An Organic, Garden Wedding at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas


                                        The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is an iconic Austin location, showcasing Texas’ natural foliage. It

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is an iconic Austin location, showcasing Texas’ natural foliage. It made for the perfect setting for the spring nuptials between Kara Menefee (29 and a dietitian) and Justin Lam (30 and an analyst). They said “I do” in the center’s outdoor garden, which had string lights above and an abstract archway. “It took us only a few minutes after visiting the venue to decide this was the place for us. It was peaceful and perfectly fit us as a couple,” Kara says. The pair met at a wedding (she was a bridesmaid), and he asked her out not long after. Four years later, on a trip to Japan, Justin popped the question. Kara walked down the aisle in a lace gown with a soft flowing train. The bridesmaids wore gold and neutral dresses in different styles, while the groomsmen wore gray suits with vests. The couple wanted to embrace the venue's natural beauty, so they used a palette of greens, soft peaches and white. Floral arrangements and decor used an organic and vintage feeling. To escape the rain, festivities were in the center gallery, with wall-to-wall windows. Tables were decorated with linen tablecloths, floral centerpieces and photo albums of Kara and Justin. The bride used her calligraphy talents to create the custom table numbers and escort cards. Guests dined on the couple’s favorite dishes, like street tacos, sliders and macaroni and cheese. Kara’s father performed a special saxophone solo, and her mother and Justin performed a mash-up dance. They danced to “You and Me” by You+Me, which Kara says “was a perfect song for us, and we avoided the cliche wedding songs we all hear so often.” Family and friends tore up the dance floor and the couple was showered in flower petals on their way out. —Caroline Eubanks

Kara, a talented calligrapher, created several special pieces for the wedding, including the escort cards and a program mirror that listed the wedding party info. The escort cards were vintage-inspired seed packets with guests’ names handwritten in gold ink. She also created custom table numbers for the dinner tables by printing photos of herself and Justin over the years, placing them in books for the guests to enjoy, and handwriting the table numbers in gold on the front.
"Justin and I hit it off at a wedding," Kara says. "I was a single bridesmaid, and he was a friend of the groom's. The rest of the night we danced and laughed, and then Justin left without getting my number. But he contacted me a few days later with a proposal to meet up for a first real date. We've been dating ever since."
"I would describe the overall look as organic," Kara says of her dress. "The fabric was lace on top with a soft, flowing train. Nothing over the top but simple and elegant."
The bridesmaids wore gold and neutral dresses in different styles, complementing one another but retaining their individuality. They also carried bouquets similar to Kara's.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, is truly magical place, especially in May when the wildflowers are blooming. Kara and Justin wanted the venue's natural beauty to shine through in the design but not compete with the beautiful surroundings, so they chose a palette of greens, soft peaches and white.
Justin and his groomsmen sported gray suits with a vest without a jacket. The ring bearer dressed to match, and the flower girl wore a custom flower crown.
Custom wildflower seed packets served as favors and escort cards, with twine attaching name cards to them. Kara has a start-up calligraphy business in the works, so she handwrote everything. "We have received several pictures of the wildflowers blooming in our friends' and families' backyards since our wedding day," Kara says.
The floral arrangements were created with a natural, organic vibe. Kara and Justin wanted the design to have a vintage feel, so they chose lace runners to accent special tables like the sign-in table and the escort card table. Photo albums of the couple also served as a centerpiece.
Kara and Justin shared these tips for others: "People always told us before we were married, 'Don't ever marry someone you want to change.' We both took this advice very seriously and realized that if we can truly accept each other without having a secret wish list of things we need to fix, we have nothing to worry about. So far, it has stayed true for us."