Claire and Michael Lebo are your average newlyweds — settling comfortably into their new life together as husband and wife, sharing new experiences and doting on their adorable Papillon dogs, Mileaux and Zoe, in Austin, Texas. That said, there were several things that made their nuptials in Dripping Springs, Texas undeniably unique — and I’m not talking about their DIY decor and enviable rustic chic meets vintage romance theme.
The bride has been paralyzed since 1997 due to Transverse Myelitis, a spinal cord disease she contracted just six weeks before her 10th birthday. Instead of walking down the aisle to her husband-to-be, Claire “glided” (much cooler than walking, anyway) in a wheelchair. The couple’s first dance was epic on so many levels too: the touching (and tear-inducing) way she and Michael danced, twirled and spun around to the way they looked at each other (cheesy, but true) after their decade-long relationship became a marriage. Here are 10 ways Claire and Michael’s wedding was one of a kind:
1. The first dance: The Lebo’s first dance to Van Morrison’s “Moondance” was remarkably touching and totally unique to the couple. Michael spun and twirled his wife while guests soaked up the beauty of the moment (FYI, this *was* like something out of a movie). Can we talk about the way they’re looking at each other here? Come onnn!
2. A dusty-rose wedding dress: Claire has never been one for old-school traditions, so she opted to nix the white wedding gown. Instead, she chose a stunning, slightly pink dress with a sweetheart neckline and a bling-y belt that highlighted her waistline. The dress had lots of movement and flow to it, which was crucial for Claire as she floated down the aisle and was twirled by Michael throughout the night.
3. Extra rad photo ops: Traditional photo ops had to be reimagined for this couple since they have an extra prop — Hank, Claire’s wheelchair (yes, he has a name) — but if you ask us, we’re digging the Lebo’s photos even more because of the one-of-a-kind vibe we get from them. The height difference made for some awesome angles in these photos; we especially love the big Texas sky in the first photo. With pics as stunning as these, DIY wedding photo decor is a MUST!
4. Showing off awesome tattoos: The bride is tastefully tatted up and her ink was definitely on display throughout her wedding. From intentionally showing the tats in bridal + bouquet photos to having them peek out when she was pinning a boutonniere on her boo, it was lovely to see the juxtaposition of the tattoos with the bride’s vintage look. We imagine guests were wishing they could hop on the tattoo train, too ;)
5. Embracing freckles + fair skin: No spray tans here, people! Claire’s fair skin was highlighted by her bold but classic makeup look. Don’t get us wrong — we love a beautiful, bronzed look — but we *really* love that Claire stayed true to her fair skin. Her classic cat eye (which is easy to do on yourself), matte pink lips and jet black hair paired against her freckled, creamy skin was stunning. You know that freckles are super trendy these days, right?
6. Flowers, duh: There is no such thing as too many flowers at a wedding if done tastefully. Claire took her flower game to the next level by having her gorgeous flower girls wear fresh flower crowns, injecting a bit of a boho vibe to the otherwise vintage-y theme.
7. Not your average bridal hair: As you know, we *love* next-level braids, and Claire + her bridal party proved they make a great wedding style (it keeps your hair safe when people are constantly hugging you!). Claire’s sister + MOH Camille’s hair looked perfectly pulled together but still casual in her fat, backcombed fishtail. Claire, keeping with the romantic theme, went for a voluminous side-swept look on one shoulder held in place by a sparkly hair piece.
8. A *purple* family heirloom ring: The bride went yet another untraditional route when it came to her ring. Claire chose her own setting and created a one-of-a-kind ring using both diamonds and a show-stopping amethyst that Michael’s grandmother passed down to him — ummm, dream come true. The ring looked fab for photo ops too.
9. DIYable decor + cake: We love how Claire incorporated her florals into the tiered ombre cake — it was *almost* too pretty to eat! Did we mention that the cake is so DIYable)? Just focus on getting your icing to be three separate, progressing shades, stack three different sized cakes and you’re a baking genius. The bride’s handwritten signage throughout the venue was another nice DIY touch — she spray painted thrifted picture frames with chalkboard paint to achieve that rustic look.
10. Travel-themed “guestbook”: The Lebos went a totally different route when it came to their guestbook — a non-guestbook guestbook, if you will. Instead of asking guests to simply sign an average “Cheers to the newlyweds!” on lined paper, they decided to make things a bit more interesting. A stack of cool, vintage postcards was placed next to the open suitcase, prompting guests to leave the couple best wishes and place them inside.
Congratulations to Claire and Michael on a truly one-of-a-kind wedding (and props on the DIY elements, too!). Best wishes for your life together as husband + wife and mom + dad to the dogs! Don’t blame us if the pink wedding dress becomes the new white wedding dress. ;)
Photography + videography: George Street Photography
Bridal portrait: Kayla Willey Photography
Ceremony + reception venue: Camp Lucy
Catering: Whim Hospitality
Cake: Carmen Discoe
Hair + makeup: Lola Beauty
Florals: Whim Floral
Flower crowns: ReneChristineDesigns
Would you consider a wedding dress that’s not white? Share your thoughts in the comments below — and drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have an incredible wedding with DIY elements you’d like to share with us!