J + C | Blanco River Retreat

Jessica and Chad were married in an intimate celebration on the banks of the Blanco River over Memorial Day weekend. They were initially leaning towards a true elopement — just the two of them — but ultimately decided that they wanted to share the start of their new chapter together with their family, too. From there, the guest list grew to a total of 18 people — just immediate family — plus their sweet pups, who got to join in the fun all weekend, too.

Jessica and Chad share a love of the outdoors, and Jessica found a perfect spot on the Blanco River for a weekend-long celebration. The private rental home she ultimately booked was large enough to accommodate their full guest list for the whole weekend, and it was situated right on on the banks of the river. They could walk from the backyard down to the water to fish, wade, kayak, or simply sit and watch the water rush by. On the evening of the wedding, we got to watch a whole family of deer cross the river to head into the hills for the night, and in fact, when I arrived for setup on Saturday morning, Jessica — and most of her + Chad’s family members — were down at the river fishing…

The inspiration for the day was an “elegant, Hill Country fiesta.” Warm spring colors and a mix of Southwestern and boho accents played together to create a homey, whimsical celebration. Their invitation suite — designed by Boarding School Collective — set the tone for the day and included a custom crest, which featured their love for all things outdoors (and their pets)! Boarding School also designed a custom otomi pattern, which we used in the day-of paper, too, to carry the Southwestern theme throughout.

Although the famous spring rain in Texas took out our first choice for the ceremony spot (a mere week before the big day!), the property provided many alternatives, and on the day-of, we found a perfect spot with a background of the river and the rolling Hill Country. Vintage rugs marked the aisle and led to a lush floral installation designed by Remi & Gold, which incorporated all of Jessica’s bright, fun colors. Chad wore his late grandfather’s cowboy boots, and Remi + Gold helped attach a locket in memory of Jessica’s mother onto her bouquet. The stone in Jessica’s ring also belonged to her mother. During the ceremony, Jessica and Chad exchanged their own handwritten vows.

After the ceremony, Jessica and Chad joined their family up around the pool for mocktails (and cocktails!) and fun, “backyard” appetizers including chicken wings, homemade guacamole, and Mexican street corn.

Then, as the sun was setting, everyone moved to one long table for a family style meal, and it’s hard to pick what I loved most about this part of the evening: The gorgeous tablescape (the runners and napkins, the personalized menus with little milagros, the FLORAL, the place settings), the twinkling lights overhead, the fact that Chad gave the blessing before dinner started, or the “fancy” taco dinner that Contigo served. It was the warmest, happiest scene, and the image Feather & Twine captured of the table from above will forever be one of my favorites because it *felt* just like that — so much tangible love and joy in one place.

After dinner, everyone moved over to the fire pit for the duration of the evening. Chad’s mom (who I learned has made his birthday cake every year since he was born!) made their wedding cake (three delicious flavors), and Contigo provided all the fixings for s’mores. When my team left to head for home, everyone was still gathered around talking and laughing.

I think the full day-of team would join me in saying that it was truly an honor to play a part in (and get to witness!) such a special, intimate celebration. And, for the first time in many years, we made it through a Memorial Day weekend wedding without any rain! So, smiles all around.

Featured on Style Me Pretty.

Photography: Feather & Twine

Design and Planning: Westcott Weddings

Catering: Contigo

Floral Design: Remi + Gold

Hair and Makeup: Rachel Hill

Lighting: Ilios

Officiant: It’s A Wonderful Life Weddings

Paper Goods: Boarding School Collective

Rentals: Loot Rentals and La Tavola

Venue: Blanco River Retreat