Mike Elkins and Montie Smith’s Wedding


“Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can’t help Falling in Love with you!”

Marriage License - Bride and Groom - Weddings by Tirzah - Belton Texas

Typically, it is the Couple’s Wedding Vision that comes together into a magical day; however, this was a Surprise Wedding!! The Couple set the date, chose the officiants, and selected the venue, but it was the Bride’s best friends or rather sisters by heart that planned the wedding for Mike Elkins and Montie Smith; the rest of the details were a complete surprise until the Bride and Groom walked through the doors of the venue on their Wedding Day!

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Tirzah Belton Texas - Walking through the Venue Doors

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Bride and the Father of the Groom
Bride with the Father of the Groom which was one of their Officiants

Mike and Montie were married in our vintage venue, Tirzah, located in the Heart of Texas in the Downtown Belton Historic District. It was a beautiful autumn day in October that was filled with with love, laughter, pumpkins, and hay bales. ?

Entrance Wedding Tirzah Belton Texas

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Friends Decorating
Allison Finney and Kathy Fritsche, the friends that planned the Surprise Wedding

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Grand Room1

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Courtyard Seating for the Wedding Ceremony1

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Courtyard Seating for the Wedding Ceremony

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Floral Decorations

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Decorations Lantern Pumpkin

The Couple held with Tradition and elected to not see each other on their Wedding Day. This Tradition often builds excitement and anticipation for the Wedding Ceremony.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Wedding Dress

One of my favorite parts of the Wedding is when the Groom sees his Bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle towards him in her Wedding Dress. The Couple did not see one another until Montie walked down the aisle with her mother.

Montie Smith Bride Wedding Tirzah
Montie Smith, the beautiful Bride
Mike Elkins Groom Wedding Tirzah
Mike Elkins, the dashing Groom

Another Wedding Tradition that the Bride included was based on an old English rhyme … “Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue, a sixpence in your shoe!” Brides have been following this custom for centuries. Montie’s dad placed a penny in Montie’s shoe to bring prosperity to their marriage.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Pick a Seat not a Side

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Love Decoration

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Grand Romm Table Decorations

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Bouquet and Boutonnieres

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Mr and Mrs

The Maid of Honor was Montie’s daughter, Mary, and the Best Man was Mike’s brother, Albert. Mike’s son, Alex, played a song on a guitar as the Wedding Party was walking in.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Maid of Honor1
Mary, the Maid of Honor

There were two officiants, and the two were each of the Bride and Groom’s dads. The Wedding Ceremony was very beautiful and witnessed by their closest family and friends. The Couple wrote their own vows which told the story of their love.

Mike and Montie's Wedding in the Courtyard at Tirzah

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Wedding Ceremony at the Alter with Father of the Bride

“I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.
You may now kiss your Bride!”

Mike and Montie's Wedding - First Kiss
First Kiss! ♥️

“May we present Mr. and Mrs. Mike Elkins!”

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Courtyard - Couple at the Alter

The Couple’s Guestbook was a Wedding Tree where people added their fingerprint and signed their name.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Guestbook - Wedding Tree

A Loving Memory display was included to remember their loved ones … “We know you would be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away.” For as long as there is a memory, they live on in our heart.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - In Loving Memory Display

Montie’s daughter, Mary, and Mary’s friends assembled all of the Party Favors to thank the family and friends for attending the nuptials.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Party Favors

Coronas De Oro served a delicious meal at the Reception. Wine was served to toast with; the wine bottles were personalized with the Couple’s picture on them, and their children were given a bottle of wine to take home as a gift.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Bottle of Wine

Another best friend of Montie’s, Allison Allen, made their Wedding Cake.

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Cutting of the Cake

For their final farewell, the guests were blowing bubbles of wedding wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs.

Final Farewell - Bubbles

On their way to a happily ever after, the Newlyweds honeymooned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. While they were there, they went to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, hiked the Appalachian Trail, and saw a black bear. They also explored Elvis Presley’s home, the Graceland Mansion, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Honeymoon - Smoky Mountains

Honeymoon - Appalachian Trail

The couple traveled on to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina and went on a tour and carriage ride at the Biltmore House. The timeless beauty of the Biltmore was built in 1895. This historic landmark is America’s largest home with 250-rooms and 8,000 acres of grounds and gardens.

Honeymoon - Biltmore House

A very special Wedding memory for me was when the Bride thanked me for “making their day so special.”  Those sweet words were a treasure and warmed my heart!

After the Newlyweds returned from their Honeymoon, I gave them a small gift which was an ornament replica of the Biltmore House, and I asked the Bride if she had to do it all over again with the Wedding, would she still have a “Surprise Wedding?” She said, “Yes, I wouldn’t change a thing!!”

Mike and Montie's Wedding - Honeymoon - Biltmore House

We are so happy for this sweet Couple. We wish them many years of love, happiness, exciting adventures, and cherished memories!! ?

Diana with Bride and Groom Wedding Tirzah Belton Texas

Weddings by Tirzah ღ

If you would like additional information about event coordination, planning a romantic adventure, or about the other services that we offer, please contact us at info@tirzah.biz.

Copyright 2018. Tirzah. All rights reserved.

Our First Wedding at Tirzah – Jake Roehl and Whitney Joeckel’s Wedding


Jake Roehl and Whitney Joeckel are the very first couple to celebrate their dream day, their wedding, in this beautiful historic building, Tirzah!

Jake and Whitney’s wedding was a very meaningful and intimate occasion. Having a small wedding let them incorporate special moments that would be difficult to include in a large wedding. For instance, as their guests entered, each one found a card on a prayer board with a prayer inside that was written just for them.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Prayer Board

They even wrote a prayer for me and Cory that we treasure.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Prayer Board Diana Cory

For the couple’s Guest Book, the guests signed a large wooden letter R with messages of love.

The couple chose not to have a first look prior to the wedding.  Jake arrived first at the venue, and he went into a separate area so that Whitney could go upstairs for the final touches of getting dressed for their wedding.

As the Bride was alone with her father before they walked down the aisle, they said a beautiful prayer together. They walked in to the song called, “Oceans … When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace. For I am Yours, and You are mine!”

Jake sees Whitney for the first time in her wedding dress as she is walking down the aisle.  This is a look of a man in love!

Jake Whitney Wedding First Look

Both the Bride and Groom wrote their own vows to each other. At the beginning, the Bride seemed a little nervous, but as the Groom was saying his vows to her, you could see her nervousness fade away and be replaced with a radiant smile.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Wedding Ceremony

Two signature stand-out moments in this intimate ceremony included a Blessing of the Rings and a Feet Washing Ceremony. Their wedding rings were passed around the room on a beautiful small dish that read, “Amore.”  Each guest prayed a blessing over the rings, and then they passed the rings to the next guest.

Tirzah Real Wedding Blessing of the Rings Amore

Jake Whitney Wedding Ring Exchange

In the Feet Washing Ceremony, Whitney washed Jake’s feet. The beautiful symbolism of the act depicted their love and commitment; it demonstrated a humility of the heart, a sign of being humble, thoughtful, and willing to serve just as Jesus encouraged us to follow in his example.  In John 13:1-17, Jesus washed the disciples feet and instructed that we should do the same.

Tirzah Real Wedding Washing of the Feet Ceremony

Jake Whitney Wedding Feet Washing

Another personal touch was that they had a display to meet the “Maids and Men.” Each had four attendants, and then Jake also had a Best Girl, his daughter Paige. Letters were written about each of the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen with a story introducing each one.  The letter mentioned how they met and why it was important for them to stand by the Bride and Groom on their wedding day, and then some trivia that the guests might ask them to start a conversation.  It was a very nice way for the guests to learn about the wedding party.

Tirzah Real Wedding Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

After the ceremony, the newlyweds took pictures in the courtyard with the rustic rock wall as a backdrop.  The photographers for the event were Jade and Kyle Pierce.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Rustic Rock Wall Backdrop Couple Photo
Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Rustic Rock Wall Backdrop Family Photo
First Family Photo
Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Rustic Rock Wall Backdrop Group Photo
Wedding Celebration with their closest Friends and Family

Since Jake proposed to Whitney on the beach, the reception design incorporated candle-lit lanterns with greenery and seashells. The colors of the wedding were navy with a hint of blush.

Tirzah Real Wedding Reception Tablescape

The florist for the event was Revyn Marburger with Ivory Bell Floral and Boutique. She provided the floral arrangements as well as the lanterns.

Jake and Whitney had a Sweetheart table at the head of the Grand Room.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney

The Bride and Groom chose to have a dessert table with brownies that the Groom’s daughter had made and a small white cake; however, for their cutting of the cake, they cut the cutest cupcake with a little red heart on the top.

Tirzah Real Wedding Cupcake

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Cutting the Cupcake

After toasts and eating a delicious Bar-B-Que meal from Miller’s Smokehouse, they danced the night away under the stars. The first song that the couple danced to was “Who I Am With You” by Chris Young.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney First Dance

When it was time for the Bouquet and Garter Toss, Jake’s daughter Paige caught the bouquet.

Tirzah Real Wedding Jake and Whitney Bouquet and Garter Toss

The couple said their goodbyes and had their final farewell. They laughingly entered the Grand Room, and they stopped to tell me bye and described their day as “magical!” ❤

For their getaway, they left in Jake’s jeep, and Jake lifted Whitney up to help her inside. They honeymooned in San Antonio, the City of Romance, and stayed at Hotel Emma on the Riverwalk at Pearl. Hotel Emma is a historical hotel that was once a 19th century Brewhouse.  The hotel was named in honor of Emma Koehler, who ran the brewery during Prohibition after her husband died.  This riverfront hotel has a genuine cultural flavor filled with a warm social experience.

Tirzah Honeymoon Hotel Emma San Antonio Texas Riverwalk

Tirzah Honeymoon San Antonio Hotel Emma Texas

Filled with faith and full of love, they each married “God’s Best” for each other.  It was a beautiful, heartfelt day full of personal touches!! ?

Groom Jake Bride Whitney Wedding Planner Diana Weddings by Tirzah

Weddings by Tirzah ღ

If you would like additional information about our vintage venue and the services that we offer, please contact us at info@tirzah.biz.

Venue - Tirzah
Photography - Jade and Kyle Photography
Florist - Revyn Marburger with Ivory Bell Floral
Caterer - Miller's Smokehouse
Copyright 2017. Tirzah. All rights reserved.


Nevis … The Undiscovered Paradise


With the Nevis Tourism Authority, I had a wonderful opportunity of becoming one of the first certified Nevis Romance Specialists. In this unparalleled experience, I discovered an unspoiled natural beauty of the Caribbean!

8-Nevis Mountain Peak2 - Resized

In the center of the tropical island resides the majestic Nevis Peak which is a dormant volcano that rises 3,232 feet above the island, and the tip of the peak seems to always be shrouded by a cloud.  There is one main road that circles around the island, and there are not any traffic lights.  The island is only 36 square miles; it will take about 45 minutes to drive it.  The island is shaped like a ball; whereas, its sister island St. Kitts is a little larger and shaped like a bat.  St. Kitts is more commercialized, and it is a stop with the major cruise ships.  The islands at their closest point are two miles apart; the strait that separates the Caribbean islands at its narrowest is called “The Narrows.”  The Caribbean Sea is west of the two islands, and the Atlantic Ocean is on the eastern coast. The two islands make up a country; two islands, one paradise!

Since Nevis is a small island, they must focus on sustainable tourism, and tourism is their major source of income.  They are very “green” in the manner in which they live. From the air, you mainly just see the green landscape and not concrete.  Many of the buildings are made from volcanic stone, and no building is taller than a palm tree.

The people are genuinely nice, and you are always greeted with a warm smile. Since the island is small and the population is few, the locals already know each other so they enjoy seeing new people; it is part of their social life to meet and talk with visitors. You are only a stranger in Nevis once; they know you by name and not as a number. The people on the island take pride in their history.  The primary language is English, and the predominant religion is Christianity.  They are conservative and very educated; they have a 98% literacy rate.

5-Nevis Tourism Authority - Resized

It is a relatively safe place to travel; however, you would want to be as cautious as you are at home.  Interestingly, it is against the law to use profanity and to wear camouflage.

If there are two people having a conversation in the middle of the road, then the next person coming along down the road is not honking wanting them to hurry and move because what is most important is the conversation.

There are not any fast food restaurants on the island.  It is fine dining at its best. Wherever you dine, they are not rushing you in and out to serve the next person. It is a leisurely meal.  It is a time to enjoy your pleasant surroundings, the engaging company, the delicious food, and the conversation.

1-Nevis Roasted Pig - Resized

There is great diversity in the hotels that the island offers; the island is not commercialized with cookie-cutter resorts.  I had the great fortune of getting to stay at the Montpelier Plantation. The hotel was a former sugar plantation which dates back to 1747, and the hotel opened in 1966.  The hotel is situated on 60 acres amidst lush tropical hills at the base of the majestic Nevis Peak and 750 feet above the vibrant Caribbean Sea.

4-Nevis Caribbean Sea

A welcoming weeping fig at the entrance of the inn makes you feel as though you are entering the land of enchantment.

3-Nevis Montpelier Fig Tree

At this boutique hideaway, you can reserve private dining in a 300 year old sugar mill and get a stellar 6-course meal; this romantic and memorable dining experience is something that you would not get anywhere else in the world.

6-Nevis Sugar Mill

As I walked to my room, I felt like I was in a rain-forest with the lush greenery. Princess Diana also stayed here in 1993 to escape the media; she came with her two sons one month after her separation from Prince Charles was announced. We did many site inspections of various hotels including Montpelier, and the room she stayed in was the room that we toured.  When I had time to enjoy our lodging, I went and sat on the porch of Princess Diana’s room.  I wanted to sit where she sat and see the view that she saw.  The view was very beautiful, but it was also very peaceful as was the view from my room.  She picked a room next to a tennis court.  I stayed in Cottage #1, and she stayed in Cottage #16 so our rooms were relatively close.

7-Nevis Montpelier Rain Forest

Nevis has a large population of wild African Green Vervet Monkeys.  The monkeys outnumber the residents with a resident population of 12,000.  The monkeys live on the mountain, and then come down for food during the day.  The monkeys would be at the back entrance of my room which had a view of the mountain and Caribbean Sea.  I did not actually see a monkey there, but my neighbor next to me saw them all of the time and showed me pictures to prove it.  I saw the monkeys elsewhere though.  One was scampering on the golf course, and the others were playing in the rain-forest.  The wild monkeys shy away from people if you try to get close.  Fascinatingly, there are even Monkey Crossing signs on the road.

2-Nevis Monkey

The island also has goats and donkeys that wander and graze during the day; they were not fenced in, but they go home to their owners in the evening.  I was surprised that the island had so many flowers with the goats.

1-Nevis Tirzah

Sometimes people go on vacation, and when you return, you need a vacation from your vacation.  This beautiful island is different to me; everything about it is relaxing; you truly embrace island time, revel in the lush tropical beauty, and appreciate the importance of conversation and relationships. There are so many interesting tidbits about the island.  I highly recommend a visit to the enchanting island of Nevis, a very charming, intimate, and pampering secret escape!


The featured image was taken by my friend and fellow specialist, Norman Williams.

#Tirzah #LegacyofLove #NevisRomance #MontpelierPlantation #TravelCaribbean #RomanticEscape #Honeymoon #DestinationWedding

Copyright 2015. Tirzah. All rights reserved.