Houston Lesbian Wedding: The Astorian
Jenny Block & Robin Brown, Houston, Texas, March 17, 2018
Photography by Lisa Hause Photography
NAMES Jenny Block & Robin Brown.
LIVE IN Memorial Point on Lake Livingston, Texas
OCCUPATIONS Robin is an alignment executive at Cerner. Jenny is an author and writer.
HOW THEY MET On Tinder
HOW THEY GOT ENGAGED Robin took Jenny on a surprise birthday trip to Mackinac Island in Michigan, where she proposed to her on the porch of the Grand Hotel. Jenny: “I was shocked and could not say yes quickly enough. It was only six months after we’d met, but we knew right from the start that it was a forever kind of love.”
THE PLANNING PROCESS Jenny: “Everyone was so incredible throughout the entire planning process, right down to the clerk in the tiny town where we live. She didn’t bat an eye when we applied for our marriage license and everyone was so sweet, congratulating us and wishing us luck. A woman leaving the courthouse at the same time that we were could not stop gushing when we told her why we were there. All the vendors in Houston were great and so were all of the Etsy artists, who were happy to make double bride and double wife-y goodies for us!”
BACHELORETTE PARTY The two celebrated in Puerto Vallarta, but each flew down on separate weeks and rented different fully staffed villas, where friends divided into Team Jenny and Team Robin partied with them. Jenny: “The teams became our shushavim, the Hebrew word for the people who help you with your wedding, since we each only had one person stand up with us. For me, my 18-year-old daughter Hannah was my Maid of Honor and, for Robin, her best friend, Jason, was her Best Man.”
REHEARSAL DINNER They dined at Jenni’s Noodle House, which shut down for them for the entire night. Many of the friends and family who attended met that night for the first time.
WEDDING DAY WEATHER Warm. Rain had been predicted but only a few drops showed themselves and the sun shone through just enough.
NUMBER OF GUESTS Just under 150
WEDDING COLORS Blush and navy
FLOWERS Chad Cornwall of Flower Power Productions created the florals. Jenny: “They were incredible. Lots of blush roses and ranunculus, and even some navy-colored berries.”
DIY HIGHLIGHTS The couple had very few DIY elements, leaving their planners at Revisionist Events to design and execute the wedding based on what Robin and Jenny had requested. Jenny did write some whimsical poems for the signage, and Robin assembled the out-of-towner gift bags and tiny boxes of custom M&M’S with teeny hand-tied ribbons.
THE MENU The caterers at A Fare Extraordinaire created themed food stations. Jenny: “We didn’t want people stuck at tables for a boring sit-down dinner with rubber chicken. And I really don’t care for buffets.” Highlights include pan-seared edamame-truffle dumplings with soy–sambal chili sauce and blue-and-white-corn tacos filled with minced ahi tuna tartare.
Colorful, sophisticated treats were dispensed from three different areas, including an Asian-inspired station that dispensed black “takeout” boxes containing delicious duck egg rolls served with plum-sauce pipettes, and a Latin American section where guests feasted on Peruvian whitefish ceviche with picante aji amarillo chili sauce and roasted-corn esquites with queso blanco, adobo sauce, and lime aioli. The Southern station wowed the crowds with deconstructed BLTs with bacon mousse, petite chicken-and-waffles, and roasted root-vegetable salads. There was an open bar, and noted Austin mixologist Gerlad DuBose designed a custom cocktail, the B2—a refreshing mix of vodka, blueberry-thyme syrup, lemon juice, sparkling water, and a garnish of fresh blueberries.
DESSERT This food-forward celebration featured a pair of cakes, one a four-tier white cake with amaretto filling, covered in fondant with sugar flowers down the side, and the other designed to look like a convertible Ford Edsel in honor of Robin’s late grandfather, Roy Brown Jr., who actually designed the storied ’50s auto. Jenny: “Our cake maker Nadine—from Who made the Cake!—even placed a tiny fondant replica of our dog, Walter, in the backseat, wearing his doggles (doggy goggles), which he wears on the boat when we go out on the lake!” Guests also enjoyed a sweet late-night snack: boozy wedding milkshakes made with brandy, crème de cacao, and vanilla ice cream and passed in a plastic shot glass with a gold-and-white-striped straw.
MUSIC For the processional, the couple chose the theme song from Somewhere in Time, which was filmed at the Grand Hotel, where Robin proposed to Jenny. One of Jenny and Robin’s favorite singing duos, Mouths of Babes, performed Rachel Platten’s “Better Place” during the recessional and Lauren Wood’s “Fallen” for the couple’s first dance. As the party kicked into gear, the song list featured an eclectic mix of legends, from Dolly Parton and James Taylor to Donna Summer and Beyoncé.
IF THEY HAD TO DO IT OVER Jenny: “We would have invited even more people. In the end, more people can’t come then you expect, and at the very last minute, people do drop out. Having an A, B, and even C list is really a good idea.”
IF THEY COULD HAVE SPENT THEIR WEDDING DOLLARS DIFFERENTLY They would have spent a little more and booked a videographer, and they might have extended the party by an hour or so. Jenny: “It felt like things were just getting started when suddenly it was over.”
FAVORITE DETAIL Jenny: “I can’t possibly choose. My bouquet. The comb in my hair. My pink sparkly Louboutins for the ceremony and pink sparkly Converses for the reception. The beautiful signage. Everything was just so spectacular—more than I could have ever dreamed of.” Robin: “My custom tuxedo from Festari—it fit like a glove—and the overflowing pocket flowers by Flower Power Productions. My beautiful blue velvet Jimmy Choo loafers were a great touch. But the pendant that Jenny had made for me with my late mother’s photo in it—I wore it over my heart so I could have her with me—that was the most special.”
UNIQUE ELEMENTS OF THE DAY A performance artist named Elizabeth Yochim, donned all white and wearing beautiful angel wings, performed an inspiring blessing and dance for the new couple. Jenny: “We also had a GIF booth, which guests lined up to use—it was so much fun!”
UNEXPECTED EVENT Jenny: “It was the toast my best friend from high school, Michael Goles, gave. It meant so much to me to have him there and he said the most beautiful things.” Robin: “Jenny gave me custom cufflinks with a verse from our wedding song.”
HOW THEIR WEDDING DIFFERED FROM HOW THEY IMAGINED IT Jenny: “I could have never imagined I would be this much in love or that it would have been such a fairytale event, from my Lhuillier gown to the gorgeous venue to every last gorgeous detail, including the chuppah that a friend built as a wedding gift and that Chad Cornwall covered in the most gorgeous flowers.” Robin: “That our friends and family filled that room. From the time I started to walk down the aisle with my father, the love and support moved us both to tears. Then when we said our vows, and it felt like we were the only two people in the room.”
ADVICE FOR OTHERS Jenny: “Listen to your partner. Compromise. Decide on what are the absolutes for you both. And, I know it might sound cheesy, but just remember that it’s a celebration, a party, an event that will be over in the blink of an eye. No tablecloth or bouquet or cocktail napkin is as important as the love you will share for the rest of your lives.”
THE DAY IN THREE WORDS Magical, joyous, love-soaked.
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
The Astorian, Houston
Rabbi Kenneth Block
A Fare Extraordinaire
Chad Cornwall and Kyle Santolini, Revisionist Events
Johanna Terry Events
Lisa Hause Photography
Flower Power Productions
Who Made The Cake!
HAIR AND MAKEUP
Rey Medrano, Beauty Dish Studios
KETUBAH (WEDDING CONTRACT)
Suzanne Stovall Vinson, Silver Tree Art
CALLIGRAPHY AND SIGNAGE
Vera Wang, via Paper Source
HOTEL FOR GUESTS
Monarch British Limousines
Baoase Luxury Resort, Curacao
ELEMENTS AND ACCENTS FOUND THROUGH ETSY
Napkins: Mailbox Happiness
Socks for the shushavin: Bold Socks
Cake topper and swizzle sticks: Jenn & Jules Designs
Garter: One Fancy Day
Rehearsal dinner invites: ATG Invitations
Toasting glasses: Personalization Lab
Cake knife and server: Bridal Queen
Memorial charm for Robin’s bouquet: Hg Picture This
Card box: Primitive Weddings
Bride and Maid of Honor robes: Hundred Hearts
Bride and Maid of Honor Tees: Crafted Pallet
Maid of Honor tote: Initial Proper
Bride and Maid of Honor tumblers: The Mod Arrow
Custom-engraved cuff links: Muujee Gifts
Custom “Just Married” car decal: 1LittleYellowHouse
Cake bags: AmeliaMoonUK
Custom Whataburger sack labels: Flourish and Fawn
You can find more resources for planning an LGBTQ wedding in this part of Texas in our Houston Wedding Vendor Guide.