Ellen Veronica Stuchly and John Frank Bookout IV Wed In Houston
By Jonathan Spindel Photography by Chris Bailey Photography
The wedding weekend festivities began on Friday with a Bridal Luncheon at Brennan’s of Houston given by the bride’s maternal aunts. The celebrating continued with the rehearsal dinner hosted by the groom’s parents at The Coronado Club. Wedding planner Katie Mullins coordinated the elegant lunch and evening dinner, while Aubrey Sellers designed the beautiful floral decorations for the whole day. Saturday evening, the wedding ceremony was held in The Church of St. John the Divine. Surrounded by a theme of graceful elegance, with details in hues of gold, white, and accents of light pink, wedding guests prepared to witness the couple exchange their vows.
Serving as maid of honor was Anna Claire Stuchly, the sister of the bride. Bridesmaids were sister of the groom Katherine Bookout Booth, sister-in-law of the groom Ellen Doramus Bookout, and sorority sisters of the bride Sarah Williams Busby and Mary Katherine Cooke. The groom’s father, John Frank Bookout III, and brother, James Haunschild Bookout, served as best men. Groomsmen were brother-in-law of the groom William Alexander Booth and childhood friends of the groom Charles Randall Helms Jr. and Richard Lloyd Wynne Jr.
Given away by her parents and escorted by her father, the bride walked down the aisle wearing a Monique Lhuillier A-line gown, featuring delicate Chantilly and re-embroidered lace from Joan Pillow Bridal. To complement her gown, the bride chose a custom lace appliqued cathedral length veil. The bride carried a bouquet composed of lily of the valley, stephanotis, and gardenias.
Planned and executed by Richard Flowers, Katie Mullins, Marshall Bush and Aubrey Sellers of The Events Company, the entire wedding weekend was accentuated by personal touches. As a surprise, the bride worked with the church’s music director to have the string quartet play one of the groom’s favorite songs, The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli, during the ceremony. The couple was fortunate and grateful for the Reverend Doug Richnow’s role officiating the wedding ceremony, which was his last ceremony at The Church of St. John the Divine before his retirement. A close friend of the groom’s family, Reverend Richnow’s participation imparted deep meaning to the ceremony, solidifying the couple’s love for one another in front of God, their family and friends.
Following the church ceremony, the wedding celebration continued at a reception at the River Oaks Country Club. Honoring the couple’s love of southern traditions (especially New Orleans) the dinner menu featured favorites such as shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and late night snacks of beignets. The newlyweds cut the wedding cake by Susie’s Cakes and Confections with a beautifully engraved gold cake knife, an heirloom passed down from the bride’s late great-grandmother’s 50th wedding anniversary. The couple also wished to honor their beloved pug, Wyatt, but in lieu of his attendance, they passed out fabric pug masks for all their guests to wear throughout the evening.
Guests hit the dance floor to the tunes of the A-Town A-List band from Atlanta. Nearing the end of the evening, the band surprised the crowd with a New Orleans second line parade. The band’s horn players escorted the newlyweds from the Grand Ballroom to the front of the club, while the guests followed behind waving white handkerchiefs. The couple returned to the Grand Ballroom for one last moment together dancing to their favorite song.
The bride graduated from Texas A&M University and received her Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. The groom graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor and Master’s degree. The couple resides in Houston, where he is Chief Financial Officer for Noble Midstream Partners and she is Staff Geologist for Occidental Petroleum. The couple is planning a honeymoon later this fall to experience a new culture and broaden their ongoing worldly travels together.