Winter Wedding at The Crystal Ballroom
March 7, 2014
Classic WeddingsBallroom WeddingsReligious Institution
There's nothing - and I repeat, nothing - more romantic than an elegant winter affair. Between the cold temps, cozy ambiance and candles galore, you find the most perfect setting for saying "I do."  And this Houston wedding? It's all of the above. Nhan Photography and T-Square Production captured the romance and you get started on the swooning right over here.
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From the Bride... Our wedding was elegant and traditional and was meticulously designed around a champagne, chocolate, ivory and gold theme. Aaron and I wanted a timeless and conservative event that was a reflection of our Christian faith and relationship. We met, began our courtship, got engaged, and would be living as husband and wife in New York City; so it was important that we incorporated the city into our special day. We also wanted to honor my late grandfather and did so by marrying on his birthday. We customized our wedding to reflect the two of us through several DIY projects thanks to Aaron's artistic genius.

We had a blast developing every single detail of our day and although we were planning from New York, it was not overwhelming. We visited Texas frequently for meetings and that worked very well for us as our vendors were very accommodating. The wedding guild at St. Paul's was outstanding, and our wedding planner Angela was a dream come true, very experienced and warm, with a tremendous amount of connections. It was a pleasure working with Angela throughout the entire planning process. Our florist Bill was phenomenal, enthusiastic, and always patient during our extensive meetings. It was an honor working with Nhan Nguyen, he is the very best. I literally cried when I viewed my bridal portraits and again when I saw our wedding photos. Our invitation designer Cristy was also an angel. She worked around our tight schedule and her expertise and perfectionism helped bring all of our stationery ideas to fruition. As we planned our wedding, Style Me Pretty, Etsy, Pinterest, and Oh So Beautiful Paper were extremely inspirational.

The wedding process for us was the team project of a lifetime, and we took our time as we carefully planned and worked on our masterpiece. Aaron and I designed personalized wedding party request cards for all members of the wedding party. The bridesmaid cards were dresses, while the groomsmen cards were tuxedos with custom fabric for the ascot and various papers for the collar, vest and jacket. Together with our designer Cristy, we developed our save the dates which foreshadowed the elegance of our invitations. For our invitations we chose to incorporate an embossed monogram tag on a ribbon which doubled as a belly band. We used our custom monogram embosser to personalize our out of town gable boxes, napkins, and thank you cards. Aaron did an outstanding job of sewing the ascots for his attendants. We searched for months for the perfect fabric finally settling on handsome gold and black stripes. The ascots were another custom touch that doubled as a thoughtful gift and keepsake for the groomsmen.

Growing up in Houston, Texas, I was always enamored with St. Paul's United Methodist Church and envisioned my wedding being there. The wooden pews, stained glass windows, arches, pipe organ, architecture, and stone were exactly what I pictured for our special day. We incorporated our color scheme into the aisle decor which consisted of bundled hydrangeas and ivory silk draping. The bridesmaids' palomino gowns and bouquets of quicksand roses, along with the hostesses' chocolate dresses coordinated wonderfully.

Selecting my gown was an amazing adventure especially being in New York City with its enormous selection of bridal boutiques. I spent months looking for "the one" and finally found my beautiful silk satin ballgown at the flagship Reem Acra Bridal Salon on Fifth Avenue. I was floored by the beading and Swarovski crystals and just loved the three pickup chapel train, it made the most beautiful bustle!

For the groom and groomsmen attire, Aaron wanted something different while still maintaining traditional elegance. He decided upon the cutaway coat which fit perfectly with the pin dot ascot and was appropriate given our wedding took place in the late afternoon. Our florist's suggestion of a polar start rose petalette as opposed to a bulky rose for the boutonniere completed the look impeccably.

Getting ready was emotional as time was flying by and the culmination of over a year and a half of planning was approaching. My gift to Aaron was a beautiful carved wood plaque with our family name and wedding date. I knew that this would be a treasured heirloom for us and something that we could incorporate into upcoming milestones in our marriage. I also gave him a personalized photo book of our wedding planning journey which chronicled his involvement. I am blessed to have had a groom who was involved in every step of the planning process. All of our vendors agreed that they had never seen a groom work harder. For something old, the mother of the groom sewed a handkerchief composed of fabric from both my mother's wedding dress and her own. This was a very special gift and another heirloom. My something new was my wedding gown and the bracelet that Aaron gifted me. For something blue, a bouquet photo charm of my late grandfather was connected by a blue ribbon, allowing me to have him in my hands as I walked down the aisle.

It was such a powerful moment when my dad pulled down my veil and the organist played "The Bridal Chorus" as we approached the doors of the church. I had a rush of joy that dried up all tears, my heartbeat normalized, and my jitters subsided as I walked down the aisle to my groom. I was able to slip back into real time and savor every second of the ceremony. The string musicians were outstanding and "Clair de Lune" was absolutely breathtaking, by far one of my favorite memories of the day. It was very special to incorporate our "True Love Waits" chastity commitment into our wedding ceremony, and we were honored to have the father of the groom as an officiant. The pronouncement was surreal and I felt the enchantment of my fairytale coming true as the organist played "The Wedding March" for our recessional.

The ballroom at the Rice is absolutely spectacular with its vaulted muraled ceilings and gorgeous brown drapes which fit perfectly into our color scheme. Our linen selection of ivory damask and imperial stripes further solidified the theme. To pay homage to the city where our relationship began, each of our dinner tables was named after one of our favorite locations in New York and included a photo and description of the significance.

We compiled photos from our courtship which played as a slideshow during our first dance. As a special treat, during the father-daughter and mother-son dances, we surprised our parents with a slideshow of childhood pictures of us with them. This was very nostalgic and was well received by our guests. As another notable touch, we had our parents dance to their wedding song during the reception, it was such a lovely moment for them. Additionally, the wedding party members danced with their walking partners during the reception, it made for a precious moment and photograph.

At the end of the night we were escorted downstairs for a rose petal send-off in our vintage Rolls-Royce. To sum up the event it was magical, romantic, and exceeded my wildest dreams! I am so grateful and I hope that our wedding serves as inspiration for other brides as they plan.
LookBook Designers
Additional Vendor Credits
Bridesmaids Shoes
Bridesmaids Dresses
Groomsmen Attire
Al's Formal Wear
Hostess Dresses
Ann Taylor
Ceremony Musicians
Avalon Music
Alterations and Steaming
Beautiful U by Arlene
Custom Monogram Embosser
Custom Embosser
Stationery (Invitations, Save the Dates, Escort Cards, Programs,
Designs for Life
Alterations and Steaming
Jenny Kim Couture
Bridal Shoes
Jimmy Choo
Personalized Champagne Flutes
Maggie's Craft Time - Etsy
Limousine (Bride and Groom)
Monarch Limousines
Flower Girl Dress
My Girl Dress
Transportation (Wedding Party and OOT Guests)
Sam's Limousines
Groom's Gift - Photo book