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Mary Zuniga & Matt Johnson
April 11, 2010

written by
Katie Chancellor
photography by

It either takes a very adventurous bride or one who is merely used to the creative energy of a talented photographer to agree that hopping a barbed-wire fence in her wedding dress is a perfectly acceptable request for getting the perfect shot. Perhaps both can be said about Mary Zuniga who did just that for a pre-ceremony photo shoot on the day of her wedding. "I do not recommend that kind of a stunt to other brides; but for my photographer groom, I was willing to go the distance!" Mary described.

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Matt Johnson was the only guy that could sweep Mary off her feet and convince her to do that sort of thing. The couple first met at a New Year's Eve concert by The Gourds a couple of years ago. In the excitement of the night and honoring the holiday tradition, the two shared a kiss. "I kissed him before I even met him!" exclaimed Mary. After an official first date the next day, Mary and Matt were inseparable.

A proposal of marriage soon followed to which Mary responded with a resounding "yes," and the wedding planning began. The couple found themselves drawn to the small town of Kyle for their venue selection. Mary explained, "The wildflowers at Texas Old Town, and the beautiful wood interior of the dance hall made it the perfect place for us." It was a field of wildflowers that prompted the wedding day fence-jumping that led to some fantastic shots of the couple taken by their photographer Ben Godkin. The risk paid off, however. "We are so happy with how our photographs turned out!" said the bride.

At an outdoor ceremony surrounded by their family and friends, the couple exchanged simple yet sentimental vows that they had written together. Additional touches of wildflowers elevated the natural beauty of the location. Mary and her two attendants, her sister and niece, wore blue and green dresses and carried colorful bouquets that included sunflowers, while Matt and his groomsmen wore similarly styled boutonnieres.

The bride's fingertip-length veil complemented her elegant, form-fitting Palazzo wedding gown. She wore her mother's pearls, carried her grandmother's wedding handkerchief and was very delighted to wear a lovely pearl bracelet given to her by her future mother in law to fulfill the bridal traditions of "something borrowed", "something old" and "something new." For Mary, they were also something meaningful.

The wedding colors and wildflowers continued into the reception with floral arrangements provided by Verbena Floral Design scattered throughout the venue and on the cake. For a fun decoration, the couple cleverly showcased pictures of their childhood by attaching them to a clothesline with clothespins. Personalized M&M's with phrases like "Thanks, y'all" also added to the easygoing, relaxed feel of the event.

Word of Mouth Catering provided a delicious feast with everything from appetizers of crab cakes and macaroni and cheese on edible spoons to a buffet of salmon and roast beef. The live music was a mix of styles from the band Top Choice and the mariachi group Mariachi Tamazula.

After the fun-filled reception concluded, the couple continued the celebration with some of their family and closest friends at the Lustre Pearl in Austin and ended with a late-night breakfast at IHOP. "I had to pay the dry cleaners extra to take the syrup out of my wedding dress, but it was worth it. I don't know when I'll get another chance to laugh that hard surrounded by such dear friends and family," said Mary.

A few days later, the newlyweds left for their Caribbean honeymoon on the island of Anguilla where they snorkeled and enjoyed dancing to local live music, a favorite pastime of theirs that they continue to enjoy now back at home in South Austin.

Ceremony & Reception Location:
Texas Old Town

Ben Godkin

Word of Mouth

(512) 420-0720

Inviting Affairs
(512) 331-2133

Gown Designer:

Gown & Veil
Purchased At: Melange

Hair & Makeup:
Priscilla - Haute Hair

Ceremony Music:
Tim Brace

Reception Music:
Top Choice

The Ku Hotel in Anguilla


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