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Seeing the Light!
By Krista Bennett DeMaio | Photo: Chris Bailey | June 21, 2016
When two classmates finally realize their destiny, it’s cause for one major celebration.
For some couples, it’s love at first sight, but for Kate Swenson and Stewart White, it was more like love in hindsight. The Houston natives, who work in oil and gas, grew up six blocks from each other and attended school together—from Wilchester Elementary through college at The University of Texas. But it wasn’t until after graduation in 2010, when the acquaintances met up with mutual friends at a West University dive bar, that sparks flew!
Five years later, on a spur-of-the-moment spring getaway to the Hill Country, Stewart suggested a sunrise hike. “I gave him the hardest time about getting up early, but I’m so glad I went,” Kate says. “He proposed on the top of Enchanted Rock.”
Kate sparkled in a custom Liancarlo gown with Alençon lace and tulle details, a dramatic cathedral-length, lace-trimmed veil and sky-high Gucci sandals from Saks Fifth Avenue. “The only person I saw was my beautiful bride walking toward me with her beaming smile,” Stewart remembers. “It was an emotional moment for me.”
While the ceremony was steeped in tradition, the gold, gray and blush reception at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts lent a more a modern, Downtown vibe, with its 60-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and grand staircase. “Kate wanted the decor to be a fun showstopper,” remembers her wedding planner Jennifer Hobson Kaldis of Keely Thorne Events.
The bride’s vision? Bring the outdoors in, but in a contemporary way with “chandeliers that I could only describe as a lighting fixture that looks like a firework,” Kate says. The resourceful Blooming Gallery team made it a reality with radiant chandeliers suspended over the dance floor—a magical centerpiece unique to their wedding. “Scott Konitzer at Blooming Gallery went above and beyond to source these, and because the venue is made up of so many windows, the lighting fixtures really made a huge impact on the space,” Kate says.
Lush florals and boxwoods filled the vast space, even covering an entire wall in the theater lobby. “I loved the combination of the greenery and the clean lines of the venue,” she adds.
In a nod to formality, 250 guests had a seated first course, followed by interactive stations that paid homage to the father of the bride’s love of Southern food and the couple’s penchant for Asian cuisine. “It was important to reflect our sense of personal style and tastes into the reception through the decor, food and wine,” Kate says. “We were thrilled when our guests said that the whole space looked and felt like us.”
A high-energy band from Atlanta had the bridal party on stage and every guest out of their seats for a nonstop dance party that culminated at midnight with metallic confetti raining from the top balcony. Mr. and Mrs. drove away in a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe as sparkler fountains lit their path. They honeymooned at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, in St. Lucia.
Wedding planner Jennifer Hobson Kaldis, Keely Thorne Events
Invitations & paper goods Houston Invitation Service; Papellerie
Flowers, decor & linens Blooming Gallery
Bridal gown & veil Liancarlo, Ivory Bridal Atelier
Bride’s hair Meghan Lee, Ceron Hair Studio
Bride’s makeup Jentry Kelly
Bridesmaids’ dresses Lela Rose, Bella Bridesmaids
Rings Queen of Heirs (hers); Bailey Banks & Biddle (his)
Catering A Fare Extraordinaire; Cordúa
Cakes Who Made The Cake!