I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Katie and Mark were married at The Brownstone Reserve in Bryan, Texas. They said their vows in an outdoor ceremony against a rustic, stone backdrop and celebrated with a classic gold and white reception fully equipped with a Cuban cigar bar by El Cubano. We’re loving Katie’s gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown and all the white florals by Carter’s Florist of Conroe, Texas. And what would a classic wedding be without a tiered cake—or three?! Kimmiz Kreations created a lovely cake trio and Katie and Mark’s bliss is totally apparent as they’re captured cutting it as husband and wife. Below you can enjoy all the many lovely images of the day by Courtney Taylor Photography.

What made the wedding special and unique?

What made this wedding special and unique was really just the couple’s history. Knowing that they had known each other for that long and then capturing them finally tying the knot is what made it special. I (Courtney) met Katie when she was a bridesmaid in one of my other friend’s weddings that I captured in Colorado! I didn’t get to meet Mark that day, but I did meet Katie and when she got engaged and asked me to be her photographer I was thrilled because I already had some sort of connection to her and obviously we connected even closer right away!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it?

Monique Lhuillier is so elegant and classy and her gowns have a timeless effect on any wedding, but Katie’s was the most beautiful gown I’ve ever seen. It was a dusty blush strapless gown and for her tiny, petite figure, it looked absolutely stunning on her! Every piece of it fit perfectly to her. Katie had been in gown after gown after gown so she wanted something that made her feel like a BRIDE and not just like she was in another pageant. She is a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal so she wanted something that was simple and light and since it was 100% silk tulle with no boning, she fell in love with it. She bought the dress at Casa de Novia.

What were some touches to make the wedding personal?

As the photographer, I notice every little touch and every little decor feature at a wedding. A few things that stood out to me were the leaves with the names of the guests on them at their place settings. They were so delicate and I had never seen it before, so I loved that accent to go with the gold settings. Another thing I’ve never seen was a cigar roller. After the cake cutting, we all went outside and there was a guy rolling Cuban cigars and a top shelf tasting bar. It was so luxurious and so great because it was something fun that the guys (and a lot of ladies) were enjoying. A lot of the wedding is focused on the bride (just by default) so this was something special for her to do for her new husband!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

For Katie, the most memorable part of the wedding was seeing Mark as she was walking down the isle. I’m sure he’d say the same due to the tears that came out for a moment! Guys try so hard not to cry, but that is MY favorite part of capturing a wedding!

Tell us how you met and became engaged?

Mark asked Katie to be his girlfriend standing under a long row of pecan trees at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land, and this was only the beginning of many years to come. On and off they dated all throughout middle school, high school and college. After high school, Mark started to play baseball at Rice University in Houston, Texas and Katie went on to pursue beauty pageants where she won Miss Teen USA in 2006. After achieving her dream, she moved to New York where she lived in the Trump Tower and took on a position with the Miss Universe Organization. All throughout these changes, they stayed in touch, supporting each other and being as involved as they could, still not knowing where each others careers were going to take them.

After several years of living in Los Angeles, going to school, working, and reigning as Miss California USA, in 2011 Katie moved to Colorado where she could be closer to her family and continue her education. Mark had been playing professional baseball for years at this point, living in their hometown in the off season and continued to grow even closer to Katie’s family even for the years of time that passed while they were not dating. In 2012, Mark and Katie were reconnected through Katie’s sister and endless hours of conversation turned into something so beautiful and it was as if no time had ever passed between them.

On Valentine’s Day in 2013, Mark flew to Colorado to spend the weekend with Katie and when summer came, Katie decided to travel with Mark while he played baseball all around the country. She then ended up moving home to Houston to be with him throughout the following season. Mark proposed on December 19, 2015 on the San Antonio Riverwalk under the Christmas lights and when he got down on one knee, the only word that she could think of was “YES!”

Photographer: Courtney Taylor Photography // Event Planning and Coordination: Lauren Robinson-Sotomayer of Dearly Beloved Events // Florist: Carter’s Florist of Conroe, Texas // Venue: The Brownstone Reserve in Bryan, Texas // Hair/Makeup: Gaspar Cruz Cosmetics // Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Catering/Bar: Epicures Catering // Cake: Kimmiz Kreations // Cigar Rolling: El Cubano of Galveston, Texas // DJ: LiveWire // Strings: College Station String Quartet // Rentals: Events to Remember