Story by Rachel Knight
Photos by Edoo Photography
Does love inspire art, or does art inspire love? For Regina and Stephen Swirsky, the answer is a resounding “yes,” to both questions. Art was the arrow Cupid sent to start the Swirsky’s love story, and it continues to play a role in their lives as a married couple today.
Regina and Stephen met at Texas A&M University in a studio class. Both were visualization majors. According to Regina, Stephen had the reputation of having a good eye for detail. They first spoke when she asked for his advice on a project; however, it wasn’t until after Stephen graduated that he asked Regina to go out with him.
By February of 2017 the couple’s romance was in full bloom. It had become a Valentine’s Day tradition for the two to visit an art museum; so, to belatedly celebrate the day, they took a trip to downtown Houston to visit the Cullen Sculpture Garden.
“It was at the end of the day, and we had stopped in a little sculpture garden,” Regina says. “He pulled out a little scrapbook he had made of our memories together. In the back was a cutout section where he had put the ring, and it was really sweet.”
Without hesitation, Regina said, “Yes!” and the next chapter in the Swirsky love story began to unfold.
“I kind of had a feeling that it was coming that weekend,” Regina says. “I don’t know why, but for whatever reason it just felt like it was going to happen. Still, I was really surprised to see the ring in the back of the book. Suddenly it all became real.”
Before heading down the aisle, the couple decided to partake in an engagement-counseling program through their church, Antioch Community Church. Regina says this is something she highly recommends all couples do before their big day.
“It was so helpful to discuss topics like communication, finance, and expectations for our marriage before we said ‘I do,’” Regina says. “I know those are lessons we’ll come back to again and again in the years to come. Our mentor couple ended up becoming our great friends, which we will forever be grateful for.”
The Swirskys reserved the church, and then were informed that all four pastors already had commitments for the date of their wedding. Regina and Stephen decided to ask the husband in their mentor couple to conduct the ceremony.
“It was really special to have him be the one who made it official since he had already been building into our marriage,” Regina says. “He had some really sweet words for us in the ceremony.”
Using rented columns, strands of lights, and the church’s lighted backdrop, the couple made the already authentically joyful sanctuary feel dream-like. The ceremony took place in front of a wooden cross made by the Swirsky’s friend, and included scripture readings, a message from the officiant, a feet washing ceremony as a symbol of the couple’s servitude towards each other, and an exchange of vows and rings.
After the ceremony, their friends and family gathered around the newlyweds, laid their hands on the couple, and prayed over them. “[It] was really special and one of my favorite moments from that day,” Regina says.
Immediately after the ceremony came to a close, 130 of the Swirsky’s family and friends made their way to Messina Hof where the wedding reception was held.
Art Stephen and Regina had given each other throughout their relationship was used to decorate The Gallery on the top floor of Messina Hof. Blush pink, green, cream, and accents of gold created a romantic atmosphere. The couple added even more personal touches to the event space with details like a themed cake topper from the movie “Up” and a guest registry book designed by the couple.
“As soon as I saw [The Gallery], I was like, ‘Stephen we have to have our reception here! We’re artists, so it has to be in an art gallery,’” Regina says.
Entertainment for the evening included a plated dinner, dancing to a playlist made by the happy couple, and chatting with their closest family and friends. The Swirsky’s big day came to a close with a confetti send off. The bride and groom rode away from Messina Hof to Milton Parker Home in the bride’s car, which was decorated with streamers and paint pens by the groomsmen.
“My main hope for the day was just to reflect the joy of the Lord and celebrate the covenant we made to one another, and honestly, everything else was just an added bonus,” Regina says. “It really was one of the happiest days of my life, but I’m looking forward to many more as husband and wife.”
Ceremony Antioch Community Church
Reception Messina Hof
Catering/Alcohol Messina Hof
Photography Edoo Photography
Dress David’s Bridal
Hair/Makeup Celebrity Spa and Salon
Cakes Amazing Cakes by Rosalba
Rings HelloRing, BellyssaJewelry
Program/Invitation Printing Copy Corner
Online Vendors CoastandCane (etsy), CakeTopperBliss (etsy), PenandLetter (etsy), Leslie Michelle Art, The Path Less Traveled (amazon), AislesByAmy (etsy)
Rentals Party Time Rentals
Rehearsal Dinner Paolo’s Italian Kitchen
Wedding Night Accommodations Milton Parker Home
Guest Accommodations Ramada Inn