McLean and Mary-Moore married at the Church of the Apostles in Houston, Texas, followed by a reception at Ecclesia Church. The simply decorated venues allowed Mary-Moore’s artistic flourishes to be set free. With the help of her talented artist mother, Tricia Lowenfield, and their artistically-inclined family, Mary-Moore was able to create a beautifully personalized celebration with unique and special details. / Images by Chelsea Renee Photography.
Says Mary-Moore, “Being an artist and coming from a family of artists, I very much wanted to have my own artistic style and personality reflected in every aspect of my wedding. The simple spaces we chose for the venue allowed my artwork to shine.
I designed the outfits for the flower girls and ringbearer, and my mom was able to bring them to life in the dreamiest way. The girls wore hand-smocked dresses with needlepointed sashes on their aprons. The ringbearer wore lederhosen-style shorts with attached braces, which also featured needlepoint to match the girls. The girls wore flower wreaths that matched my bouquet, and the ringbearer carried a wicker backpack picnic basket filled with red roses. Instead of dropping petals, the girls handed a red rose to each person sitting in the aisle.
I majored in Children’s Book Illustration at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and I wanted to make my invitation like a storybook. It featured 8 pages of illustrations, telling our story from childhood to the present. Guests still comment that they have kept their copy of my invitation. To keep the story going, our wedding program from the day itself looked like an old-fashioned Golden Book. Each page was illustrated with the faces of our wedding party, the order of service, and our favorite hymns being sung at the wedding. On the very last page of the program was our new address in Massachusetts, where we moved the following week. This communicated to our guests that the program was a special keepsake for them to take home, which was ultimately what I wanted!
Favorite memories? I loved seeing McLean waiting for me at the end of the aisle, with sunburned cheeks from playing Ultimate Frisbee with his groomsmen earlier in the day, and knowing that this beautiful moment had finally come. Two of our good friends played some of our favorite songs on their guitar and violin. My dad helped officiate the wedding.
Tell us about your wedding dress. I had seen the dress in an ad for Delphine Manivet five years before I ever got engaged. I had saved the advertisement, and was lucky enough to find it so many years later. It was the Calais top and Armand skirt, loose and flowy at the top with a ruffled neckline, and a large skirt that swung as walked. It had a flat high waistband with drop pleats on the skirt, and hit right at my ankles, which made it the perfect skating skirt! I couldn’t believe a dress that I had seen so many years before was what I got to wear to get married in! It so uniquely fit my style.
The table settings were a highlight for me as well– we ordered Kravet fabric and paper plates from Caspari that looked like fine china. This gave an elegant feel to the room, and people were surprised when they discovered they were paper plates! In the center of each table was a silver Revere bowl filled with blue and white hydrangeas and red strawberries. We made lifesize paper flowers the both hung from the ceiling, and stood high out of wooden barrels on the ground. This helped bring the storybook feel of the wedding to life.
Both churches were sentimental and special to me as I attended each one at different times while I lived in Houston. The simplicity of both church spaces allowed us to use our own touches. At the ceremony, we were able to add lanterns and fresh flowers (real strawberries in each bouquet!) and candles. Our reception venue had brick walls and concrete floors with scaffolding overhead (somewhat industrial) which allowed us to hang huge paper flowers, paper flower wreaths, and papier-mâché strawberries. The concrete floors were perfect for our entrance on rollerblades. The space was so large and movable that we were able to create venues for a seated dinner, venues with sofas for conversation, an ice cream cabana station, an old fashioned photo booth with a hanging moon, and a lit-up sign that featured both of our names hanging above the DJ’s table. I created the signs for each station with fabric cut out in my own lettering design.
We wanted to surprise our families with our favorite pastime of skating, so we secretly planned a rollerblading first dance. We choreographed the dance several weeks ahead of time on rollerblades, and didn’t tell anyone until the day before, when we had to tell the Best Man and Maids of Honor so that they could ensure we had our rollerblades waiting for us in the car. Guests were shocked and delighted to see us ‘roll’ in when the DJ announced the happy couple, and our song began right away!
Our cake station featured 11 two-layer white cakes from Moeller’s Bakery, a famous Houston landmark and its oldest family-owned bakery. We chose simple white cakes because we wanted to decorate them with handmade ceramic cake toppers that were made to look like us and handpainted by my mom. Other cakes were decorated with handmade cookies that were painted with our monogram, guitars for McLean, strawberries and robins for Mary Moore, and skates for the both of us.
I had seen a vintage black and white photo of a school dance from the 1920s in New England where the couples sat on a hanging moon. I very much wanted that to be our photo booth, so my mom and created the moon and backdrop out of wood and fabric. Everyone loved it!
Advice? Let your own personality be reflected in your wedding.
Photographer: Chelsea Renee Photography | Ceremony Venue: Church of the Apostles, Houston | Reception Venue: Ecclesia Church | Event Design: Stirabout Studio (Mary Moore Rabb), Tricia Lowenfield Design | Florist: family friend | Wedding Gown: Delphine Manivet | Groom’s Attire: J. Crew | Bride’s Jewelry: earrings from a local jeweler in Florence, Italy; bracelet that belonged to my grandmother | Bridesmaids’ attire: Garnet Hill (Franconia, NH) | Wedding Stationery: Stirabout Studio (Mary Moore Rabb) | Cake: Moeller’s Bakery | Caterer: our favorite local Mexican restaurant