I am quite an indecisive person, and even tend to overthink my decisions once they’re made (my husband would say that is a major understatement!), so I can completely empathize with Marlo when she says that the biggest challenge of planning their wedding for her and Greg was “avoiding decision fatigue.” With so many choices to make, from major decisions to small details, it can become overwhelming quickly. But, I love how Marlo and Greg reminded themselves to keep the purpose of their wedding front and center, and focus on creating a wedding day that celebrated their unique union. From there, decisions were made and details were created with intentionality and heart. One of my favorite details was their dinner–they wanted their reception meal to feel “homey,” so they opted for braised short ribs and Lebanese sides dishes that were passed around at each table. A little bit messy, and a lot like a big family affair!
Thanks to Ely Fair for capturing Marlo and Greg’s beautiful day!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Just as I was warned, I fell for a wedding dress that didn’t look anything like the one I had pictured. I imagined myself in a flowy, romantic, beaded number, but ended up loving a fitted floral jacquard gown with a flared hem. My mom, sister, and bridesmaid gave it two thumbs up and I loved the unique fabric.
Our wedding flowers were creamy whites with bright pops of green and sage. I loved that the bridesmaids’ bouquets felt structural and whimsical, while the bridal bouquet was more traditional. We kept the farm tables low-key with eucalyptus runners with bright white accents.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at Philbrook Museum in the heart of midtown Tulsa, where Marlo was raised. Having an outdoor wedding at an art museum felt really special. Philbrook’s breathtaking gardens were the perfect backdrop for the day.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It’s impossible to choose! We’ll never forget dancing with everyone to Lebanese dabke drummers. Most people had never heard dabke before, so they just winged it! It felt spontaneous and unforgettable. We decided to string lights in both the dinner hall and outside where the band played. That made the whole atmosphere more casual, yet magical. We used a big coffee table book about art from Marfa, where we got engaged, in lieu of a traditional guest book. It’s fun to page through it and find notes from our loved ones. Plus, it looks great sitting out in our living room! Our wedding planner, Allison Craig, was a total lifesaver for coordinating details and executing our vision. Our table numbers were marble tiles hand-lettered with gold paint–we wanted to include a nod to our shared love of geology without being too overt. We wanted the meal to feel homey and welcoming, and braised short rib fit the bill perfectly! It felt special but not too fussy–you can’t eat short rib without getting a little messy. We included Lebanese side dishes to pass around the tables as well, which helped everything feel like a big family affair.
We had a dessert bar by Heirloom Bakery which included cream puffs, lemon bars, and peanut butter cups. We had a small cake for us to cut, which was strawberry cake with cardamom frosting, inspired by an amazing riff on strawberry shortcake from our favorite Indian restaurant in Houston.
Our first dance was to “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke. It was a surprisingly easy choice we made early on and we never thought twice about it. Our band did a great cover, and the vocalist, Aaron Brave, blew us away. My father and I grooved to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. The cheerful beat was perfect for our spontaneous dance. Greg and his mother danced to “Love You Like a Rock” by Paul Simon. He’s a geologist, after all! My dad also surprised us with an a capella group in the middle of dinner! They kicked it off with “One Fine Day,” and at the end, everyone broke out into “Oklahoma!”
Tell us all about the proposal! We were on road trip to Marfa, an artists’ oasis in the West Texas desert. We planned to sleep in a teepee, hike in a state park, poke around museums, and star gaze at the McDonald Observatory. Greg proposed on the foothills of the Davis Mountains just outside of town. We celebrated with hamburgers and live music at the Lost Horse Saloon.
When did y’all get married? May 7, 2016
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We saved the suspense for the big moment and opted out of a first look. We’re so glad we did–it was magical.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? An excerpt from “Letters to a Young Poet #7” (Rainer Maria Rilke), an excerpt from “Les Miserables” (Victor Hugo), and “Pathways” (Rainer Maria Rilke).
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My shoes were canary blue and my sister and I wore matching vintage gold bracelets my parents gave us.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge in planning a wedding is avoiding decision fatigue. You make so many choices along the way, from major decisions like the date and venue to the most minor details like the color Sharpie for the guest book. Making so many choices can be overwhelming. We had to remind ourselves to keep the purpose of the day front and center, which takes the pressure off all the extra stuff.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We wanted the look of candles on the tables, but couldn’t have open flames in the museum. Most of the flameless candles we found weren’t convincing, so my mom poured her own pillar candles for us to use! They were large enough to put a flameless tea light inside and looked perfect.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We booked our photographer, Ely Fair, and videographer, Anchor Heart Films, as soon as we settled on a date. We lucked out. They are both so talented but also kind and easygoing, and made us feel really comfortable on the day of the wedding. You end up spending a lot of time with your photographer and videographer, so it is crucial that you have a good rapport. The results were beautiful and authentic.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? In the middle of the reception while everyone was dancing, we snuck up to a walkway that overlooked the dance floor. It was incredible to take a quiet moment to witness all of our loved ones celebrating together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember that the purpose of the wedding is to celebrate your unique union. Keep that in mind and let go of any details or traditions that don’t feel authentic to you.
Photographer: Ely Fair Photography | Videographer: Anchor Heart Films | Planner: Allison Craig | Venue and Caterer: Philbrook Museum | Florist: Lyla Sawyer | Dessert Baker: Heirloom Baking Co. | Rentals: Party Pro and Kahoy Studios | Lighting: LionsRoad Studios | Band: Full Flava Kings | Guitarist: Sean Al-Jibouri | Paper Products: Brown Linen | Bride’s Gown: “Aida” by Amsale | Bride’s Veil: Mia Bridal Couture | Hair and Makeup: Primp Hair and Makeup Studio | Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew | Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Invitation Calligraphy and Table Numbers: Kristara