Story By: Shelbi LeMeilleur
Photos by Butch Ireland
Right after Austin Martin proposed to his girlfriend Miriam Mooney, she hopped on a plane and flew to Germany. No, she wasn’t running away…she had an internship with the State Department in Hamburg, but it is something the couple jokes about now.
Austin and Miriam met in a summer school class at Texas A&M University. Both were heavily involved in some of Texas A&M’s most cherished traditions. Austin was in the Aggie Band and Miriam started the Hullabaloo crew for off-campus student bonfire. That’s why it came as no surprise to include another sacred tradition in their proposal.
“I had just done my last presentation of grad school for that semester,” Miriam says. “He had gotten some friends to ask me for a campus tour before they went home. We had already been discussing proposals and weddings; we had picked out rings beforehand. I was really suspicious at this time of year. Him being in the band and all, we both really liked the tradition of the Century Tree with the sabre arches so I was pretty suspicious of anyone who was trying to get me on campus.”
As her “tour” for her friends made it to the Century Tree, she noticed a large crowd of people, which turned out to be family and friends. Miriam and Austin walked under the sabre arches and the tree, where he proposed.
Planning a wedding was difficult in the beginning. Miriam spent three months in Germany for her internship, so most planning and vendor correspondence was via Skype during that time. They worked with Ashley & Company to help make the planning process easier.
“I didn’t really know a lot about weddings,” Miriam explains. “I didn’t really plan my wedding when I was little, so just trying to juggle what we felt was important, what everyone was telling us was important, and the biggest thing was that we went into planning the reception with the idea that we just wanted it to be fun for everyone. … With every decision, the things I cared about the most were the things I thought would affect everyone.”
The easiest decision they made was picking St. Anthony’s for the ceremony. However, for the reception venue, they wanted somewhere to accommodate 400 guests and have a sizeable dance floor. Rock Lake Ranch fit both needs.
The day of the wedding was a bit of a whirlwind. “We got to the church and the room that they had us in was disconnected from the main church, and it was about to start pouring,” Miriam says. “There hadn’t been any rain forecasted for the day, naturally. So, I had to run right as the sprinkles were starting from the one door to the church and then I had to stay up in the music loft.
The Catholic ceremony was Miriam’s favorite part, but luckily the rain let up in time for the reception and some last-minute pictures at Rock Lake Ranch. “The reception was really fun; it went off perfectly,” says Miriam.
At the reception, guests had several choices for dessert. There was a pie bar, because Austin and Miriam love pies. Austin’s cake was made to look like the Aggie Band bugle banners. For Miriam’s cake, she decided to try a new trend.
“I started looking at Pinterest, like I guess everyone does, and I started looking at naked cakes. I really like that you could get them with pie fillings, or just fruit or jams,” Miriam says. “When we first talked to [Cakes by] Blondie, I guess naked cakes was a pretty new trend back then. … She was just a little hesitant to promise a new trend she hadn’t necessarily perfected before. By the time she got to mine she had done a bunch, because I guess the trend broke all around the same time.”
Throughout the night, they participated in many of the traditional wedding rituals, including the bouquet and garter toss, oldest couple contest, and a boot dance using one of Austin’s Corps boots. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Aggie wedding without singing the War Hymn at the end of the night.
“Being Aggies, traditions are always really meaningful for us. The same is definitely true in a Catholic wedding,” Miriam says. “But then, also just the reception itself, having everyone come together and having all of our friends and family having such a good time. It was nice that they were all there for us, but we were just happy that we could celebrate the moment with them, and that they could have as much fun as we were having was really important to us. It wasn’t just about us.”
Venue Rock Lake Ranch
Photography Butch Ireland
Coordination Ashley & Co.
Florist Post Oak Florist
Catering J. Cody’s
Drinks Luke’s Bartending
DJ Downtown Event Services
Hair/Makeup Grace Terry
Cake/Desserts Cakes by Blondie
Miriam’s Dress & Bridesmaids’ Dresses Impressions Bridal in Houston
Men’s Wear Men’s Wearhouse
Honeymoon Playa del Carmen
Pies Kott’s Café
12th Man Towels C.C.’s Creations
Rehearsal Dinner Papa Perez