Megan Russe and Brandon Baros
How did you meet? We met at a mutual friend's house right before Christmas break in December of 2011. I was a freshmen and Brandon was a junior, both at Texas State University in San Marcos. We hit it off right off the bat and exchanged phone numbers. Over the course of winter break, I was back home in San Antonio while Brandon was still spending his time working in San Marcos. Brandon offered several times to come into town and take me out, but I turned him down each time. When winter break was over, I finally accepted his offer and went out to get frozen yogurt with him. We officially began their relationship on January 28, 2012 and #TheRusseIsHistory
Tell us about the proposal: I had gotten my nails done a week prior, but my sister texted me Tuesday asking if I wanted to go with her. We had gone before together, so this wasn't out of the ordinary. I needed a pedicure so I agreed to still go with her. On Wednesday, after getting finished up with my pedicure, I was ready to go but my sister kept trying to stall me which was a little strange. She finally let me leave and I headed home. When I got home and walked through the door, I immediately noticed a trail of roses on the floor. The first thought that went through my mind was that it wasn't Valentine's Day, so I knew something was going on. I started following the trail which led me to the backyard where Brandon stood waiting for me. He grabbed my hand and led me to the beautiful oak tree in the middle of the backyard which he had hung pictures from the past 5 years all over it. There were also tassels and strings hanging from the branches and a little table set up with flowers and champagne. It was an absolute fairytale!
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? I knew I wanted a farmhouse/rustic wedding. When I found Gruene Estate, everything fell into place. I had been in love with slate blue so I based everything off of that and tied in some burgundy with it. Gruene Estate has such a natural beauty to it, that we decided to go off of that and do hints of eucalyptus.
Another big design factor was the cake. I had seen a three tiered simple cake with burgundy and eucalyptus flowers draping over it, years prior on Pinterest and so I basically based every decor detail off of that cake - and I believe mine turned out exactly as good, if not better, than the Pinterest picture.
Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? When I went venue hunting, there were certain elements that I knew I wanted. I have family from out of town, so I knew it was important that our venue be near lots of fun things for people to do over the weekend. I also knew I wanted a quiet yet simple venue that had the rustic charm. I loved the idea of having some sort of animal such as longhorn and horses. And who can turn down some cornhole and bonfire?Gruene Estate checked every box that I was looking for. As soon as I saw the open air chapel, I was sold!
We added to the cornhole and bonfire that Gruene Estate had by bringing a jenga set. My siblings had thrown me a "Brews Before I Do's" shower where my brother handcut and stained jenga pieces for guests to sign. I decided to bring them to our wedding for guests to continue signing. After researching on Pinterest, I came across live painters and beer burros. From there, I was on a mission to have them.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? There was always something to keep guests of all ages entertained. We had beer burros that walked around during cocktail hour with saddles of beer on them for guests to enjoy. They also came equipped with polaroids for guests to take with them. We also had a live painter who painted during our entire reception. This was incredible to see progress through the night and it was a beautiful keepsake that we will forever have to remember for the rest of our lives. This piece was even more special to me because my grandparents had left money before they passed for my future wedding. I was able to use that money to purchase our live painter. On the tree in the painting, our artist painted in 2 cardinals which are symbolic of a messenger or someone watching over you. This was also meaningful because during venue hunting there was a cardinal we spotted at each venue. We also had ShastaGram Photo Booth that opened later in the night once the beer burros had left. This was so much fun and came with tons of fun props to dress up with!
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? It was the best day of my life. My bartenders from Bartenders4you were another highlight of my wedding. They were so helpful from the beginning and I was so impressed with their friendly professionalism the entire night. From the second my ceremony ended, they greeted myself and the groom to congratulate us with our drink of choice. The entire night they made sure we were constantly happy while doing the same for our guests. They were incredible!
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? The best advice that I could give other couples is to do what is right and represents you as a couple and not because you want to outshine others. Your night will be that much more special when you can look back and know that it represented your relationship and love. Forget about the little details and remember what made you choose one another, because once the day has come and gone you will still be there for one another. And I would say to take a moment at your wedding to soak it all in. It comes and goes more quickly than you realize and it will be the best day of your life.
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