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Goin’ to the Chapel

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Candice and Megan Gonzalez had a traditional Catholic ceremony, but without the priest.

By Henry V. Thiel
Photo by Eternal Stories Photography

Candice and Megan Gonzalez met in a dog park in Huntsville while attending Sam Houston State University’s music school.

Megan, 25, is a special-education teacher, while Candice, 22, is still studying music.

They both had beagles that day, and Candice was wearing her school music shirt—all of which proved to be good conversation starters. They hit it off instantly and were soon talking about everything.

Eventually, Candice convinced Megan to go on a date, and they ended up spending the entire day together. Candice kept thinking of things to do and places to take Megan so their date would never end. And actually, it still hasn’t.

“Her smile was the first thing that I noticed when we met,” Candice says. “I soon learned that Megan is very outgoing, her smile and laughter is infectious, and she can always make me laugh. At the same time, she’s passionate and hardworking, and she always knows exactly what she wants.”

Megan describes Candice as sweet and kindhearted. “She’s extremely intellectual and has a passion for music and theater. The best thing about her is that she always knows how to make me smile, and puts everyone before herself.”

Candice proposed to Megan on December 14, 2015, while they were having photos taken for Christmas cards. Secretly, Candice had hung Megan’s ring on the Christmas tree that was behind them for the pictures. She waited and waited for Megan to see it. “Eventually, I had to ask her to turn around. She was so adorable when her eyes popped open wide, like her mouth, as she reached for it,” Candice recalls. “I asked her to marry me at that very moment.” Megan said yes.

Unbeknownst to Candice, Megan had been working on a custom engagement ring since May of that year, three months after they met. “I had planned to propose the following February, but she’s always one step ahead of me,” Megan says.

“I know it’s kind of crazy, but I knew I wanted to marry Megan from the very beginning,” Candice says. “I think I knew the moment we met. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow! I’m going to marry this girl.’”

When Megan moved to Houston for her internship as a music therapist, Candice would drive straight from class on Fridays to spend the weekend with her, and then drive back to Huntsville on Monday morning. “I remember driving down on my days off just to spend what time I could with her, even if it was only for a few hours. She was worth it,” Candice says. Eventually, the separation became too hard, and they decided that they didn’t want to be apart from one another ever again.

Megan is originally from McKinney, and Candice is from Nederland, Texas. They decided to get married in Frisco, where Megan grew up and her family lives.

They were married on February 18, 2017, at the Frisco Heritage Center’s Lebanon Chapel, and had their reception at the Grand Ballroom and Hotel in McKinney. Their officiant was Candice’s cousin, Robert Hamilton.

They tried to make the ceremony as traditional as possible. They are both Catholic and chose to use a lasso rosary, which is a common Mexican Catholic wedding tradition. “It’s common to use a rosary in the ceremony,” Megan says. “It’s used during the unity part of the ceremony. While it may look like a large rosary, with one loop, the lasso rosary actually has two loops, allowing a member of the wedding party to slip the rosary over each person’s head while the priest says a few words. However, we were not able to get a Catholic priest (for obvious reasons), so Candice’s cousin officiated. He said a few words about unity, and added a scripture or two. It was the most moving part of the ceremony for me.”

“Another really cool thing about our wedding was that I actually wore Megan’s grandmother’s wedding dress,” Candice says. “I’m technically the third generation in the Gonzalez family to wear it. Her aunt wore it, as well. I think the only thing we omitted from the traditional ceremony was the ‘speak now or forever hold your peace’ bit.”

At the end of the evening, the beautiful brides rode off into their future in a horse-drawn carriage driven by Shannon from Happy Trails Carriage Services. “She was really awesome,” Megan says. “All of our vendors were really great, actually. We didn’t have any issues. Everything went smoothly.”

Megan and Candice, who reside in Houston, chose to forgo a honeymoon in favor of saving for a new home and to travel in the future.

This article appears in the October 2017 edition of OutSmart Magazine. 

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Henry Thiel

Henry V. Thiel is a principal with The Epicurean Publicist, a boutique public relations company which works exclusively with chefs and restauranteurs. He loves weddings.
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