A Country, DIY Wedding at Montesino Ranch in Wimberley, Texas

“As a graphic designer with a passion for branding, I approached our wedding like a branding project,” says Anika Samples (27 and a graphic designer).

“As a graphic designer with a passion for branding, I approached our wedding like a branding project,” says Anika Samples (27 and a graphic designer). Using her DIY skills and relying on help from family and friends, Anika created a beautiful country wedding that captured what she and her husband, Adam Koehler (27 and a sales representative), loved about Texas. Anika relied on themes like rustic, eclectic, romantic and festive to set the tone for the couple’s special day. The venue, a working organic farm known as Montesino Ranch in Wimberley, Texas, had the country element covered. Brightly painted German pub chairs and vintage furniture gave a touch of eclectic whimsy, as well as the couple’s collection of aqua-colored glass, postcards and the giant butterfly bicycle. Anika brought in the romantic element with a deep burgundy color used in her bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen ties, napkins and flowers. She let party decor balloons, garlands, streamers and gold details create a sense of festivity. Other DIY touches included handwritten chalkboards, homemade favors and escort cards and the cake. At the top of a steep hill overlooking the property, Anika and Adam said their vows, while friends offered blessings and prayers from their seats. Says Anika, “Our day came together so beautifully. It was that fall's first cool (much appreciated after a long Texas summer), and everything ran without a hitch. It was a massive effort from so many people—our vendors, family and friends—and it was perfect.” —Ginger Harris

As a graphic designer, Anika created a romantic and rustic theme with her starry-night-themed stationery.
"I fell in love with my dress on Pinterest before we even got engaged," Anika says. "When I tried it on, I knew it was the one. I adored its vintage style, flattering, flowing shape, delicate beading detail and statement back." Because her dress had lots of shimmer and sparkle, she paired it with a rhinestone headpiece and kept the rest of her accessories simple. "My earrings were diamond studs made from my grandmother’s engagement ring."
Decked in burgundy dresses, Anika opted for a downplayed bouquet of baby's breath for her bridesmaids. "The small, cloudlike white buds stood out beautifully against the dark contrast of their dresses."
Groomsmen wore a boutonniere with a single bloom that matched one in the bridal bouquet with a piece of greenery. "I made the boutonniere holders from bullet casings given to us by Adam’s father," Anika says.
Anika's and Adam's male attendants wore gray suits, black shoes or boots and burgundy ties, playing into the wedding's rustic theme.
Growing up in Texas, Anika and Adam love the Texas Hill Country and wanted an outdoor ceremony. "We both feel at peace in nature, so it just made sense for our ceremony to be outdoors. When we saw Montesino Ranch in Wimberley, Texas, we knew we had found our perfect venue," Anika says.
"It was a rip-roaring good time," Anika says of the reception at Montesino Ranch in Wimberley, Texas. Immediately after the ceremony, guests boarded a bus to the barn for cocktail hour and the reception.
Anika relied on a few of her favorite things to give their wedding day personality. "My collection of postcards made for a fun alternative to a guest book," she says.
Relying on elements that served double duty, Anika and Adam's escort cards were written on matchbooks, which were favors for guests and a way for everyone to light their sparklers at the end of the night, Anika says.
"We loved the stunning 227 acres that made us feel a thousand miles away from the rest of the world," Anika says of the venue, a rustic barn at a working, organic farm.
"The weather was perfect, so we had dining tables set up outside in a grassy pasture. The bar, the cake table, the guest book table and the dance floor were inside the barn," Anika says of the layout, which also included white lights hanging above.
Anika's advice: Be efficient and get creative. "We used things that could do double duty. Table numbers were printed on tall candles," she says.
As with many elements of their wedding day, Anika and Adam chose a DIY cake. "My mom baked our wedding cake and a friend helped with the icing," she says. "It was a three-layer naked Italian coconut cream cake topped with fresh flowers."
Using matchbooks that served as favors and escort cards, guests lit sparklers and waved Anika and Adam off into the night.
Instead of leaving their big day in a car, Anika and Adam rode away on a giant butterfly bicycle from Austin Bike Zoo. Throughout the night it also served as entertainment for guests to ride and take photos with.