San Antonio Native. Wife. Mother of Fur Babies. Adventure Seeker.
Mrs. Katherine Johnson
Hotel: JW Marriot
Venue: Pedernales Falls State Park (Before moving
forward with our intimate wedding, we discussed and got
permission from the state park authorities.
Wedding Dress: Hollie by Grace Loves Lace
Photographer:Sara K Blanco Photography
After our ceremony we snapped a few photos with family and headed down the trail to the falls. This is also the main attraction of the park, and it was practically just ours! As we were finishing photos the drizzle started back up and that was our sign that it was time to go.
That day was the best day of my life. We were surrounded by the people we love and the adventure of it all was exactly what we had wanted. My best advice to those of you planning a wedding: make it speak to you and don't let anything scare you away from the beautiful results of sticking to what you and your fiancé believe in and love.
We decided we wanted to get married in a beautiful place - that was one of the details we found important. We didn't want to splurge on decor and a beautiful place would be all the decor we would need. My parents had mentioned us getting married at Davis Mountains State Park (a park my family visited every year for over 30 years) back when we first got engaged, but a six hour drive wasn't something we wanted anyone to do. Then the idea came to us...Pedernales Falls State Park, the first state park Gregory and I visited together. That's where we wanted to do it, and it's only an hour and a half away.
We broke the news to family & close friends, many couldn't make it, but we had planned to throw a reception the following summer to celebrate with those people. However, the majority of our family did make it and we had our bridesmaids and groomsmen there for support too! Our wedding party even spent the night before our wedding with us at the JW Marriot in San Antonio. One of Gregory's favorite parts of the weekend was a round of golf at the TPC course with his best buds and father.
We had just enough time to grab photos around the hotel before hopping in the limo that was taking us to Pedernales Falls State Park. It rained, even hailed, on the way to the park, but we were going to tough it out anyway, so we threw on some 90's throwback music and ignored it! When we got to the park we were amazed that it had stopped. Once everyone was down at the site, my mom and dad said it was time and we started making our way down.
We were beyond blessed that my brother was willing to get ordained and he was the one that married us. My older sister also read one of my favorite poems, "I Carry Your Heart With Me" by E.E. Cummings. We had most of our very best friends right by our sides and immediate family there to witness it all. It was better than how we'd imagined it. Most of the time, the site where we got married has a lot of hikers, as it's on the most popular trail in the park. On our day, the rain had deterred almost all visitors and we had our special ceremony in the exact spot we had wanted with no unexpected visitors.
Our Texas State Park Wedding
The next thing that we decided was very important to us was the photography. It isn't every day that you get married, and the images captured are one of the very few things you get to keep. Because we were so ready to get married, the date we picked was a little less than 3 months away. Originally I wanted one of my best friends to shoot the wedding, but after further consideration I wanted her to be able to stand by my side rather than take photos. I reached out to a few different photographers, but one stuck out, Sara K Blanco Photography. She had taken a few photos of us a few years back at a party, and I didn't think she even shot weddings. Our was so different and small, I reached out to her anyway, gave her the details, and asked if she'd be able to. She blew me away. Not only did she take amazing photos, but she kept me so calm the day of our wedding. I appreciated everything she did for us. Even when it rained all day, she was right there rain boots and all shooting for us!
Speaking of rain...it did. It rained all week leading up to our wedding and the whole week after, but nothing was ruined. The day before our wedding my amazing Mama picked up matching umbrellas for the entire wedding party. Our photographer bought a special camera cover. My sister who was reading a poem had three copies and a page protector! We were totally set for a monsoon because no matter what, Gregory and I were getting married. Then the rain stopped for the short 20 minute ceremony and didn't start up again until we were almost completely finished! It was a miracle for sure.
There are not enough words to fully describe weddings. Everyone has a different opinion on what they like in their special day and there are so many new and exciting trends and long lasting traditions that go into them. Eloping isn't as negatively viewed as before. There's more variety now too. From a black-tie ballroom wedding to a backyard intimate wedding - the options are endless.
When Gregory and I were engaged, it felt like there were a million things going on and we couldn't even think about planning our wedding. His younger sister was getting married as well, and she had a large black-tie wedding that we were all involved in planning. We had also just bought our house and were working on making it more like a home. Work, as well, was no walk in the park. Our minds changed so many times from eloping to a big wedding with friends and family to a destination wedding with just family...etc. We had been engaged for over a year, when we finally decided we just wanted to get married and many of the ordinary details didn't really matter.
Our wedding day started like most days...a run to Starbucks with my best girls! Luckily the hotel we were at had one. We downed our coffee and started getting ready. This part is such a blur to me. I don't remember most of it because it seems like right after we started getting ready it was time for Gregory and I to meet in our room for our first look. I had never been so nervous. I just wanted him to think I was beautiful. Sara, our photographer helped me change into the dress in our room - I wasn't ready to walk around the hotel in it, until he had seen me. It was one of my favorite moments of the day. It was private and shared between just us two and the photographer. We were ready. We were ready to get married!