Category Archives: Weddings
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!
St.Paul’s Methodist Church and Majestic Metro Houston Wedding photographer.
Michelle and Jason’s wedding stands out as being a really fun one to photograph! They are simply a fun couple, which reflected in their wedding planning and choice of a wedding venue! Historic Downtown Houston was the hot spot for their big event. The ceremony was held at the incredibly beautiful St. Paul’s Methodist Church on Main Street. Picture-perfect arches and stained glass windows, with a pipe-organ to top it off! Now, about that wedding reception! The vintage Majestic Metro Theater was so cool! Originally built in 1926, restored and reopened in 1990, The Majestic Metro is a unique experience for fun events!
What Michelle and Jason were looking for, both St. Paul’s Methodist Church and Majestic Metro had it all! “I wanted a church that was elegant, provided a choir and close in proximity to my reception venue. St. Paul’s Methodist church fit my desires perfectly. I wanted a reception venue that had character and provided an environment to party. The Majestic Metro was the perfect place!” Imagine stepping back into Hollywood glamour and dancing as newlyweds in the spotlight with the silver screen as your backdrop ~ quite a romantic scene. This place really is for the fun, romantic types! Michelle and Jason definitely fit that description!
Take, for example, Jason’s proposal. “Jason planned a fairy tale proposal. He flew to Chicago to surprise my family and me while on a family vacation. In front of a large tourist crowd waiting to board a boat on The Navy Pier, Jason got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had hired a photographer to capture the moment. The proposal was the most wonderful surprise I have ever received!” Would you believe these two met through Eharmony? It seems like they’ve known each other for years!
As they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day at St. Paul’s, they both felt “overwhelming joy”!!! Michelle looked stunningly beautiful in a strapless Pronovias gown. The top of the gown was lined in feathers and the bottom was made of layered organza.
They said their vows before God and 300 witnesses. “Listening to the choir and organ play during our ceremony was angelic. Being announced as husband and wife for the first time in front of a crowd of supportive family and friends was priceless.”
Their fun wedding reception at the Majestic Metro included a four tiered bridal cake with layers of strawberry cake and white cake with strawberry filling. The groom’s cake was artistically constructed into two suitcases with a camera resting on the top with out-flowing film containing photos of the couple, symbolizing the groom’s love for photography and travel. (Cakes by Aleesa Janssen).
Jason and Michelle sat at the sweetheart table as husband and wife, overlooking our guests while they ate. “It was a wonderful time for us to enjoy each other!” Another special moment was when Michelle’s childhood friend sang the “father-daughter” song with her husband! So, where did the fun newlywed couple go on their honeymoon? Lisbon, Maldives, and Dubai!
And now, for the advice you’ve all been waiting for from our fun-loving bride & groom: Planning a wedding can be very stressful and overwhelming but it is worth having the event!
So, don’t allow the difficulties of planning your dream wedding steal the FUN of it! We wish you all the best, from SGI Photography.
AGAVE ROAD WEDDING photography
7 years ago, Nicole and Dominic met at Texas A&M University in Physics lab. They were both engineering majors and signed up for many of the same classes. She was sitting at a lab table by herself. Most people were already paired with a lab partner when Dominic walked in. His friends were paired up together, and they had to convince him to come over and sit next to Nicole. He was a little nervous but used the pickup line of “I’m on the Ice Hockey Team.” Two weeks later, Nicole went to one of his hockey games. They began studying for their classes together and the rest is history!
You may be imagining how Dominic’s proposal to Nicole went down. On the ice? In a science lab? Close. Sort of. There was definitely chemistry going on, and it was wintertime. Nicole absolutely loves Christmas, and every year she tried to drag Dominic to a drive-through light show in College Station called Santa’s Wonderland. He usually didn’t like to go but in 2012, he asked if she wanted to stop by Santa’s Wonderland on their drive home from Dallas over Thanksgiving. Nicole got so excited that he actually wanted to go and she recommended that they get a carriage ride for just the two of them. Little did she know, Dominic had already set everything up and had a surprise party waiting at her parents’ house in Houston afterwards!
When it came time to go on the carriage ride, it turned out that the carriage ride was for 3 couples, not just one. Dominic started to freak out because he was planning on proposing during the carriage ride but did not want to do it with other people there. During the ride Nicole noticed Dominic looking everywhere and not sitting still but she just assumed he was ready to head home. Once the ride was over she suggested that they leave, but he asked if they could walk around a little bit more. He brought her over to a quiet area that overlooked all the lights and started taking off her gloves as he got down on one knee. How romantic! What a wonderful surprise to have so many family and friends waiting at her parents’ house to celebrate the happy news with them!
Dominic and Nicole wanted a venue for their wedding that was non-traditional and unique. “When we took a tour of Agave Road, [in Katy, Texas] we felt that we were transported to an exotic location outside the United States. The grounds were beautiful with luscious plants and we loved the idea of being married in the courtyard outside, in front of the stone fireplace, with the sun setting behind it. After talking with the coordinators, we were very impressed at how accommodating and personal the staff was; they allowed each wedding to be just as the bride and groom had wished. The cherry on top was the food to be catered by Cordua. Churrascos is one of our favorite restaurants and we usually go there for special occasions so we knew that the food was going to be amazing!”
Agave Road is located not far from the busy city life of Houston, Texas. A peaceful estate nestled on 30 acres of country woodland on the Gulf Coast. If you haven’t found the right place for your wedding day, this all-inclusive venue in the country; Agave Road, is worth checking out!
Choosing the gown is so important to brides, and everyone says that ‘you just know’ when you’ve found the right one for you! Nicole’s gown was beautiful and looked even better on her. She describes how she found her perfect wedding gown. “The gown is by Allure Bridal and I got it at Weddings by Debbie. It was the fourth dress that I tried on and everyone loved it instantly. After trying on about 10 other dresses, the bridal assistant told me we needed to wrap things up so I needed to try on a few dresses one last time before leaving. The moment I put the dress on for the second time, I knew it was the one. It checked off everything on my list: sophisticated, lace, traditional with a modern touch, elegant, and timeless. When I walked out all my friends and family members that were there gasped and they knew it was the one too. I surprised everyone when I decided to take the dress that day; I am a very picky person and usually take forever to make a decision. Everyone assumed I would travel to every bridal store in Texas before deciding on the dress. After looking back at photos from the wedding, I am so in love with my dress and I know that I made the perfect choice.” SGI Photography couldn’t agree more, Nicole!
Dominic and Nicole also decided to be non-traditional when it came to cake.
“We decided to do a small cake topper that he and I would cut and do the traditional feeding each other. We used a cake topper that read “That’s Amore” as a toast to Dominic’s Italian heritage. I absolutely love cupcakes so it seemed fitting for me to have a variety of cupcakes for our guests. Edible Designs by Jessie did an outstanding job with our cupcakes and cake. We had three flavors to choose from: chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling, almond cake with butter cream filling, and amaretto cake with raspberry filling. Instead of a groom’s cake, Dominic asked to have a cannoli bar; a cannoli is an Italian pastry that is a hard shell filled with a cream cheese. We provided toppings such as crushed pistachios, chocolate chips, fresh strawberries, powered sugar, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.” Can we all say, “Yum”?!
All of the lovely floral décor was done by Tawnya Morse from Agave Brothers, through the venue, Agave Road. “We chose Tawnya because of her amazing ideas and knowledge of the venue. I absolutely loved my bridal bouquet which consisted of white calla lilies with baby’s breath and greenery. The bridesmaid’s bouquets were white peonies, carnations, burgundy berries and greenery. The centerpieces had white hydrangeas and baby’s breath at the top with sage green ribbon, berries, and baby’s breath at the bottom.”
Everyone wants to know what is running through the minds of a bride and groom when they first see each other on their wedding day, and how they were feeling emotionally during their wedding. These fabulous newlyweds were willing to let us know what they were thinking and feeling!
Dominic: Wow, she managed to improve perfection. She was as beautiful as she always is, but wow! How did she manage to improve on perfection?
Nicole: He looks so handsome, and I feel so honored to become his wife!
Dominic’s most emotional moment of the wedding day: When Nicole’s dad gave giving his toast and officially welcomed me into the family.
Nicole: When Dominic started to tear up saying his vows; it was very special since we wrote our own vows together.
Dominic really enjoyed their wedding reception at Agave Road:
It was one big dance party! Everyone was having a great time and happy to share the celebration with us.
Nicole loved having almost all of their family and friends in one place at the same time celebrating their love together.
Finally, Nicole and Dominic were off to Italy on their fabulous honeymoon!
“We started out in Rome going to a Roma vs. Udinese soccer match; we visited the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Vatican, Baths of Caracalla, and St. Peters Basilica. We ate the most amazing food, drank way too much wine, and explored the city by foot. We then traveled to Positano where Dominic’s family is from. The views were breath-taking and it almost didn’t feel real. We explored the town, shopped in the local stores, played at the beach, went to an amazing restaurant at the top of the hill where we ate so much we passed out after wards. We picked up bottles of wine and watched the sun set over the mountains from the balcony. On our way to Naples we stopped in Pompeii to explore the ruins from the ancient city. In Naples we had the best pizza ever along the coastal restaurants overlooking the ocean and castles. We watched more intense soccer matches and tried new drinks at the local bars. We visited the National Archaeological Museum that had many statues and artifacts from Pompeii that we visited the day before. It was the only day that it rained so we shopped for ourselves and for our family and friends. Our last day, we traveled back to Rome and went to the local supermarket to collect authentic Italian food to bring back home with us. It truly was a fairytale honeymoon!”
A few words of advice for future brides and grooms from the newlyweds:
Nicole: Cherish every moment, take a million pictures, let everyone know how special they are to you, and all the hard work will pay off in the end.
Dominic: Abide by the pre-ceremony beer limit.
Sacred Heart Church – Galveston Wedding Photography
Maddie & Billy Joe are quite possibly the nicest couple we have ever worked for! There is such a sincerity about them that is rare to find these days! Perhaps their authentic kindness comes from a bygone era. Their appreciation for family and genuine friendships was evident throughout their wedding and reception.
An antique feel to their style was symbolic of the old-fashioned values that characterize this wonderfully warm couple!
A part-time job during Maddie’s college days was where she & Billy Joe first met. They were not allowed to formally see one another until Maddie left the job. In her own words, Maddie explains happily, “…so I lost that job but gained a significant other!”
Billy Joe put a lot of effort into his proposal. He proposed while they were visiting Maddie’s parents in Ohio for Thanksgiving during their final dinner together. He had prepared a whole video production that included collages of the two of them put to a song that was popular when they first began dating! Maddie’s parents even had parts in the video of them saying “Say, ‘Yes’!” Very cool, Billy Joe!
The hospitable staff of Lasker Inn on Galveston Island hosted their lovely rehearsal dinner. Maddie also got dressed for her wedding day in a beautiful room of the Lasker Inn. Billy Joe is Catholic, and they wanted to get married in Galveston. Sacred Heart Church of Galveston, Texas was a ‘no-brainer’ for the location of their wedding ceremony.
“It is so gorgeous and the white coloring went along with our wintery colors theme. Also, we were very happy to be wed by Father E.J., who kept us so relaxed through the process and Amy Bly, the church coordinator who made sure the order of the ceremony went off without a hitch.”
The reception was held at the Trolley Station on the Strand. “We needed a good amount of space and we loved the atmosphere. It has an old antique feel with all the wood and the large staircase in a modern setting with the dance floor, balcony, and couches.”
The important details:
Gown: It was by Allure Bridals, and was adorned with Swarovski crystals. There was also a double veil, with one being full cathedral-length.
Cake: 4 tier with alternating layers of white cake with buttercream frosting, and lemon cake with raspberry filling, and a double chocolate groom’s cake. Coordinated through our caterer, Chopin Mon Ami.
Flowers: All of our gorgeous flowers were done by Downtown Blooms, which I highly recommend! I told Lee what I was thinking and gave him full creative reign! We had dusty miller and blue hydrangea bouquets, and amazing alternating-height centerpieces that included white orchids.
Even though Maddie had gone with Billy Joe to look at the men’s tuxes, and she knew what they would look like, when she first saw Billy Joe on their wedding day she was absolutely amazed at how handsome he looked! Her dress was a total surprise to him, because she had selected it while visiting her family in Ohio with the help of her mom, sister, and grandma. As enthralled as he was by her stunning wedding gown, he kept saying how much he liked her hair! The moment before Maddie walked out to go down the aisle, she became very emotional. “I chose to have both my parents walk me, as my mother did when she married my dad. They were both crying, which made me cry, and seeing Billy Joe at the altar made it so real.”
At the wedding reception, Maddie said it was all so much fun, but went so fast! “I had a lot of fun posing in a lot of people’s photobooth pics!”
Since they chose to get married right before a holiday, they stayed around afterwards to visit with family that stayed in town through Christmas. They wanted to wait and plan a honeymoon trip for the summer when Maddie would be on break from teaching and Billie Joe could take vacation time. “We are both kind of workaholics!”
Now for the good-advice from the newlyweds that you won’t want to miss!
“It goes so fast, so enjoy it and don’t sweat minute details that do not end up making a difference. It is YOUR day. Also, do your homework to get the best vendors and venues possible for one of the most important days of your life!”
Contact your Galveston Wedding Photographer about your wedding TODAY!
The Omni Hotel Wedding Houston Wedding Photographer
Stephanie & Tim met through mutual friends who were engaged to be married in 2011. Tim was the Best Man for the groom and she was a bridesmaid for the bride! Once they were introduced, they immediately hit it off! Tim and Stephanie kept in touch the months leading up to their friends’ wedding. After spending quite a bit of time together during their friends’ wedding weekend, they definitely “clicked” and began a long distance relationship between North Carolina and Texas for the next 18 months.
They traveled to Houston to spend the Christmas holidays with Stephanie’s family in 2012. Little did she know, but Tim found an opportunity to speak to her dad and ask for his blessing to marry her! At the time, Tim had not purchased the ring, though he was planning to do so in 2013. While Stephanie was away on a business trip in January, Tim had his cousin from New Jersey fly down to go ring shopping. The two of them headed to Charlotte, NC to buy her ring from Tiffany’s – the only city in the state that has this store. (It’s about a 2.5-3 hour drive from where they live.) When Stephanie returned from her trip that Friday, the weather was extremely cold with icy conditions. Tim picked her up from the airport so that she didn’t have to drive in the treacherous conditions. Upon arriving home, Tim took her bag upstairs and hid the box with the ring in her suitcase. When they were finished with dinner, he encouraged Stephanie to unpack right away, even though she didn’t want to.
“He sat on the floor by my bag, which I thought was odd, and watched as I unpacked…one or two items at a time. (It was a slow process and probably seemed like an eternity to him.) I finally got down towards the bottom of my bag and saw the little blue box peeking out. Tim asked me to hand him the box, and then he proposed. I was so surprised!”
They chose St. Cecilia Catholic Church for the location of their wedding ceremony. They thought it was a pretty sanctuary with pretty grounds. A couple of their friends were married there and had positive things to say about their experience.”For the reception venue, I had been to a couple of events at the Omni Houston Westside before and knew it was nice. My parents visited the property for a consultation before I did – they loved the grounds and were very impressed with the service and our catering manager. They thought the venue was a good value for the smaller-sized wedding reception we would have and that our catering manager and hotel staff would take great care of us.”
The beautiful details:
Gown: Ivory, strapless gown with modified sweetheart neckline, A-line skirt and lace detail overlay with cathedral length train from Impression Bridal
Cake: Who Made the Cake; Bride’s cake – 3-tiered Italian Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting; Groom’s cake – 2-tiered Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and fondant decoration, Villanova “V” (where Tim earned his undergraduate degree)
Flowers: Nora Anne’s Flower Shoppe (Sugar Land); bride carried bouquet of ivory roses with pale blue hydrangeas wrapped in ivory satin ribbon and rhinestone beading
Bridesmaids bouquets were white and green mini hydrangeas wrapped in navy satin ribbon
Reception centerpieces – bubble bowls with white and green hydrangeas; tall 20×4 cylinders with single, submerged Cala lily and floating candle
How did you feel when you first saw each other on your wedding day?
Sometimes it is difficult to describe how a bride and groom feel when they first see each other on their wedding day, but Tim and Stephanie described their feelings so well! Tim ~ “I was taken aback by how beautiful Stephanie looked. When she met me at the altar and took my arm, I made a point to lean over and tell her so. Seeing Stephanie for the first time was definitely the most emotional moment during the ceremony.”
Stephanie ~ “All I could do was look down the aisle and focus on Tim. I was very emotional in the grand entrance with my dad. Looking and focusing completely on Tim put me at ease and allowed me to smile for the pictures. I got emotional just before lining up with my bridesmaids and Dad. I think I was in disbelief that the wedding was finally happening, and I was marrying the man of my dreams. But the pinnacle of the emotion came when I walked out and saw Tim for the first time. I was overwhelmed with emotion and my eyes welled up with happy tears. I smiled as big as I could to fight back the tears – even though they were tears of joy!
When we asked them what they enjoyed most at their wedding reception, they both agreed that their first dance was the best!!! “Even though we were in a room full of family and friends, it seemed like it was just the two of us, enjoying our first moments as husband and wife.”
What was your honeymoon destination?
After their beautiful, memorable wedding day, Tim & Stephanie traveled to Sea Island, Georgia in early December for a “mini-moon,” just a quick weekend getaway. “It’s really beautiful there, and we had some time to unwind at the resort and spa. We highly recommend this place for honeymooners or anniversary trips. We plan on going back for a special occasion!” Their real honeymoon is set for 2014 with the location yet to be determined!
If you are looking for some practical advice, take some from these wise, experience newlyweds!
Tim’s Advice: Get some cake at the reception! We only had one bite of each for our photos. And, don’t go back to work the Monday following your wedding!”
Stephanie’s Advice: 1) Don’t obsess so much over every little detail of the day. The whole day goes so quickly that you realize worrying about the right flowers and all the other little things don’t matter in the end. It’s all about enjoying the experience and trying to take in every moment with your husband, family and friends. 2) If your budget allows, hire a wedding coordinator for day-of the wedding. I wish I had!
3) Wait a few weeks before taking your honeymoon. It was nice to return home after the wedding and begin to decompress. There’s such a whirlwind of activity leading up to the wedding – especially the last month – that I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed a honeymoon immediately following the wedding. Plus, we have a trip to look forward to now!