Real Weddings || Emily + Will || July 30th, 2016

A most-asked question when planning a wedding ceremony is: Indoors or Outdoors? You may like the idea of breathing in fresh air as you walk down the aisle — or you may love the intimacy of a chapel ceremony.

Emily and Will Simonds were married in The Laurel Chapel on July 30th, 2016. They are a beautiful couple inside and out and were kind enough to share a few thoughts with us about their wedding story.

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I (Emily) was actually in Italy attending pastry school at the time of looking at venues. So my parents were huge blessings because they went to a long list of venues that I loved initially. I wanted something that would have an outdoorsy feel, but wasn’t a barn or a completely outdoor venue.

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I also loved the idea of having a Hill Country theme (it ended up being “Hill Country Elegance”) because I had gone to school in Austin and a lot of my family lives there, so the look of The Laurel just kind of made me feel like I was home.

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Will and I actually have a pretty interesting love story! We both grew up about a mile from each other and went to the same middle school and high school. We knew of each other, but our lives never crossed paths until the summer of 2014. I had been volunteering with Special Olympics swimming for quite a while and knew Will’s family, especially his brother Matthew who was one of the swimmers I coached each summer. The summer Will and I met, he was the one that would take Matthew to swim practice every Saturday so we occasionally made eye contact and both felt something developing between us.

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Marriage was always in the cards for us, so finally being able to experience that day was a dream come true.

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Our families have gotten to be very close throughout mine and Will’s relationship and throughout the wedding process. So when it finally came down to the big day, it felt like we had 180 of our closest family members there to celebrate with us.

Probably the most emotional and special moment I experienced was the “first look” I had with my dad. I am his only daughter, and I knew that day would be difficult but happy for him. He was standing outside and I walked to him, tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around, and we both starting crying. You really never know the love a dad has for his little girl until he gives her away to her new husband.

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When [my parents] saw The Laurel, they were a little wary because it wasn’t finished and they couldn’t see the full picture. But in the end, we placed a huge trust in Shannon and The Laurel staff that they would turn the bare bones into a beautiful place to get married.

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Walking down the aisle to Will was the most incredible feeling. I remember that the doors opened, I was holding my dad’s arm, and all I could do was smile and stare at the man that was about to become my husband. That moment is one that I will never forget!

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Thank you Emily and Will for sharing your Real Wedding story with us. We wish you all the very best in your marriage!

Special thanks to the incredible vendors that helped make Emily and Will's wedding such a beautiful event:

Photography: Allen Tsai Photography

Florist: The Backyard Bouquet

Makeup: Tease to Please

Music: Serenata Strings

DJ: Complete Weddings & Events

Transportation: Imperial Limousines

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