Valerie Faleiro and Michael Strenk have been coworkers, after which mates, earlier than a relationship ever shaped. “We bonded over our love for brand new locations and good eats, our adventurous spirits, and customary second language of Portuguese,” Valerie remembers. “I knew early on that Michael was one thing particular past friendship, however Michael took a little bit of convincing.” She goes on: “With an impending switch overseas for work, Michael wasn’t on the lookout for something severe. However little did he know, I may very well be very persistent as soon as I set my thoughts to one thing. Regardless of his makes an attempt to maintain issues pleasant, Michael was smitten, and my fixed artistic excuses to hang around collectively lastly gained him over.”
They endured by way of a interval of very lengthy distance when Michael relocated to Shanghai for work. “Distance was laborious, however we knew that amor vence tudo,” Valerie says. The phrase—which is Portuguese for “love conquers all”— has develop into a type of mantra for the couple in the previous few years. It’s proved true again and again—first, after they have been reunited in Austin, Texas.
“Regardless of our intensive travels and longing to find new locations, Austin has develop into the middle of our lives collectively,” the couple shares. “It solely made sense, then, that Michael would use the backdrop of Austin’s famed Woman Chicken Lake to suggest in Could of 2019, proper within the coronary heart of town the place we planted roots—and far to our shock, the place we’d develop into man and spouse.”
They deliberate, then postponed—and in the end canceled—their dream vacation spot wedding ceremony in Portugal, have been they have been to be married in the identical small city as Valerie’s mother and father, Moncarapacho. For his or her third wedding ceremony date, the couple selected one thing nearer to house: an intimate 60-person celebration at a classy property simply outdoors Austin. However there have been some issues they weren’t prepared to compromise on. “We wished to guarantee that our Austin wedding ceremony introduced collectively Valerie’s heritage, and Michael’s Brazilian and Italian background, to offer visitors the sensation that they have been attending a romantic, European affair,” the couple says.
Valerie had an ace up her sleeve: as a calligrapher, she’s an skilled vendor within the Austin wedding ceremony trade. “I used to be intentional with my vendor picks and sought out expertise I knew I may belief to assist execute my design imaginative and prescient,” she says. “The staff of distributors have been equally invested within the success of the day, and helped pull off the marriage of our desires in lower than six months.”
On June 26, 2021, they lastly mentioned “I do” in a marriage so flawlessly designed and branded, it was a vacation spot all its personal. Learn on to see all the gorgeous particulars, European touches, and homages to household on their massive day, deliberate by the couple and Krystal Wigfield of KMW Weddings & Occasions and photographed by Paige Vaughn Picture.
The bride runs her personal enterprise, Lettered by Valerie, calligraphing wedding ceremony envelopes, day-of signage, and customized bridal equipment. So her personal wedding ceremony paper suite was certain to be flawless. “My calligraphy and household crest have been utilized in sudden methods: embroidered, letterpressed, laser reduce, and vinyled,” she shares. “You’ll see it current within the invites, applications, escort card set up, customized bar, napkins, and signage.” The invites have been a collaborative effort, designed by Brooke Humble Designs and letterpressed by Inviting Letterpress Boutique.
As soon as they selected an Austin wedding ceremony, the couple fell in love with Woodbine Mansion, a historic house simply north of town that’s been repurposed into a marriage venue. “We beloved the charming house and its lush out of doors house. It made us really feel like we have been touring to a special place altogether—an expertise we wished to offer our visitors regardless of the place the marriage was to happen.”
Valerie had a definite imaginative and prescient in her head of what her wedding ceremony robe would seem like—however in the end fell in love with one thing utterly totally different. Chosen by KYHA’s Agata robe has a structured strapless bodice with a dramatic tiered tulle skirt. “After I put the gown on, the group was unanimous that it was trendy, romantic, and an ideal reflection of my fashion-forward strategy to bridal. It was arms down the gang favourite,” Valerie remembers. “I wished a romantic and timeless look that had parts of modernism built-in into it—and that might be snug to put on for a majority of the marriage day. The gown was the proper stability of that imaginative and prescient.”
Valerie’s mom, a retired florist, put a novel private contact on numerous parts for her daughter’s massive day—together with embroidering the couple’s monogram onto the veil.
Luna Magnificence & Bridal gave Valerie an elevated make-up look, and “tying again to my want to stability romance with modernity, I opted for a structured but messy low ponytail,” she says. Tender pink nails and a spritz of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s L’Homme à la Rose Eau de Parfum completed the look. She added a pair of A.B. Ellie earrings and donned a hoop that had belonged to Michael’s late Brazilian grandmother as a nod to household.
“As a result of we had a standard Catholic wedding ceremony, we didn’t write our personal vows,” Valerie shares. “As an alternative, we every wrote a particular card to 1 one other, which we learn individually earlier than the ceremony. Michael even wrote one on behalf of our canine, Spartacus.”
The morning of the marriage, Valerie introduced her mother and father with a customized watercolor of the Portuguese church the place they have been married many years earlier—and the place Valerie and Michael had initially deliberate on saying “I do.” The sentimental present was placed on show on the entrance to the marriage.
“Whereas there was no formal wedding ceremony occasion, our greatest family and friends have been inspired to put on colours and textures that tied again to the design and particulars of our wedding ceremony day,” Valerie says. “Many visitors wore coloured fits and ties with floral accents, and my finest mates wore tiered clothes that tied again to my wedding ceremony gown.”
4 lovely flower ladies—all nieces of the bride—wore customized clothes sewn by Valerie’s mom, pink velvet bows, and nude slippers. “Their baskets have been shipped from Portugal by my aunt and included a mixture of miniature wild flowers and child’s breath,” Valerie says. Additionally from Portugal: an embroidered pouch for the ring bearer to hold containing the marriage bands.
“St. Austin Catholic Parish is positioned within the coronary heart of College Campus, which felt like the proper kickoff to a day of celebrations,” the couple shares. They stored decor minimal, emphasizing the areas visitors can be paying most consideration to. “This included customized greenery preparations on the altar, unity candle station, and cantor station. An archway of flowers have been additionally positioned on the entrance of the church, setting the tone as visitors arrived.”
The organ piped Bach’s “Air on the G String” as Valerie’s father escorted her down the aisle. Through the ceremony, the bride’s sister-in-law—knowledgeable singer, music instructor, and cantor—carried out all of the songs, and the couple’s mother and father did readings. After “I do,” the newlyweds recessed out to “Hornpipe” from Handel’s Water Music.
For his apparel, the groom wore a customized navy tuxedo, and a pocket sq. he’d chosen on a earlier journey to Portugal. He accessorized with customized cufflinks gifted by the bride—they have been engraved with “M+V” and “6.26.21”—a bracelet from the Kendra Scott males’s assortment, and a Junghans watch.
Don’t take into consideration your wedding ceremony day as simply an occasion, however as an unbelievable alternative to share your love story.
“Don’t take into consideration your wedding ceremony day as simply an occasion however as an unbelievable alternative to share your love story by way of each element,” the couple advises. “Take the time to consider what issues to you most on the marriage day, no matter which may be, and prioritize that over the whole lot.”
After all their beloved pup, Spartacus, needed to be there for the massive day! He wore a customized bandana constituted of the couple’s signature wedding ceremony material.
Cocktail hour was a real occasion, with enjoyable actions for visitors to get pleasure from. A reside guitarist strummed acoustic variations of pop hits, visitors snapped footage in a classic van-turned-photo sales space, and an alpaca interacted with the gang. “The alpaca truly acquired into the picture sales space van with visitors for footage,” the couple remembers with amusing. “We have now the picture strips saved as recollections endlessly in our picture e book.”
As visitors headed inside for dinner, the couple shared a second alone. “We loved a non-public sundown within the courtyard of the venue whereas visitors went inside and loved their dinner,” Valerie says.
Through the ups and downs of planning and replanning through the pandemic, the couple’s mantra of amor vence tudo turned a theme for the massive day. The phrase was emblazoned in Valerie’s personal script on a large escort card show fabricated by the couple. (The bride additionally wore a bracelet engraved with the phrase.)
“Actually your entire wedding ceremony was DIY,” Valerie shares. “The bars have been constructed by my brother-in-law, painted by my father, and hand-lettered by me.” Two signature cocktails have been on supply, hers a cucumber basil margarita and Michael’s an Previous Common with a fruit-infused ice dice.
Given her background as a florist, the mom of the bride created every of the desk centerpieces by hand, and French bistro chairs added to the European vibe.
The marriage was fantastically branded with a signature material—a floral print from Monique Lhuillier for Pottery Barn—that was included into each main design ingredient, from the escort card show to hand-sewn pillows within the lounge areas. As napkins, the material adorned every place setting. Different stylish particulars within the tempo settings? Hand-lettered identify playing cards hooked up to Bartlett pears with ribbons that denoted dietary preferences; a curated choice of gold cutlery and classic glassware; and a customized crest on letterpress menu playing cards. “Candles of various peak lit the room so as to add a romantic ambiance because the solar set over the mansion,” Valerie provides.
The four-course meal included a summer season pear salad, candy corn and ricotta ravioli, Parmesan-crusted beef medallions, and eggplant lasagna. “Visitors loved table-side service of preselected Portuguese wines, and a desk of desserts supplied our favorites from Portugal, Brazil, and the U.S.,” the couple says. A DJ spun Brazilian love songs as visitors noshed.
“Put up ceremony, I swapped my veil and earrings for a pair of assertion butterfly hair pins from Jennifer Behr,” Valerie says. They shimmered in her ponytail as she and her groom swung to Ed Sheeran’s “Good” for his or her first dance.
Why have one cake when you’ll be able to have two? The couple opted for one two-tier and one three-tier vanilla cake with candy cream icing and recent floral adornments.
Calligraphed labels thanking visitors for celebrating have been affixed to bottles of Portuguese wine as takeaway favors—and the couple discovered one ultimate use for the signature Monique Lhuillier material, wrapping every bottle’s neck with a ribbon of it.
“The magic of the day was amplified by the quantity of distinctive touches delivered to life by the entire mates, household, and distributors concerned within the planning course of,” the couple shares. “It was merely the happiest day of our life.” Their recommendation to different brides- and grooms-to-be? “Keep true to what makes the day a mirrored image of you as a pair—and rejoice HARD.”