Texas Style Connecticut Wedding
We wanted to call this a “Texas Meets Connecticut Awesomely Fun Shindig Wedding” but alas, that title would have been far too long. So we settled for what you see above. The truth is, this wedding by Katie Hartig Images is simply awesome and filled with so much love and emotion that you can just feel the joy in the couple’s big day. We love everything about it, even the nod to New England (fine, we’re a little biased) with the Dunkin Donuts cake! Seriously though, read the bride’s story below. You won’t be disappointed!
Beautiful wedding full of DIY details. I think the bride describes it perfectly, and would just like to add that you can really feel the love this quirky couple shares when viewing the pictures of their special day.
– Katie Hartig Images
The Wedding Pros:
From the Beautiful Bride:
Our wedding day was a rustic eclectic, ad hoc, group-project chaos that came together into a joyous party. We were marrying not only each other, but our Texas and Connecticut families (Matthew’s from Texas; I’m from Connecticut), and our Czech and Polish cultures (Matthew and me, respectively).
Matthew and I are casual and low maintenance but we are also romantics; we like cheap bourbon and good music; and we’ve waited eight years to be married because we wanted to throw a party worthy of our relationship. For years now, we have described our style as “vintage eclectic” — everything we own is old, and nothing matches. So for our wedding, once we found a barn with a dance floor, the most obvious label for our theme was “rustic eclectic.”
It was, through-and-through, a DIY event, from the linens (bolts of fabric bought on sale for table clothes; hand-torn muslin squares for cloth napkins) to the flowers (baby’s breath from Sam’s Club and mums borrowed from my mom’s yard) to the food and drink (featuring Matthew’s famous margaritas). To create ambiance and transform the barn from a meet-and-greet event on Saturday to the main wedding reception on Sunday, we used about a mile of white lights, most borrowed from a neighbor. Our brother-in-law, who is a whiz at all things electrical, was in charge of our lighting design and execution, and he deserves an award. We had pulled together many Pinterest photos for inspiration, but in the end, he custom-designed our light display to fit the barn.
Although we live in Austin, Tx., we decided to get hitched in my hometown of Enfield, Ct. so that my maternal grandmother and grandfather — Babci and Dziadziu, in Polish — could attend, and to give our Texas family and friends a hearty helping of autumnal New England. We picked October during peak foliage season, and we rented a quirky old space with a dance floor that wouldn’t quit: the Powder Mill Barn, which used to be a horse barn for the gunpowder mill that first put Enfield on the map. We distracted our out-of-town guests by day with a homemade “Pocket Guide” pointing them to nearby activities like apple-picking and corn mazes; meanwhile, Enfield-based family and friends slaved away with us preparing the barn for two nights of events.
In lieu of a rehearsal dinner on Saturday, we held a Texas-Style Game Night, complete with homemade chopped brisket sandwiches (Matthew’s sister flew into Connecticut early to cook up 45 pounds of meat); a wheelbarrow full of Lone Star beer; authentic Czech kolaches; washers, corn hole, Texas Hold ‘Em; and a six-foot tapestry, hand-painted by Matthew, to greet guests. Suffice it to say, a solid 80 percent of our guests wore cowboy boots, including the Yankees. My great uncle purchased his first pair of jeans — ever — so he could dress for the occasion.
We held our wedding Sunday evening, kicking off with a cocktail hour in the barn. We held the ceremony outside by a sideways tree on the banks of the Scantic River, where we strung a wire to drape a floating white fabric arch. We borrowed wooden benches from the barn for a row of seats, but most of our 84 attendees simply stood round for the short ceremony. My brother was my man of honor; Matthew’s younger sister was his best man. We wrote our own vows — well, mine were written down; Matthew improvised. Classic.
To counter the Texas fare from the previous night, we hired a family seafood restaurant for a lobster bake, and my father and stepmom constructed a Food Network-worthy Dunkin’ Donuts wedding “cake.”
My brother emceed the night. My great uncle led guests in singing “Stolat,” a traditional Polish wedding toast. Matthew’s oldest brother led everyone through the Wedding March, a Texas and Benys family tradition — and, appropriately, one with both Czech and Polish ties — which began outside the barn in two long lines of dancers, then proceeded inside with Matthew and me in the middle. My Babci got so excited during this madness, she stopped using her cane for support at one point and instead used it as a baton. A little later in the night, Matthew’s other brother led the Cotton-Eyed Joe, the only line dance that you’ll ever catch Texans doing, featuring much kicking and call-and-response cries of “Bull shit!”. We were our own DJs, and had carefully curated our playlists to include a handful of two-stepping songs during the Texas portion of the dance party. (We’d given a tutorial the night before.)
When we nearly ran out of booze at the end of the night, my aunt and uncle ran home and raided their personal liquor cabinet. After we called it an evening, everyone helped break down the barn, including our 13-year-old nephew, who mopped the floor. It was that kind of a wedding — a modern-day barn-raising, and the time of our lives.