Category Archives: Weddings
The Bell Tower on 34th
Houston Wedding Venue
The Bell Tower on 34th is reminiscent of a romantic storybook castle.
The wedding that SGI Photography covered recently at Houston’s Bell Tower on 34th was nothing less than straight out of a fairytale! If you envision your wedding photography to reflect your love on a grand scale, consider The Bell Tower; Houston’s premiere wedding venue.
Read about Lyndsay and Russell’s story and how they came to celebrate their wedding day at The Bell Tower on 34th.
Lyndsay and Russell met at a hotel in Houston which they both happened to be staying at on business trips. Lyndsay had been living in Denver, Colorado at the time and Russell lived in Corpus Christi, Texas.
They struck up a conversation at the hotel restaurant and bar, and months later began a long distance relationship. Eventually, their relationship had grown to the point that Lyndsay moved to Texas to be with him.
Russell had a grand plan to propose to the love of his life.
He took Lyndsay to Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, TX a huge, beautiful rock formation in a state park. “He woke me up before sunset one morning and we hiked to the top of it. Once we got there, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We were the only people in sight and had the beautiful Texas scenery in the background. It was so special and romantic!”
As they searched for the perfect wedding venue in Houston, they discovered The Bell Tower on 34th. “We knew minutes after being at the Bell Tower that we would get married there. The venue is so unique and has beautiful architecture. It took us to a different time and place. We forgot we were in the middle of one of the largest cities in the United States! It had everything we needed including a romantic chapel to be married in, a beautiful water wall and courtyard to have a cocktail party at and a stunning, large ballroom that made us feel like a king and queen. We knew it would make an impression for our guests and give them a great experience and we were right. We have had such great compliments on it!”
The morning of her wedding day, Lyndsay had been full of emotions. With so much going on, things had become a little stressful. She felt nervous and anxious prior to walking down the aisle. But then her eyes fell on her groom! “When I first saw Russell at the altar, I felt completely at ease. I felt like I was home. I knew I was walking toward someone I would spend the rest of my life with, and I felt so comfortable with our decision to marry. I was excited and tried to take everything in.”
The pastor had asked the couple to write their own vows to one another. During the ceremony, the pastor read them aloud. Lyndsay was deeply moved by what Russell had written. “Hearing Russell’s promises to me were so special and romantic!”
During their wedding reception at The Bell Tower on 34th, Lyndsay and Russell described how they were feeling. “There is so much work and stress involved in planning a wedding. After the ceremony, we felt like we could finally relax and enjoy the rest of the night! It was great knowing we were officially married and that we had our closest family and friends to celebrate with for the remainder of the night. It was also amazing to see how the room came together- the flowers, cake, decor, linens, lighting, etc. You have a vision when planning a wedding but seeing it all together on the big day was so impactful.”
Flowers: Weddings In Bloom by Pat Hermes “I wanted the flowers for our ceremony to be soft and romantic, so we had light peach and ivory arrangements made with hydrangeas, roses and other seasonal flowers. The flowers for our reception were more vibrant and included pink, peach and gold roses and hydrangeas. The arrangements had hanging crystals and along with the candlelight from around the room, it created a beautifully romantic and feminine look!”
Honeymoon destination: St. Lucia. An island in the Caribbean.
Most importantly, consider taking the advice of those who have been where you are going. The newlyweds, Lyndsay and Russell, encourage future brides and grooms: Never lose sight of the real importance of your wedding. Ultimately, you are vowing to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. Of course it is important to create a beautiful experience for both your guests and yourself to remember for years to come, but try not to get too wrapped up and distracted with the details. Enjoy the experience, take it day by day and try not to sweat the small stuff. It goes by so fast and at the end of the day you will accomplish your main goal- marrying the person of your dreams!
Call your Bell Tower wedding photographer about your wedding today!
Houston City Club Wedding Photographer
April and Adam met online on EHarmony in 2010. They didn’t start dating right away, but reconnected about a year later. For months, April was anxiously for Adam to pop the question! However, he still managed to totally surprise her!
“I was expecting it to happen on a weekend and he proposed on a Thursday. I’d gone out to dinner with his sister after work and thought that Adam was out with friends watching The Cowboys vs. Texans game. After dinner with his sister, I came home and found a note on our door in the garage that read “Welcome home April, meet me in the backyard, Love Adam”. I immediately knew what was about to happen and starting to cry! When I walked into the house, it was covered in red and pink rose petals. I went out onto our back patio and there he was, waiting for me. He had candles lit all over the patio deck and was standing under a metal altar that was decorated in twinkle lights. He also got the entire proposal on video. It was perfect.”
Finding the right wedding venue in Houston can be a challenge. Not because of the lack of selection, but because of the endless possibilities! For the wedding ceremony, April and Adam exchanged their vows before God and many witnesses at Houston’s Memorial Lutheran Church on Westheimer. After searching high and low for a reasonable wedding reception venue, The Houston City Club was recommended by a good friend. “After meeting with them, we knew it was the right place for us. The level of service and quality of The Houston City Club was exceptional! Plus, it wasn’t that pricey compared to other places who offered comparable services. We wanted a city wedding, and with the city club being located in the heart of Greenway Plaza, it was an amazing location. Our favorite aspect of the venue was the food! The food was just as amazing at our wedding as it was at our tasting. I’ve been to so many weddings where the food falls sub par, which is unfortunate because of the amount of money that is being spent. I knew that I wouldn’t have to worry about this at The Houston City Club. We still have guests raving about how much they enjoyed their dinner.” April found her beautiful wedding gown at Brickhouse Bridal in The Woodlands. It was the Benicarlo by Pronovias. Their wedding cakes were made by none other than “Who Made The Cake”. Flowers by College Park Flowers (also of The Woodlands).
It was an emotional and exceptionally joy-filled day for April and Adam! Just before the bride entered the sanctuary, her groom arranged for one of his groomsmen to deliver a letter he had written to her. “I couldn’t even get through the first sentence before I was overcome with joy and emotion.” As Adam watched April walk towards him down the aisle, he describes the feeling as being happier than he ever knew he could be! “I was overcome with joy and I was amazed by how stunning she looked.” All he kept saying as she walked down the aisle was “Wow”! He was fighting back tears! April says she remembers the feeling of “pure happiness as I walked down the aisle to the love of my life, my husband, and life partner!”
At their wedding reception, during the father daughter dance, there wasn’t a dry-eye in the place. “My father passed away of cancer in 2010 and so we did a memorial dance in honor of him. The song that we played was one of my dad’s favorites.” The reception at The Houston City Club was the perfect venue to celebrate and make new memories. “We enjoyed most getting to visit with all of our friends and family and have everyone who loves us and supports us all in one room. We both just felt surrounded by love and happiness. It was a great feeling to have everyone all together.”
For their honeymoon, they were off to St. Lucia where they stayed at a Sandals resort which they definitely recommend! “We will be visiting another Sandals resort next summer in Antigua for our 1 year anniversary!”Last, but not least, these happy newlyweds offer a few words of advice to future brides and grooms. “Enjoy the process! I’m sure a lot of recently married couples say this, but it is true! This is a once in a lifetime event and you must soak it all in and enjoy it. Our wedding day went by incredibly fast. Before we knew it, it was over. On your wedding day at the reception, take a minute to stop and look around and really be in the moment.”
Lyndsey and Scott
Humble First Assembly of God Church
East Montgomery County Civic Center
Lyndsey and Scott are a remarkable couple! Serving as their wedding photographer was sincerely an honor. They genuinely show love and care for one another and for others. We asked them to share their love-story and wedding day details. If you are searching for a wedding venue or reception venue, check out First Assembly of God and the East Montgomery County Civic Center in the Humble area.
Scott and I met in college at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He was studying to become a pastor, and I was studying business administration. With that being said, we did not have any classes together. I met him through some mutual friends. I originally wanted to be with Scott’s best friend, but in the meantime I fell for him instead. He was super charming, and he made me laugh a lot more than the other guy.
Scott proposed in a closed-off tower in a historic building on campus. Both sides of the family were able to be there for the proposal (this was a big deal considering how far away they live in Wisconsin).
After climbing tons of stairs, we reached the top. His family was lined up beside mine! There were rose petals in the shape of a heart, stained glass windows, balloons, and my man was on his knee with a pretty little black box.
I was in shock, and I grabbed the shiny ring right out of the box while screaming,”YES!”, before Scott could even ask me the question (whoops)!
I chose to get married in my home church, Humble First Assembly of God, because I love everything about it. Also, because my grandfather was able to officiate the ceremony alongside my pastor. I think the church has beautiful architecture as well.
When we chose the reception venue, I was looking for a place that was large enough to accommodate 200+ people and still feel cozy. The 223 guests who attended our wedding celebration had ample room, at the East Montgomery County Civic Center. I loved the fountains outside, the spiral staircase, and all of the windows. I think the elegant decor worked so nice with all of the other aspects.
It felt awesome when we first saw each other on our wedding day.
We waited to see each other until the actual ceremony. I loved watching his expressions. He is not usually an emotional guy, and I saw a tear or two float down his cheek. It made me feel so special, and I could not wait to get to the end of the aisle!
The most emotional moment for me was watching Scott get emotional. There was also something so grand about the orchestra’s beautiful pieces. I got choked up listening to them, and my bridesmaid (Meredith) singing. I really enjoyed the “Shoe Game” at our reception. I was not sure about how well that would go over with the guests, but I think everyone had a good laugh.
Scott and I went on a tropical cruise to the Caribbean! We were able to zipline for the first time as well.
Remember that the wedding day is going to FLY by.
Enjoy every second, and remember that no matter what goes wrong,
you will still be married at the end of the day. It is so easy to get consumed with wedding details, family drama, hair, makeup, etc. but a wedding is about the COUPLE. Keep your focus on each other!
Details about some of the details:
Gown ~ Once Upon a Time Bridal-Maggie Sottero (Willow Ballgown)
Cake ~ Elite Treats in Kingwood
Flowers ~ My mother purchased all of the fresh flowers, and she arranged them all herself (with a couple of friends).
San Luis Hotel
Galveston Wedding Photography
What is better than a wedding on Galveston Island! One of Galveston’s premiere wedding venues, The San Luis Hotel, is where Krysten and Joe were married! Like many of us, they love the beach and the ocean. “Nothing gets any better than the water for us!” Galveston is their favorite place to go. When life seems to be taking over, they like to get away and make time for each other! Choosing The San Luis Hotel as their wedding venue was naturally a great idea! “By doing it at the San Luis, it allowed us to have the beach in our pictures yet the ease of set up and food done by a facility! For as many weddings as SGI Photography has covered in Galveston, this wedding party stands out as an exceptionally fun bunch! They were cooperative and up for adventuring out onto the beach in their full wedding attire which resulted in a memorable experience and ideal Galveston wedding photography! The San Luis Hotel sits adjacent to the ocean along Seawall Blvd. Its pristine property, professional staff, and premier setting make for an outstanding wedding venue.
Krysten and Joe met at the Buzzfest concert on April 27, 2008. They’d attended it with mutual friends, and have been together ever since!
Joe proposed to Krysten on her favorite holiday; Christmas! On Christmas morning, Joe presented her with a huge wrapped box. He insisted that she stand up to open it. Krysten kept questioning why she had to stand, and Joe answered, “Because I have to kneel.”
After that, “I was too nervous and excited to remember all the nice things he said, but he pulled out the ring from his pocket and asked me to marry him. The box was just a trick so I wasn’t suspicious!”
The Dress ~ after 3 dress shops, we found the one. First dress I tried on there! It was white and simple with a side-draped train and a sweetheart strapless neck line. Only a few crystal jewels on the side near the hip.
The Flowers ~the ceremony was all bright spring colors with light pink stargazer Lillie’s and turquoise & purple orchids as the focal points. The reception center pieces were all white flowers with candles, glass, and silver accents. It was absolutely perfect; exactly how I had envisioned it!
The Cakes ~ the goal was simple, yet beautiful. It was 3 layers with white hydrangeas in between the top two smooth layers and white chocolate starfish. The large bottom layer was a simple swirl design that resembled coral. Joe’s groom’s cake was our favorite though! Chocolate/chocolate chip; it was a Texan designed ice chest cake with rock candy as ice and Coors Light inside. Sitting on the water with a fishing pole & fish jumping out of the water!
Leading up to her wedding day, Krysten thought she would be so nervous with all eyes on the Bride as she walked down the aisle, but when the big moment finally arrived and she saw Joe ~ he was all she noticed! “It was so surreal to finally be marrying that man!” When Joe first saw Krysten walking down the aisle toward him, all he could think of was how beautiful Krysten is and that he is the luckiest man in the world! As they slipped their wedding rings onto each other’s fingers, they described it as being “the most perfect feeling”!
The San Luis Wedding Venue has ample room for a large group of guests. There were around 140 friends and family celebrating Krysten and Joe’s marriage! Their wedding reception was so much fun!
“The photobooth was a blast for everyone. But I think the dancing was definitely the highlight! From our ring bearer breakdancing, to our 80 year old relatives dancing to rap music; it truly kept us entertained the entire night!”
So where did the fun-loving newlyweds spend their honeymoon? You know it had to be someplace with a beach!
“Costa Rica! The black sand beach, monkeys, sloth, and rain forest zip lines were unbelievable!!!”
Call your Galveston Wedding Photographer about your wedding TODAY!
Galveston Wedding Venue
Marissa and John’s wonderful love story and incredible wedding details in Marissa’s own words:
We met in our college freshman orientation group called Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) at Purdue University. We were both in freshman engineering and had different strengths in classes, so we helped each other with homework. Above all of that, though, we really got along and had similar senses of humor. We became good friends and started dating a few months after school began. John proposed at my graduation from Purdue. John had already graduated a semester earlier and was living and working in Houston. I had visited him a few times in Houston and was hoping to move down there but was a little nervous. After graduation, we took a photo together out by the engineering fountain. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in front of my whole family. I was clueless he was proposing even as he started to ask me. I thought he was just being mushy, so I gave him a hug. I quickly proceeded to become a crying mess when he got down on one knee. It was so special for our parents to be there (his parents decided to come to my graduation as well) and witness such a special moment.
I had always wanted to get married in a chapel, because my parents were married in a chapel in the mountains of California, and I thought it was very romantic. I also love the beach and really wanted to find a chapel in Galveston since it was near Houston where we had moved after college. I honestly stumbled upon Christ Chapel just by searching “Chapel Galveston” in Google, and after setting up a meeting with the owners, we fell in love with the place. In fact, I walked outside of Christ Chapel after our tour and started to get really teared up, because I knew it was the perfect place. It has so much charm. The stained glass is beautiful, and the owners, Jon and Kelly Charon, are two of the sincerely kindest, most welcoming, hard-working people we have ever met. After talking with Jon and learning a little bit about him (he has an engineering background like us) and his work with the chapel, we were completely set on booking it then. He had restored it after it was abandoned for years as well as fixing it after Hurricane Ike. It was so obvious the love that was put into that perfect little white chapel. I could not have been happier with our wedding venue.
We chose the Garten Verein for our reception venue, because if you take one look at it, you will know why. I already mentioned my favorite color is green, so the Victorian style green detail was incredible, but it was also the perfect set-up. Since it was an octagonal shape, everyone could see the festivities, and it had such an open feel. We were surrounded by beautiful windows, the incredible vaulted ceiling, and perfect lighting. I received so many compliments on both our wedding chapel and reception venue. Another great part of both is they were priced at an incredible value.
Due to the fact that we are both midwesterners, having our wedding in Texas already presented challenges with travel for many of our family and friends. We ended up with about 85 people total at our wedding, which was the perfect size.
I wore an Allure Couture beaded lace gown purchased from Bella-Deur Bridal. My favorite parts of it were the scalloped lace trim on the train and the lace cap sleeves. I think the person who really deserves the credit for its beauty is my seamstress, Kristin Johnston, who was recommended by the store. They had ordered the dress so large, that I needed several fittings and some tweaks. She not only did a beautiful job to make the dress fit me perfectly, but the bustle and attention to detail was incredible. She was also extremely reasonable on her pricing and communicated her ideas very well and answered all of my questions.
Our cake was done by Bob Christensen’s catering company, Carriage Caterers. This was honestly the best cake I have ever eaten in my life. Funny story about the cake, I was kind of wishy-washy about the design, because I really had very few preferences on it as long as it tasted good. I sort of told him I wanted a lace-like look with piped icing and some flowers on top. That man will exceed any and all of your wildest expectations – the cake was absolutely beautiful! It had cascading coral roses down the side with beautifully piped icing all over. We also had a groom’s cake with the logo of our Alma Mater, a Purdue train. It was a simple round cake with the icing done by hand, not a decal or overlay, which surprised me and it looked great! The tiered cake was lemon with lemon curd filling and buttercream, and the groom’s cake was red velvet with cream cheese icing. Both were amazing.
I love flowers, and I wanted my wedding to have as many beautiful flowers as possible, especially since it was springtime. My favorite color is green, so I had green hydrangeas in all of the bouquets. My bouquet had white ranunculus, green hydrangeas, coral garden roses, and other white flowers. All of the bouquets were wrapped in lace from my mom’s veil from her wedding, which was a lovely personal touch. The flowers at the chapel, however, were my favorite part. I asked for flowers on the pews as well as two sprays at the altar. Carriage Caterers did the flowers at both the chapel and reception venue, and they were incredible at both places. He even did the flowers for the rehearsal dinner per my mother-in-law’s request and they were huge and beautiful. I was in a floral wonderland!
I was SO ready to see John by the time we were ready to take photos. The bridesmaids and I got ready at a beach house where we had stayed for the weekend, so we did the “first look” photos on the front porch overlooking the bay. It was really sweet, because John was standing with his back to me, and as I was walking toward him, he accidentally peeked around. Slava got a photo of my reaction, and it was priceless. I don’t think I could have had a bigger smile on my face. The second we hugged, I felt the nerves and stress melt away. He was able to finally see the dress I had been talking about for months, and we could have a semi-private moment before the wedding and festivities began.
There were so many aspects of the ceremony that were emotional. I will list some highlights:
-I love that our moms held hands as they went up to light the unity candles
-My dad did not stop tearing up from the second he saw me in my dress.
-Our officiant was a long-time family friend, so he made the ceremony so personal and special
-My brothers were both a big part of the ceremony. My older brother provided the music, which has always been a dream of mine, and my younger brother read my favorite poem.
I think the most emotional thing for both of us were the vows.
We read fairly traditional vows with slightly more modern wording. They were important to us, and we both knew the impact of what they meant. I started to get choked up when I was saying mine, and John looked at me and took a deep breath and kind of mouthed “just breathe” to me, and I regained my composure. It was such a sweet gesture that I am sure no one really noticed, but it makes me kind of tear up just writing about it.
We tore up the dance floor! I had a blast dancing and socializing with everyone. I was glad our guests weren’t afraid to dance and have a good time. We were dancing like crazy until the very end of the reception! We stayed at an all inclusive resort for 7 days in Negril, Jamaica. It was a much needed very relaxing and beautiful vacation following the most exciting, emotional, and exhausting weekend of our lives!