At their first meeting with Sue Kelson Events, Sue and Dee had a vision for their wedding. As a couple that loved to hike and be in tune with nature, they wanted to be married under a canopy of flowers and greenery, to recreate the feeling of being on nice walk. Bountiful, gorgeous flowers were a given, but they also wanted to create small vignettes of furniture for conversation areas. Their dream wedding also included outstanding food and drink, but most importantly, they wanted a wedding where their daughters and their guest would have fun! Since their family was very active and competitive, they wanted a reception where games were played, along with dancing. So began the planning process with one of the most delightful and creative couples we have served in many years! And for a gay couple who has waited 17 years to legally get married, Sue Kelson and her team wanted to make every one of their dreams come true!
Sue and Dee met in 1999 at work, and soon discovered they had much in common. They both had 2 young daughters, loved camping, hiking, swimming, running, and athletics in general. They soon merged their families where the daughters quickly adapted and bonded, and in 2001 Dee proposed to Sue around Thanksgiving. Knowing that legally being married may never happen, they were content with their lives, and created many family traditions. One of which is called the “Family Olympics”. This tradition would change yearly, from a cherry spitting contest, to freestyle swimming, and who could create the most hilarious hat! The winner received the gold medal. This family knows how to have fun, and they wanted to create this same type of competition at their reception. The games are on – literally, as you will see later in this blog.
On June 26, 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage would be legal in the United States. Dee never thought she would be married, and of course, both Sue and Dee were thrilled with this decision! Their wedding could be planned, and their dream of being a legally married couple was coming true!
Kristen Wolchik with Haute Floral provided a crucial piece to the decorating puzzle, and she brought the brides vision to reality. Wanting to get married under a canopy of greenery, Dee sketched a small picture of the arch or canopy. Kristen made the arch from curly willow, greens and cherry blossoms. It was exactly what Sue & Dee would see on their many hikes together, and they were thrilled! This was hung from the beams of the venue. The backdrop was a vignette of matching settees and chairs, combined with the most incredible flowers filling the space. Visually, their “altar” was stunning!
The space in the room was large, and Sue & Dee loved seeing the trend of using furniture to add warmth, so Propmaker Event Rentals was the perfect choice for choosing pieces where we created vignettes in the room. From settees, wing back chairs, ottomans, benches, side chairs and side tables with lamps, nearly all the inventory of Propmaker was booked for their wedding.
Sue and Dee agreed that Hickory Street Annex was the ideal venue with the urban loft feel that they wanted. It had the combination of warm wood tones yet an edgy feel with the old elevator shaft that separates the upstairs room. It was superb for having the ceremony on one side, and the reception on the other. Plus there was a twist…Sue & Dee wanted to utilize the ceremony space after the wedding as a gaming room!
One of our favorite pieces for the wedding was this luscious blue sofa!
Walking upstairs to see the transformation of the room!
Farm tables and cross back chairs carried the look for the reception area. Sue & Dee loved the feel of using flowers that you would find in your own home’s garden, from hydrangeas and tulips, to stock and roses. Flowers in differing heights of vases filled the farm tables from end to end, and sprinkled in between were candles galore! Sue and Dee never really chose “colors” per se for their wedding – they just wanted what you would find in nature, so Haute Floral was given free rein to choose colors of the season.
Sue and Dee were both overwhelmed when they saw their vision come to life!
Before the wedding, Sue and Dee wanted to greet all their guests and have a short cocktail party. So they changed into cocktail dresses and took a few pictures in the bottle garden before the party began.
Havi Frost Photography took some of the best dress photos we’ve ever seen!
Sue walked down the aisle first.
Having exceptional food was also on Sue and Dee’s wish list, and Wendy Krispin Caterer did not disappoint. A variety of hors d’oeuvres were passed during the cocktail hour, but that was just a teaser. Dinner consisted of different stations from risotto with shrimp, to carved tenderloin, grilled salmon, macaroni and cheese, an array of salads, vegetables picked fresh from the Farmers Market that morning, and a S’mores station where guests could roast their own marshmallows. The night finished with warm donuts and cold milk upon leaving!
The first dance!
Let’s not forget cake…and if you’ve waited 17 years to get married, and you can’t decide which cake flavor is your favorite, then why not choose all? Let’s face it, it’s very hard to decide on a favorite at Panini Bakery! Even a small cake of red velvet was ordered, as this is the favorite of one of their daughters. Each cake featured a different design by Panini Bakery and Propmaker found the perfect glass pedestals for the cakes to sit upon. It was defiantly a hit of the party!
Those lights! Tungsten and Edison Bulbs provided by Fred’s Lighting with Hickory Street Annex.
Kelly Hooper, Dallas DJ extraordinaire, kept the dance floor packed all night!
Here was Sue and Dee’s twist, where they transformed the ceremony room into a gaming room! Game On provided a ping-pong table, air hockey, foosball, Ms. Pacman, and pinball machines. It was so fun to watch the younger kids playing with the older guests. This is exactly what Sue and Dee wished for – a way for everyone to participate in the wedding activities, and another option to dancing. Sue and Dee know how to be good hostesses, and how important it is to create a party where everyone feels greeted with warm hospitality and welcomed.
Sue and Dee wanted to give a party favor where guests would have a memory of their visit to Dallas and their wedding. So they thought of Christmas ornaments with a Texas flair. Darling Santa’s sitting atop armadillo’s, standing next to longhorns, and a cute trailer for camping – just like the one Sue & Dee own and use on their own trips!
Tossing the bouquets!
The guests were ushered outside for the exit, and I love this picture of Dee reflecting on the evening and the entire experience of her amazing wedding day.
The Rolls Royce from Blue Diamond Limousines awaits.
Both Sue and Dee have given quotes about their favorite parts of their wedding day. Sue says, “My favorite part of the wedding day was actually expressing our commitment to one another through the words we spoke in the ceremony. When Dee came around the corner to begin her walk down the aisle, she had this look of incredible joy and happiness. Seeing her made me feel very special. The day came together so perfectly; we had been planning our day for over a year. All the special people in our lives were there, the flowers and wedding arch was stunning, and the space looked just fabulous.” Dee says, “My favorite part of the wedding day was going through the public process of expressing my love and commitment to my best friend and the one person in the world who accepts me just as I am. I never thought that I would ever be able to get married, growing up as a gay person, I just never thought it could happen. When I came around the corner to walk down the aisle, the sun was shining in the room and Sue was waiting for me. She looked so amazingly beautiful. My kids were standing there smiling and wiping tears from their eyes; I could see how happy they were. It was like they knew exactly how I was feeling, mirroring the joyful experience I was having, and yet a bit overcome with emotion. We had planned the wedding over a long time. We were all at the venue all day long, and at different points of the day, I’d wonder around the ceremony and reception areas. I was able to experience the bit by bit transformation, each piece of the plan that was put in place was incredible. The flowers throughout were incredible, and the arch was so beautiful. I was on cloud nine!”
Love truly does win! #lovewins
Officiant: Thomas Davis
Venue: Hickory Street Annex
Photographer: Havi Frost Photography
Florist: Haute Floral
Cake: Panini Bakery and Cakes
Catering: Wendy Krispin Caterer
Furniture Rental: Propmaker Event Rentals
Farm Tables & Cross back Chairs: POSH Couture Rentals
Lighting: Fred’s Lighting with Hickory Street Annex
Ceremony Music: Gyros String Quartet
Reception Music: Kelly Hooper, DJ
Hair Stylist: Dry on the Fly with Dry Bar
Makeup Artist: Terri Tomlinson Makeup Training Academy
Stationery: Creative Grafx
Transportation: Blue Diamond Limousine of Texas
Gaming Tables: Game On
Linens: BBJ Linen
Party Favors: Cape-Shore
Wedding Planner: Sue Kelson Events