2023 May Featured Bride

"My best advice for anyone planning their wedding is to always ask yourself, “Am I making this choice because it makes us happy, or am I trying to make someone else happier?” Never be afraid to do something non-traditional OR go full traditional if that’s your thing. The best parts of our wedding were the parts that meant the most to us and reflected who we were as a couple. Long story short, your day should be filled with things that make the both of you happy and don’t let others’ opinions deter that!"

Composed by Jessica Posey from Heaven Sent Events

Anjelica & Ethan Luke

Tell us about your love story!

How did you meet?

Fate first brought us together when we were placed in the same choir class back in high school. Despite this, we didn’t have our first “hello” until the end of the year on our class trip to New York City. It’s hard to strike up a conversation when you’re supposed to be singing, but once we started talking, it became hard to stop! We held hands for the first time watching a Broadway musical, made a million inside jokes walking through the city, and yes – even shared our first kiss on the ride home. But of course, not all good things can last forever. Back then, I had just ended a long-term relationship, and I didn’t feel ready for a new commitment yet. So I ended things leaving both of us heartbroken. My heart knew what we had was special, but once I realized this, Ethan had moved on, and I was too late to fix things. I was devastated. Thankfully, Ethan and I still had such a close bond that after it all settled, we built our friendship back and remained just that – friends. One random Sunday in 2020 Ethan sent me a text asking to talk. That night we talked on the phone for hours. We agreed to catch up in person the following week over coffee, and the rest is history! We have been falling more in love with each other since that day and are so excited to deepen that love together in marriage. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for His perfect timing and for bringing back the one that almost got away!

How did he propose?

Proposal story written by the groom, Ethan Luke: My parents, Anjelica, and I all went on the road trip of a lifetime all around Colorado. Colorado has always been my favorite place to be, so I figured this was the perfect time to propose. One of our first days in Colorado, we had planned to go on a train ride from Durango to Silverton. When Anjelica left to go get snacks and drinks, I unveiled my proposal plan to my parents. Anjelica loves taking pictures of us on a polaroid she carries with her. Our usual pictures are of us smiling into the camera, so I presented a new idea to her. I told her we should take a more aesthetic photo rather than looking into the camera. I suggested take a picture where her back was to her camera and I was slightly smiling over her shoulder. She loved the idea! Little did she know, my proposal was slowly unfolding. As we got off the train in Silverton, I exclaimed how we should take the picture in front of the train. As we got positioned for the photo, her back facing the polaroid with my arm around her, my dad handed me the case with the ring in it. I slightly opened the case behind her back as I smiled into the camera. Once my dad took the photo, he quickly took the ring back before she could turn around. She rushed over to grab the polaroid because she loved to watch it as the picture slowly faded in. As this happened, I stood behind her so I could determine the perfect time to get down on one knee. As the photo started to come in, my dad handed me the ring, and I got down on one knee just as she started to say, “Hey… what are you holding in your hand?” As she began to realize what the picture held, she turned around to find me down on one knee looking up at her. At that moment, I was so nervous that I don’t even remember what I said. After what felt like hours, which was merely seconds, she said the word yes. I then slowly slipped that little ring on her beautiful hand that made her mine forever!

Describe your wedding planning process.

What planning tools did you use?

I had been preparing to plan a wedding since the day I knew we were going to get married. I watched a TON of wedding planning videos on YouTube, mostly by Jamie Wolfer. I ended up subscribing to her “Master Plan” wedding planner and that was a great tool for me during the planning process. I listened to a lot of podcasts like “Betches Brides” and “The Big Wedding Planning Podcast.” Pinterest was also a huge help!

Who helped with the planning?

I did a lot of the planning on my own. Mostly because I just had so much fun doing it! I am also a very creative person, so I had a lot of fun designing and planning our entire day. Ethan was very supportive, always letting me bounce ideas and projects off him.

Did you hire a planner or day-of coordinator?

If there was anything I learned from my research, hiring a Day-of/Month-Of Wedding Coordinator was CRUCIAL! Susan from Timeless Moments by Design was my saving grace during the last few weeks of planning. She brought in so many details and crucial elements that no amount of DIY research could have prepared me for. I am very grateful for her guidance and expertise.

Did you DIY any aspect of your wedding?

Ethan and I consider ourselves to be “old souls,” so I wanted that vintage feel. I began creating mood boards and went out to thrift stores to find what I needed to make my vision come alive. I thrifted a ton of gorgeous frames and mirrors which I used as signage and decor. My favorite DIY decor was our table numbers that our bridesmaids and I printed and put together two nights before our wedding. They were pictures of Ehtan and me at the age of whatever the table number was, and we used wine corks that Ethan’s mom had saved over the years as the table number holders.

Where did you splurge?

With music being extremely important to the both of us, we made sure that the night was filled with it! We had a string quartet during the ceremony, mariachi during our cocktail hour, and a live band during the reception. Because I had saved money with DIY decor and cakes, we were able to put it towards the things that mattered to us.

Did you incorporate any special traditions or sentimental details in your ceremony or reception?

From the corks on the tables to my veil being a nod to the veil of my great-grandmother’s, it is very clear that our families were also a huge part of our wedding day. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I would always think about the fact that our love story didn’t start with us. Instead, it started many generations back with the love stories of both our grandparents. I wanted to honor that with a picture wall above our cake table with the wedding photos of both our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. In the middle was a picture of Ethan and me on a tapestry that I had also DIY’d.

Is there anything you would have done differently?

If I had to do it over again, I definitely would budget for a planner from the beginning. I feel I took on a lot of stress from simply not having lots of wedding knowledge and was constantly learning as time went on. Although I feel extremely proud of the work I was able to do on my own, I realized later that I might have actually saved money if I had an expert to help guide me on whether or not something was necessary.

Tell Us About

Your dress:

My dress was actually a secondhand find from the app Still White. It is a design by Willow by Watters, a designer that I absolutely loved, but could not afford. However, I came across the dress on the app that was almost perfectly my size. I actually went to a bridal shop to try on the dress in person just to be sure it was for me. I then decided to take the leap and bought it for only $800 from the seller on Still White. The dress was worn, never altered, still had the tags, and was in the bag. The only alterations I needed were a hem, bust adjustment, and bustle adjustment. I absolutely loved my dress.

Your flowers:

The flowers were one of my favorite parts about our day! Kristie from KB Flowers and I quickly became besties during the planning process. I found her at a bridal extravaganza and fell in love with her display of native wildflowers and grass from the Hill Country. I knew that I didn’t want the average bridal florals, so I was thrilled when Kristie was so great at hearing my vision and capturing it so beautifully on our big day.

The food:

Catering by Celebrations is such a beloved company at the Allen Farmhaus, and it is obvious why. Our guests raved about the food all night! They said they had never had wedding food this good. Not only was the food great, but they were so accommodating and made what is usually a stressful part of planning into a seamless and easy process. I am so grateful for their amazing service at our wedding!

The cake:

Our cakes were both made by my grandmother the night before our wedding. I had originally asked her for just a small two-tier cake for us, but she decided to surprise Ethan with a German chocolate Groom’s cake (his favorite)! It was so special for both of us.

Recap your big day for us

What were the most memorable moments?

I had a few surprises up my sleeve. For our Father-Daughter dance, my dad and I secretly choreographed and rehearsed a full five minute dance to a mix I had made on my phone. We only had around one week of full practice before the big day because we had to wait until the school year started to be able to practice. Nobody knew about the dance except for us, not even my mother or Ethan. So you can imagine their faces as the music switched from a slow and sweet spanish song to an uptempo dance mix. My dad and I bonded a lot during the whole process which made it even sweeter.

The other surprise I had planned was my father-in-law and I joining the band at the end of the night to sing a song. Both of us being musicians, it only made sense. We surprised the crowd by belting out “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, a song we had only rehearsed a few times together. It was a lot of fun. The band loved it so much, they ended up inviting us back on stage and this time my own dad joined along!

What’s the best advice you can give a bride and groom planning their wedding?

My best advice for anyone planning their wedding is to always ask yourself, “Am I making this choice because it makes us happy, or am I trying to make someone else happier?” Never be afraid to do something non-traditional OR go full traditional if that’s your thing. The best parts of our wedding were the parts that meant the most to us and reflected who we were as a couple. Long story short, your day should be filled with things that make the both of you happy and don’t let others’ opinions deter that!

What did you look forward to most as Mr. and Mrs.?

Ethan and I’s love story started when we were kids, so we were really just so excited to finally begin to build a life together. The small things like moving into a home, making dinners together, going grocery shopping, and always having a teammate to do boring life things with were some of the things we looked forward to. Nothing is ever boring when we are together, and we are so excited to take on all the challenges that life brings. Ethan and I are really best friends who give each other belly laughs and butterflies, and I don’t ever see that going away.

Local Vendors:
Wedding Venue  St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
Reception Venue The Allen Farmhaus
Officiate Fr. Steven Gamez
Photographer Brittany Miller Photo
Florist KB Flowers – Kristie Brashears
Rentals Accents & Events
Makeup Artist Southern Tease
Hair Stylist Southern Tease
Wedding Music:
Processional & Bride Entrance Married Life Wedding Version feat. Ava Maria
Recessional This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham
First Dance Forever Like That Ben Rector
Father/Daughter Dance   Custom mash-up by Bride
Mother/Son Dance Humble & Kind Tim McGraw
Last Dance Wildflowers and Wine Marcus King