Sam and Chris

Austin, Texas



Photography | Nikk Nguyen Photo | @nikknguyenphoto

Venue | The Contemporary Austin: Laguna Gloria | @contemporaryatx

Event Planner | 36th Street Events | @36thstreetevents

Floral Designer | Wildly Cultivated Floral Design | @wildlycultivated

Gown Designer | Alyssa Kristin | @akristinbridal

Gown Salon | Serendipity Bridal | @serendipitybridalaustin

Rentals | Monarch Event Rentals

Rentals | Birch and Brass Vintage Rentals

Caterer | Royal Fig Catering

DJ | Texas Pro DJ | @texasprodj

Lighting | ILIOS

Cinematography | Foolishly Rushing In | @foolishlyrushingin

From the Photographer

The 1920’s were known for illustrious jazz bands and chic flapper dresses – a monumental decade in history. It’s no wonder this stunning couple wanted to create a timeless and elegant Laguna Gloria wedding, reminiscent of Samantha’s favorite decade. When Chris and Samantha visited Laguna Gloria, they immediately fell in love. A 1916 Italianate-style villa surrounded by beautiful trees, sculptures, and a maze of dimly lit paths, Laguna Gloria was exactly what they had pictured.


Everything about this wedding lived up to their vision of elegance and timelessness. From Samantha’s captivating Alyssa Kristin beaded gown, to the color scheme of forest green, white, and black; the gin and tonic bar to the stunning candle-lit long dining table – everything about this wedding screamed sophistication. Although first hesitant about having a “first look,” they decided to spend a few private moments together at the “Temple of Love” where they exchanged handwritten cards and some beautiful words before the ceremony.

One of their favorite moments of the day was the wild dance party at the end of the night with all of their friends and family. The couple had people travel from all over to come and join them on their special day. “It was so wonderful to see so many smiling faces on the dance floor [and] it filled our hearts with so much joy to see all of our favorite people together…” Samantha reminisced.


These lovebirds were a blast to photograph. Their pure and beautiful love for each other was undeniable and there is nothing I love more than capturing a Laguna Gloria wedding (or any wedding for that matter!) with that kind of a love.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

Chris and I had a very specific vision for our wedding day, which made our venue search quite a process! We knew we wanted to have a destination wedding that took place outdoors, and we wanted to create a timeless elegance reminiscent of Samantha’s favorite decade – the roaring 20s. We came across Laguna Gloria a couple of months into our search and decided to stop by for an impromptu visit. The second we stepped foot onto the property, we knew we had found our wedding venue. The main building is a 1916 Italianate-style villa on the shores of Lake Austin surrounded by beautiful trees, sculptures and a maze of narrow, lit paths. As we walked around the property, it felt like we’d been transported to Italy even though we were just miles from downtown Austin. We chose forest green as our primary wedding color which matched the white and green striped awnings on the main villa. As I searched for a wedding gown, I knew I wanted something sleek, beaded and form-fitting to capture the 1920s era. I fell in love with a sequined & beaded Alyssa Kristin gown with a low scoop-back and capped sleeves. Chris chose a forest green velvet tux jacket with classic black tux pants and black velvet slippers. To achieve our 1920s theme, we rented much of our furniture and place settings from Birch & Brass. We had a gin & tonic bar, an outdoor lounge fitted with green velvet chairs and an outdoor bar with a beautiful gold and glass etagere. Our dining table was one long table (comprised of smaller rectangular farm tables) along a gravel path and was fitted with pale pink depression glasses, gold flatware and a mix of floral and gold vintage plates. We also had candles of assorted heights with glass casings. The effect was truly breathtaking, and our dinner was one of the most magical moments of the evening.


Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

It’s so difficult to choose just a few favorites, but we’d have to say the “first look” and dance party. As we started to plan our day, we were against a “first look” as we wanted to be more traditional and not see each other until the ceremony. However, Nikk recommended a “first look” to allow us to lessen our nerves as well as get some photos earlier in the day versus having to capture them all after the ceremony. We’re so glad we listened to Nikk! We were able to have a private, quiet moment together, exchange our vows for the first time and also capture some beautiful photos at the “Temple of Love” with the sun peeking through the trees. Fast forward to the end of the evening, we had the most amazing and wild dance party with all of our family and friends to our favorite electronic music! We had so many people travel far and wide to join us on our special day, and it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces on the dance floor. It filled our hearts with so much joy to see all of our favorite people together in the same place and to see family and friends interact together for the first time. We love how candid and blissful those moments came through in the photos – you can really feel the energy and love in the air.


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

If you can carve out room in your budget, hire a wedding planner! We hired our planner early in the process and selected certain aspects of the planning process we needed the most help with for her to oversee. She also served as our day-of coordinator. Jessika was worth every penny and more! She helped us realize our vision while being mindful of our budget and kept us organized and focused on the right tasks. Another piece of advice for brides is don’t be afraid to go to some dress fittings alone or with a smaller group. It’s easy to be swayed by the opinions of others, and the last thing you want is someone talking you into a gown you don’t love. The last piece of advice would be to take time off work before your big day – not just afterwards. We were fortunate enough to take off two weeks for our wedding – one before and one after – which gave us time to finish our to-do’s, turn off our work brains and shift all of our focus to our wedding weekend.