Dukessa Houston Wedding of Sara and Al
Sara and Al invited me in to their wedding at Second Baptist Church and the Dukessa Houston as friends. I’ve known Sara ever since Renee and Jack’s wedding way back in 2012, and was so excited when we connected about her big day. It was the loveliest of reunions, filled with so many wonderful familiar faces (including bride Rachel and future bride Allie, and their friends Nicole, Rebecca, Hayley, Brittany, and so many more).
My dear friend, Allie, who got me started in wedding photography 6 years ago, came with me to Houston to work along side me as my second shooter. Special thanks to her for flying in to help me, and for capturing some amazing photos (some of which you’ll see below). It truly felt like a family affair.
And the love that was shared through this day enveloped everyone. The joy was contagious. Sara’s smile and the way that Al looked at her. The great big hugs from one girl to the next, and the happy tears from Sara’s parents. Every moment was brimming with happiness and excitement. And we were truly so thrilled to be there. Below the photos you’ll find an interview with Sara about her day. Scroll through the pretty to read it! Congratulations, Sara and Al. Much much love to you both!
What was the inspiration for your wedding?
The inspiration for our wedding was a rustic, sophisticated, dance party. Antiqued flowers, flowing greenery, and birch branches were among the rustic components and the formal venue brought a sophisticated feel. Al and I are both alumni of Texas Christian University (TCU), so we wanted some elements of purple as well. We both love country music, so having that Texas country flare was important to us too – hence my dress and cowboy boots! Our biggest inspiration was the love we feel from our friends and family – we wanted that love to be felt throughout our entire day.
What details did you absolutely love?
My favorite details were those that my family contributed. The hurricane lamps that were used on tables at the reception were my grandfathers, and I was in love with the wedding photos from both families that were displayed – it represented how blessed we are to have such amazing role models of love in our life. I also loved the lighting in our wedding photos – that was thanks to Steph and the beautiful day the Lord provided for us!
What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
That’s so hard to decide! I have two. The first was being with my dad before I walked down the aisle – it was such a special time we had together before the doors opened and being his only child made the moment even more beautiful. Steph captured those moments perfectly (those were the first pictures I printed). My second favorite part was the dance floor! That is where Al and I belong – the DJ was amazing and we had so much fun letting loose with our friends!
Do you have any advice for future brides?
My biggest piece of advice would be to surround yourself with a bridal party that loves you and supports the decisions you make. My Maid of Honor, Matron of Honor, bridesmaids, and house party are all amazing women who I love and admire individually and the day would not have been the same without all of them. They kept my nerves from getting out of control before the wedding and made me laugh all through the ceremony and reception. The groomsmen were just as helpful to me as they were to Al – they made the day go so smoothly. Our day would not have been as perfect without all of them!
How was your experience working with Steph?
Where do I begin?! From the first time we connected – over FaceTime which was SO nice to not just email back and forth – I knew she cared more about Al and I than anything else. She wanted the pictures to be beautiful but also wanted our day to be perfect! Her patience throughout the day, ability to make me feel so normal taking posed photos, and sense of humor allowed Al and I to only have to think about each other during our wedding. She was persistent in getting the photos Al and I wanted and also did a great job dealing with all of the family members who had very specific photo requests – she even acted as a guard at moments to make sure Al and I had time to enjoy the party. Her smile is infectious – which helps you to smile through your sometimes awkward moments (Al and I are terrible at kissing in photos and taking it seriously). Not only do I love her style of photography, her talent is just the beginning of the amazing person she is! ☺
Ceremony: Second Baptist Church, Houston / Reception: Dukessa Houston / Photography: Steph Smith Weddings / Florals: Perfect Touch Houston / Cake: Cakes by Gina / Hair: Bella Rinova – Alma Barajas / Makeup: Rebecca Dunn, Bridesmaid / Videography: Weddings By Ricardo Luis / Bridal Salon: Emma and Grace Bridal Studio / Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie.com / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Rings: Marla’s Gem Creations / DJ: Luxe