There’s something about small, intimate weddings that speak so closely to my heart — it somehow seems to heighten the sense of love between the pair of newlyweds. Houston photographer Taylor Lord captured Laura and Ryan’s wedding at Rainbow Lodge, a venue that suited their needs to a T — and all done with a budget of under $6,000! We loved seeing how the planning of this wedding turned into a touching tribute to not only the newlyweds, but also the bride’s sweet mother.

newlyweds on balcony
newlyweds on balcony

champagne wedding shoes

Texas lodge wedding pink wedding hair accessory

bride getting ready

From the bride, Laura: I always envisioned a smaller, intimate wedding – quality over quantity. Since my wedding day came together in approximately 2 months (due to rushing up the date in response to my late mother’s cancer diagnosis) and priorities changed we really “trimmed the fat”, so to speak. Well before the theme or feel for the wedding day was determined I had FALLEN IN LOVE WITH the Crepe de Chine column gown from BHLDN. I discovered BHLDN months before its first boutique opened (lucky for me it was in Houston!) and immediately was obsessed with the dress. It was made for me!

ceremony altar backdrop

Texas lodge wedding venue

pink protea wedding bouquets

I determined the wedding colors according to the dress and coincidentally the era I would harken, in line with the honeymoon I was planning that was inspired by an old Meryl Streep movie, “Out of Africa”. In the hurry that we were in we fell in love with and committed to “the Rainbow Lodge” restaurant with its trophy heads and fireplaces (extremely intimate setting) and GORGEOUS 3-tier wood deck overlooking the wooded creek in the back. I imagined an “Out of Africa” era garden party that was accessorized with the outdoorsman/safari/hunting elements of the lodge – tres chic. The day of the wedding; however, it was raining cats and dogs – so the event got moved inside which worked out wonderfully because it kept everyone close and cozy – very personal!

small wedding in Texas

indoor lodge ceremonies

The MOST IMPORTANT THING to me and this wedding was that it was SO MUCH MORE than a wedding. It was about life and family and love. It was a lot about my Mom, my late mother. She was a beautiful woman and and I thank God that we made that day happen before he called her home and that she could see me married to the most wonderful man in the world. It was an emotional day on so many levels and many family and friends came in for the wedding and also to “see” my mom, if you know what I mean. Time was precious and everyone knew that so that made the day a little more enchanting if you will, more magical, more sentimental. My mother never saw the finished wedding pictures by Taylor Lord, but I know she would have gushed over them and been thrilled that Ruffled is featuring our special day.

indoor lodge ceremony

Houston lodge wedding

I would also like to elaborate that my Husband, Ryan, is my best friend and he has been an angel – through it all. Planning a wedding can be stressful in the most ideal situations but add to that that both of us had extremely demanding careers, we had limited money for a rushed wedding to put together in 2 months and that my mother, my best friend, guidance counselor, decorating-advice-giving, fun loving mom was too sick to participate like she wanted to, like I wanted and needed her to. I am so lucky to have had the relentless support of my thankfully easy-going husband.

bride and groom fashion

wedding family portrait idea

just married bunting signs

moss wedding centerpieces

The theme would be “Out of Africa” garden party-esqe… our colors were champagne, peach, mauve, plum, blush, etc. I wasn’t married to anything and didn’t tell my Maid of honor what to wear. There were several DIY projects involved. In a nut shell – My Mom and sister and I spent the next several weeks creating lots of pennant garland out of photo album paper and twine from Hobby Lobby, hand-written seat cards from colored index paper and album paper scraps, and mini glass succulent terrariums as wedding favors for the guests. We purchased the glass terrariums online and hand planted mini gravel, succulent soil, sand and a variety of plants in each one. It was time consuming but very rewarding. They were precious. Each terrarium had a hand written name tag on it, designating peoples places at the dinner table. The pennant garland was my favorite. We made enough to string along all the three tiers of railings on Rainbow Lodges back deck but as the wedding was moved inside due to rain, it hung from the beams in the Trophy Room. It was so sweet!

groom kissing bride

triangle multicolored bunting

botanical wedding table

indoor lodge receptions

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Let your friends help, do what YOU want, not what others think you want, DON’T WORRY so much about the guest list!!! If everyone can’t be invited – so be it, your friends will understand.

sparkler reception getaway

car reception getaway

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Processional: “Fix You,” Coldplay
Recessional: “Strawberry Swing,” Coldplay
First Dance: “You are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne

Wedding Location: Houston, TX / Wedding Photographer: Taylor Lord / Wedding Venue and Caterer: Rainbow Lodge / Wedding Planner: Sonya Moore Design / Wedding Flowers: Central Market / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Wedding Shoes: Pelle Moda / Hair, Makeup and Fascinator: Theresa Cooper / Groom’s Suit: Men’s Warehouse / DJ: DeeJayStatuS / Wedding Cake: Jaclyn Wolfe / Wedding Invitations: Made by bride and bride’s family