Almost a year ago, I was contacted by a lovely Scottish woman named Gemma to find out about my officiating services. She and her (secret) fiance, Craig, had been to SXSW in Austin in 2015 and had such a lovely time, they decided that they wanted to tie the knot at SXSW in Austin the following year.
Now, Gemma and Craig are not your ordinary couple. They are also known to many as Two Scots Abroad. They left their jobs as a teacher and a builder to travel the world on a budget for a year and a half and blog about it (see link). It was super fun - and somewhat involved - to work with this couple. It really let me flex my officiant muscle! First of, Gemma asked what kind of paperwork was needed for two Scots to get married in Texas. Good question. A quick call to the County Clerk's office on my part answered that. Then, there was the question of planning the ceremony remotely. I do this all of the time, actually, and am always happy to Skype or email couples to make their ceremonies something special. So, together, we worked with on again / off again internet access to get their ceremony *just so*. In the midst of this, I received an email from Gemma's best friend in Scotland. Gemma and Craig had finally come clean to their family and told them their plans of marriage, and Helen, Gemma's friend, wanted to plan a surprise. So, I gave Helen my address for a card to be mailed (see video for the adorable wedding limerick she wrote), and I conspired to get the perfect bottle of champagne for the couple. We were dealing with US/UK exchange rates and also trying to figure out what was available in Texas. So, I consulted my trusty local Spec's liquor store and sent Helen a list of options. (She wanted Moet. Classy lady!). We settled on a Rosé and she PayPal'd me some money for the purchase. I'm always happy to help surprise a couple AND I'm also always happy to browse a liquor store, so it was a win/win.
Gemma and Craig settled on Lou Neff Point, on LadyBird Lake as their venue, with its awesome view of downtown Austin. The couple rolled into town a few days early to see some music at SXSW and to do a little shopping. We all agreed to meet at the site on a Tuesday afternoon, along with photographer, Corey Mendez. When Gemma and Craig walked up, I was floored. We had met for coffee that Sunday, and while they were perfectly charming and attractive, it *was* a Sunday morning, after all, and they just seemed kind of like normal, good-looking people. When they arrived to their wedding on Tuesday, um, "HELLO, MAD MEN MODELS". !!!! They both cleaned up great. I was obsessed with Gemma's up-do with little side swoop (courtesy of Paul van Dyck).
The ceremony was short and sweet with personal vows from both Gemma and Craig. We read a great quote from Good Will Hunting:
"She knew all my little peccadillos. People call these things imperfections but they're not, that's the good stuff. We get to choose who let in to our weird little worlds. You're not perfect. And let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she isn't perfect either. But the question is: whether or not you're perfect for each other. That's the whole deal. That's what intimacy is all about."
Rings were exchanged and by the power vested in me by the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS, I pronounced them married! There was a kiss. :) And, then I busted out the pink bubbles and card. It was lovely seeing Gemma, who had planned every bit of this so well, surprised and emotional to hear from her friends on her big day. Below is an adorable video of her reading the card and Craig popping the champagne. Afterward, Corey took the couple all over town for photo ops (like the Texas State Capitol one above). I can't wait to see all of the photos! And Gemma and Craig partied into the night with a DJ set at the Mohawk.
What a great wedding! Thrilled to be a part of it.
The icing on the cake? This awesome review from Gemma:
Contact Sarah and "Let's Do It" Vows for more information about her officiant / celebrant services for opposite and same-sex weddings, commitment ceremonies, and vow renewals in Austin, Central Texas, and West Texas.