Austen & Hana Schwend | September 13, 2014 | Photography by Noah Magnifico
Though Hana and Austen lived in the same apartment complex for months, they didn't meet each other until Hana decided to take her black lab mix, Valor, for a walk on a rainy weekend morning. Hana was wearing rain boots and her pajamas, not expecting to run into Austen and his white German Shepherd. The two talked casually at first, but then began seeing each other more and more on dog walks around the neighborhood. Eventually, Austen suggested they take their dogs on a "puppy play date" to the dog park together. Sure enough, the puppy play date led to Austen getting Hana's phone number, and then, eventually, to a real human date at a local restaurant, "The Lucky Dog." To their surprise, the couple had a lot in common: they both loved movie scores, they both worked as mechanical engineers, they both had similar values, and, of course, they both loved dogs!
Austen wanted to wait for the perfect moment to ask Hana to marry him, but, eventually, he got fed up with waiting. He knew he had to pop the question after the pair spent Thanksgiving week apart, and he did so in the most direct way possible: "I want to marry you, will you marry me?" Hana said yes, and he used a zip tie as a temporary promise ring while the couple waited to go engagement ring shopping.
The location of the wedding was very important to Hana and Austen. Ultimately, they chose Smith Mountain Lake so they could have a close-to-home destination wedding. The colors of the lake in early fall were absolutely beautiful, so Hana decided her wedding colors should make the natural scenery pop. The bridesmaids wore a bright shade of magenta, and the groomsmen wore charcoal grey. The centerpieces and cake also incorporated bright, vibrant hues like pink, purple, red, and blue. The wedding cake was covered with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries to further accentuate the natural beauty of the landscape.
Austen and Hana's shared passions were heavily incorporated into the ceremony. The couple shared their first dance to Hans Zimmer's "Tennessee" from the Pearl Harbor Soundtrack, which is one of their favorite movie scores. And, considering it was dogs that brought the two together, they felt they needed to include an homage to dogs in their ceremony, which is why they made "puppy chow" for their guests as favors. Family was also an important part of the festivities, so Austen and Hana wanted to incorporate their family in every way possible. Family members did makeup, DJ'ed, played music, and created centerpieces for the wedding. The couple even drove off in a Schwend family heirloom: a 1982 Chevrolet Suburban. Hana and Austin's families were a huge part of the start of their adventure together as husband and wife. After the wedding, the entire clan stuck around to hang out at the lake together,
Be sure to see the Schwend wedding on page 86 of the third issue of bridebook!
Photography: Noah Magnifico
Dress: David's Bridal
Florist: Mountain Treasures
Cake: Gail Wilson
Venue: The Water's Edge Country Club
Caterer: The Water's Edge Country Club
Jewelry: Eminence Jewelry and Zales
Attendants' Dresses: JLM Couture from Soliloquy Bridal Couture
Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse and Christoforo Cardi
Hair and Makeup: Les Cheveux Salon & Day Spa