Houston is a big city. That might sound like a no-brainer for those of you familiar with that area of Texas or Texas in general. But myself, being a lifelong Texas native greatly underestimated how big it is and am suprised with every visit. I heard HTX described as the LA of Texas. I wouldn't know how true that statement is, because I've never been to LA. Nonetheless, Houston is BIG and it's easy to get lost in the plethora of people making it that much more delightful to have crossed paths with Hannah and Phil and the story that brought them to their wedding day at Tiny Boxwood.
Their story begins on the opposite side of the planet, far away from Houston, Texas. Both of them were English teachers. Phil in Cambodia and Hannah in China. The company they worked for forbade overseas relationships but Phil couldn't help himself when he saw Hannah and a multiday convention hosted by their company. A friendship began and blossomed over miles and miles until the time came where their relationship crossed the border of platornic to romantic.
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At last, the wedding day arrived and they were at the threshold of togetherness after the long days of being apart. Hannah and Phil had chose to do a private first look. Navigating that at a public restaurant and curious family members was tricky but we managed to adhere to their request. Phil was overwhelmed with emotion seeing his bride for the first time that day in a white gown.
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As the sun began to set over Tiny Boxwoods, and as we wrapped up wedding party group shots the preparation for the ceremony began to take place. Hannah and Phil, surrounded by their closest family and friends committed their live to one another before God and everyone present. So much could be said about how perfect the ceremony was. Phil kept stealing little glances of his unaware Hannah throughout the ceremony. I could hardly keep it to myself, with each glance he took wondering if anyone else caught how precious the moment was!
Hannah and Phil's reception followed with a delicious dinner and hors d'oeuvres catered by Tiny Boxwood of course. Speeches and toasts were given in honor of the newlyweds. One in particular had Hannah in tears as she listen to her father talk about the memories he had of her as a little girl. Turning over his trust to Phil to protect, love and support her in his absence. This promise Phil would uphold right after cutting the cake...
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To commemorate Hannah's Chinese heritage, Hannah changed into a beautiful red Qipao (traditional Chinese wedding dress) and then began the Chinese tea ceremony. Chinese tea ceremonies symbolize the union of the two families. Tea is served to the parents and in-laws of the couple by the couple. Hannah familiar with her own family tradition and Mandarin executed the ceremony seamlessly. Phil, had a bit of trouble but his efforts and antics were lighthearted and honest and had the everyone in attendance chuckling as he fumbled through Mandarin.
Phil and Hannah are one of the most pure couples I've ever photographed. And I seriously mean that with every fiber of my being. The way Phil looks at Hannah is the way someone looks at a butterfly that landed upon their shoulder. A twinkle of disbelief that this is their reality, responding with seemingly new found permission to hold and touch one another and each touch ignites a spark too overwhelming to just dive right into. The love they share is a flame, precious and sacred
Phil and Hannah are one of the most pure couples I've ever photographed.
May Hannah and Phil never loose the excitment of young love. May it grow deeper roots through the ups and downs life brings and with each passing year grow fuller and richer.