A Magical Christmas Wedding
Hi Friends! I was struggling whether to post about my daughter’s wedding during a time where we are asked not to have dinner with family, Both my husband and I have been very careful in protecting ourselves and others during the entire pandemic and we were really stressed about how to move forward with Sammy’s wedding. We have not socialized with our friends and although have supported restaurants with take out, had not dined out. Two people promising to love, honor and cherish each other is a momentous milestone and the committed couple did not want to continue to push back their marriage. The day was such a joyous occasion that I wanted to share, after all, who doesn’t love weddings and especially during the magical season of Christmas.
Sammy, my youngest daughter, got engaged to Dylan in Paris the summer of 2019. Always wanting a Christmas wedding, she felt the timeline was too fast and they set the date for June 2020 with no idea of what that year had in store. She is a kindergarten teacher so all of her events centered around her time off. Her bachelorette party was planned in March during spring break and her showers in May when school was out.
We have three children and we decided that our son and daughters would get a monetary gift from us to start their life together with their chosen partner. John and I came up with an amount we felt comfortable with. A dear friend gave me some advice in how to present “the budget” which was so valuable. Rather than say this is your wedding budget. We sat down with them and said this is your gift from us to start your new lives together to use in anyway you decide as a couple. You can use it for the wedding, you can save for a down payment for a house, you can use to buy furniture or travel. Its your decision. Before you make that decision though, please think how long it would take you to save this money after taxes, and let us know how we can assist you in planning your wedding. This really changed the conversation and they came back to us with their own budget for the wedding, wanting to save the rest to contribute to a down payment for a house some day. It elevated most stressful conversations, and they gave a different consideration how the money was spent-as it was theirs, not ours. The wedding was absolutely perfect and beautiful, and they stayed within their set budget which was not over the top!
She settled on a dusty blue theme similar to Christy’s Wedding which I shared in Happiness after Harvey!. Both had to deal with unforeseen circumstances, and both didn’t let anything put a damper on their wedding day! Christy is also a friend and she so graciously helped with the coordination, our second time around for Sammy’s big day!
Sammy is no bridezilla, but practical and super organized. I knew she would enjoy the process and not stress as long as everything was done way in advance. So we found the dress, picked the venue, chose the caterer, florist, band, invitations etc. before Christmas 2019. We decided to divide and conquer just like I did with my Mom at my own wedding.
Well when the country went on lockdown, she cancelled her bachelorette party the week before they left and we decided to push the wedding to December- sure that everything would be back to normal by then. Who knew?! Most vendors were understanding and moved our date and deposits to December 5th. It was heartbreaking hearing of all their events and income stream being put on hold! The only vendor we had to change was the photographer due to scheduling conflicts.
I remembered Chris Bailey had done such a beautiful job with our Segreto designer Leslie’s wedding, so I reached out to him and booked his firm. David and Sarah were our photographers and they truly seemed as engaged and happy to be a part of the event as we did. It was meant to be! .
We struggled with the decision on how to have a safe wedding and mid-October decided to reduce the numbers, make special safety accommodations, and move forward. Reducing the guest list was definitely stressful. We went from 165 to 50 people, having to tell both close friends and family, we are so sad not to have them with us, but everyone’s safety was our main concern. Who was there? The wedding party and their significant others, parents of the bride and groom and my mother and Dylan’s grandfather if they decided to attend- which they both did. Thankfully, with all of our precautions, the wedding did not turn into a super spreader event and people did not get sick. The company which the dusty blue dresses were ordered from originally, agreed to exchange them out for this beautiful crimson red. Sammy makes such a beautiful December Bride and those girls in that red-stunning!
We made a few changes on Sammy’s dress as well. Seeing that the event would be in a much cooler time of the year opera gloves were added for the first look and the reception. We found a beautiful lace overlay for the ceremony. The pearl bracelet was her something borrowed. It was the first nice piece of jewelry which John bought for me decades before.
We included in the invitations that everyone needed to be tested before the event and had customized masks from Etsy-so cute they said Sammy & Dylan quarantined for life with the wedding date- and personalize bottles of hand sanitizer were gifted to all and spread throughout the venue.
Hair and makeup was so beautifully done by Blush and Co. They arrived at our house at 9:30am sharp, along with all the bridesmaids, and quickly got to work. I was thinking how can hair and make up hold from morning through night, but it did!. They did a wonderful job making sure Sammy, all the girls, and even the mother of the bride felt pretty!
I got so much joy seeing my two girls share this special day together and…
…my son and husband see Sammy in her dress for the first time!
First looks were not something we did back in the day so this was fun for me to see. We all watched from inside windows and it was such a special moment for them both! Sammy’s dog, Stella, was the only one who got a front row seat.
The wedding was moved outside to the courtyard and was so beautiful with red rose petals leading to the Christmas garland and floral arbor. Greg, their minister’s words were so heartfelt which brought me to tears. He spoke about how Sammy & Dylan approached love differently, why they loved each other and how that worked so well in their special relationship! I do wish I had those words recorded!
We hired Fine Arts Strings who’s string quartet really set the mood of the event. John, the groups leader also was so sweet and supportive during the wedding being postponed. Larger tables and cloths were rented last minute from Let it Fly Events spacing people further apart while enjoying dinner inside, and the windows and doors were left open for air circulation during dinner and the reception.
Sammy and Dylan enjoyed all the traditional parts of the ceremony. Our cake was by Cakes by Gina and was so delish. Karla Lazo Floral Design Houston did such a beautiful job with the florals and in creating an intimate setting for a smaller event. We added 21 Christmas trees with white lights to fill the space.
Sweet John who is not a fan of public speaking wrote 20 pages for the big night. After my son said-Dad-5 minutes tops- he twiddled down his fond memories of his baby girl to 7 minutes! I love this husband of mine of 33 years and hope that Sammy and Dylan have as wonderful a journey as we have had. We are blessed to also gain friends in Dylan’s family as we all have the common bond of family first!
Looks like Sammy was happy with her Dad’s toast to her! This expression of pure joy was on her face the entire night! It is a look I will never forget!
Dylan and Sammy love music and the band was the most important thing to them. They had been to a wedding where Password played and securing them for the wedding was their number one request. Password is a High Energy act that covers smooth jazz, disco show from Motown, R&B and top 40! They were so engaging with the guests. I got to know Jude during this process and what a nice kind soul! He was so supportive of Sammy, who typically doesn’t like to sing in front of friends, wanting to sing a special song to Dylan.
She chose “Your Song” by Elton John. Everyone was in tears and clapping and screaming and couldn’t believe what a performer she was-she did a beautiful job!
Dylan was so touched!! I wished I had a videographer at this point. We wanted to keep the numbers down at the venue so i cancelled and this special song will only be recorded in our hearts!
The venue-Station 3 was a beautiful backdrop to our perfect night! Built in 1903, it is one of Houston’s historical landmarks and original fire stations. Its everlasting motto, “Trust in Us” can still be seen etched into the buildings stone today. The original brick, wood floors, concrete beams, and intricate hand carved exterior stone work all add to its timeless beauty and charm and we felt it prettier with less décor.
After a night full of dancing…
…we sent them off with white rose petals (Texas snow) to their new adventure as husband and wife!
I wish all the love and happiness to them them both that life has to bring! I am so grateful for all the wonderful vendors and all our friends and family who were with us whether in person or spirit during this truly special magical Christmas time wedding. Be careful and smart and safe, but, be sure to find ways to enjoy all the special moments life has to offer. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year! Till 2021! XO Leslie