Join us in Fredericksburg, TX for our wedding. The ceremony will be at St Mary’s Catholic Church, and the reception will follow at Woodrose Winery.


Our ceremony will be held at St Mary’s Catholic Church at 3:00 p.m. on April 6, 2013.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church

St. Mary’s Catholic Church began with a handful of German immigrants in 1846 and, since then, has been a continually growing spiritual family. The famous twin towers of the two churches, the Marienkirche (1861) and the new St. Mary’s (1908), have long been beacons of faith, hope and love here in Fredericksburg and throughout the Hill Country. Here is our story.

New St. Mary’s Church

The building’s cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1905, and is the third church built by St. Mary’s congregation since its founding in 1846. The church was completed in 1908 and was solemnly consecrated on November 24 of that year.

The church is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. As you can see, strong German influence is evidenced in many of its features. A fine, old pipe organ graces the church, and beautiful stained glass memorial windows adorn the sanctuary and the right and left sides of the church.

The two Guardian Angel windows, depicting a young boy and girl with their guardian angels, were made in Germany where craftsmen worked from actual photographs of these two deceased local children. The boy is James Blum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Blum. The girl is Erna Wagner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Wagner.

Starting from the front of the church, the left side stained glass windows depict St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque and the Sacred Heart, the Annunciation, and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. Again starting from the front of the church, the right side stained glass windows depict St. Ann with Mary as a youth, St. Dominic with the Blessed Mother, the Nativity with the Magi, and the Holy Family.

The altars are of wood with the main altar having an inset of the Last Supper in the front panel. A painting of the twelve apostles appears on the arches above the center aisle and across the apse wall is Christ the King. On the sanctuary wall are two huge paintings, the right one of Melchizedek offering bread and wine, and the left of Christ breaking bread with the two disciples at Emmaus. This symbolizes Christ, king and eternal priest (New Testament) fulfilling the prophecy of Melchizedek, priest and king (Old Testament).


Join us at Woodrose Winery in Stonewall, TX to celebrate!

Map from St. Mary’s Catholic Church to Woodrose Winery


Blocks of rooms are reserved at Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn and Suites in Fredericksburg. Mention the Payne-Erickson wedding when reserving to get special rates.


Look at Macy’s and locally at Segner’s for ideas on what items we need to start our new life together.

Our Engagement

I thought Bill couldn’t keep a secret from me to save his life; boy did he prove me wrong!

We had been planning on celebrating our second year of dating with a night out on the town on Thursday, September 15th.  We had each already broken down and given our gifts early (or so I thought).  On Monday, Bill suggested that we go to Fredericksburg for the weekend.  Seeing as how he has never asked to visit my parents, I became suspicious, I was SURE he was going to ask my Dad if he could marry me.  So sure, I called my Mom to tell her all about it for about two hours on Tuesday.  But, as I looked for signs, Bill was so calm that I thought I was making it up…

On our date-iversary, we had planned that Bill would go early to the hotel to secure the reservation and come pick me up after I finished getting ready.  While getting ready, I got a phone call from Ruth’s Chris confirming my reservation for 6, I promptly responded that she was mistaken, we would only have 2.  The receptionist thanked me for the clarification and I went on about my primping thinking something was just lost in translation.  Shortly after Bill arrived to pick me up and we went downtown to the Driskill Hotel to begin our celebration.

Upon arrival at the Driskill, which is absolutely gorgeous, Bill took me straight up to a private balcony that he had arranged with two champagne glasses and a bottle of champagne chilling in his parent’s beautiful silver wine chiller.  I sat down to enjoy the view, still thinking we were just celebrating our milestone.  Bill came to the balcony to join me, stood by my chair and said, “While we are out here I just wanted to let you know that you are the love of my life and my best friend.”  I began to tear up thinking he was being super sweet, cut him off and said, “Awwww, I love you so much, too.”  He continued, “And, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”  He dropped to one knee pulled the ring from his pocket and asked, “Will you marry me?”  By this time I realized what was happening, my tears gave way to shock, I had absolutely no idea.  Bill says I stared at him for several seconds with my mouth open before saying “YES!”  Immediately followed by, “Did you ask my Dad?!?!”

He put the ring on my finger and brought out a bottle of Dom Perignon (the same champagne his Dad used to propose to his Mom) he was hiding in the room.  Bill then told me the whole story beginning with how he bought the ring two months prior, how he hid it, invited my friends to come to town, and asked my Dad, all without my knowledge.

I called my Mom and sister, Laura, to tell them the whole story.  We finished our champagne and proceeded to the hotel bar for cocktails with our amazing friends that came all the way to Austin just to celebrate with us.  The rest of the evening was spent at a fabulous dinner at Ruth’s Chris followed by desert and a special bottle of Barsac in the hotel with our friends.

It was absolutely perfect, he managed to make it everything we could both ask for.  Now the work begins!

The Blessing

I had been planning to propose on our two year anniversary for a long time – I think I asked Matt (my friend) and Christal (Tara’s friend) to make sure they were available about two months before the day. But I had been putting off asking for her father’s permission until the end.

My plan was to wait until she went to College Station to meet with her grad school advisor to make the trip to Fredericksburg. Unfortunately she hadn’t made the trip in a while and I was getting close to the anniversary.

We had some friends over for dinner one night – Emily and Mike – and when I was alone with them I asked for their help. Emily planned a girls weekend for the next weekend at the lake, which would give me plenty of time to make it to Fredericksburg. This would be the last weekend before the engagement.

Tara left around 10am and I immediately called Tara’s mother asking if I could come to town and meet with her father. I dressed up, hopped in the car and headed to Fredericksburg.

Trouble Starts

About halfway there my car started acting weird. The radio flickered off and on a few times, and then the dashboard lost power for a second (speedometer and everything dropped to zero, then shot back up to where they should be).

I pulled over to the side of the road, and while I was off going about 10mph the car lost all power. The car was still moving, but I had lost the accelerator, power steering and power brakes. Luckily I was already almost to a stop.

I tried calling Uncle Rob but went to voicemail, then called my dad overseas. He told me that AAA won’t be much help, so try and get close to a city before calling them. I opened up Google Maps, found the nearest mechanic shop and headed there slowly.

About 5 minutes later it looked like I had past it (I don’t think it actually existed, never saw it), I pulled over to do a U-turn and it died again. I didn’t want to tempt fate anymore, so I called AAA and waited.

After about two hours (in 90+ degree heat and in dress clothes), AAA finally got back to me and said they could have a tow truck out there in an hour and they’d pay for it to take me 3 miles. Well the nearest town (Johnson City) was 6 miles, and I wasn’t even sure there was a place to get it fixed there.

I decided I’d just try my best to get there myself. I put my hazards on and drove in the shoulder at about 20mph to Johnson City. I went towards a mechanic shop I found on Google Maps, and when I got to town I found out it was an empty lot (is there any better resource for finding mechanics than Google? I called AAA to help me find one and they said “let me Google that for you”…).

I went to a gas station to see if they knew where to get it fixed, and they said “Well, you could go to Eddy’s but he’s only open on weekdays”. I didn’t want to leave my car in town all weekend hoping Eddy could fix it.

I should also mention that Tara’s mother had called me about 10 times checking in on me all along the way. She kindly offered to pick me up in Johnson City (as well as wherever I broke down before).

I had come this far, so why not go all the way to Fredericksburg? I didn’t have any issues on my 6 mile drive, and if I did have an issue I was safely in the shoulder and going slow enough to (hopefully) not cause any trouble.

It took me about 1.5 hours to make it the 30 miles to Fredericksburg. I pulled up to Tara’s family’s house and went in to talk with her dad. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but Tara’s dad said “Yes, because you said it was for the rest of your lives.” Tara built it up so much that I didn’t expect it to be that easy.

Tara’s whole family then loaded up in their car with me and drove me back to Austin and had a mechanic look at my car. That’s how you know your future parents-in-law like you. They dropped me off at a gas station a block away from my house so Tara wouldn’t see us if she was home. I walked in, she wasn’t there, and then called her to tell her I had car trouble. She was home from her girls weekend about an hour later.

I told her my car broke while driving to Chick fila and it’s at the Toyota dealership getting fixed. And she believed it.