It's a special day when I get to feature the wedding of a friend... and not just any wedding, the utterly gorgeous Austin celebration of photographer CHARLA STOREY, captured by APRYL ANN PHOTOGRAPHY which also featured in Issue 19 of MAGNOLIA ROUGE MAGAZINE.

It was back in middle school that Charla and Jesse first met, although he initially dated her best friend. Years later, the stars finally aligned, and the pair went from college roommates to dating – and eventually, to life-mates. Jesse proposed in the most romantic place on earth, Paris, while on a family vacation. Beneath the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Charla said yes, and the next chapter of this epic love story began.

"We wanted our wedding to feel like an evening in Europe, so that we could share some of the magic from our trip getting engaged with our families. We wanted it to be intimate and romantic… like we were having dinner in Italy. We dined al fresco, family style, so it felt like we were having Thanksgiving together."

So many details tell their story, the venue, the colours, the paper goods - even the food. Working with wedding planner & designer BIRDS OF A FEATHER EVENTS, Charla & Jesse put a lot of thought into all the little things that make weddings unique. To create the look and feel of Italy just three hours from home at VILLA DEL LAGO, the couple gave free rein to their florist. They asked for her to include golden bougainvillea – which is especially difficult to source in Texas – but THE SOUTHERN TABLE made magic happen. “I am obsessed with our florals!” says the bride.

Make sure you only do exactly what you want with your time. The day goes super fast and is over in the blink of an eye. I was so excited and nervous for our first look, but if we hadn’t done it, we would have missed cocktail hour, which was my favourite! Another special moment was my son’s speech – he was the only one to do a toast, and it was so perfect!

Charla looked absolutely stunning wearing a gorgeous gown by Wedding dress designer MADE WITH LOVE.