot. "My friend, a photographer, asked me to hop in front of the camera and do some poses so that she could check the light. As I was goofing off, I turned around and out walked Jarrid. I screamed and wanted to know why he was there! He said 'I'm here for a special reason,' and then I might have blacked out and came back to life after that. It was such a special proposal!"
A Serene Venue
"We both really enjoy Austin and wanted our family and friends to be able to come and experience the place that we moved to for sort of a destination wedding," Shanece explains. "After we had to shift our plans once again, we wanted a cost-effective venue that was still stunning." Their planner—Ashley of Saunter Weddings—suggested Chapel Dulcinea for its beauty and similarity to their original locale.
All Dressed in White
"When I put this dress on, I froze, stared at myself, and then the tears came," Shanece says of her Martina Liana wedding dress. She decided that the tulle and lace mermaid gown—complete with 3D floral embellishments and light sequin patterns—was the only dress she could wear on her smaller big day. "It was my original choice. I was nervous that I may not get another opportunity to wear my beautiful dress, so I decided not to get anything else," she says.
The bride's petite, monochromatic bouquet from Nava Floral was filled with purple ranunculus, chocolate-and-plum lisianthus, burnet sanguisorba, and leafy fall foliage. "The gown made such a statement alone, so we wanted a small and semi-loose, but colorful bouquet to complement it," Ashley adds.
Shanece and Jarrid both breathed a sigh of relief once they saw each other during their first look—it was finally time to tie the knot. To any brides- and grooms-to-be adjusting their weddings due to the pandemic, the couple says not to lose sight of what is most important: getting married. "The details seem like the most important thing, but that can all change—against your will," the bride shares. "Think outside the box and consider having a two-part ceremony: one very intimate one with little to no guests and one down the line, when it's safer, with more of your loved ones!"
The couple's musicians—who are also their close friends—played original songs on the flute and acoustic guitar during the ceremony.
Purple hues honored the bride's mother beautifully on the big day. "[The color is] so significant to me because my mom passed away from pancreatic cancer," Shanece says. "Purple is the color of pancreatic cancer awareness—having these shades of purple in my flowers and accents was so special."
Meant to Be
The couple's pastor—Vecente Coatney—officiated their nuptials from a safe distance.
One of the couple's favorite memories from the ceremony? Reading their personal vows to each other. They both touched on their relationship's milestones and their hopes for the future. Shanece even included love notes that she collected on her phone while they were dating. "I am so happy that we wrote our own vows. It's a feeling like no other hearing your significant other promise their love to you out loud in their own words!" the bride says.
Friends and family witnessed the duo's nuptials from afar, thanks to the venue's streaming service. "It was so special to get back to our phones after the ceremony and read through so many 'play-by-play' messages from our loved ones. It made it feel almost like they were there," Shanece shares.
Officially Husband and Wife
After their ceremony, the couple popped a bottle of Champagne and shared a dance on the terrace.
I Dos with a View
An epic wedding cake installation made the moments after the ceremony that much more special. The station was a "multi-level floral moment nestled into the palm trees on the chapel's balcony," says Ashley.
The couple's tiny almond cake with vanilla buttercream filling from Sweet Treets Bakery was finished with a miniature bouquet and romantic silk ribbon.
Since they decided against a reception, the couple took a different approach to their day's second act: Shanece changed into a one-shoulder white jumpsuit, featuring a tulle sleeve embellished with polka dots, and she and Jarrid posed for portraits around Austin. As their big day ended, their staycation began. "We ordered room service at our hotel and had the best weekend," says the bride.
Photography, September Company
Venue, Chapel Dulcinea
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Saunter Weddings
Videography, Peyton Frank
Flowers, Nava Floral
Officiant, Vecente Coatney
Wedding Dress, Martina Liana
Shoes, Badgley Mischka
Makeup, Andrea Collier Makeup
Groom's Attire, Men's Wearhouse; Michael Kors; Florsheim
Engagement Ring, Steve Charles Jeweler
Cake, Sweet Treets Bakery
Rentals, Beautiful Event Rentals