MEMORABLE WEDDINGS –
Jennifer & James
Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Casey Chateauvert of Endless Exposures
From the moment they met, Jennifer Martin and James Gibb just “clicked.” Her passion is art, his are cooking and gardening, so it was no wonder that the couple chose River Oaks Garden Club as a picture-perfect backdrop for their nuptials on April 11, 2015.
Jennifer attended Memorial High School and Southwestern University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art history with a minor in studio art, and she is an art teacher at Gentry Junior High School. James graduated from Spring Woods High School and is a FedEx employee by day and an aspiring chef by night. They very much enjoy being married and living in Idylwood, a small neighborhood on the east side of Downtown Houston.
Meeting And First Date
Jennifer and James met by chance in 2010 at Cecil’s Pub in Montrose and discovered that they had grown up only a few miles apart in Spring Branch, but did not meet until she was 23 and he was 29! “How amazing that someone so special could have been so close to me for so long, and I never knew it,” says Jennifer. After talking five hours, they arranged another get-together at Cecil’s. Their first official date, however, was a delicious meal that James prepared for Jennifer at his home.
Jennifer and James introduced one another to their families within weeks of their first meeting and attended a few family weddings in New Orleans and Chicago. Then it was on to house hunting, and they purchased a home in Idylwood in 2013. James settled in by working on the lawn and growing vegetables, herbs and peppers. Jennifer kept busy with art, craft and DIY projects. She also tended to their two dogs, Emma and Sloan, and a cat named Bug. Soon they were making plans to formalize their perfect little family.
In December shortly after purchasing their home, Jennifer was making dinner and was handling raw chicken. James began telling her how much he loved her and how happy he was. Jennifer rolled her eyes and asked if he was going to propose, not realizing that was exactly what he had planned. She spotted something in his pocket, which turned out to be a ring box. James dropped to one knee in the kitchen and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. Of course she said yes… but the ring box was lighted and for a moment she panicked, thinking he had bought her a ring with an LED light instead of a diamond!
Jennifer’s brother was visiting and was able to participate in their special evening. Jennifer is especially grateful that he was able to witness their love story before he passed away the following June.
The couple was engaged for about 15 months before taking their vows. The focus, of course, was the wedding planning, all of which they did together. Jennifer’s background in art and design was a tremendous help, and they enjoyed creating many of the decorative touches by hand for the ceremony and reception.
Their amazing couples shower centered around kitchen essentials and included a chef’s dinner. Their rehearsal was held at the Printing Museum, a venue dedicated to print history, communication and art.
In keeping with the venue, the bride envisioned a simple, but elegant, garden theme while honoring her Texas roots. The couple focused on different shades of white, soft pinks, peaches, oranges and greens.
Bridal Party: Minister David Johnson officiated as parents of the bride, Michael and Hyla Martin, and parents of the groom, Alex and Mary Gibb, witnessed their children uniting in matrimony. Erica Post Rogers and Kelly Kubik served as maids of honor. Stephanie Stayer and Jessi Goodwin served as bridesmaids. Alex Gibb served as best man. James Stanley, Jay Malonestein and Scott Zeck served as groomsmen.
Attire: The bride wore a short, simple veil to complement her Watters ivory silk organza and chiffon gown with a sweetheart neckline, an A-line silhouette and an ivory satin sash. Her M. L. Leddy cowgirl boots were custom-made in tan calf skin with two-tone turquoise. Her “something old” was her mother-in-law’s garter (previously worn by her grandmother-in-law). Her “something new” was a blue heart cut from one of her brother’s favorite shirts and sewn into the lining of her gown. Her “something borrowed” were two small picture frames borrowed from her paternal grandmother, which were attached to her bouquet. One held a picture of her brother and the other a picture of her paternal grandfather. Her wedding band was made by a family jeweler from a pendant necklace that her grandmother gave her the Christmas after her grandfather passed away, and included an emerald in addition to two diamonds from her father’s wedding band that no longer fit him. She and her mother also wore an infinity symbol holding her brother’s ashes.
Bridesmaids wore Donna Morgan soft nude, pink chiffon knee-length dresses in the style they preferred, paired with cowgirl boots. The groom wore a charcoal grey suit and a light blue gingham button-down shirt with French cuffs, round silver cufflinks with the silhouette of the state of Texas engraved, and a tie handmade by the bride’s cousin (and bridesmaid). His black boots were made of ostrich. A gun tie pin that belonged to his father was attached to his tie. Groomsmen wore charcoal grey suits, white button-down shirts, and handmade ties that matched the groom’s. The father of the bride wore a handmade bow tie.
Floral and Décor: Azaleas were in full bloom and provided a gorgeous backdrop to celebrate the occasion. Custom touches filled the garden. Succulents were planted in wine boxes and placed throughout the venue. A vintage Jack Daniels Whiskey crate was filled with baby’s breath. An old window frame with chicken wire was placed on a memory table built by the bride’s great-grandfather. It displayed photos in honor of loved ones who had passed on, including the bride’s brother. Chalkboards were used for the wedding program and festive signage.
The bride’s bouquet included peonies, chrysanthemums, mums, ranunculus, dusty miller, hydrangeas, and baby’s breath in hues of peach, orange and soft pinks. Bridesmaid’s all-white bouquets included baby’s breath, hydrangeas and mums with minimal greenery. The groom’s boutonniere was a white peony with a single succulent. Groomsmen wore simple baby’s breath boutonnieres wrapped with twine.
Walk Down the Aisle: The bride’s incredibly fun family made funny faces as she was escorted down the aisle by her mother and father. Good friends sang songs that were special to her and her departed brother, and also played the acoustic guitar and violin. Seeing her groom for the first time that day just made her feel warm and fuzzy, and he had her laughing the second she reached the altar. The couple exchanged vows that they gave to each other before the ceremony via one of the maids of honor. In a light-hearted touch, “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen played as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife.
Top Wedding Moments: When the minister said “repeat after me,” the groom jumped the gun by saying, “I do!” Everyone cracked up, and the minister quipped, “He must be eager to marry her!” The wedding photographer, Casey Chateauvert, reminded them to take their time during their first kiss as husband and wife so she could capture the very special moment.
The couple took center stage dancing to “Grow Old with You” by Orthopilot, a selection inspired by their fondness for Adam Sandler in the movie The Wedding Singer. She danced with her father to “When You Need Me” by Bruce Springsteen. “My dad and I have a very special relationship, and the song encapsulates all that we mean to each other. I could not slow down that moment enough,” says the bride. The band Horizon played as guests two-stepped and danced to “Copperhead Road,” with the bride and bridesmaids in their cowgirl boots.
Floral and Décor: The bride loves making pottery and decorated tabletops with her own creations and single stems of flowers, as well as a variety of vases and boxes she had collected. Centerpieces were set atop simple white linens. A small photo book served as the guest book and was filled with images of the bride and groom through the years. Guests added their well wishes.
The Cake: The caterer cut and served a Tres Leches cake.
Top reception moment: The bride’s father had a dance-off with a relative who danced like a wild and crazy animal. The moment was filmed for all to see and confirmed just how much fun the families had celebrating the couple!
The Exit: It had threatened to rain all day, but there wasn’t a downpour until a horse-drawn carriage arrived to cart the couple around River Oaks. The canopy certainly came in handy by the time they arrived at Kirby Drive. Despite the weather, Mr. and Mrs. Gibb were just so happy to finally be married and to have had such an amazing day.
A trip to San Francisco had them exploring the city by foot and car. They drove up Highway 1 to Stinson Beach, then to Tomales Bay, and then to Sonoma where they spent a few days wine tasting and hiking at Jack London State Park. It was everything the perfect pair wanted out of a honeymoon.