Anomalie bride Stephanie and her husband, Austin, met in San Antonio, Texas, when they both joined Teach for America, so it was a smart move when these teachers decided to incorporate nods to education (a school bus shuttle!) mixed with a rustic setting for their “I do’s.” But it’s Stephanie’s custom Anomalie wedding gown that totally gets an A+ from us because of an overskirt that takes her gown from ceremony to reception, the timeless lace sleeves, and trendy boat neckline. Read on for all the details of Stephanie’s stunning wedding and why she actually ditched her store-bought gown and designed the perfect dress for her with Anomalie online.
How did you and Austin meet, and what was the proposal like?
Austin and I both moved to San Antonio in 2013 as recent college graduates. We joined Teach for America, an organization that places new teachers in needed areas. He and my roommate taught at the same school, so I saw him at TFA trainings, but we didn’t hang out until our second year of teaching. We began dating after he asked me to get drinks. I didn’t realize it was a date at first, because we all hung out all the time at that point. Our roommates knew and continue to give me a hard time about it. Four years later, I was pursuing my masters in urban school leadership through a program in New Orleans. I spent the summer there with our dog, Dempsey, while Austin attended a Montessori school training in Houston. We visited each other every weekend, because it was the first time we’d been apart in so long. During one of those weekend visits, we went to one of my favorite restaurants, picked up some daiquiris, and headed over to City Park to walk Dempsey. I’d heard that it was a beautiful park, and it was our last weekend there so I wanted it to be special. Austin succeeded at planning a proposal on a day that I planned out because he knew I’d be suspicious if he planned a day for us. We were walking around the park and came to a bridge where he had a photographer waiting and asked me if I’d spend the rest of my life with him. It was so special that he included Dempsey and a city that will forever have a special meaning for us.
Your wedding style is sending us rustic vibes! Tell us more about the location and what inspired the wedding look/theme.
We found a beautiful venue in the Texas Hill Country. We booked Park 31 before it was even built! I like to mention that because I’m so much of a planner that it seemed odd to everyone who knew me that I’d book a venue before seeing blueprints and buy a dress before seeing it in person (but both exceeded my expectations)! The Park 31 team drove us around their property and described what their dream industrial venue would look like. We loved it, because it would provide a rustic, Hill Country setting while also being an industrial venue with a main hall, mezzanine that would make our big party feel intimate, and an amazing bridal suite. We chose to go with a theme that highlighted what brought us to San Antonio and continues to be our passion, education. My students joined the fun, and they helped me with the decor. One student drew the table numbers on the chalkboard easels, one beautifully wrote the names and table assignments that I placed on pencils with “Hawks Take Flight” engraved on them, another made a “love story” chalkboard and our unplugged sign, and a group of students helped me make pennants for a pep rally style send off that said “Go Hawks!”
Why did you decide to create a custom gown with Anomalie?
I don’t remember how I heard about Anomalie, but I was scared to commit at first. I loved the idea but am someone who has a hard time taking risks and likes to plan everything out with a vision. I actually went dress shopping and bought another dress. Then I kept seeing beautiful dresses on the Anomalie website, so I decided to design a short reception dress to change into. Once I saw my design, the dress I’d ordered in a store did not compare. My dress design was everything I wanted because it was created just for me. I then decided to add an overskirt and sold my other dress online. I realized that though Anomalie was a risk for me, it was the only way to really capture my vision. It was perfect!
What inspired your wedding dress design, and how did your rustic theme play into the your gown and wedding day look?
I’ve wanted lace sleeves ever since I saw Kate Middleton’s dress. I also loved every illusion lace back that I saw when browsing online and in store. I’ve been really into off-the-shoulder dresses and blouses for the past few years, and my mom had an off-the-shoulder dress when she married my dad. I thought the lace, illusion back, and off-the-shoulder style would look amazing at our outdoor, Hill Country wedding. I also decided on a blush champagne fabric because I thought it would look beautiful with the greenery and the fall Hill Country setting. I chose the convertible, overskirt style because I didn’t want to have to bustle my dress and wanted to be free to party! I knew a long dress would get dirty because I would be indoor and outdoor at our venue.
What was your favorite part of the dress creation process?
My favorite part of the dress creation process was that I had a voice. Women often don’t have a say in choosing what they wear, how sizes are decided, or what’s fashionable at the time. I was able to choose every aspect of what I wanted my dress to look like and give feedback at each stage. I didn’t have to worry about fitting into a numerical size because I gave my measurements and the size was “me.” I also got to take what I thought was “fashionable,” whether it’s now, years ago, or what may be in the future, to make it fashionable to me.
Tell us about the actual wedding! What was your favorite unexpected moment of the day?
We asked our mutual friend, Samson, to be our officiant. We met him through Teach for America. He’s an English teacher and a great writer, as evidenced by the emails he sends out to our fantasy football league each week. We wanted our ceremony to be special and personal, but I had no idea what to expect because I didn’t attend rehearsal. He made the ceremony better than I could have ever expected, and we received so many compliments about how meaningful it was. He had anecdotes about our relationship and was our friend from the very start. We also decided to say our vows together, alternating line by line and saying a few lines in unison. We wrote them together the week before, and they felt so powerful.
What was your favorite personal touch that you incorporated into your wedding/reception?
Having my students involved in our wedding was so special to me. They are the reason San Antonio has become my home, and I’ve known them since I moved here six years ago. They really made the wedding feel like it was our day with the school-themed touches that they helped execute. Our “take your pencil and find your seat” arrangements, chalkboard easels, and pep rally send-off was made possible because of them! We also had a school bus shuttle so that sealed the evening with our theme. We incorporated our last name “Hawk” with that theme and various items throughout the wedding, too. Austin’s dad is a musician, so he played at our ceremony and we used the hawk he had on a former album as the hawk on decorative items like our koozies. I also had a beautiful jacket designed by Cottonwood Print with the hawk drawn on it. I took her an old faux leather jacket and she beautifully drew “Mrs. Hawk” on it and incorporated the image at the bottom.
Stylist Tip: Overskirts take a wedding gown from formal ceremony to party-ready without any hassle. Feeling inspired by Stephanie’s wedding dress overskirt? Schedule a call with an Anomalie stylist today!
Photographer: Cupcake Photography |Planner: Your Day Your Way |Bartender: Bartenders4you | Florist: Devinnie’s Paradise | Rentals: Mancino Rentals | Makeup: Keziah Bevans | Hair: Nora Cavazos | Caterer & Linens: Got it Covered Events | Band: Mariachi Alma de Mexico | Live Painter: Crystal Nobles | Cake: Simply Charming Cakes | Venue: Park 31
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- Meet The Overskirt: One Wedding Dress, Two Completely Unique Looks
- Rustic Elegance + a Custom Dress for a Canadian Bride