Remember Austin & Lauren? We featured their engagement session on The White Wren and loved reading their sweet story! Well, they got married and we’re featuring their lovely day and some more inspiring encouragement from them about life, faith, and marriage.
from the photographer, Katie Webb: “Lauren and Austin got married in a small Texas town where Lauren’s family is from – Gonzalez, TX, just an hour outside of Austin. They decided to say their vows in the very same church where Lauren’s parents were married, and they incorporated a few other elements from family throughout their day, including borrowed champagne glasses, a brooch, and wedding bells that sent them off at the end of the night. They held their reception at the beautiful and historic Belle Oaks Inn just a few blocks away, where friends and family came together to celebrate the newlywed couple with drinks, food, lawn games, and dancing. This wedding was the perfect reflection of Lauren’s and Austin’s relationship – relaxed yet steadfast; tenderly romantic and strong at the same time. When I asked the couple what they most valued going into their wedding day, they expressed how much they wanted to be fully present in each moment, and how they wanted it to be an opportunity for them to love and serve their people. The love I see between Austin and Lauren is reflective of the love they feel they have been given, and it was an honor to capture a small piece of that beauty through their wedding photos.”
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
We met at work, a nonprofit organization in Austin, Texas called RBI Austin (Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities). Austin was finishing up a year-long community development residency program and Lauren came on staff as the communications manager right before the summer season started.
Lauren’s first impression of Austin was that he was quiet, quick to serve others, and thoughtful. She had a hard time making eye-contact with him for the first several weeks of working together.
Austin’s first impression of Lauren was that she was cute, real, and he was encouraged by her prayer requests during their first staff meeting.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
We hope our family and our family’s history was evident throughout the entire day. We were married in Gonzales, Texas at the same church where my (Lauren’s) parents were married 30+ years ago. Gonzales is a small town in central Texas where Lauren’s dad was born and raised and where much of her family still lives. There were details big and small laced throughout the day to make it special for our families: we had an assortment of pies at the dessert table because Austin’s parents had pie instead of cake at their wedding, Lauren wore Austin’s great-grandmother’s engagement ring since his grandparents could not be there, we used my grandmother MaBelle’s large collection of bells for our send off, we even Facetimed Austin’s grandparents in during the ceremony since they couldn’t attend.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
I’d bet this will be an uncommon (or boring) response, but our wedding ceremony was the most important part of our wedding day. That ceremony was the reason for the party that followed and we wanted to make sure that the main thing was the main thing. Even if it felt just like any other wedding to our guests, we planned our ceremony intentionally and with much anticipation.
Our officiant, the music, the flow of the ceremony. Most people may have been itching in their seats to get to the dancing, drinking, and food…but I would have picked the ceremony and getting to make a covenant before God and our closest family and friends over any of the frills that followed.
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
From Austin, I have learned to show myself and others more grace. People are not perfect, God does not expect us to be, so neither should I. He’s shown me that grace is really one of the best gifts in the whole world that we’ve been given.
From Lauren, I’ve seen what goodness comes when the foundation of your life is built on something steady. She holds tightly to her beliefs and she is not easily swayed. Lauren is disciplined and holds fast to her convictions, and in doing so, she influences everything and everyone around her.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
I know everyone’s wedding planning experience is different, but for us, my favorite part was the fact that it was something Austin and I were “in” together.
If left only up to me, there are many details, decisions, or “frills” that we just simply would not have had. But because he and I were both a part of it, it not only made it not stressful, but it made it fun.
We said multiple times during the process that it felt like it was one of the first things that we were getting to tackle together as we walked towards marriage.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Everyone’s story is different, and that is okay! I’ve walked alongside many different friends as they’ve gone through engagement, wedding planning, and the beginnings of marriage, and their experiences were not ours nor should they be.
They struggled with some things. We struggled with others. They loved certain parts of dating, engagement, and planning that I cared nothing for. We had an easy time with certain conversations or decisions, while they battled through those topics with their significant other. Advice is great. But it also is subjective. And we all know what they say about comparison being the thief of joy.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to the people around you or care about the opinions of those who care for you. I would encourage couples to be in community and to be around other people as they are dating and engaged so that they have people who know them, love them, and can advocate for their relationship.
Have people who will walk with you and your fiance/spouse through hard seasons, point you back to Truth, and be cheerleaders for your relationship. But also know that everyone experiences seasons differently.
Photographer: Katie Webb Photography / Venue: Belle Oaks Inn / Stylist / Planner / Designer: Megan Mancini / Floral Designer: BZ’s Country Petals / Dress Boutique: Alexia Gavela Bridal / Cake Designer: The Rise Up Bakery / Makeup Artist + Hair: Anahi and Zari of Makeup by Val / Men’s Formalwear: Joseph A Bank / Rentals: King’s Events and Tents / Film Lab: PhotoVision /