A beautiful little fiesta of a wedding, with a story that is as sweet as can be. Hannah & Cooper incorporated their special moments and details with each other together in a beautifully curated display that made their wedding totally their own. And yes, it ended just as it started – with tacos.
from Hannah & Cooper:
2.10.2021. The day we both took a leap of faith and went on an online date; each our own first online date. A few tacos later, we were convinced we needed to see each other again. This feeling we’ve carried with us through one’s move to Denver and the other to Houston, only after a handful of dates. Despite the hardships this distance could lend itself to, the blessings found during this time have been profound as we’ve learned, grown, and experienced more than most in this amount of time. Each day it became more and more evident how we wanted to and easily could choose to be with and love the other person for the rest of our lives. No longer do we believe that love at first sight or that when you know, you know to be cliche as we lived this ourselves and were captivated by the other person. How else can I describe knowing someone for a short time, but feeling like you’ve known them your entire life and they fully know you as well? These feelings took action and we found ourselves with a wedding date, ring, and new home just a few short months later.
Our wedding planning began as our first memory in our new home. When we went to see to the home before we closed, Cooper and I were standing in what is our favorite room in the house: the kitchen, and he asked me to dwell on all the memories I wanted to make within these walls. Looking out over the house, I started listing everything that came to mind. But what came next was and will be my favorite memory of all. Cooper told me he wanted to make the first memory in the house and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I am pretty sure we both don’t remember much of what was said besides a resounding yes, but I can tell you that his eyes were filled with love and smile filled with joy. We were getting married!
We had previously attended a dinner and music event at Barr Mansion and knew we wanted to get married there. As our timing would have it, the one date that we wanted for the following summer was their only date left available. We knew it was meant to be. Cooper and I are originally from Austin, but with our recent move to Houston, our wedding planner through the venue, Caryn Allen, was the greatest gift through our wedding planning season. Along with her, our vendor team was spectacular! Initially, I did not know where to begin with wedding planning so I watched videos and went through pictures on social media of different weddings held at our venue and reached out from there. Our driving theme for the whole day was having a classy and elegant day but with subtle unique details along the way.
To begin, we planned the wedding to be a weekend affair full of time with the people who mean the most to us. We began with a rehearsal lunch at our favorite Mexican food restaurant in Austin called: La Mancha. Cooper and I had countless dates there in our returns to Austin and due to their kindness, the staff opened the restaurant early for us that day for all of our friends and family. We loved not having a dinner as afterwards the whole wedding party proceeded to the Fairmont and we got to spend time with our closest friends at the pool before heading our separate ways for the night.
My bridal team with Think Brink Beauty the next day was incredible and our make up and hair stayed pure to perfection the entire day, which in August in Austin is hard to do. As our day begin, I fully trusted that Anastasia, our photographer, and Sarah, our videographer, would capture all the small details and moments we had planned for the day. Anastasia captured beautifully our rings in a special wooden box Cooper had made for our proposal, the date embroidered into the collar of Cooper’s tux jacket, which was a sweet surprise from Adam Ross, the intimate moments of our first look and exchanging of gifts, and the faces of our family as we read our vows that we wrote to each other. Sarah brought these small details to life as she brought movement to each one of the moments that Anastasia had captured.
Our flowers for the day were modeled after the ones Cooper sent me very early one: white roses and blue hydrangeas, and our Stems team brought my vision to life and far exceeded what I could have imagined from an elegant ceremony arch to the perfect color blue of the candles. To round out the perfection, Josh Klaus was a perfect blend of classy and unique. He not only can DJ well but also sang and played acoustically prior to the ceremony and at our cocktail hour. We and our guests had never heard anyone like him and were completely wowed by his vast talents. He brought the party and sustained it all night.
As we planned the wedding, I was always reminded by others that the day flies by. These voices were not wrong. Our day flew by and I am grateful we scheduled time away with each other throughout the day. We loved the first look as the only moment of nerves for the day was Cooper hearing my heels click on the deck as I walked up behind him. Additionally, it gave us more time together than apart that day. We also enjoyed a private dinner in the mansion house while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. This was the most enjoyable moment of the day. Finally married and being able to escape for a few short minutes to eat the decadent food the chef had made per our requests and just sit and dwell on our marriage and all the people that we had seen that were there to celebrate us. We then surprised our friends and family with a first dance we had had choreographed and practiced and blew them all away. We loved having a little surprise up our sleeve and we enjoyed the whole learning and practicing process along the way as it gave us something else to look forward to. Just as quickly as the day began, we found ourselves at the last song and our private dance. We took much care when it came to the important music throughout the day with a soundtrack of songs that meant the most to us.
As we ran out in a glow of sparklers, we had one more special moment we had planned. Our get away car took us back to our first date spot and Anastasia came with us. We sat as close as we could to our first date spot in Velvet Taco, ordered the same tacos, and got to bring our story full circle with Anastasia capturing each moment. 8.13.2022. Was a day full of our love story, our friends and our family, but most importantly we spent our day together, holding hands, and being in love as we promised to do each and every day afterwards. Then off we went to our honeymoon adventure, in hopes of a lifetime full of them. We were bound for Africa!
- Night before: See You Tomorrow – Muscadine Bloodline
- Ceremony Procession: I Guess I’m In Love – Clinton Kane
- Ceremony Recession: Simply the Best – Tina Turner
- Grand Entrance: Music For A Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles
- First Dance: Biblical – Calum Scott
- Last Dance: Puzzle of Us (Acoustic) – Adam Doleac
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
We met online on Hinge, with a backstory that could have only been written by fate. Our first date was each of our first online dates. We met in Austin and agreed upon a dinner of tacos and margaritas at Velvet Taco. As we walked towards the restaurant I, Hannah was captivated by Cooper and knew I wanted to be near him. Cooper was first drawn in when he saw my eyes, but over dinner, my passion and heart won him over.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
The day before our wedding, we opted for a rehearsal lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Mancha. Having lunch allowed us to have the most fun experience with our bridal party. The bride and bridesmaids were staying at the Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Austin. After the rehearsal, the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and their dates all had a pool party at the Fairmont. There is something so sweet about having all of your favorite people interacting together and getting to spend time in such a fun setting in preparation for celebrating your wedding.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
Our hurdle spanned the distance from Austin, Texas to Denver, Colorado. Prior to our meeting, Cooper and I both set plans for ourselves in motion. I was accepted into my dream graduate program and Cooper had accepted a job offer to move to Denver to live among the mountains, which was a dream of his. After four dates, Cooper had all his things packed but before he left he looked me in the eyes and told me not to worry because he definitely would be seeing me again. So we began our long-distance relationship. This hurdle turned into the biggest blessing for us. We went through so much in such a short time it strengthened us and gave us the best foundation for our marriage.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
Cooper is passionate about woodworking as a hobby. We knew from very early on that he wanted to make the table that was going to be for our family in our kitchen. To start this project, he found a beautiful and old mesquite tree that had fallen at his grandfather’s ranch in Runge, Texas. When deciding on gifts to give each of our parents, we knew we wanted to give them something memorable. Cooper used pieces from this same log that made our table to make cutting boards fused with acrylic for each of our four parents’ kitchens. We gave these to our parents at our rehearsal dinner and the meaning of it for them was profound. Yet the most special meaning for Cooper’s parents came later as his grandfather, who gave him the wood for these projects, passed away the day we came home from our honeymoon. These cutting boards now hold even more meaning to them.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
Our most important goal throughout wedding planning was scheduling time for ourselves together throughout the wedding day. Today was our day and we wanted to look back and have memories of celebrating together with our closest friends and family. We started by having a first look so we could share that moment with just each other. Doing this also allowed us more time together on our wedding day. After the ceremony, we had a private dinner while our guests had a cocktail hour. I would recommend this to any bride and groom as it gives you time to actually eat and sit but those are the first few moments of being married. We got to talk about all the people we saw and who came to celebrate us, how beautiful everything looked, and recount the vows that we had written for each other. Lastly, and probably the most special, we had our getaway car take us back to our first date spot at Velvet Taco where we got the same tacos we had the night we met.
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
Learning to see the world through each other’s eyes has been the most rewarding. My husband has taught me to adventure from camping in a tent for a vacation to honeymooning in the Serengeti. I have opened my husband’s perspective on life to look for the joys found in the small things and to enjoy and be present in the moment.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Bob Goff wrote about being “a safe place to land” for other people. At the beginning of our relationship, we had our own little book club with each other. I shared the book Love Does with Coop and that saying stood out to both of us to the point we both wrote about it in our vows. Our favorite thing about each other is that we are each other’s safe place to land mentally, physically, and emotionally. To be fully known and fully loved by another person leads to our strength and trust.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Our venue used to host live music and local vendors on Wednesday nights. We went to one of these events and fell in love with it. It just so happens that a couple had the date we wanted on hold, but the hold ended the day we were there. It was meant to be and we booked it as fast as possible. The food tasting at the venue was also very enjoyable. Beyond the venue, we took dance lessons and surprised everyone with our first dance. Keeping this surprise and getting to practice together brought an additional element of excitement and fun.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
We really could not decide on just one. These are the pieces of advice we are actively sharing with our friends daily who are getting married.
1. The guest list. Invite who you want to invite as these are your memories and moments important to you as a couple. If needed, allot certain members a certain number of seats so that they can decide who to invite instead of trying to think about it for them.
2. Do the marriage counseling or find a couple to mentor you that is just a little older than you. We enjoyed it so much and our couple is now family to us. We also learned so much more about ourselves and each other.
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
To love someone is the best decision you could ever make but it is also one of the hardest. The joy to know you have a safe place to land and are known and loved fully by another person is almost indescribable. But to love in the same way is also a choice to be made daily based upon the promises made in your vows. This is a type of selfless love that can be so radical it will surprise everyone around you.
Venue: Barr Mansion
Photographer: Anastasia Strate
Videographer: Cloud Craft Studios
Floral: Stems Floral Design + Event Styling
Light Letters: Alpha-Lit Austin
Photo Booth: Photo Vibez
DJ + Live Music: Josh Klaus Music
Get Away Car: 4 Leaf Limo
Hair and Makeup: Think Brink Beauty
Dress: Unbridaled Austin
Custom Tux: Adam Ross Custom