Neysa and Christopher had a lovely wedding ceremony at the St Louis King of France church in north central Austin. We did their bride/groom portraits there and then moved on to a Brazilian steakhouse for one of the most delicious reception meals at Estancia Churrascaria. I definitely recommend that venue for small parties, it was delicious, easy and a good time. We did a few portraits there including a sparkler exit, and then moved on their home where the rest of the wedding like the first dances and the cake cutting happened.

“Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good. By itself it makes that is heavy light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.” Thomas a Kempis

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Lindsey and Lance’s day started at the UT campus, with portraits there. Their ceremony was at the University Christian Church and then we moved on to the Waller Creek ballroom for their reception. The reception was a Mardi Gras themed party, with a brass band that showed up midway through and then everyone did a second line around downtown Austin. It was amazing.

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Ceremony: University Christian Church
Reception: Waller Ballroom
Catering: Baton Creole
Coordinator: Sarah Neve
Florist: Bouquet of Austin and HEB
Cake: Haley Cakes and Cookies
DJ: Greenbelt DJ
Brass Band: Ubran Achievers

west world costumesthe westworld sdcc

While waiting in line at Hall H of Comic-con, I heard buzz about the West World Experience. It’s supposedly one of the best off-sites at Comic-con. Someone showed up with a white cowboy hat, which was the swag for the off-site. It was very high quality and looked amazing. Seeing that hat made me want to go in line for it.

I didn’t have a fancy press badge, so that meant I had to stand in an overnight line. There weren’t that many people willing to stand in an overnight line for something that wasn’t Hall H, or Exclusive merchandise, but I eventually found some. We made a line group, and the first of our member started standing in line at 3 pm.

I had checked in around 8 pm to see how the line was doing, it was at that point pretty much already full. And since the day before the wristbands were handed out at 5 am, I figure to be safe I should be back in line at 3 am. So I went back to my hotel to grab a nap and had told my line friends that I would be back at 1 am.

Going to sleep early was hard and I kept tossing and turning. For some reason, I checked my phone at 11:30 pm and thought about heading back early. Then I saw a text message from the person standing in line for me, and she said, “The HBO people are here early! They are about to give out wristbands!”

Still in bed, at a hotel a mile away, I immediately sprung into action. My roommate told me to give up, but I wanted to give it a shot. So put on clothes, ran outside, and thankfully there was a cab. The driver carefully, but quickly drove me past way too many red lights, and I flung a twenty dollar bill at him, at a ten dollar fare because I couldn’t wait for change.

I arrived at the line five minutes before they gave out wristbands.

So that was my adrenaline filled story of how I got a wristband to see Westworld.

The experience started with booking the appointment with a host. There was an automated piano playing songs familiar from the series, and everything was immaculate. The host gave me a time and direction to the offsite.

Once I arrived at the offsite, our group of six was winnowed to a group of three. We explored the costumes and weapons that were used in West World. While we were waiting, we asked a bunch of questions with the hosts. I asked him if was happy, and he answered, “I’m am always happy working with Delos Corporation.” Earlier I had asked, “Are you a robot” and he answered with the iconic line from the TV show, “If you can’t tell, does it really matter?” One of the main fun was watching the hosts as they answer your questions. Some of the actors were really superb and quick with the answers.

Our group of three was then given a tour, and split into one on ones with personality consultants. The amount of personal care was amazing for the crazy jungle that is Comic-con. I was asked a bunch of morality questions like, “If you had a button that could save all of the world’s problems, but would kill half of humanity, would you: 1) press the button 2) Hand the button to someone else to decide or 3) destroy the button and the person who made the button.”

After the personality evaluation, I was given a black hat!

We were also shown a video, where the other clients watched the video, but I watched the Host, and she was really creepy. Her eyes rolled up and she stood completely still. There were a bunch of glitches with the video too.

Then we were led to a saloon where we were given three different artisanal drinks. One of which was lit on fire and danced from one cup to another. Another was a milk punch.

I told a host that there was blood on the piano, she leaned in and looked at it and said, “I don’t see anything wrong.”

When I was leaving the saloon, she said, “This is just the beginning” in a threatening away.

The whole experience was quite amazing, and I am really happy with my cowboy hat. I had to wear it on my flight back to Texas and I felt like I was a different person.

Thank you, Westworld!

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Top Wedding Caterers in Austin to Fit All Budgets and Styles

Austin has always been a great place to grab tacos, but in recent years the foodie culture has absolutely exploded, and with it, the catering industry. From classy and refined, to casual family-style, to the classic Austin food truck, there are seemingly infinite caterers to choose from for all budgets and styles. But, just as a great caterer can perfect your special day, a bad caterer can really louse it up, especially if you’re trusting them to organize rentals, serving staff, bartending, clean-up, and cake cutting. They are basically running the show, so it’s important to know you’re in safe hands. Here are some of the best, most supportive, and most consistently delicious caterers in Austin, and the reasons why they get such rave reviews:

Royal Fig Catering

Price: Competitive > Upscale

These guys can do no wrong. Wedding extraordinaires, they basically get a perfect score for service, reliability, consistency, flavor, and quality across the board. You can’t beat the quality and value you get with their food and service. As one bride noted: “They provided a sit down family style meal of beef filet, lobster hash and crab cakes for the same price all other caterers were charging for a buffet of chicken and mac n cheese on paper plates with plastic silverware!” Locally and sustainably source, and with a menu that varies according to seasonal vegetables, this New American and European inspired menu is perfect for a rustic chic vibe that features both unique and traditional offerings like braised chicken with mushrooms, lobster grits, and butternut and sage lasagna.

Pink Avocado Catering

Price: Competitive

This caterer keeps couples calm on their special day with incredible support and communication. With a totally customizable menu, great customer service reputation, and a complete willingness to match your budget concerns, this catering company is all about transparency and flexibility. Their menu gleans inspiration from all over the world including asian, mexican, and italian. As one bride recounted: “This was for a group of people from all over the country and with vastly different tastes. I couldn’t have asked for more”.

East Side King

Price: Thrifty > Competitive

Starting as a single food truck and growing into a multi-truck and brick-and-mortar favorite, this japanese/thai fusion menu is a sure way to leave a lasting impression on guests while giving them a taste of Austin culture. This is a great and fun way to go low key and casual, since they do offer a buffet style drop-off, including disposable plasticware and plates, and without attending servers or clean-up, which can really knock down the price of catering. With refreshingly eclectic options like sweet and spicy Chicken Karaage, Brussel Sprout Salad with sweet chilli sauce, and Pork Belly Buns, guests will get a nice break from your standard chicken and asparagus wedding faire. They also source naturally, make everything fresh and from-scratch, and offer vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options without compromising on flavor. For some added flair, they can bring the truck and guests can order from the window!

Crave Catering

Price: Competitive > Upscale

This caterer is the highlight of the evening at both casual and traditional events, offering a great compromise between refinement and indulgent comfort food. Menu options for the appetizers alone include bacon wrapped quail, tuna tartare, duck tacos, and goat cheese tartlets. Brides and grooms also praise their accommodating service, customizable menu, and flexible price point.