Sometimes, things just don't go as planned — that's the story of the last year for many Houstonians.
But, if there's an award for "Not Letting Multiple Disruptions Destroy the Gorgeous Wedding You Had Planned," there's no doubt it would go Courtney Broussard and Jerimy Craft.
Many couples this year had to navigate the pandemic, rearranging their wedding plans, guest lists, and dates. Courtney and Jerimy battled not only that, but the February ice storm that shut down Houston.
Their wedding was always planned for Valentine's Day. They'd booked the Meekermark, in Magnolia for their ceremony and reception. As the day of the wedding got closer, they knew a storm was coming.
"We expected it to come Sunday night," Courtney tells CultureMap. "All the forecasts said Sunday night, and we thought, all right, everyone will be home by then. It's not a big deal. But the morning of the wedding, I was woken up by my phone, just ringing and buzzing from guests pulling out. And I had a vendor pull out. They were saying, 'Check the news. Check the weather.' And I realized, Uri was going to hit while everyone needs to be on the road. It was heartbreaking."
It was also stressful, but this is a couple that refused to let roadblocks get in the way of the wedding they'd planned.
Courtney called Jerimy and the couple's wedding planner to talk about what to do. Their officiant, Jerry Holt of Nashville's Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, agreed to come to Courtney's hotel room at the Residence Inn Market Street in The Woodlands and conduct the ceremony there.
"It went from stress and heartbreak to just excitement," says Courtney.
Their vision of their wedding originally included 150 guests attending an outdoor ceremony at the Meekermark, then filling the site's renovated bard for the reception.
As the COVID-19 pandemic dragged on, they changed their plans to host the entire wedding outdoors, remaining optimist that daytime February temperatures would accommodate that.
As Uri bore down on Texas, the couple switched their plans again, finally marrying in their hotel suite with 10 guests.
Their story was such a triumph, it landed in the New York Times.
"There were so many moving parts," says Courtney about the quick recalibration of their ceremony. "It didn't really hit me until I was looking at Jerimy that, yeah, we are really doing this."
"I believe that success leaves clues," Jerimy, who is a coaching manager, says. "And when we starting planning this, one thing that was non-negotiable was our date. So, when Courtney called me that morning and asked if I could come to the hotel, the answer was of course. Because we planned to get married that day."
The couple are anchored in their belief in each other, and when they interact, there is a current between them that enhances and clearly brings out the optimism and steadfastness of the other.
The met in 2014 at The Flat. Jerimy was there with friends and Courtney was there as well — on a date, and the groups overlapped a bit. A song by Jesse Boykins came on the sound system, and Jerimy and Courtney were the only people who knew the song and the artist. That intrigued Jerimy. But he wasn't about to intrude on her date.
The pair did exchange Instagrams, however.
"I texted my friend Luther that night," says Jerimy. "Something like, how cool is this, and that the great girls are always taken."
"Instagram became our connection, though," says Courtney. "And it's random how fate works. I found myself at a concert years before and the opening act was the artist that connected us. And I wasn't feeling well, and didn't want to go to the concert, but I did. And that's how I learned about this singer. That's fate."
The couple started dating in 2017. It would take another year before they understood there was much more than that happening. Jerimy invited Courtney to New Orleans to attend a white-coat ceremony for a friend of his. She said yes, even though she wouldn't know anyone there but Jerimy. That trip was where they realized they wanted more than just dating.
"I kept watching how he interacted with his friends," she says. "He had such love and joy for them. I could see how happy he makes everyone. And I thought, 'wow, I love this. I want this in my life.'"
"Everyone — my mom, my best friend — kept asking me that weekend: 'Are you dating? Because you need to be,'" says Jerimy. "I watched the way she interacted with us and I realized that I needed to be more intentional. This was what I wanted, needed, and looked for. And I knew I had to put things into place to make it official."
Jerimy proposed in 2019, on December 21, his parents' anniversary. His proposal recreated a series of the milestones that marked the couple's relationship. Their evening began with drinks at The Flat, then segued to dinner at Backstreet Café, home of their first date.
They then headed to Postino in The Heights, which is where, Jerimy says, "I first acknowledged I wanted her to be my girl." While the pair was walking down Memory Lane, Jerimy's brother and a friend were decorating a hotel room where he planned to pop the question.
As the pair walked in, the Jesse Boykins song they'd heard the first night they met was playing and Jerimy got down on one knee.
"I was just, 'are you serious? Is this happening?'" recalls Courtney, who, once she took everything in, quickly said yes.
The pair have emerged from a pandemic and hastily replanned wedding with their bond even stronger. And they plan to host a reception on June 21 at the Meekermark, celebrating with all their friends. They were able to have all their original vendors, save the bakery providing the cake.
The date just happens to be Jerimy's birthday.
Bride's dress: Sarah Seven "Milan," from Lovely Bride Houston (Alterations: Prestige Tailors by Mario)
Bride's bouquet: Jackie Trejo Floral Design, LLC
Groom's suit: Indochino
Wedding planner: Tamarah Smith, Tammy's Table
Wedding venue: Residence Inn by Marriott Houston The Woodlands/Market Street
Original wedding venue and site of June celebration: The Meekermark, Magnolia, Texas
Food: Cafe Natalie
Make-up artist: Charlie Rojas
Bride's hair: Braids by Indie Fendi
Photography: Meeker Pictures
Wedding celebrant: Pastor Jerry Holt, Hicks Tabernacle MBC, Nashville, Tennessee
Attendants: Carmen Prado (Maid of Honor), Jay Craft II (Best Man)
Attendants' dresses/suits: Maid of Honor: David's Bridal, Best Man: Indochino