Houston Arboretum & Nature Center | The Enchanting Wedding of Cody & Grace

Cody decided to give E-Harmony a try. 4 days after signing up he was matched to a young lady named Grace. He messaged her and a week later they went out for their first date. It became obvious pretty quickly that E-Harmony knows their stuff. Cody came home and told his friend "This girl really gets me! She gets my personality, gets my humor!" Grace went home and couldn't stop smiling. This was definitely a match! Cody and Grace continued to date although it was a long distance romance. But the distance didn't stop this love from blooming.

They had been dating 9 months when Cody told Grace he wanted to take her to Dallas for their 9 month anniversary. He said he knew she would love to visit with her good friends Mary & Aubrey. Once they were all settled in, Grace went on a girl's shopping date with Mary & Aubrey. They went to their favorite store - Anthropologie and Mary & Aubrey let the store stylist into a little secret - Grace needed a special outfit because she was going to be proposed to! So the stylist started picking out perfect things for Grace to try on. At the end of the day, Mary & Aubrey dropped off Grace at a very special location. Grace had no idea she was about to go on a Gondola ride! No friends - this story didn't fast forward to Venice - this happened in Irving, Texas! (want more info? http://www.irving.gondola.com/).

Cody had hired a photographer for the event but the photographer canceled at the last minute (should have called me!! LOL!). So like little ninja's Mary & Aubrey followed the gondola the entire time - photographing the entire event with Cody's camera. Grace never even saw them.

During the ride the gondolier Woody told Grace - "look - there is a bottle in the water - pick it up!" Like any girl she said "no - I don't want to dig trash out of the water!" Woody insisted and finally Grace cooperated and retrieved the bottle from the water. In the bottle was a letter Cody had written to Grace expressing his deep love for her and asking her to marry him." Is this the most romantic story ever? Oh - in case you were wondering - she said YES!

After the gondola ride (I just love saying gondola ride) they rode to meet their families. Another surprise for Grace! She didn't know their families would be there!! How fun! On the way to meet their families, Cody had another surprise for Grace - he presented her with a scrapbook that he had put together chronicling their relationship. Swooooon! What a guy! That was so special to Grace that she later included the scrapbook in her bridal photo shoot and it was on display at their wedding!

The next day they went to visit the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and Grace was immediately inspired. This is the kind of place she would love to have a wedding at! Grace did some research and found the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. It was just perfect. Because Grace is a scientist, the fact that the Arboretum is a nature preserve and that the bulk of the money they paid to have their wedding there went to the conservation and preservation of the species they have there really pulled her in. Grace completely believes in the work they are doing there and was honored to have had their special day there and to have contributed to their good work!

It turned out to be a perfect day. The day started with glam sessions for the girls at the couture spa Maision Luisant. (Luisant translates to mean Shimmering in French - oh my!). That place was GORGEOUS and everyone was so eager to be helpful. I was joined on this day by my dear friend and photographer Dianne Leigh (www.dianneleigh.com) who was my 2nd shooter for the day. Dianne and I had a ball photographing Grace's beautiful wedding details in this salon. Sooo many stunning backdrops to choose from!!

After the glam session, we headed to the Arboretum where the wedding and reception were held. The ceremony was held outdoors in the forest overlooking their lily pond. Yes it was hot hot hot (it was Houston in July!) but the canopy of the many trees provided lots of shade and a nice breeze. Grace & Cody were married under an arbor covered in beautiful lavender and peach flowers and flanked with Silver Dollar Eucalyptus all provided by The Senterpiece who provided all the beautiful flowers for the wedding. After the sweet, meaningful ceremony the guests were all treated to an Italian dinner catered by Adriatic Café. The beautiful and delicious cake was provided by Who Made The Cake. The guests danced into the night with music provided by DJ White Chocolate Enterprises (get this fun fact - DJ White Chocolate is also Woody the Gondolier!!). All of this came together perfectly than to the hard work of wedding coordinator Vicki Corte.

I know this blog is long but there was just no way to cut out any of these delicious details. This wedding was epic and I am so honored to be asked to document it. I haven't mentioned that Cody & Grace have God in the middle of their lives (they were on a mission trip just 2 weeks before the wedding!!) which besides their love this is all they need to have a wonderful, beautiful life! Congratulations and God's Blessing's Cody & Grace! Thank you for choosing me!

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