A lot of times in life things don’t play out like we had always pictured them…and no matter how hard we try to accept them and know that The Lord is in control of it all we just cannot seem to make it “go away”. This past year, while Courtney & Drew were planning their sweet day Courtney’s sweet father unexpectedly passed away. The call that I got about it all was the LAST thing I expected to hear as well. Some people are put in your lives for a reason. Courtney and her mom were put in my and Joe’s life for this reason. Tragedy brings out the hardest and best in people. From that moment on I could not wait to be there for this amazing couple’s sweet night. Nothing else mattered. What this family meant to me now was far more than just a family I see once or twice a year. The candlelit service meant a hard service to “capture” for my camera…but the intimacy it brought forth that night made up for the maybe grainy images I was going to be able to catch. The briefness of getting ready and time for portraits was hard as well due to the rain and late night timing. But it was new years and there was no need to mourn…this was a celebration…and celebrate we did. Through midnight the party was perfect. An amazing night full of little moments…tiny little moments more magical than anything else I have ever documented.
Tragedy…something you think you cannot make it through…then God comes and magically lifts you up and gives you the incredible support system you need to go on. Drew and Courtney are the perfect example of support and love in a marriage…I CANNOT wait to watch their impact on this world!
Some of Courtney & Drew’s memories from the day:
Q. What was your favorite part about the wedding?
A. So many memorable, awesome moments. Drew & I talked the next day about how much we absolutely loved the ceremony – how special it was to both of us. Most of the credit is due to our minister, Richard, who is a close family friend & incredible man, full of humor & wisdom that he definitely brought to the ceremony. And the music! I’m sure Drew & I will remember the sound of our friend Lunden playing guitar & singing amazing worship songs forever.
Of course, dancing with our friends & family at the reception was a favorite part too!
Q. What was one quirky or crazy thing that happened on your wedding day?
A. Our kiss at the ceremony got a big laugh from the crowd – we had not really practiced or planned it, and we had a quick peck, then I leaned in, Drew pulled away… it was natural, and funny, but certainly not picture perfect.
My mom surprised us with the balloon drop during our first dance – she wanted to make sure I was focused on “joyful things” and not just missing my dad.
Q. What was the most special moment on your wedding day?
A. Probably actually saying vows with Drew – it felt so right, so real, and normal. I almost got nervous about not being nervous, if that makes any sense at all. He is just such an answer to prayer& such a gift. I’d say having my mom & very good friend Mary Chenoweth read scripture was a huge moment. And seeing all our close friends & family show up on a rainy new years eve to celebrate us & love on us – that was incredible. After losing my dad unexpectedly in September, I’ve realized how much people matter in life – all the other details are just that – details. But love & support & laughter from people you love is what really matters, and we had a ton of REALLY FUN people support us. Realizing that while walking down the aisle was a very special moment.
Q. Did you do anything yourself?
A. YES! My mom has done some event/wedding planning before she had kiddos, so we did a lot of it ourselves. We did have my cousin, Hannah Gentry Bormann, as our “week-of” coordinator and she was a tremendous help – the wedding might not have happened without her.
My mom designed most of the sanctuary flowers/candles, as well as the centerpieces at the reception. (Our florist, Stephanie Jamison, is a genius and gave lots of input.)
We designed the programs ourselves (one of my favorite parts!) as well as the family portrait table at the reception.
Also, I found on pinterest “sparkle bags” and did our own version of those (several friends helped assemble!) We ordered clear bags, tons of confetti, and made our own labels on “my wedding labels.com” – labels had our names and said “Spread a Little Sparkle”.
Also, I’ve always wanted to have my mom’s dress on display at my reception – so instead of a traditional cake table, we put my mom’s dress on a dress form for all to see, with several pictures of her from my parent’s wedding.
Our friend Brigitte (my mom’s maid of honor) made the dress form and also made the banner for the kids in the ceremony that said “Oh Happy Day!”
Also, we ordered tons of party props online (help from Mary Chenoweth) and bought our own photo station props at Arne’s Party Store (bridesmaid Renza & I had an absolute blast picking those out together.)The light-up tamborines were a hit.
Q. What do you look forward to most about being married?
A. Waking up next to each other everyday! Being roommates! Basically, just sharing life together.
Q. Where do you hope you will you be as a couple in five years?
A. Hopefully we’ll be laughing even more than we are now, and enjoying life together. We definitely plan to travel, but also enjoy the heck out of Houston. Drew says we’ll have somewhere between 2 and 10 kids, so we might be discussing that in five years…:)
My dad’s unexpected death has certainly taught us a lot, and we will be sure to keep growing in our faith together & loving on each other and those around us. We’ve seen first hand that life is short & we both plan to live it to the absolute fullest. This wedding was a great way to kick that off!
In the words of the bride: -vendor love- (plus all the AWESOME stuff she said about her vendors that I could not exclude)
Venues: Christ the King Presbyterian Church, Union Station at Minute Maid Park – “So many people were so personable these past few months, and made the wedding such a joyous night. Specifically, Greg Herbst at Aramark (Union Station) was fantastic.”
Tuxes: Joseph Banks
Coordinator: Hannah Gentry Bormann – “Hannah had never been a wedding coordinator before our wedding & she could easily launch a career.”
Make-up: Your Beautiful Face – “Leah put me at ease a few hours before the wedding & was incredible! Seriously, hair & make-up were perfect.”
Bridesmaids: Bari Jay
Flowers: Flora Bella – “Stephanie of Flora Bella was spectacular and executed every idea/request we had.”
Band: Klockwerks Band – “Our band, Klockwerks – they played my mom’s 50th birthday party in 2010 and we were THRILLED that they were available for New Years Eve. They were so understanding about my dad and made a special “Do Not Play” list for songs that were too sentimental for our family.”