Wedding Guide

A Surprise Ceremony

Channing and Megan Michelle Smith-Decker’s wedding was a mystery to their guests.

Channing and Megan Michelle Smith-Decker (Photos by Kaits Images)

Channing and Megan Smith-Decker first met in 2016 when Channing reached out to Megan and asked her if she could cut her hair. “She’s been my barber ever since,” Channing says. Luckily, Channing had a sweet pickup line ready for Megan: “Do you cut short women’s hair? I mean, I’m not short, but my hair is!” From then on, Channing adds, “I’m convinced she’s been hooked.”

Channing, 44, is from Cleburne, Texas, and is a contract administrator at Olin Corporation in Freeport. Megan Michelle, 33, a native of Columbus, Texas, graduated from Texas Barber College in Columbus and now owns and operates The County Seat Barbers in Angleton.

The couple say they can’t recall one specific time when they knew they had found their forever mate. “We remember feeling safe for the first time in a relationship. We loved how effective and healthy the communication was between us,” Channing recalls. “Also, what it looked like to have your partner show up for you. When we experienced these things with one another, we knew we wanted it to last forever.”

When it came to proposing, Channing was the one who decided to pop the question. They had planned a date day, and Channing sensed that it was going to be the big day.

“I had the ring in the door pocket of the car, hiding it from her,” Channing says. “On the way to the car, we decided I would drive, which meant Megan would be right next to her ring.” As Megan was getting in the car, Channing had to grab the ring so Megan wouldn’t see it.

When they arrived at the local Goodwill store, Channing made her move. “I dropped to one knee in the parking lot and asked her to spend the rest of her life with me. Megan said yes, and when I asked her if she wanted to see the ring, she said, ‘Not yet. All I’ve ever needed was you, and I just want to take in this last moment before we go to the next chapter.’”

They sat in that parking lot for a long time. “We even had spectators cheering us on as we made the choice to choose each other for the rest of our lives,” Channing recalls.

The couple were married on July 2, 2023, with Judge Jeff Gilbert officiating.

The two were wed on July 2, 2023, at Lawless Spirits & Kitchen in downtown Houston’s Rice Hotel, with Judge Jeff Gilbert officiating. “We chose Jeff because he has been a client and friend of Megan’s for years. He’s witnessed the highs and lows of Megan’s life, and encouraged [her to begin] this new chapter—all [while sitting in] the barber’s chair during his haircuts,” Channing says.

The couple knew right from the start that a traditional ceremony was not their style. “We decided, with the help of our wedding coordinator and great friend, Alisha Shuck (owner of Ambition Events & Services), to [invite our guests to] a “Murder Mystery Birthday Party,” written and narrated by Davis Gordon Gilbert—which was actually our surprise wedding ceremony,” Channing explains.

Guests were completely shocked that there was a surprise wedding ceremony at the end of the murder mystery. “We also surprised our guests with entertainment provided by the one and only Cyn Queen,” Channing adds. “Our only challenge was keeping this big secret!”

All of their vendors were LGBTQ-friendly, of course. “Everyone we encountered was incredibly friendly, welcoming, and respectful of our love—and our wants for our special day,” Channing notes.

The couple chose to get ready for the day together instead of in separate locations, as is traditional. “For us, being able to share every moment together, including getting ready, was special. It relieved a lot of stressors that some couples generally feel,” Channing adds.

Immediately following their ceremony, the two drove to Austin for a mini-moon. “We chose Austin because it is our happy place and somewhere we love to visit. We plan to go to Costa Rica for our actual honeymoon. Neither of us have ever been there, but we are drawn to the happiness and the culture.”

The two could not be happier in their home in Rosharon, a short drive from Angleton. “Channing consistently strives to do everything to the best of her ability, not only through her actions, but also in how she shows up for others,” Megan concludes. “The way she lights up when she speaks of those she loves is contagious, and inspires [us to realize] that we all have the capability to love deeper.”

“Megan is the kindest and most gentle soul I have ever encountered,” Channing adds. “She strives to always encourage others to be their best self. She is an impactful leader and is truly inspiring. I’m lucky to call her my wife.”

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Jenny Block

Jenny Block is a frequent contributor to a number of high-profile publications from New York Times to Huffington Post to Playboy and is the author of four books, including “Be That Unicorn: Find your Magic. Live your Truth. Share your Shine." She has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs from Nightline to BBC Radio to Great Day Houston and has performed and spoken at bookstores, events, conferences, and resorts in the US and Mexico, as well as on Holland America Cruise ships.
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