You know how there are some people that just draw you in? That’s Mary Kaye and Lionel for us. We got chills reading what Mary Kaye had to say about their wedding day, our cheeks were hurting from smiling so much, and we found ourselves nodding along and saying “yes!” with every piece of advice she shared. Just as Mary Kaye was drawn to Lionel (before she even knew his name), we are drawn to them as a couple and loved having the opportunity to celebrate with them. Keep reading to hear about their favorite part of wedding planning, see how flash flood warnings played a role in their day, and get ready to absolutely fall in love with these two.

The Love Story

Lionel and I met at work. We work at a residential substance abuse treatment facility. I noticed Lionel right away when I began seeing him regularly because he was new to our staff and had this beautiful chocolate skin and politeness, which drew me in. However, I would not say much more than “Good Morning.” Little did he know, I told my niece, Zoe (who was visiting from Chicago at the time), about him but admitted I didn’t even have a clue what his name was. I low-key began asking people who I trusted who he was, what he did on staff, and the most significant of all, what was his name??? We had small interactions leading up to this point, such as attending a patient staffing meeting together and me asking him to support my son Charleston’s participation in local modeling contests as well as his flag football team’s popcorn sale. The more we spoke, the more I felt butterflies. I thought I was playing things real smooth and admiring him from a distance when the most embarrassing thing ever happened!

One morning while multitasking by attempting to speak with an employee and rush to make a cup of tea, I hit myself in the face with the door of my credenza. I immediately felt my lip swelling and knew I needed ice before I began looking like Will Smith in Hitch! When I called down to the nurses’ station, the health tech whom I had been admiring from a distance answered, “This is Lionel, how can I help you?” I was mortified that of all the people who could have answered the phone that morning, it was my crush! I begged him not to laugh as I proceeded to tell him what just happened and requested ice to reduce the swelling. He was the perfect gentleman and our connection blossomed from this day. We were engaged approximately nine/ten months later!

Why They Chose The Chandelier

We instantly fell in love with The Chandelier when we saw it online as we were searching local wedding venues. However, we almost prematurely took The Chandelier out of the running because we were tired of touring venues, thought it was out of our budget, and we were leaning toward another venue that was close to our dream but not quite everything we wanted for our wedding day. We are so grateful that we decided at the last minute to tour The Chandelier because it is truly magical, they were having a sale, and the venue offered everything that we wanted, opposed to us settling. As Christians, it was important to us to get married on holy ground and we desired a venue that was outdoors but still protected us and our guests from the brutal Texas heat. We also did not desire to commute from our wedding venue to a reception hall. The gorgeous open air chapel and neighboring reception hall fit our vision perfectly.  It was as if God himself said, “I have just the place for you son and daughter!”

The best part about being a Chandelier couple is going down in history as getting married at one of the most serene, breathtaking venues that San Antonio/New Braunfels has to offer! It was also comforting that The Chandelier staff were easy to do business with and accessible when we had questions, be it big or small. With all the anxiety leading up to our big day, we really appreciated their professionalism and resourcefulness.

Most Memorable Moment

Lionel and I both agree that our most memorable moment from our wedding day was locking eyes as I walked down the aisle. Nothing and no one else mattered. Not how many people were there or who cancelled last minute, just God, us, and the undeniable love we have for each other. Seeing him in his custom made, ivory suit and gold accessories was such a treat and shock because I truthfully had no clue what he was going to wear but could not take my eyes off of him!

A Rainy Day

The second memorable moment was the grace God showed us by protecting our wedding ceremony from the rain that had been present on and off all day and expected to downpour at the same time our ceremony was slated to start. Our Wedding Coordinator had already given me a pep talk about how we were going to modify some of the plans but God had a different plan! Not one raindrop fell during our ceremony or during the amazing photoshoot that followed. It was not until the reception that we literally had a flash flood warning! We were truly shielded from Mother Nature and will forever be grateful for how the Lord answers prayers and covers, despite what the weather report might say.