Fashion / Weddings

High School Sweethearts Enjoy a Dream Wedding as Two of Houston’s Most Powerful Families Merge

photography Kelli Durham Photography

Houston Christian High School set the stage for high school sweethearts Holly Smith and Austin Alvis. During family travels to the Alvises’ Aspen home, an inseparable love was cemented.

“I remember them telling me, ‘If you’re going to be an Alvis one day, you must learn to ski with us’, so they got me private ski lessons,” Holly explains.

While college growing pains led to a hiatus in their evolving love story, the duo serves as testament that absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. Following years without each other, Austin (now a commercial real estate broker with his father’s company NewQuest Properties) proposed to Holly (a program manager for her family’s nonprofit, The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, the bride’s grandparents), at a picnic on Lovers Beach during an impromptu trip to Nevis Island.

The wedding was planned, to take place, naturally, at Houston Oaks Club (the groom’s parents, Steve and Marci Alvis, are partners in the country club with John and Terri Havens and Chuck and Kim Watson). A six-week tour of Europe followed, which included stops in Croatia, Greece and Turkey.

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The bride and her attendants

Date: May 30, 2015.
Venue: Houston Oaks Country Club, a family sports retreat on 900 acres of Texas countryside in Hockley.
Flowers: Bows and Arrows, Dallas.
Caterer: Houston Oaks.
Music: Jessie’s Girl, a seven-piece New York-based ’80s tribute band.
Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier from Casa de Novia.
Groom: Hugo Boss.
Photographer: Kelli Durham Photography.
Event Production: Emily Moise, Keely Thorne Events.

• Chapel: The couple wed in front a 15th-century chapel that was transported from France piece by piece, then reassembled at the club.


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  • Bering's Essentials

• Bride detail: The bride wore pearl-encrusted Rene Caovilla sandals gifted by her grandmother during a shopping date at Tootsies, ensuring she could comfortably dance all night.

• Fleurs: The unpredictability of nature inspired each floral arrangement, resulting in a luxurious mix of blooms. Floral artist Alicia Rico made sure no two arrangements were alike.

• Invitation: Papellerie created an invitation with an easy-going aura: “Southern Coat and Tie – flats and wedges welcome.”

• Dazzler: The bride’s ring was stored in a velvet box embossed with a gold A for Alvis, inside a second box labeled “The Mrs. Box.”

• Bridesmaids + groomsmen: Off-white gowns to complement sandals from Ancient Greek Sandals, and earrings gifted by the bride. Groomsmen wore gray spring suits, ivory ties and Texas cuff links — a gift from the groom.

• Reception: Blush organza draping and buff beaded chandeliers drifted from the ceiling of one white tent, while the other’s clear canopy was covered with just enough greenery to still reveal the Texas sky.

• Dinner: Houston Oaks provided dinner stations, but a special outpost featured Uchi chefs.

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Custom craft cocktails were the night’s featured libations.

• Cocktails: L.A.-based bartenders The Grand Bevy served craft cocktails. The bride’s favorite: Pink Tequila Fizz, a sweet blend of tequila, grapefruit, mint reduction and fresh lemon. Groom’s choice: The Humidor, a sipping cocktail with bourbon, tea, vanilla syrup, bitters and lemon oils.

• First dance: A friend, Jason Allen, played Tim McGraw’s “My Best Friend” on his acoustic guitar

• Party gifts: Silk flower halos and white glow sticks.

• Finite: The couple shared a private dance before their sparkler-filled exit.

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