Meghan & Scott
Text by Melanie Saxton / Photos by Morgan Lynn Photography
Score one point in the international romance department for University of Georgia sport scholarships. Meghan Gibbons — a young woman born and raised in The Woodlands — and Scott Alpine — a young man born and raised in New Zealand — met precisely because each ended up at the University of Georgia on such a scholarship. The rest is a happily-ever-after love story.
Meghan attended the John Cooper School and played on the first and only state championship soccer team at The Woodlands High School. She also grew up playing for the Challenge Soccer Club and is now one of its trainers. She earned a business degree in marketing with a soccer scholarship at University of Georgia and works in aviation sales at Flight Aware in Houston.
Scott Alpine attended St. Kentigern College in New Zealand and earned a degree in housing and consumer economics at University of Georgia while on a golf scholarship. He is a licensed pilot as well as a real estate agent at New Western Acquisitions in Houston.
This past May 30, they tied the knot at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, Robb Chapel, followed by a dream-come-true reception at Chandelier Grove, an exclusive 15-acre orchard in Tomball.
Introductions and First Date
Meghan and Scott had many mutual sports friends and were introduced the fall of 2010. They ran into each other at study halls and tutorials. The group of friends used “Hey Tell,” a popular voice messaging app, to stay in touch. Meghan and her friends loved listening to Scott’s adorable accent.
They eventually went on a casual first date at Mirko, an Italian restaurant in Athens, Georgia. From there it was “game on,” and the two became inseparable.
They dated for just over three years, making multiple trips home to Houston for the holidays and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They flew to New Zealand four times and also studied abroad together to earn college credits, visiting seven cities and four countries.
The couple also loved Georgia football games in the fall and sorority and fraternity date nights in the spring. Scott injured his leg and had to take a break from golf, and joined the club water polo team.
Scott had already moved to The Woodlands and was living with Meghan’s parents while she finished an internship in Atlanta. Meghan was supposed to drive straight back to Texas to join Scott, but he suggested they meet in New Orleans, a place he had never visited. They toured the French quarter, ate beignets and explored Bourbon Street. Scott made reservations at Doris Metropolitan Restaurant and planned to have a horse-drawn carriage drop them off at Jackson Square.
Unfortunately, what had been a beautiful sunny day in New Orleans turned into an drenching summer shower. In lieu of a carriage ride, they took a cab. Then it suddenly stopped raining. The tourists had cleared out due to the previous downpour, and the couple stood alone facing a church. Scott got down on one knee and proposed. “It was beautiful!” notes Meghan, who, of course, said yes.
They flew to Croatia after the proposal to meet Scott’s parents for an extended engagement celebration. They spent seven days on a boat, and Meghan studied wedding magazines while Scott helped with a complicated guest list involving nearly four dozen New Zealanders who would fly to Texas.
Scott began working that fall, and Meghan began working that spring, so they had ample free time for dedicated wedding planning.
The bride envisioned an elegant ceremony in the church and a rustic venue for the reception, both with an abundance of flowers. Pastor Mark Sorenson officiated as the parents of the bride, Jim and Melissa Gibbons, joined the parents of the groom, Dave and Deirdre McAlpine, watching the ceremony.
Attire: The bride’s Monique Lhuillier champagne silk beneath a white Chantilly lace overlay gown had a subtle sweetheart neckline and beaded appliques from the Bliss Spring 2015 Collection. The bottom was layered in kremlin fabric with horsehair trim. A Vera Wang veil with matching horsehair trim, a beaded belt, and a Jimmy Choo “Baxen” wedge peep toe pump in nude/gold completed the ensemble.
The “something old” was the white glove that the bride’s grandmother had worn on her own wedding day, pinned inside the bride’s gown. The “something new” was her gift from the groom — diamond earrings. The “something borrowed” was her mother’s diamond tennis bracelet.
Bridesmaids wore Monique Lhuillier long strapless dresses in chiffon with flower detail on the bodice and empire waist, custom made in the color Slate. They all wore Kendra Scott drop earrings and their own nude pumps or strappy heels.
The groom wore a charcoal suit and matching vest, Georgia bulldog socks, Allen Edmond “Strand” cap-toe oxfords and matching belt, and a purple and grey striped tie. Groomsmen wore Hugo Boss slim-fit charcoal wool suits, and the same socks and shoes as the groom, and matching belts and grey ties.
Bridal Party: Nicole Locandro and Kylie Cook served as maids of honor, with Sara Ellis, Emily Dunlap, Nikki Hill, Madeline Barker, Lauren Tanner and Sarah McAlpine serving as bridesmaids. Grayson Bullard was the flower girl.
Brian Carter and Sam Sherning served as best men, joined by groomsmen Wes Gibbons, Jacob Gibbons, T.J. Mitchell, Joey Garber, Jim Sheffield and Neil Wethington. Hudson Bullard was the ring bearer.
Floral and Décor: A Memorable Event decorated the church entrance with two large flower arrangements, and every other pew had flower arrangements with greenery. The bride favored white and purple hydrangeas, white peonies, white and purple freesia, white and purple lisianthus and white spray roses.
Top Wedding Moments: The couple opted not to do a “first look,” so the bride enjoyed seeing her groom’s expression as she headed toward the altar. “I think my dad and I must have both been a little nervous, because we walked very quickly down the aisle!” she says. They exchanged traditional vows, and the crowd cheered as they kissed.
J Low Events staged different elegant looks within the venue, changing them as events changed from cocktailing to dinner and to dancing, all done without guests noticing.
The event planner also worked with the couple to incorporate personal touches into their celebration, including a “Georgia Bulldog” on 14-foot ice bar with two shot luges on the end in the shapes of Texas and New Zealand. The groom’s love of candy and Moscow Mules (Australian ginger beer — his specialty drink) shone through, and the Moscow Mule mugs were engraved with the couple’s wedding monogram. A cigar bar offered handrolling on-site.
A custom backdrop photo booth displayed the wedding date and monogram. Music and dance floor items entertained guests, including purple, grey and white dancing sandals, blow up guitars, light-up tambourines and sunglasses.
Floral and Décor: The bride loved that there were flowers everywhere from floor to ceiling, accenting the old architecture and wooden beams of Chandelier Grove and flower chandelier above the dance floor. White snap dragons, white and purple stalk, sweet pea, vendella roses, white garden roses and Sterline roses were scattered throughout. The head table was covered with beautiful white lace and beaded linens with two charger plates, one clear with the rim covered in rhinestones/crystals, and one in silver with light silver designs around the edge. The menu sat on the charger wrapped in a purple napkin. The guest tables were decorated in matte silver linens and alternating centerpieces with high flower arrangements in silver holders and low arrangements surrounded by vintage candleholders. Everyone was seated on Chiavari chairs.
A chalkboard artist created all of the signs, and photos from the couple’s engagement served as the guest book, with blank spaces for signing names.
The Cakes: The white-on-white, six-layer wedding cake was iced in buttercream icing with purple and white flowers between the layers. The groom’s red velvet cake was shaped like New Zealand, draped with the country’s flag, and decorated with an airplane above his home town pointing towards the U.S. and flying a “Just Married” banner.
Top Reception Moments: After one lesson to learn a box step, the couple opted instead to “wing” their moves! Their first dance was to “Take the World” by Johnny Swim. The bride and her father danced to Tim McGraw’s, “My Little Girl.” The groom and his mother danced to “Stand by Me” by Ben E King. The band played great classics and everyone, including the groom’s grandfather, “got down!” The bridesmaids danced on stage and threw flower petals all over the dance floor! The bride and groom sang “Don’t Stop Believing” on stage with the band.
The couple also “Called the Dawgs” as is done at Georgia football games. The bouquet and garter toss were also entertaining. Waffle Bus and Oh My Gogi food trucks arrived on the lawn for late-night snacks.
The Exit: Mr. and Mrs. Alpine walked out through a sparkler tunnel and left in a classic Rolls Royce.
The well-traveled couple plan a belated 10-day Maldives honeymoon in spring 2016. They live in Houston’s museum district with Dakota, their German shorthaired pointer who appeared in some of the bridal photos and also in a picture frame displayed by the groom’s cake.