2023 July Featured Bride

"Do things together! The process can be so demanding and stressful. Create little dates by doing things together to make it more fun! We made a whole day out of visiting our venue and a dinner date for our catering tastings! It made us both feel more involved and invested in the process. "

Composed by Jessica Posey from Heaven Sent Events

Shawn and Sierra Penn

Tell us about your love story!

How did you meet?

We met on Tinder in 2017 and messaged back and forth for a few weeks until I got bored by his uninteresting conversation through text messaging. Then, in early 2018, I met him again on Bumble and asked for his phone number. He proceeded to let me know that I already had his number. I had totally forgotten who he was! After that, it was fate. I knew that I had to meet him in person because he caught my attention twice on dating apps. Our first meeting was at his college apartment at Texas State University where we both attended. We watched a scary movie and talked all night. After that, we started hanging out every day until we made it official after one month of spending time together!

How did you know he was the one?

One night about nine months into our dating, we were hanging out at his apartment with his four roommates. Really late into the night, the boys always like to sit out on their balcony and talk about deep topics, life, family, etc. They call it “balcony chilling.” Basically, it is a time where they all know that they can talk seriously with one another about less trivial topics. They decided to “balcony chill” that night and Shawn told all of his roommates that he was going to marry me one day. All of our friends started running around the apartment screaming for joy at what Shawn had said to them. It was like a giant celebration that he had found a keeper.

How did he propose?

Shawn took me to Landry’s Steakhouse on the Riverwalk in San Antonio for our four-year anniversary. We had a wonderful dinner. I was feeling grumpy because I was so tired from working an early morning shift, so he took me to find coffee on the Riverwalk. Little did I know, one of his groomsmen was following us around with a camera while Shawn was looking for the perfect spot to propose to me. As Shawn proposed in a little garden spot on the riverwalk, his groomsmen jumped out of the bushes to capture the moment. Afterwards, he surprised me by taking me to a bar in downtown San Antonio where all of our friends were waiting to celebrate with us!

Describe your wedding planning process.

Did you DIY any aspect of your wedding?

I made all of the signage, guest book set up, and seating chart for the wedding. I also put a display of blankets out for the ceremony guests since it was chilly outside.

Did you have a specific theme?

We strived for a boho, earthy theme, a cottagecore aesthetic with very wintery colors.

Where did you save the most?

We saved the most on our wedding cake. Neither of us are crazy about cake, but we wanted one for the cake cutting. I got a simple cake from H-E-B, and I decorated it the day before with dried flowers from Amazon. It was so simple, and we spent a total of $45 for everything.

Where did you splurge?

We splurged on the rest of the desserts! Even though cake was not our thing, we LOVE sweets! We got 30 dozen tiny tarts from our catering company to eat after dinner. We also had a mini donut truck come during the last two hours of our reception. They parked right next to the dance floor so that everyone could dance and enjoy a late-night treat. They also had coffee which was an added plus!

Where did you splurge?

We splurged on photography, videography, my wedding dress, and the cakes. These were all really important to us and were well worth it!

Why did you choose your venue?

We both have family out of town. My family lives in California and his family lives in Oklahoma, so it was really important for us to have onsite lodging. The Lodge at Cypress Falls could accommodate 75 guests, so close friends and family could stay with us onsite. The rooms were very quirky and felt like elevated glamping. Also, we got the venue for four days so all of the guests got to make a weekend getaway for the wedding. It was so nice to be there for so long and to be present for any last minute changes. They had bonfires every night and an onsite bar at the Tavern which allowed us to hang out with the bridal party. The venue reminded me of the summer camp from The Parent Trap, and I really wanted that vibe for our friends and family to all bond together for a weekend. They also have a swimming hole where the groomsmen took a “polar plunge” together the morning of our wedding.

We reserved seats at our ceremony with photos of our lost loved ones so that they had a special place at our wedding. We also had Shawn’s uncle officiate our wedding because his relationship with his wife is one that we both look to for guidance in our own marriage.

Did you incorporate any special traditions or sentimental details in your ceremony or reception?
What was your most stressful decision?

My most stressful decision was my wedding dress. I had about six dresses that I loved! I couldn’t decide which one to get. One of the workers at Gautier walked by our appointment, and she told me that they had a new dress that she thought would look great on me. She brought it out, and it fit like a glove. It was the one! I was so stressed about which dress felt like the most “me” and it turned out that my actual dress picked me instead!

What turned out to be your best decision surrounding the big day?

Our best decision was having all of the bridal party stay the weekend with us at the venue. Every night felt like a sleepover with my girls! I stayed in a different room every night with different bridesmaids. We would stay up all night talking and reminiscing about the past.

Is there anything you would have done differently?

HEATERS! A huge cold front came in over the weekend, and we did not rent any heaters. My dad spent the whole day before the wedding driving around Wimberly and Dripping Springs buying up all the heaters and fire pits he could find. It ended up working out perfectly because the fire pits looked beautiful in our photos. If I had known, I would have rented space heaters.

Tell Us About

Your dress:

I wore a strapless, mermaid-type gown with a corset see-through bodice. The color was bridal white and had lots of 3D floral lace. It had woodland fairy vibes!

Your flowers:

I really wanted white and different shades of green. I am not a big flower girl, so I wanted a lot of mixed greenery. Also, I wanted a lot of baby’s breath incorporated. The men’s flowers were simple bundles of baby’s breath.

The food:

We wanted elevated comfort food. The Royal Fig did an excellent job meeting this goal! Out of everything from the wedding, our guests still talk about how great the food was. We did double entrees of chicken pot pie and braised short ribs. For sides we did a sweet potato mash with cinnamon and marshmallow, and a cold broccoli salad. The appetizers were mini avocado toasts with cojita cheese and pomegranate seeds and a brisket nacho with pico and avocado crema sauce. YUM!

The cake:

Our cake was a simple 2-tier cake from H-E-B that I decorated with dried florals from Amazon!

Recap your big day for us

What made you laugh?

We still laugh that the boys went swimming in the creek 30 minutes before they needed to be ready for pictures. Boys will be boys.

What made you cry?

The speeches our fathers did at the reception made us both cry. Shawn’s step-dad cried during his speech, and I cried like a baby during my dad’s speech. They were all truly wonderful.

What were the most memorable moments?

The afterparty! After our reception ended at 10:00PM, we got to continue the party until 1:00 AM at the Tavern! That is when everyone cut loose and really picked up the dancing!

Did anything unexpected happen?

I was so exhausted after the wedding that I fell asleep on the couch in the honeymoon suite while I was taking my makeup off! I woke up the next morning with a makeup wipe stuck to my face!

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

Do things together! The process can be so demanding and stressful. Create little dates by doing things together to make it more fun! We made a whole day out of visiting our venue and a dinner date for our catering tastings! It made us both feel more involved and invested in the process.

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

We look forward to starting a family together! We both really love kids.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Read your vows in private the morning after the wedding. We chose not to read them publicly at the ceremony and instead had a breakfast date the morning after. This is where we read our vows on our couch in the living room when we got home. It was so much more intimate and meaningful to look each other in the eye in a comfortable setting to open our hearts to each other. We both cried like babies after reading them. I would highly recommend it, especially for some men who struggle to show their emotions in front of others. This gives them the opportunity to be comfortable opening up.

Local Vendors:
Wedding Venue Cypress Falls Event Center
Reception Venue Dark Skies Tavern
Photographer Brownie Photography and Production
Caterer The Royal Fig
Florist Wild Bunches Floral
Cake/Dessert The Royal Fig
Bartending/Beverage Service Dark Skies Tavern
Music/Entertainment At Last Entertainment
Wedding Music:
Processional ILYSB LANY
Bride’s Entrance Love Someone Lukas Graham
Recessional Love the Way Mac Miller Ft. Ariana Grande
First Dance Lifetime Justin Beiber
Father/Daughter Dance Sweet Child of Mine Guns N Roses
Mother/Son Dance Thought You Should Know Morgan Wallen
Last Dance Lover Taylor Swift