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
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
“From the beginning, I knew I wanted our wedding to truly reflect Ryan and I as a couple,” says Houston bride Lindsy. “As high-school sweethearts, we had been together for eight years when we began planning our wedding, and we had truly grown up together and with each other’s families. We wanted our wedding to be a night to celebrate our love as well as our family and friends who have supported us for so many years. I envisioned an all-white wedding with a mix of soft textured elements and strong architectural design. The ceremony, like my dress,”—a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier creation from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, btw— “had an ethereal quality, with floating orchid petals and candles. The reception had a lot of clean lines with structured arrangements of white flowers. Fun-fact napkins, signature drinks and advice cards personalized our event and made our guests a part of our love story. The textured linens, mirrored table tops and white linen menus added texture and interest to a monochrome palette. An all-white stage, dance floor and lounge furniture created the perfect environment to dance the night away for our friends and family. After dinner the chandeliers changed to purple lighting and the music continued until early the next morning. We ended the evening with a salty-and-sweet treat of French fries and milkshake shots for our guests before a confetti exit to our hotel suite. The most special part of our wedding was a painting of our sweet dogs (who could not be at the wedding) by my cousin Jennifer. We made sure to display it under the chuppah so they could watch over our ceremony.” And if that’s not the picture of personal, meaningful wedding perfection, we don’t know what is. Congratulations, Lindsy and Ryan, and great thanks to Morgan Lynn Photography for the lovely photos!
Photos: Morgan Lynn Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon ~ Bride’s Shoes: Vera Wang Lavender ~ Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier from Nordstrom Wedding Suite ~ Flowers & Decor: Darryl & Co. ~ Cake: Susie’s Cakes & Confections ~ Coordinator: Belle of the Ball ~ Venue: Hotel ZaZa ~ Rehearsal Dinner: Maggiano’s Little Italy