We are so very lucky that the South is home to some of the most beautiful locations to tie the knot–many of which are filled with rich history and generations of love stories that have passed through their doors. Catherine and Nelson’s gorgeous venue not only has those sweet details, but so much more! Their venue story goes all the way back to the summer before Catherine turned five–this sweet couple actually celebrated their marriage on the land where Catherine grew up, and where her parents intentionally built cottages (one for each of the children in their family), an adorable chapel, and their family home. Catherine grew up imagining herself walking down the aisle in Grace Chapel to join the man of her dreams in marriage–swoon! I’m sure of all the weddings the Heritage House has hosted, this one in particular will never be forgotten.
Gracious, we’re happy our Blue Ribbon Vendor Loft Photography shared this sweet day with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to several appointments with my mom, my mother-in-law, and friends, but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. Many of the dresses were so close, but were missing that something special. Finally, I made an appointment to go to a different store by myself. The second I put on my dress, I knew it was what I had been looking for, and I purchased it that day.
My bouquet held white peonies, patience garden roses, white ranunculus, vendela roses, silver dollar, and seeded eucalyptus. The bridesmaids’ bouquets mimicked mine and included brunia berries to accent the slate color of their dresses. The same flowers were used throughout the wedding–attached to chairs along the chapel aisle, in a garland adorning the chapel entrance, dotted around the pavilion for cocktail hour, and in the reception table arrangements.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? It all started the summer before I turned five when my parents moved our family from Houston to the small town of Dripping Springs, Texas and bought a house on a 30-acre plot of land. My mother is a dreamer and a creator, and she had a vision to build on our property. Although the intent was to create this estate for our personal family use, I don’t think anyone could have imagined just how special our home would become to so many people. It was a very slow process: the cottages (one for each of the children in my family), then Grace Chapel (which was dedicated by our family pastor who performed my wedding ceremony), and then the rest fell into place. I adore my family home. I have lived there for the majority of my life and have countless cherished memories of growing up out in the country. I had imagined walking down the aisle in Grace Chapel to join the man of my dreams in marriage so many times when I was growing up. It meant so much to be married there and share my home with my closest and dearest family and friends.
My most memorable moment was waiting for the doors of the chapel to open. Standing with my dad on one side of the doors and the anticipation of becoming a wife and standing with my husband on the other side was a moment in time that can never be recreated.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married in my family chapel on the property where I grew up. A pair of antique cypress doors from my mother’s home state of Louisiana mark the entrance of Grace Chapel. The ceremony was officiated by our longtime friend and pastor, who had baptized me when I was a child. Several pieces of silver that have been passed down through generations of my family were incorporated into table settings and displays.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It will all get done, so enjoy this moment! If your budget allows, a wedding coordinator will help tie up loose ends and ensure your day runs smoothly. I loved my coordinator! Try not to stress about the small details (even though you probably will). Inevitably, those will be the things you don’t notice as much on the wedding day. Focus on building your love and encouraging each other, because this is the beginning of the rest of your life.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Dancing! Nelson and I are typically not the first to bust a move on the dance floor, but the band’s energy and our wonderful DJ kept the party flowing and full of life! We didn’t stop dancing until the very end, and even our guests chanted for an encore from the band.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I had just moved to Houston the month before I met my husband. One night, at a fun local bar my friends and I used to go to, this tall guy came up to talk to me. After chatting for a while, we found out that we had mutual friends. I explained to him that, being new to town, I was looking to get to know people and that I wasn’t ready to date anyone. He got my number and the phone calls rolled in (he even called me that night and left a hilarious voicemail that I still replay to this very day!). He would call me at 2 P.M. on the dot each day when I got off of work to ask to hang out. I made lots of excuses about being busy, but after a full week of his phone calls, I came up with what I thought was the perfect solution: we could be running buddies! I figured that if he saw me sweaty and in workout clothes, he wouldn’t want any romantic relationship with me. We ran together regularly for a month, and talked about our jobs, families, friends, and everything in between. Since we had become friends, I invited him to a Super Bowl party at my house. After the game was over, he asked if we could take my dog for an evening stroll through the neighborhood. When we were approaching my house at the end of our walk, he stopped walking, leaned in, and kissed me. Completely shocked, I said “I can’t believe you just did that.” It probably wasn’t the response he was looking for! The rest has been history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Nelson, our dog, Teddy, and I drove up to Colorado last June to stay at my family’s summer home–a fun getaway from the Texas heat! The second day we were there, we took a scenic drive with Teddy on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so incredible! After nearly three hours of sightseeing, we finally reached the top. I offered to drive back down, since the roads were so narrow that Nelson hadn’t gotten to fully enjoy the views on our drive up. On the way down, he kept insisting that I stop at the lookout points we had already visited. I, being tired, told him I wanted to keep driving so we could get home for lunch. I could tell something was up when he didn’t let up about stopping, saying he wanted Teddy to have one final run around outside. Finally, I pulled over into a thicket. I was hungry, tired, and exasperated that we had already stopped at every lookout point there possibly was, so I told Nelson that I would wait in the car while he and Teddy played. That definitely didn’t work, because he came up to the driver’s door, opened it for me, and said he REALLY wanted me to get out and play with them. Thankfully for Nelson’s sake, I got out of the car and started walking toward the thicket. When I turned around, Nelson reached for the zipper on his fishing shirt pocket, got down on one knee, and proposed.
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The recessional song was “Blackbird” by The Beatles. The first time I went to Nelson’s apartment when we were dating, he played that song for me on his guitar. I am very emotionally attached to music, and every time I hear that song, it reminds me of the excitement and joy of the relationship we were building. Our first dance was to “In My Life” by The Beatles. The lyrics of the song resonate with me–I’ve been on many adventures in my life, some even taking me across the world, but those experiences all brought me to Nelson. “Though I know I’ll never lose affection, for people and things that went before, I know I’ll often stop and think about them, in my life, I love you more.”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was my grandmother’s pin, attached to ribbon on my bouquet. The pin was given to her as a young woman by her father. My something new was my wedding gown. I borrowed my mother’s pave diamond earrings, which were a gift to her from my father on the day I was born. My something blue was my sapphire ring, a keepsake belonging to my husband’s aunt that was given to her by her father.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Taking on the role of husband and wife bears a lot of responsibility. I am excited about the opportunities God has in store for us to grow and learn together, whatever those may be.
Photographer: Loft Photography / Planner: Jessica Upton / Ceremony Venue: Heritage House Dripping Springs / Florist: Wild Bunches / Cake Baker: Cakes by Lori and Sweet Treets / Caterer: Whole Foods Catering / Rentals: Whim and Marquee / Band: London Calling / DJ: Josh of Penguin Entertainment / Invitations: Crane / Save the Dates and Programs: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “9258” by Alvina Valenta / Bride’s Veil: Ivory Bridal Atelier / Hair Stylist: Lauren Hoy / Makeup Artist: Lauren Davis of Hint of Shimmer / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G849C” in Slate by Amsale / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Transportation: Cynthia’s Manhattan Limousine
Loft Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!