Jennah & Gary’s Un-Fussy Texas Throwdown

* Jennah (Speechwriter) & Gary (Software analyst/part-time rock star) * Photographer: Zachary Hunt Photography, TX * Soundtrack for reading: Elvis Costello “Everyday I Write the Book” *

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The Info—Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Cathedral, Austin, Texas / Reception Venues: Saengerrunde Hall (inside) and Scholz Garten (outside) / Dress: Nicole Miller / Bride’s shoes: Dolce & Gabana / Bride’s ring: Todd Reed / Headpiece: refashioned from the bride’s maternal grandmother’s / Groom’s suit: eh, who cares / Bride and bridesmaids’ makeup: Kelley Tway of Have Lipstick, Will Travel / Bridesmaids’ earrings: JaqJack / Cakes: designed by the bride and made by Word of Mouth Catering / Paper Goods & Groom’s-Cake Label: Pat Ramseur Design / Photography: Zachary Hunt Photography

Other cool stuff: I’ve made enough Halloween costumes to know not to get too crazy over details—most of the time, if you cover the main ideas, people subconsciously fill in the rest themselves. So I knew as long as we kept everything fun, unpretentious, and clever, we would get the wedding we wanted. The reception was at a biergarten/old-man social hall. Almost all the centerpiece items came from thrift stores. Instead of table numbers (since we didn’t have a seating chart) I typed fascinating facts about Gary and me on index cards. We had barbecue for dinner (although my mom insisted on German potato salad because it was “nicer” than regular potato salad). The groom’s cake was a giant Twinkie. Since my family is from Ohio, my mom made 600 buckeyes (chocolate-covered peanut butter balls endemic to that state) from my grandmother’s recipe for the dessert table. We are a decidedly un-schmoopie couple, so our first dance was Diana Ross’s “Love Hangover;” after 45 seconds of slow-jam steaminess it turns into the sickest disco song ever, whence everyone came to join us. Our friends’ rockabilly-ish band, The Sutcliffes, played. Then Gary’s (Neil Diamond cover) band played, and we danced with a microphone between us as he sang “Heartlight” to me. (Did you know “Heartlight” is about E.T.? It’s true!) Then he surprised me by singing “It’s Too Late to Turn Back Now,” the 70s soul song. (Don’t worry, it’s a lot more romantic than the title suggests.) Oh, and after our (amazing, emotional, Catholic) ceremony we went to my favorite grocery store to take pictures, then we rejoined the wedding party in time to relax and get a betting pool going on the Kentucky Derby.

One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: A fun, funny, un-fussy Texas throwdown with plenty of family, friends, and our own version of romance.

Favorite thing about the wedding: I was completely entranced when Gary said his vows. His conviction was so clear and powerful that I physically felt his words. Also, that I caught the chicken.

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  • Cass

    That is one of the best groom’s cakes I’ve ever seen!

    And your getting ready “party” looks like a lot of fun. You can tell how much joy everyone was feeling :)

  • Emily

    I love the Halloween costume analogy — it’s so true!

  • I love the grocery store shots! I love thinking about my grandma shaking her head at such antics.

    Also? These are not wordless weddings! There are words! Lots of them! You need to change the name of this column. Or don’t. What the heck do I know? :)

    • meg

      Compared to everything else on APW, they are PRACTICALLY wordless. Or you know, you could just look at the pictures if you wanted.

    • The grocery store is seriously one of my favorite places to hang out. This is going in the “wedding file” (or, as it’s called on my desktop, “W ideas”, so nobody KNOWS about my non-engaged-self’s love of all things wedding.) But I digress… grocery stores rock.

      And congratulations, Jennah, on catching the chicken!

  • Omg love! Love! LOVE! Why wasn’t I at this wedding? Well done Jennah & Garry!

  • Love this wedding. Love it.

    Although, I believe, I believe, I believe the serenading and song choice is quite schmoopie ;)

  • Aww, you guys seem like a scream to hang out with.

    This is getting me excited about my wedding next month that is also at a biergarten/old-man-social-hall. And I really needed to be reminded that we’ve got the beer and the s’mores, f*ck “details”.

  • FawMo

    So much fun!

    I love Wordless Weddings, they totally underscore my theory that I would have a blast at any APW wedding I was fortunate enough to be invited to.

  • yesss!! the chicken throwing couple!! haha. AND a giant twinkie? you guys are too awesome.

  • The best weddings are the fun ones, and you guys clearly had “fun” covered!

    Also, the bottom of that dress- wow! Well, the whole thing is wow, but the bottom especially : )

    • Funny, my reaction was “the top of that dress-wow! Well the whole thing is ow, but the top especially.” Jennah, you looked amazing head to toe!

    • Jennah, you rocked the hell out of that dress.

  • mimi

    Love! At first, I was like “why do I recognize these people?” And then I realized that I had seen some of the pics in the Zachary Hunt sponsor post a few weeks back. Everyone looks like they were having such a blast, and I love that the bride is right in the middle of the party, as she should be. Oh and I love the index cards and the bridesmaids’ yellow belts and the grocery store shots and pretty much everything. I guess I should just bookmark this post for future inspiration!

    • meg

      I know. I almost never put in bridesmaid pictures, but those yellow belts and mis-matched grey dresses were so brillant that I had to.

  • Nicole

    That picture with the lettuce is one of the funniest photographs I’ve ever seen.

    • FawMo

      I don’t know….all the photos with the Kate/William wedding mags was pretty close. ;)

  • MEI

    Just looking at the pictures, I was sure this wedding was in Ohio. It was good to read I wasn’t totally crazy. Go buckeyes (big or little b works)! This post also, however, confirmed suspicions that I should move from Ohio to Austin.

  • Love the fun supermarket pictures and the Groom’s Cake! How awesome and what a fun couple!

  • The shot of Jennah and Gary with People Magazine–AWESOME. Can I be friends with them?

  • So fun! And maybe every wedding should have a chicken-toss? Yes/yes?

    • meg

      OBVIOUSLY yes. I mean, why are we even discussing it?

    • Anonymous

      And for us vegetarians: a tofurkey toss!

  • carrie

    Love this so much! How weddings should be – joyful and fun! I heart the faces made at the royal wedding magazine.

  • Krista

    This looks so FUN! I love the grocery store photos, very cute and creative :) (especially the first one with the Will & Kate magazine…amazing expressions!)
    This wedding has so much personality; I don’t know you, but I feel like it just screams “Yes, WE planned this! This is ours!”

  • Jen M

    THIS LOOKS SO FUN! And not gonna lie, totally did a double take thinking the groom was Thomas Haden Church….

  • Liz

    That picture of them looking skeptical at the Royal Wedding issue of the magazine is quite possibly my favorite picture of any wedding, ever. Love it.

    • meg

      Indeed. Perhaps mine as well.

  • Kayakgirl73

    I’d never have been brave enough for a chicken toss. I would have been thinking dress disaster in the making. It looks like you’ll had a whale of a time and lots of fun with your photo shoot.

  • Marina

    I’m so glad you caught the chicken! I love all these photos.

  • Love love love! This has already been said, but it looks SO FUN! :-D

  • Jennah

    Aw…you dolls are the tops, for sure! We had every bit as much fun as it looks. Jen M., I almost did a spit-take thinking of marrying Lowell from “Wings.” (Gary’s not an actor but he makes awesome faces.) Sharon, maybe “Sisterhood of the Flinging Poultry” can be a new APW tradition. (Or “Sisterhood of the Flinging Arugula” for vegetarians.) Mei, stay where you are: It’s 110 today and won’t stop til Thanksgiving. Beth and Rachelle, I feel I should acknowledge the true star of the day: my undergarment with advanced holdie-innie technology. God bless her and all her kind.

    • meg


      Sisterhood of the Flinging Poultry” can be a new APW tradition. (Or “Sisterhood of the Flinging Arugula” for vegetarians.)


  • charmcityvixen

    Holy smokes, the bride in that dress is STUNNING.

    Beautiful wedding… and as everyone else has commented, it looks so fun! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Amy

    So. Much. Fun! Love this post, and if people are not listening to the soundtracks while reading these, they are missing out!

    • Jennah

      Holy cow, Amy–I just clicked on your name and saw your blog and thought, Wow, that looks just like the roof deck of my old building in DC. AND IT IS! I lived there for a year before I high-tailed it back to Texas. Crazy!

  • I still can’t believe how much fun it was to shoot Jennah and Gary’s wedding. I will always remember the moment when the couple decided to pick up that cold whole chicken and toss it back and forth. Beautiful!

  • Smirking at Us Weekly! HEARTLIGHT!!! Best wedding ever!

  • This is a wedding I want to go to!!! Love the songs you used!! :)

  • This is the most awesome wordless wedding ever. Even though I still don’t listen to the music (ducks as Meg throws a chicken at me.)

    • meg


      • Okay, okay, fine. I did. And maybe you were right. Maybe it was awesome. Whatever.

        (Now who has chicken all over them?)

  • The grocery store shots are BRILLIANT! And…and…and the Twinkie!…the lists!…..super fun stuff! :)

  • I’m curious as to what thinking actually prompted the grocery shots – flash of genius? necessity? a a concentrated round of scheming to come up with the most epic place ever to photograph in contra-WIC fashion?


    • Jennah

      Mostly #1 and a bit of #3, Jenn. I was inspired by looking at so many lovely, romantic, elegant couples photos and thinking…we cannot possibly do that. So I thought it would be funny if we kind of inverted that image and had our pictures taken doing normal things, only in our wedding get-ups. Originally I wanted to go to more places in the neighborhood, like the drugstore, and even play catch (really, our gloves and a softball were in Zach’s car), but it was kinda hot and we decided to just go chill with our friends instead.

      • meg

        LOVE. Subvert the paradigm. That’s the APW way.

        • JEM

          I can’t wait for the “antique sofa in the produce section” photo. :D

          • Jennah

            We took our “formal portrait” in front of the meat case, and there’s another shot of me staring lovingly into my “bouquet” of fennel, dill, and asparagus. :)

  • What a fun wedding …. and the groom wore red sneakers!

  • This has got to be my absolute wedding posted here of all time (and I have seen them all).

    I also love that you didn’t have a veil. I’m skipping a veil and was doubting that choice but you looked great w/o it (and even at a church wedding vs. my getting married in a field followed by a barn reception which is a lot less formal).

    Thanks Jennah and Meg!

  • Amazingness. You look like you guys had such a blast!!!

  • Kelly S.

    I saw the tag “Indie Texas Wedding” and knew it had to be Austin! My suspicions were confirmed when I saw the wedding had been IN MY CHURCH!! :) What an AWESOME couple– looked like so much fun. This couple has such an ATX vibe. LOVED IT.

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  • So much fun!