Austin Weddings

How to Make (Lasting) Memories on Your Wedding Day

Most brides and grooms will tell you that that their wedding day went by in the blink of an eye.

Surrounded by friends, family and loved ones (some of whom you are meeting for the first time from your spouse’s side) there’s pressure to spend time talking to everyone. Then there’s portrait sessions, cake cutting, dancing and a plethora of other fun activities — all packed into a relatively short amount of time. Finally, before you know it, it’s time for the send off. Where did the day go?

Jessica Scott Photography

Jessica Scott Photography

This is why there are two pieces of advice we always offer to our brides and grooms: 

1. Hire a really good photographer. 

2. Set aside some time during the reception to make a memory 

As a Doctor of Psychology, I cannot stress the importance of the latter enough. So maybe you’ve hired a fantastic photographer, but how do you actually make a memory on your wedding day? 

Find a quiet place

ML Photo & Film

ML Photo & Film

At Garden Grove Austin, this is typically what we have actually started calling “the make a memory room.” It’s a small dining room located just off the bridal/honeymoon suite, away from the hustle and bustle. Some of our couples choose to have their photographer also capture this moment, and some choose to just spend it together. 


Local Embers & Co.

Local Embers & Co.

Eating dinner in a quiet place with just your spouse is important for so many reasons, including remembering the day. You likely spent a significant portion of your budget on the food, and it’s typically one of the focal points of a wedding, but I cannot tell you how many married people (myself included) barely even tasted it on their wedding day! 

The five senses are a critical part of forming lasting memories, and food covers four of them: sight, smell, touch and taste! 

Reminisce with your new spouse 

Cecilia Harvard Photography

Cecilia Harvard Photography

Your vocal chords may already be a bit fatigued, but talking with your spouse about the day prior to this point, is huge. Discuss how you felt when you saw each other for the first time and your favorite moments during the ceremony. How did you feel when you walked down the aisle, newly husband and wife? 

This covers sense #5 (sound), plus repetition shortly after an event acts as a sort of mental file labeling process that tells your brain that these memories are important and belong in the long-term memory drawer. 

Be affectionate

Whitewood Photography

Whitewood Photography

Take a few tender first moments as husband and wife, because you might not get another chance to until the festivities are all over. Your new spouse will likely be wearing cologne or perfume. If you focus on that while you embrace -- even if just for a minute -- that scent could bring you right back to that very moment the next time you encounter it. 

Think about the memory forming process like carefully wrapping a precious gift, taking careful mental note of what it smells, tastes, looks, feels and sounds like. The more you wrap your memory in these different layers, the more preserved it will be when you go to “unwrap” it later. 

Garden Grove is a family owned and operated venue; as such, we are truly invested in each and every one of our couples’ days, and helping them make lifetime-lasting memories of their day is so incredibly important to us!

Gabby & Matt's Fairytale Fall Wedding

Whether or not you’re prone to wedding waterworks, it’s definitely a good idea to have some tissues on hand for this one. There were so many moments that had us blinking back more than a few happy tears — from the bride’s parents’ emotional first look at their gorgeous daughter, to the tenderness shared between the newlyweds. Then there was the exuberant joy that radiated from every single one of the 250 guests; at times I thought that Garden Grove’s 12 acres might not be able to contain it all. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to share any of this beauty with you if it wasn’t for the insanely talented folks at Feather & Twine.

With 36th Street Events at the helm, this day was also made possible by an army of awesome vendors including Sweetwater Stems, who was responsible for the stunning florals, the Memphis Train Revue band, who kept the guests moving on the dance floor literally the entire night, and Sherpa Lux who provided the vintage Bentley that carried the bride to and from the ceremony at St. Mary Cathedral in downtown Austin as well as the transportation for over 200 guests. Last but not least, Lady Quakenbush’s Cakery created the cake that was just as pleasing to the tastebuds as it was to the eyes and Gabby and her bridal party’s elegant hair and makeup was done by Kiss by Katie.

Hope you enjoy these photos as much as we did. <3

Ringing in Spring at Garden Grove Austin

Spring wedding season is officially in full swing! Garden Grove Austin has hosted two absolutely STUNNING weddings for fantastic couples this month, with more beauty on the way! Below are a couple sneak peeks from both Stefanie & Bobby and Gretchen & Chris’ weddings, and we are so excited to see the rest!

Photos by  Sophie Epton  • Design/Floral by  Merville Events  &amp;  Pearl Events Austin

Photos by Sophie Epton • Design/Floral by Merville Events & Pearl Events Austin

Photos by  Amy Gawlik  • Design/Floral by  The Flower Girl  &amp;  Kismet Flowers

Photos by Amy Gawlik • Design/Floral by The Flower Girl & Kismet Flowers

So as we continue into Spring Wedding Season 2019, let’s look back at some of the other gorgeous Spring nuptials that have graced Garden Grove!  


The venue is already taking bookings for Spring 2020, so if you feel inspired by any of these beautiful weddings,  it’s never too early to reach out and schedule a tour.

Why We Love the Wedding Gown Portrait Trend

Look through any collection of wedding photos from the past half-decade and you are almost certain to find what is now an essential portrait: the wedding gown on a hanger. Over the years, this iconic trend has transcended the bridal suite closet to idyllic settings both indoors and out,  resulting in shots that are just as beautiful as they are unique.

Leah Jeffers Photography

But why take the time to pose and photograph a vacant wedding gown when the bride is going to have her photo taken in it all day anyway? The answer varies depending on which bride or photographer you ask -- and there are no wrong ones of course -- but the one I love the most is this: The unoccupied gown represents anticipation.

AL Gawlik Photography

The dress, not yet animated by the bride, reflects the calm before the hustle and bustle of the day. After many months or more of so much planning and preparation, getting dressed is the final step before beginning the next chapter of her life. I cannot think of a more perfect way to not only immortalize the dress she may have spent many months saving and searching for, but also the hope, excitement and anticipation directly preceding “I do.”

Jessica Frey Photography 

Hopefully this doesn’t sound too cheesy, but if I wasn’t a hopeless romantic, then I wouldn’t be in this business! <3

Garden Grove’s 12 sprawling acres and 10,000 + square feet of luxurious interiors offer limitless ways to beautifully display and capture the perfect wedding gown portrait! Contact us to schedule your tour today.


Andrea and Danny's Poolside November Nuptials

You may remember Andrea’s absolutely GORGEOUS bridal portraits, posted on the blog in November. Well, her wedding photos are here and they are equally lovely!

November weather doesn’t get much more perfect than it was on Andrea and Danny’s Fall wedding day. Her seasonal bouquet from Kismet Flowers perfectly complemented a deep burgundy and navy color scheme. A perfectly fall-themed garland adorned the parogala where the couple sweetly exchanged vows. (Only in Austin, Texas can you have a poolside wedding in November!)

Enjoy these beautiful photos taken by Vanessa Anne Photography!