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I have a little bit of a habit of calling dibs on introducing y’all to Texas weddings–from ranch celebrations to stylish downtown soirées, I love them all! Melissa and John’s wedding is certainly no exception, especially when I spotted Melissa’s gorgeous Amsale gown and read about the Tex Mex-inspired details she and John included in their day (a nod to the Cinco de Mayo party that kicked off their relationship). I love that, as a result, their wedding day was completely elegant, but undeniably fun–surely, a perfect fit for these Texan sweethearts!

Thanks so much to Elisabeth Carol for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

My something borrowed was a pair of Jude Francis earrings from one of my best friends. My something blue was my monogram stitched on a garter that also included the monogram of a best friend who was married in April 2014. We will continue this tradition until all our friends are married! My something old were pictures of my grandparents in framed charms. Both sets of my grandparents are no longer with me, and these charms were pinned to my bouquet. Lastly, my something new was my Jimmy Choo shoes. I can’t wait to wear them again on anniversaries and special occasions.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My sister-in-law sent me a picture of a dress she saw, and I instantly fell in love. My mom, sister, and I had plans to go dress shopping in Dallas the weekend before Thanksgiving, when we would all be together. The bridal department in Neiman Marcus agreed to ship the dress from their Chicago store, so we started there. It was the first dress I tried on, but I knew I wanted to try on lots more in various styles. After trying on twenty or so, I put the first dress back on and knew it was the one. We purchased the dress and cancelled the rest of my bridal appointments. Ironically, it was November 21, 2014 when I said “yes” to my dress. It was so fun knowing that in exactly one year, I would be wearing this dress down the aisle!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? This was one of the hardest decisions for me while wedding planning. I had always imagined the church doors opening and seeing my husband for the first time, but after a lot of thought, we decided to do a first look. The sun was going to set early on our November wedding date and I knew I wanted pictures together outside! Additionally, I wanted to remember our vows at the altar–I knew I would be too nervous if I waited until the ceremony to see John. The first look allowed us to spend a good amount of time together on our wedding day and share the true emotion with each other when seeing one another for the first time.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My childhood friend read Colossians 3:12-14. It was so special to include her in our ceremony, because we grew up together, attending the same church and church camp. She and her husband will be a special part of our marriage going forward, and a couple who will hold us accountable to the reading we selected for our ceremony.

We decided to get married in Houston because it was such a special part of our relationship over our four years of dating! It also simplified the wedding planning process to get married in the city we were living in. We got married at the church John grew up in because it was important to us to get married in the church we would eventually raise a family in. Because my family is not from Houston, I wanted all our venues to be close by, to make it easier on our guests. I loved the traditional setting and classic decor of the Houston Country Club.

Describe your wedding flowers. We had all shades of white and ivory with dark green and touches of lime. I chose loose and airy, garden-style arrangements with lots of texture. I also wanted flowers that went with the season. The flowers included hydrangeas, eskimo roses, polo roses, majolica spray roses, and tulips. For the touch of green, the florist added trick dianthus, viburnum, and magnolia leaves. She also included seasonal blooming branches and curly willow for some texture.

My wedding cake was a four-tiered classic white cake with fresh flowers in between each layer. John’s groom’s cake was a chocolate square base with a replica of Texas A&M’s football helmets. The SEC logo was even included on his cake!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The Mexican fiesta flair we incorporated into our reception was a fun reminder of John’s first trip to Austin for my Cinco De Mayo party back in 2011. I got ready in a white Mi Golondrina dress, which was hand-stitched in Mexico. John and his wedding party wore colorful suspenders made in Mexico and South America. A mariachi band entertained guests during the cocktail hour of our reception. John’s signature drink was a Cuba Libra: rum and Coke with fresh lime. Colorful flower crowns and maracas were brought out to the dance floor when the dance party started–even the band’s female saxophonist grabbed one! Guests launched colorful confetti before John and I left in a golf cart decorated in bright Mexican paper flowers.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. John and I attended rival colleges. When we met, he had just graduated from Texas A&M and I had another year and a half at The University of Texas. John’s high school friend was dating my college best friend, and they invited us both to Galveston, Texas for a beach weekend! I can still remember the first time I saw John. We had such a great weekend with friends, but parted ways on Sunday. A year later, the same friends invited us both back to Galveston again, and this time, we really hit it off. Before parting ways on Sunday, John asked for my number and I don’t think we have gone a day without speaking since. John was living in his hometown of Houston, and I still had a semester left of college in Austin. We were unsure if anything would come of our relationship, due to the distance. My best friends devised a plan that I would host a Cinco de Mayo party at my house and we would invite John to Austin to visit. John accepted the invitation and came in for the weekend. We continued to visit each other, and eventually agreed to date long distance. I graduated in December 2011 and accepted a job in Houston. Both John and Houston became very special to me as I settled into adult life.
Tell us all about the proposal! John had planned to surprise me after work on one particular Friday night in October 2014. I almost ruined his entire proposal plan when I, unexpectedly, finished work early that day. John usually leaves the office an hour before me on Fridays, so I’m sure he was in full-on panic mode when I told him I was heading home. Once home, I decided to go for a run around my neighborhood. When I got back, John’s car was parked outside. I opened the front door, and there was John on one knee. I was so sweaty and so surprised! We spent some time soaking in the moment before calling our family and friends to share the good news. John had made reservations for us at a restaurant I was dying to try, and told me we would meet up with friends at our favorite bar afterwards to celebrate. After dinner, John insisted we go home and drop off the flowers that he surprised me with at dinner. I was anxious to meet up with my best friends, but agreed. We turned onto the street, and in the middle of it, our closest friends and family were standing there holding a huge sign that said, “Congrats John and Mel!” He had a planned an engagement party and thought to invite our closest friends and family. The next day, we headed to the beach with the couple that introduced us. It was so fun being back where it all started!
When did y’all get married? November 21, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? John and I instituted weekly date nights, which is something we want to have in our marriage too! Some weeks, it was just a quick, weeknight meal, while other weeks, it was a planned outing. We set a rule that we couldn’t talk about the wedding during this time. This was hard for me! Life will get busy and we hope weekly dates will help us slow down and enjoy time with just each other and no other distractions.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The sweetest detail from our wedding was incorporating a special moment during our ceremony to honor John’s late father. When John and his brother walked their mother down the aisle to seat her, they first went up to the altar and lit a candle in his memory, which burned throughout our ceremony. John’s family could look past John and his brother, who was his best man, and see the candle burning behind them. It was a sweet reminder that his father was with us on our wedding day. We gifted John’s mother with a lantern to hold the candle after the wedding as a keepsake.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? So many to choose from! John and I would have to agree that our last dance of the night was the most memorable moment of our wedding day (probably because we were on the biggest high from the night)! While the guests were lining up for our reception exit, John and I shared a private dance together. I don’t think I have ever been so happy in my life or felt so loved. We had just danced the night away surrounded by our family and friends, and then having one last moment for just the two of us for a dance to the band’s encore was unforgettable.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We loved that the holidays fell right after our wedding. It was so fun making new traditions and holiday memories together. We plan to squeeze in as many weekend getaways we can throughout the year, but our calendar is packed full with engagement celebrations and weddings. We are looking forward to celebrating these wonderful friends in 2016.

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol | Videographer: Philip Harbuck | Planner: Sarah Bett | Ceremony Venue: Chapelwood United Methodist Church | Reception Venue, Florist, and Caterer: Houston Country Club | Cake Baker: Susie’s Cakes | Linen Rentals: Aztec | Chair Rentals: A Finer Event | Lighting: Intelligent Lighting Design | Band: Password Band | Save the Dates: Clara Doyle Designs | Custom Stamps: Zazzle | Invitations: October Ink | Calligraphy: The Southern Inkwell | Reception Signage: Little Carbao Studio | Monogram Designs: Mallory Hope | Bride’s Gown: “Lenox” by Amsale | Bridal Salon and Veil: Neiman Marcus Dallas | Hair Stylist: Albert Dominguez of The Hairdressers | Makeup Artist: Jennifer Aronson | Bride’s Shoes: “Isabel” in Champagne Glitter by Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Elena” in Silver Bells by Joanna August | Menswear: Jos. A Bank | Photo Booth: Texas Party Booth | Custom Water Bottles: Papellerie | Confetti Launcher Sticks: Flutterfetti | Wedding Programs and Welcome Boxes: Well Wish Tree Paper Goods | Favors: DGZ Chocolates

lisa Written with love by Lisa

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If you have a little bit of “wedding nerd” in you, the idea of these four things together just might give you butterflies: Alabama, Christmas, Vera Wang, A Bryan Photo. Sure enough, Sally and Steven’s wedding struck the perfect balance between classic, festive, and Southern, and I can’t think of a prettier way to get excited for Christmas than by admiring their gorgeous pictures! Sally’s bouquet was particularly special–all of her favorite flowers, which she had always wanted in her wedding, were lovingly arranged by her talented aunt, who made the same bouquet for Steven to use during his proposal. I can only imagine how special these blooms will continue to be to this sweet couple for years to come!

A big SW thank you to A Bryan Photo for sharing Sally and Steven’s wedding with us!

My aunt, Sybil Sylvester, is an incredible florist, so she was in charge of all the wedding flowers. My flowers were predominately white, accented with green. My bouquet was made of peonies, gardenias, ranunculus, garden roses, thistle, and dusty miller. The church was decorated with garland and wreaths made of baby’s breath, along with Christmas greenery and candles. The Country Club was decorated with swags of greenery, tufts of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling, gold mirrors, and more beautiful flower arrangements. Call me cliché, but my inspiration was a Downton Abbey aesthetic: a Christmas wedding that felt like a traditional Southern wedding with an old English flair.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and dad came to New York and took me to the Vera Wang wedding boutique. Every dress in that store is gorgeous. I tried on lots of dresses and narrowed it down to two. Once I tried on the Eliza gown with the sash and the veil, I knew it was the one for me.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Our readings were passages from the Old and New Testaments: Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Philippians 1:27-2:11.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. 
I walked down the aisle to “Highland Cathedral” played on bagpipes. We sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” during the ceremony and then Steven and I processed out to “Joy to the World.” Our first dance was to “Make You Feel My Love.”

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
My photographer. You spend so much time with your photographer on your wedding day, and you will forever remember your wedding through their lens. Bryan and his team take gorgeous pictures and their laid-back personalities make the picture-taking fun, not stressful.

My wedding cake was Frank Stitt’s fabulous coconut cake that I’ve grown up eating at Bottega. Steven’s groom’s cake was red velvet baby bites from Pastry Art, surrounding a small red velvet cake decorated with an orange “T,” for his alma mater, the University of Tennessee.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
Our reception food was quintessential Southern fare, including fried chicken, lobster mac and cheese, and short ribs. We had a bourbon bar, and later in the night, we served Mississippi Muds. We used family silver to serve our cakes. Also very Southern: my Alabama football-loving family had to endure my University of Tennessee husband and his friends singing “Rocky Top” with the band.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
Steven and I met at Alpine Camp. We had both worked there before and were friends, but in the summer of 2011, Steven asked me out on a date. After that, we spent every night off together for the rest of the summer. The rest is history.
Describe the proposal. 
I flew home from New York to spend Easter with Steven and my family. On Saturday evening, Steven and I walked up to where we could see the sunset over Birmingham. When we got back to my house, I saw that the tea candles in the trees in our garden were lit and I realized something was up. Steven grabbed my hand and led me to the garden and said, “I have a few things to tell you.” The path to the garden was covered in white flower petals, and strands of orchids were hanging from the trees. At the end of the path, I saw a bouquet that I knew my aunt had made with all my favorite flowers, which I had always wanted for my own wedding. Steven got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. Afterwards, we celebrated with champagne, family, and friends.
In what month did you get married? 
How many guests attended your wedding? 
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not. Our photographer, Bryan Johnson, had already done our engagement photos, and we knew we could trust him to get great pictures done without taking over the day. Also, we wanted to see each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle and we are glad we did it that way.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
All the details came together so perfectly, I can’t choose just one. I am so glad I had my aunt and my wedding planners at Mariée Ami to worry about the details so that I could enjoy the big picture!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
Right after the ceremony, Steven and I had a few moments to ourselves to talk, dance, and just let it sink in that we were married.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Just relax and enjoy the week of your wedding. Once you’ve finished the planning, you should sit back, take it all in, and enjoy the people there. The important thing is that you’re married at the end of the day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
Who knows! We’re happy to be married and figuring out life together with our new golden doodle puppy.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I love that their wedding cake was a favorite from the bride’s childhood! Coconut cake is always a winner in my book!

  2. avatar Naia reply

    What a romantic wedding!! Loved that cake <3 Congratulations to Sally and Steven.

  3. avatar Ashley S reply

    I follow them on instagram

  4. avatar Dana reply

    such a beautiful proposal story

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Emily and I were just talking the other day about how hard it is to find a single bridesmaid’s dress that looks fab on everyone. Cee Cee’s ‘maids have taken on the challenge and they all look gorgeous in their grey one-shoulder frocks! It’s the bride, however, that looks positively radiant in her glamorous dress and dotted veil. She and her mom agreed to keep the dress a secret until the big day and we love the sweet photos that resulted from the surprise! We’re giving out big hugs to KT Merry who shared Cee Cee + Chad’s wedding with us!

Isn’t this shot of Cee Cee’s gals all seeing her for the first time so sweet? That’s what friends are for :)

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) We were introduced by mutual friends when Cee Cee moved home from college. We were friends for a few years before we started dating.
Describe the proposal. Chad called me one Monday morning and told me we had a charity event to attend that Thursday evening. Thursday came, and we left for the event that I knew was taking place in a hangar at our small private airport. As part of the event, they were giving quick sunset flights over the coast and then dinner back at the airport. Chad and I boarded the plane and took off, flew out towards the beach and along the coast. As we approached our favorite beach, “Will You Marry Me” was written hugely in the sand. At first I thought how lucky the other girl was, and then turned to show Chad. As I turned around, he had my ring in his hand. I was so shocked the message was for me that I didn’t see all of our friends standing on the beach waving at us in the plane. The best part was there really wasn’t a charity event back at the airport and we were able to go celebrate with our family and friends!

In what month did you get married? February
How many guests attended your wedding? 240
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: When I was young, my mom and I agreed that when it was my time to find my wedding dress, it would be just the two of us. When the day finally came, we went to a friend’s store, Tie the Knot in Naples to just start looking. The sixth or seventh dress I tried on was absolutely perfect. My mom and I both got tears and knew it was “the one!” We decided that day to keep the dress a secret. No one had any idea what my dress looked like until I put it on for the wedding! It was so much fun and so special to share that once in a lifetime experience with just my mom.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Chad and I both knew exactly what were looking for in a husband and wife and waited patiently until we found the perfect person. “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison was the perfect wedding song for us, then.
Describe your wedding flowers: Simply elegant. I wanted lots of candle light in the reception so I went with simple tall arrangements of baby’s breath with white taper candles. For the low centerpieces we had large full arrangements with white hydrangeas a bit of soft greenery and soft pink roses.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Our cake was a beautiful and traditional white, five-tiered cake with a simple white flower topper. The only dessert we ever eat is cheesecake, so we decided to have a raspberry cheesecake at our wedding. It was different than the traditional wedding cake but came as a pleasant surprise to all of our guests!
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our band, The Headliners. The most important thing to us was that our guests were comfortable and had a great time. The Headliners were amazing and kept all of our guests out on the dance floor the entire evening, regardless of age!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time in church. There is simply no other feeling like it!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax, have fun, and make it your own. Be sure to enjoy the planning process because once your wedding day arrives, it will go so quickly you’ll be sad when it’s over!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are excited to continue building our careers and begin growing our family.

Photographer: KT Merry Photography // Videographer: Elite Weddings // Planner: Nancy Goldzsak // Ceremony venue: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church // Reception Venue: Grey Oaks Country Club // Florist: Grace Lakes Florist // Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Mikkelsen’s Bakery // Lighting: Jack Black Productions // Paper Products: Paper Lantern // Bride’s Dress: Romona Keveza, style RK2010931 // Bride’s Shoes: Elie Tahari // Bride’s Belt: Lazaro // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhullier Bridesmaids style 450002 in platinum

KT Merry is a member of our fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Amanda reply

    That ruffle gown is just too cute!

  2. avatar molly stillman reply

    OHMYGOLLY i love her dress. i am obsessed.

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  4. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    We love chic beach weddings! And that bouquet is to-die-for.

  5. avatar Florida on site hair and makeup artist reply

    The hair and makeup for bride and bridesmaids was beautiful!! Loved the dresses on all the ladies too! Thanks for sharing!

  6. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Her shoes are so stylish! I need a pair… :D

    And those bouquets – both the bride’s and the bridesmaids’ – are way gorgeous! I love that the bride has a bouquet of different flowers! :)

  7. avatar The Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] of the rest of their fabulous night!Photography by Daniel Lateulade PhotographySomehow I missed this beautiful Florida wedding KT Merry had featured last week! How pretty is the bride Cee Cee and her dress.I love the idea of a […]

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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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