“We chose the back yard of our home because we love to have dinner parties all year round,” said Lillian Henny, a family law attorney who chose to use her own green grass as the reception location for her wedding reception with Edwin Alexander to use an expert in medical research. “I lived in my wedding venue, so I would go out into the back yard every afternoon and try to imagine the guests’ experience.”
The couple said, “I’m doing” at the Clayton Library Center for Family History Research not far from their home in Houston, Texas. They then invited their 213 guests to their mid-century-style home for a tented reception filled with a meal of seasoned lamb and French 75s. The entire celebration was a black tie. The guests showed themselves in their best formal attire and the couple themselves in a beaded gown and a double-breasted ivory tuxedo. “I wanted the wedding to feel like a vintage dinner party under the stars,” says Lillian of the party, which was reminiscent of Golden Age films like “Sabrina”.
To help her with this, she worked with D Concierge Events’ event planner Daryl Wilson, who made her visions a reality. This included decorating the tent’s ceiling with thousands of warm amber lights and more wrapping around a large tree in the back yard. The end result exuded sophistication but also felt at home to the couple, who say they loved that their guests filled their home with good wishes for the future.
Read on to find out all the details of the couple’s home wedding, planned by D Concierge Events and photographed by Stephania Campos.
MemoryLane Paperie designed the couple’s stationery, including the ivory and gold square invitations.
Lillian’s favorite aspect of her Demetrios dress was the long, beaded cloak. In fact, it was the design element that proved it was “The One” when she went shopping for clothes with her mother.
Lillian designed her cascading bouquet out of ivory orchids and roses.
Lillian’s mother spent some private moments with her daughter before the day’s celebrations began.
Since the wedding was in November, Lillian opted for emerald-colored dresses for her eight bridesmaids. The dresses were all from Jenny Yoo, but had slight variations to reflect each woman’s personality.
Lillian paired her dress with a cathedral-length veil that she borrowed from a dear college friend.
“Make sure the overall vision is personal and reflects your personality,” Lillian says about the day, including involving your close friends and family.
The flower girl wore a traditional white dress with a matching headband and a white basket full of petals.
The bridesmaids each wore a handful of sand- and peach-colored long-stemmed roses.
Edwin loves a double-breasted jacket, so he worked with the Well Groomed Man team on a bespoke three-piece suit. He added monogrammed cufflinks and a black bow tie.
His groomsmen also wore bespoke Well Groomed Man suits, which were all black for the groom’s look.
Lillian and Edwin’s wedding rings were designed by Wolf Diamonds, a local Houston jewelry store.
Edwin gave each of his seven groomsmen monogrammed cufflinks as a “thank you” for standing by their side.
Our first look was fun! We even snuck in at Wing Stop and ate. It was fun laughing and trying to eat wings without getting it on our white wedding attire.
“Our first look was fun,” says Lillian. “We even snuck up to Wing Stop and ate. It was fun laughing and trying to eat wings without getting it on our white wedding attire. ”
“We could laugh and look forward to the day and we were really upset,” says Lillian about the time together before the ceremony.
It was no surprise that the couple would take vows in Houston. Not only do they live there, but they met there through a mutual friend five years ago. Edwin also suggested going to a local rooftop bar where they had shared their first kiss.
The couple loved the character of the Clayton Library Center for genealogical research, but chose it as a nod to Edwin’s love of research. Plus, Lillian says, it was close to home, which means they could pick up another festive tradition after the ceremony.
Large arrangements flanked the main door of the venue, which served as the backdrop for the ceremony. The guests sat on mahogany chairs across from the stately building.
Edwin made his own grand entrance at the beginning of the ceremony, followed by the flower girl, her grandparents and parents.
Lillian came to the ceremony in a vintage car next to her father, who was wearing a top hat and formal white gloves.
He accompanied her down the aisle to Frank Ocean’s cover of “Moon River” and continued to remind her of the vintage atmosphere.
“The ceremony had a beautiful red brick facade and the pillars on the front door were perfectly Mediterranean and royal,” says Lillian of the venue.
The couple exchanged their own vows during the ceremony.
Of course, the newlyweds sealed the ceremony with a solemn first kiss.
Immediately after the recession, a marching band started the couple’s second parade to honor southern tradition.
The bridal couple and their guests marched along the sidewalk with much fanfare and cheers.
In 20 years from now, I want our kids to look at the pictures and know that the wedding day was a picture of how we love our family.
“In 20 years, I want our kids to look at the pictures and know that the wedding day was a picture of how we love our family and what details are having a fun time,” says Lillian.
The guests entered the reception through the couple’s house, which contained a guest book and amenities like a blanket basket for the cool autumn air at the entrance.
The reception took place under a tent in the couple’s back yard. Lillian really wanted the decor to feel sophisticated and classic, so her planning team put long tables on sand-colored tapered candles in vintage holders and low rose arrangements. Each table contained amber acrylic chairs, reminiscent of the amber twinkling lights from the ceiling of the see-through tent. “It made the tent so romantic,” says Lillian.
The place setting consisted of vintage-inspired porcelain and purple glassware, as well as gold cutlery and menus that had a custom wax seal. In between the arrangements lay loose pears, a last-minute DIY project by the bride to “add more autumn flair”.
While the guests enjoyed cocktails, Lillian and Edwin took a quick look into the reception tent. Lillian was particularly pleased with the black and white dance floor with crystal chandeliers, another nod to vintage dinner parties.
The newlyweds entered the tent with their hundreds of guests and went straight to their first dance. The song was “Lady” by Teddy Pendergrass.
During our first dance, it felt like the world had stopped. It was like we were all alone, just dancing in our back yard.
“During our first dance, it felt like the world had stopped,” says Lillian. “It was like we were all alone and just dancing in our back yard.”
Lillian also grooved with her dad to Earth Wind and Fire’s “Way of the World,” and while it’s not shown here, Edwin and his mom danced to Kayne West’s “Hey Momma”.
The couple also rolled in a bar cart filled with couple glasses for a champagne tower.
The couple’s quaint wedding cake, wrapped in sugar flowers, was designed by CBV Cake Design in Houston.
Inside, the couple cut into a French vanilla cake.
“We loved the lights, the sunset and the transformation of our back yard,” says Lillian of the day.
After a lot of dancing thanks to DJ Shantè, the couple went on a 30-day honeymoon with various stops around the world. They started in Thailand with a few days in Phuket and ended in Amsterdam with stays in Milan, Paris and Marrakech. “We planned the honeymoon just as vigorously as the wedding,” says Lillian.