For some people it only takes one evening together to know that they are meant for each other. That initial impression left just by the presence of another can often be enough to awaken the desires of the heart. For Hayley and Stephen, “after just one date, we both knew that our connection had the ability to evolve into something very different and truly special.”
Read all about Hayley and Stephen’s love story, romantic engagement, and wedding experience of their intimate chapel wedding in Houston, TX – beautifully captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Grif Kolberg Photography.
Bride & Groom: Hayley and Stephen
Occupations: Bank Examiner & High School Administrator
Wedding Date: December 17, 2016
Wedding Location: Houston, TX
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. We crossed paths just about every day as students at the University of Houston for 2 years, but connected on Facebook in July 2013. After just one date, we both knew that our connection had the ability to evolve into something very different and truly special. After dating almost two years on September 3, 2015, Stephen set up a spontaneous Thursday dinner date at Sullivan’s in Houston, Texas. Stephen left the table a few times during dinner, which I found strange, but did not think much of it. After dinner, our waitress brought a dessert box to us and said that they had an overage of desserts in the kitchen and were looking to get rid of some as the kitchen closed, so that one was on the house. I don’t like sweets very much, so I didn’t open it! It was about 20 minutes later when Stephen finally said, “Why don’t see what free dessert we got?”. I opened the box and there was my gorgeous engagement ring and gorgeous groom down on one knee. I of course said “yes,” and the waitresses and other guests celebrated our moment by taking our picture and sending us their best wishes. It was a beautiful and memorable moment!
Describe your wedding style: I desired for my wedding style to be romantic, yet glam. I always wanted a strapless, mermaid or fit and flare gown that had a very curvy fit and a dramatic skirt. I started wedding dress shopping a few weeks after we got engaged and decided on the Maggie Sottero “Storm” gown in December 2015. Wedding dress shopping wasn’t necessarily stressful, but I did get burned out after three months of shopping. I think if I could do it all over again, I would have shopped a bit more or chosen another dress that was a bit above my budget but that I truly loved. All in all, though, this dress had the fit that I wanted and it paired so nicely with my cathedral veil. I also didn’t want typical bridal makeup, but wanted a sultry, smokey eye and a matte lip for that glam touch.
Bridesmaids’s Gifts: wedding day accessories, robes, and a prayer book.
First Dance Song: “Love Ballad” by Jeffrey Osbourne
What is your best memory from your wedding? Our best memory from our wedding day was our first dance. We walked into our reception venue and danced to “Love Ballad” by Jeffrey Osbourne. Our parents and wedding party surrounded us in an arc while we danced, and danced and sang along with us. It was truly a memorable moment.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? We encourage all engaged couples to truly enjoy the thrill of planning for your wedding and try to alleviate moments of stress and confusion as much as you can, because it will happen. Take your time in making decisions to the extent that your wedding timeline allows and do not rush or blow over your budget too much. Stick to doing what is important to you and your fiance and do not allow the opinions of others to sway you from what your heart desires for your wedding. You will not be able to please everyone, so decide very early in your engagement not to do that.
Ceremony Location: University Chapel at A.D. Bruce Religion Center
Reception Location: The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch
Wedding Planner: Hayley Scott James
Wedding Coordinator: Linda King
Event Design: Hayley Scott James
Photography: Grif Kolberg Photography
Videography: Shotz Taken Films
Florist: 2 Cool Flowers
Cake Designer: Edible Designs by Jessie
Décor Rentals: Linens and Events
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero
Wedding Dress Salon: Weddings by Debbie
Bridesmaids’ Dress Designer: Hayley Paige Occasions
Bridesmaids’ Dress Salon: Weddington Way
Groom Tux Designer: Calvin Klein
Groom Tux Store: Men’s Warehouse
Groomsmen Tux Designer: Vera Wang
Groomsmen Tux Store: Men’s Warehouse
Bridal Makeup: Brandi Holmes
Bridal Party Makeup: GLAM by Tonenette
Bride/Bridal Party Hairstylist: Tinnell McIntyre