This Intimate Houston Wedding Was a Labor of Pure Love
A very special participant helped Scott propose to Elizabeth: the couple's Old English sheepdog, Basil, who—unbeknownst to Elizabeth—carried an important note in his harness on one of their evening walks to the park of the Menil Gallery, located close to their home. "We were on our usual walk when Basil ran up the walkway to the front of the windows of the gallery. He usually runs around in a grassy patch in the front, but that is where Scott told us to stop for a second," she recalls. After finding Basil's note, which explained that Scott had a question for her, Elizabeth looked back over to find her future husband on one knee. "Basil knew that something special was happening and when he gets excited he does these little jumps, so he was hopping all around! It was very sweet." After a lot of hugs, the pair took Basil home before venturing out to dinner to celebrate.
The pair were spoiled for choice when it came to choosing vendors; Elizabeth is a professional florist and has many wonderful and talented friends in the wedding industry. "I was overwhelmed by the amount of hard work and joy that was brought to the whole process by the people who know and love Scott and me," she says. "They were so happy for us, and that was reflected in every part of the day. Knowing all of our vendors personally, we were so touched by all of the hard work and effort that people went to for us."
Elizabeth and Scott knew from the start that they did not want a big wedding. "There was no in between for us," says Elizabeth. "We would have been forced to have a 300 person affair or something very intimate." It was very important, however, for the bride to have her grandfather at the wedding. "He is 94 and has always been one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders, so it was especially important to me that he be a part of the day," she says. "As his mobility is a bit limited, I figured if we had the ceremony at his house he would definitely make it (and he did)! For weeks leading up to the big day, he called all the time asking if he could help in any way. He was so excited to be a part of the occasion."
For the reception, the pair chose a favorite restaurant where they shared their first Valentine's Day dinner. "We often have brunch or dates there, so it is a place that has a lot of happy memories for us," says Elizabeth. "It also has a really beautiful, minimally decorated private room that we knew would be a blank canvas for us." Overall, every detail, from the intimate nature of the day to the color palette and florals (handled by the bride!), spoke to who Elizabeth and Scott are as a couple—and how they live their lives: "Simply, but beautifully," Elizabeth says.
Handmade Wedding Invitations
Rachel of Halfmoon Lettering handled every aspect of the couple's wedding stationery, from design conception to illustration and calligraphy. "Our invitation suite was one of my favorite elements of the entire day," says Elizabeth. "Rachel just got us as a couple, and she managed to capture our spirit in paper form."
Millennial pink, Elizabeth's signature color, was used in a warm palette throughout the suite. "[Rachel] began by using handmade paper from Idyll Paper, and created the suite first by painting the half circles. Then, she letterpressed each piece by hand on her early 20th-century Kelsey and Co. Excelsior letterpress that can only be operated by hand. Finally, she finished with the hand-painted botanical motif."
Elizabeth also loved the layering of geometric elements with whimsical moments. "Each piece of each set was completely handmade and unique so that every one was its own little work of art. We loved them so much."
Though the ceremony took place at the bride's 94-year-old grandfather's home and the reception unfolded at a nearby restaurant, the couple and their family stayed at the Carr Mansion—Elizabeth and Scott got ready, shared their first look, and posed for portraits there.
For a fun spin on traditional wedding signage, a draped piece of millennial pink fabric—another nod to Elizabeth's go-to color—was calligraphed with the couple's names and wedding date and hung on a trellis.
A Sweet Upsweep
Elizabeth's elegant updo, which she wore for the ceremony, was accented with a handmade floral comb. "Erin Ryhne is another vendor friend who is so talented," says Elizabeth. "She learned to make sugar flowers from Maggie Austin and applies those techniques to clay, so she handmade all of the little blossoms and then meticulously wired them onto the comb. It is stunning and I hope it can become an heirloom in our family one day."
Timeless Bridal Shoes
After an epic search for a specific pair of shoes—Carrie Bradshaw's iconic blue Manolo Blahniks—that she couldn't find in her size, Elizabeth came across a pair of lovely nude BHLDN heels that perfectly matched the invitation suite. "The origami-style bow on the back was an unusual detail, so I tried them on," says the bride. "They were very comfortable and I felt like I could wear them all day. I bought them on the spot and checked 'shoes' off of the list!"
A Classic Dress
Because the wedding consisted of a civil ceremony held on a Friday afternoon, Elizabeth felt that a shorter wedding dress would be more appropriate than a gown. She set out to find one with a specific look in mind: three-quarter-length sleeves and fitted through the waist with a flared A-line skirt. The perfect design was waiting for her at BHLDN. "I loved the length and style of the dress and that it was very minimal in design," Elizabeth says. "I didn't want lace or a lot of extravagance, but I did want to feel special—and this dress made me feel really elegant."
A Special Bridal Bouquet
As a professional florist, it was important to Elizabeth that she design the florals for her special day—and that included her bridal bouquet. "I opted for my signature style, which is organic and free form," she explains. "It was the best bouquet I could have ever imagined as I filled it with all of my personal favorite flowers: caramel lisianthus, which are so ruffly and have gorgeous texture and movement. Distant drum roses, which I love for their floppy heads and unique color. I incorporated peonies and spray roses with copper beech and jasmine. Of course, I hid a sprig of rosemary for luck! I think it worked because we missed out on the horrible rain showers that hit all around Houston that day. I wrapped everything in my favorite ribbons from Silk and Willow."
Elizabeth made boutonnières for the male members of the family, fashioning them to be small companions to her bouquet, but also stand out on their own. "I used dried hydrangea that had faded into a gorgeous honey tone, with plum-colored heuchera, mauve lisianthus, dusty miller leaves for a touch of soft gray, and pale blue delphinium flowers," she says.
"I loved my boutonnière," says Scott, who personally selected the ribbon for his design. "To have my wife imprint herself into the visuals of the wedding and create something unique and one of a kind for me made it that much more special."
Suit and Tie
As a lawyer, Scott has quite the collection of suits, so on the big day, he simply selected one—by Billy Reid—from his closet. "There was no fuss about the whole thing, as his wardrobe is composed of all shades of blue and gray," says Elizabeth. His tie, however, was specially selected for the big day. "He wore his new blue Billy Reid tie with his favorite gray suit and navy checked shirt for the day and it was perfect."
A Furry Member of the Wedding
Basil sported a floral dog collar on the special day. "I made it for him that morning," says Elizabeth. "It was so sweet, he slept next to me with his chin on my knee (he doesn't like the morning time) and I had coffee and watched the wedding episode of Friends while I wired all of the little flowers onto his collar."
A Straightforward Ceremony
The couple's civil ceremony was short and sweet. "Even though we did not have a formal, religious ceremony, there was still a flood of emotion while we exchanged vows," Elizabeth says. Décor was composed of a gold urn featuring brownie peonies, distant drum roses, caramel lisianthus, and copper beech. "We mixed a few pillar candles with dried hydrangeas around the fireplace to tie in thematically with our reception, but otherwise kept things more minimal."
A Special Family Moment
After the ceremony and signing of the marriage license, Elizabeth and Scott wanted to see Basil and get him situated for the evening with his dinner and a doggie ice cream. "We took him for a little walk and he knew something was happening," says Elizabeth. "We brought him onto the porch for a treat and Divya [our photographer] grabbed the camera while we gave him pets and attention. It was really nice, as it was just our little family together for the first time in an official capacity."
A Lovely Tribute
"We had a stunning, floral-filled installation on the buffet and incorporated my favorite portrait of my mother with a candle burning in her memory," says Elizabeth.
Unique Place Cards
Rachel from Halfmoon Lettering made the couple's place cards out of bark from a tree that grows by their home.
A Stunning Reception Table
As the couple opted for a family-style dinner, they sat with their guests at one long farm table. Elizabeth's floral vision was realized in clusters of compote centerpieces with tree peonies, distant drum and koko loko roses, lisianthus, Hanoi ranunculus, copper beech, heuchera, and dusty miller. Ceramic taper candles, gold tea lights, and wooden vases filled with Hanoi ranunculus were interspersed throughout. "All of these rested on a gorgeous silk table runner from Tono & Co.," says Elizabeth.
A Rustic Décor Touch
Terra-cotta dishes featuring cut golden pears and dried hydrangea blossoms added a rustic touch to the table.
A Beautiful Dinner
The couple chose a selection of their favorite dishes from Tiny's No. 5 to serve their guests. "We started with my favorite, the kale Caesar salad," says Elizabeth. "Then, we had roasted rosemary chicken and chipotle poached crab and shrimp, served with coconut rice and crispy Brussel sprouts. We also had this incredible herbed bread that is so good and such a family favorite. I think it is the primary reason that we go to Tiny's—it's just for the bread."
A Delicious Wedding Cake
Much thought was put into the couple's wedding cake by Whisk Bakery, the tasting of which was the pair's favorite part of wedding planning. "The top tier was Earl Grey cake with blackberry and milk chocolate filling; the bottom tier was almond cake with milk-chocolate buttercream," says Elizabeth. Both layers were frosted in almond buttercream.
The Perfect Ending
After cutting into the bride's cake, Elizabeth surprised Scott with his favorite cheesecake. The party finished the evening with Tiny's No. 5 signature chocolate chip cookies.
"We would really encourage couples to maintain perspective during the planning process, keeping in mind what your wedding is all about," Elizabeth advises. "It isn't just donut walls and personalized favors, or falling into the trappings of Pinterest to have the most standout event on Instagram. It's about you and your person making a commitment to each other and celebrating your joy; no one or nothing else matters as long as you both show up."
Photography, Divya Pande
Catering, Tiny's No. 5
Coordinator, Holloway Events
Event designer, Elizabeth Miller
Flowers, The Petaler
Stationery, Halfmoon Lettering
Paper, Idyll Paper
Officiant, Judge Jay Karahan
Bride's dress, BHLDN
Bride's veil, Sibo Designs
Bride's hair accessory, Erin Rhyne
Bride's shoes, BHLDN
Bride's hair and makeup, Shreeda Tailor
Groom's attire: Billy Reid
Engagement ring and wedding bands, Melissa Joy Manning
Cake, Whisk Bakery
Rentals, Aztec Rentals
Favors, Tiny's Milk and Cookies
Ribbons, Silk and Willow