Devereaux & Justin’s Small, Simple, Fun Austin Wedding

Today’s wedding graduate is Devereaux… and we all probably need to take a moment to get over how crazy hot the woman is in her vintage dress, so we can focus on her (super wise) words, and crazy articulate emotion. Moment taken? Ok! This wedding also has a lovely little APW community story. Devereaux found her (hott!) photographer Lauren McGlynn and her then-second shooter Zachary Hunt, on Craigslist, when Lauren was first launching into wedding photography full time. Devereaux told them about APW, they found us and loved us, joined as sponsors, and the rest is history. Well, history and a super hot wedding graduate post that totally made me tear up at the end. So, take it away, Devereaux!

I didn’t particularly enjoy planning our wedding. But man-oh-man, it was worth it. Like a lot of APW readers, we didn’t have a particularly large budget. But bigger than that, I’ll admit it, I’m a procrastinator. I think wedding blogs naturally attract and feature a lot of very organized type-A personalities. One of the reasons I wanted to write a wedding graduate post is to let other non-type-A-people, like me, know, “It’s okay, you will still have an amazing wedding.”

My husband and I were engaged for just over two years by the time we got married, but we didn’t really start planning our wedding until four months out. About one month into our planning, my 22-year-old cousin died in a car accident. I was barely functional and couldn’t think about the wedding for weeks. When I did, I felt guilty to be worrying about flowers or tablecloths. We thought about putting off the wedding again.

In the end, we got it done. We really pared things down and made choices that felt right for us. I bought my vintage dress on Ebay (for $135! Yes!). We found a place to get married. We bought delicious cakes from a favorite local bakery and beer from a microbrewery we stop at for happy hour. We found our amazing photographers, Lauren McGlynn and her second-shooter-at-the-time Zachary Hunt, on Craigslist. Our venue is run by the parks department and doesn’t allow alcohol served in glass containers, so we hired the really nice bartender from our favorite local bar to pour wine and beer. And yes, we drank out of clear plastic party cups.

During the planning I realized that having a smaller budget was a blessing, at least for me. It was easier to eliminate non-necessities and it limited my options. As a procrastinator that has trouble making decisions, having limited options saved me a lot of agonizing. There were only maybe four venues in our price range, and they all had some flaws. We chose the stone clubhouse with the killer view. Everyone loved it. No one cared about the ugly heaters or the institutional bathrooms.

Another thing that really helped me was the wedding tag-line that I ran through my head. It was “small, simple, fun.” If it didn’t sound simple or fun (and wasn’t an outright necessity), we didn’t do it. We focused our energy on the tasks that we enjoyed, like putting together our playlist. We relied pretty heavily on our friends and family. A good friend agreed to officiate. Bridesmaids and groomsmen ran errands. My mom and aunts potted our succulent centerpieces. One aunt tidied-up our house, while Justin’s dad cooked the jambalaya we served at the rehearsal dinner.

It sounds a little cynical, but it also helped me to plan for other people’s mistakes. I stopped by the florist four hours before our ceremony to pick up the bouquets. She pulled out three gorgeous orange bouquets. There were supposed to be four. Since I went so early she had time to create another beautiful (if slightly different) bouquet for my maid of honor. As a bonus, the florist called me “gracious” and gave me a discount for the inconvenience.

APW readers are probably prepared for the inevitable wedding-day hiccups. Our partners – maybe not so much. Our caterer served dinner at least an hour late. And half of the tamales were still under-cooked. I wasn’t too worried about it. Everyone was drinking and mingling, and there were chips and salsa out for the ravenous. My husband, however, got more and more tense. By the time we sat down to dinner, he was on the verge of fuming. I realized that while I was lucky enough to have a wise, supportive community like APW telling me to let go of the little worries and focus on the joy, he didn’t get to hear that kind of dialogue.

We had just under 50 people at our wedding, and I briefly worried that the party wouldn’t feel big enough… but it felt just right. Every person in that room was genuinely happy to be there. When I was walking down the aisle with my dad, I couldn’t get over all the joy and grinning faces. Taking my first step around the corner, I was physically hit with it, like someone had suddenly turned the temperature up 30 degrees. I had imagined that I would float down the aisle with my eyes locked on Justin. In fact, I barely looked at him until I was just inches away. I was so busy grinning at all of our friends, squeezing my dad’s arm, whispering “Hi” to someone, just trying to take it all in.

Our ceremony was incredibly short, but every second felt epic. We were married in front of a fireplace covered in candles and pictures of our loved ones that had passed away. There were no readings. I had spent hours looking for the right sentiment, and I’d come across so many beautiful statements about love, marriage, and partnership. But none of them called out to me, nothing felt quite right. We said our vows, which felt like all we needed to say.

And then there was the kiss, the conversations, the dancing, the hugs, the high-fives, the cake, more kissing, the laughing, and the sing-a-longs. We watched our families beam, our niece run around in her footy pajamas, and my cousin dance with all the girls. And then we packed a few things into the car and headed to our hotel room, exhausted and sweaty, and glowing.

My best advice to wedding undergraduates is this: just do it. Don’t put it off because you don’t think you have enough money for a nice wedding, or because you’re intimidated by the planning, or because your family is having a hard time. Just marry the one you love.

It’s amazing, it’s beautiful, it can be a little messy. Live the day and enjoy all the silly moments and little imperfections. Looking back, the “imperfections” are some of my favorite things about the wedding:

  1. Hiding in the venue’s tiny ladies room with my bridesmaids and my mom, waiting for the ceremony to start.
  2. My mom ironing my dress for me the night before the wedding, because I’d neglected to get it pressed. It probably didn’t look as professional as if the cleaners had done it, but when I put it on the next morning, my dress felt like love.
  3. The rings. We didn’t get around to buying my husband a wedding ring, so we used a grocery store twist-tie. I can’t explain the swell of emotion when I see that worn little twist-tie, but I sure wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The InfoVenueZilker ClubhouseDress, purchased from Timeless Vixen; FlowersCentral Market; Photography: Lauren McGlynn Photography (now in the UK), with Zachary Hunt Photography (still in TX)

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  • Erin

    Devereaux, congratulations and thank you for writing this! Your wedding looks lovely in all senses of the word. It’s also totally giving me hope that our wedding, which we’ve mostly been seat-of-our-pants-ing, will turn out okay. Your beautiful post was just exactly what I needed to read this morning without even realizing – ‘small, simple and fun’ is the wisest wedding advice I’ve heard!

  • The twist-tie! Adorable!

    Lovely, lovely post. It sounds like a very sweet wedding.

    You’re right about the partners too. You and me, we have APW, but my partner, like yours, does not. After a rant from him about the WIC (he didn’t use that word, but it’s what he meant) I gave him my first dose of borrowed APWisdom, and will continue to do so as we go through the planning process.

    I love the look you chose, by the way. It works so well with your gorgeous hourglass figure!

    • Edelweiss

      I almost never tear-up but the twist-tie totally got me! (well maybe that and the loads of cold medicine I’m on). I love that.

      And I agree with both of you, my partner doesn’t necessarily need the wisdom of APW, because he has it innately, but he needs the reminders and the coping mechanisms.

      I think one of the great things APW gives me is a tiny little army behind me that gives me the confidence to voice what we both know deep-down when we start to let our frustration with the WIC turn to negativity about having a wedding.

  • And then we packed a few things into the car and headed to our hotel room, exhausted and sweaty, and glowing.

    This was probably one of my favorite parts of the wedding. I tried to just say I was glistening – but you know what? We had a rocking party and it showed with style – sweat & all. What better way is there to celebrate your newly affirmed marriedom?

    There really should be an APW-esque site for men. When our event coordinator told us we only had 30 minutes left, instead of the hour we thought we had, my husband about flipped. his. lid. And I was just very glowy and knew even if they kicked us out early, the night would still be perfect. Fortunately, I was able to spill my APWness onto my husband – mixed with a healthy glass of wine – and he was able to land us a whole extra hour. APW was our groosefraba. Fabulous. Every man needs it.

    AND! Can I just say your name is gorgeous – just like your wedding.

  • liz

    HOLY HOURGLASS, WOMAN. smokin hot.

    and that stuff about recognizing that your husband didn’t have the same support structure- pretty wise and pretty astute. hopefully you were able to help him through the Tamale Incident.

    • meg


    • Dev

      I think I might start referring to all stressful things as Tamale Incidents. I love it. And yes, I talked him down, he had a few sips of beer, and the rest of the night was a blast.

      Also, you guys are so generous with the compliments. They may start to go to my head. ;)

  • Jo

    “Just marry the one you love.”


  • As someone who was lucky enough to actually be at this wedding I just want to say that the play list was so rad. I remember it fondly to this day, and the dance party was super crazy in the best of ways. Also Devereaux & Justin were a dream to work for, and have been incredibly supportive of Zach & I both since their wedding. They even showed up to my going away photography house show and bought hot fresh donuts from Mrs. Johnsons for everyone at the end of the night. I still haven’t gotten over it. They’re good people and I feel so lucky to have been apart of their wedding day.

    • Dev

      Oh Lauren, we were so lucky to have you and Zach. You are so easy to work with, and you totally put me at ease when I was shaking with nerves so much that I could barely put on my lipstick. Plus of course, the intense love I have for my photos- you two are so talented.

      Anyone that has the opportunity to hire Lauren or Zach should do it. As soon as possible.

  • faith

    So similar to our process! I’m 31 days away, so this is just the encouragement I needed. We keep saying the “simple is more” line over and over:) Thank you for sharing in your beautiful, perfectly succinct words.

    And dress. Love.

  • First of all, I love Devereaux’s hair. Bobbed girls unite against intense updos!

    Second, I really really appreciate this post about not being type-A and still having an awesome wedding. My fiance and I are just getting our save-the-dates out (it took me a while to find something I really loved), and my mom called last night to ask “So when are your invitations going out?” I wanted to shout, “When I get this one other stupid thing done!” My mom’s very much a planner and likes to do everything as soon as possible. I feel like putting things off can be fine as long as you’re not stressing out or going to cause yourself problems later. Obviously Devereaux and Justin had an awesome wedding and I’m so happy to read her thoughtful comments and suggestions here.

    • I love seeing other short-haired brides!

      • Me too! I started off the wedding planning process thinking I needed to grow my hair out so I could get some fancy updo. While I like a good updo, I prefer my hair to be short. Seeing short-haired brides is major inspiration!

        • totesadorbs

          YAY for short haired brides! :-) We are 16 days away from our wedding and I just cut my hair even shorter much to the horror of many, but not the FH who encouraged the cut. That’s why he’s the FH. It’s now maybe 3 inches long, will be styled the way its styled every day, and I will be the honey badger of wedding hair, I just won’t give a sh*t.

          And YAY for the dress. And double YAY for these words… “Live the day.” Thank you for putting the exact feeling I’ve been searching for into 3 little words. I’ll be taking those words with me. :-)

  • yes! hooray type-B personalities! and craigslist! also, to sharing APW wisdom with our partners. i wish i’d made more of an effort to do so before the wedding. otherwise, the wedding might not have started out with me walking out in my dress ten minutes late for the ceremony thinking, “it’s okay–people can wait and we’ll be married,” while my husband had a near nervous breakdown waiting for me (not because he thought i wasn’t going to show, but because he didn’t know what he was going to do when our playlist ended). thanks for the wise words and for sharing your lovely photos.

  • What a beautiful wedding and a radiant bride!

  • Love this post. So many wise words.

    And, at the risk of sounds stingy…do you happen to have more regarding succulent centerpieces? :)

  • charm city vixen

    BEAUTIFUL dress! And such sage wisdom!

    Thank you so much for this post. My fiance and I have been wavering on whether or not we want a wedding/reception or an elopment/travel to France, and this example of a beautiful, simple, love-filled wedding (really, I can see the love from the pictures!) has given me hope that I can actually have my cake and eat it too :)

    Thank you, and congrats!!!

  • LBD

    “But bigger than that, I’ll admit it, I’m a procrastinator. I think wedding blogs naturally attract and feature a lot of very organized type-A personalities. One of the reasons I wanted to write a wedding graduate post is to let other non-type-A-people, like me, know, ‘It’s okay, you will still have an amazing wedding.'”

    HALLELUJAH! I’m right there with you sister! I stopped reading a lot of wedding blogs after we got engaged because the amount of detail, and thus planning required to pull it off (no money for a planner here!) sent me to panic attack city. My mantra has been of the “If at the end of the day you’re married to your partner, nothing else matters” variety. That it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the job done. Flowers? Screw it, we’ll get some bouquets made by the lovely ladies at the market day before or day of because they’re cheap and beautiful. Ceremony venue? Screw it, we’re just going to send the boys ahead of time to the local beach to camp out a spot. Decorations? There’s a reason it’s happening in a museum! And so on. I’m a seat-of-my-pants girl, and I’m trying my best to learn to embrace it instead of trying to fit the plan-plan-plan WIC mold.

    I admit this makes my photographer a bit nervous, hahaha. And I have a wonderful aunt and caterer to ground me and tell me what things REALLY need a plan. And a partner who tells me when I’m driving myself crazy.

  • ka

    You are stunning and wise!

    As an unfortunate Type-A procrastinator combination, this completely speaks to me. We will be engaged 2.5 years when we get married. Too. Much. Procrastination. But now there has been much paring down.

    And hell yea, Timeless Vixen Vintage. I totally stalk that shop. It really makes me need more garden parties in my life.

    • ELS

      (Leave it to me to screw up my first post- I’m not sure why it showed up as a reply to someone else’s comment- sorry!)

      That dress is aaaaamaaaazing. What did someone on here once say? “OMG. Amazeballs”. Pretty much, sister. You two look so happy in your photos, so in love (the thumbs-up one is classic). Congratulations!

      I’ve been visiting this site for months, and in the last two weeks have “officially” become “pre-engaged” (aka- no official proposal yet, but summer break from grad school = golden window to start planning)


      This post right here, from Non-Type-A reassurance to sticking to your guns about small, simple and fun, epitomizes everything that I have been trying to tell people about what I want in a wedding.

      Thank you so much for this beatifully written piece- I love every detail, and I find such comfort in knowing that I am not alone. The thought of even trying to attempt to maybe start planning a wedding makes my palms start to sweat. Running marathons? No problem. Trying to plan a trip with people to go look at wedding dresses? Um….I think I just broke out in hives. My parents eloped, I don’t have a blueprint or a road map to follow of what I’m “supposed” to do…..all I have is my gut telling me what I want and what I don’t want. With this post…’s relief, it’s an “Oh my god, I can do this” moment.

      Every day, it seems that the latest APW post is secretly whispering “Hey E! See? It WILL be okay!”. This one is epic. I’ve been quoting APW for weeks to my boyfriend “Weddings! Minus the insanity! PLUS the marriage. It can be done, I promise”. Thank you for sharing your day with us, and for making me feel so much better about this whole thing….

  • April

    That dress looks PERFECT on you

  • Dev

    Thanks for all the love, you guys. APW readers are the best. For some reason my work computer won’t let me respond to your comments (I’m on my phone now), so I will have more to say tonight.

  • I definitely understand the fact that there isn’t a very good support system for practical grooms. Sure Mr. Beagle comes on here from time to time to read, but he doesn’t have a whole host of Traveling Brigade of the Cyber Bridesmaids over on twitter to help him through issues. (If you don’t know what #TBCB is, come over to twitter and join us!) The community that APW has created is one of the only things that is getting me through these last weeks of planning.

  • Futuremrsreyes

    This post is perfect! Im always reassured when I read APW. We have less than 2 months left and are very much last minute people so there is a lot more to do but this post gives me piece of mind. I know I will love my day no matter what because its my wedding day! Duh. I gotta keep the simple mantra in my mind. Thank you!

  • Thank God for Practical grads. I needed a dose of this sanity today.

  • Sarah

    Fellow Austinite here! Great wedding and sage advice. I also used Central Market for my flowers and, despite the hiccups, appreciated the florists’ chill vibe and willingness to make it work. Congratulations.