Welcomed right off by corn hole games (A&M themed, of course!) and beautiful hand made signs around the venue, it made me excited to start my day. Then when the father of the bride started posing for the camera- I knew it thankfully would not be boring, either! I found all the girls getting dolled up in their adorable floral robes and gushing as all the bouquets came in the door behind me. I loved the details Stephanie had added, her handmade (yes, her own hands!) flower crown, special decals on her shoes, and a special leather journal that kept a message for her soon to be husband bound inside.
Once all the dresses were on and shoes were strapped, Stephanie got to have a special moment with her mom, which I thought was so sweet to add to the sentiment of the day. We loaded up to go to the ceremony which was at St. Anthony de Claret Catholic Church, a beautiful spot for any couple to say their vows. One of the bridesmaids brought the journal to the grooms room to make sure the groom could get to read it before the day really got started. It’s always nice to be a part of the emotional moments that are behind the scenes of a wedding. Justin and Stephanie had also planned to be able to spend time together before their wedding, while still being traditional and not letting the groom see the bride. They managed to pull it off with a blindfold and a whole lot of help from an amazing wedding party *(and zero help from me, after I tied the blindfold I might have knocked the poor groom into either a door or pew, or both..). It was so nice to see an entire group join together in a moment of prayer over the couple before they went out to their ceremony. Going into marriage is such a sacred contract, and I always believe you need all the support you are offered! The mass was full of beautiful traditions with the unity candle and readings were just a small part of their time at church. The guests were able to partake in communion, but I think my favorite part of a Catholic mass ceremony is catching those small moments between the bride and groom. The small glances over at each other, a little whisper, and too many smiles to count- it’s so much fun to see them finally pronounced man and wife! These two were so much fun even during the family portraits- with the Father who married them being an Aggie himslef- we had to get a gig’ em photo with the three of them together!
Once we got back to Texas Old Town where the reception was held, we had a hoot doing some group photos with this crew. They made it easy to get through everything before stealing Stephanie and Justin for their portraits. I could hear music playing, but I assumed it they changed their minds on having a singer during the cocktail hour since it sounded just like the radio. But Abraham Weaver was singing out some of my favorite country melodies even better than the original versions. It set a perfect tone for their romantic portraits out in the field. Then Justin carried his bride into the reception and everything continued to be perfectly blissful. From Stephanie’s father giving a heartfelt (and comedic) take on getting to know Justin, to Justin’s surprise video for Stephanie that summed up the best times in their relationship, and brought good tears to her eyes, the whole night was perfect. They cut their gorgeous cake and were even able to sneak a few more portraits in during golden hour. The dancing didn’t stop thanks to great music and a lively group. Guests even got to see Stephanie dance with her Rangerette’s crew and of course a big group of their friends got out of their seats to join in chanting their Aggie fight song. A few of the wedding party had gone out to decorate their get away car with some fishing puns and cute “Just Married” decals, and the couple was ready to go! As husband and wife, they ran out through all of their family and friends as they said goodbye to the new Mr. and Mrs. Rackley. May they forever be each other’s greatest catch!