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Laid-Back Love at Don Strange Ranch

Sara & Wesley

Photography by: Mark Thomas Films / Wedding Date : October 8
A Season for Love
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wedding vendors

  • Bar Service & Caterer: Catering by Don Strange of Texas
  • Bride's & Bridesmaids' Hair & Makeup: The Makeup Maven
  • Bridesmaids' Dress Shop: BHLDN
  • Cake (Wedding): Cakes by Cathy Young
  • Ceremony Musicians: Monte Vista Strings & Jazz
  • Ceremony Venue: Don Strange Ranch
  • Dessert Bar: Catering by Don Strange of Texas
  • DJ: 5150 Productions
  • Florist: Blume Haus
  • Groom's Attire: J.Crew
  • Invitations: Minted
  • Photographer & Videographer: Mark Thomas Films
  • Reception Venue: Kendall Creek at Don Strange Ranch
  • Wedding Planner: Blume Haus

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    Laid-Back Love at Don Strange Ranch

    Sara Rod & Wesley Fikes

    How did you meet?
    Wesley and I met on the very first day of graduate school orientation. We became instant friends but did not begin dating until a year and half later. Tuesday night beers with friends at Dudley's in College Station eventually led to our discovery of deeper feelings for one another.

    Tell us about the proposal. Wesley came over to my apartment one evening, got down on one knee (ringless) in my living room, and asked me "to help clean chicken poop off the porch for the rest of our lives." The next day, he took me to pick out a beautiful diamond ring.

    What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? Our theme was rustic chic. We liked the idea of mixing delicate lace and whimsical candlelit lanterns with reclaimed wood and shed antlers. For floral, we loved the idea of greenery mixed with neutral colors like blush, pale pink, and white. We wanted the feel to be very airy and laid-back, yet still polished.

    Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? When we started looking at venues, we knew we wanted a rustic theme. I found quite a few lovely venues, and Wesley patiently accompanied me to every one of them. Don Strange Ranch was our third stop on our weekend venue trip, and I can remember Wesley saying, "I already know you’re going to love it, but try not to fall in love with it since we have several more to visit." However, when I walked into Kendall Creek, the giant barn doors and whimsical lights hanging from the exposed high beams swept me away. It was as if my imagination had come to life. Everything I envisioned was in that room. Don Strange was also our caterer, and their food is hands down the best food I have ever eaten. After we secured our venue, we then began looking for photographers. Mark Thomas was recommended to us by Brian Strange. After reviewing several other photographers, it was clear why he was so highly recommended. Mark was amazing. His work is beautiful and his customer service is unparalleled. He captured our wedding in the most special way, and I was blown away by him! Being somewhat of a naturalist, I am very picky when it comes to makeup. I searched and searched for the perfect hair and makeup team. I happened to stumble upon a girl's wedding on Style Me Pretty, and her makeup literally stopped me in my tracks. I immediately called to book The Makeup Maven and Company. Johanna, the makeup artist, did such a great job. I did not feel too done up, I just felt flawless. Bess, the hair stylist, is also unbelievably talented. I showed her my desired hairstyle, and she created it effortlessly. I was beyond satisfied with my experience with these ladies!

    What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? The bridal party walked down the aisle to my parents' first dance song "Can't Help Falling In Love with You." We also substituted traditional wedding cake for a variety of pies and had a cigar roller on-site, which made for great party favors!

    Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? When I first began the wedding planning process, I underestimated the amount of time and effort that went into it. I had my Pinterest boards and only wanted 125 guests, so I figured I could handle it! I was so very wrong. So, we looked into a wedding coordinator. Our main objective was to find someone to bring our ideas to life and to coordinate the vendors. Amanda with Blume Haus was our solution. We first corresponded via email. I emailed her pictures of things that I wanted: my bouquet, my bridesmaids' bouquets, centerpieces, the arbor, random décor, crazy ideas, etc. A few months later at our first meeting, she had all of my ideas organized as well as pictures of mockups of what she could find or create. As the process went on, anything I dreamt up she would make happen: adding a quartet, changes to centerpieces, you name it, she did it flawlessly. On the day of the wedding I remember being completely enamored by what Amanda created. No Pinterest board could have ever measured up to what I saw that day. It was as if she was inside my head and brought to life exactly what I envisioned. Some parts were even better than I could have imagined. In addition to her wedding planning services, she also runs a floral business. Her floral and table décor was beautiful. Maybe it was the wedding emotions, but I cried the first time I saw my bouquet. It was stunning. The floral arrangements on the tables were gorgeous. She is just fantastic. The day would not have been as perfect or as seamless had it not been for Amanda.

    What are your favorite memories from the day? At the reception, our wedding coordinator set up a private room and dining table for Wesley and me to have a moment to share our first meal together as husband and wife. She gave us 15 minutes to soak in what had just happened, quickly eat as much as possible, and just relax before the reception while she guarded the door. That little detail was so personal and we never would have thought to ask for it. It was such a special moment.

    What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Definitely do your research! There are several wonderful vendors in San Antonio that provide amazing services. Figure out what is important to you and represents you as a couple so you have a firm idea of what you are looking for in your vendors. It makes the experience so much easier for you and for your vendors! If you can budget it, hire a wedding coordinator. Even if you think you have your wedding all planned out, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes happenings you may not be aware of! In addition, on the day of the wedding, you don’t want your mother, bridesmaids, or anyone else coordinating vendors—you want them enjoying the day with you! Also, be sure and ask your caterer for a to-go box. Our caterer had one made for us, along with two bottles of wine, and an entire pie. We so very much appreciated that!

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