A Donated Intimate Winter Wedding Love Story

February 10, 2018

This is the sweetest intimate wedding, and the story to go along with it is heartfelt! This collaborated wedding truly shows how a community of wedding vendors can come together and impact this couples lives forever.


Thank you to all the wonderful vendors who came together to produce such an amazing tiny wedding! 














Here is how Leah and Austin's intimate winter wedding came together...


My name is Crystal Rodriguez and I am one of the Photographers (the other is my husband) of Olvera Photography. I was contacted in November by a sweet kindergarten teacher in Alaska to photograph an elopement at a park. She informed me that she had just gotten engaged a few days prior. Her fiance planned to propose to her when she came to visit San Antonio in December but he had just received information that he would be getting orders to an unknown location in March. He told her that he was sorry to ruin the surprise but he had planned to propose to her when she came to visit him in December. He had planned to hire a photographer to capture the proposal, but what if he hired a photographer to capture them getting married instead?? And so they decided to get married when she came to visit him in December. Since she only had a little over a month to plan, she didn't have anything planned but they did want a photographer to capture the memory since none their friends or family could come on such short notice. So since my husband is retired from serving 22 years in the military and we love helping our fellow military families, I thought of the idea of gifting them the photography.





















Then I had another idea - what if we made it a little more special and put on a small styled shoot/REAL wedding with some vendor friends for their ceremony. I called my friend and event planner Kelsea from Touch of Whimsy and asked her for help and to see if this was possible just 2 days after Christmas. Together we reached out to all our "friendors" in the wedding community. Within one week we had an entire wedding for this sweet couple donated. Everything was donated, from a dress to a venue, food truck full service catering to a mobile horse trailer bar, calligraphy, custom jewelry and everything else for an entire wedding. I even had complete strangers in a photography group on Facebook offer to help, one of which owns a wedding accessory store, Black Label Decor and within seconds offered one of everything from her store, from a customized bridal robe and hanger to a laser engraved wooden ring box. Two days before the wedding I realized that we  were still missing a guestbook and I wanted them to have something from Texas. I found wood cutout of Texas for sale, when I inquired about it with Wonderstruck boutique, she offered to donate it as well.  All the vendors signed it and it was given as a gift so that when the military moves them  around the world, they can always remember their special day in Texas!




















We didn't really plan on having a full-blown wedding, we were originally just trying to give this military couple a beautiful ceremony. We couldn't believe the incredible and overwhelming response from all the vendors who wanted to help this military couple. The Box Street Social owner, Edward Garcia III, a former Marine,  volunteered his amazing talents and cooked up a mouthwatering dinner for not only the guests but he offered to feed all the vendors who worked so hard that day. Can you believe he cooked up an elegant gourmet dinner from his decked out food truck parked outside (did I mention it was freezing outside)?  It even caused a ripple effect; because everything was donated, Leah’s parents were able to afford to come to Texas. I even found out that her parents actually met here in San Antonio, TX. while in the Airforce. So it was like a trip down memory lane for her parents. Leah’s best friend, Jessica, was also able to make it from D.C. because she received a plane ticket as a Christmas gift from her own husband. And one of Leah’s co-workers in Alaska donated a honeymoon suite to the couple on the Riverwalk.











The wedding day came and it just so happened that it was one of the coldest days of the year –and it was raining off and on. This was not so good for the outdoor barn wedding we had planned. In a few minutes, everyone worked hard to move everything indoors into the barn and it turned out to be be such a romantic sight! Leah and Austin had an intimate candlelit ceremony and reception with over 500 candles lit in a gorgeous rustic barn. 


Words can never describe the joy that was felt that day.  I feel lucky to have had  Austin and Leah put all their trust in us to make their day special. All the vendors kept thanking me for letting them be a part of this, but I was the most grateful for them. I have never met more selfless, caring business owners. The coming together to help give this military couple a dream wedding will be a memory I will never forget! 






Photographer: Olvera Photography

Photographer: Pine and Blossom Photography

Venue: The Allen Farmhaus

Dress Store: Celebration Bridal

Event Planner: Touch of Whimsy Design & Coordination

Cake: Cakes by Dre

Mobile Bar: Sass Tass & The Pour Horse, Mobile Bar Co LLC

Caterer: The Box Street Social

Beauty: The look by dora vera

Floral Designer: H.E.B. Grocery Co.

Cinema & Video: The Orion Creative

Band: Colleen Michell Miller & Michael Hanscheck

Equipment Rentals: Cru Rentals

Jewelry: Estylo Jewelry

Jewelry: The Glittered Gal

Signage: Wonderstruck Boutique

Calligrapher: CalliRosa

Etsy Designer: ShoreCrafty

Etsy Designer & Signage: Black Label Designer

Professional Organizer: Modified by Melissa



Happy Wedding Planning!









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