Woodlands Wedding – Smouse & Martin

Taylor grew up in The Woodlands after moving to the area in the third grade, and remained in the area until going off to College Station to pursue her degree from Texas A&M University. Cullen first became familiar with The Woodlands during college when he traveled to the area to meet Taylor’s family. Together, they spent many weekends in The Woodlands during their courtship.

How did you meet?

Cullen and Taylor met through mutual friends near the end of their senior year at Texas A&M University. Their first date was an interesting one. It was Chilifest weekend and Taylor decided to come home early. She then proceeded to ask if Cullen would cut his workout short, leave the gym, and take her to get Chick-fil-A. He said yes. It was on that night that they knew there was potential. The rest of the night they spent watching Taylor’s favorite movie and talking about their future together. As a very tall girl, it’s not often you meet such a tall man!

From then on, Cullen and Taylor made it a point to see each other as often as possible and attend the remainder of their date parties together. Upon graduation from A&M they had some decisions to make because they knew the rest of their relationship would be long distance. Initially they decided to end things and focus on their careers, but it didn’t take long to rekindle their love and see how the long-distance relationship would work. It worked out!

 

Courtship/ Adventures:

After graduation Taylor moved to San Antonio, TX to work for H-E-B as a recruiter, and Cullen moved to Quantico, VA for Marine training. In the 7 months Cullen was in Quantico, they were only able to see each other twice! Taylor visited for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, and they were able to explore Quantico, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. It was during those tough months that they grew closer and began to realize this was leading to marriage. After Cullen completed training in Quantico, Taylor hopped in the car, and together they drove to his next duty station in Pensacola, FL. While Cullen was in Pensacola, they were able to see each other more often. They took trips to Destin with Taylor’s family, spent time on the beach in Pensacola, and were even able to go to the Austin City Limits Music Festival back in Texas. After Cullen’s nine months in Florida, he was stationed in Corpus Christi, TX. Finally, their cross-country relationship became just a 2-hour drive. While Cullen was in Corpus, they were able to see each other almost every single weekend, often taking trips to Austin, San Antonio, The Woodlands, and Dallas. After a year of bliss, Cullen moved again and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, in North Carolina. Cullen and Taylor bought a house together in the small town of Sneads Ferry, NC (population 9,000), which is just a stone’s throw from the beach (her choice) and even closer to the golf course (his choice).

Proposal:

Cullen and Taylor planned to spend a weekend in Austin, TX to attend Austin City Limits (ACL) for Cullen’s 24th birthday with Taylor’s brother, Tucker, and his girlfriend, Abby. After staying out late Friday night at the festival, Cullen woke everyone up early on Saturday to go meet his family at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Following a battle with rain, Cullen was finally able to show Taylor around to a beautiful (yet muddy) archway under the trees overlooking the gardens. Both Taylor and Cullen’s families came out of hiding and watched as Cullen got on one knee. With tears in her eyes Taylor said yes!

Engagement:

After getting engaged, Taylor was excited to start planning the wedding of her dreams. She only visited two wedding venues. The first venue was beautiful, but was not part of her vision. Then she drove on-site at Balmorhea with her parents, she knew this was the perfect venue almost immediately. At the time, Cullen was stationed in Pensacola, Florida, so Taylor was able to give Cullen a virtual tour of the property to get the thumbs up, and we booked right on the spot. After this, it was time to start planning the details. There were three big things that Cullen and Taylor really wanted for their big day: a live band, great food and a great videographer to capture the big day. COVID-19 caused their engagement to last longer than planned, but in the end, it was all worth it.

Wedding:

Cullen and Taylor planned their wedding for May 23, 2020 (the weekend of Memorial Day). A few months before the wedding, COVID-19 rocked their world, as they had to navigate through re-planning the wedding for a new date. Cullen and Taylor were able to manage getting all of their vendors (except one) on their second wedding date, August 29, 2020. Taylor and her bridesmaids got pampered by the hair and make-up team and drank champagne while getting ready. Cullen and his groomsmen were able to grab brunch at the Toasted Yolk, before getting ready at the venue. One hundred and sixty-seven of their closest family and friends joined them to celebrate their unity. This was by far the most magical day that they still cherish to this day. It truly was the best day of their lives.

 

What were the most special highlights for you of your wedding?

The most special highlights of their wedding day were the simple moments that they will cherish the most. They did a first touch where they shared personal letters to one another. The few moments that they spent together right after the ceremony when it really set in that they were married! Plus, the ride to the hotel in a getaway car where they reminisced on the magical night. Getting to see all of their closest friends and family come together under one roof to celebrate our marriage was truly the best experience ever. The live band and beer burros were a hit also.

What memories/highlights include a connection to The Woodlands?

Cullen and Taylor have many memories in The Woodlands. From many golf outings at The Woodlands Country Club to exploring many of the restaurants in the area or the car shows. One of their favorite memories was the first Christmas they spent together with Taylor’s family. They traveled through The Woodlands looking at Christmas lights sipping on some hot chocolate and traveled to the Houston Zoo lights. The Woodlands is where Cullen really got to know Taylor’s parents and brother. The Woodlands is at the top of their list of locations to settle down and start a family.

 

Where will you go on your honeymoon?

Due to COVID-19, Taylor and Cullen were unable to honeymoon following their wedding. They are currently planning a tropical honeymoon in the summer of 2021 to celebrate one year of marriage.

Where will you reside?

Taylor & Cullen currently live in a small beach town in North Carolina called Sneads Ferry. Cullen is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, so this is where they will reside for the next few years, until they move onto a new duty station. Eventually, after the military, they do have plans to settle down in The Woodlands to start a family.

 

Local Vendors:

J Low Events

Donut Junkie

C&S Transportation

Striking Stems – Tomball

Photos courtesy of Rebecca Harris Photography