Stephen Sullivan Gilstrap and his bride, the former Megan (Meggie) Kittrell Sudderth, were united in Christian marriage during a double ring ceremony Saturday evening, June 4th, 2011. The wedding was held at Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas beginning at 6:30 p.m. with Dr. R. Pat Day, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Shreveport, La. (formerly of Marshall, Texas) performing the nuptials. A reception followed the ceremony at the Lakewood Country Club.
Meggie is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Sudderth and Ms. Lauren Cleaveland, all of Dallas, Texas. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Jane Sudderth of Dallas and the late Dr. Jerry Sudderth and the late Mr. and Mrs. Don Jameson. Meggie is a 2008 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA degree in Plan II Honors, Government Honors and English and a 2011 graduate of Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a Juris Doctor degree. In August, she will begin a judicial clerkship with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.
Stephen is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Gilstrap of Marshall, Texas and the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sullivan of Marshall and Mr. Joseph Gilstrap of Gulf Breeze, Florida and the late Mrs. Gilstrap. Stephen is a 2008 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA degree in Plan II Honors and Government Honors and a BBA degree in Business Honors and Finance. He is also a 2011 graduate of Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut with a Juris Doctor degree. In August, he will begin a judicial clerkship with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.
Mr. Danny Ray, organist, provided the wedding music during the ceremony and began the service by chiming the hour. Harpist Ms. Allison Read played chosen musical selections prior to the service for family and friends. The foyer of the church was decorated with a large floral arrangement of butter cream stock, concodor lilies, bells of Ireland, volkenfrienden delphinium, royal iris, white ranunculus, yellow roses and mixed hydrangeas placed beside the bride’s book. Miss Claire Pavlovic of New Haven, Connecticut and Miss Kate Rice of Washington, D.C. served as greeters while Mr. Chase Fuerst and Mr. Max Fuerst both of Dallas, Texas and Mr. Brian Stacey of Austin, Texas served as ushers. Family members were seated to Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach. The sanctuary of the church was decorated with fresh flower arrangements in the bride’s chosen colors of blue, yellow and candlelight. The altar area was flanked by two massive arrangements in white urns which included white dendrobium orchids, soft butter cream roses and stock, pastel blue and green hydrangeas, royal iris, delphinium, bells of Ireland, snapdragons, and fragrant concodor lilies. Fresh flowers also cascaded from the baptistery area including skyline roses, blizzard roses, white lissianthus, suncity spray roses, white freesia, royal iris, and white ranunculus. Family pews were marked with clutch arrangements of white, blue and green hydrangeas, white dendrobium orchids, casa blanca lilies and roses tied with candlelight ribbons. Ten colonial style windows were decorated with hurricane globes and lighted candles surrounded by roses and mixed hydrangeas on stylized leaves.
Honor attendants entered to Canon in D Major by Pachelbel. Miss Shannon Doyle of Washington, D.C. served as maid of honor. She was joined by bridesmaids including Miss Ladan Agharokh of Dallas, Texas; Miss Brette Garner of Houston, Texas; Dr. Lauren Gilstrap of Boston, Massachusetts; Miss Emily Scheinfeld of Atlanta, Georgia; and Miss Rebecca Ticker of Houston, Texas. The ladies wore sleeveless knee length navy evening dresses with silver sandals and jewelry. Each carried a fresh clutch bouquet of white hydrangeas, freesia, and butter cream stock wrapped in navy blue ribbon.
Mr. Sean Sandoloski of San Antonio, Texas served as best man. He was joined by groomsmen including Mr. Bill Bacon of San Francisco, California; Mr. Pete Christianson of Houston, Texas; Mr. Bill Perdue of New Haven, Connecticut; Mr. Max Sudderth of Dallas, Texas; and Mr. Tyler Sudderth of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The gentlemen wore formal black tuxedos with navy blue vests and matching ties. Each wore boutonnieres of dendrobium orchids, white freesia, stock and hydrangeas.
The bride entered on the arm of her father to The Prince of Denmark’s March by Clarke, and was given in marriage by her parents. She chose for her wedding a signature gown designed by Maggie Sottero. The vintage inspired gown featured a portrait neckline of French alencon lace sprinkled with seed beads and crystals which melted into the asymmetrical bodice. Tulle rouching detailed the bodice and floated into a princess cut A-line skirt. Exquisite champagne lace appliqué detailed the skirt extending to a chapel train. Monarch designs of appliqué adorned the elegant train and encircled the hem. Her headpiece was a double row bandeau of seed beads and iridescent crystals worn with a fingertip veil of Parisian tulle scalloped with champagne embroidery. The bride wore family heirloom jewelry and new pearls, a wedding gift from the groom. She carried a clutch bouquet of soft elegant flowers including freesia, white ranunculus, butter cream stock, lissianthus, orchids, roses and hydrangeas wrapped with a candlelight ribbon.
Mr. Brian Stacey of Austin, Texas and Miss Gabrielle Holburt of New Haven, Connecticut served as readers during the ceremony. New Testament verses from I Corinthians and a poem entitled Union by Robert Fulghum were presented prior to the formal vows and exchange of rings. The musical selection Ava Maria by Schubert was played by the harpist while the couple shared Holy Communion. The declaration of marriage was followed by those present reciting the Lord’s Prayer. The couple recessed to applause while the musicians played Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
A reception honoring the couple followed the ceremony at the Lakewood Country Club. Guests entered through the foyer area which was decorated with a massive vase arrangement of fresh mixed flowers in the bride’s chosen colors. Smaller floral arrangements were placed at points of interest in the sitting area where framed pictures of the bride and groom at various ages were displayed. The honor attendants’ bouquets were placed together with the bride’s bouquet around a large candle display which illuminated the bridal registry.
The main ballroom area was likewise decorated in the bride’s colors of blue, yellow and candlelight. The tables which were decorated with navy blue overlays held antique books and various silver pieces which had cascading flower arrangements in differing styles and designs including soft arrangements of mixed hydrangeas, roses, stock, lissianthus, iris, spray roses and concodor lilies. Culinary stations were set up in corner areas as well as in exterior rooms, and guests were served buffet style. The front doors of the ballroom opened into an overflow area which continued with additional food stations and displayed the bride and groom’s wedding cakes. The bride’s cake was a five tier white confection decorated with yellow and white roses, the couple’s initials, and was topped with a Willow Tree bride and groom. The groom’s cake was a replica of the tower at the Unive