Usually when I meet with an engaged couple for the first time, we get to talk all about their dreams for their wedding! The little details like a handcrafted ring box by the bride’s father all the way to the big details like venue locations and all the reception plans! But Brenna and Jordan and I didn’t get to have many of those conversations. Because they pulled off a breathtaking intimate greenhouse wedding in Houston in just two weeks!
Can you imagine planning a wedding in two weeks? TWO WEEKS!! We all know that Covid-19 has thrown a wrench into everyone’s plans. And it’s hit the wedding industry especially hard. With everything going on with covid, the closure of the LDS temple, Jordan’s job, and Brenna’s schooling, they realized that they weren’t going to be able to go forward with the wedding plans they’d already out in place. So the whole family jumped in and they pulled together a remarkably beautiful, family-only, intimate wedding in just two weeks.
The Big Day
The morning of the wedding, Kyle and I drove to Houston and met Brenna and Jordan for the first time! Which is incredibly weird because I usually have months to get to know my couples and do their engagement and bridal photos! We pulled up the airbnb Brenna’s family used to get ready for the day and introduced ourselves to everyone. We were shocked to find out that most people in the house had gotten 3 hours of sleep or less the night before. I can’t even imagine not sleeping the night before my wedding! I remember being so exhausted from all the weeding planning the week before my wedding, that I conked out and almost didn’t wake up to my alarm on my wedding day!
The brides family had been up literally all night the night before to get everything done. Until 7am, y’all! So everyone was completely and utterly exhausted. Including Brenna. But everyone was remarkably happy and willing to jump in and have an amazing day! I was so impressed! However, (and this one’s a tear-jerker!) there came a point during the getting ready process where Brenna started to really struggle. Two weeks of whirlwind wedding planning and then no sleep? How hard! So she asked her dad, grandpa, and soon-to-be-husband for a blessing.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that we can receive blessings directly from God when we ask for them. These blessings can come through worthy husbands, fathers, and other holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood. A priesthood blessing is kind of like a special prayer that a priesthood holder says while touching your head. The men carefully filed into the getting ready room (Jordan kept his eyes closed so as to not see his bride yet!) and gave her a heartfelt, powerful blessing. It promised her the strength to go throughout the day and to feel the immense joy waiting for her. It was a truly beautiful moment.
After Brenna’s blessing, Jordan also asked for a blessing. The planning process had been difficult physically and emotionally for everyone. He knelt in front of his bride and received a blessing from his future father-in-law and grandpa. It was one of the most tender heart felt prayers I’ve ever heard given. Everyone is the room shed at least a few tears, including me. Watching Brenna and Jordan kneeling in front of each other, his eyes still closed, holding each other through their struggles, was both heart-wrenching and inspiring. What a beautiful way to start your wedding day and your marriage. In supplication to God, asking for his strength and peace and joy.
Although there was little time to prepare for the big day, it was full of precious moments that made the day spectacularly special. That’s the whole point of the wedding day right? To bring families together and to create those memories that will last a lifetime. Like the small huddled group in the bride’s getting ready room asking God for His power and blessing.
And like a groom seeing his bride for the first time in all her wedding day glory! Brenna insisted on a first look before the ceremony, even though it was pouring outside. (Thank you tropical storm Hanna!) And eventhough we were running almost an hour behind schedule! But that’s what I love about a small, intimate wedding. Who cares if your schedule is off by a little bit! You do you, girl! It’s your wedding day 🙂 Everyone who needs to be at the wedding is there (either in person or electronically) so there’s waaaay less pressure.
And I’m so glad that she did! Jordan had an amazing reaction that I’m so glad we could capture and preserve for ever! He’s one of the most expressive grooms I’ve ever photographed. I love the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time! There’s no faking that pure emotion.
In spite of the whirlwind preparation, Brenna and Jordan’s intimate wedding was full of many off those precious moments. In a magnificent greenhouse with a breathtaking wall of ivy and flowers as their backdrop, the constant rain didn’t damper the ceremony one bit. Brenna’s mom and grandma started by singing the hymn “How Firm a Foundation”. What a beautiful, poignant message for this new couple starting their lives together in this crazy, scary world! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Jordan’s family participated all the way from Jamaica through modern technology by saying prayers and reading scriptural passages. Then Brenna and Jordan read their customized vows and exchanged rings.
Lastly they performed a sand ceremony, pouring different colors of sand into a jar representing the formation of their new life together. White sand poured by the officiant represented God as the foundation of their new life. Pink sand poured by Brennan represented herself, and blue sand poured by Jordan represented himself. It created a beautiful layered effect in a clear jar that they can now display in their home as a reminder of their intimate wedding day and their vows to each other!
Woohoo!! They had done it!! They are officially married!!
Drive Thru Reception
After the ceremony at the greenhouse, we all headed to the wedding reception/dinner at the same Airbnb that everyone got ready at. When we had left for the ceremony earlier that day, pretty much nothing was set up for the reception. But some wonderfully angelic friends and neighbors came to the rescue. By the time we returned two hours later the entire place was magically transformed! The tables were set up and decorated, the cake was set out, the drive thru reception area was ready. It was miracle.
Between the wedding party staying up all night, the tearful blessing, and everyone leaving for the ceremony an hour late, the torrential downpour, and just the normal every day stressors that come during a wedding, it truly was a miracle to come back to the Airbnb and have it magically transformed. It was like something out of a fairytale. The whole day was!
Intimate Greenhouse Houston Wedding | Brenna + Jordan
August 11, 2020