Devin & Shaylor
Devin Beach remembers praying every day in high school for her future husband. She didn’t know it at the time, but he was sitting in the youth group just a few chairs away! Shaylor Tillman had a crush on Devin, but they became “just friends.” Then after only one date, he went off to college, and she did the same the next year. After four years of separation, they are back together… forever!
Devin attended The Woodlands High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology at Texas A&M University. She works as a research assistant at A&M while pursuing a master of science in entomology.
Shaylor attended Oak Ridge High School in Conroe and Sam Houston State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is the director of major gifts at Habitat for Humanity and is pursuing a master’s degree in public service and administration at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.
They tied the knot in a beautiful outdoor wedding at The Carriage House in Conroe and are living “happily ever after.”
It’s amazing that their paths crossed at all, considering that Shaylor was born in Providence, R.I., moved to The Woodlands with his family as youngster, then lived in Nigeria in junior high. The family moved back to Spring midway through high school, and Shaylor became involved in youth ministry at Faith Bible Church in The Woodlands. He played bass in the worship band, and Devin sang and played piano. She was a sophomore and he a junior. The next year, Shaylor asked Devin out.
Reunion and Courtship
Fast-forward four years. Shaylor happened to see Instagram pictures of Devin’s family vacation to New York during her senior year of college. His family is from Jamestown, N.Y., and the coincidence inspired him to ask her out for coffee. They were both home from college at the time and met for an afternoon of catching up at Fielding’s Wood Grill in The Woodlands.
Each of them liked country & western music, so two days after reconnecting, Shaylor drove from Huntsville to College Station in a brand-new pair of boots to go two-stepping with Devin. However, a freeze hit the area, and they were stuck indoors. “Being the entomologist that I am, I chose the movie A Bug’s Life to watch that night,” recalls Devin. Halfway through the movie, Shaylor reached over, grabbed her hand and asked if she was interested in seeing where the relationship could go. They became inseparable. “I knew from the beginning that this girl was awesome,” Shaylor is fond of saying.
The courtship lasted four months. They took line dancing lessons, and a favorite pastime was learning new tricks and spins to do while two-stepping. They also rock-climbed and went trail jogging with each of their dogs. Most importantly, they witnessed each other graduating from college. Devin began researching graduate schools and planned a trip to an out-of-state campus. The evening before she left, Shaylor visited her at her parents’ house. Before he left, he stepped back out of his car, ran to her and told her he loved her for the first time.
Proposal and Engagement
“I did not see it coming,” says Devin of the proposal. Shaylor took her two-stepping on a Friday, which fell on June 13. She thought he would propose at the dance hall, but at the end of the night he simply drove her home and gave her a kiss goodnight. The next day they went to Fielding’s Wood Grill for breakfast — the place where they had initially reconnected.
They sat at the same table, so again she thought he would propose. He asked for the check and Devin, a bit disappointed, assumed it would be months before he actually popped the question. They arrived at her parents’ house for a Father’s Day celebration, which coincided with her parents’ 28th wedding anniversary. They opened the door and spotted both of their families sitting in the living room. Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not by Thompson Square was playing in the background. Shaylor grabbed Devin by the hand and spun her around the room, two-stepping. When the lyrics said, “And I got down on one knee,” the music was paused and at that moment Shaylor asked Devin to spend the rest of her life by his side. The answer was a resounding “YES!” The couple would later finish that special dance on their wedding night five and a half months later.
Wedding preparations commenced while Devin was in her first semester of grad school, which included one study-abroad program in Dominica. Thankfully, her mother planned the entire wedding.
Devin’s vision of “elegant meets rustic” was inspired by the beautiful glass chandeliers that hung in the venue hall, as well as flourishes of lace, burlap and crocheted dollies made by her great-grandmothers, Mary Svoboda and Irma Helmcamp. The bride’s aunt, Terri Faulkenberry, acted as wedding coordinator. Color choices of chocolate brown, mustard yellow and shades of orange and tan were the perfect hues for the Nov. 29, 2014 wedding.
Attire: The bride wore a strapless gown with beaded sweetheart neckline and lace bodice overlay with intricate beading. Its classic A-line silhouette with a chapel train was topped by a one-tier, mid-veil embellished with a beaded edge. Completing the ensemble were tan leather open-toe sandals with a slight heel. Her “something old” and “something blue” was a vintage handkerchief with a blue embroidered edge stamped with her grandmother’s name, Joyce. Her “something new” was a white corset that her mother ribbed with lace. Her “something borrowed” was a set of earrings and a necklace.
Bridesmaids received matching robes to be worn the night before and when getting ready on the day of the wedding. The bridesmaids’ formal attire included various vintage knee-length dresses in off-white lace and shoes in shades of brown.
The groom wore a Calvin Klein chocolate-brown tuxedo with a vest and Johnston Murphy wing tip shoes, along with a Calvin Klein bowtie and handkerchief. Groomsmen wore khaki suits and handkerchiefs. The groom gave them Calvin Klein bowties and personally tied each one. Brown dress shoes were replaced by cowboy boots during the reception.
Bridal Party: Pastor Gavin Carrier of Faith Bible Church officiated. Parents of the bride, Philip and Dana Beach, joined parents of the groom, Ken and Linda Tillman, in witnessing the union of their children. In attendance were Joyce and Frank Gosney (the bride’s grandparents) and Marilyn Tillman (the groom’s grandmother). The bride’s great-grandmother, Irma Helmcamp, and the groom’s grandparents, Jean and John Holt, were not able to attend.
The bride’s sister, Taylor Beach, served as maid of honor. Stephanie Wilke, Alyssa Bowyer, Kasi Svoboda, Abby Johnson and Karis Tillman served as bridesmaids. Ellie Beach was the adorable flower girl. The bride received a memorable gift — a photo album created by her sister filled with beautiful letters written by all of the bridesmaids, her mother and mother-in-law and a poem from the groom.
Gordon Morrow served as best man. Ryan Callahan, Zach Stewart, Zach Gladden, Stephen Head and Matt Martinez served as groomsmen. Ushers were Hayes Faulkenberry, Ethan Beach, Will Hughes, Josiah Major, David Wegner, Chris Jurek and Drew Wegner — all from the small church group led by the groom.
Floral and Décor: Flowers consisted of circus roses, tiger lilies, echinacea, kangaroo paw, craspedia, golden rod, baby’s breath, rust chrysanthemums, sunflower mums and seeded eucalyptus. The bride’s bouquet was stem-wrapped in lace, burlap and a butterfly. The groom, his groomsmen, his grandfather and the fathers wore stems wrapped in twine with craspedia, baby’s breath, chrysanthemum buttons, yellow lisianthus and yellow button pompoms.
Pews were decorated with burlap and lace bows with yellow button flowers and pearls. Yellow painted tin cans filled with baby’s breath lined the back pews. An antique window was displayed with memorable moments written on the panes. Chalkboards stood next to a horse trough filled with more than 60 handmade quilts made by relatives for a chilly November wedding and announced “To have and to hold in case you get cold” and “Come as you are, stay as long as you can, we’re all family here, so no seating plan.”
Top Wedding Moments: The couple communicated through “telephone cans” prior to the wedding. The bride heard the mother seating song, This Little Light of Mine by Addison Road, but did not get butterflies until everyone was lining up to walk down the aisle. The bridesmaid processional song was Ascend the Hill’s version of Be Thou My Vision, which played as the sun was setting.
The bride’s father brought her to the entrance. She had given him a handwritten letter earlier that day recalling their many adventures. He told her not to worry going down the aisle, because it was his job to keep her upright! They prayed together, and she admired his Old West vintage waistcoat, tie and vest. He escorted her to the bride’s processional song, The Butterfly Waltz.
The bride spotted her future husband smiling at her through tears. Shaylor’s father read scripture during the ceremony. The couple exchanged traditional vows, and, with a little Princess Bride humor the pastor quoted, “Mawage, it’s what wings us togever, twu wuv!” They shared holy communion as husband and wife while their maid of honor and best man prayed over them. The couple exited to the recessional song Inevitable by Anberlin.
All members of the wedding party pulled on cowboy boots for the reception, and dancing was definitely a highlight! Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not was the couple’s special song that had been “frozen” in time back when the groom proposed. Now the bride and groom finished it as their first dance, complete with two-stepping moves for the guests. The father-daughter dance started out as a sophisticated waltz (I Loved Her First) and was interrupted as the DJ scratched the record. Suddenly, Copperhead Road played, and the wedding party ran to the dance floor to join in. The mother-son dance was My Wish by Rascal Flatts.
A “Gangnam Style” choreographed dance with the groom and a groomsman was a crowd favorite. An impromptu train was led by the bride’s grandmother’s two cousins, Dickie Muehr and Larry Holden, who played the trumpet and drummed on a pot! They wove around the dance floor in a conga line. The last dance song was Michael Bublé’s version of Moon Dance.
Floral and Décor: Burlap tablecloths were the backdrop for centerpieces consisting of a doily, a lantern with a 6-inch candle, a framed engagement photo, driftwood painted with chalkboard paint and table numbers written in chalk. The newlweds sat at a sweetheart table with ‘Him’ and ‘Her’ painted block letters. Guests at each table filled out a “congratulations tag” with a personalized note or words of advice and dropped them into Mason jars decorated with twine and fall colored mini roses. Auburn-colored “up lighting” added ambience, as did the couple’s specialty logo projected against the wall.
The Cakes: The three-tiered “naked” white cake consisted of four layers in each tier with alternating raspberry, lemon and butter cream filling, and was decorated with the same flowers as in the bridal bouquets. The groom’s whiskey chocolate cake had hand-crafted edible leaves molded with chocolate, complete with acorn truffles.
The Exit: Due to work and grad school, the couple chose not take a week-long honeymoon, so the bride’s parents surprised them with an overnight stay at Moody Gardens Resort and Spa in Galveston. After grad school graduation, they are planning a honeymoon in Utah at Zion National Park.
Text by Melanie Saxton Wedding Photos by Sara Quinnett of Sara Jane Photography
MEMORABLE WEDDINGS – Devin & Shaylor