Heavy storms and gray skies gave way just as wedding bells at St. Luke’s United Methodist church rang for KHOU meteorologist Chita Johnson’s wedding to landman and longhorn rancher Lane Craft this weekend.
Gleaming rays of sunshine beamed through large church windows as the equally radiant bride, wearing a strapless white gown by Ines Di Santo, walked down the aisle escorted by her father Paul Johnson. In a heartfelt touch, the bride wore a “borrowed” veil from her mother, who shares the same name as her daughter and who wore the veil 38-years-ago at her own wedding.
A teary-eyed Johnson and Craft exchanged vows as St. Luke's senior pastor Thomas J. Pace officiated the ceremony in front of a gathering of 379, including the bride’s parents and brother, who flew in from California, and her extended family from Tennessee.
Standing at the altar beside the happy couple was the wedding party of a dozen bridesmaids and a dozen groomsmen including the groom’s sister and jewelry designer Lauren Craft, the groom’s brother Landon Craft, former KHOU reporter Courtney Zubowski Haas, KHOU news producer Erin Garza, and WFTS Tampa Bay’s Katie McCall.
After the nuptials, guests headed down the road to River Oaks Country Club for a spectacular reception. Wedding planner Stephanie Milam of From This Moment On left no detail to chance. Stunning white flower arrangements by Events In Bloom graced the ballroom and tables. Both the multi-tiered wedding cake and colossal groom’s cake in the shape of a longhorn were made by Three Brothers Bakery. The band, The Society, flew in from California for the joyous occasion.
"I'm most looking forward to walking down the aisle with my dad—and to our father-daughter dance," Johnson told CultureMap prior to wedding time. And with good reason. Johnson and her father wowed as they danced to a compilation of songs starting with “My Girl.” As the faster-paced “Soul Man” began to play, Paul threw off his tuxedo jacket and showed off his killer dance moves, even doing the splits, as the dynamic duo had the entire ballroom on their feet.
But it was a surprise appearance by Houston-based rappers Paul Wall, Slim Thug and Bun B that sent wedding attendees into overdrive. The trio, backed by the band, performed Beyonce's hit song "Check On It" as the crowd went wild. Johnson's brother, Adam Johnson, also got into the act, rapping to OMI's song, "Cheerleader," adding custom lyrics for the new couple that he wrote especially for the wedding.
Beyond the grand entertainment and the beauty of the decor, what everyone took home from the majestic evening was the adoration between the lovely couple, who departed for their honeymoon to an undisclosed location early Sunday morning.
Johnson and Craft met in early 2014 when former KHOU sports director Butch Alsandor and Craft’s uncle, Galveston Country Club head golf pro Donnie St. Germain, set the couple up on their first date.
Celebrating the big night were several of Johnson's fellow KHOU on-air personalities including: Channel 11 Morning News anchors Lily Jang and Ron Trevino, weekend evening anchor Rekha Muddaraj, Drew Karedes, Len Cannon, Sherry Williams, Mia Gradney, Darby Douglas, and meteorologists Mario Gomez and Brooks Garner, along with chief meteorologist David Paul.
Also sharing in the special evening were KPRC’s Andy Cerota, WFAA Dallas’ Sonia Azad, ABC13’s Katherine Whaley and Miya Shay, former Houston Texan Chester Pitts and LaToya Pitts, Dr. Eric Haas, 97.9 The Box’s JmacGlobal, Dr. Neil Badlani, Jeff McShan, Nick Scurfield, Chris Wadley, Melanie and Lee Loyd, Stevie Bingham and Brett Schulick, Erica Rose and Galen Gentry, Crystal Wall, Tamara Washington, Brad Driver, Julie Weaver, Amanda Abiassi, and Jonathan Gillis.
Scenes from the wedding day (Video by Luxe Films Houston):