Before we get into the exciting details of Melba and Josh’s intimate wedding ceremony, we should start with the story of how Josh proposed to Melba. It was Thanksgiving evening and they were baking in the kitchen. Melba’s mom was attempting her very first organic pound cake for Josh (its his favorite, and Melba’s mom LOVES Josh so she was excited to make something especially for him!). The cake went in the oven, and when it came out the only thing better than the delicious smell was how amazing it tasted! They cleaned up and Melba prepared to leave, but Josh wasn’t ready to go quite yet. He stood idle, talking about all of the fun they had that day, and how he “would like the fun to continue…” (Yes, Melba may be the only girl in the world who actually remembers what her fiancé said during his proposal!). At that moment, Josh got on one knee and pulled out a ring box he had been carrying in his shoe the entire day. Right there in the kitchen, with Melba’s mother by his side, Josh asked Melba to marry him!! Her mother screamed and everyone cried! It was the most special day of both their lives.
True to our Creative Non-Fiction style, we wanted to capture Melba and Josh’s wedding through their most important details. One thing we love about weddings so much is how unique they are to each couple, and this was especially true with Melba and Josh. When the bride-to-be and groom-to-be began planning, they sat down with all the traditions and completely threw out the ones that they knew weren’t for them. The result was beautiful: an intimate wedding ceremony with just their immediate families at the White Hall Houston, followed by an intimate wedding dinner with just 30 of their closest friends at Brennan’s of Houston. The moments shared were nothing short of remarkable. Everything flowed together so seamlessly and the moments were equally full of laughter and tears of joy.
Once Melba and Josh knew that they wanted the foundation of their first day as husband and wife was an intimate wedding ceremony and to be simply surrounded by the people they love, they dove straight into the details, something that Melba absolutely loves. The three most important things were the florals, the cake, and the color palate.
The florals came to life exactly in Melba’s vision with Megan of Lanson B. Jones on the team. Megan chose in-season blooms, which included the most beautiful blush garden roses that stole the show in Melba’s bouquet. For dessert, Melba and Josh chose a traditional white wedding cake, surrounded by their absolute favorite dessert of Chocolate Chip cookies and Milk; a dessert combination that was to die for from the amazing Whisk Bakery. And all of this pulled together the soft colors of blush, cream and Navy which Melba and Josh so perfectly selected. They permeated the day from the beautiful floral arrangements, her Mori Lee DRESS, and even their BHLDN vow books. One of Melba’s favorite things about their wedding was Josh’s custom tux made by Limitus Bespoke, which featured silk blush pink lining with gold piping and embroidery detail with their wedding date. He was pretty excited to show it off and we were just as excited to snap portraits of it!
Melba and Josh truly planned a day that brought two families together as one. There was laughter and many tears, and it is these moments that we hope their wedding portraits will always bring back the memories of. Those tender moments shared between two people in love and the family and friends that surrounded them. Melba & Josh, your love is infectious in the best way and we are so grateful you invited us to capture it.
Melba and Josh’s Creative Team was absolutely a dream to work with. Click Below to see more of their work.
Ceremony Venue: The Whitehall Houston
Reception Venue: Brennan’s of Houston
Florals: Lanson B. Jones
Cake & Cookies: Whisk Bakery
Bride’s Dress: Mori Lee
Groom’s Tux: Litmus Bespoke
Hair and Make-up Artist: Adorne Artistry
Linens and Chargers: House of Hough
When Ryan proposed to me almost FIVE years ago, I didn’t actually hear anything he said. It was a blur of him being down on one knee and a ring box and trees all around. All I really know is that it was the most exciting moment of my life; which seems like a weird thing to say about a moment I barely remember!
We called our parents and closest friends, made it Facebook official, and a few weeks later we started talking about the wedding. Oy. Vey.
I had NO idea where to even begin. We were doing a lot of googling, a lot of talking around in circles, and a whole lot of NOTHING when it came to actually planning. Eventually, we figured things out, found the perfect venue, and got back to actually enjoying our engagement, but I certainly wish I had a little more help in the beginning stages!
So for all you newly-engaged friends out there, we asked some of our favorite wedding vendors a few pieces of advice for getting started, and we hope that it helps you as you dig into wedding planning!
From Lindsay of Lean on Me Events on Choosing your Venue
Before searching for your venue you’ll need to have a firm grasp on your budget and guest count. It’s never fun falling in love with a venue that can’t accommodate your two main needs. After doing some online research to find the venues that meet your needs then, you should schedule tours at your top 3-5 choices.
Pro Tip: When you’ve found “the one” don’t dilly dally around – venues only host one event per day and book quickly, especially during the months of January-March, you’ll need to be prepared to reserve your date.
From Skylar of Chancey Charm on Picking the Perfect Wedding Date
Wedding season in Texas is a little different. Due to our hot summers, the season runs from March through the beginning of June and takes a break until late September where it ramps up for our busiest month of the year – October.” One tip for stretching your budget is planning your wedding for an “on-season.” This is especially helpful for booking your dream venue!
On Keeping your Ring Sparkling All the Way to Your Wedding Day from Brian Gavin Diamonds
Keep one to two ring trees in your house. Keep one in the kitchen so that you can easily take off your ring as you cook or clean. Keep the second tree in your bathroom or bedroom as I don’t recommend you shower or sleep with your diamond. Any soap or residue when you shower will stick to the diamond and only keep it dirty.
And of course, we can’t sign off without giving you a few tips of choosing the perfect wedding photographer! We’ve put together a PDF of the top 3 photography questions you should be asking! You can download it here: smithhousephoto.com/3-photography-questions
We don’t have favorites when it comes to weddings, but I think it is safe to say that if we fell into a Groundhog day scenario and had to relive and re-photograph Brooke and Ben’s wedding day over and over again, we would be just fine with it. And I guess our favorite international blog, B. Loved Blog agreed, because they featured Brooke + Ben’s beautiful outdoor Houston wedding today!
Brooke & Ben are exceptional human beings. They are kind, humble, and treat each person they meet with the utmost respect. Ryan and I were just a small part of the incredible vendor team they included in their wedding at The Carriage House, and Brooke and Ben treated each of us like a part of their family. We are truly grateful to have captured every moment of their day, and every detail that was so thoughtfully planned.
You can see the full feature here and you can scroll down to see some of our favorite images and moments from the day, as well as the incredible vendor team, spearheaded by Houston Wedding Planner, Garnished Event, that made it all happen!
We love the outdoor ceremony space at The Carriage House. The greenery arch is a staple, which makes your whole ceremony space look lush and beautiful.
Cocktail hour included french fries, sliders, and a specialty Bridal Cocktail; all of which is SO Brooke & Ben.
There was not a dry eye in the house during Brooke and Ben’s first look out on the Carriage House patio. <3
Brooke’s grandmother, who was an integral part of the planning process, passed away just a few weeks prior to the wedding. Brooke included some of the sweetest details, including wearing her vintage rings and having a space saved for her at the ceremony. Without a doubt, she was there with us.
The Ginger Snap Photo Camper is always a win. And how gorgeous are these greenery and floral church pew arrangements?
Mary from Gypsy Blooms blew the wedding florals out of the water. Brooke and Ben had a floral hanging installation in their greenery ceremony arch. And the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets were absolutely to die for. And boutonnieres are often overlooked, but these were absolute perfection so I had to include an image of them below!
Wedding Planner: Garnished Event
Wedding Venue: The Carriage House
Bride’s Dress: Brickhouse Bridal
Cakes: Whisk Bakery
Florals: Gypsy Blooms
Catering: Cafe Natalie
Linens + Rentals: Artistique Events
Hair and Make-up: Sunkissed and Madeup
Photobooth: Gingersnap Photo Camper
We wanted to hone in a little bit today on the getting ready part of your wedding day – and not just how it pertains to photography. If we had to sum it up in three main objectives, they would be:
Big Windows. Cushion Time. And at least ten square feet per bridesmaid.
But let me explain.
The hours leading up to your wedding ceremony should be relaxing, filled with excitement and anticipation. We believe this because your wedding ceremony is the single most important part of your wedding day, and arguable, of your life, and hours of stress and anxiety don’t seem like a good platform to head into the most important time of your life on.
So let me start with cushion time. When we build a wedding photography timeline, we add in extra time throughout each section of the day for “cushion”. But your photo timeline likely won’t start until the end of hair and make-up. So it is important to acknowledge and plan ahead for cushion time in your getting ready schedule. Even if you have the best hair and make-up artist (like our favorites over at Hey Lovely Make-up that somehow manage to NEVER be behind schedule) there are other factors to consider that will need cushion time; For instance, a late bridesmaid, lunch delivery, dress malfunctions, etc. We promise you, starting your day 30 minutes earlier will always be worth it when the extra time is needed. And if everything goes perfectly? You are finished getting ready thirty minutes early and have time to take a breather, capture some extra gorgeous getting ready images, or have a drink with your maids.
Second: Big windows. This may seem like it is solely for photo purposes, and it is true, we LOVE gorgeous window light, but the natural light a big window in your getting ready room will give you benefits far more than photography! Your hair and make-up artist will also LOVE it. While there are incredible light stands and set-ups that hair and make-up artists can use when a window isn’t available, natural light is always going to give the best perception of how your make-up will look once you walk out the door. Having that window also eliminates the need for those light stands, which can add clutter to your already bustling getting ready room.
Speaking of clutter… Number 3: At least ten square feet for every bridesmaid. This is not a precise number by any stretch of the mind, but think space, and lots of it. Girls come with lots of stuff. Bags, dresses, hair and make-up, hairspray, cell phones, chargers, shoes (probably 2 or 3 pair if they haven’t decided what they are wearing yet)… you get the picture. There is probably going to be food, wedding day mimosas, gifts, bouquets. Girls also take up space to get ready in AND just hang out in. Once you get all of your bridesmaids, and likely your mother, grandmother, aunt, etc. into a room, it will get crowded quickly. If you are getting ready in a hotel, consider a suite or multiple rooms. If you are getting ready in a venue space, think about having your girls limit what they bring to the venue with them to just the necessities.
Additional Getting Ready Resources
On-Site Hair and Make-up Artists:
Hey Lovely Make-up
(Seriously, they are ALWAYS on time!)
Wedding Day Snacks Everyone Loves:
(And won’t be too messy!)