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MEMORABLE WEDDINGS
Elizabeth & Nicholas


The smiling couple enjoyed a toast.

The smiling couple enjoyed a toast.

Photography by David Jones

Elizabeth Kruse had always wanted to be a dentist. This calling required more hours of study than she could have ever imagined and consumed nearly every waking moment. But she still found time to attend Sunday school classes… and that’s where she met Nicholas Shriver.

As Elizabeth devoted herself to a future of helping others achieve a great smile, Nicholas focused on lighting up Elizabeth’s own beautiful smile with a friendship, courtship and special proposal. What followed was a beautiful wedding and reception filled with love and laughter.

Elizabeth is a 2005 graduate of Memorial High School in Houston. She attended Texas A&M University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2009 with a B.A. in biology and minors in German and psychology. She received her D.D.S., Doctor of Dental Surgery on May 2013 from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston and is now a General Dentist.

Nick is a 2005 graduate of Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado and graduated in 2008 with a B.B.A. in finance. He currently works for Shell Oil Company in Houston.

 

First Date

The couple met at a singles Sunday school class at Houston’s First Baptist Church. The class had multiple round tables, and both Elizabeth and Nick just happened to sit at the same table the first day Elizabeth visited. Nick had attended First Baptist for a year and also led a weekly Thursday night Bible study, which Elizabeth joined. “It’s funny looking back now, because he was teaching ‘the love chapter,’ 1 Corinthians 13,” says Elizabeth.

Apparently “the love chapter” sparked a mutual interest, because they enjoyed dinner at Zelko Bistro in the Heights and continued the conversation over hot green tea at Te House of Tea in Montrose. This first date merged two of Elizabeth’s favorite interests, although Nick didn’t know it at the time: southern food with a twist and sipping hot tea.

That night they learned they were born three days apart in the same year, she in Texas and he in Colorado. They also traded several “twin stories,” because she has a twin brother, Robert, and Nick has two younger identical twin sisters, Kaitlyn and Kristina. “No wonder we felt like we understood each other so well!” notes Elizabeth.

 

Courtship

Not only did Elizabeth and Nick become the best of friends through ongoing Sunday School classes, Bible study, and class socials, but became an official couple about seven months after meeting. They dated for a year and eight months, all while Elizabeth was in dental school. As one might imagine, her studies consumed a great deal of her schedule and left little time for anything else, but the two managed to spend as much time together as possible. Nick supported Elizabeth as she reached her professional goals.

 

Proposal & Engagement

One Saturday morning in March of 2013, Nick suggested they go on a bike ride in Hershey Park. Elizabeth didn’t think anything of it, because they liked to go on bike rides in different parks of Houston. The weather was perfect that day, and Hershey Park just happened to be the first place they ever rode together.

Elizabeth offered to pick up lunch on her way to his apartment, but Nick said not to worry about it. When she arrived, he surprised her with the announcement that he had prepared a homemade lunch. They rode for a while before finding the perfect spot off the trails beside the bayou, then enjoyed a picnic. After lunch, they packed up and Nick stowed everything away in his backpack.

As Elizabeth walked over to her bike, Nick quickly grabbed a red rose and the ring from his bag, then went down on one knee! “I was totally surprised at this outdoor proposal in perfect weather and the perfect location,” Elizabeth recalls. They couldn’t wait to get back to her parents’ house to share the happy news. Later that night they went back to Zelko Bistro for dinner where they had experienced their first date. They even had the same waiter!

Their engagement party was held in Colorado to celebrate the wonderful event with Nick’s family and Elizabeth’s parents. Then came the wedding planning, which was shaping up to be quite spectacular and included special nods to Elizabeth’s childhood church.

From the time she was 7 years old, Elizabeth had attended Chapelwood United Methodist Church. It was important to her that Dr. Jim Jackson, Senior Pastor of Chapelwood, officiate at the November 23, 2013 wedding. “It’s exciting that the same pastor who confirmed me also married me. He retired May 2014, so that makes it even more special,” she says.

 

The Wedding

Elizabeth envisioned a traditional, elegant all-white theme. “Our favorite colors are white and blue, so navy was also an inspiration in bridesmaid’s dresses,” she says.

Attire: The bride wore a couture gown designed by Judd Waddell. The strapless fit and flare gown of delicate French Chantilly lace featured a draped bodice and sweetheart neckline, with Alencon lace appliques on the soft tulle overlay. A beaded, silk satin ribbon sash accented the natural waist and the soft skirt fell gracefully into a chapel length train. For her “something old,” she wore the same earrings she had worn on her older brother’s wedding day. The “something new” were her shoes and wedding dress. Her “something blue” was an embroidery of her new married name in her dress. The bridesmaids wore long navy V-neck taffeta gowns with asymmetrical draped bodices designed by Monique Lhuillier.

The groom dressed in Brooks Brothers. “I wanted to make sure Nick looked good and felt confident on our big day, and so we decided on a black tuxedo,” says the bride. Groomsmen wore black tuxes from the Men’s Wearhouse.

Floral: The bridal bouquet was comprised of hand-tied white hydrangea, stock, lisianthus, polo and vendela roses, spray roses and white freesia with greenery at the bottom, tied with light ivory ribbon. Bridesmaids carried large, hand-tied bouquets of white hydrangea, ivory roses and spray roses with white stock tied with navy ribbon. The groom’s boutonniere was of double freesia (no green tail). Groomsmen boutonnieres were of white rose and stems wrapped with black ribbon with a twist.

The sanctuary was resplendent in white rose petals trailing down the aisle. At the altar was a large arrangement, two candelabras and a unity candle.

The Wedding Party: Parents of the groom, Laurie and Steve Shriver, joined parents of the bride, Gayle and Layne Kruse, in witnessing the union of their children. Sisters of the bride, Kristin Kruse and Katherine Kruse, served as maids of honor. Bridesmaids included sister-in-law Claire Kruse and sisters of the groom, Kristina Shriver and Kaitlyn Shriver. Friends of the bride, Christine Clark and Allison Hanks, also served.

The best man was Al Pipkins, friend of the groom. Groomsmen included brothers of the bride John Kruse and Robert Kruse, plus friends of the groom Warren Alexander, Michael Planer, and Jeff Brandt.

Top Wedding Moments: The bride and groom didn’t want to see each other before the wedding, although it was hard for them to wait all day. They had about five minutes to talk on the phone in the midst of all the busy preparations. Just prior to putting on her wedding gown, the bride took time to read a special note from her mother that shared how excited she was on her daughter’s big day. Then she read a sweet letter from her groom before she walked down the aisle. “We decided to exchange letters before the wedding as our gifts to each other. Words are more powerful than any other kind of gift. It was such a sweet note,” says the bride.

The couple consider the walk down the aisle as their “top wedding moment.” The bride only had eyes for her groom, and neither of them could stop smiling. “We were both just so overwhelmed with joy, and it never crossed my mind to look around at family and friends,” she says of the eye-locking moment.

The bride’s father escorted her and was also part of the ceremony. “Both my parents were my Sunday school teachers and have made a spiritual impact on me, so it was special to have my dad read the scripture,” Elizabeth explains.

 

The Reception

The reception was held at the Junior League of Houston. On the front entrance was a floral display of carnations, shaped in the initial “S.” The cake was displayed prominently at the entrance to the ballroom and made a definite statement. The Junior League is known for making amazing cranberry slushes, which were passed out along with wine and hors d’oeuvres before the couple made their entrance… so everyone was primed and ready to have a great time!

The couple felt an incredible amount of energy as they entered the room, filled with many friends and family members who had known them for nearly their entire lives. They felt so loved by all who had witnessed their growing relationship. “We couldn’t stop smiling. We were so happy, and it felt almost surreal,” says the bride.

Elizabeth and Nick had always loved to dance while dating, and felt that their first dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra was one of those special moments. “It really hit us that we were at our own wedding,” notes the bride. “We could have danced all night!” Their large group of mutual friends from church also had a good time.

The father/daughter dance was “My Girl” by The Temptations. The mother/son dance was “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by James Taylor. Everyone worked up an appetite on the dance floor to the music of The Pictures Band. The mashed potato bar offered many different ingredients to whet appetites. “Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite foods, so it was a must,” notes the bride. “We also made sure to have Nick’s favorite vegetable, asparagus, at our reception.”

The Cakes: The wedding cake was designed by Marlene Romero in four tiers flavored in Amaretto and decorated with stunning white flowers. The topper included roses, freesia and spray roses. The two-tiered groom’s cake was chocolate with chocolate-dipped strawberries and intricate icing. It was decorated with an “S” initial for Shriver on the top tier. “It’s for sure one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted,” adds the bride.

The Departure: Guests tossed white rose petals as the newlyweds made their exit from the reception. They departed in a white 1965 Rolls Royce.

The Honeymoon: The couple flew out of Houston the day after the wedding for a seven-day honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii.

Elizabeth leans against the front door of the Junior League for her wedding portrait.

Elizabeth leans against the front door of the Junior League for her wedding portrait.

Mom Gayle and sisters Kristin and Katherine helped the bride get dressed.

Mom Gayle and sisters Kristin and Katherine helped the bride get dressed.

 A happy group of wedding attendants.

A happy group of wedding attendants.

The getaway car included a Shriver Detail in front.

The getaway car included a Shriver Detail in front.

Elizabeth reads a sweet note from Nick just before walking down the aisle.

Elizabeth reads a sweet note from Nick just before walking down the aisle.

The bride’s lovely dress hung over the front door of the church on a custom “Mrs. Shriver” hanger.

The bride’s lovely dress hung over the front door of the church on a custom “Mrs. Shriver” hanger.

Something blue:  The bride’s new name and wedding date were monogrammed onto fabric and sewn into her wedding dress.

Something blue: The bride’s new name and wedding date were monogrammed onto fabric and sewn into her wedding dress.

It took a while for the mother of the bride to button the gown!

It took a while for the mother of the bride to button the gown!

The bride reads a special note from her mother prior to dressing in her gown.

The bride reads a special note from her mother prior to dressing in her gown.

The bride's engagement ring rests on top of the groom's wedding band.

The bride’s engagement ring rests on top of the groom’s wedding band.

As she walked down the aisle with her father, the bride only had eyes for her groom.

As she walked down the aisle with her father, the bride only had eyes for her groom.

Amidst all the excitement, father and daughter share a tender moment.

Amidst all the excitement, father and daughter share a tender moment.

he church program looked very similar to the wedding invitations.

he church program looked very similar to the wedding invitations.

The newlyweds search for two perfect strawberries to share.

The newlyweds search for two perfect strawberries to share.

Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres were sampled by guests — as well as the bride and groom before they made their entrance at the reception.

Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres were sampled by guests — as well as the bride and groom before they made their entrance at the reception.

The magnificent wedding cake was stationed at the entrance to the ballroom.

The magnificent wedding cake was stationed at the entrance to the ballroom.

The mashed potato bar was a hit!

The mashed potato bar was a hit!

Guests thoroughly enjoyed the Junior League’s well-known cranberry slushes.

Guests thoroughly enjoyed the Junior League’s well-known cranberry slushes.

The brand new husband and wife pose before the reception.

The brand new husband and wife pose before the reception.

Father and daughter danced to “My Girl” by The Temptations.

Father and daughter danced to “My Girl” by The Temptations.

The groom twirled his mother to “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” by James Taylor.

The groom twirled his mother to “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” by James Taylor.

Church friends weren’t shy on the dance floor.

Church friends weren’t shy on the dance floor.

The newlyweds danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra.

The newlyweds danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra.


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