Paul and I have been married for an entire month today! It has completely flown by and I have to admit that the saying is true: time flies when you’re having fun. As many of you brides have experienced the last 3 months, our California wedding fell victim to the Covid-19 wrath making us reschedule to August 21st. It was emotional and exhausting to make that call when we were 45 days out, but we knew it was 100% the right thing, really the only thing, to do. Despite all of the tears and heartache, we settled on this day that I’m about to share with you. It was the best day of my life.
For weeks we went back in forth of deciding on what we were going to do: legitimately elope to the courthouse, have a small ceremony with our family, or just wait till August. Eloping to the Justice Of The Peace sounded tempting: Paul’s parents did the same thing 30 something years ago and their vows are still tried and true. The downfall: it would have just been us and I felt like we would have regretted not having our loved ones there. Waiting till August: as much as I’ve been optimistic, there is still a slight chance our big celebration may not happen due to the restrictions of the California government. They have yet to open up event activity and weddings fall under that category. We’re 2.5 months away so there is still time, but we didn’t want to take any chances of waiting. If then August rolled around, and we still weren’t officially married we both would’ve been devastated (making our engagements 18 months too long). That’s how we fell on our intimate wedding of 20 people, we were lucky to have best of both worlds with it still be small but also getting all the beautiful details of a wedding. Now on to the vendors because without them, this day would not have unfolded in the ways that it did.
Because of our wedding being in California, we were not able to get married at our original wedding location. One of our dearest friends, Courtney (who is also the photographer), has been planning/constructing along with her parents a beautiful venue in Montgomery, Texas called Arrowhead Hill. Donna and John were incredibly generous of letting us get married on their property of 85 acres as the first couple to tie the knot at the venue, a seriously special honor that we are so grateful for. The entire family has been there for us throughout the years and I could still cry thinking about receiving the text from Courtney that we could get married at Arrowhead Hill if our plans fell apart. In true coronavirus fashion they certainly did, and there was this beautiful venue that saved the day.
AH broke ground around the time that Paul and I got engaged and it was #1 on our list of places to get married. Way back when we ultimately ended up on a destination wedding during the planning process and since Courtney is one of our closest and best friends, we got a front row seat to the magic that was happening on their land this past year despite not planning to get married there (hehe, little did we know!) The venue was finished days before May 9th and we were able to get married in The Chapel and a garden dinner party as the sunset behind us on The Lawn. Houston brides, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not take the time to tour Arrowhead Hill. You will have access to stunning architecture, getting ready suites, indoor-outdoor spaces, on-site overnight accommodations, and a team of fabulous preferred vendors (our hair and makeup company Etoilly Artistry is one of them!). They have truly thought of everything when it comes to this venue and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it just as much as our family has.
Like any typical bride and groom, Paul and I had a few differences of opinion on how our ceremony should be for Wedding #1! He was concerned about taking away from August, but I was more on the fence of doing the whole thing in case August doesn’t pan out in a way that we had hoped (fingers still crossed!) I wanted to do a first look with my Poppa, I wanted to see Paul at the alter waiting for me, and I wanted that first kiss as husband and wife. Paul finally came around to it and we were both on board! We did a processional of Paul and then our family as the song “To My Knees – Live” By Hillsong Young and Free echoed through the chapel. My Poppa walked me down the aisle to my groom, the best moment I’ve experienced with him. The Audrey Hepburn version of “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the song of choice, as I usually steer clear of traditional. Mr. Bill Baker, a close family friend of the Fletcher’s of nearly 25 years married us with the most thoughtful, meaningful message. He was always going to be our officiant and I know he’s going to make everyone weep again in August. It was just perfect!
Think a Nancy Meyers movie, a perfect Pinterest wedding, and a garden party had a baby. I loved our one long farm style table that sat our 20 family members. Maria Maxit with Maxit Flower Design blew me away with the flower arrangements and my bouquet. The soft yellow, pink, and white were the perfect hues to bring out the table setting and contrast against the venue. I used Your Butler’s Pantry for our rentals, flatware, and glassware. We were going for classic and chic, and I think we nailed it! The table and chairs were provided by Arrowhead Hill and they worked out perfectly! Andrea of Andrea’s Gourment made a delicious dinner including a colorful summer salad and a chicken entree! And for dessert, my sweet Poppa made homemade pies. He is an amazing baker and it was a great alternative to cake. And of course, you can’t forget the bubbly! Many asked if we had music and all we did was play the playlist Tiny Boxwoods on Spotify. For those that don’t know, Paul and I got engaged at Tiny Boxwoods in Houston so it was a sweet little detail.
Paul’s tux was from The Black Tux and his bowtie from Brackish Bowties. He’s wearing a different tux in August so we went for a more classic look for May 9th. Many asked if I got a different dress and I certainly did. I’m saving my original dress for August and I felt like I needed something a little more understated and simple. This dress was so comfortable and I loved the one shoulder detail. My best friend Candice of The Lovely Hair Class did my fabulous bridal pony and Brittany, a dear and sweet friend, of Butter Artistry did my makeup! Chelsea with Etoilly Artistry did Hailey and Mom’s makeup, as well! Everyone looked fabulous! I wore these Jimmy Choo’s – so comfortable! My Chanel earrings were a gift from Hailey and our sweetest friends, Tayler and Tori. They got them for me when we were in New York for my bachelorette party, and I knew I had to wear them something wedding related!
One person that was monumental in this day was our best friend and photographer, Courtney Leigh Photography. She brings such an calming energy to the day while also making you feel beautiful and excited. She has been a part of every special moment in mine and Hailey’s life for the past 4 years and has become family to ours. I also have to note that she orchestrated having our wedding at Arrowhead Hill, and that is truly one of the biggest blessings from this whole ordeal. No one wants to reschedule their wedding and come up with all new plans, and Courtney was there to help in anyway that she could. Courtney is absolutely incredible at what she does, she gives your day her all, and presents your wedding to you in art form! We love her so much!
If there’s anything that we’ve learned during this experience of rescheduling our big wedding and then planning a smaller ceremony is to just be flexible, go with the flow, and make the most of every moment. Nothing is ever for certain and I worried about things that truly were not important. At the end of the day, we were able to become husband and wife and we are SO happy!! Marriage is such a gift from God that I truly didn’t comprehend till we became apart of the club.
A lot of our followers have asked would I recommend doing a small ceremony if you’re forced to cancel or reschedule: from personal experience, I would say 100% yes! It was the best decision!
Thank you all so much for the congratulations and well wishes! Paul and I are so thankful for the love and support from friends and family!
Venue | Arrowhead Hill
Photographer | Courtney Leigh Photography
Florals | Maxit Flower Design
Hair & Makeup | Butter Artistry, Etoilly Artistry, and The Lovely Hair Class
Rentals | Your Butler’s Pantry
Catering | Andrea’s Gourmet