Christina & Ryan’s wedding day was truly a unique and special celebration! They chose a less traditional route by opting out of a bridal party and incorporating available adoption dogs into their reception centerpieces. Intentional details, thoughtful decisions, and a couple completely in love created such a magical day!
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? We met online, through Hinge (so millennial, we know), the app that is meant to be deleted and oh boy was it deleted pretty quickly. After a week or so of texting back and forth, Ryan invited Christina to go have drinks at a beer garden in Houston. Christina showed up about 45 minutes late after drinking one too many glasses of wine to calm her nerves, and Ryan had a few whiskeys to do the same. Ryan specifically remembers walking up to Christina at the bar after she said she had arrived, and hearing her voice for the first time. Christina has a bit of a lower voice than other girls, but Ryan found it very attractive. Christina made a little joke about it, we both laughed, and went to sit down at a picnic table.
Ryan: My first impression of Christina was an immediate feeling of comfort. Like I had known her for years, which is not typical for me. I confided in a complete stranger with things I normally won’t tell most of my friends.
Christina: Ryan was so incredibly easy to talk to. No awkward silences. No commenting on the weather to fill gaps. Just continuous conversation that actually helped us really get to know each other. After talking for hours that night I was so excited to see him again that I suggested hanging out 2 days later. Lucky for me, he accepted!
Christina and Ryan’s wedding was so special! It was so thoughtful and revolved completely around their love. They decided not to have a bridal party because of that, more time for the 2 of them to spend together.
One of the most special parts of the day was at their reception, their centerpieces were dedicated to shelter dogs in the Houston area. In lieu of flowers, they made a donation to BARC and their table numbers were adoptable dogs with the QR codes to learn about each dog and also for their guest to make their own donations to BARC. Christina and Ryan’s wedding was not only personal but also gorgeous, at one of the most gorgeous venues in Houston. It was a very special day! -Mollie Jane Photography
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning. 2020 was an especially difficult year for us, aside from COVID. Ryan had two surgeries and needed to be reliant on others for help, which he is not very good at. Ryan is independent and wants to do and figure things out himself. His second surgery required him to be in a cast and boot on his left leg for 8 weeks, walking around on crutches and rolling around in a knee scooter. Safe to say, he wasn’t able to do much on his own and had to submit to Christina for help. It was something that was difficult for him and took its’ toll on Christina as well. But through persistence and constant communication, Ryan let his frustrations go to the wayside and starting accepting that not only was Christina going to help, but she wanted to help. She wanted to be a caretaker in his time of need and knew that we would do the same if tables were turned. It was a growth moment for the both of us during those two months for sure.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you? At first, Ryan was against doing a first look and Christina was against writing our own vows. In the end we compromised and it was the best decision ever. Ryan was a nervous wreck all morning and the first look really allowed him to calm his nerve. *awesome pictures were a bonus* Christina was surprisingly able to get through her vows without breaking down in tears half way through. We now have our special vow books that we intend to write in each year on our anniversary as our relationship grows. We are also huge animal lovers. We have 3 rescue animals that unfortunately were not able to be in attendance at the venue but we wanted to incorporate our love somehow! In lieu of party favors (we all have enough coozies), we made a donation to a local animal shelter in honor of our guests. We also chose to names our tables by featuring a different dog available for adoption at each one. It felt so awesome to help spread awareness with our closest friends and family!
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another? The best thing I’ve (Ryan) has learned from Christina, and this was incorporated into my vows, was how to be more empathetic. I am very type A and for the majority of my life had seen things from my point of view and mine only. Christina has helped teach me how to be more empathetic of others, their situations, and their points of view. I still want to be right all the time (I’m a male…) but at least I KNOW that’s not always the case anymore.
Christina: Ryan has taught me many things (how to cut an onion, how to brew a pot of coffee, that I should avoid the left lane… I could go on and on) But the most IMPORTANT thing he has taught me and instills in me everyday is to never underestimate my value. Professionally and personally. It has made a huge impact in my life and has made me view situations differently. But in a great way!
What is your favorite thing about each other? My (Ryan) favorite thing about Christina is her goofy sense of humor. Christina rarely takes herself seriously, which is quite opposite of myself. She makes any situation light and funny, and I think it’s what made me so comfortable with her in the first place.
Christina: My favorite thing about Ryan is his drive. This man doesn’t do anything halfhearted. Whether is be work, cooking, golf, he is going to do it RIGHT and continue to perfect his craft in all aspects. It truly is inspiring.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding? Christina: My favorite part about planning the wedding was getting to go through the experience with my mom. She is an absolute rock star! This past year we have had some special mother daughter moments that I won’t forget. Have the beading from her wedding dress made into a veil was also extremely sentimental to me.
Ryan: Food tasting was awesome.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day? So Christina is part Vietnamese. Her grandmother is a first generation immigrant to the states, and they really wanted to incorporate her culture into the wedding. Right after Carl’s toast, Chrstina and Ryan got up on the stage, and two big red dragons with their booming drums walked into the reception hall. The dragons started eating oranges from the stage and passing oranges around to the guests as they danced throughout the hall. Everyone had their phones out and were taking videos as the performance went on. At the end, as the dragons drew back to the stage toward the bride and groom, a mess of confetti fell from the ceiling all over us and the dragons. Mollie got some incredible photos of the moment. It was AWESOME.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship! The best story to tell here is from the wedding day, and has to do with Christina’s dad, Carl. We knew that “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks was requested to be played by the band, but we didn’t quite know the extent of what was going to happen. As soon as the lead singer mentioned the song was going to be played, we see Carl walk onto the stage in a different outfit from the ceremony. Carl had cowboy boots, a big belt buckle, and a cowboy hat on. The lead singer handed over the microphone to Carl, and Carl did his absolute best Garth Brooks impersonation. He began to sing the song, and every single guest was out of the chairs and on the dance floor, he got the party STARTED. About two minutes in, he grabbed Christina up to the stage and Ryan followed shortly after. We were singing at the top of our lungs, swaying from side to side, grinning from ear to ear. It was EPIC. That performance really set the tone of the entire reception. It’s also important to note that Garth Brooks is Christina’s ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be? COMMUNICATE ALL THE TIME, 24/7. We are so good with talking to each other about how we feel with ourselves, with each other, with our friends, so on and so forth. Our communication has allowed us to build an extraordinary amount of trust between each other which we continue to build on and is what will keep our marriage strong for the rest of our lives.
Photographer: Mollie Jane Photography
Venue: Sandlewood Manor
Stylist / Planner / Designer: Eventology Weddings
Floral Designer: The Senterpiece
Dress Boutique: Ventura’s Bridal Fashions
Cake Designer: Bavarian Cakery
Makeup Artist: Bespoken Beauty
Hair Stylist: Bespoken Beauty
Stationary: Shop Aurea
Signage: Conroe Creations
Reception Performers: Soaring Phoenix Dragon & Lion Dance Association
Band: Intensity Bands
Catering: La Rue Culinary