Charlotte ♥ Tony
Charlotte ♥ Tony
Photography: Dayna Carroll Photography
Sealed: Houston, Texas Temple
Reception: Bride’s Mom’s Backyard
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations: Moench Printing
Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal
Cake: Virginia’s Cakes
Catering: Janice (the bride’s mom!) from “The Kitchen Twist.com”
Insights from the Mother of the Bride:
Due to the extremely high cost of venues in the Houston area we chose not to use any of them. We had recently renovated our backyard with a beautiful pool and other landscaping and chose our home and backyard for the venue. This created a nice back drop for tables and the decorations we wanted to use.
Charlotte had taken a floral design class as a senior in high school. During that time her floral teacher got married and asked Charlotte and two other girls if they would do her flowers for the wedding. With that in mind we discovered that, that teacher was still teaching floral design at the high school when Charlotte got married. Charlotte asked her if she would do the flowers for her wedding! We were able to get the flowers at wholesale prices and the teacher had one of her classes put the arrangements together.
The look and the taste of the cake was especially important to Charlotte. We had Virginia’s Cakes make the wedding cake. They were fantastic to work with and delivered the cake right on time and it looked beautiful. It was exactly what Charlotte wanted. Because it was so delicious it was eaten up in no time.
Charlotte found her dress at David’s Bridal. Here in Houston we don’t have access to the Bridal stores which carry the kind of modest dresses needed for LDS brides. Although we looked online at some of those modest dress shops all the dresses seemed to look about the same to Charlotte. At David’s Bridal she found a short dress with a small, shrug style jacket that she liked. The dress appeared as though it would work for our needs; however, Charlotte wanted to wear a floor length wedding dress. To our surprise David’s bridal had a floor length gown similar to the short dress but the gown was strapless. After much discussion on what we could do, Charlotte decided to purchase both dresses and wear the jacket with the wedding gown and use the short dress with the jacket as her going away dress. It worked perfectly and she looked stunning! Her shoes were also from David’s Bridal. The bride’s maid’s dresses and shoes as well as the flower girl’s dresses also came from David’s Bridal. Charlotte’s veil was my veil from my wedding that she reworked and updated for her wedding day. It really meant something to her to be able to wear something of her mother’s on her wedding day. The men in the bridal party wore rented tuxedos from Men’s Wearhouse. It was less expensive to rent tuxedos than to buy matching suits and it looked so sharp!
As for the catering…I did it myself. I know how to cook and make food delicious. I prepared several menu items in advance and either set them aside, refrigerated them or froze them until the wedding day. I asked my visiting teachers and a few close friends to help in the kitchen. Charlotte loves to sew and she made each of the women matching aprons. Everything turned out great. The menu consisted of: breaded chicken strips with a honey mustard dip, a fresh cut vegetable assortment with a garlic feta cheese dip, ham and cheese tortilla roll-ups, mini quiches, sweet and spicy pecans and rosemary spiced pecans, cocktail shrimp, a various cheese and cracker assortment along with artichoke and spinach dip, and apple cider to drink. We also set up a chocolate fountain near the pond in the backyard and offered strawberries, cut pineapple, grapes, tangerine slices, apple slices, brownies, cookies, pretzels, marshmallows and angel food cake with it. We also set out jordan almonds in her wedding colors in various places. I purchased a little more than two hundred glass luncheon plates from a restaurant supply store for serving the food and bought plastic forks with a silver finish so they “looked real”. I got several hundred plastic “crystal” cups somewhere online. In the end, about 400 people attended the party and the supplies we purchased were just the right amount.
We have a long semi-circular bar that divides our kitchen from the family room. We used this bar along with a few small rectangular tables from the church building for serving the food buffet style. I covered the rectangular tables with linens. I purchased a lot of silver platters on ebay and used them with several crystal dishes and other beautiful serving ware that I already owned. I wish we had more pictures of the buffet because it really turned out pretty. To further divide the kitchen from the party I had lined the kitchen side of the bar with several rectangular vases and filled them with tall, fern-like greenery so the kitchen help could see the platters of food but the kitchen couldn’t readily be seen by the guests (some family members called it “The Eve barrier” the adults got a chuckle out that, I don’t know how better to explain it). We ordered the vases and other simple decorations from save-on-crafts.com. They seemed to have the best prices for some of the things we needed to purchase. Charlotte wanted personalized napkins and we found them at a reasonable price at partyinnovations.com.
We rented some of the linens we needed from WeddingLinens.com. Some of the tablecloths and all of the chair ties came from them. They delivered what we needed exactly when they promised and it was simple to return the items to them when we were done and they don’t expect you to clean anything! I purchased 3 standing patio heaters and borrowed 2 from a friend. I found it was cheaper to buy them than to rent them. They certainly came in handy throwing a November, outdoor wedding. We rented 3 bar height tables from Aztec in Houston. Although Aztec is known for big events we found they would accommodate us with just 3 bar height tables as well. We hung lanterns from the trees around the chocolate fountain, strung bulbs from the trees surrounding the backyard, floated candles in the pool, had flowers tucked in every corner and swirly candelabras on all of the tables. In general it looked inviting with lots of greenery and fall colors.
Charlotte plays the harp and has played at many weddings. She wanted a harpist at her own wedding near the entrance of the house, to set a wedding mood. We hired another young harpist in the area that we knew who could play Charlotte’s harp. In the backyard we installed an outdoor sound system to play Charlotte and Tony’s playlist and set a party mood.
We ordered the wedding announcements from Moench Printing in Salt Lake City, UT. Their website is simple but it is easy to contact them and they definitely had the best pricing. Ask for Jennifer, she is the daughter of the owner. She is very competent, explains things easily and fun to work with. We got exactly what Charlotte had envisioned and the announcements were beautiful.
We used Dayna Carroll for the photography. The photography was on the very top of my list of importance. Looking back, I’m so happy we had a great photographer because after the wedding day all that is left are the pictures. When you go to Dayna’s website, Charlotte’s picture is the first one to come up. Dayna is moving to the Salt Lake area. She will be greatly missed in the Houston market.
Charlotte created three registries. One at Bed Bath and Beyond, one at JC Penny’s and one at “T”. Both Bed Bath and Beyond and JC Penny’s were great to work with and carried items that would really help her set up her new home. When the presents were opened, if things needed to be returned or exchanged they were extremely helpful. I would recommend both places for a wedding registry, it was a happy experience to work with them. “T” on the other hand was most extremely difficult to work with and there were constant problems before the wedding but especially afterwards. Due to the problems we encountered I am always very clear to tell brides not to register at “T” and I now refuse to shop for anything in their stores. As a side note I’ve discovered that our experience wasn’t unique. Nearly everyone I’ve talked to who also made the same mistake of registering at “T” had the same very bad experience. Choosing to register at a department store like JC Penny’s is a good idea as so many people shop in malls it was easy for them to find a gift that Charlotte could use at their convenience and JC Penny’s pricing was reasonable. Bed Bath and Beyond had great pricing as well with lots of variety and items to choose from that Charlotte and Tony needed.
Also, I’m happy to share my website, The Kitchen Twist, with anyone. Since Charlotte’s wedding our family has taken the counsel in the Word of Wisdom more seriously and we’ve decided to only eat meat in times of famine…basically eaten only in times of desperation, just as the word of wisdom, modern day prophets and other scriptures describe. I have felt in my heart that I could help others do the same, so I started my website last December. I actually have chosen to use nothing that comes from an animal (meat, dairy, eggs) while we are in times of plenty – ie…able to forage for food at the grocery store. I also avoid refined sugar, and other refined products or processed foods. My recipes on my website reflect those views, featuring wholesome, plant-based food. I would be more than happy to share my website with anyone who is interested in using the recipes for their wedding. All the recipes are my own creation, the nutrition information is gathered from various other professionals and websites. I have a place where people can contact me and ask questions or request recipes. If they have an idea and would like to know how to make a recipe without dairy, eggs or meat I do all I can to accommodate their request. Let me know if there is more you’d like me to do.
I know I’ve given you a ton of information. I hope it is helpful.