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While details and decor can help set the tone for your wedding day, nothing quite compares to the venue. There is not just the location to consider, but amenities, occupancy, and so much more. Like my husband and I when we were wedding planning, Catye and Trey found choosing the right fit for their reception to be a bit of a challenge. However, after just seeing renderings of The Carriage House, they knew it was the place for them to celebrate their marriage! I think they were absolutely right in their choice–the lovely Carriage House was the perfect backdrop for a romantic celebration filled with friends, family, and absolutely beautiful blooms from Without Wax, Katy.

Thanks to Mustard Seed Photography for sharing this sweet day with us!

I always envisioned myself in something more form-fitting and lace, but, to my surprise, I ended up with a Jim Hjelm dress that was somewhat voluminous and not at all what I had expected. The second I stepped into it, I knew it was the dress for me. I just felt like such a bride and could not imagine walking down the aisle in anything else. I also had a Watters dress for the reception. I had seen the Watters Santina dress all over Pinterest and was dreaming about it, but wasn’t quite sure if it was right for my wedding. When I was trying on dresses at Town and Country in New Orleans, I saw that they had the Watters gown and I just had to try it on! The second it was on my body, I knew that I had to fit it somewhere into my big day, so I decided to wear it to the reception as a lighter and more flowy option. It ended up being so comfortable to dance in and a perfect fit for our wedding day.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but chose to keep with the traditional vows. We chose instead to include our personal touch with the songs we chose and readings we had.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The worship band from our church, which is made up of a bunch of our friends, played the music at our ceremony and it was absolutely beautiful! The song that they played as I walked down the aisle, “Beloved” by Tenth Avenue North, actually brought me to tears. Such a beautiful song that was made even more lovely by their talented voices.

The main reading of our wedding was an excerpt from Donald Miller’s book “Blue Like Jazz.” It read, “I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer. I will love you, as sure as He has loved me. I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God’s own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me. And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me. I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again. God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose the ceremony venue (The Woodlands United Methodist Church) because we belong to a Methodist church in the area; however, we currently have services out of an elementary school. By using another local Methodist church, we were able to have our church pastor marry us. When it came to the venue, we had a very difficult time finding the right one. I went into the process knowing I wanted something a little more rustic, but nothing I found seemed to be the right fit. After what seemed like months of looking (but was probably only a week or two), I stumbled across The Carriage House. It was not even open yet, but the renderings made it look absolutely beautiful. The second I saw it, I could envision exactly what our wedding would look like. It definitely felt right.

We chose to go with farmhouse tables at our reception, and combined with the cross back chairs and beautiful floral arrangements, they brought out the beautiful Southern charm of our farmhouse venue. We also served hibiscus lemonade and tea at our cocktail hour, which ended up being the perfect refreshments for a hot August day in Texas.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Allie Ruth of Allie Ruth Designs. We originally hired her just to do our invitations (which were absolutely stunning!), but she ended up designing many of the elements that became an integral part of our wedding, including napkins and signs. One of my favorite elements of the wedding that Allie helped with was the design of the menus. Our planner found some beautiful dip-dyed blush napkins and then Allie designed a menu stamp that we were able to actually stamp directly onto the napkins. All of Allie’s design pulled our wedding together beautifully and made everything feel cohesive.

The dessert table was everything I could have imagined and more! I was so lucky that Jennifer (my wedding planner) pointed me in the direction of Kristina Guilbeau of Buttercup Bakery. She designs and makes the most gorgeous cakes. We ended up going with three smaller cakes instead of one large wedding cake. Our main cake ended up being a banana cake with peanut butter mousse and a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. So delicious! On the two smaller cakes, we went with one traditional white cake with fruit and then a chocolate cake with espresso mousse. We figured that with all the options, everyone would be happy! In addition to the cakes, we decided to give our guests a variety of pies to choose from. Kristina made us a beautiful spread of mini pies in an assortment of flavors. I honestly believe that the pies were Trey’s absolute favorite part of the evening. The dessert table in general was one of the most beautiful elements of the wedding.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Trey and I planned for our marriage in multiple ways. First, we went through premarital counseling with the pastor of our church, covering a variety of tough topics that he believed were important to discuss before marriage. We also chose to work our way through a marriage book before the wedding. This book helped us to talk about a variety of topics that we had never talked about before and start thinking more about what married life would look like for us.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Trey and I met at a CrossFit gym called CrossFit Town Center. I had been going to the gym for a few months when in walked this handsome man. I was immediately drawn to his smile and sense of humor. I knew he was the one for me! After a few months of hanging out as friends, Trey finally worked up the courage to ask me out on a date (while we were running a cool down lap at the gym, no less). The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Two weeks before the proposal, Trey suggested that we go out to dinner at our favorite restaurant for a fun night out. Trey seemed a little off throughout dinner, but I didn’t think anything of it. After dinner, he told me that we needed to stop at our CrossFit gym to lock up. When we walked into the gym, I saw that candles were lit and there were roses everywhere. There was also a slideshow playing of all of our memories together. I couldn’t tell you what was said, but I know it was a magical moment. After the proposal, we headed to a nearby bar and I was shocked to see all of our closest friends and family gathered to celebrate. It was truly a beautiful evening!
When did y’all get married? August 1, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 280
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We chose not to do a first look. Both of us had always imagined that the first time we saw each other would be the second the church doors opened. We were very happy with our decision to keep with tradition in this regard.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It is easy to say this now, but truly don’t sweat the small stuff, and always stay focused on the end goal: to marry the love of your life. I have seen so many brides get caught up in trivial things and it ends up putting a strain on their relationship. Focus on the end goal and everything else seems to pale in comparison.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We already took the next big step of buying a house together, and now, we are looking forward to our one-year anniversary that we are going to be spending together in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. All three of these places are places we have never been, so we are excited to travel and experience them together.

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography | Videographer: 31 Films | Planner: Jennifer Laura Design | Ceremony Venue: The Woodlands United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: The Carriage House | Florist: Without Wax Katy | Cake and Dessert Baker: Buttercup Bakery | Caterer: Rosemary’s Catering | Rentals: POSH Couture Rentals | Band: Royal Dukes Band | Paper Products: Allie Ruth Design | Bride’s Gowns: Jim Hjelm and “Santina” by Watters | Bride’s Hair Accessories: Twigs and Honey | Hair Stylist: Salon Bugatti | Makeup Artist: Jennifer Aronson Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Menswear: Jos A. Bank and The Tie Bar

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So sweet and charming! Love the bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Southern Peach Summer Wedding Palette | Hey Wedding Lady reply

    […] Photo by Mustard Seed Photography, Floral Design by Without Wax Katy, Bridesmaid Dresses by Jenny Yoo via Southern Weddings […]

  3. avatar Amanda Purvis reply

    I can’t seem to find a website for Allie Ruth Designs or any contact information for her. Can you share more details?

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Jo and Ryan always knew they wanted to have a wedding day filled with their friends and family, but after a battle with skin cancer derailed their 10/10/10 wedding plans, they opted for a small wedding in Ryan’s parents’ backyard instead. The two continued to dream about a vow renewal or blessing of their marriage someday, but with the busyness of life and two sweet boys, it kept being placed on the back burner. When Jo realized their fifth wedding anniversary fell on a Saturday in 2015, she knew this was the time, and immediately staring planning the colorful Hill Country celebration we were thrilled to share in V8! With the help of Without Wax, Katy‘s beautiful blooms, including Jo’s favorite peonies, the JW Marriot in San Antonio came to life for a celebration we’re sure was worth the wait!

Big hugs to Jenna McElroy for sharing Jo and Ryan’s sweet day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I first saw it on Pinterest after the 2015 Marchesa runway show pictures were posted. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it by chance when I went into Saks to see other dresses. It was even more exquisite in person! The tulle and beading are incredible.

When we got married five years prior, I didn’t have any bridesmaids, so I did feel like I missed that part of the experience. There is something special about bonds between sisters and girlfriends, so I did want to have some time with them to celebrate. Once I knew which girls were attending, I started figuring out dress options that would work for each of my best friends. Since my dress was blush, I decided to go with a mismatched look, and I specifically picked out a color and style for each girl once it was narrowed down. Everyone looked stunning!!

Tell us a bit about the ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? The entire ceremony was special to me! My childhood best friend, Alex, had recently gotten married to a wonderful man of God, and we were honored to have him create our ceremony for us. It was perfect!! Since the ceremony was about our five-year marriage and our baby boys, we all stood together during the blessing.

We had talked about a vow renewal or blessing of some sort over the first few years of our marriage. We moved from Danville to Katy, Texas in the beginning of 2011, when Ryan got a job in the oil/gas industry. Another big move put plans for a blessing on the back burner. In February 2012, we had our second son, Wyatt, and again, with life being so busy, didn’t talk about celebrating anytime soon! Before we knew it, it was summer 2014 and we were attending our friends’ wedding at the JW Marriott Hill Country here in San Antonio. The resort is incredible, so I checked dates for the next year, and when I saw that our fifth anniversary would be on a Saturday in 2015, I instantly started planning. The Hill Country part of Texas is beautiful! It has the spectacular views I am used to being surrounded by, having lived in Phoenix and the East Bay Area. We wanted all of our family and friends to come to Texas, because it is where we have built a life over the years.

Tell us about your flowers. I love peonies, so that was the one flower I knew I wanted the most! I made sure Katy knew the colors I loved, and she created breathtaking arrangements! For my girls, I wanted to do something a little different to make sure they stood out amongst everyone else, but I didn’t want to do the traditional “bridesmaid” thing. Along with coordinating the colors of their dresses, I had flower hairpieces made that they could wear instead of carrying a bouquet.

We did three single-tiered cakes on individual stands. The cakes were red velvet, lemon, and chocolate, and were decorated with the same flowers that were used in our arrangements. We also shared my two go-to treats with our guests: bite-sized cupcakes by Baked By Melissa, and my favorite macarons from Dana’s Bakery.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met through our mutual friend, Nick. I grew up with Nick and Ryan met him when he started at ASU.
Describe the proposal: Ryan was back in Danville to celebrate Christmas in 2009 with his family, while I spent it in Phoenix with mine. We had discussed an engagement because Ryan was enrolled in the MBA program at St. Mary’s near his hometown, which was set to start in January of 2010, so I was planning to go with him. He had a ring designed and brought it back to Phoenix when he came home after Christmas. He asked me to marry him on New Year’s Eve when we were alone in his house before going to dinner and out to meet friends to ring in the New Year. The sweetest part was that he surprised me and included my parents and sister in our dinner plans.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? I had many serious health issues quickly surface once I moved to Danville, so our wedding plans changed and we bumped everything up. Initially, we planned a 10/10/10 wedding back home in Scottsdale, but then I found out I was expecting, and had skin cancer, which needed surgery immediately. The skin cancer was stabilized in time for us to have a small, but beautiful, wedding in my in-laws’ backyard vineyard. I continued to go through some scary health issues with my pregnancy towards the end, but thankfully, everything ended up being okay for both the baby and me. After our first son, James Ryder, was born, I had radiation for my skin cancer, and the bells palsy I had gotten started clearing up. We just needed to do what was best for the moment in our lives, and always said that one day, we would celebrate with all our family and friends!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Colorful, family-filled, dreamy
How many guests attended your wedding? About 120
What did the groom wear? We didn’t follow tradition with the groomsmen thing at all, so when it came time to take photos, my husband gathered his best friends that were near us. We got some great shots of them all just being themselves!
What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? After going through the complications and scares I had with my health and during pregnancy, I was just thrilled to be able to have this moment five years later with all our family and friends together.
Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: I wanted lots of flowers! We also had some gorgeous china plates for each table setting and some beautiful vintage furniture to create more seating for our guests.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? We wanted a buffet-style meal so everyone could get what they liked and as much as they wanted of it! We had a macaroni bar, a meat carving station, a salad bar, and chicken and waffles.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? I think what was most special about what Ryan and I did was that we blessed our marriage of five years and our two beautiful boys with the people we love the most.

Photographer: Jenna McElroy | Videographer: Jason & Daris | Planner, Designer, and Florals: Without Wax Katy | Venue, Catering, and Cake: JW Marriott Hill Country Resort San Antonio | Macarons: Dana Bakery | Mini Cupcakes: Baked by Melissa | Bride’s Gown: Marchesa | Bridal Salon: Saks Fifth Avenue | Bride’s Shoes: Valentino | Bride’s Jewelry: Roberto Coin | Bride’s Clutch: Nancy Gonzalez | Bride’s Rings: David Yurman | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BCBG Max Azria, Jill Stuart, and Jenny Yoo | Streamers: Studio Mucci | Candy: Sugarfina | Sugar Cookies: Jolie Delights | Hair and Makeup: Maitee Miles Hair & Makeup | Groom’s Fashion: Suit Supply | Paper Goods: Stationery Bakery | Cake Plates: Layla Grayce

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah reply

    I’m absolutely, completely obsessed with this wedding, loving the bold use of color and obvious joy!

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We’re always so thankful when we can have behind the scenes photographers on hand at editorial shoots–so much goes into the making of the finished images, and it’s a lot of fun to share a peek into that with y’all! On top of that, it’s really sweet to have these records for our own memories, and since our Texas Sweethearts editorial shoot day was a favorite from this year for both Emily and me, we’re particularly glad that our Blue Ribbon Vendor and dear friend Jen Dillender was there to spend the day with us. Our vendor team and reader models were all amazing, and made this shoot such a joy to be a part of!

It is inevitable–there are always behind the scenes shots of us snapping sneak peeks for Instagram!

All hands were on deck setting up gorgeous vignettes and details around Star Hill Ranch! This property is unreal–the owners relocated historic homes from around Texas to create the most charming faux town square. We remembered it from this wedding we shared a few years ago, and knew it was our dream venue for this shoot!

Pink Avocado Catering pulled out all the stops for our Texan-inspired menu. We were determined to make upscale frito pies a “thing” at this shoot, and couldn’t have been happier with the way they turned out!

Shooting portraits is one of my favorite parts of any shoot day. It’s so much fun seeing the fashion we chose shine, especially if there’s a real couple modeling for us! I couldn’t stop laughing at the shot below of Emily wearing the veil–she couldn’t very well leave it on the ground and let it get dirty or wrinkled, after all! :)

Everyone from our photographer, to our beauty team, to our behind the scenes photographer poured their hearts into making this editorial magical–we’re tremendously grateful to work with people who share our hearts for marriage and the magic of the South.

For the finished photos from this editorial and all of the wonderful vendors involved, see V8 in print (now on news stands and online here) and this post!

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

    Ya’ll are too cute! I love seeing Em and Lisa in action and with Victoria and Ben as models! Love it!

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    This shoot is so beautiful with such unexpected pops of color. The amaryllis are perfect! Well done, everyone!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    Wish I could’ve gone to this shoot! More Texas shoots! :)

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