Gabrielle and Vince first became friends at their small Catholic high school while planning a retreat together. At the time, Vince was preparing for Marian consecration and for Our Lady’s intercession in his life.
All along, Gabrielle just knew Vince was the George Bailey to her Mary, the man who would make her a wife. Patiently she waited, in friendship and in kindness, praying for Vince to realize the same. She asked him for guitar lessons, which led to a period of discernment and starlit walks, which led to Vince’s asking Gabrielle to make their relationship official.
By their senior year of college, Vince asked Gabrielle the same question--this time, for eternity. As they concluded St. Louis de Montfort’s Marian consecration a second time, he proposed on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
From the Bride: Our wedding day was large and lovely. We decided to get married at noon, to have our Mass with the sun shining and an early night for guests who traveled. Our wedding did not intentionally revolve around a theme other than our express desire to have a beautiful liturgy.
Everything was planned during our senior year of college. During exams I was trying on dresses; before class I was addressing invitations; in our college cafeteria we were choosing our wedding readings. It was chaotic and fun, and we enjoyed every minute of a very busy eight months.
Once I did find “the dress,” my Maid of Honor noticed it was made of alençon lace, which is a lace made mostly in Normandy, France. It’s a traditional material preserved in a large part by the craftsmanship work of Zelie Martin. Days after we were engaged, Zelie and her husband Louis were canonized in Rome. My Maid of honor attended the audience and prayed for us there. Throughout our engagement, and now our marriage, Vince and I often turn to Sts. Zelie and Louis as guides and patrons on this journey.
No amount of planning can prevent little hiccups. We had planned to have an hour of Adoration prior to our rehearsal, and only then did the stress and anticipation of what was happening the next day hit me. That evening, lightning and storms raged outside, flights were being cancelled, Vince was running late, and so were my parents and family. My bridesmaid and I stepped into the church at that point, where she comforted me and helped me practice walking down the aisle. This made the wedding appear a lot smaller: like something I could do, something I could accomplish with ease.
Inspired by our friends and college professors, we were married at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, where we’d become parishioners long before our engagement. It was Vince planned most of our Nuptial Mass. We saw the Mass as an opportunity to beautifully and intentionally show our families the beauty of the Catholic faith.
The liturgy was, for us, an intimate moment where as husband and wife we were welcomed into the sanctuary to consume the body of our Lord. We added a few personal touches to the Mass where we could: a small addition to the Commemoration of the Dead within the Liturgy of the Eucharist, for instance, helped us include all who were not present with us as part of the Liturgy. I carried my paternal great-grandmother’s rosary around my bouquet, and wore my maternal great-grandmother’s sapphire ring on my right hand. On the wedding day I didn’t get to spend much time with either of them, and these two pieces helped remind me they are by my side, maternally supporting me with the Blessed Mother. As a gift to us, Vince’s fellow altar servers from college served for our Mass. Our godparents were lectors.
The nuptial liturgy doesn't have a first kiss written in, and we hadn’t planned on what to do. Without thinking, during the Sign of Peace we kissed, as we do every Sunday. This was our first kiss as husband and wife.
My paternal family is Cajun Catholic, and slightly taken aback by the language, special prayers, and gestures within the Ordinariate Liturgy of Matrimony. Many of the prayers are said in Early Modern English (Elizabethan), and prayers from the Anglican Church are added to the liturgy to maintain tradition for those who have converted.
At the reception we featured a table with family wedding mementos, both from those still living and those no longer with us, celebrating the idea that Vince and I have now joined their ranks as members of a married tradition.
We chose to have a live band, which I can affirm was the greatest decision. The band, Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production, was versatile, talented, and fun. They easily filled up the dance floor moments after the meal.
Prior to our wedding, Vince was a best man at our close friends wedding. He concluded his toast with a Celtic Blessing toward the married couple. My father, unknowingly, spoke the same words on our wedding day in his the last and final toast as he asked friends and family to extend a blessing over us:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Thank you for everything, Dad.
The story of every wedding is the same story of salvation history: we have made one another family. This encourages daily sacrifice and patience, but also produces the greatest moments of joy and love I have ever felt. Do not be afraid of young marriage! God does provide.
Photographer's Business Name : Meagan McLendon Photography | Nupital Mass or Engagement Location: The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston, Texas | Wedding Reception Venue : Sugar Creek Country Club - Sugar Land, Texas | Band: Danny Ray and the Acoustic Production | Wedding Party Flowers: Nora Anne's Flower Shoppe | Wedding Gown: Ivory Bridal Atelier