That is the only word necessary to describe Megan and Matthew; now Mr. and Mrs. Romano. I have never seen a bride and groom who laugh together more and love each other deeper. Look no further than the smiles on their faces walking down the aisle after their Houstonian wedding ceremony under the tree and you will know it is true.
But not only do these lovebirds care deeply about each other, they make every one of their family and friends feel like the most important person on the planet. The focus on their guests enjoying every moment of their Houstonian Wedding day was above and beyond. Their wedding planner, Samantha from Plan Our Day Houston, helped Megan and Matt to design a day they would always remember and that their guests would enjoy every moment of.
Last but certainly not least, we want to give a shout out and a huge thanks to the incredible wedding professionals who made Megan and Bryan’s Chapel Dulcinea wedding an absolute dream.
Houston Wedding Planner: Plan Our Day Houston
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Houstonian Wedding
Megan’s Wedding Dress: Ventura’s Bridal
Megan’s Beauty Team: Sunkissed and Made-Up
DJ: LG Entertainment
Florals: Dream Bouquet
Bride and Groom’s Cakes: Barcelona Cakes
I met Lauren and Scott over a cup of coffee and pastries at Tout Suite on a Tuesday evening almost 4 years ago. They were planning a beautiful wedding celebration at Tiny Boxwood’s. It was intimate; just their closest friends and family. They wrote personal notes to each guest with their name calligraphed on the front of the envelope as their place card. The florals were beautifully executed by Maxit Flower Design. The signage was uniquely designed by Half Moon Lettering. At the core, this was a dream to photograph. We loved every bit of the day; especially how welcome Lauren and Scott made us feel. They truly welcomed us as a part of their family for the day. I am sure you can imagine my excitement when an email from Lauren landed in my inbox a month ago to tell us that her and Scott were expecting their first baby and wanted to schedule maternity portraits!
I am still in awe of how beautiful Lauren is carrying their baby girl. She is the epitome of pregnancy glow and exudes joy. Scott also couldn’t keep the smile off of his face as we talked about baby coming. The way Scott looks at Lauren is truly so special. Even big brother, their Goldendoodle Oliver, thinks so. He was so excited to be out and about at the park, but was keeping an eye on Momma the whole time. Oliver is going to be such a good pup-sibling! (And if you didn’t already know this, I LOVE anytime you bring your dogs to your portrait sessions! I mean how cute is this Goldendoodle in maternity portraits with Mom and Dad?!)
One more thing before I let these smiles and portraits speak for themselves. Lauren’s pink maternity dress is serious outfit goals. The color, the fit, the movement; every bit of it was beautiful!
Congratulations, Lauren and Scott! We cannot wait to meet your little girl!
Here at the Smith House we are truly suckers for wedding invitations. Any day that an invitation arrives in our mailbox is not just a good, but a GREAT day. So today we wanted to look back on three of our all time favorite wedding invitation suites. Hopefully this will give you some great inspiration, and maybe even connected you with the perfect designer, for your own wedding invites!
As if there aren’t a million things to love about Isidore Augustine (previously Lazywood Lane), my favorite thing is actually the way that Nicolette takes an invitation design and carries the feel throughout the entire wedding. Your invitation sets the tone for your wedding before your guests even arrive. So of course you want to carry that feeling throughout the entire event! Nicolette designs table top items like table numbers and menus, labels and cards for guest gifts, and more.
We love, LOVE, love amazing paper. There is something about picking up a sturdy, textured invitation card that gets us excited. But what about going beyond paper for your invitations? Nib & Pixel is the QUEEN of taking your wedding ideas, the theme of your day, your history as a couple, your favorite things, your family background, etc. and making the absolute most unique wedding invitation out of it. Sometimes that perfect fit is on paper. But sometimes it is something even more unique like this laser-cut Bali-Inspired acrylic invitation. These beauties were mailed inside a beautiful handmade paper box with a watercolor illustration of the venue, The Greenhouse at Driftwood, in the lid.
If you are a graphic designer yourself, you know your invitation suite is going to be out of this world. Lynsey designed the perfect suite for their wedding day. Their inspiration was modern and geometric with clean lines. She knew she wanted calligraphy, but only on the envelopes. This dream was fulfilled by our dear friend at Camel & Birdie. Lynsey also knew she wanted letterpress. The letterpress was gorgeous, and I LOVED having the metal plate from the press to include in her photographs. It is easy to think only in the niche or standard realm of invitation suites, but starting with your design and your goals rather than starting with a templates or Pinterest is an amazing way to create something totally unique.
There is no secret that I adore Chapel Dulcinea, the beautiful outdoor chapel just outside of Austin. From the first moment I saw a photo of venue I was dying to visit. I don’t think I could choose a favorite thing about the outdoor wedding chapel. I love the view over the Texas Hill Country. I love the custom wooden door at the chapel altar. I love the cozy size which is perfect for intimate Chapel Dulcinea wedding ceremonies. And no matter how many times we make it out to the Texas Hill Country for this perfect place I can never get enough of it.
But when Bryan and Megan met at the altar to exchange vows in front of their closest friends and family, it seemed like a whole new place. This couple exudes joy and love, not just to each other but to every person who has the opportunity to be a part of their lives. Their smiles and tears filled their Chapel Dulcinea Wedding with an air of love, comfort, and the knowledge that together forever truly does exist.
While the atmosphere of joy was by far my favorite part of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis’s wedding day, there were a plethora of other details to love. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Megan chose her wedding gown from Serendipity Bridal in Austin and it could not have been a more perfect fit for her personality and style. It was a simple and sleek Sarah Seven dress with an open back and a classy neckline. It reminded me a little of Megan Markle’s style, which of course was amazing! But most of all, Megan’s bridal look was the epitome of perfection for a Chapel Dulcinea wedding.
Bryan and Megan chose to have their reception at their favorite local coffee shop, Cuvee Coffee. We love anytime a couple chooses venues that are personal to them, but this was even better. Cuvee worked with the bride and groom to create a custom wedding latte and brewed espresso all night to keep them flowing.
Chapel Dulcinea is just outside the Austin city limits, so we drove back into town after the ceremony for the reception. I joked with Megan and Bryan that we were going to stop on the side of the road for some more bride and groom portraits on our way, but it wasn’t until I looked out my window and saw the MOST GORGEOUS PORTRAIT LIGHT that I realized how much I really meant it. Talk about an adventurous couple; we ran across a two-lane highway and down a small embankment on the other side of the road. And it was 150% worth the full album spread portraits and canvas that will soon be hanging on their wall.
Last but certainly not least, we want to give a shout out and a huge thanks to the incredible wedding professionals who made Megan and Bryan’s Chapel Dulcinea wedding an absolute dream.
GETTING READY VENUE: W AUSTIN
CEREMONY VENUE: CHAPEL DULCINEA
RECEPTION VENUE: CUVEE COFFEE
MEGAN’S DRESS: SARAH SEVEN FROM SERENDIPITY BRIDAL
MEGAN’S BEAUTY TEAM: RACHEL HILL BEAUTY
GROOMS CUSTOM TUX: KNOT STANDARD AUSTIN
FLORALS: HEB BLOOMS
WATERCOLOR & CALLIGRAPHY: NIB & PIXEL
DONUTS: BOUGIE’S DONUTS
We’re taking a Royal cue today on morning weddings and digging into the Pro’s of getting married in the AM! Our incredible couple, Brady and Michael, got married in a beautiful morning church ceremony followed by a brunch reception with their closest friends and family. It was absolute perfection, and Brady was so sweet to share her thoughts on why they chose to have a morning wedding instead of a traditional evening reception.
What went into your decision to have a morning wedding?
We knew from the beginning of our engagement that we wanted something a bit different, less traditional, less expensive, and less stressful; something more us and more enjoyable for our family and friends. We never cared to throw a party, but rather a wedding where the ceremony was the absolute center. From the beginning, Michael encouraged us to start from scratch, to build the day with meaningful moments, rather than starting with all the expectations and taking away the ones that didn’t speak to us. We are both early risers and have always enjoyed sharing brunch (and brunch food!). We knew we would be leaving early in the morning for our honeymoon, so we didn’t want to be exhausted at the end of the day. Plus, I never quite understood what everyone did during the morning of their weddings, and I honestly didn’t want to wait around all day to marry Michael.
What was the best part of getting married earlier in the day?
So many things! We planned everything in around 12 weeks, the budget was much more affordable, and we were able to spend almost all of the day together. Rather than focusing a lot of time on getting ready, we had nearly 10 hours after the reception to enjoy our first day of married life.
Did you feel like you were missing out by skipping the traditional dinner reception?
Because we planned our wedding from the ground up, only including the most important elements, I don’t feel like we missed a single thing. However, it was challenging to hold our own against traditional expectations and we received some quizzical looks. At the end of the day, though, everyone was so complimentary of our ceremony and reception, it was so affirming to have chosen what felt right to us.
How did you plan your reception around a brunch/lunch time versus dinner and dancing?
We asked for a lot of exceptions and looked outside traditional venues/options. I found when I said the word ‘wedding,’ vendors and venues automatically had a pretty distinct idea for the day-of timeline, so I asked for quotes for a ‘large brunch’ instead. Our reception venue was the strictest around timing (we needed to be cleared out by 2 pm), so from there, we worked backwards. Our pastor and friend who married us was flexible, as was our photographer, and band. We only needed hair and makeup for 3 people, and they opened early to accommodate us. We also had a lot of help from friends and family the night before and morning of, and we didn’t include a lot of traditional elements (bridal party speeches, formal cake cutting, garter/bouquet toss, first dance, etc.)
If it’s helpful, here’s a synopsis of our timeline for the day.
10:30 am- ceremony began
10:50 – family photos at the church (we saved our individual photos for after the reception; this was a great time saver and allowed us more time with our guests)
11:00 am – reception space opened, open bar (with brunch drinks), Smilebooth available
12:00 pm – we arrived at the reception space, welcome, blessing of food, brunch buffet opened. We went through the buffet first and had a short while to eat at our head table before greeting our guests.
12:30 pm ish – Michael and I gave our thank you speech to our guests, then proceeded to spend time with them
1:30 pm – cutting and passing of the cake (very informal, just Becki and Ryan and our family who were nearby at the moment)
2:00 pm – official send off, guests departed
2:00 – 3:00 – Bride and Groom Portraits
3:30 pm – hotel check in
7:00 – dinner reservations
How did you spend your first afternoon + evening as a married couple?
After taking some additional photos and walking through the park between our reception venue and hotel, we checked in and spent some time relaxing in our amazing hotel, sharing some of our wedding cake and champagne. I took off most of my makeup, let my hair down, and felt so much more like myself! We had reservations at our favorite restaurant, Vic and Anthony’s, which was within walking distance of our hotel. At first, I felt a bit embarrassed, but I loved my dress so much so that we decided to wear our wedding attire out to eat! It was such a treat to hear well wishes during our walk to the restaurant, and of course, the waitstaff there was incredible. We even have a special booth under our name whenever we make reservations in the future!
How did you choose your venue?
This was definitely one of the most challenging parts of planning. Initially, we were hoping to host the ceremony and reception at our church because we love the space and it is so significant to our relationship, but we would have had to limit the guest list to 75 people. We looked at 10 or so other locations, ranging from traditional wedding venues to restaurants with larger enough dining spaces. We also wanted to find a space that included as much as possible. While I know other brides enjoy picking out each element of the day, I was frustrated that most venues had separate vendors for chairs, music, food, lighting, etc. We also wanted our guests to have an easy drive to the venue, so we looked at options within 10 miles or so from our church with easy parking (it’s Houston after all!) The menu and design aesthetic were really important to us, and we tried a few traditional brunch options. The Treehouse at The Grove was the perfect size, beautifully designed, and nearly all-inclusive. They had hosted weddings before, but weren’t a traditional option, so it ended up being a great fit. And everyone loved the food!
Anything else you want to tell other brides who are considering a morning wedding?
A special thanks to our Bride, Brady for giving us the absolute best advice and insight into her experience!
We also want to give a shout out to all of the incredible vendors that made her day come together in the exact way she envisioned!
Reception: The Grove Houston
Bride’s Dress: Lovely Bride
Hair and Make-up Artist: Butter Artistry
Bride’s Jewelry: Bauble Bar
Florals: By the Bride’s Sister
Calligraphy + Paper Goods: St Honore Paper Co.
Cake: Suzie’s Cakes
Cookies: Tiny’s Cookies + Milk
We’re shouting out to dad today in honor of Father’s day! Here are five photos you don’t want to miss with your dad on your wedding day.
1: The Classic Photo, or what we like to call the “Mantle Hanger”. Stop and smile at the camera. You’ll cherish this timeless photo forever. (This is number one on our list of Must-Have Photos with Your Mom on Your Wedding Day too!)
Tip: We recommend your dad join us for bridesmaids portraits before the ceremony. This is the perfect time to capture this one-on-one photo with him!
2: The First Look; While Mom is typically there to zip you into your dress, we love when dad waits to see you until you are completely ready to walk down the aisle! Its such a sweet and private moment before you say your I-Do’s.
Tip: Your first look with your dad doesn’t have to be a huge to-do; it can simply be a few sweet moments when he gets to see you for the first time before walking down the aisle.
3: The Walk Down the Aisle; Of course we want to capture your husband-to-be the first moment he sees you, but we also love to capture the way your dad looks at you while he holds your hand down the aisle.
4: The Walk from Behind; We love this shot because it is a completely different perspective and holds so much emotion.
Tip: You shouldn’t be thinking about these photos. Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime walk to the altar and they will happen naturally!
5: The Whole Clan; We love a photo with dad with all of the siblings together! Just think, this photo printed out plus a picture frame and your father’s day gift for next year is complete!
Tip: If your siblings are in your bridal party, aim to take this photo during your bridal party portraits. If not, add it to your family formal list!
6: Dad + Mom Solo; Most people don’t think about taking this photo, but it is truly a sweet gift to have a photo of the couple who made you believe in love in the first place.
Tip: This doesn’t have to be a formal shot, it can be done during cocktail hour or even right before they walk out the door at the end of the night.
7: Dancing the night away; From your first dance to the final jig, we love when dad gets down on the dance floor!
Tip: Pull your dad out on the dance floor during the reception! Its a fun time to reconnect with him after the main events of the day are over and just have fun!
From the first time we meet with a couple we begin talking about sunset times, ceremony start times, and the wedding day first look. This isn’t because we want everyone to do a wedding day first look, and we certainly never want to pressure any couple into doing one. Rather, we want to ensure that the wedding timeline for your day allows time gorgeous light for your ceremony, your family portraits, and of course, your bride and groom portraits.
But whether or not to do a first look goes well beyond the timeline. You have to decide if it is right for you as a couple. This can be tough if a first look is something you had never considered before. You probably have a ton of questions and curiosities about what it will be like.
Which is why we asked two of our brides, Laura and Hanna, to share with us their perspective on the first look.
Laura and Joe got married at The Tremont House in Galveston, Texas last fall. When we first met, they were not thinking about a first look. During their engagement, they changed their minds and decided to see each other before the ceremony. Here’s what Laura has to say about the experience.
Why did you decide to do a wedding day first look?
We decided to do a first look due to timing. We really wanted to enjoy as much of our reception and guests as possible. Doing a majority of our pictures beforehand allowed us to get to the party sooner.
We hope this helps you and your significant other decide on whether a first look is the right decision for you.
Wedding day or engagement portraits, we love love love when your pups make an appearance. So we’re rounding up some of our favorite all-time Engagement + Wedding Dog Photos to make your Monday a little brighter!
Buckley showed up camera ready at Regan + Claire’s engagement session and didn’t hesitate one bit to ask for his own headshot. Ya know, so he can meet all the ladies on Rover.
He was pretty sure this day was actually just a trip to the dog park and loved every second of it. Camera, what?
We’re pretty sure Finn slept for a solid week after his portraits. Elise and Patrick spend a lot of time at Hermann Park with Finn, so thats where we went for their engagement session. I think our total step count was somewhere in the 20,000 range and Finn couldn’t have been happier.
Those eyes and those tiny paws! He may not have gotten to walk down the aisle, but he sure got a lot of love while the girls were getting ready.
Tracy and Josh’s wedding day is actually the second show Braydee stole. He brought his A-Game to their engagement session, but somehow stepped it up even higher with his wedding bowtie.
Jackson the Dalmatian
Y’all. This boy is literally the sweetest and the BOWTIE KING. He traded his signature bowtie look for a gorgeous floral wreath with these bridesmaids though, and managed to get even cuter. If you don’t follow him on Instagram, you need to stop everything and do it right now.
There are no words for how cute Bonnie is in these photos. No words at all. But I think if you googled “Best Wedding Dog Ever” she would be it.
Bonnie’s brother is definitely her sidekick, but he is equally as adorable — especially with the floral wreath from Mom + Dad’s wedding. You can see more of Stax + Bonnie over on Wedding Chicks.
Landry, and her cutie sis Remi, are snuggle maniacs. Believe it or not, the first time I photographed Remi she was TERRIFIED of my camera. Now she jumps right in takes over with that cute pup smile.
Leo makes a lot of appearances because his human-lady, Erica, is our favorite make-up artist on the planet. It doesn’t matter whether we are photographing bridal portraits or a branding session, Leo makes sure he gets his close-up.
Mother’s Day may be over, but we’re still loving on mom hard this morning with this Must-Have List of wedding photos to have with your mom on your wedding day! And a perk of capturing these amazing photos with Mom on the best day of your life? You have the perfect gift to print and frame for Mother’s Day next year. 😉
1: The Classic Photo, or what we like to call the “Mantle Hanger”. Stop and smile at the camera. You’ll cherish this timeless photo forever.
Tip: We recommend your mom join us for bridesmaids portraits before the ceremony. This is the perfect time to capture this one-on-one photo with her!
2: Those final getting ready moments; Zipping your dress, putting in your veil. There is so much joy during this time of the day, and we love when we can share it with mom!
Tip: We recommend mom is dressed at this time so that she is excited for these photos as much as you are!
3: Or, opt for a first look with Mom and capture those moments when she sees you in the dress for the very first time.
Tip: If you are doing a first look with mom, have your maid of honor and bridesmaids zip you into your dress.
4: The in Between Moments; these are harder to put on a list because they are different for everyone, but when your photographer is on the look out for them, these in between moments are often the most beautiful of the whole day.
Tip: Don’t stress about getting these photos. The best in-between moments come when you are truly being present in your day.
5: The Ceremony Shot — whether she is walking you down the aisle, or watching you say your I do’s, we love the smiles, the tears, and every expression inbetween.
6: Killin’ it on the Dance Floor. Mom has fun at the reception too, so we love when we capture her joy and excitement on the dance floor.