How To: Include Your Pet


You have a pet that you adore and want to include on your wedding day? No problem!  Here are a few ways to include your pet on the big day and things to take into consideration while trying to decide whether to include your pet or not.  You must first decide if it is appropriate to have your pet at your wedding depending on the type of wedding you are having or the location of the wedding.  If you are having your wedding on a ranch or out in the country having your pet at or in your wedding would be no problem.  If your wedding is at a hotel, in a church, or is very formal it is best to keep your pet at home.  Ask your venue what their pet policy is.  The temperament of your animal must also be taken into consideration.  Is your pet aggressive, hyper or loud?  If that is the case then many things could go wrong at your wedding and having your pet present would be a problem that you don’t need to be worried about on your big day.  Even if you have a good tempered pet, remember other small issues may arise.  For example, if your dog sees a squirrel will he/she want to bark or chase after it?  Does your dog need to be watched throughout the day?  If so, someone needs to be in charge of your pet because you will be busy on your wedding day.


Wedding-DogsYou can have your pet wear some shade of the color scheme you have picked out for your wedding.  Your pet can also wear an outfit to match either the groom or bride or even just a cute collar to spruce up your pet.

If your dog or cat can manage walking down the aisle without being too distracted by your guests, he/she can walk or be walked down the aisle to stand by your side during the ceremony.  Your pet can be the ring bearer if you secure the rings on the pillow or simply attach the pillow to your pet and keep the rings with your best man, either way it is a cute picture to have.




Bellingham Washington Wedding Photography







Let’s talk pictures.  If having your pet throughout your whole wedding day is not possible, but you really want him/her involved take a few pictures with them on your wedding day.  Make sure that your pet is clean and groomed and won’t get you or your groom dirty.  Also, do not allow them to climb or jump on you because it could tear your dress or ruin the tux in some way.  Have someone there to help you control them during pictures.

If you include your pets on your big day do a run through with them so they get an idea of what it will be like and so you can feel comfortable on the day of your wedding knowing that they will be well behaved.



*Betsy Villanueva


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My Life As A Bride

When I began planning my wedding I went to a Bridal Extravaganza.  It showcases many vendors in the Austin/Hill Country area.  The main reason I decided to go was because I wanted to get an idea of several different vendors that I could choose from.  As a bride you can get ideas for your wedding on practically anything, plus, you can try out any of the caterers or cake vendors and get a better idea of which you would like for your wedding.  I found the Bridal Extravaganza helpful because you can get a feel of what the vendors are like instead of just reading about them on websites or in bridal magazines.

I ended up choosing a caterer that was not at the extravaganza, but was recommended to me by my wedding planner.  Listen to your wedding planner people, they really know the best out there.  Suzanne Court is our caterer.  She does high-end food for Austin events and surrounding areas.  Suzanne is fantastic!  Her food is exquisite and her attention to detail and to your needs are above and beyond what I could have asked for in a caterer.  You will be working with you caterer quite a bit throughout the wedding process so pick someone that not only does great food but that you can communicate well with.  Do you pick plated dinner or buffet style dinner?  Plated dinners are very proper, but the price per plate adds up quickly.  Buffet style has become very popular and if it is done well it can look very classy.  Besides the venue, food is probably going to use up a good chunk of your budget, especially if you have many guests attending your wedding.  Food is important at any wedding.  It isn’t just about feeding people, it also represents the couple’s style and taste and ultimately ties in to the theme of the wedding.


Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering


Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering

If you choose to have cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres are typically passed out during this time.  This gives guests a preview of what to expect during the reception.

Suzanne Court Catering
Suzanne Court Catering

You can also add a bit more personality to cocktail hour by including a signature drink.  For my wedding we will be doing wine, beer, and a signature cocktail during cocktail hour.

Signature Cocktail
Signature Cocktail

If you are looking for an amazing caterer or event planner look in to Suzanne Court Catering and Events.



*Betsy Villanueva

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How To: Have a Texas Summer Wedding


Summer weddings have always been popular, mainly because you think an outdoor wedding will be breezy and beautiful. In Texas, this is only half true sometimes! You can still have your dream outdoor summer wedding, though. There are a few simple things you can do to make your wedding a little less hot and a lot more enjoyable.


If you are set on having an outdoor ceremony, try compromising with an indoor reception.


You and your guests will be a lot happier if you are not out in the heat the whole time. Lotus Ranch in Wimberly, Tx is a venue that offers this capability.

wedding fan

Provide paper fans for your guests to keep cool during the ceremony. You can incorporate your wedding program on the fans for an additional fee and your guests can take them home as a souvenir of your special day. They can come in all sizes, shapes, and colors to match your theme.


Make sure that you have plenty of cold, non-alcoholic refreshments to keep guests hydrated. Lemonade and tea are the most popular non-alcoholic beverages for summer but milk and cookie bars are growing in popularity, as well. And, of course, always have water available, too.


If you are thinking of having darker colored bridesmaid dresses, you might want to reconsider. If they are long, think about choosing a lighter shade of the same color. If you really love the color you have chosen then consider having the dresses short instead of long. Ultimately it’s your wedding, but you also want it to be memorable and enjoyable for your guests, too.

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My Life as a Bride

The Bride


My name is Betsy and I am getting married April 12, 2014.  Over the next few months I will be discussing my journey as a bride to be.  I had dreamed of my wedding day since I was a little girl, but I had never actually thought of details or plans or anything of the sort.  I guess I just day dreamed of having a fairy tale wedding to a wonderful man someday.  Back then I thought I would end up with Aladdin or Beast from Beauty and the Beast.  Either way, I found my prince.

Adam and I met in college; I was a freshman and he was a senior.  We dated for five years and last September he took me back to our alma mater and popped the question.  The moment he got down on a knee it was like everything went silent. It was just Adam and I and sweet words coming from his mouth and then all the sudden a thought popped in my head during his proposal, “OMG, MY RING IS IN THAT BOX!”.  Let’s be honest ladies, besides the perfect proposal, getting an engagement ring is huge!  It was a very sweet and meaningful proposal.  The feeling that I felt was like none other I had ever felt before.  I was definitely on cloud nine.  You know how people have very special moments in their lives that can’t be beat?  Well, being proposed to was one of those moments for me.  I assume that my wedding day will also be one of those moments but for the mean time I am enjoying being a fiancé.

I am a fiancé now and I have so much to get done before the wedding.  Wedding planning has been very fun and exciting.  People told me it would be hard and stressful but for me it hasn’t been difficult at all.  Honestly, the only difficulty I am having is staying under my budget, which at this point is not going so well, luckily I have some wiggle room.  My first piece of advice to the newly engaged is to enjoy it, take it all in, you are engaged!  You may want to start the wedding planning immediately, but take a couple of weeks maybe even a couple of months to enjoy being a fiancé.  Try not to get too wrapped up in the wedding itself to where you lose sight of what the ultimate goal is; a marriage.  I can see how easily it would be for a couple to forget to enjoy the engaged phase.

I hope to give you all insight to a brides world.  I will be discussing anything and everything I have experienced throughout my wedding planning and give you advice and reviews on what one might expect for a hill country wedding.  Follow my journey as a bride to be.

*Betsy Villanueva

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Top 2013 Wedding Themes


Country Chic

Country weddings can be casual but elegant and are very romantic! If you know someone who has land that you can use with a barn or a pretty field, that is a great way to save money. Decorate with barrels, sunflowers, and watering cans; they sound silly now but will look like effortless planning. If you prefer, you can even wear cowboy boots under your dress!

country wedding

Beachy Paradise

Beach weddings will always be in season and you don’t even have to live near a nice beach! Have a destination wedding or if you’re on a budget, simply decorate with seashells, sea glass, driftwood and sand to create the illusion. Beach themed colors are blues, greens, and tan tones.


Old Hollywood Glamour

Get inspired by 1940s glitz and glam and look to people like Katherine Hepburn for inspiration. Dress in vintage with pearls, and the groomsmen should wear tuxes with bowties to complete the glamourous look. Find decorations with lots of bling, like gold, pearls, crystals, and silver.


Vineyard Theme

Even if you don’t love wine, a vineyard theme can also create the illusion of a destination wedding if you decorate for a more Tuscan vineyard look. Decorate with grapes and colors that complement them, like deep purples, reds, and pale greens. If you can find a winery that will double as a wedding venue, they may even give you a discounted price on their wine for the reception.


Winter Wonderland

A winter theme wedding is gaining popularity; curling up by the fire with your hubby sounds so romantic! Decorate with white, silver, and blue; blue lights make for an especially pretty winter look! Put crystals everywhere and it won’t look overdone, and if it’s in your budget, order an ice sculpture.


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Summer Weddings are Near!


Summer is coming up quickly and it’s a beautiful time for weddings! Most flowers are in season and a lot of warm colors become popular, which makes it easier to decorate your theme. The bad thing about summer in Texas? It’s hot!! Here are some ideas to help you and your guests stay safe from the hot sun and enjoy your day instead.


Provide sunscreen packets for guests who forgot to bring their own. This is especially helpful if you are having an outdoor reception with limited shade available.

fan program

Program fans are perfect for an outdoor ceremony because they let your guests know what is going on and keeps them cool at the same time! They are also very easy to coordinate with your color scheme.


Put a table with sunglasses near the entrance for guests to grab before they sit down so everyone can enjoy the ceremony without squinting the whole time. You can find some cute and cheap, generic sunglasses online.

bug spray

If your ceremony or reception is in an area highly populated by bugs, provide your guests with bug protection. Skin So Soft is my personal favorite and it works best against mosquitoes because they don’t like the smell. (Added bonus! It makes your skin so soft and silky, hence the name)


Instead of plain water add lemons, limes, or cucumbers to add a little refreshing flavor.

lights lights

Lanterns and fairy lights are cute ways to light up the night in the summertime. Electric candles can be bought online or found at a dollar store and put in mason jars. Fill them with colored glass pebbles for a nice colorful glow!

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Embracing All White

Becoming engaged is a monumental moment in a girls life.  It’s something most girls dream about and usually they have most of their wedding planned before they even have a boyfriend.  You picture you’re big day countless times and how great it will be and all the fun you, you’re friends, and family will have and yes all of these things are true but in reality you’re big day comes and goes entirely too fast.  Before you know it you’re married.  From the moment you get engaged I think you should embrace being a bride and the time you have to be engaged.  With that being said here are some great style options to incorporate all white into you’re everyday life until you’re wedding day when you will wear you’re all white dress.


This dress is flawless.  It’s a twist on old hollywood glam and is fabulous to wear on dinner dates, bridal appointments, or even to take some engagement or bridal pics in!


This white dress is also another great option.  It would be really cute to wear to look at wedding venues and what not.  Simple but classy.


Maybe you work at an office?  Why not incorporate all white into you’re work attire with an all white business suit.


What a great weekend outfit!  Super casual but so cute.  It would be perfect for going shopping, meeting you’re bridesmaids up for lunch, or even just a day with the family.


This outfit is show stopping.  It is the perfect choice for all white on a night on the town!


Life’s too short to wear boring clothes.  Embrace being a bride and embrace wearing all white!

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Wedding & Reception Lighting

The perfect lighting can make your ceremony so beautiful and can be manipulated to point everyone’s focus on you and your hubby.

Wine Bottle

Re-use old bottles and attach blow torch mechanisms before mounting them on walls or porch beams. Have them monogrammed for a classy touch.

Beachy Lights

If you’re having a beach wedding or just a beach themed reception, put sand in different size jars and then add a candle in the color of your choice. Add some seashells and get coconut scented candles for an even beachier feel.


If you’re having an outdoor reception, hang chandeliers from tree branches so that they hang over the center of the tables.

Candle Patterns

If you’re having a garden reception or wedding, buy a lot of little candles (can be found at a dollar store) and arrange them in a beautiful pattern. Guests will be in awe and they make for great pictures after the ceremony.

Doily Lights

This is an adorable DIY project! Glue doilies to inflated balloons and pop the balloons after the doily dries. Place them wherever you want and put a small battery operated candle inside.

Starry Lights

Miniature soft blue/white light strands can be strung across a courtyard for a wonderful starry night effect.

Light Pathway

Line the pathway with lanterns on the ground, and have strands hung along the trees leading up to more lights where the ceremony will take place. It will bring your guests attention right to the front where you and your hubby tie the knot!

LED & Orchids

Place LED lights in small fish bowls with clear glass stones and an orchid (or other flower of your choice) for a creative and easy lighting look that glows.

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Peacock Theme Wedding

Peacock Bouqet

Non traditional weddings are happening more and more these days as brides want their day to be unique. Although it’s hard for everyone to have their own never been done before wedding, you can make it unique by making it personal. A peacock theme wedding can be beautiful with the right accessories, and the color scheme can be adjusted to whatever shade you want. Here are some ideas to get you started!

These colors can be masculine or feminine to please both sides of the wedding party. The shades can be adjusted depending on how bright or subtle you would prefer.

A wreath can be your main focus decoration or use them as table centerpieces at the reception.

Make this a lovely centerpiece or an elaborate cake topper, the colors are sure to grab everyone’s attention!

A peacock cake can be done many different ways, whether you prefer a lot of design or simplicity.

If your dress shows off your shoes a simple peacock feather will draw everyone’s eye. Make it personal by adding a vintage brooch from your grandmother.

Let your guests know the theme by decorating the invitations with a peacock feather and your main color.

Instead of a traditional veil, try a feather accessory that will work with any hairdo.

These boutineers are just masculine enough to keep your hubby happy.

A beautiful peacock bouquet will tie all of these decorations together nicely and the peacock feather will never dry out like flowers will.

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Reception Seating Arrangements

Candle Decorations

The dreaded seating chart! You don’t want to offend anyone, you want to make everyone happy, AND it’s supposed to be cute and match your theme?? Here are a few cute ideas to get you started and, hopefully, won’t require your guests to ask for your help, somehow leading into a conversation about changing tables and rearranging your already planned seating arrangements.

Plain and simple seating charts can be glammed up with beautiful photos of the bride and groom. Having the chart in a central location can let guests see where everyone else is sitting, too.

This is an interesting twist on a destination wedding theme. Each table can represent a different country, and the kids will be happier sitting in “Paris” rather than the “Kiddie Table.” (for more destination wedding ideas visit

A delicious place card that you can eat, what more needs to be said? This can also keep the guests’ hunger down while waiting for everyone to find their seat and the reception dinner to be served.

Choose your favorite engagement photo and make them into magnets that double as gifts for guests. Each magnet has a name and table number on it, and when removed, reveals a larger copy of the photo.

These seating arrangements double as table decorations. You still save on paper, financially and environmentally, and the candles provide a nice atmospheric glow at each table.

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