ASHLEY: TELL US THE GIST OF YOUR PROPOSAL!
Jeanna: "My husband Jason was active duty military during for our entire relationship. He was an Army Ranger stationed in Columbus, Georgia and we did long distance since I met him on leave in 2016. Jason would come visit me in Austin or I would meet him in Atlanta, but the weekend before Thanksgiving 2018 we decided to visit my mom in California to celebrate the holiday early. In my typical family fashion we spent it at a winery in Temecula and while taking photos at the highly sought after golden hour, Jason got down on one knee and proposed. He had flown to Texas the weekend before to ask my father’s permission (after the cute factor of this set in, I was so upset he was in Texas and didn’t even see me) and hadn’t even told my mom about it because he didn't think that she could keep a secret. It was perfect. She was actually videoing for some reason and got the whole thing on camera and once she realized what was going on she dropped the phone and the only thing we got was her freaking out in disbelief between cussing at her shock and crying happy tears! We popped champagne right then and there and now it gives us every excuse to go to the winery every time we visit!"
HOW INVOLVED DID YOUR FIANCÉ WANT TO BE IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?
"Wow, these questions are really hyping you up Ashley! So my fiancé I’m sure (eye roll) would’ve loved to be involved, but he actually was deployed in Afghanistan the entire time we were engaged SO Ashley was my stand in for literally everything. She tried food with me, everything. I’m not sure why I’m complaining about Jason’s lack of involvement because I got everything I wanted without the argument. If I wasn’t sure on something or wanted to make sure his wants were met I would give him a 24 hour window to respond, since we were on a 12 hour time difference and then finalized the decision. He has great taste OBVIOUSLY *hair flip* so pretty much all of his choices were similar to mine."
"I wanted my wedding to be unique because a lot of the weddings I was attending was giving me lists of things not to do. I wanted none of the traditional stuff: no bouquet toss, no garter retrieval, no dollar dance. Yuck, BUT that’s just me. Ashley actually helped me come up with a lot of the unique ideas I had."
AFTER GOING TO WEDDINGS POST-ENGAGEMENT, WHAT DID YOU BOTH WANT TO DO TO ENSURE THAT YOUR DAY WAS DIFFERENT, OR EVEN SIMILAR?
"I wanted my wedding to be unique because a lot of the weddings I was attending was giving me lists of things not to do. I wanted none of the traditional stuff: no bouquet toss, no garter retrieval, no dollar dance. Yuck, BUT that’s just me. Ashley actually helped me come up with a lot of the unique ideas I had; my favorite hands down was the face painter. If you haven’t seen Ashley as a cat, you’re missing out. I loved that she was involved in my wedding as a planner and a friend because she quickly became family as the planning went on."
LET'S TALK VENUE... WHAT MADE YOU HAVE THE “THIS IS IT” FEELING?
"Everything! I was definitely not your typical bride and a Texas barn wedding was the opposite of what I was looking for. The charm of The Union on Eighth had me hooked the first time I saw it. I loved the story of it having been a blacksmith shop and an automobile factory in it’s past life. The open rafters with measurements still chalked in the worn wood were so beautiful I knew I could totally skip the decor if I wanted and it could stand on it’s own. I could just picture the clear giant garage doors open as my guests danced the night away and the airstream was the cutest grooms suite to ever exist; and it also doubled as my photo booth. Morghan was so amazing and helped me pick a super unique floor plan to accommodate my odd thinking brain. They also had one of the best deals price wise for the amount of time I wanted and an open weekend so soon (we had a 10 month engagement) that worked with Ashley’s schedule as well. It was fate!"
TELL US ABOUT YOUR OUTFIT! DRESS, EARRINGS, SHOES, HAIR, MAKE UP, INSPIRATION, RINGS, ETC.
"So to say I am an over planner is an understatement. I knew soon after I met Jason it was just a matter of time before he was going to put a ring on it so I had Pinterest boards, Instagram folders, and the works, all ready to go. I wanted to look back at my photos and remember the day as a small gathering of my friends and family that really focused on welcoming my new husband back to the states, as he just had come back about a month before we got hitched! I wanted everything to feel intimate and very AUSTIN. After all, Austin it is the greatest city and I wanted the unique feel and weirdness of my hometown to be seeping in every detail. We did a hippy moon covered in pompous grass for my ceremony backdrop that my father in law actually made me, which is now in Ashley's rentals! Pizza was served from my favorite pizza place in the world- the one and only, VIA 313, and cookies and ice cream from Tiff’s treats & Amy’s Ice Creams. We had ALL of the Austin staples. I wanted a hang out area for cigar smoking around and the photo booth in an airstream. I covered the ceiling in greenery like you were walking through the green belt and that neon sign was exactly the hint of 6th street that every drunk tourist wants to see in the distance! I found my dress on accident when my mom wasn’t there, BUT I did FaceTime her after. It was the second dress I ever tried on and fell in love. I went to Blue Bridal in South Austin and Katie seemed to already know me and what I wanted as soon as we started talking about my vision. I got my earrings from Mignonne Gavigan and they were something everyone was asking about. They are a bit pricey but when you’re looking for something that will be worn on the most photographed day of your life, I’d say it’s worth it. If you haven’t checked out their jewelry, you should! It was so unique and truly made my outfit. I knew I wanted everything about my wedding to be unique so shoes were no different. I went with a white alligator skin pointed toe ankle boot that were TO DIE FOR! Everyone was complimenting them and they weren’t super high so my feet weren’t killing me all night, which is a win on any night. I found my HMUA on Instagram, Kate Kubala is a hair genius! I knew I wanted old Hollywood finger waves and she nailed it."
WHAT WAS YOUR INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT YOU WANT THE BRIDESMAIDS TO ORDER WEAR, AS WELL AS THE GROOMSMEN?
"So here is where you see my OCD side. I knew I wanted my girls to wear the color beige, in different outfits so I scoured the internet and put a PDF file together of about 50 dresses that I liked and sent it to them. If they liked any, great - and if not, they knew my vision of what I was looking for and sent options for my approval. The guys were a little easier. I found the perfect forest green pants on ASOS.com and they ordered from the link I sent. I got their bow ties on Amazon - pack of 10, baby!"
WHAT DID YOU GIFT TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS & GROOMSMEN?
"For my girls, I got them each jewelry that matched my theme and their outfits. I also did their getting ready outfit which was the fake bikini oversized shirts, SO CUTE! The guys got bottles of liquor that they liked which, let’s be honest, is the best and easiest thing for guys because they honestly don’t care. Jason also got them mini bottles of liquor to wear in the pockets down the aisles which was such a cute picture and we also toasted right after walking out! It was a great photo op and memory with my brand new hubby and the guys who mean the most to him."
DID YOU DO A FIRST LOOK? WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT IT? WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT?
"We did! And I’m SO glad we did. I knew I wanted to have the moment Jason saw me for the first time to be private. I always love seeing the groom's look as the bride walks down the aisle, but I wanted it just for me because I’m selfish like that. We wrote our own vows and read them to each other during this time and actually recorded us on Ashley’s phone in his jacket pocket. AGAIN, that is her going above and beyond for her brides! It’s such a sweet reminder to listen to us say those words we swore to one another on that day and feel the emotion in our voice and the laughs in between the tears, that you wouldn’t get on paper or photos. It also saved a ton of time on photos being able to get the wedding party shots before hand and that way we could focus more on Jason and I and getting photos of us after the ceremony. We got to hang out beforehand and love on each other with just our closest friends and it was such a special memory before the craziness began with having to chat with all the guests. Moments between the two of you alone are few and far between on the actual day, so take advantage!! I always recommend a first look. I did one with my dad and it was so special to have the moment with him as well."
LET'S TALK PLANNING... WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST WAS THE BEST INVESTMENT AS FAR AS VENDORS?
"I know I’m doing this interview for you Ashley but on the realest of reals, you were hands down the best thing I invested in for my wedding. I hope everybody reading this has already realized they’d be a dummy not to hire this angel of a planner but if not, DO IT NOW. Otherwise, it would be my photographers! HANDS DOWN. I knew I wanted A Sea Of Love before I even got engaged. Their style is artistic, fresh, and unlike the typical wedding photos you see and that's exactly what I wanted. Do yourself a favor, and check them out - you will not regret it! But if I had to choose a second, it would probably be the face painter. It was such a hit (and also Ashley’s idea; again, she’s amazing and creative and a God send for everything my crazy brain wanted."
WHAT GAVE YOU THE MOST “STICKER SHOCK” WHEN IT CAME TO SEEING THE PRICE PEOPLE PAY FOR THINGS AT WEDDINGS?
"FLORALS. The damn thing that dies the quickest is also the most expensive. Luckily, Ashley knew that ACC’s floral college trains their students with actual weddings and they gave us the best deal. I liked knowing that the people who were perfecting my day were students who were on their way to graduating, and starting their career. It didn’t hurt that the second I met Rafael, he had such great ideas that made my vision come to life and I knew I had made the right choice. I mean, did you see that moon?? And the ceiling?!"
WHAT WAS THE BEST WEDDING GIFT SOMEONE GOT YOU GUYS?
"We did a cash only registry, which if you’re not doing one, you’re crazy! Who doesn’t want money to spend on things you actually need and want? We went over budget (which is totally normal) and it was nice to be able to pay for groceries or go on a Wednesday date night with the wedding fund we got. Also, it pretty much covered the entire cost of our honeymoon - very clutch decision. If you need all the kitchen appliances and home goods, then a registry is the way to go, but we didn’t need too much of that and with the cash, we could buy the things we did at our own time and leisure."
WERE THERE THINGS THAT YOU WORRIED ABOUT DURING PLANNING THAT ENDED UP BEING FINE? WERE THERE THINGS YOU WISH YOU WORRIED MORE ABOUT? DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
"Of course! If you’re not a little bridezilla at times and worry when you shouldn't, then you’re probably on a high dose of Xanax. Again, I cannot stress enough to have a good wedding planner so that she takes care of things for you. That’s exactly what I told Ashley; if something happens, deal with it and tell me later! Which of course, it did happen and she handled it without a hitch and no one knew. Including me. Way to go Ashley! I can honestly say it was the hands down best day of my life and it was 100% due to Ashley and her help and control."
WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR WEDDING DRESS & BOUQUET AFTER THE WEDDING?
"So my seamstress that did my alterations is AMAZING! She made my boobs look like a dream without a bra; truly a feat! But she had the great idea to shorten my dress to midi length and wear it on our year anniversary and anniversaries to come! Granted, not every dress can have this done, but mine worked perfectly and as much as I paid for it, it’s so nice to be able to wear it more than once. I ended up drying and keeping my bouquet. I should have done something more keep sake-ish, but I’m lazy and there was too much going on afterwards and that was okay with me!"
BEST ADVICE TO GIVE TO A BRIDE WHO IS IN PROCESS OF PLANNING HER WEDDING?
"I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again - get yourself a wedding planner; they know who to hire and who not to. They know the tips and tricks that you’d never think of. She handled my tips at the end of the night and called my Uber to leave (that's another fun story) and even packed my bag for me. She bustled my dress, fed me pizza and got me a drink as soon as I got off that aisle, which she is an angel for. She sheep herded my guests and family and made sure things were on schedule. She was an extra me that handled all the shit so I could have fun on the best night of my life. Also, get a great photographer. Don’t go cheap here, this is what you will look back on forever and as Ashley says, these pictures will be shown at your funeral so make sure you look fabulous. You want someone who makes you feel comfortable and beautiful and captures the things that are important to you. I wanted photos of my friends and family and I loved that they felt so included in the night and had great photos of themselves."
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! JEANNA MCKINNERNEY WAS THE BEST BRIDE TO INTERVIEW AND IT WAS SUCH A FUN MOMENT TO TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE. NOW DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MY FAVORITE MEMORY, FROM THE WEDDING PLANNER'S PERSPECTIVE?!
So I promised Jeanna as the night went on that I would call her an Uber LUX. A few hours before the send off, I realized that Georgetown was WAY too small to even have the option available. I kept trying and trying to get one reserved and at a last minute save, I just had to order them a regular Uber. Again, they had no idea so after I packed the car and they walked through their sparkler exit I gave them a hug goodbye and we all laughed as they got in their non-bougie Corolla. Fast forward to less than six months post wedding, I blew this picture up on a giant canvas and dropped it off at her house. It now hangs in their living room, with one of the best stories!