Hi there! It’s me – Kelly, wedding designer and executive assistant here at Bianca Nichole and Co. Before recently moving, my role with BNCo was a wedding planner – which included planning my own wedding (PS. I did still have a coordinator for my own wedding day – and you should too! Check out this blog to learn why.) I’m excited to give you all the scoop on my modern, garden inspired wedding at The Arlo!
Jackson and I met on Tinder in 2019, right before I was set to leave the country for 4.5 months. After our first date – I knew he was the one. We became official about a month after I left for my semester abroad. As a wedding planner, Jackson knew that it was going to be hard to surprise me when he wanted to propose, and I rarely had a weekend off from working weddings. Bianca, owner of BNCo, jumped in with my Maid of Honor to help Jackson scheme the perfect engagement. Bianca tricked me into thinking I was assisting her on a wedding at Camino Real Ranch. Little did I know, when I opened the greenhouse doors, I would find Jackson waiting for me. It was absolutely magical, and only got better when he turned me around to find a bunch of my friends had flown in to TX to celebrate with us.
With Jackson being in the military, there were of course a few bumps throughout our planning process. We were engaged for about 6 months before being able to book our venue because he was scheduled to go on a rotation to Poland in 2023. Once that was taken off the calendar, we immediately booked The Arlo. At the time, The Arlo was new to the area. Their Instagram randomly popped up on my page when they only had 2 posts! From the first photo I saw – I was sold. I booked a tour for Jackson and I to see it in person, and scheduled a few other venue tours as well just so Jackson could see some other options.
As soon as we parked at The Arlo, we cancelled all our other tours. It was the perfect fit for us. Melony was so welcoming, and the venue is absolutely stunning. We loved that it was modern but not boring, had indoor and outdoor spaces, and of course 2 comfortable getting ready spaces. It was the perfect setting for a modern, garden inspired wedding.
We wanted our day to feel very intentional and personal, but also chic and modern. We kept our invitations very simple, with neutral colors and a serif font. The style and font was continued throughout the signage at our wedding for a cohesive look and feel.
One of the first personal details we focused on was Jackson’s ring. He loved the idea of having a signet ring, instead of a traditional band. Knowing this, we spent a few months compiling ideas and symbols that we both liked. We wanted the crest to be a combination of both of us, symbolizing the merging of two people into one. After a few rounds of edits with Rebus Signet Rings, we finally had our design complete.
Our crest is our first symbol of our family, so we wanted it to be incorporated in our wedding day in a larger aspect. With the help of Suarez Creative, we had our crest digitalized and printed on our seating chart (created by LBV Design House). It only felt right to have our crest somewhere every guest would have to look! Additionally, we had custom koozie’s made with the crest as well so our guests had a small favor to take home.
For those of you who don’t know, I am not from Texas. I grew up in CT and went to college in NC, which means that my friends live all over the country. Because of that, I wasn’t able to bring all of my bridesmaids dress shopping with me. Instead, I went with just my maid of honor. I didn’t like the idea of my friends seeing my dress on a screen for the first time, so I kept it a secret. They all saw my dress for the first time on my wedding day.
Allison and Bianca (yes – BNCo team!) had both seen my dress and come to fittings with me since my mom and bridesmaids could not. I still wanted to have a special moment with them though! Fun Fact: Allison got married the month before us, also at The Arlo! You can read about her wedding here.
Jackson had always dreamed of seeing me at the end of the aisle for the first time, so we did not do a first look. However, I knew I wanted to be able to talk to him before the ceremony to help calm my nerves. We decided to do a first touch on the back patio of The Arlo, and exchange letters. This little black book holds many important memories for us. Jackson wrote his proposal in it, I wrote to Jackson to tell him I wanted to take his name, and now it holds a letter from each of us on our wedding day.
Of course, the ceremony is the most important part of a wedding day. One of our favorite features at The Arlo is the fireplace. We opted for whimsical floral arrangements to enhance the modern garden feel, without overpowering the existing beauty of The Arlo.
You might notice another familiar face at our wedding… Yes, Bianca was our officiant! She had played a key role in not only our proposal, but in our move to TX. Bianca was the first person I met and became friends with in Texas. She has been monumental in my growth as a wedding planner. We knew we wanted someone special to officiate our wedding, and Bianca was the perfect fit.
Another detail that was very special to us as a couple was the song I walked down the aisle to. When Jackson proposed, he had a speaker playing music softly in the background. He had chosen the song specifically for the proposal, after spending months of listening to sappy love songs trying to find the perfect fit. It only made sense that I walk down the aisle to that song as well. (If you’re wondering – the song is Dawning of Spring by Anson Seabra)
Since Jackson is an officer in the Army, there were a few military formalities we wanted to incorporate. The first being that groomsmen and Jackson would be in uniform. However, I wanted Jackson to stand out – it’s his day too! After some digging, we discovered a rarely-worn dress uniform, which is what Jackson ended up wearing while the groomsmen wore their dress blues. I thought the white variation was a perfect fit for The Arlo’s aesthetic.
During our recessional, we also had a saber arch. Six of Jackson’s groomsmen, who are also in the Army, recessed down the aisle before we did. At the end, they formed an arch of sabers. As we walked under, the last pair would stop us, demand a kiss, and then officially welcome me to the Army family. We also had a saber engraved with our wedding date. We later used the saber to pop a celebratory bottle of champagne, and cut our cake.
If you’re a military couple who is planning their wedding – we’d love to help! Planning a wedding is stressful, and the military can often throw more curve balls into the mix. We’ve got your back! Send us an inquiry to learn more about how we can help, and in the meantime, check out our blog on all things military weddings.
Of course, our wedding had some of the traditional formalities, too. We did our first dance right after our grand entrance, which ended up being perfectly timed with the sunset. The golden glow flooded in through The Arlo’s windows. Jackson took the time to welcome all of our guests before dinner, as well as recognizing many of his Army friends and colleagues who could not attend due to being deployed. We kicked off the rest of our formalities with toasts, which is my favorite part of weddings! I truly love hearing people share stories and learning what details of a friendship stuck with them over the years.
Before opening the dance floor and sneaking off to cut the cake, we both danced with our mothers. Jackson went first, dancing to Days Like This by Dermot Kennedy. After, I surprised my mom with our dance. I hadn’t told her we’d be doing anything special, so our DJ announced our dance as I walked over to get her. We both started crying before we made it to the dance floor. I chose Landslide by Fleetwood Mac for our dance – she used to sing this in the car when I was little.
Originally, I had wanted to cut our cake privately. I’m not a big fan of being the center of attention, so I was hoping we’d sneak off to the side and cut it just the two of us. Our guests, however, had other plans. As soon as we were standing by our cake, almost all of our guests were out of their seats cheering us on. While it wasn’t my original plan, it’s one of my favorite memories now, and just goes to show that going with the flow is worth it!
We chose to have our reception indoors at The Arlo for the comfort of our guests. Whether it was too hot for non-Texas natives, or potentially rained, we wanted our reception plan to stay the same. Since it was indoors, we brought in the garden feel with live trees, romantic centerpieces, and greenery adorned chandeliers.
Since Jackson and I didn’t do a first look before the ceremony, we chose to do one in my second dress. We snuck off to get some flash photos in the front courtyard. Then we made our way to The Arlo’s bridal suite so I could change and for some privacy with the first look. We took a few extra minutes to take some pictures on the couch, share a couple drinks, and be alone before heading out to the dance floor.
Our reception was the best party we could have asked for. Having all of our friends from different times in our lives, from all around the country at The Arlo with us was truly remarkable. Special shoutout to our DJ, Braylon, who played Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” in the middle of September for us (I promise it was a hit!) We spent the entire night having the best time with our guests, and even got a surprise of our own!
Matthew, our videographer, had pulled together a same-day edit of our wedding preview. It was wildly special to be able to relive moments that had just happened only hours earlier – and also fun to see little clips of what each of us was up to separately before our ceremony! All throughout the night our guests kept telling us how amazing the preview was. If you have the option to add this service on with your videographer, I highly recommend it!
We ended the day with a private last dance, and sparkler exit down The Arlo’s side staircase. It couldn’t have been more perfect for us!
I’ve included a few more photos from our wedding below. I’ve loved sharing all the details with you – and hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about our wedding day! I couldn’t have planned our perfect day without the help of our amazing team here at Bianca Nichole and Co.
Photo: Sarah Tribett
Video: Matthew Reid Films
Venue: The Arlo
Planning and Design: Kelly, Bianca Nichole and Co
Coordination: Maci, Bianca Nichole and Co
Hair and makeup: Think Brink
Catering/bar: Root Cellar
Marquee letters: Alpha Lit
Bridesmaid Dresses: Revelry, gold champagne satin (Skye for bridesmaids, Jade for Maid of Honor)
Bride dresses: Alena Leena, Armeria gown and Milla
Cake: Michelle’s Patisserie
Signet ring: Rebus Signet Rings
Signage: LBV Design House
Let’s get this planning party started! Want Bianca Nichole and Co to help plan your wedding at The Arlo? Click here to send us an inquiry!
Bianca Nichole and Co is a team of wedding planners in Austin, and will travel to San Antonio, Fredericksburg and the surrounding Texas Hill Country area.