MEMORABLE WEDDINGS – Haley & Taylor
Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Jackie Ray Photography
High school sweethearts Haley Houston and Taylor Odlozil knew that one day they’d be married. They couldn’t have realized it then, but their journey would include a medical diagnosis that would forever change their lives, but not their love. The couple tied the knot on February 27, 2016 in a beautiful ceremony at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, followed by a spectacular reception at Olde Dobbin Station.
Haley was born and raised in The Woodlands and attended The Woodlands College Park high school and Texas State University. She was the former nanny for Emerson Krautner, who became her flower girl, and is currently the assistant manager of events at Kendra Scott. Taylor also attended The Woodlands College Park and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in petroleum engineering. He is a financial estimator at Shawcore.
First Date And Courtship
After meeting at a friend’s birthday party, Haley asked Taylor for his phone number…and then forgot to call him! He pursued her, and although it took her a while to warm up, she finally agreed to date him. Eventually they fell in love — a love that has stood the test of time. After graduation they faced the challenges of college and careers, and it became obvious that they belonged in each other’s future.
Taylor planned a trip to Breckenridge, Colorado in December 2015 (Christmas is Haley’s favorite time of year). Although she loves snow, Haley dislikes skiing and initially didn’t want to go. Her sister and brother-in-law, who planned to travel with them, convinced her that this was a trip she would want to take. They weren’t kidding, because on the first day in Breckenridge, Taylor took Haley to a river with a mountain view. He surprised her by getting down on one knee and proposing, making it one of the best days of her life!
The couple was engaged for a little more than a year. “I wanted a Pinterest-perfect wedding,” says Haley, who knew exactly what she wanted and planned everything to the last detail. During their seven years together, both Haley and Taylor dreamed of starting a family, and their friends took bets that Haley would have a “honeymoon baby” exactly nine months after the wedding. Then an unexpected medical diagnosis derailed those hopes. After multiple trips to many doctors about pain in her pelvis, Haley was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer just two months before the wedding. At 23 years old, she began fighting for her life, but also fighting for a future with Taylor.
Their amazing photographer agreed to take Haley’s bridal portraits early, giving Taylor a“first look” before chemo treatments caused her to lose her hair. “This was probably the second most amazing day of my life,” says Haley. “Taylor was able to see me like I had always envisioned, with my own hair and not being sick and swollen from chemo.” Although they would not be able to have biological children, they experienced a once-in-a- lifetime love and refused to let the cancer win. With Taylor by her side, it was full steam ahead toward their nuptials.
The exchanging of vows was truly amazing and referenced what they faced in light of the cancer diagnosis. In sickness and in health, the groom promised to never leave his bride’s side, and to love honor and cherish her unconditionally. Few couples so young could say those vows more wholeheartedly.
Bridal Party: Minister Rob Renfroe officiated as parents of the bride, Ed and Simone Houston, and parents of the groom, Richard and Laurie Odlozil, witnessed their children join in holy matrimony.
Sister of the bride, Amanda Pallotta, served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Jillian Perkins, Jordan Odlozil, Angel Thompson, Abbey Moss, Blair Elliott, Ashley Dunton and Brooke Rife. Emerson Krautner served as the adorable flower girl. Best man Daniel Parker stood with groomsmen Clayton Livingson, James Steltzlen, Dominic Pallotta, Joe Vandrick, Ryan Cyr and Thomas Houle. The ring bearer was Parker Coker.
Attire: The bride carried her great-grandmother’s handkerchief (her “something old” and “something borrowed”) and wore an ivory Enzoani mermaid-style wedding gown with lace crystals and buttons down the back, accented by a Swarovski beaded vintage belt (her “something new”). She wore sequin silver shimmer high heels with blue crystals on the bottom spelling “I Do” (her something “blue”). A floor-length veil completed the ensemble.
Bridesmaids wore charcoal grey gowns by Jenny Yoo. The groom and groomsmen wore charcoal tuxedos.
Floral and Décor: The bride envisioned a rustic, yet elegant, wedding with winter branches, white peonies, hydrangea, mercury glass, and pops of silver and gold. Her father escorted her down an aisle adorned with white peonies, hydrangea, dusty miller and berries.
Top Wedding Moments: The bride and her father made a pact at the rehearsal to look at the likeness of Jesus at the top of the altar so they could make it down the aisle. Everyone in the church, including the groom, cried as the bride approached her beloved.
The reception was a true celebration of love and life. Not a detail was missed, from decorations to entertainment to the food!
Floral and Décor: Olde Dobbin Station became a winter wonderland with the same florals displayed at the wedding in high, medium and low arrangements scattered throughout the venue. A snowflake ice sculpture, a vase ice sculpture and special quotes on signs were designed specifically to go with the winter theme.
A memory table and canvas pictures of the couple’s first look added a personal touch. Flowers appeared in birch and wooden log vases with mercury glass votives atop linens of silver. Guests were served on silver beaded chargers. The head table had champagne-colored linen and sequins with gold table chargers. The couple donated money to ovarian cancer research in lieu of favors and thanked guests for their love and support during this difficult time.
The Cakes: A three-tier, all-white wedding cake was exquisitely adorned with snowflakes scattered throughout. The topper in gold said “Best day ever.” The two-tiered rectangle and round groom’s cake was glazed in chocolate ganache and honored his Aggie roots, with A&M emblazoned on both chocolate and white chocolate dipped strawberries.
Top reception moments: The couple’s romantic first dance was to Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban. The bride danced with her father to My Wish by Rascal Flatts. The groom danced with his mother to I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. Festivities on the dance floor included line dancing, the traditional wedding march, a disco ball, confetti and glow sticks. In a funny moment, one of the groomsmen partied so hard that he ripped his tuxedo pants. The photographer caught it on camera!
The Exit: The couple ran outside through a flurry of sparklers and drove away in the bride’s white Audi Q5.