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Sarah and Kent have such a sweet love story! Set up by mutual friends on a blind when they were both living in Chicago, Their love started in Illinois, but their beautiful ceremony and reception was born out of their Texas roots. Kent’s dad and mom actually met in neighboring Seguin, and Gruene has always been a special place for their family to visit and enjoy. The romantic,rustic, and fun vibe of Gruene set tone and design elements for their wedding. Sarah and Kent tell it best in their own words:
What were you inspired by while planning your wedding?
We had always talked about moving to Texas and after booking our wedding venue in Gruene. We hoped and prayed that by the time we had our wedding we would be living in Texas. As fate had it, we moved to Austin one month and a day prior to our wedding. The move was a big inspiration for our wedding planning, and at the same time our wedding was a big inspiration for our move!
Also, Kent's father, Rocky, unfortunately passed away a few years ago. I was never able to meet his dad. Rocky loved Gruene and we thought it would be the perfect way to commemorate him by getting married in his favorite town.
What were some of your favorite wedding day details?
It is so hard to pick just a few things!! I loved everything about our wedding...the chapel was perfect, weather was AMAZING (sunny, low 80's, light breeze), the decor was gorgeous (the flowers were to die for)! All the food and drinks (including cake!) were so delicious! The musicians were great and guests loved dancing! I was obsessed with my dress and all the details; it was exactly what I had envisioned.
Did you have any DIY (aka Do it Yourself) details? If so, please share more about them below.
Our wedding planner, Sweet August Events, was a huge help for us! Since we were living in Chicago a majority of the time prior to our wedding, it was difficult to plan thing or get things booked. There is no way I could've done it without her! Also, Carey, Gruene Estate’s in house planner, was so helpful in planning day of details such as seating arrangements, timing of events, etc.
I designed and chose the wedding invitations and assembled them all myself. In addition, I picked out and put together our wedding welcome bags for our guests! (bags were at check in for guests when they arrived at hotel)
What would you say are some of your favorite wedding day memories?
Again, this is such a hard question!!! From start to finish it was the most perfect day! Getting ready in the cute cottage with my mother, mother-in-law, and bridesmaids! Receiving a special gift from Kent (even though we promised no gifts!!) with a sweet note and a picture of a ring with my birthstone (opal), because the ring didn't get delivered in time lol. Putting on my dress and seeing it all done- hair, make-up, dress, veil...I was a BRIDE! Seeing Kent for the first time and just having a complete sense of calm in marrying him, but excitement for the day as well. Walking down the aisle of the gorgeous chapel with the perfect little breeze blowing! Kissing Kent for the first time as a married couple! The reception - every detail! The food, the cake, the bar – everything was just as I envisioned it! Finally, the PERFECT end to the night was walking between all of our closest friends and family holding sparklers, seeing the smiles on all their faces, and jumping up in the bed of the old white Texas Longhorns truck!
What advice would you give to future couples planning their wedding?
I think the venue really sets the tone of the entire day, so I would say to find a place that completely defines how you want your wedding to feel. Gruene Estate did that perfectly and made all the other details fall into place so easily :-)
We love to hear any fun "how we met" and/or "how we got engaged" stories so feel free to share below if you'd like.
This is from our wedding website :-)
It all started in January 2015: As I was getting home from work one afternoon, one of my closest girlfriends texted me saying that the guy she was dating had a friend that was single….and happened to be really attractive.She gave me his *facebook* name and told me to friend request him. At first I wasn't that into the idea of a blind date, but with a name like Kenny Diggz (his facebook name), who could resist? I went to his profile (not going lie, was pleasantly surprised), and clicked "add friend." After that, a message he had tried to send the day before popped up. "My friend keeps telling me to friend you on here, but I don't wanna creep you out considering we don't know each other." Hmm, grrrreat…I crossed that bridged for us. After that, we chatted on facebook messenger about work, where we're from, where we live, etc., and decided that we should meet in person. We settled on a little bar in my neighborhood, Dark Horse Tap & Grille. So THE DAY (Thursday 1/22/15 to be exact) rolls around; I spend about 2 hours getting ready/deciding what to wear and make sure I leave in time to be 5 minutes early (I can't help it, I'm Type A). I park my car and walk into the bar, where quickly scan the room and realize I was there first. Before I even have time to sit down I get a text from Kent saying he isn't going to make it……quickly followed by a "kidding! I'll be there in 3 minutes." Looking back on that, I should've known this boy was a chronic teaser from the get-go! Anyway, Kent DID in fact show up, and our first time meeting went great (other than me getting a parking ticket); I was completely smitten. We started dating and joked throughout February that I was his "furlough fling" since he was on furlough that month. Turns out, it was definitely more than a fling! Since that time, we've had SO many memorable times: date nights in Chicago, vacations to Costa Rica and Cozumel, friend's weddings, moving in together…the list is endless! I've even overcome my terror of big dogs and have come to love Kent's 170lb mastiff, Deebo, just as much as I love Kent. Those two boys are my whole world, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
When a friend introduced Sarah to me I had to pinch myself, I couldn't believe I would have a chance with someone so beautiful. I was so nervous on our first date, that I was sure I messed everything up, and made a terrible first impression. To my surprise, she agreed to go out with me again. And then again after that! Whatever I was doing to fool this woman was working, so I had to keep it up. After a while, she agreed to meet my dog, Deebo. He approved, which was HUGE. Then I introduced her to my family, and they ensured me that I had quite the prize, and I'd better not mess it up. Flash forward two years and I had to lock this perfect women down for life, so I proposed. Thankfully she accepted, and now I'm looking forward to being spoiled the rest of my life!
How did you envision what the overall look or feel of your wedding day would be (ex.rustic, shabby chic, laid back, etc..)
We envisioned it to be romantic, soft, rustic, and FUN :-) I think Katherine, at Sweet August Events did an amazing job creating that feel, and Gruene Estate and the decor offered there was perfect to set that tone as well.
What aspects did you incorporate into the plan of your wedding to enhance your guest's experience? (ex. cigar rolling table, specialty drink, yard games, special guest favors etc.)
Because a lot of our guests were traveling from out of town we really wanted them to have a good time! The night before the wedding we had a welcome party at Gruene Hall. The wedding itself was a huge hit! Many of our guests told not only us, but others too that it was the best wedding they've ever been too! We wanted it to have a Texas feel, and Lucky and Petey, Gruene Estate’s Texas longhorns, were the perfect attendees. We had cigar rolling, yard games, napkins with state of TX logo, traditional TX food (brisket for dinner and breakfast tacos late night), and live music! We also had 6 margarita flavors (have to have margs in TX) as well as specialty drinks (Sarah's was a moscow mule and Kent's was an old fashioned). All of our guests received welcome bags prior to the wedding, which included an itinerary, do not disturb door sign, Gruene postcard, chips/salsa, Texas pecan chewies, Topo Chico, Deep Eddy vodka mini bottle, and hangover kit!
Was there any special touches that were religious or had special meaning (ex. remembering loved ones, unity candle, etc.)?
As I touched on earlier, one of the reasons we chose Gruene for our wedding was because Kent's late father, Rocky, had loved it so much. Having our wedding in a place that he loved was a small way to involve him in our special day :-)
Who made or designed your dress
I LOVED my dress; lace is my favorite! The designer was Martina Liana. Funny story about my dress...I picked it out and ordered it in Chicago prior to us moving. We moved in August and I had to fly back for my last fitting and then fly back to Texas with my wedding dress! I got a lot of "congrats!" in the airport!
Was there a getaway car?
We used Gruene Estate’s, Texas Longhorns truck!! It was the perfect getaway car!! A symbol of moving forward in life as newly married couple in our new home state of Texas!
Vendors Who Made The Day:
Photos:The Mint Photography
Floral and Design: Sweet August Events
Videographer: Photohouse Films
Caterer: Jimmy Lynns Catering
Entertainment: High Fidelity Austin Band
Paper Products: Minted
Hair and Makeup: Knot and Veil Bridal Hair and Makeup
Rehearsal Dinner: Grist Mill Restraunt