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Anyone who has experienced a long distance relationship can attest to how tough it can be, but if there’s one plus side, it’s that the time when you and your love are together becomes all the more special! Kristan and Jason are college sweethearts whose post-grad jobs brought them apart for a year before they were reunited in Houston and engaged shortly thereafter. For their Texas wedding, they drew inspiration from their seven years of dating by writing their vows together, serving their favorite bundt cake flavors, and even naming their reception tables after places that were sentimental to them. Their planner, Lauren at Something to Celebrate, and florist, Maxit Flower Design, took these sweet details from Kristan and Jason’s love story and helped them tie it all together–topped off with the prettiest coral charm peonies!

Thank you kindly to Sarah McKenzie for sharing this special day with us!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? While we love the tradition of the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time when the bride walks down the aisle, we decided to do a first look based on the recommendations of married friends. All of our friends who had done one talked about how nice it was to have that special moment together without everyone watching, and how, from a logistical perspective, it just made the day run smoother. Having now done a first look at our wedding, we could not agree more! It really was perfect and allowed us to have a very special, intimate moment together, and to take plenty of pictures of just the two of us, without missing out on the reception!

Our flowers were, without a doubt, one of our favorite aspects of our wedding! We are so thankful that we had the chance to work with Maria Maxit–her work was absolutely breathtaking and we feel like the beautiful arrangements and decor that she crafted truly helped to make our wedding everything that it was. Maria captured our vision perfectly, finding ways to integrate vibrant color and gorgeous flowers (so many peonies!) throughout every element of our special day.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From the incredibly meaningful and touching words of our officiants, to the exchanging of personal vows, to the sun setting in the background as we took communion together as our first act as husband and wife, we will forever treasure every second of our wedding ceremony.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows, and we are so glad that we did! We co-wrote five promises that we each wanted to say to one another, and then we each added another promise and additional words about what the other person means to us. One of our favorite lines from the five promises that we co-wrote stated, “I promise to love you selflessly, as you have loved me, and as Christ has loved us.”

We knew we had found our venue the moment that we arrived to visit Balmorhea last fall. It is breathtaking and unique and felt every bit “us.” We were so drawn in by the amazing owners (who built the venue themselves!) and the incredible staff (we worked with Alison McIntyre, who was phenomenal!). We could not have dreamt of a more perfect place to celebrate our special day. It captured the essence of Southern charm by beautifully combining rustic design with classic elegance, and creating a welcoming, down-to-earth atmosphere that truly felt like home to us and our guests.

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! We decided that instead of doing table numbers for our reception, we wanted to name the tables after cities that were significant to us. Katy & Co. helped us craft a seating chart, as well as a corresponding display board which explained why each city meant something to us. Each of the 17 cities were places that had become very special throughout our seven years of dating–from Waco, where we first met at Baylor, to Houston, the city we now call home. We made sure each table had a picture of us in the city represented by that table.

We have always loved Nothing Bundt Cakes and were thrilled to find out that they could cater our wedding. We decided to give guests the choice of our favorite flavors: lemon and red velvet.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Baylor University’s summer camp for incoming freshman. We dated throughout college and the beginning of our professional careers. After seven years of long distance dating and many hours of travel, we are so ecstatic to finally be able to call each other husband and wife, and to have the opportunity to do life together each and every day in the same city!
Tell us all about the proposal! After a year of long distance, I was so excited to be reunited with Jason in July 2014 when I moved back to Houston. We knew that we were ready to get engaged at some point soon, and while part of me wanted to be surprised, the other part of me wanted to know EVERYTHING about the proposal! After much persistence on my part, Jason gave me four weekends to block off. The first weekend rolled around and Jason sweetly arranged for me to meet up with my dear friends from college to do brunch and get our nails done. It was a fantastic day, but I had convinced myself that he wasn’t going to propose until the last of the four weekends he had told me to block off. The next weekend, Jason told me that I needed to be ready at 3:30 in the afternoon, and when 3:30 rolled around, my cousin Brianne showed up at my house and said that she was going to be my coffee date. When we arrived at Starbucks, my brother and his girlfriend Ashley, who had come home from Baylor in Waco and were inside! They handed me a handmade mug and a note from Jason that told me what the next few hours had in store–Brianne would be taking me across Houston to various locations that were representative of things about our relationship. At each stop, there would be a clue and a puzzle piece that I would collect. While I could read the clue, I was not allowed to open the puzzle pieces. After stops at the Houston airport, IHOP (a place where Jason and I had many a breakfast), a movie theatre (one of mine and Jason’s favorite things to do is see movies), and my favorite store (Nordstrom in the Galleria, where Jason had chosen a dress for me), we drove over to the beautiful fountain wall at the Galleria. Brianne dropped me, and when I saw Jason in the middle of the field, I ran towards him! I had accidentally left the puzzle pieces in Brianne’s car, so without hesitation, he bolted off after Brianne, who was driving away, and caught her just in time. He proceeded to tell me about the significance of each piece as he unwrapped it and placed it on a board. The pieces spelled out “will you marry me” on top of a collage of pictures from us from the past seven years–he said so many amazing, wonderful things, and then got on one knee and proposed with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen in my life!
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My grandmother passed away when I was younger, and not having her to celebrate with us on our special day was so tough. However, I have no doubt at all that she was there in spirit, and to honor her, we integrated her brooch into my bouquet as my something old.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We were so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family throughout the wedding planning process who consistently helped us focus on what matters most. Rather than getting caught up in the details of the wedding day, they reminded us of the importance of investing in and preparing for the marriage that followed. In addition to the great advice we received from friends, family, and our officiant, we attended premarital counseling at our church in downtown Houston.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? One of our best decisions was to hire a day-of coordinator. Our coordinator, Lauren, was fantastic–she kept us on track in the weeks leading up to the wedding, provided fantastic vendor recommendations, and perfectly executed all of the details we had planned on the day-of. We highly recommend that everyone get a day-of coordinator to make sure that you have the chance to truly let the logistics go and focus on enjoying all of your hard work on the day of the wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently having so much fun getting settled into our first home together just outside of downtown Houston. We are so excited for all of the adventures in store for us in the coming years–from getting the chance to enjoy all of the small, simple joys of life while at home in Houston, to hopefully having the chance to travel the country and the world with friends and family. We could not be more thankful for all that lies ahead.

Photographer: Sarah McKenzie Photography / Videographer: Brad and Monica Eggerton / Planner: Something to Celebrate / Venue: Balmorhea Events / Florist: Maxit Flower Design / Dessert Baker: Nothing Bundt Cakes / Caterer: Cafe Natalie / Linens: House of Hough / DJ and Lighting: Johnny Black Productions / Favors: Laura Baartmans / Paper Products: Katy & Co / Bridal Salon: Mia Bridal Couture / Hair and Makeup: April Thompson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style F15810” in Black by David’s Bridal / Menswear: The Black Tux / Calligraphy: Cypress Calligraphy / Ties: Knotty Tie Co.

Sarah McKenzie is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Maureen Goldman reply

    So beautiful! I love the pops of coral against the black bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    that is some proposal story! wow!

  3. avatar Cafe Natalie reply

    It was an absolutely beautiful wedding. So happy for Kristan and Jason! Thank you for letting us be a part of your big day.

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