Romantic Austin Ranch Wedding | Maggie + Luke
by Lindsey Craig December 6
Maggie and Luke’s love story began a bit in reverse. After meeting through Maggie’s friend – who happens to be Luke’s cousin – the couple went their separate ways. When Luke’s cousin got married years later, both he and Maggie were in the wedding party. Each had endured catastrophic personal losses and shared a similar life path of different jobs in a variety of cities. This wedding had brought them back into one another’s lives and their relationship was about to begin quickly.
Over the years, Maggie had heard stories about Luke through her friend’s family. She felt like she knew him well after seeing him for the first time in years. Luke lost his mother in 2002 and Maggie lost her father 2009. When the pair learned of their losses, they felt an instant connection. During the wedding, they shared deep conversation and a few dances. Following the wedding, Maggie visited Luke in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. She was living in her native Dallas and both were ready for a big, positive change that came in the form of one-way tickets to Chicago.
Rather than have an official first date, the two found themselves driving for hours with most of their belongings toward a new beginning. Both had an inclination their relationship was something special, but just in case things didn’t work out, they moved into a two-bedroom apartment. Here they were in the very beginning stages of a new relationship yet spending every moment together. Maggie and Luke felt they were in the right place at just the right time.
The Chicago transplants spent their early days exploring the city. Since they were roommates, they quickly learned a lot about each other. Maggie and Luke eased into a comfortable life as an inseparable twosome over the next few years until they decided to make a big leap – buying a house in suburban Chicago.
Neighbors were surprised to learn they were not married since they moved into such a family-oriented neighborhood, but Maggie and Luke knew the day would come when the timing was right and they would take their next step toward marriage. Luke loves Maggie’s easy-going spirit. While she is adventurous, she also appreciates a quiet night at home engaged in conversation. Maggie calls Luke the more social of the two, but he appreciates routine and relaxing at home on the weekend.
Over the course of their relationship, the pair placed high importance on family. When Luke asked Maggie’s mother for permission to ask her daughter to be his wife, she agreed and offered Maggie’s grandmother’s diamond for the ring. Luke knew he was not the best at jewelry design so he sought the help of Maggie to design her ring. On a Saturday morning, the ring arrived and Luke allowed Maggie to see it if she accepted his proposal, which she excitedly did.
The couple has friends and family scattered all across the nation. Rather than get married in Maggie’s hometown of Dallas, they wanted to plan a somewhat destination wedding for their guests, which led them to Austin. The area has a special place in Maggie’s heart as her father was fond of the Texas Hill Country.
Much like the reversed theme of their beginnings, Maggie had already sought the perfect wedding planners prior to Luke’s proposal. Enter the Nouveau Romantics. Maggie was impressed with how quickly the full-service planners responded to her, an important factor when planning a wedding primarily through email correspondence.
The next step was finding the perfect venue. A friend of one of the planners had inherited her family’s ranch outside Austin and urged the Nouveau Romantics to have a wedding on the land. Maggie and Luke fell in love with the photos, and planned a visit. When they toured the ranch, they found a perfect spot for their nuptials near a sparkling body of water and two large trees that looked as though they were joined as one.
The bride wanted a comfortable affair, while the groom wanted black tie-formal. The Nouveau Romantics found a way to fuse the looks with a Texas-meets-Downton Abbey vibe. While Luke was thrilled to sport coattails, Maggie set out to find the perfect dress. At a bridal boutique in downtown Chicago, she fell in love with the first dress she tried on – a strapless, classic Peter Langner gown. She paired the dress with her mother’s veil and even took applique flowers from her mother’s dress and had them sewn into hers.
Waking up on the morning of their wedding, Maggie and Luke were full of excitement. Maggie and her girlfriends got ready at a nearby hotel. Luke and his friends got ready at the ranch in a silver Airstream trailer that popped against the green grass surrounding them. It was at the picturesque ranch where the couple shared their first look, which was exciting for both of them.
A lovely string quartet played as the bride walked down the aisle. Maggie and Luke’s small, intimate wedding party comprised of family members conveyed an important message – this was two families coming together as one. Their minister had been very good friends with Luke’s mom and his family growing up, which was a special incorporation for him. Maggie and Luke said, “I do,” under trees adorned with striking magnolia garland providing the perfect arch.
Following the nuptials, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the field near the reception tent. Stepping into the reception was unforgettable: the Nouveau Romantics created a stunning room – from the rich, dark wood floors to the dramatic lit flower arrangements dangling from the ceiling. One wall was draped with leaves and lit with hundreds of twinkle lights that set the romantic tone of the evening. Guests dined on tables that featured dripping candles, beautiful white bouquets and china embellished with gold. There was a relaxing nook with gorgeous cream, modern seating with pops of hunter greens and sprays of white flowers. Magnolia draped the bar and tea lights were precariously placed on the grass outside the tent making the reception feel even more exclusive.
When the couple and guests were seated, everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner of steak with asparagus, sea bass with Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and a mushroom tower. After they dined, Maggie and Luke greeted guests, and then cut into the wedding cake, which was a beautiful white confection featuring hand-painted flowers cascading from the top tier. Miniature apple pies in mason jars served as the groom’s cake.
At the end of the night, a mix-up with the exit vehicle resulted in their closest friends joining them in a small bus on the ride back to the hotel, which was a spectacular end to the perfect day. The couple was so happy to enjoy their wedding day with cherished family and friends.
Throughout the planning, Maggie and Luke had a goal of keeping the memory of their late parents alive. So much of the music made Luke think of his mother. They lit candles for each parent during the ceremony, and afterward, passed out buttons with their parents’ initials on them and guests wore them with pride.
The couple is presently enjoying married life in their suburban Chicago home. Funny enough, their current life is much like their first years together only with a bit of added paperwork. They spend their days with their beloved yellow lab and are expecting their first baby. Maggie and Luke’s love story is uniquely their own and both are elated about the exciting next chapter.
Accommodations, Bridal Luncheon | Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Tent | Whim Hospitality
other local vendors: Kurt Events, The Vintage 15, La Tavola Fine Linen, The Flashdance, Small Masterpiece, Big House Sound, Shelly Bounds, Transportation Consultants, Shark Pig, Yegua Knobbs Ranch, Shannon Briggs-Hack from Janet St Paul Salon, Coco Paloma Desserts, The Nouveau Romantics, Ilios Lighting, Kat Karli of Songbird Esthetics
Other Local Vendors: The Nouveau Romantics, Coco Paloma Desserts, Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Transportation Consultants, Ilios Lighting, Nourished by Kurant, La Tavola Fine Linen, Shark Pig