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How Ceylan + Dan Wed Differently

We love when a couple decides to get married on their own terms! We talked to Ceylan Ozkan and Dan Conroy-Beam about how they wed differently for their big day on July 22 . Read on to find out how they fell in love with each other and try not to fall in love with them!

Courtesy of ByCherry Photography.


WHEN DID YOU KNOW THEY WERE THE ONE?: I am always so bad at this question…there was not one particular moment. Even from the start of our relationship, we both knew it was “serious.” It was just like, “OK, I’ve found my person” from the beginning, and that was that. I remember when I finally realized I liked him though…it was thanksgiving break, and I was watching PS I love you. I actually hate that movie, but something about it made me emotional that day. I sent him an effusive 5 page long text message telling him how much I value him and our relationship, and then he responded with the same, and he is not one for huge emotional pronouncements. When we got back to Austin and saw him again, I knew I was feeling something more. After all this time, he has never said when he knew, but he knew before I did.

Courtesy of ByCherry Photography.

HOW DID YOU OR THEY PROPOSE? Ha, no exciting story here. Dan got his dream job, we were planning our move, and we decided this was a good time to get married. We always knew we would get married and talked about the future, it was just a matter of when. We were both in school for our entire relationship even to this point, and we just wanted to be stable before getting married.

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY?: We just wanted to have fun, be relaxed and comfortable, and enjoy our family and friends in our new home. Throughout the entire planning process, we really focused on being relaxed, and enjoying our loved ones. We definitely did not want something frilly or formal. I was looking for places to get married in Santa Barbara while still living in Austin. One of my venue ideas for Austin was Jester King, a favorite brewery of ours. Then I found Pure Order Brewing Company in Santa Barbara, found out they did weddings, and it was settled as soon as I told Dan. We both love beer, we wanted a casual fun atmosphere, there was no question, it was a perfect fit.

Courtesy of ByCherry Photography.

HOW DID YOU WED DIFFERENTLY?: Nothing about our wedding was traditional. We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love, and it was. Neither of us is religious, which made planning the ceremony, particularly the vows, a little tougher. We didn’t want anything really gushy, so we made our vows funny and realistic instead. We included a quote from That Mitchell and Webb Look, a sketch comedy show with two of our favorite comedians. One of our best friends officiated the ceremony, with our other best friends all giving lovely mini speeches, my family friend I’ve known since I was 2 played guitar, another friend and her partner baked our wedding cookies (in place of cake), and all of our friends and family were so willing to help out and jump in for us. We spent the afternoon between the ceremony and the reception getting lunch at the Public Market in downtown SB, where we ran into so many friends and family (completely unplanned), and then we took pictures around the city with a friend. At the reception, we drank beer, ate tacos and cookies, and we laughed and hugged and were so, so joyful. We did not have dancing or a band, we just played a soul music playlist Dan put together. The whole day was perfect, even down to the moment when Dan forgot the rings and we just had to wing that part during the ceremony. We made up for with an impromptu ring ceremony on the sidewalk of our friends’ Airbnb while waiting for our Uber to the reception. The day and night were beyond incredible and so full or love, and we would not change a thing.

Courtesy of ByCherry Photography.

They used effusive in a sentence y’all, what’s not to love?! We wish them nothing but joy and laughter for all the days ahead!


Meet Our Vendor of the Week, The Monty + Ivy Hall!

Remember a few weeks ago when I was fangirling about the city’s latest venue? I visited, snapped these shots,  and fell in love even more. It’s everything I’ve wanted in a San Antonio wedding venue. It’s eclectic, highly-styled, and the perfect escape! Owned & designed by Stacey Hill and managed by Nina Hassele, this great team is sure to make The Monty + Ivy Hall a hit! Keep reading to find out why they’re our VoW!

WHEN DID YOU START?:  We started this year officially but it’s always been a fun place to have a party.

WHY DID YOU START?: After the Monterey restaurant closed we considered a few different uses for the property.  It was a light-bulb moment when I made the decision to officially do the thing I’ve always loved doing which is throwing parties.

My goal is to get the word out that the Monty and ivy is not your typical venue. It’s all we do, we don’t run a museum we only have parties.  I’m a perfectionist and if you want your wedding here I’m going to make sure that it’s exactly the way a client wants it.
WHO’S YOUR ULTIMATE CLIENT?: Clients range from the small family run events to the big events that hire an event planner, caterer and designer.  I guess if I had to define the ultimate client it would be one who is open to a little fantasy in their event and thinks out of the box but really I love them all.

My favorite event this year was a wedding where the bride and groom arrived in a rickshaw and the bride wore a green dress with twinkle lights sewn into the tulle skirt created by my friend at Angelina Mata Atelier.  Everyone had flower crowns and body paint and the guests sat on rugs and cushions. Totally fun and they made it their own.

WHAT YOU WANT READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?:The Monty and ivy is a place that I have always cherished because when I bought the property it was only a cinder block warehouse with a few trees and a bunch of weeds.  After I bought it and renovated the space and gardens my daughters and I moved in and a few years later I was married there.  Everyone that walks through is blown away because it’s literally an urban oasis tucked behind what used to be an old service station. The place can be transformed to whatever you can think of.  We’ve had the traditional to the far out but every event has been magical.  We are also very LGBTQ friendly!

Can we slow clap for that last part?! Before I get on my soapbox,  find them on Instagram & Facebook, then book ’em!

Cool For The Summer

Baaaaaaaaabyyyyyy it’s hot. I’m talk squelching. So hot I used a word that sounds like some nefarious bodily function to describe it. But despite the hell heat, some couples still love to celebrate their big day in the summer. Nothing says romance like 100 degree plus weather, or as we call it in Texas, “Tuesday.”  A summer wedding can be fun but you’ll want these tips to keep you cool!

Bring Water. Lot’s Of It.

Buy water bottles and ask your venue to ice them down the morning of the wedding. You’ll want those out and ready for guests as they arrive, during the ceremony, and cocktail hour. You don’t want a wedding and a funeral. Trust me. Keep everyone hydrated and you won’t have a headline on your hands. Also, make sure your planner or venue coordinator knows the signs for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Talk to them about other precautions to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Have Programs That Double As Fans

Courtesy of Magnet Street.

Didn’t I say it was hot?! Three piece suits, spanx, and bodycon dresses do not a cool body make. Give guests an opportunity to cool down. Find some cute prints at Magnet Street.

Wear Breathable Fabric

Linen for a wedding dress? Probably not. But if you’re having a summer wedding, make sure to have something cool to change into or something to prevent chafing. Maybe a challis fabric dress to dance the night away in. If casual wear at your reception is not your jush (bless you Jasmine Masters) try some of the anti-chafing shorts from the Thigh Society. They’re designed to wick away moisture and keep you cool.

Cool Treats

Courtesy of Steel City Pops.

While you take your photos, let your guests take a trip down memory lane with frozen pops. Steel City Pops makes some delicious flavors that all kinds of taste buds can appreciate. Starting at 100 pops they’ll come to your wedding and serve them out of their adorable vending carts! It’s a fun way to pass the time and throughout the night guests can sit under the stars with their freezy treats and…chill. Get it? I know, I know I’ll see my way out.


Meet Our Vendor of the Week, Crystal Poenisch Photography!

How would I describe Crystal Poenisch? Brilliant! Her work speaks for itself. Find out more about her, her work, and where to find her!

WHEN DID YOU START?: January 2017

WHY DID YOU START?: Photography is something I’ve always been drawn to. I come from a fine art background and have always been surrounded by artists. I’m not very good at drawing though, so my vision outweighs my skill when I’m using the wrong medium. With photography, I can create whatever I can dream of. I love the way weddings look and feel. I love how beautiful everything is. I love that I can make a bride feel as gorgeous as she is and as others see her. I love that I get to spend a whole day (sometimes more) with a couple and be a part of their love. You can feel it radiating from that and I feel so privileged and honored that I can capture that.

WHAT’S YOUR GOAL THIS YEAR?: My goal is to explore more of my creative style in wedding photography.

WHO’S YOUR ULTIMATE CLIENT?: My ultimate client is a couple who will trust me to capture their vision of the most special day of their life.

I was filming a wedding in Laredo, Texas. The couple was so sweet and in love. They made us feel so included the whole day, like we were part of the family. At the end of the night, the mother of the bride came up and made sure I has slippers so I could join on the dancefloor and my feet wouldn’t hurt. We had all formed such a strong connection over the day, and it made me so happy to get to know their family and feel so considered.

WHAT YOU WANT READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU: I work from my first question: “how do you want to look on your wedding day?” Whether that is ethereal, powerful, or “like a princess,” I will make it happen.

Find her on Instagram and online at, then go book her!


Meet Swine House, Our Vendor of the Week

Swine House. We’re not talking turkey folks (why am I so corny?!). The name says it all but I know you want more! Read about our newest VoW and where to find them on the interwebs.

WHEN DID YOU START?: Our first event was Oktoberfest, 2016.

#tbt to last week’s epic Oktoberfiesta @freetailbrewing #thatmexicanthing

A post shared by Swine House, San Antonio, Tx (@swinehousesa) on

WHY DID YOU START?: Watching Texas become such a culinary destination has been really inspirational. We want to contribute, and we believe San Antonio is the perfect place to bring whole-animal, pasture-raised butchery, as well as
expose the community to some of the best meat producers in the world!

WHAT’S YOUR GOAL THIS YEAR?: We want to be an integral part of the farming and cooking community, as
well as create amazing new experiences for people who care about where their food comes from.

Grassfed Short Ribs Gimme these over steak any day.

A post shared by Swine House, San Antonio, Tx (@swinehousesa) on

WHO’S YOUR ULTIMATE CLIENT?: Our people are the people with a sense of adventure, a need to skip the
pretenses and get to the heart of the matter. Meat plus fire. Beer plus friends. Add some exquisitely raised meat and the skill and passion to prepare it honestly, and we can have ourselves a hell of a time together.

FAVORITE CLIENT MEMORY?: One of the coolest parts of of our mission is bringing the finest sustainably and humanely raised meat to people that may not have ever had the chance to try it. Pretty much every event provides an opportunity for someone to have a singular experience, like their first bite of pasture-raised fat, their first cheek meat, or their first pork sirloin. These are the moments we live for.

Thanks @kellypetlin !!! And thanks to @freetailbrewing for having us over for house made deli meats and @the_bread_box hoagies!

A post shared by Swine House, San Antonio, Tx (@swinehousesa) on

WHAT YOU WANT READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU: We care about the animals we work with, the land they were raised on, and our community’s food system as a whole. We visit the farms we use and have a close relationship with the people who work the farm. We also only buy whole animals, and do not participate in the commodity meat industry. This is what we do because we know it means a stronger community, and just as importantly, it just tastes so much better!

Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Now go book ’em!


Meet Adam Paul Stone Productions, Our Vendor of the Week

Now I might be biased but Adam is actually f*cking amazing. If you don’t cry watching his videos then go to the Wizard and ask for a heart! But in all seriousness, keep reading to find out why he’s our vendor of the week!

WHEN DID YOU START?: The first wedding I shot was back in 2010, but I’ve been doing videography for over 10 years now.

WHY DID YOU START?: After my first wedding I was hooked, I knew I wanted to capture couples’ love stories; I want couples to feel like stars of their own movie.

The Gabrielle & Al Wedding Film from Adam Paul Stone Productions on Vimeo.

WHAT’S YOUR GOAL THIS YEAR?: Currently I am expanding my company, I am hiring videographers to travel and capture weddings that I can’t. Mostly the goal is to keep expanding that direction.

WHO’S YOUR ULTIMATE CLIENT?: I don’t really have an ultimate client, I am so thrilled when anyone wants me to capture their love story.

FAVORITE CLIENT MEMORY?: I really love it when clients enjoy the videos, every time I send the final product and they send back a beautiful email, that’s my favorite thing. I create to make others happy so when they are, it’s the best!

WHAT YOU WANT READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU: I am a videographer who loves what he does and I get to do it everyday.

…and he’s damn good at it. Find Adam Paul Stone Productions on Facebook, Vimeo, and then go book him!


Meet Elissa R Photography, Our Vendor of the Week!

New vendor of the week, what what! It’s all about Elissa R Photography!


I started my business in late 2010 and was able to go full-time mid-2012!


As cheesy as it sounds, a dream. Not the kind that you have while sleeping, but a “one day” sort of dream of wanting art to be a big part of my life, instead of a tiny slice. I had studied photography at a fine arts school but did not think that I could make a career out of it. I was hired at a state agency during the recession, and while I was grateful to have a job (especially since my husband quit his to go back to school and we needed every cent), it also made me miserable. I hadn’t considered wedding photography as a possibility until my husband and I were planning our wedding in 2009. It was such a new world out there! I had thought of wedding photography as still portraits, like what you saw in Father of the Bride. Realizing that wedding photography was a wonderful, creative field meant that I could stretch my legs into it and make a piece of it my own. It’s lovely making art for like-minded folks who are commissioning you to just be weird in your own little way.


I’m always trying to push myself creatively, so I hope that at every wedding or session I try something that I’ve been working to perfect, and the shot comes out so great that the couple wants to print it out!


My ultimate client is someone who trusts me. The client who does not trust me is often the same client who thinks everything has to be a “certain way” or tries to take control with a shot list or sends me a million “example” photos. I was picked out of hundreds of photographers because of something that resonated in my portfolio (hopefully), so as strange as my process may be while taking their photos, I would hope that the client goes along with it and then loves the outcome.


I have so many… the one that hits me the most right now is the wedding right after the recent US election. I’d been feeling so awful that week, but on the day I focused on the job at hand. The couple was joyous. The guests were lovely. All of the vendors worked together. I forgot about the world for eight hours and just steeped myself in their story. When I shared a slideshow with the couple after the day, the bride wrote to me that the wedding and its photos were a “love bomb” so badly needed after that week. It just reiterated how much I loved my job and the effects it can have on people.


I travel to San Antonio 🙌🏼 No but really, in general: I’m a person who cares about you and your wedding. I know how overwhelming weddings can be, with all of their moving parts, so I position myself as a resource for my couples. I’ve been in this game a while (seven years!) and have been on the other end of the process too, so I try to make your lives easier!

Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest  then go book her!


Diamonds Ain’t Forever

Diamonds are pretty but are they really worth the cost? Who even made up the tradition of diamond engagement rings anyway? The people selling it to you that’s who.

With the concept of conflict free diamonds being a little sketch, I thought I’d offer up some just as stunning alternatives. Does it help that these beauties are gorgeous and affordable too?! Get lost looking into them and find more engagement rings on Etsy!

1) Herkimer Diamond

credit: BijouDeChagall

2) Tanzanite


3) Morganite

credit: EVGAD

4) Alexandrite

credit: ScottBonomoDiamonds

5) Black Opal

credit: FizzCandy




7 Reasons to Elope Already

You Gotta Get Out Of There

7 reasons to elope

It seems counter intuitive, right? A wedding planner telling you to ditch a big extravaganza? But I’ve seen that look countless times. The squirm, the tick in the eye  like a couple wants to run. It always happens when another expense comes up or an in-law gets a little too involved, or the thought between picking from seafoam green, mint, and turquoise napkins just seems so silly. I get it. If you’re approaching that point, why not just elope?! Here’s seven reasons why you should. 

1. Save Those Coins

I will never tell you not to save money. In today’s gig economy, more often than not, we’re all juggling more than one job while trying to pay down student debt, car loans, and mortgages. Why fall even deeper into it? Save money by ditching the two most expensive aspects of a wedding — the catering and the venue.

2. Save Yourself

The time has save yourself…from impending debt and emotional distress.

 Wedding planning is not for the faint of heart. Things that meant nothing to you a week ago suddenly mean EVERYTHING. The minutiae gets blown up exponentially because you’re trying to impress everyone while you get depressed in the process. Stress isn’t a joke. Don’t put yourself under that kind of pressure. You’ve already got so many other things to juggle in life. This doesn’t have to be another one.

3. Save Time

You love your mate. Why wait 18 months to a year to marry them? If you’re ready to put a ring on it, why not just do it now? Life is precious and nothing is guaranteed. You don’t have to waste time waiting. The marriage is the treat, not necessarily the wedding. So get on to all the days after instead of spending so much on one.  

4. Have The Ultimate Intimate Moment

By far, the most aggravating thing I’ve seen at a wedding is watching a couple exchange vows and hearing a relative screech, “We can’t hear you!” from the back row. Sharing your vows is a sacred act and that moment was obliterated by a hasty guest. All that matters is that your partner hears and believes them. What better way to honor the exchanging of vows by proclaiming your love in front of the friends and family you actually want to be there?  What could be more meaningful and memorable than that?

5. Open Up Your Options

With less to worry about you create more options for yourself. A resort, an island, Vegas, a ranch, a state park, hell — even Whataburger, become options when you have less payments to worry about. Whatever and wherever you want to celebrate is now an option. You don’t have to settle for something your mom wants or that looks like every other venue. Go and be original and creative with your choices!

6. More Money for a Honeymoon

Because your guest count probably won’t exceed 25 people, you don’t have to worry as much about catering, favors, entertainment, and alcohol. The thousands you would have spent on guests you can now spend on yourselves. Get crazy with it and take the dream vacation you two always wanted!

7. It Just Makes Sense

I love the hell out of what I do. But do you want to know a secret? I would elope. It’s cheaper, it’s faster, and you can make it into what you want it to be, no compromises. If you needed more incentive to do it, now All The Days is offering Spellbound, our exclusive elopement package at $777 that includes venue, a small cake, an officiant, and planning! See? I told y’all you might as well! 


Honey, Marry Whoever You Want

Honey, Marry Whoever You Want

If Serena Gets Crap, We’re All Doomed

Let’s be real, like really, really, real. When I found out about Serena Williams’ adorable engagement I about died from happiness. In the past year I got so used to tragic headlines about black women like Korryn Gaines that I was excited to see one about our joy. I needed it in an odd way. Forever a lurker, I quickly upvoted the Snoo-drawn announcement on reddit and went about my day. But I should have known better than to think most people would have the same reaction.

We can get into the politics of race and interracial relationships in this country but I will leave that for a writer with the emotional endurance, wherewithal, and nuance I left in 2016. After reading too many comments (I know!) I was worn out. Serena Williams is a living legend. Despite her many accomplishments and I mean there are plenty of them, people decided to take issue with who she decided to choose as a partner. REALLY?! Which brings me to my main point. Why are we so obsessed with the choices women make?!

Eye roll of eye rolls
Pssst…the answer is the patriarchy.

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

If she had chosen someone black, someone wealthier than her, someone, or anyone else, there would still be commentary about it. There would still be outrage. The longer I’ve worked in this world the more I realize that the wedding industry has little to do with weddings and everything to do with a public pronouncement of a woman’s worth. Most wedding media enforces it; the whitest, slimmest, blondest, most feminine women deserve the gigantic rings, the most lavish productions, and most deserving partner (who’s usually your run of the mill dude bro). That’s who graces the covers and the ads that drive what I consider unnecessary hype. But surprisingly, it works. How could we pretend it doesn’t when queer, plus-size, people of color, and differently-abled couples are all but non-existent to a large majority of the industry? It doesn’t just marginalize, it capitalizes off of it. It depends on us being lead by our insecurities to sway our decisions. When we comply, the obsession seems nearly invisible, but when we don’t? Suddenly it’s up for discussion by everyone. Input you didn’t want and feedback you didn’t ask for hits you from the left and the right. Every choice you make morphs from a period into a question mark. It’s not like we’re not used to having our choices questioned by everyone from our petty Aunt Gladys to the highest courts (don’t get me started). But it would be nice if the biggest day we get to declare our love was actually supported by the industry that pretends to care about it most.

It’s an unfortunately profitable problem (to the tune of $40 billion) that needs to reconciled. I’ve seen far too many women lose their collective sh*t about things that didn’t actually matter to them. On a normal day, pintuck or shantung linens wouldn’t be life or death. But when weighed against the backdrop of what other people may say or think, it suddenly matters much more than it should. The hype is the biggest clothing store mirror amplifying all the things we hate about ourselves. The decisions go from being based in love to based on fear. Every choice from apparel to program format becomes a reflection of our value instead of a celebration of a union.

Guests Can Be The Worst

Where does some of the unrelenting criticism come from? Guests, or the people you invited to a fully funded dinner, bar, and party. Those ingrates. I’ve overheard plenty of things like the following:

“So sad they couldn’t afford the real china.”

“Did you see that dress?! She’s certainly brave.”

“That diamond must have been invisible because I barely saw it.”

“Those arrangements are so tacky.”

Talking trash is always followed by this.

Those were the nice ones too. We’ve all been guests at weddings and overheard it or worse yet, participated in it. We don’t want to have that wedding. So we buy into it while the industry continues to confuse, condition, and trick women into thinking that in order to prove our worth, we need to meet a certain set of requirements. You don’t. It’s a load of bull as big as the state of Texas and as bright as our legislators. There’s no need for you to slip in it.

So whether you just announced your engagement or are months away from tying the knot, screw inessential people’s opinions. Wear that dress, walk down the aisle to Migos, take a shot at the altar, and marry whoever you want. Someone’s bound to judge you for it anyways, so you might as well enjoy it.

Do whaaaaaateva you want!