Liz and Zach's wedding at Star Hill Ranch in Texas was the perfect combination of laid-back style and fun! The venue is a collection of old movie sets and has the appearance of a small street straight out of a Western film. Their celebration, planned by Eclipse Event Co., immediately made their guests feel at home and featured really special moments, like when Liz got to hold an adorable sloth named Sienna. Shay and Olive captured their amazing day!
A Star Hill Ranch wedding in Bee Cave, TX
We had talked about “the future,” which I put in quotes because even then I'm quite sure I would use air quotes as to avoid others assuming I was ignorantly blinded by love, but I totally knew. The holidays came and went without any ring, much to my disappointment. I LOVE Christmas, like, to the point that it is considered an unhealthy obsession, so I assumed if he was proposing anytime soon, that was going to be when. Then came my birthday…
For my birthday, my mom took me to get our nails done, then on a shopping spree at DSW to pick ANY shoes I wanted. This should've been my first tip-off, considering that (1) it has never in my life been a remote possibility and (2) it will never again be a possibility after this wedding. Sure enough, that evening, Zach and I were planning on walking to my favorite Italian restaurant from our townhouse in Addison for my birthday celebration. My second tip-off should've been that he was taking SO LONG to get ready, which also is unheard of. Now that I think about it, I wonder what he told me he was up there doing for so long…but I digress. We were walking through the park, I was 3/4 of the way to the most delicious eggplant parmesan you've ever had and pushing through the inevitable blisters I was forcing upon my feet breaking in these new shoes (the eggplant is worth it….) We finally came to a stopping point underneath the arbor in the middle of the park when he turned and placed me facing him, so my “good side” wasn't toward the photographer, his uncle that was disguised in a fat suit. Got down on one knee, bada bing, bada boom. Hugs, kisses, pictures, tears, etc. I was in a serious haze/shock (?) when we were walking back but I remember thinking “man, I am so pumped! Engaged and now I'm going to get my eggplant parmesan!” I remember him guiding me past the Italian restaurant and putting up quite the argument until we rounded the corner and saw all of our family and friends waiting for us at the wine bar. More hugs, kisses, pictures, and tears, etc.
He knew what was important to me and he made it happen. Zach put SO much planning into it, which is one of the many traits I adore. I mean, there were maps and very strict timetables given to all of our family ahead of time! Who does that?! He does anything and everything to make me happy and he lets no detail go without notice. Perhaps that is one of those things that I love most about him now but will eventually drive me crazy, but in my “engaged-bliss” I'm choosing to believe that's just my mom talking.
About The Wedding
We decided on a few words to describe our dream wedding from the very beginning of the whole wedding planning process – memorable, intimate, and fun! In every decision we made, we came back to those words. It made the whole planning process so much easier knowing that these were our priorities and kept me from stressing out too much about all of the details.
Star Hill Ranch has this beautiful little white chapel that I fell in love with from the very first visit. It really set the tone for the intimate, meaningful ceremony that was so important to us. As far as style goes, it really had a style of its own that came together through the process. I originally wanted a wedding of all nudes or pastels and tons of greenery, but, thanks to Kristi at Eclipse, I realized that wasn't my personality at all, it was just something I really loved the aesthetic of! This really stuck out to me and served as a good reminder that your wedding should be a reflection of YOU GUYS. Do not try to fit into a certain mold, but instead decide on all of the things you love. Hearing this from Kristi was so freeing and launched me in a completely different direction that was SO much more fun and allowed us to input our own personality into everything!
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have pie instead of a traditional wedding cake. I've never been blown away by wedding cakes, but more than that, I just really have a serious love for pies. Royers Pie Haven tiered some of my favorite pies, which gave “the look” of a tiered wedding cake, but delivered so much more!
Funny story about my wedding dress actually. Right after getting engaged, I was helping a really close family friend find her dream prom dress, shopping all around the DFW area. One of the prom dress stores we stopped at had a selection of wedding dresses which we decided to go take a look at for giggles when I found one dress I wanted to use as inspiration for my own wedding dress, when the time came to find it. Naturally, I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture of this gorgeous, gown with appliqué lace on it. A year later, after already picking my wedding dress and beginning the alteration process, I was digging through old photos on my phone and found the picture of the gown I purchased, only the picture was from a year before. After trying on hundreds of wedding dresses at dozens of wedding dress shops, I actually ended up falling in love with the exact same gown, at a different dress shop, a year later. Women that tell brides searching for the perfect gown, “you know when you know” really do mean it. As soon as I put it on, I knew!
Oh, and comfortable shoes, for heaven's sake. I knew I wanted to wear heels, but being a converse-wearing, flats-addicted shoe fiend, I thought it was out of the question until I found some really fun, cute heels with a wide heel. They were affordable, fun, cute, and so comfortable! I never ended up changing into my backup flats!
SIENNA THE SLOTH! Oh my heart, I love all animals but sloths and dogs are at the top of my reincarnation dreams. I even looked into having a petting zoo at our reception, but came back to our budget and knew it wasn't a possibility. Zoomagination made a dream of mine come true by bringing Sienna, a beautiful, majestic two-toed sloth to our wedding reception. It wasn't too expensive, fit our “memorable” and “fun” hopes, and fulfilled some of my own bucket list dreams. Zach made this happen and will forever be working to top such an incredible act.
Special Details & Traditions
Family is such a big part of our lives and I knew I wanted us to incorporate that into our wedding day. We were able to get our hands on our parents' and grandparents' wedding pictures, which we put on display at the reception along with a picture of some very special friends that we consider family. All of these pictures are so special to us because they remind us of how blessed we are to be surrounded by so much love.
Attached to my bouquet was a locket, given to me by my grandmother after my grandfather's funeral which has a photo of my parents on one side and Zach's on the other. It was so special to have this locket so close to me on the day of our wedding. We're both lucky to have such incredible role models in our lives, with beautiful relationships to help model our own after. Sometimes we get so caught up in all of the details and making sure everything is perfect, that we forget why we're there. These pictures were the perfect reminder of why we were doing it all in the first place.
We tried to show our family how special they are to us by giving them a special handkerchief on the morning of the wedding. A few of the handkerchiefs had personal notes embroidered on them and others had our new monogram and wedding date on them, to be given to our immediate family to use on the day of the wedding.
My grandfather had a toast that he shared at countless weddings. He passed away a few weeks before the wedding, which was painful for a lot of us. It was beyond special to have my uncle share the toast at our reception in my grandfather's shoes. There are so many moments from our wedding day that were special and I hope to never forget, but this tops them all.