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MEMORABLE WEDDINGS –
Lauren and Patrick


The couple enjoyed a “first touch” rather than a “first look” before their vows.

The couple enjoyed a “first touch” rather than a “first look” before their vows.

Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Evoke Photography & Video

If it wasn’t for match.com, Lauren Ashley Partida and Patrick Lennox Strang would never have found each other! Lauren was raised in the heart of historic Sugar Land and graduated from Kempner High School. Patrick graduated from Smithfield High School in Virginia. Their online introduction in 2014 occurred as Lauren attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she earned a B.A. in communications-radio/television. Patrick attended Texas A&M University-Galveston, served in the Corps of Cadets, graduated from the Maritime Academy, and earned a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation.

Married on Jan. 21, 2017, the digital duo now live happily ever after in Fort Bend County. Lauren is employed as a corporate marketing specialist, and Patrick is a Merchant Marine officer.

First Date & Courtship

Patrick reached out to Lauren online after locating to the Lone Star State for college. They discovered that they shared the same qualities, interests and values, and soon discovered they were a “match.” According to Lauren, after the first few weeks of talking, she and Patrick knew more about each other than most couples do after months of talking. Patrick drove an hour from the Texas A&M University-Galveston campus for dinner at Chatters in The Heights, where they spent hours chatting in person. To this day, the couple celebrates anniversaries by recreating that first face-to-face encounter, even wearing the same clothing.

Over the course of their courtship, Patrick met Lauren’s mother Norma and her father Mario Partida, assistant chief for the City of Sugar Land Fire Department. The couple enjoyed many weekends with the family at their ranch in Anderson.

Proposal

In November 2015, the Partida family was invited to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The trip doubled as a vacation for Lauren and Patrick, who spent a week in the Big Apple. On Nov. 24, they enjoyed breakfast at Le Parker Meridien and headed to the crowded pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, which sits on a star-shaped base. Lauren asked to go to a more secluded area, and they moved to the point of the star where they captured images of the skyline and cargo ships.

Because Patrick works on cargo ships, the couple always counts the number of ships at any location. That day Lauren counted 14, and then turned around to tell Patrick that she loved him. At that moment he got down on one knee and asked her to spend forever with him. Lauren cried and laughed and said “Yes!” The sightseers standing above them cheered as he placed a ring on her finger. The engagement lasted 14 months with Patrick at sea for four of those months. Lauren used the time to plan their perfect wedding.

The Wedding

The groom suggested Texas A&M colors, and marsala became a main wedding hue with a glamorous palette of blush, pale pink and cream with accents of gold. The Divisi Amp’d String Quartet set the mood before the ceremony and played selected pieces.

Floral and Décor: The ceremony transpired in front of a large barn-wood cross flanked by large iron altar candelabras. A glass unity vessel etched with the letter “S” was displayed upon an iron unity table with the bride’s grandparents’ wedding Bible and rosary (her “something borrowed”). Three tiers of glass candlesticks lit each chapel window. Two large gold urns filled with double-sided floral arrangements of hydrangea, garden roses, stock and dahlias in shades of blush, ivory, pale pink and marsala were perched upon wooden pedestals.

Attire: The bride’s ivory strapless couture Oscar de la Renta gown of silk faille served as her “something new.” It featured a sweetheart neckline, fitted bodice, silver embroidered embellishment belt, and a modified full A-line skirt with buttons down the back falling into a soft full-circular chapel train. A Toni Federici crystal embellished headband and long ivory illusion cathedral veil edged with horsehair ribbon complemented the ensemble. The bridal shoes – Christian Louboutin off-white crepe satin with a handmade crystal-encrusted Loubi bow and lined in blue – were a gift from the groom and servied as her “something blue.” Her “something old” was Chantilly lace from her mother’s wedding dress wrapped around her bouquet stem. Bridesmaids wore Hayley Paige marsala evening gowns with eyelash-lace-tipped bodices and sweeping chiffon skirts.

The groom wore a black Calvin Klein tuxedo with a black cummerbund and bowtie, with Texas A&M socks. He carried his grandfather’s antique pocket watch and wore a gift from the bride — black Lucchese boots. Groomsmen wore black Calvin Klein tuxedos, black bowties and black suspenders.

The Bridal Party: Bishop Bernald Fred Ashmead officiated as parents of the bride, Mario and Norma Partida, and parents of the groom, James and Elizabeth Strang, witnessed the union of their children. Maid of honor Vanessa Bubenik and bridesmaids Kaitlyn Partida, Grace Oliver, Catherine Sdao, Courtney Jenkins and Rachel Lane stood with the bride. Kamdyn Bubenik served as the flower girl, and Anna Beth Clark served in the house party. Best man Erick Edwards and groomsmen Jesse Bryant, Jonathan Clark and Gilbert Clark stood with the groom. Ushers included Jason Bubenik and Jeremy Olivery.

Top Wedding Moments: The couple did not have a “first look,” but did have a “first touch,” holding hands against the chapel doors. As her father was about to walk her down the aisle, the bride’s future brother-in-law opened the door and said, “Hey sis!” The string quartet played Thousand Years during the sand ceremony, as the couple mingled grey and white sand inside a forever box. Their vows were full of tradition, tears, dreams, love and promises for themselves and their future family. The first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Strang was perfect!

The Reception

Thoughtful details included pale pink uplighting and a seating chart placed on a bronze and iron easel. Escort cards directed guests to candlelit tables covered in sequined cloths and blush quilted linens, with gold scripted table numbers and menu cards tucked inside blush napkins on glass gold beaded chargers. Seating included Chiavari chairs and pillow-filled square tufted banquettes. An assortment of centerpieces included candelabras, lush florals, candlesticks, amber goblets, and gold mercury and glass votives. Gold box mirror troughs were filled with similar flowers in the ceremony. Cocktail bars were covered in burgundy-puckered linens topped with Versailles vases and florals.

The bride and groom were seated on an ivory tufted couch and shared a romantic dinner at a sweetheart table surrounded by lanterns and covered in a blush sequin table cloth. A large Texas sign etched with their names and wedding date served as a guest book. Friends and family signed wooden hearts, inserted them into the sign and watched them drop.

The cakes: The four-tiered ivory wedding cake, accented with butter cream frosting and pearls, was filled with strawberry, almond and champagne with apricot, and topped with a gold-scripted “Mr. And Mrs.” A pie bar in lieu of a groom’s cake provided brownie, pecan, and apple pies and ice cream with toppings.

Top Reception Moments: Guests were treated to cigars rolled by hand and gold match boxes emblazoned with “Thanks Match.com.” The string quartet played an upbeat repertoire during cocktail hour on a courtyard strung with lights. A live band played From the Ground Up by Dan + Shay as the groom dipped and spun his bride during the first dance. Father and daughter danced to It Won’t Be Like This for Long by Darius Rucker. Mother and son danced to Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Both sets of parents have been married more than 30 years and danced with their children to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. Friends and family sprung a surprise during the last song of the night by forming a circle around the couple and singing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing.

The Exit: The couple shared a private dance to Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett and then exited towards a classic Rolls Royce. They were showered with pale pink rose petals and surprised their guests with fireworks just as it began to sprinkle. Everyone stood in the rain and cheered before Mr. and Mrs. Strang drove into their future.

The Honeymoon

The newlyweds spent seven days at Coconut Bay in St. Lucia and enjoyed four-wheeling in the mountains. They rode to a secluded black sand beach with crystal clear water and promised each other that they would return on their fifth anniversary.

Light filters over the bride as she stands at the church doors.

Light filters over the bride as she stands at the church doors.

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Smiling bridesmaids in marsala evening gowns surround their happy bride.

Smiling bridesmaids in marsala evening gowns surround their happy bride.

 

The mother of the bride attends to last minute details before the ceremony.

The mother of the bride attends to last minute details before the ceremony.

 

Bouquet, veil and a joyous smile – the bride awaits the walk down the aisle.

Bouquet, veil and a joyous smile – the bride awaits the walk down the aisle.

 

Best foot forward: the groom wore Texas A&M socks and Lucchese boots, a gift from the bride.

Best foot forward: the groom wore Texas A&M socks and Lucchese boots, a gift from the bride.

 

The groom – a Texan by choice – poses with groomsmen in front of a Lone Star flag.

The groom – a Texan by choice – poses with groomsmen in front of a Lone Star flag.

 

The handsome groom dresses for this most important moment.

The handsome groom dresses for this most important moment.

 

Cheers! A lighthearted moment of toasting and laughter before the heading for the altar.

Cheers! A lighthearted moment of toasting and laughter before the heading for the altar.

 

The Divisi Amp'd String Quartet performed selected pieces throughout the ceremony.

The Divisi Amp’d String Quartet performed selected pieces throughout the ceremony.

 

A wagon was transformed into the flower girl’s ornate carriage.

A wagon was transformed into the flower girl’s ornate carriage.

 

Tulle tutu: a curious flower girl peeks into the sanctuary.

Tulle tutu: a curious flower girl peeks into the sanctuary.

 

Symbols of love and unity.

Symbols of love and unity.

 

The perfect pair exchanged traditional, yet personal, vows at the altar.

The perfect pair exchanged traditional, yet personal, vows at the altar.

 

A bouquet in bloom with blush, ivory, pale pink hydrangea, garden roses, stock and dahlias.

A bouquet in bloom with blush, ivory, pale pink hydrangea, garden roses, stock and dahlias.

 

Assistant Fire Chief Mario Partida proudly walks his daughter down the aisle.

Assistant Fire Chief Mario Partida proudly walks his daughter down the aisle.

 

Four flavored tiers all frosted in butter cream and topped with “Mr. And Mrs."

Four flavored tiers all frosted in butter cream and topped with “Mr. And Mrs.”

 

Blush and gold tabletop accents added to the glamorous reception ambiance.

Blush and gold tabletop accents added to the glamorous reception ambiance.

 

“Thanks, Match.com" match boxes were perfect wedding favors.

“Thanks, Match.com” match boxes were perfect wedding favors.

 

Small wooden hearts were lovingly signed by guests and deposited into a large Texas sign.

Small wooden hearts were lovingly signed by guests and deposited into a large Texas sign.

 

A cigar roller was on hand to treat guests who enjoy a fine indulgence.

A cigar roller was on hand to treat guests who enjoy a fine indulgence.

 

Newlyweds share a quiet embrace before heading to the reception.

Newlyweds share a quiet embrace before heading to the reception.


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