Real Wedding | Anna Bell + Bert

This wedding will absolutely melt your heart.  It really demonstrates how the wedding is the beginning of a marriage and the true commitment that it brings.

Anna Bell and Bert planned their perfect wedding, but due to Bert’s Crohn’s disease, he was hospitalized early the morning of the wedding and was so ill he could only attend the ceremony.

Anna Bell went to the reception alone and celebrated with the family and friends. And a week later, the couple took more pictures with their photographer and as Anna Bell said, he  “did a great job of making it seem like Bert was “there.”

I’m so in awe of this amazing couple, the strength of their devotion and their recognition of what is truly important.

Anna Bell + Bert | November 6, 2010 | The Allan House, Austin, Texas

The Ceremony
Bert appropriated the slogan, “South by Southwest” for our wedding day, which was perfect: We live in D.C. now, but I am a native of Austin, Texas, while he was raised in South Carolina and Georgia. Austin is such a terrific city for visitors, and I knew my Texan friends and family would be excellent hosts!  We had both the ceremony and reception at the Allan House in downtown Austin, a restored Victorian mansion just around the corner from the courthouse, with wraparound porches sheltered by enormous old oak trees. The lovely outdoor setting with its limestone terraces and lots of greenery and bright flowers in the fall evening light was perfect for our families and 130 guests. A string quartet added a nice touch, and we had some fun with the selections: they played Handel, but also U2 and the Beach Boys!

The Reception
We wanted our reception to feel like a classic Southern garden supper party, with delicious food, lively music, cold cocktails and candlelight. As my florist can attest, I was rather obsessed with the flowers, and wanted them everywhere.  Garden roses, freesia, tuberose, ranunculus, stock, delphinium, sweet pea, peonies, tulips, floating gardenia blossoms… just to name a few.  The seating had a twist: each place had a formal setting and menu, but we had two buffet tables with heavy hors d’oeuvres, so people could sit and eat, or mingle where they liked. Bert’s peanut butter-and-chocolate groom’s cake (a Rice University owl) was a big hit, as was our caterer’s version of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and candied “bacon on a stick.” As the music wound down, we surprised everyone with an appearance by Austin favorite Amy’s Ice Cream, who dished out scoops to our guests.

How Anna Bell Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Elegant, glamorous and “breathtaking” (my husband’s word).

Why Anna Bell Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress

The good thing about paying for your own wedding: you and your partner make all the decisions and get to call the shots. The bad thing about paying for your wedding: you have to pay for it! I was never one of those “dream dress” girls, but I tried this on, was shocked at how much I liked it and nothing could top it after that.  By the end of the night I loved it even more than when I put it on in the morning!  I went far over budget in order to make it mine, and I hope someone else can enjoy it as much as I did – at a substantially reduced price, of course.

Anna Bell’s Wedding Dress | Anne Barge / Photography | SMS Photography