Anna Catherine Valdivieso & Thomas Dustin Smith
Hometowns: San Antonio & Yuma, AZ
How did you meet? We met through one of my best friends (Miranda, a bridesmaid in the wedding). Miranda was friends with one of Tom’s roommates at the time, and Miranda invited the roommate to HH and he brought Tom. We hung out that night as a group but nothing really happened. We connected again six months later on a boat trip in Austin on Lake Travis and our first date two days later. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Tell us about the proposal. Tom took me on a birthday weekend getaway to the beautiful Texas Hill Country. We left Friday afternoon on July 25, 2014. Tom kept everything a secret and I was pleasantly surprised when we ended up at a bed-and-breakfast in Stonewall. The B&B was on a large ranch with animals, hiking trails, and beautiful scenery everywhere you looked! Our cottage was quaint with a large deck, perfect for a nice relaxing weekend. We got settled and scoped out our “home” for the weekend. Tom told me we were going to hike to the top of Cross Mountain and have a picnic at the top that evening. Cross Mountain gets its name from the wooden cross at the top and has amazing views of the property. Tom had prepared a wonderful spread of cheeses, meats, crackers and jelly, fruits and wine. It was delicious! After, we wandered around, enjoying each other's company. The sun began setting and we popped a bottle of champagne, and as I was admiring the view, Tom came over and started saying the nicest things—how much he loved me and how happy he was being with me. I turned to hug him and he bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was ecstatic! It was perfect! We enjoyed the rest of the weekend on the ranch and celebrated with our parents Saturday night.
What inspired the design of your wedding? The venue itself helped. Lost Mission is known for its rustic elegance, and Tom and I wanted a romantic, elegant, traditional wedding.
How did you choose your venue and vendors? Being out in the Hill Country was very important to us. Most of our family was coming in from out of town, so we wanted them to be able to see and enjoy the beautiful Hill Country. As soon as we toured Lost Mission, we knew it was the right place for us, none of the many other venues we looked at came close to how perfect and gorgeous Lost Mission is. Sara and Hailey at Lost Mission guided us with many vendor selections, and we used the same baker who made my sister’s wedding cake eight years ago! We also used wedding websites to look at vendor reviews before we chose any vendor. The reviews were very helpful.
What was the most trying part of the planning process? We both agree the last few weeks before the wedding were the most stressful. We wanted to get everything done ASAP but there were so many little things to do. Finishing all the last-minute details and getting the seating chart together was pretty time-consuming! Also, following up with missing RSVPs was trying.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? One really neat aspect of our wedding was our minister—he is a longtime family friend. When I was in about 6th grade, I knew I wanted him to marry me one day, and he did! As for the reception, we had a cookie bar for the guests as their favor. The bar had some of our favorite cookies and some local to our area like Hatch Chile Chocolate Chip. They were a big hit, a little spicy but delicious. We had a photo booth everyone really enjoyed and glow sticks for guests to wear to light up the dance floor!
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? We were both surprised how smoothly the day went. I think you always kind of expect something to go wrong but the day was perfect. I do think the flowers/arrangements exceeded our expectations—they were gorgeous, even better than I had imagined.
What are your favorite memories from the day? This is a hard one. I want to say the whole day! Tom and I didn’t do a first look so one of our many wonderful memories from the day was seeing each other for the first time when the chapel doors opened and I walked down the aisle. Dancing with each other and our guests and having a perfect evening with our family and close friends are memories we will never forget.
What are your plans for the future? Our next adventure will be buying a house! We are looking forward to making a home together and decorating and all the fun that comes with that.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Give yourself plenty of time to plan. We had about 14 months and we needed most of that time. Also, for us it was easier to do one thing at a time—i.e. find a caterer, then work on the cake, then work on a DJ, and so on. Checklists and organization were also super helpful. To be honest, we couldn’t have done it without Pinterest. Try not to stress about the planning and remember that the most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life.
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