Feelin’ Texan and a Date Dilemma

Howdy!

So, as you know, I spent the weekend in the Lonestar State! We did a bit of city hopping (Dallas to Austin to San Antonio), but the main reason for going was to celebrate the wedding of Sean’s cousin, Andrew, in Dripping Springs (which meant a visit to Texas Hill Country!).

The day before the wedding, we spent some time in the adorable town of Wimberly, TX. Sean says I stick out like a sore thumb in Texas, but I’m okay with that. After all, you can take the gal out of Northern Virginia, but you can’t take the NoVA out of this gal, hehe.

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Wimberly is a really cute town, with these giant cowboy boots decorated by various local artists set up throughout the entire area. I also fell in love with this popcorn place that seriously changed my life. Dill Pickle and Jalapeno Cheddar popcorn?! Cinnamon Toast Kettle Corn? Be still my snack-loving heart! Good thing they ship nationwide, because I may or may not be making serious plans for a popcorn bar at the wedding…

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Aaanyway, as I mentioned in my previous post, the rehearsal dinner was at the world-famous BBQ joint, The Salt Lick. I was so excited to finally get to try this place out, I couldn’t even hide it (hence my excited face posted above.) I knew 2,200+ Yelp reviews couldn’t be wrong about this place, and thankfully, it all lived up to the hype.

It. Was. Awesome. I ate my body weight in delicious smoked meat and it was everything I thought it would be. The brisket? Moist and juicy. The pork ribs? Fall-off-the-bone tender. Even the house-made pickles knocked my socks off! Oh, if only there was barbeque like this in Northern VA!

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The next day, we had some time to kill before the wedding, so we spent some time exploring Dripping Springs (they were having a festival), and also visiting the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery, which apparently just recently moved out of Austin to set up shop in Dripping Springs.

Then, it was wedding time! The whole thing was incredibly beautiful — all country chic (Catelyn, the bride wore an allover lace dress with cowboy boots) and rustic elegance. The venue was gorgeous and they got super lucky with the weather, too — it rained, stormed, and was intensely humid every day EXCEPT for the day of the wedding, which was temperate (still hot, of course — I mean, it is Texas — but not muggy) and sunny.

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Of course, with a wedding of my own around the corner, I was taking some mental notes on all of the amazing and beautiful things that they did to celebrate Andrew & Catelyn’s big day. I particularly loved that the bride & groom were already seated for dinner when everyone else came in from cocktail hour. That way, they were able to actually eat and enjoy each other’s company before the hubbub of being announced and launching into their first dance, etc.

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Just from these terrible iPhone photos alone, you can probably tell what a gorgeous venue and setup it was. Aside from the beautiful ambiance, great food, and ridiculously good band, however, it was also just wonderful to meet all of the extended family on Sean’s dad’s side. The Foxes are an awesome group! Now I’m even more excited to take on that moniker myself someday, hehe.

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Speaking of which… after much visitation and deliberation, I have finally chosen my wedding venue! Sean and I will be getting married at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial!

You know that humongous tower that sticks straight up out of Old Town Alexandria when you drive by? Well, that’s the place! It’s gorgeous and grand and has a ton of history — both generally (George Washington was the Charter Master of this lodge), and personally (turns out my grandfather and great-grandfather were both lifelong Masons!).

It’s got a very iconic DC-feel, while still being in Northern Virginia (huzzah!), and the interior is full of high ceilings, marble floors, grand staircases, and enormous columns. I love it! It has a beautiful theatre inside (where the opening scene of National Treasure 2 was filmed!) which will be the ceremony space, and then this cool sunken ballroom on the ground floor to host the reception. It also has a wicked observation deck at the very tippity top that offers incredible views of the surrounding area.

Funnily enough, the Masonic Memorial wasn’t even originally on my list of potential venues, but after I wrote my post about my venue search, my friend Clare mentioned that I should take a look at it (her sister got married there), and I ended up making a super impromptu visit and simply fell in love!

Unfortunately, while I do have a venue picked out, I still haven’t decided what to do as far as the actual wedding date. Maybe you guys can actually help out in that regard. See, for a long time now, I’ve had visions of a winter wedding dancing in my head. You know, crisp winter air, cool winter light, long dresses with faux fur stoles, deep colors and warm drinks, lights, snow, the whole shebang.

So when the time came to pick a date, I thought that a January wedding was pretty much a no-brainer. After all, Sean’s and my anniversary is already in January, plus it does have additional advantages, like being in the wedding off-season (vendors sometimes offer off-season discounts), being during Ben and Taylor‘s downtime (my brother and sister-in-law are wedding photographers), and not competing with a zillion other brides getting married the same weekend. Seriously, I think I saw at least half-a-dozen different weddings on Facebook from this past weekend in addition to Sean’s cousin’s!

So, January 23rd became my golden date, just a few days before our four-year anniversary.

However, as you can see, here I am, venue selected but still dateless. Turns out, I’m a bit gunshy when it comes to actually pulling the trigger on the date. The major reason has to do with the fact that Sean is concerned (understandably!) about how weather will affect people traveling from out of town. He makes some good points about people potentially not being able to attend because of it, and I think that’s become my biggest hangup. So I did inquire about some early Spring dates that the venue has available, and now March 12th and April 2nd are under consideration as well. (I’ve definitely ruled out anything remotely close to Summer — I’m sure I’ll be sweaty enough without the help of 90-degree weather, thanks — and Fall is out due to timing — this Fall is way too soon, next Fall is too far away.)

See, on the one hand, I don’t want anybody to be straight-up unable to attend my wedding due to something as silly as weather. And there’s just no telling what it’ll be like on the day of, and that is pretty stressful. (Not that I haven’t tried — guess how many times I Googled some variation of “January wedding weather predictor,” hahaha.)

I mean, if it were to snow on the day of, I’d actually be totally fine with it (I love snow!) but if it were to snow a crapton? This area just doesn’t do very well with snow, and even local people might have trouble getting around. And what if, Heaven forbid, it’s icy? I feel like it doesn’t tend to snow as heavily or get quite as icy in January around here but you never know…

On the other hand, weather is unpredictable no matter when you get married, especially in this area. We’ve had freak snowstorms in October and March, we get plane-delaying thunderstorms in April, and the like. Plus, I mean, it’s not like people don’t ever travel during January… and at least flights/hotels would probably be cheaper in the DC area in winter vs. in Spring. And then, of course, a Spring wedding doesn’t exactly fit into my whole wedding vision…

Butttt, like I said. Torn.

Anyway, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter — I know that asking for opinions when it comes to wedding planning can be overwhelming (especially because people tend to have a LOT of opinions when it comes to weddings, hahaha), but I’m honestly so torn right now I think it’d be helpful to hear from other people.

What time of year did you get married? Would you be hesitant to attend a winter wedding?