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MEMORABLE WEDDINGS
Danielle and Wes


A departing kiss for the guests.

A departing kiss for the guests.

Text by Melanie Saxton  Photos by Carlino’s Photography

Because distance makes the heart grow fonder, it is no wonder that the hearts of Danielle Hope and Wes Bily overflowed on their journey to the altar. Not even an international separation could keep them from tying the knot.

Danielle hails from Fort Bend and is a recent graduate of The University of Texas, where she earned a BBA in finance. She works for Edward Jones as a financial advisor in Richmond. George Wesley “Wes” Bily also graduated from UT and received a BS degree in mechanical engineering. He works as an engineer for Schlumberger.

Introductions

Danielle graduated from high school in June 2008 and could not wait for college life at The University of Texas. Over the summer, she traveled back and forth between Richmond and Austin for Texas Cheerleading duties.

Meanwhile, Wes did some traveling of his own. As a mechanical engineering major at UT, he had an internship that summer with Fluor Daniel in Sugar Land. On weekends he returned to Austin as the Social Chair for Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

The couple met at a frat party involving a foam bounce house. Danielle caught a glimpse of a tall, dark and handsome guy holding not one, not two, but three beers. Rather than the colorful Polo shorts worn by the other frat guys, he was dressed in a Columbia fishing shirt and Wranglers.

Danielle was decked out in camouflage – not exactly the theme of the party. But according to Wes, she was a vision! He went straight for her. There was no wavering. He had to talk to her.

Then duty called. Wes asked Danielle to wait while he rushed a fraternity candidate. He made a joke about his great “jeans,” so she cooperated. He returned and they talked for hours. Afterwards, Danielle stalked him on Facebook (of course).

First Date

After finishing her cheerleading duties for the week, Danielle drove to Sugar Land from Austin for a romantic lunch date at Chick-fil-A. She was excited and didn’t want to be late, and subsequently got pulled over by a police officer. She complained about her ticket all during lunch, but that didn’t stop Wes from asking her to dinner that evening.

Courtship

The couple dated long distance after Wes graduated in December 2008. He moved back home to Houston and was eventually transferred to Calgary, Canada in February 2011. Danielle moved to St. Louis, Mo. in May 2012, then back to Richmond in October the same year.

Proposal

Maintaining a long distance relationship and conducting any sort of personal business across international borders was a challenge. Wes “finally” proposed to Danielle on January 1, 2013. However, their engagement story started much earlier while Wes was stationed on a rig in Fort Nelson, British Columbia.

In January 2012 Danielle visited Wes – and the Calgary Jewelry store. She favored a three stone design in a platinum setting. “Note to self,” Wes thought. “Save money.” He secretly managed to have a custom ring made in Houston and had his best man store it for safekeeping.

Fast forward to December 2012. Danielle flew to Canada to usher in the New Year with Wes. She had no idea he planned to propose. Luckily, Wes’ Kiwi roommate was visiting a girlfriend in Houston and was able to bring the ring back to Calgary just in time.

Then the East Coast was hit with crippling snowstorms, cancelling the flight for Wes’ replacement on the rig. Worse, Wes was fighting a fever and couldn’t eat or sleep. Not only did he have to deal with illness, but it seemed like he would never get to see Danielle!

All three of his roommates met Danielle at the airport – without Wes. That night they took her to her first hockey game – the Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, Wes’ replacement arrived, and he was finally able to reunite with his love. He wanted to propose to her at Banff/Lake Louise where they had one of their first dates in Canada. But between being sick and almost not making it home, they opted to stay in.

Still, Wes was determined to reach his ideal spot for the proposal. Unfortunately, he discovered that all the hotels in Banff/Lake Louise were either booked solid or astronomically expensive. Since Danielle refused to let him travel with a fever, he had no choice but to pop the question on his gold chenille sofa overlooking a picture window in his ’60s era house.

Wes retrieved the mahogany box from its hiding place under an Astros cap in his roommate’s bedroom. As Danielle was unpacking groceries, he coaxed her from the kitchen. In one swift motion he pulled the ring box from underneath a cushion and rolled onto one knee. Then he stumbled over the phrases he’d rehearsed for over a year.

The next few seconds were a blur, but Danielle remembers Wes saying, “be your husband,” “rest of my life,” and “Will you marry me?” Then she realized why he was so adamant about going to Banff. She could not be more excited to marry this man, regardless of where he proposed!

Engagement

The week she got home from Canada, Danielle and her parents booked a venue and attended the Bridal Extravaganza. Then she and Wes signed the contract to build their first house in August 2013. They got the keys in March 2014, just in time to say “I do” on April 5.

The Wedding

Danielle wanted her own glamorous touches, which included rustic florals and her favorite hues of pink. She envisioned a ceremony and cocktail hour followed by an indoor reception.

Attire: The bride’s ivory silk taffeta and silk washed organza sculpted strapless gown by Watters had a layered bodice and full skirt adorned with ivory handmade silk taffeta, silk organza flowers and a 60-inch sweep train. A beaded crystal sash was sewn on at the waist. The cathedral length veil was beaded around the edges and adorned with crystals along the bottom. Her “something new” was her bridal attire. Her mother’s garter served as “something old” and “something borrowed.” The bottom of her shoes were her “something blue.”

Bridesmaids wore long blush strapless chiffon dresses by Amsale embellished with beautiful rosettes.

The groom wore a black Vera Wang tuxedo and an ivory shirt, vest and bowtie. His Larry Mahan black boots were made of full quill ostrich. Groomsmen also wore black Vera Wang tuxedos with ivory shirts, light pink vests, and light pink ties.

Floral: The bride carried a medium, multi-level, hand-tied bouquet composed of Vendela roses, white O’Hara roses, white ranunculus, white hydrangeas, and white stock, all wrapped in ivory ribbon. The bouquets for the maid of honor and bridesmaids were composed of white hydrangeas, Vendela roses, white O’Hara roses, white stock, and snowflake spray roses wrapped in blush ribbon. The flower girl carried a pomander ball composed of stock, hydrangeas, and pink Majolika spray roses.

The groom wore a single white ranunculus boutonniere with greenery accents. The best man, groomsmen, ring bearers, and ushers wore clusters of pink Majolika spray roses with greenery accents.

Ceremony arrangements included large floral tiebacks of white hydrangeas, white stock, blush stock, pink Majolika spray roses and Vendela roses with pearls and crystals spilling from the floral. The aisle décor of blush pink hydrangea floral clusters were tied with ivory ribbon. Chapel doors were adorned with heart-shaped wreaths composed of white cushion poms, white hydrangeas, white stock, and pink Majolika spray roses.

The Wedding Party: Pastor John Lockhart of First Baptist Church in Richmond officiated as parents of the bride, Holly Hope and Ruben W. Hope III, and the mother of the groom, Rachel Bily, looked on. In their thoughts was George Gerald Bily, the groom’s father, who had passed away when Wes was young.

Blythe Hope (sister of the bride) served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids included Lindsey Holifield (cousin of the bride), Bree Bily (sister of the groom), and friends Natalie Webb, Veronica Adamcik and Hailey Hanson. Lexi Hope, cousin of the bride, was the adorable flower girl.

Devin Bily (cousin of the groom) served as best man. Stephen Saenz (cousin of the groom), Ben Hope (brother of the bride) and friends Dustin Creek, Jess Randall and Bobby Vaughn were groomsmen. Two ring bearers, Connor Judge and Holden Judge, were also cousins of the bride.

Top Wedding Moment: The bride recalls that the groom cried like a baby during her walk down the aisle. Then he started laughing. “In the pictures, everyone is looking at him!” she notes.

The Reception

Guests were first treated to an outdoor fireworks display after they watched the couple dance to “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw. Father and daughter danced to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw. Mother and son danced to “Then They Do” by Trace Adkins.

Everyone enjoyed the photo booth and a “well wishes camera” by the bar, where guests left a video clip of advice for the newlyweds.

A silver hammered vase was displayed on the reception guest book table. The floral arrangement consisted of blush dendrobium orchids, Esperance roses, pink Majolika spray roses, blush hydrangeas, white stock and willow branches.

Centerpiece No. 1, a princess vase with curly willow, sat on a crystal drop tray. Apple blossom snapdragons, Esperance roses, blush hydrangeas, white stock, curly willow and pink Majolika spray roses were set off by petals on the tables.

A trio of cylinder vases with submerged apple blossom snapdragons, floating candles, and river rocks comprised centerpiece No. 2, also with scattered petals.

Centerpiece No. 3 was a 6x6x6-inch vase with curly willow and florals of blush hydrangeas, Esperance roses, pink Majolika spray roses, white stock, apple blossom snapdragons and petals scattered on the table.

The Wedding Cake: A vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing (no filling) soared five tiers and mimicked the bride’s gown. Rosettes adorned the bottom three tiers, with a “layered” look on the top two tiers. The cake topper was by Waterford.

The groom’s cake, shaped like the state of Texas, was decorated with the Texas flag and bordered with chocolate covered strawberries, some dipped in white chocolate as longhorn decorations. It displayed the UT tower in Austin where the couple met, and an oil rig in South Texas to represent the groom’s career. Boots were placed in Dallas (location of the Texas state fair), and a house in Richmond to commemorate the couple’s new residence.

Departure: Mr. and Mrs. Bily took off in a Rolls-Royce, leaving behind Whata­burger taquitos for guests to enjoy!

The Honeymoon

The couple stayed nine nights in the beautiful Maldives.

The couple share a kiss in front of a Texas flag barn in Needville, Texas.

The couple share a kiss in front of a Texas flag barn in Needville, Texas.

The couple share a kiss in front of a Texas flag barn in Needville, Texas.

The couple share a kiss in front of a Texas flag barn in Needville, Texas.

A tender moment for the future bride and groom.

A tender moment for the future bride and groom.

The bride twirled in her dress during the bridal shoot.

The bride twirled in her dress during the bridal shoot.

Bridesmaids in pink dresses.

Bridesmaids in pink dresses.

The bride showcases a special brooch on her bouquet while wearing her University of Texas ring.

The bride showcases a special brooch on her bouquet while wearing her University of Texas ring.

Mother of the bride and bridesmaids assist Danielle with her gown. • Shoes by Betsey Johnson.

Mother of the bride and bridesmaids assist Danielle with her gown. • Shoes by Betsey Johnson.

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The groom with his groomsmen and ushers.

The groom with his groomsmen and ushers.

The groom wore his future father-in-law’s dress shirt studs.

The groom wore his future father-in-law’s dress shirt studs.

The groom reads the inscription on a handkerchief made by the bride’s grandmother.

The groom reads the inscription on a handkerchief made by the bride’s grandmother.

A bucket of beer in the groom’s quarters showcasing the custom koozies.

A bucket of beer in the groom’s quarters showcasing the custom koozies.

The groom’s cake was a complete surprise — shaped like the state of Texas and included a Texas flag and the UT tower.

The groom’s cake was a complete surprise — shaped like the state of Texas and included a Texas flag and the UT tower.

The wedding cake featured design elements from the bride’s dress.

The wedding cake featured design elements from the bride’s dress.

Longhorn chocolate-covered strawberries — a nod to the couple’s alma mater.

Longhorn chocolate-covered strawberries — a nod to the couple’s alma mater.

Personalized Hershey Kisses by the groom’s mother.

Personalized Hershey Kisses by the groom’s mother.

Signature drinks at the open bar included “Blushing Bride” (pink lemonade and vodka) and “Man & Wife Margaritas.”

Signature drinks at the open bar included “Blushing Bride” (pink lemonade and vodka) and “Man & Wife Margaritas.”

Centerpieces composed of Esperance roses, hydrangeas, and curly willow were featured on the tabletops sprinkled with Esperance rose petals.

Centerpieces composed of Esperance roses, hydrangeas, and curly willow were featured on the tabletops sprinkled with Esperance rose petals.

A proud father walks his beautiful daughter down the aisle.

A proud father walks his beautiful daughter down the aisle.

The groom awaits his bride. • Ecstatic, the newlyweds celebrate the anticipated words, “Mr. & Mrs. George Wesley Bily.”

The groom awaits his bride. • Ecstatic, the newlyweds celebrate the anticipated words, “Mr. & Mrs. George Wesley Bily.”

A special first dance as husband and wife.

A special first dance as husband and wife.

The getaway Rolls-Royce had “BILY” license plates.

The getaway Rolls-Royce had “BILY” license plates.

Whataburger bacon and egg taquitos were available to hungry guests as they exited.

Whataburger bacon and egg taquitos were available to hungry guests as they exited.

 

 

MEMORABLE WEDDINGS Danielle and Wes


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