Remember this stellar couple that had the most perfect engagement photo?
Me too…LOVE THEM!
The summer of 2014 seemed to take forever in anticipation of the #smithsinlove wedding (or as it became known to my family: Wedding of the Century, part 3). But their wedding season finally arrived and kicked off in late September with their bachelor and bachelorette parties!
While the guys headed out to Denver for golfing and gambling, the girls made our way down to Austin, Texas to celebrate one of Alexa’s last weekends of single womanhood!
Sarah (one of the bridesmaids) has some incredible hotel hook-ups and found us a great deal at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin, located in the middle of downtown, within walking distance of the famous 6th Street – a downtown district of bars, spanning several blocks, especially famous to the UT college students.
Once the whole group arrived, we freshened up and decided to explore 6th Street first and foremost.
We learned quickly that the Keep Austin Weird mentality holds incredibly true, especially along 6th Street where we constantly came across some very interesting people!
We also discovered that walking along 6th street with a group of girls means you’re quickly invited in to bars and provided free champagne – which we gratefully accepted 🙂 We had a great first night roaming around 6th Street and exploring the nightlife among the college bar district.
We first heard about these “bars on wheels” from the bride, who rode on one around downtown Denver earlier in the year. She kept saying how much fun it was, and she definitely didn’t oversell it! Sarah researched around Austin, and ended up booking with PubCrawler of Austin.
Our bike captain was hilarious (and did a lot of the pedaling for us) and incorporated a few scheduled stops at some of the more local and classic Austin bars like the Mean-Eyed Cat…
…and Kung Fu Saloon where we were served pickle juice shots – an Austin classic!
After our pub crawler tour of Austin, we made a necessary food stop at J. Black’s and had some of the best sliders and sweet potato fries I think I’ve ever tried!
As we made our way back to our hotel, we noticed that 6th Street was having a huge weekend art festival! The Pecan Street Festival is held every spring and fall in downtown Austin which includes local art vendors, food trucks and tons of activities. We walked through the festival for a bit before returning to the hotel and resting before heading back out that night.
On Saturday night, we played some bridal games, exchanged gifts, then decided to venture out on 6th Street again since we really enjoyed our first night out.
The night was another success and Alexa met a few other bachelorettes while we enjoyed more of the 6th Street champagne!
We decided to walk to Rainey Street from our hotel on Sunday and explore the area in Austin that is well-known for their famous food trucks. When we arrived, the food trucks hadn’t opened yet, so we decided to check out Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden, which was having their huge Oktoberfest celebration!
The sign with their Oktoberfest events – Human Foosball and Chicken Poop Bingo – confirmed that we chose the right place for our afternoon!
They had the most extensive beer selection I’ve ever seen, complete with pinic-style tables and a huge beer garden with a polka band!
We had a great afternoon sipping German beers and listening to polka, and were joined a little later by our cousin Diane, who is currently in college in Austin!
That evening we went out on 6th Street and enjoyed our last night together as a group. It was an amazing weekend celebrating Alexa in Austin!
Just a month later in October, 2014, we were all reunited in Garden City for Alexa & Drew’s wedding!
It’s been a family tradition of ours to have a dinner with the bride’s family on the Thursday evening of the wedding weekend. We all gathered together for an intimate family dinner before meeting up with the rest of the wedding party, who arrived that evening!
On Friday morning, Alexa and her bridal party met at Sunnyland Bed & Breakfast for the bridal luncheon!
The home dates back to 1909 and has a gorgeous brick exterior and original wood interior.
While there, we enjoyed a delicious brunch and Alexa presented us with our bridal party gifts!
And Ella (the flower girl) enjoyed reading…
I also got some time with the littlest flower girl (and my god-daughter), Nora!
Following our bridal lunch, we met up with the groomsmen at the reception venue to help with decorating. I was incredibly impressed by the creativity of Alexa and my Aunt Vicki (the mother of the bride)! Almost the entire wedding reception was DIY, and they came up with the cutest decor!
I basically had a photo shoot with Ella whenever the opportunity arose…in this one, I told her to make her sass face.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon decorating, then checked in to the bridal suite at the hotel, where we were all able to stay together the night of the rehearsal.
On Friday evening, we went to St. Dominic Catholic Church for Alexa and Drew’s wedding rehearsal!
Alexa and Drew picked an amazing local Mexican restaurant, Las Margaritas, for their rehearsal dinner. Drew’s family did a great job with the event, and we enjoyed the celebration with excellent Mexican food and margaritas!
The wedding day finally arrived, and the bridal party’s first stop was to Illusions Hair Salon to get our hair and makeup done. Alexa had been going there forever, and she knew the women who worked there very well. They were amazing and made the morning extremely fun!
After a few hours at the salon, we headed over to the church to put on our dresses and finish getting ready for the ceremony…and took the opportunity to take some photos of the bride with her flower girls!
And we received our flowers…gorgeous!!
The ceremony was absolutely perfect – for the most beautiful couple!
Following the ceremony, the wedding party took a trolley around town and made a few pit stops to take some outdoor photos. It was the most gorgeous October day, and having that time with just the wedding party together was a blast!
Once we made it back to the reception, we helped Alexa fasten her bustle and someone took what is my favorite photo of the entire weekend. I love this group of girls, and I’m so glad we were all able to be there for Alexa and Drew!
Everything about the wedding weekend was perfect, and everyone had such a great time at the reception!
We also helped Alexa with her make-shift bustle later on in the evening…
Second favorite photo from the weekend.
Needless to say, we’re ready for the next big event!