I’m not sure if you know that when I graduated from university back in 1999, I embarked on a career as a graphic designer, having studied graphic arts & design at university. I’ve always had an enthusiasm for great design, and those were the days before digital so it was ALL about interesting paper stocks and beautiful print techniques. I’ve never lost that passion for creativity (if anything it’s been amplified since starting my design company in 2002 which I ran until Smashing The Glass became my full-time business) and that’s why I so appreciate today’s wedding with its exquisite creative streak and attention to detail.
The craft and care for everything at this wedding is so apparent and I’ve been lapping it all up! I’m blown away by the stationery for starters – it’s magnificent. Luigi Maldonado, the art director at the creative studio in Austin where Julie works, designed the entire suite as a gift to Julie and Abe and it’s beyond beautiful.
And their wedding is a totally outdoor affair! They had their chuppah under an elegant oak tree, and their reception within a unique open-air ‘dinner tent’. It was essentially a tent structure without the tent itself and was decorated with festoon lighting so that guests could dine and party under the moonlight. Er… WOW.
Julie and Abe managed to mix tradition and creativity together effortlessly. Taking inspiration from vintage botanical sketches and illustrations of cacti and succulents, their colour palette ended up taking on a lot of white and greens, and cacti became a foundational element across floral designs, and decor.
Before I hand over to Julie let me just say that I know you’re going to go pin crazy with all the wonderful images by The Nichols. Enjoy!
how we met
Julie, the Bride: Abe and I knew each other growing up, and at one time in our teen-aged years, we lived about two blocks away from one another. I left for college in LA, he went to Israel and then to New York and back. Years later, after I had returned to Austin, we ran into each other while he was in town visiting. After that, we started seeing one another on his trips home and kept in touch long-distance. He eventually moved back to Austin full time and we got married a few years later.
An outdoor wedding in Texas
We got married at the Vineyards at Chappel Lodge, in South Austin. We knew we were taking a gamble with May weather, but as a couple who loves the outdoors and the rural charm of Texas in the spring, it was important to both of us that our wedding be outside, under some oak trees and Texas starry skies.
taking inspiration from vintage botanical sketches
Our initial inspiration was taken from vintage botanical sketches and illustrations of cacti and succulents. Our palette ended up taking on a lot of white and greens and cacti became a foundational element across floral designs, paper system, decor, etc.
our amazing wedding planner
I would not have survived without our wedding planner – who I now count as a close friend. Jenni Charles from Couture Details in Austin, Texas helped make all of my dreams and ideas a reality. She is amazing at what she does!
wow wedding stationery
I work with a ton of extraordinarily talented designers at a full-service creative studio in Austin. Our Art Director and my dear friend Luigi Maldonado designed the entire paper system as his gift to us. Needless to say, it is extremely unique and special. The final product is an original piece of art!
the wedding dress
After a little shopping in Austin, I ended up in Dallas at Stanley Korshak. They had an incredible selection to choose from, but more than anything, the customer service was outstanding. I was immediately put at ease by my consultant Laura (who is the buyer and director for the bridal department) who helped me pick out my Liancarlo dress.
Nicholas Kirkwood shoes
The shoes were dreamy leather and glitter-trimmed lace sandals by Nicholas Kirkwood. They had a significant but manageable cone heel which was ideal for our outdoor ceremony and reception. When I first stumbled upon them, they were way outside of my price range. Months later, just before my first dress fitting, I checked again and they were marked down well over half-off. I bought them instantly – easiest decision of the entire ordeal.
The handsome groom
no bridal party
We opted against the traditional bridal party. We each have one sister, so they were our honorary bridesmaids and ironically wore the same cobalt blue colour dress day of – completely unplanned and perfect.
The rabbi who married us was my rabbi growing up, so there was a sweet familiarity. We used kiddush cups from each of our grandparents and also used Abe’s talit, which he bought in Israel and used many times at services there.
Erin Knipp from Rosehip Flora created all of the gorgeous arrangements for our wedding. From the centrepieces to the cake decorations and my bouquet – she truly captured the look and feel I envisioned. She’s an artist!
our amazing photographers
We were familiar with The Nichols work and loved their shooting style and aesthetic. One look at their portfolio and it was an easy choice. They are in high-demand so we felt very lucky that they were available and willing to shoot for us that day.
An amazing dinner tent
Our dinner tent was very unique: we used the tent poles / structure without the tent itself to create an open-air experience in the middle of a field. We lit the structure and guests dined under the moonlight. It was pretty special!
The Royal Fig catered our dinner – family style. Their food blew us away – guests dined on pan roasted amber jack and NY strip steaks.
a strawberry-flavoured wedding cake
The cake was strawberry with textured buttercream frosting from Polkadots Bakery in Austin. Many people (my mother!) doubted my selection of strawberry cake – but it was a major crowd pleaser. People still remark about how delicious it was!
a beautiful flower crown
Our amazing florist – Erin Knipp from Rosehip Flora – made me the prettiest flower crown to wear after the ceremony for the reception. It was sweet and fun – perfect for our party under the stars. If I could, I would wear one every day!
a live band from our favourite rock n roll joint
We knew we wanted a live band for our party. A big part of life in Austin is the amazing live music scene. There is a band called T.G.B.A.D that we love that plays every Friday night at an old blues and rock n roll joint called the Saxon Pub (which has seen all the greats – Willie, Waylon, etc. – pass through its doors). We asked the guys to play our wedding, and they said probably not – “We don’t do weddings.” We asked again, and again, I was really persistent (and probably annoying) and they finally agreed. The style of music they play – old, original rock n roll and soul – is the kind of stuff we both grew up on. It’s what our friends like to dance to and it’s obviously something our parents and their friends enjoyed hearing too.
advice to other brides and grooms
From the bride: If your budget permits, hire a wedding planner that shares your vision for the big day! Especially if you both have demanding jobs and schedules.
From the groom: Take it easy and don’t stress too much – the day arrives and ends up passing by so quickly, you’ll want to make sure you enjoyed every minute. Try and eat dinner, try and refuse shots and dance all night with your friends and new bride/groom.
Julie & Abe’s LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography — The Nichols
Wedding Coordinator — Couture Details
Venue — Vineyards at Chappel Lodge
Catering — The Royal Fig
Flowers — Rosehip Flora
Bride’s dress — Liancarlo from Stanley Korshak
Bride’s shoes — Nicholas Kirkwood
Groom’s suit — Billy Reid
Groom’s boots — Lucchese
Cake – Polkadots Bakery
Stationery — Luigi Maldonado at Guerilla Suit
Band — T.G.B.A.D.
Lighting — Intelligent Lighting Design
Tent and rentals — Marquee