Ooo… another U.S.-Canada transcontinental love story. We love it! (Full disclosure: Our editor is married to a totally adorable Canuck, so she’s a little biased.) OK, so, Jessica and Mike’s tale actually starts with a series of phone calls they shared, at the urging of friends who thought they’d be perfect for each other. Eventually, they had to meet in person—and once they did, the sparks flew. One January day, Mike flew from Edmonton, Alberta, to Houston to surprise Jessica with a marriage proposal…and not only did she say, “Yes,” but she actually moved to Edmonton, where she and Mike now live. “It’s very cold here,” she tells us, “but he keeps me warm.” We’ll just bet he does. Oh—and about the couple’s Houston wedding? It was a beauty! Using a palette of champagne, gold, ivory and chocolate, Darryl & Co. filled the already-lovely Villa Rinata with creamy roses and hydrangeas, illuminated with amber uplighting. Jessica dazzled in her Allure Bridals gown from Weddings by Debbie, and perfect hair and makeup by—who else?—The Perfect Face. Feast your eyes on photos from Canadian photography team Shadowbox Studios, which capture all the glamour and sophistication of this wedding, with its feminine touches and metallic edge. And join us in wishing Jessica and Mike a lifetime of love and warmth!
Photos: Shadow Box Studios ~ Bride’s Dress: Allure Bridals from Weddings by Debbie ~ Bride’s Hair & Makeup: The Perfect Face ~ Cake: Alphorn Bakery ~ Flowers & Decor: Darryl & Co. ~ Venue: Villa Rinata ~ Rehearsal Dinner: Maggiano’s Little Italy
We admit it: We’ve got a soft spot for love stories that begin, “We met when we were 16 years old, at the mall.” Especially when they involve years of long-distance, on-again-off-again dating that culminates, finally, with the realization that you can’t and won’t live without your true love by your side. Such is the nature of Elly and Ryan’s relationship, sealed with heartfelt vows in a ceremony inside Hotel ZaZa’s Phantom Ballroom that combined Persian and traditional Western rites and rituals. Following the ceremony, guests gathered in the ballroom’s foyer area where they enjoyed more than 10 different types of passed hors d’oeuvre while Hotel ZaZa’s expert staff, along with design pros from florist and decorator Plants N’ Petals, transformed the ceremony space for the reception. “Each of the 13 nooks in the Phantom ballroom was used differently,” bride Elly explains. “The center nook held the Persian sofreh while other nooks contained bars, couches and seats with cocktail tables, guest dinner tables, the six-piece band, and the two DJ’s.” Centerpieces of roses, peonies, hydrangeas and crystal candelabras topped the tables, where guests convened to rest and refuel when not dancing the night away. “Our wedding went even better than I could have imagined,” Elly says. “We had such a wonderful time!” And we’ve had a wonderful time sharing your day with you and Ryan. Thanks so much to John Ly Photography for the pretty pix—and congratulations to the lovely couple.
Photos: John Ly Photography ~ Videography: A&A Video Productions ~ Bride’s Dress: Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston ~ Jewelry: Markle Luxury Jewelers & Zadok Jewelers ~ Shoes: Jimmy Choo ~ Hair & Makeup: Blush & Co. ~ Flowers & Decor: Plants N’ Petals ~ Persian Sofreh: Sofreh Chic ~ Coordinator: Belle of the Ball ~ Officiants: Minister Brian Engle (Weddings Performed); Lillie Taat~ Venue: Hotel ZaZa
“Kevin asked me to marry him in Norway, where I was born,” Houston bride Kristine tells us. “He was visiting me while I was doing an internship abroad. He already had a ring, had already asked my dad for my hand in marriage, and was just waiting for the right time to ask. The last day, which we spent at my family cottage, was the most gorgeous day. The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. We went for a long walk to a lighthouse located on the shore of the North Sea. As soon as we arrived, Kevin couldn’t wait, and got down on one knee.” Wondering what Kristine’s answer was? Yeah, you guessed it. The pair made it official this summer, in front of 125 beloved friends and family members, with a beautiful ceremony and fun, rustic-elegant reception at Butler’s Courtyard. “I wanted my wedding to be very laid-back and relaxed, which I achieved with having it mostly outdoors. The interior features of the venue were very rustic, with exposed brick, wooden beams, chandeliers and vintage candelabras, which achieved the look I wanted on their own. Outdoors we had light linens, mercury-glass vases, blush bridesmaid dresses, baby’s breath, string-bulb lights and an amazing piano man who played and sang all the classics…which made my wedding a dream come true!” Thank you so much, Kristine and Kevin, for sharing your dream day with all of us. Thanks, too, to Mustard Seed Photography, for some very lovely documentation of this beautiful Houston wedding.
Photos: Mustard Seed Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Pronovias ~ Bride’s Hair & Makeup: DIY ~ Cake: Cakes by Jula ~ Flowers: DIY & NASA Flowers ~ Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Al’s Formal Wear ~ Venue: Butler’s Courtyard
Back in 2011, a casual father-daughter lunch—a tradition Emily Catherine has enjoyed with her dad since she was very young—turned out to be a very important occasion, when a “tall handsome guy stopped me out of nowhere and said, ‘Hi, I’m Ben Riggs. Weren’t you in my brother’s grade at Kinkaid?’” recounts the bride. “We chatted for a little bit and then he went back to his friends and I went back to my dad. As I walked away, I had butterflies in my stomach. I had never met a guy who was so outgoing, confident and charismatic. I knew there was just something special about him.” The two became Facebook friends, started messaging each other, eventually shared phone numbers, and, as Emily Catherine says, “The rest is history!” This summer, the pair shared vows in a traditional church ceremony, followed by a Houston Country Club bash attended by 500 of their nearest and dearest. Southern elegance ruled the day, in the form of oodles of white, cream and blush roses, along with Southern specialties including fried oysters and grits, and a six-foot-tall, monogrammed, flower-wrapped cake. “We wanted people from all generations on the dance floor all night long,” says Emily Catherine of the high-energy dancing to the live band. “One of my favorite moments of our wedding was when they opened the doors to the church before my dad and I walked down the aisle. Ben and I had not seen each other before the wedding, and I couldn’t get to the end fast enough to be with him! Plus, I could see he was trying to hold back from getting choked up, it was so sweet! My other favorite moment was during our first dance. I looked around the room and saw all of our friends and family. I mean, when in your life do you have all the people who are important to you all together?” At your once-in-a-lifetime wedding, that’s when. Congratulations, Emily Catherine and Ben, and big thanks to Michael Carr Photography for the beautiful photos of this beautiful Houston wedding.
Photos: Michael Carr Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Ines di Santo from Belle Mariée Bridal ~ Tuxedos: Al’s Formal Wear ~ Cake: Cakes by Gina ~ Flowers: Houston Country Club ~ Coordinator: Keely Thorne of Keely Thorne Events ~ Venue: Houston Country Club ~ Invitations: Bering’s