Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lexi Lily Smith and Britton Michael Wehmeyer met at a “nerd”-themed party in August 2012 at their alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. Soon after the party, Ms. Smith found herself in a bind — she was going to another event put on by her sorority the following weekend, and the friend she invited bailed at the last minute. While discussing this with a friend, Mr. Wehmeyer happened to send her a message on social media.

“I remembered him being funny and cute,” Ms. Smith said. “I was thrilled that he messaged me that night.”

They had a quick, flirty conversation, Ms. Smith invited him to the event, which had a Western theme, and he agreed to go. They began the night by fumbling through a couple of the two-step dances, but soon decided to venture out on their own. As they walked outside, Ms. Smith tripped over a wire. She recalled Mr. Wehmeyer telling her she was a “clumsy, gorgeous dork.”

“I started falling for her that night,” Mr. Wehmeyer said.

They found a place to sit, continuing to laugh and roast each other. Both professed their shared love of U.T. Austin sports and niche rock bands like Papa Roach and Dance Gavin Dance.

“We had a great night,” Ms. Smith said. “I dropped him off at his house and we shared our first kiss at the bottom of the stairs. And I asked him to go out with me again soon.”

Ms. Smith, 30, who grew up in Houston, has a bachelor’s degree in retail merchandising and a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from U.T. Austin. She is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in working with children. She is also a part-time actor and model who recently walked Austin Fashion Week.

Mr. Wehmeyer, 31, who was raised in Austin, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in business analytics, also from U.T. Austin. He spearheads marketing and product analytics for care.com, an online system to help families find babysitters and other key household services.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

Ms. Smith and Mr. Wehmeyer, who met when they were 19 and 20, faced their fair share of adversity over the years, including a yearlong break about six years into their relationship. The primary catalysts for the break were a desire for introspection and, for Ms. Smith, confronting a past she had not previously shared with Mr. Wehmeyer.

Ms. Smith said that she had experienced emotional and physical abuse as a child. Her parents divorced when she was 3 and Ms. Smith’s mother remarried six years later.

During her year apart from Mr. Wehmeyer, Ms. Smith began therapy.

“It was a journey of self-discovery and healing from the trauma of my past,” she said. “Therapy helped me realize how it impacted my interaction with the world, and how it affected Britton. I was able to start showing up more authentically and honestly.”

For Mr. Wehmeyer, their separation presented an opportunity for introspection.

“I can tend to be stubborn and dig in on things,” he said. “I was able to focus on being more flexible and realize we’re in this life together.”

The two never truly gave up on each other, however, and after about a year, reconnected. Ms. Smith and Mr. Wehmeyer began going to couples therapy — they both called this a “blessing.” The couple moved into an apartment in Austin, right before the pandemic began.

In February 2022, Ms. Smith and Mr. Wehmeyer took a two-week vacation to Maui with some of their closest friends. Mr. Wehmeyer pretended to have “messed up” a dinner reservation one afternoon, and asked the women to come down to the beach instead. After dressing up for the evening, Ms. Smith and her friends were not thrilled about traversing the sand in heels.

“I gave some sass when I got there, and Britton asked to pull me aside and I thought I was in trouble,” Ms. Smith said.

But when Mr. Wehmeyer asked to go take some pictures away from the group, he proposed.

“It was completely off my radar,” she said. “Being that surprised even after 10 years together, that was the best part for me.”

The couple married Dec. 9 at the Grand Lady, a boutique events space just outside of Austin, before 110 guests. Evan Silguero, one of Ms. Smith’s closest high school friends who was ordained by the Universal Life Church for the occasion, officiated.

Burnt orange was a prominent color scheme, honoring the couple’s shared love of their alma mater. At the reception, Ms. Smith and Mr. Wehmeyer donned “Star Wars” stormtrooper and Darth Vader helmets, and guests received light sabers to wave in their honor. Their Shih Tzu Pomeranian mix, Princess Leia, was prominently featured throughout the evening.

Ms. Smith, a show of independence and strength, decided to walk herself down the aisle. She stumbled on her first step, but picked herself right up and made it to Mr. Wehmeyer.

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