When Sophia and Louis were students at Washington University in St. Louis, their friends decided to set them up. Once the two met in March 2015, the rest was history. They dated all throughout college and even moved in together after in Boston.
In June 2020, the duo set out to start a new chapter—living in Austin, Texas. To break up their cross-country drive, they visited their families in Louisville, Kentucky and Little Rock, Arkansas. “I think this time allowed us to deeply evaluate our relationship and what we wanted out of our lives together,” Sophia shares. For Louis, the visit was especially validating of his future with his girlfriend. On their final leg of the journey, he spontaneously announced his plans. “He casually looked over at me in the car and simply said, ‘Let’s go look at rings in Austin,’’’ Sophia recalls. After browsing the selection, she chose an exquisite diamond sparkler.
The following month, while the couple was vacationing in Sedona, Arizona, Louis officially popped the question. He got down on one knee while overlooking the scenic red rocks. After saying “yes,” Sophia was finally able to wear the diamond ring she picked out a few weeks beforehand.
Since the couple got engaged in 2020, they experienced the challenges and uncertainty of planning a wedding during a global pandemic. “Although we were lucky that we never had to move our wedding date, the stress of creating a Plan B and Plan C during an already-stressful process was exhausting,” Sophia reveals.
Because the bride knew planning a wedding remotely would be a difficult endeavor during a pandemic, she and Louis decided to throw down in their new town. They also wanted to introduce their friends and family to Austin, so picking the location seemed like a natural choice. While searching for venues, they stumbled upon Mattie’s Austin and knew it would be the perfect spot to tie the knot. “You have the feeling of being in a Southern state 100 miles away, while literally being only a five to 10 minute drive from downtown,” Sophia notes. “The gorgeous peacocks that roam the property were also a bonus.”
Sophia and Louis invited 115 guests to experience Austin and celebrate their love story on October 10, 2021. Keep reading to see the details behind their big day, with month-of coordination from Pearl Events Austin and photography by Jeff Brummett.
Initially, Sophia didn’t have a clear vision for her special day. After switching the aesthetic a few times, the bride finally settled on “casual elegance.” “We aren’t overly formal in our lifestyle, and we wanted our wedding to reflect that,” she explains. To let the natural beauty of their venue shine, they selected a neutral color palette that featured ivory, blush, and sage tones.
To get the party started, Sophia popped the bubbly while opting for comfort in a white robe with sheer sleeves and an embroidered neckline. Her bridesmaids coordinated in matching pajama sets with white piping while they got ready.
For glam, the bride selected a natural makeup look. She had her hair swept to the side and styled in loose curls, affixed with a glittery hair pin. “I have always preferred having my hair down, but I knew I wanted something a tad more dramatic than my day-to-day hairstyle,” she says.
Sophia sported a silk crepe trumpet gown with a deep V-neck, low back, and floral embellishments by Alexandra Grecco. When the bride first tried on this number, along with 20 to 30 other dresses, it didn’t make an impression. After returning to the bridal salon and trying the design on a second time, everything clicked. The bride describes the gown as having “a casual elegance that mirrored our venue’s atmosphere, yet the illusion back made it more interesting and nontraditional.”
She completed her ensemble with vintage Chanel shoes, lined with flowers. “This perfectly matched the floral embroidery on the back and train of my dress,” she remarks. For jewelry, she kept it simple with a pair of drop earrings.
Sophia carried an all-white assortment of spray roses, playa blanca roses, sweet peas, lisianthus, anthurium, ranunculus, baby’s breath, orchids, and amaranthus. A raw silk ribbon tied her bouquet all together.
For his wedding day attire, Louis went with a classic black tuxedo by Ralph Lauren.
The duo traded vows beneath the property’s sweeping oak trees. A hedge of white delphinium, campanula, baby’s breath, and greenery lined the aisle. White urns filled with white lisianthus, silk cherry blossoms, campanula, and baby’s breath topped four pedestals, which framed the altar.
Sophia and her father walked down the aisle, while Terra Vista Strings played “Marry Me” by Train.
Sophia’s aunt officiated the ceremony, and she incorporated the couple’s vows into the script. They were “widely loved and excellently delivered,” according to Sophia.
After locking lips, Sophia and Louis recessed to “Forever” by Chris Brown while guests showered them with flower petals.
The newlyweds snuck away to snap portraits following their vow exchange. For Sophia, the easiest part of planning the event was selecting their photographer, Jeff Brummett. “Jeff came highly recommended from our venue, and I immediately knew why,” Sophia shares. “His photos were elegant but bold. They had a combination of being beautifully shot, yet still managed to evoke the joy and emotions that come along with a wedding day.”
A chic lounge area contributed to the easygoing aesthetic and gave guests a comfortable spot to rest. A blue-and-white striped umbrella towered over a cane sofa with neutral pillows, white chairs, a brass coffee table, and a fluffy white rug.
Although the couple didn’t serve a signature cocktail, bubbly abounded. They kicked off the reception with a Champagne tower.
In a clear tent, guests dined beneath soft white draping, hanging greenery, rattan lanterns, and string lights, which created a romantic ambiance. A collection of taper candles and assortments of white roses, spray roses, baby’s breath, anthurium, orchids, ruscus, fern, and amaranthus dotted white table linens. Each place was set with gold flatware and simple white chargers.
Since the couple spent a large portion of their relationship exploring new places, they wanted to incorporate their love of travel into their wedding design. “Rather than traditional table numbers, each table was a special city or country that we had visited together, tied with a photo of our favorite memory,” Sophia details. They also integrated the travel motif into their seating chart.
Sophia and Louis sat at special seats, reserved for just the two of them. They had their sweetheart table wrapped in a champagne tablecloth, decorated with blush taper candles, and marked with the same blooms that bordered their ceremony aisle. “We repurposed all of our ceremony décor as the florals were too beautiful for just the short ceremony,” Sophia explains.
The newlyweds spent the first half of the evening noshing on fried chicken and listening to speeches from their inner circle.
The duo also adorned their bar with the same floral arrangements that made an appearance at their ceremony. A neon sign, which showcased their last name and wedding date, illuminated the setup.
For their first dance, the bride and groom swayed to “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5.
Before cutting into their three-tier white floral cake, Sophia changed into a mini feather dress with a plunging neckline and sparkly heels featuring a bow accent. Louis also settled for a laid-back look by ditching his tuxedo jacket.
“We knew we wanted a live band, but we were having a hard time finding one we loved in Austin, Texas,” Sophia admits. Once their florist raved about Drywater Band, the couple knew they had to book them for their big day. “They completely exceeded our expectations,” the bride gushes. “We had so many guests come up to us and say that was one of the best bands they’ve ever heard at a wedding.”
After spending all night on the dance floor, everyone refueled with burgers and friends from Whataburger for a late-night snack.
The newlyweds left the reception, hand in hand, while guests tossed petals at them once again. After the wedding, they embarked on an adventurous honeymoon: a safari in Kenya. Looking back on their nuptials, Sophia recommends creating a day that authentically captures your love story. “Ignore the ‘rules’ of the wedding process,” she advises. “The day should ultimately represent who you are as a couple. A wedding is what you make it, not the other way around.”