Kaitlen + Chad are ALL about good vibes — surrounding themselves with a relaxing and fun ambiance, laid-back feels, and the love of friends and family. When they discovered Rancho Pillow, they knew its magic had to be shared. K+C said their vows in front of the teepee on the property, and then got to spend their first night as husband and wife in it (so cool!).
Kaitlen shares: I’ve told Sheila, the owner of Rancho Pillow, that if someone told me I could’ve had my wedding anywhere in the world, no extravagance or expense spared, I still would’ve chosen Rancho Pillow every. Single. Time. We knew early on that we absolutely had to have a weekend long celebration. Too many of our friends and family were traveling in and we wanted to maximize our time spent with them. We also wanted the feel of the wedding to be very true to us: relaxed, outdoor centric, and bohemian, with a backyard party vibe.
We love kids and have lots of nieces and nephews, so we were stoked to learn that the property included a swimming pool and the world’s coolest jungle gym to keep them occupied. We encouraged our guests to tent camp on the property, and our immediate families filled up the four, more civilized dwellings on the property. We also tried to steer clear of a conventional wedding timeline.
Let’s head out to the ranch in the snaps from Briana Purser Photography, shall we?
K shares: Since we are both field biologists, we’re most in our element outdoors. Adventure trips have always been our thing. We travel to Costa Rica a lot for work, have road tripped from Southeast Texas to Yellowstone National Park sleeping in the bed of a truck on an air mattress, taken week-long river rafting/canoeing trips all over the US, and will camp pretty much anywhere you can pitch a tent. Our favorite place to be is in the middle of nowhere, under a sunset, cooking on a grill with a drink in hand around a bonfire—surrounded by pups and good friends.
The Wedding Party
When it comes to incorporating little ones into the big day… you just gotta go with the flow. :)
Aren’t these crochet ‘sandals’ so darling?!
The entire day felt like a dream. We both honestly couldn’t find room for improvement. Our vendors, every one of them, were amazing and made it possible for us to pull off our dream wedding—not to mention, they had become like family to us by the time it was all said and done. But the memory I keep drawing on when I reflect back on the day was my melt down. Haha! I was sitting in a chair looking out the window while getting my makeup done. I remember all the sound draining from my ears and my vision becoming tunnel on the crowds of people walking in. Everyone we love! In one place! All for us! Everything we’d planned and worked so hard for was coming to a head and it hit me in the most unexpected way.
My makeup artist and dear friend, Laura, noticed my shortness of breath and suggested we take a break. Between sips of vodka-soda, I whispered Chad’s name until my Mom found him and brought him to me. He came to me knowing I was upset—he had a feeling. When he walked in, he sat next to me, grabbed my hand and with tears in his eyes said, “I know. This is a lot. But we got this. Everyone we love is here for US.” It was a beautiful moment. Completely unexpected on my end, but so symbolic of the day. Together, we can make it through anything. Even our own wedding. Ha!
The Ceremony with a Teepee Backdrop
The teepee backdrop is a staple at the ranch. What a neat place to say your vows, right?
Processional: Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles; Bride: Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez
Recessional: Fool for Love by Lord Huron
First Dance: N/A
The absolute sweetest.
We’ve seen a few colorful smoke bombs exits lately, and we’ve got to say — we LOVE them! Thinking about doing this at your wedding? Here are a few colors to choose from:
The Colorful Reception
The amazing thing about Rancho Pillow, especially if you’re an indecisive over-thinker (ahem, me), is that they have everything your heart desires in terms of wedding décor. I knew filling a Pinterest board with DIY wedding projects would send my anxiety into overdrive, so I took advantage of Rancho having everything I needed.
Aren’t the arm bands on her dress stunning?! She DIYed them!
Here’s Kaitlen with more info: The one DIY I actually did was related to my wedding dress and I get asked about it all the time. I fell in love with a designer dress that was well over my budget. One of the details I loved most about the designer dress was the arm bands. So I found a dress from Spell & The Gypsy Collective, that was within my budget, and scoured Etsy for lace trim fabric. I ordered several styles of trim, picked the one I loved most, and had arm bands custom made out of the lace trim. This was a great, inexpensive way to take my dress to the next level and achieve the look I was after.
Planning a wedding is stressful. There’s no way around it. So make your stress worth it. Decide how you and your partner want to celebrate your union and see your vision through, despite the noise from others. A few of our family members raised their eyebrows when we mentioned wanting to have a whole roasted goat on a spit, visible to our wedding guests. But one of our dear friends is Greek, and a chef, and that’s what we wanted! And you know what? It was delicious, our guests loved it (there was none left!) and it made for a great conversation piece. Trust your gut and challenge yourself to plan your wedding so that your guests say, “This is SO them!”
Oh, and if you have a weekend long celebration, take it easy on the welcome party the night before the wedding. ;)
What a celebration! Congratulations to you, K+C!
P.S. As a heads up, if you’re interested in Rancho Pillow for your own wedding, they only accept a coupe weddings per year.
photography: Briana Purser Photography // venue name: Rancho Pillow, Round Top, Texas, USA // florals: Holly Viles // wedding dress: Spell & The Gypsy Collective // hairpiece: BHLDN // makeup artist: Laura Hearn // videography: Alta Real Pictures // catering: George Spentzos of Humphrey's Bar & Grill // music: Brendan Posterick