Galveston Wedding Photography
Tall Ship Elissa
Vintage Historical Wedding
Christen & Ben met at a local bar in Galveston, called ‘Tsunami’, where they were introduced by a mutual friend. Although Christen didn’t live in Galveston at the time, she did come down a few times a year to visit her aunt and uncle. They would introduce her and her sisters to people their age, so they made some friends in town. They also had an eye out for eligible bachelors. “Aunt Jean had already told me I should meet Ben (Oh, Christen, there’s this guy, Ben. He lives in a Victorian house by the beach, sails, and throws lots of costume parties), so when Dirk introduced us, I already knew I liked him.”
Ben turned out to be ‘the one’! His marriage proposal to Christen was romantic and memorable. “We were on our way out of town to my grandmother’s 85th birthday. Before we left the island, Ben said he wanted to go check the surf, so we drove to the beach closest to his house, and walked down to the water’s edge. I didn’t suspect anything, but Ben was being very lovey-dovey. I thought it was because he was trying to get out of the dog house for staying out drinking tequila shots with Dirk the night before while I was sleeping (turns out it was because he was telling all the guys how he was going to propose the next day). He’s all hugging me, telling me how much he loves me. Then he gets this really scared look in his eye. That’s when I knew what was coming. He got down on one knee, and that was that. it was great timing because we got to tell all my family in person.”
Their wedding ceremony was held in the church they attend in Galveston. Christen wore the wedding gown that her Great-grandmother made for her Grandmother for her wedding in 1952. “Both my Grandmother and Grandfather were in attendance, so it was really special.” As they first laid eyes on one another that day, Christen thought relief and comfort were the right words to describe that moment. “It was a very surreal moment, because it was a moment I’ve dreamed about my entire life. When I saw Ben it was a relief because I’d finally arrived at this moment and comforting because I was there with someone I knew and loved so well.” As Christen’s favorite hymn, ‘Be Thou My Vision’ was sung, she tried hard not to cry. “I believe it is particularly relevant for anyone entering a new chapter in their lives.”
For their wedding reception, size was a factor because they were expecting as many as 300 people. Few venues on the Island can hold that many. “We both sail, and love Galveston history, so the Texas Seaport Museum and the Elissa was a natural choice. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to throw a party on the State Tall Ship of Texas?”
The 135 year old, fully functional sailing ship built in Aberdeen, Scotland and discovered in Greece and restored in Texas, provided a dramatic backdrop for the photography. After Christen and Ben exchanged their wedding vows, the fabulous celebration began! Christen changed into a Nicole Miller dress which she found at a consignment store. (She loved that it was accommodating for her ‘crazy dance moves’!) Her first dance with Ben to ‘Nautical Wheelers’ by Jimmy Buffett, dancing with her Dad to ‘Whip It’ by Devo, the 100-man pirate sword fight on the decks of the Elissa, and seeing friends whom they hadn’t seen in years were some of their favorite memories. “I probably won’t have a collection of that many special people in one space ever again. That was really the best part.”
Galveston’s finest was on display with Mary Bass’ seamless wedding coordination, Bob Christenson exceeding expectations with Carriage Caterers by creating the wedding cake, floral arrangements, food and decorations, and the spectacular venue: the Texas Tall Ship Elissa on Pier 21. Everything was great! The vanilla wedding cake with buttercream frosting had just the slightest almond flavor. The flowers were tropical orchids, ginger blossoms and unique greenery that looked like they came from prehistoric times.
The happy newlyweds spent their honeymoon at The Iberostar Tucan resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. “We slept, lounged in the pool, drank margaritas, and chowed down at the all-you-can-eat buffet like true gringos. Not our typical vacation by any means, but it was a much needed respite from using our brains. I napped more in four days than in the past four years combined!”
Ben and Christen offer future brides and grooms the best advice we’ve ever heard!
“Trust Slava! He will make you stand in funny poses that feel real weird, but they will look great! But seriously, invest in the documentation of your day– whether through photos, video, or photo booths. We did all three and it was totally worth it. This is all you’ll take with you in the end. I can’t see a way to have gotten around the stress, anxiety, and responsibility of being a bride. So I’m glad I have something to show for all the work.”