The Couple:  Adriana and Austin Westover
Wedding Date:  December 27, 2011
Photography by Emily Heizer Photography
Tell us a little about you and your beloved:  We met at WalMart! I just like to tell people that because it sounds a little sketchy, but we actually did meet there through a mutual friend. I was with my friend Melanie, and Austin was with his roommate Steven, whom I’d met probably a week before. It was a bit embarrassing for me, because Steven and Austin were in suits, and as it was only 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning (and it was WalMart, for heaven’s sake), I was in basketball shorts and a t-shirt, definitely had no makeup on, and I really hope I was wearing flip-flops and not my slippers. Hopefully. I thought he looked pretty darn good in that suit, and evidently I didn’t scare him off too badly.
We were in the same church congregation though, so through services and other activities in our congregation, Austin was thankfully able to learn that I’m usually a pretty well-put-together person. Austin just got into the master’s program for accounting at Brigham Young University, and I’m about to finish up my degree in exercise science, also at BYU. He’s from California, and I’m from Wisconsin (though sadly, I don’t have that Midwestern accent). We both love to sing to everything on the radio, whether we know the song or not. We’d also live off Mexican food if we could, and we make burritos at least once a week (complete with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole–we’re pretty serious about it. haha). We love to experiment and perfect our food (I love to cook from scratch when I have the time), and we have a secret dream to open a diner someday.
What was the most amazing part of your day?  The best part for me was the beginning and end of the ceremony. The beginning of it was when I really realized, “Oh my gosh, this is actually happening! Right now!” And then the end, when everything was official, the first kiss as husband and wife was so surreal, tender and perfect. We had a perfect, private ceremony with family and close friends, and I can’t imagine any way it would have been more perfect. I think I might be overusing the word “perfect,” but if there’s something to overuse it on, a wedding ceremony is the right choice, right? haha
What else would you like to share about your big day?  I’m not really someone who likes people fussing over me, but I was literally treated like a princess that day, and I loved it. We also kept a lot of it small and family-oriented, which was great. Most of the people who did things for the wedding (the cake, my hair, the flowers), were either family or close friends. I know that small, simple weddings aren’t for everyone, but that was one of our favorite things about ours.

Ceremony Site:  Oakland LDS Temple
Reception Venue:  Rio Grande LDS Chapel
Photographer:  Emily Heizer Photography
Wedding Planner:  Me and my mother-in-law!
Caterer:  All homemade food! My amazing mother-in-law recreated taco salads from a place called Cafe Rio; like I said above, Austin and I would live off Mexican food if we could, so it was perfect for us. I’m grateful and still in awe of how she and a few other friends made enough food for three hundred people.
Cake:  Austin’s Aunt Vicki, and her daughters Julia and Courtney put the cake together, and Suzanne and Jamie Wilding, who are friends of Austin’s family, did the incredible cake toppers. If you look closely at the photos, you can see that they even did lace detail on my dress!
Flowers:  Diablo View Florist. Caroline did an amazing job with the flowers!  She asked me for pictures of styles that I liked, asked me about my colors, told me about all kinds of different flowers, and then created these amazingly beautiful bouquets, centerpieces and boutonnieres. I was totally blown away by how perfect they were.
Wedding Dress:  Allyse’s Bridal/Beautifully Modest. This dress was wonderful for me! I’ve always wanted something a little vintagey-yet-modern that’s drowned in lace but unique. Added to the difficulty of finding a dress with sleeves, I was kind of scared. My first experience at a different place didn’t help–the consultant put me into a lot of dresses that she thought would look good instead of what I wanted, and only let us stay for 45 minutes before telling us we had to leave for her next client.
Then I found Allyse’s. The consultants were all helpful, and let me try on all the dresses I wanted! They even went and looked for different sizes in their storage for me. When I’d picked out my dress and went back for a fitting, they let me walk around the show room area in my dress for as long as I felt like (which was a while! I loved my dress!), and even finished the alterations to fit our schedule for bridal shots. They were amazing!
Bridesmaid Dresses:  Mikarose. I wanted to find a dress that my bridesmaids would be able to wear to things besides the wedding, but that was still nice enough. Honestly, I wish I’d bought this dress for myself too!
Hair:  Kathy Lynch. She has a studio in her home, and she was amazingly kind to let us come pretty early in the morning. She took a look at the photo of how I wanted my hair done, and recreated it perfectly!
Makeup:  DIY, using products by Benefit.
Invitations:  Beautiful Wedding Invitations. They let me design them myself, sent me a proof before printing, called and talked me through their different kinds of paper and printing, and were even great about sending the invites to three different locations (me, my mom, and my mother-in-law).
DJ/Entertainment/Band:  Family. Austin and I both sang for each other (and he played the ukulele for me), his dad and some other men from the family sang, and my uncle Brett played piano.
Honeymoon location:  San Francisco
First Dance Song:  “Marry Me” by Train. There’s even a “first dance” mix now, that I wish I’d known about before. On our first date, we played the song, “Hey Soul Sister” by Train (we both sang, he played the ukulele and I played guitar), so having a first dance song by Train was perfect 🙂
Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now?

  • It’s your day!! Don’t go all crazy Bridezilla (these are people who are going to be your family for the rest of your life, and they deserve to be treated well!), but if there’s something you really want and care about, go for it!
  • Make sure there’s someone at your reception who’s making sure everything is moving along. Of course you want time to talk to the people who came to your reception, but if someone is monopolizing you, or something’s going too long, make sure there’s someone who’s watching to make sure you can talk to more people, and so you won’t have to be at your reception a lot longer than planned. My in-laws were great about making sure that all the events happened in a timely manner.
  • The Knot is a great wedding site that helps you plan everything from synchronizing your colors to how to change your name. I’ve never planned a wedding before, and there were things I’d have forgotten if the site hadn’t had this fantastic timeline reminding me of things to do. Also, wedding blogs are the BEST. Create Pinterest boards for different parts of your wedding, and go crazy looking around! There are all kinds of great ideas on the Internet. (Editor’s note — there’s a fantastic timeline in our Real Weddings Magazine’s The Bride’s Guide —  you can download the publication at this link; pick up a free copy at any these upcoming bridal shows; or if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download the free app by searching Real Weddings Magazine. And, when you’re putting together your Pinterest page, don’t forget to check out Real Weddings’ Pinterest page:
  • Get your dress early on. My dress had to have some pretty crazy things done to it; I was way short for the dress, and it was a lot of work for the seamstress to alter it, because there was so much fabric. My cousin ended up having to get a second dress, and then the seamstresses at the bridal store she went to were on strike, and she was scrambling last minute to find someone. The dress should be something you finish at least a couple of months before your wedding, in case something goes wrong.
  • We had a line at our reception. I know that not everyone does this now, but if you do… An hour or more is a very long time to be standing in one place, especially wearing twenty pounds of lace (that’s probably an exaggeration, but it felt like it was at least that heavy after standing still in it for so long). Make sure that there is someone to make sure you get water, remind you not to lock your knees, and bring you a small snack if you need it. Better than people have to wait for the bride to take a sip of water than have to wait for her to wake up after she passes out from exhaustion. Wedding days are long!
  • Everyone at the reception is supposed to get a piece of wedding cake, but a lot of cakes are made with fondant, which no one really likes eating. We found a place that made amazing sheet cake, and there were other options we considered–cupcakes and trifle are great alternatives, too.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance?  I just found this blog yesterday, and I wish we’d known about this idea before our reception! It sounds like such a cute idea! Read about the idea here.

Photos courtesy of Emily Heizer Photography.

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