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This love started simply enough and culminated in an incredibly stylish downtown Austin wedding. Michaele Smith was working in the men’s department at Barney’s when Robby King walked in looking for a pair of jeans. A few months later, Michaele was required to send handwritten holiday cards to her 25 best customers, and while flipping through her client book she landed on the page with Robby’s information, covered with hearts she’d doodled after she met him. She’d written all but one note, so on a whim, she sent that 25th card to Robby instead. “About a month later, I received a handwritten thank you note from Robby at work,” Michaele says. “Clearly, the next thing to do was find him on Facebook. After a little bit of stalking, I discovered that we share the same birthday. I sent him a thank you message for the thank you note and signed it with my phone number. The rest is history!”

Fast forward to another simple day, several years later. Michaele and Robby were cleaning up their house, getting ready to have a few friends over. “Robby literally stopped me mid-vacuum to propose,” Michaele says. “I didn’t want an extravagant or over-the-top proposal, so this was perfect for me.” Michaele said yes, and they celebrated with their friends in their home right afterward. The next day, the pair flew to Paris for their friends’ wedding and spent the whole week in the city of love celebrating their engagement.

Robby and Michaele met because he was in the market for a new pair of jeans. You never know when you’re going to meet your soul mate!

A little note from the groom delivered to the bride while she gets ready for the wedding.

It doesn’t get more Texas than a bolo tie on a groom — and doesn’t Robby pull it off so perfectly?

Michaele struggled to find a wedding dress that suited her, but when she tried on this fabulous tiered Houghton dress and saw the way it moved, she knew it was the perfect one.

A sweet little first look in front of Justine’s Secret House

Robby was the picture of a refined, stylish groom in his Billy Reid suit and HELM boots.

As with everything else with the wedding, Michaele kept her bridal party simple: her sister stood beside her on the day, in a gorgeous vintage Oleg Cassini beaded shift dress.

Michaele didn’t worry with most wedding traditions, but her best friend Morgan surprised her with some old, borrowed and blue elements for the day. “This tradition didn’t cross my mind once until the day of the wedding when my best friend Morgan brought a Keb’ Mo’ record to listen to while we got ready (something blue) and her late mother’s brass pin to add to my bouquet (old & borrowed),” Michaele says. “She knows me well!”

Michaele and Robby weren’t worried about tradition when planning their wedding. “I wanted things to be as easy and stress-free as possible,” Michaele says. “I wanted to pick a venue that required minimal to zero decoration. I wanted to serve delicious food, dance our asses off and to celebrate the union of our love with our closest friends and family.” Justine’s Secret House was the venue that absolutely fit the bill. The venue is tucked along a charming street in Austin, Texas, and if you aren’t paying attention you’d likely miss it. Once you enter the New Orleans-style front courtyard, it’s like you’ve been transported to another world. Palm trees and foliage cover the front of the property, and ducking through the gate reveals a pink Victorian home, complete with delicate white trim. The property is an experience itself, one that doesn’t require much adornment — exactly what Michaele had in mind as the backdrop for the day.

RELATED: Liz Brittain and Warren Beck’s Stunning Garden Wedding

Michaele’s background in the fashion industry — she now works at Shaesby, a jewelry studio in Austin — didn’t make wedding dress shopping easier. “I went to a couple of local bridal shops and realized that wedding dresses in any shape or form just aren’t my thing,” Michaele says. “I needed to find something less traditional. I looked online for several months and ended up finding mine from Houghton. I knew it was the one when my sister took a video of me walking in the wind. I loved the movement in the skirt.” She paired the gown with gorgeous platform red velvet heels and wore a crown of baby’s breath in her hair. This bride is the definition of effortlessly chic.

With 90 guests gathered in the front courtyard at Justine’s Secret House, the bride makes her way down the aisle.

A groom looking so adoringly at his bride is more than our hearts can stand!

An ivy-covered wall and palm trees overhead: the courtyard at Justine’s Secret House was the perfect spot for Michaele and Robby to exchange vows.

The new Mr. and Mrs. were showered with rice as they recessed up the aisle — such a fun touch of tradition on a non-traditional day!

Guests gathered in the front courtyard on an October evening in Austin. With her parents beside her, Michaele walked down the front steps of the house and toward her groom. About 90 guests were in attendance, some sitting in bistro chairs, some standing together on the porch of the house and along the edge of the courtyard to witness the bride and groom exchange vows. After a kiss and being pronounced husband and wife, Michaele and Robby headed back up the aisle under a shower of rice, their hearts light and their smiles luminous.

Long rows of tables filled the backyard, the centers adorned with sprigs of rosemary and eucalyptus and illuminated with tea-light candles. Strings of globe lights floated above the space and provided the light by which Michaele and Robby enjoyed an unparalleled meal with their guests. “We had an incredible French menu cooked and prepared by Justine’s,” Michaele says. “Gosh, I wish I could go back to that meal. My favorite part was the cheese boards spread throughout the tables.”

Beyond the delicious cheese, guests enjoyed braised chicken in a caramelized dijon and white wine sauce with crème fraîche, fresh fish fillet sautéed in butter and lemon, Brussels sprouts with mustard seed and bacon, and roasted heirloom carrots, just to name a few of the delectable dishes on the menu. After they’d enjoyed every bite of their meal, loved ones made toasts to the bride and groom, all of which elicited smiles and laughter, and then they hit the dance floor.

Long tables filled the backyard at Justine’s Secret House for the delicious French meal that followed the ceremony. Eucalyptus and rosemary lined the tables, a simple but perfect last-minute addition that came when Michaele and her mom realized a week before the wedding that they hadn’t planned any decoration for the tables!

Isn’t this space just enchanting?

After dinner, guests noshed on the lingering cheese boards and sipped on wine while loved ones offered up toasts to the bride and groom.

No celebration is complete without a champagne tower, right?

In addition to champagne and a bevy of other beverages at the bar, guests enjoyed French 75s and Vieux Carres, Michaele and Robby’s signature cocktails.

Cake was served, but the bride didn’t taste it — because she never left the dance floor. Michaele and Robby shared their first dance to “Spoonful” by Etta James and Harvey Fuqua, and then a full night of dancing commenced. “We danced to Motown, 90’s hip-hop and dirty rap music,” Michaele says. “The whole night was a blur, but dancing was definitely my favorite part. It felt so great to let loose when the dancing started after the formalities were over!”

Once their dancing feet were tired, guests sent the new Mr. and Mrs. off into the night with twinkling sparklers.

“We really wanted to dance to ‘This Must Be The Place’ by the Talking Heads for our first song, but we ended up choosing ‘Spoonful’ by Etta James and Harvey Fuqua,” Michaele says. “It was much easier to dance to in front of a crowd.”

Michaele was having so much fun dancing, she never even managed to get a bite of the devil’s chocolate cake with butterscotch creme and ginger crumble that was served!

Michaele’s dress definitely has to be the best to dance in we’ve ever seen. That movement in the skirt is divine!

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The bride and groom ended the night with a sparkler send-off …

… and a kiss! The perfect end to a perfect day.

Thank you for giving us a peek into your gorgeous and intimate day, Michaele and Robby!



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