There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ Texas Ranch wedding, especially one photographed by The Nichols. And they know just how we like it…pretty with a whopping side of gorgeous details to fawn over. Held at the George Ranch Historical Park, this vintage inspired party is as unique as it is fun. The prevailing theme for the day? “Ad Vitam” – don’t worry I googled it for you all. It means “for life” in Latin. Adorbs, right? It made an appearance in everything from the ceremony decor to the wedding cake and we can’t seem to get enough. Join us in the gallery for a whole slue of fab details and a lot more fawning.
From the Bride… My husband and I have been friends since high school when I used to hook him up on dates with all of my best friends. I’m obviously not a trusted matchmaker. We have little in common besides our shared interest of Mid-Century Modern design which quickly helped establish a theme for our wedding–“late 50s/early 60s ranch wedding somehow including Steven’s love of rap”.
As for my dress, some of my favorite pictures of my maternal grandparents are those from their wedding day–my Grandma wore a tea-length dress and my Granddad looked sharp in his bowtie–I’ve just always loved that image of them. That made my dress an obvious choice–I knew it’d be tea-length but I obsessed over a Justin Alexander style (specifically one previously on SMP) which wasn’t at the shop the day we went to try on dresses. I’m pretty easy to sway though, my friends and our moms LOVED the Stephanie James dress once I had it on, and I was acting like a fool in the bridal shop over my excitement.
I think what initially set the stage for the wedding theme were our invitations, designed by Jennifer Blanco at Product Superior. Going with the whole MCM, rap, and cars–she created the most beautiful, unique suite of invites and ceremony program for us that fit our description perfectly. To save time and money, the main invite card was the only thing we chose to have letterpressed; printing was done by Workhorse Prints. I did the calligraphy-style addressing on the outer envelopes myself, which really only took a couple days and I preferred it to a more skilled calligrapher’s perfect hand.
Finding a venue was hard since we wanted something modern and historical here in Houston, but a friend suggested George Ranch Historical Park–a place we used to go on field trips–and once we saw it in person we were hooked. It wasn’t modern but at least it was historical and around in the 50s/60s so that kind of counts, right?
In choosing our photographers–that was easy. I’d pinned an old ad of the Nichols’ to my bulletin board long before we were engaged, and luckily they were available for our date so that was the first thing we booked. It was important to me to have creative, artistic photographs that we’d love and cherish forever. The Nichols gave us that and more and they’ll be our lifetime photographers as long as they’re in business. CJ Nichols also hand made our Ad Vitam neon which we hung on the tree at the ceremony, we wanted something simple and iconic so this was the only ceremony decor besides a rose-petal aisle and wooden hearts we made for those of us wearing heels to keep stable on the grass. We also booked Buzz & the Blue Cats as our reception band, 31FILMS for cinematography, Divisi Strings for the ceremony string quartet and our friend Vanarin Kuch at Tiny Boxwoods made us equal-sized bride and groom cakes. We are big supporters of marriage equality! Our local florist Karen Plumlee was in charge of the flowers and decor.
My advice to brides is to just trust your instincts and do whatever you want no matter how many people you think won’t get it or care or whatever, if it’s special to you, it’ll come through in the details and you’d be surprised how many people’s idea of a wedding will be changed for the better thanks to your unique approach.
Wedding Photography: The Nichols / Wedding Venue: George Ranch Historical Park / Wedding Cinematography: 31FILMS / Neon Sign: CJ Nichols / Wedding Reception Band: Buzz & the Blue Cats / Wedding Cake: Tiny Boxwoods / Wedding Ceremony Quartet: Divisi Strings / Officiant: Alan Safford / Floral Design & Decor: Karen Plumlee, email@example.com / Wedding Dress: Stephanie James Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Wedding Invitation Design: Jennifer Blanco of Product Superior / Wedding Invitation Printing: Workhorse Printmakers