The Chic Austin Nuptials Of Natalie Bond And James Bloomingdale
By Jake Gaines
Photography by Jennifer Lindberg Weddings
Natalie Bond Bloomingdale had only one location requirement for her black-tie wedding: somewhere in Texas. Though the native Texan resides in Los Angeles, California with her now-husband, she chose Austin to be the destination for their celebratory wedding weekend. The bride, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bond, III of Vernon, Texas, wed James Alfred Bloomingdale, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Russell Bloomingdale of the Pacific Palisades, California, at the Shelton Chapel at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in a private ceremony.
The site of the nuptials, a historic chapel established in 1902, was the intimate setting Natalie had always envisioned. Due to the narrow space, the siblings of both the bride and groom were at the altar while eight honor attendants, ten groomsmen, a junior bridesmaid, three house party members and four ushers looked on from the pews. The honor attendants and bridesmaids carried bouquets in shades of pink, rose and lavender which were made of peonies, roses, French and parrot tulips, gloriosa lilies, mina calla lilies, ranunculus and hydrangeas.
“The dress was truly everything. It was the centerpiece of the wedding, to me,” said Natalie Bloomingdale. She made the usual stops in Los Angeles on her hunt for the dress (shopping at Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier) but hadn’t found “the one” until a family friend pointed her in the direction of Laura Gonzalez, whose dress shop in Austin, Coutures by Laura, is frequented by the grand dames of Texas. “I started to tell her what I liked and she started to sketch a bit while I was talking, says Natalie Bloomingdale. “Feeling skeptical as we started to leave, we commented on an absolutely stunning mantilla that was in her shop. The lace was bold and dramatic, something I had never seen before. My wedding planner held it up to my chest, horizontally, and our jaws just dropped.”
This was it. She goes onto say, “We fashioned the sleeves using that lace, and from there, the idea was taking shape. We decided to go for more of a champagne color, since it was a winter wedding, and Laura had to order the last bit of that lace from Europe, as the style isn’t made anymore. I flew to Austin for a couple of fittings, and Laura and I spoke over the phone quite a bit. What was so incredible to me, aside from her sheer talent, was the fact that Laura could take what I was saying and literally make it a reality with the dress.”
The bride carried a bouquet of lily of the valley and wore a silver and diamond lavaliere, a family heirloom on her mother’s side. Her cathedral-length veil was also designed by Laura Gonzalez, and her shoes were Salvatore Ferragamo. She wore pearl and diamond earrings borrowed from her mother-in-law. The groom, James Bloomingdale, wore a traditional tuxedo by Ermenegildo Zegna.
Natalie chose the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum for the reception, and exhibits were kept open for the over 400 guests to experience the Story of Texas. “I tasked my wedding planner to think more architecturally when it came to the florals” shares Natalie. “I wanted structural, unique arrangements. The museum is so grand, so balance was key. My main objectives, though, were a stellar band, amazing food, and for the bartenders to be well equipped. I think those elements are really what matter most for any good Texas party.” Westbank Flower Market’s Keith Burnham created a winter white wonderland of flowering white quince, blooming amaryllis, French tulips, hydrangea, and orchids. Lighted birch trees lined the perimeters to create a cozy environment in the cavernous space.
Reception guests mingled to jazz in the rotunda and noshed on quail bites, cheddar bacon tarts, and beef kabobs until the arrival of the wedding party. As the newlyweds were introduced, they entered from the second floor and gracefully walked down the magnificent spiral staircase and right on to the dance floor, where one of the top bands in Austin, Blind Date, played the song for their first dance as a married couple.
In true Texas fashion, dinner was venison chile relleno, short ribs with biscuits, corn relish potatoes, cheddar grits with shrimp, and country wedge salad. The couple cut the six-tiered blush colored wedding cake created by Cakes by Lori in Dripping Springs, and in lieu of a groom’s cake, buñuelo cups (a Latin-American fried pastry filled with ice cream) were enjoyed. James organized a hot dog food truck by Austin favorite, Frank, to serve departing guests.
A “Welcome Family Dinner Party” was hosted by James’ grandmother, Mrs. Alfred Schiffer Bloomingdale at her home in Holmby Hills in August. The engagement party, a “Texas-meets-California” theme, was hosted by the groom’s parents at their home in the Pacific Palisades the same weekend. In Texas, a celebratory weekend of events including a brunch and casual cocktail party were held in October, culminating in a barbeque dinner and dance held at the iconic Waggoner Ranch. A bridal shower was given at the Los Angeles Country Club in November. The bride headed to Miami for a pre-wedding getaway with some girlfriends, while the groom and his crew went to Panama.
The bridegroom’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bloomingdale, hosted the rehearsal dinner at the Headliners Club in Austin. Natalie wore an off-white Valentino dress with braiding detail, and Jimmy Choos on her feet. The band, Cien Feugos (inspired by the Gypsy Kings) entertained guests throughout the evening.
The dinner’s after-party was given at the Broken Spoke Saloon and Dance Hall, where guests were encouraged to wear “cowboy chic” attire. “The Friday night was the first night to be in the state of Texas for many of our Californian guests,” said Natalie, who switched into cream-colored rattlesnake boots. “They enjoyed it thoroughly – there was no shortage of Californians in bolo ties, cowboy boots, belt buckles, turquoise and even cowboy hats.”
The bridal brunch was held at Green Pastures, where Natalie wore a blue and white floral Valentino cocktail dress and a royal blue Valentino overcoat. One of the couple’s favorite Tex-Mex restaurants in Austin, El Arroyo, was the location for an out-of-town guests’ luncheon the day of the wedding. Guests at the host hotels received a gift bag complete with Tito’s vodka and Texas-shaped sugar cookies, capping off a memorable weekend of the marriage festivities for the beloved couple.
After all the merriment, Natalie, in an off-white number by Juan Carlos Obando, and her new husband made their way to a 1967 Rolls Royce Princess through a line of guests waving sparklers and toasting their future. The following day, they left Austin for their honeymoon, which consisted of skiing at Mont Cervin Palace in Zermatt, Switzerland, then sunning at the Eden Rock and Isle de France hotels in St. Barths.