The romance of Chan Roark and Sid Ham started literally decades ago in the great state of Texas.  Years later, they found each other again, but this time, after Chan had been living in Alabama some twenty years, and Sid had relocated to Colorado.  The details are not that important, but the fact that these two soul mates were reunited a couple of years ago, is quite a romantic story.  In fact, National Public Radio even featured their love story on Valentine’s Day!   After making plans to marry several months ago, my friend, Ginger, and I were thrilled to be given the challenge of decorating the beautiful Highlands Oaks Golf Club in Dothan for the ceremony and the reception.  Chan requested whites, greens, and yellow roses, of course, since it is  the state flower of Texas.  Green and white hydrangeas were ordered along with white and yellow roses.  Magnolia, Elaeagnus, tea olive, cast iron plant, variegated Pittosporum and yarrow were cut several days in advance for our arrangements.


The greenery was conditioned for a couple of days in buckets of warm water…

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All of the containers were prepared the day before, oasis soaked, and cut to fit the containers. Four rectangular shaped containers were used for the mantel while a large rustic iron vessel was centered on the hearth.  Since larger, heavy stems of magnolia were used, I secured the oasis to the containers with waterproof florist tape. The four  containers were generously filled with magnolia, Pittosporum, yarrow and cast iron leaves.

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This container, embellished with a fleur- de- lis, was particularly appropriate because of the couple’s love for New Orleans.  It was where they “rekindled” their relationship!

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Two large cylinders for the dessert table were lined with wet floral foam.  Two large cast iron leaves were inserted between the oasis and inside  edge of the cylinder. Variegated Pittosporum along with sprigs of yarrow were added.  Floral clay was used to secure the pillar candle to the oasis.

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Two off white urns and a rustic tree stump container were used for the buffet tables.  These arrangements were constructed on site.  Again magnolia and Pittosporum formed the structure for the arrangements.  Then more greenery, roses, and hydrangeas were added.  Trailing cross vine to was added as a final touch.

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Clear glass bowl  pedestals, double wall bowls, glass candlesticks and an assortment of votives with floating candles provided romantic-style centerpieces on the dining tables. Elaeagnus and magnolia were artfully placed around the glass vessels. Ginger, my sweet, loyal friend and helper did a wonderful job with  of the tablescapes…

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Now, enjoy scenes from the wedding…


The front view as the guests arrived…

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Sid, an artisan in his own right, carved this lovely wooden container filled with yellow roses for the gift table in the foyer.


The Highland Oaks clubhouse, situated on a lake amidst stately trees is, without a doubt, one of the most picturesque settings for a wedding in our area…

The  rustic stacked stone fireplace provided a lovely setting for the ceremony in the great room.

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Here comes the bride pictured with her lovely daughter.


Immediately following the ceremony guests were invited out to the verandah to put their thumb prints on a “Friendship Tree” to commemorate  the occasion..

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The reception area is featured below…

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Debbie Hundley crafted the ceramic swan which is a favorite of Chan’s. The swan showcased a light and airy arrangement on the bridal party’s dining table.


What a joyous occasion that united many loving family members and friends that transcended years of friendships for Sid and Chan..


The Reverend David Saliba (far right) along with his wife, Elizabeth, and in-laws, Frank and Olivia Crockett, officiated the ceremony.


The multi-talented Debbie Yurevich did a masterful job of coordinating the entire event in addition to staging the dessert and Friendship Tree tables…

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Their first dance was appropriate for the occasion:   “Waltz Across Texas”.


“When we dance together

my world’s in disguise.

It’s a fairyland tale that’s come true..

When you look at me girl

With those stars in your eyes.

I could waltz across Texas with you”



  1. You are Ginger are hired! Absolutely stunning! I want to come hang out with ya’ll and learn a few trades. I am a good gopher!!

  2. Mary Lise…you did a fantastic job! Not only with the decorations and flowers, but with the pictures as well. Beautiful blog…I know Chan and Sid are so pleased! It was a pleasure working with you my sweet and dear friend! Anytime!

    • This would have never been pulled off without you, Ginger! You did a great job, and kept me from getting stressed. And, of course, Win’s help was invaluable afterwards. Thanks so much, sweet friend, for everything! Love you…

    • Thanks, Patsy! We had counted on the limelights being ready, but unfortunately they weren’t! However, they are bursting into bloom at my house just over the last few days. Thanks for your sweet comments.

  3. Absolutely beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!! Mary Lise and Ginger I hope the word doesn’t get out. You’ll be busy!! I can’t believe I had to miss it. But thank you so much for the blog and pictures!

  4. Beautiful flowers in stunning arrangements — such a lovely wedding! That treat table looked mouthwatering, and the whole reception area was magical! You did such a fantastic job, and I’m sure the bride and groom loved everything!

  5. Pingback: Elaeagnus angustifolia | Find Me A Cure

  6. What a lovely accounting of the preparation and the evening. What the writer you are, too, Mary Lise. It was nice to see you again and to work with you and Ginger. Delightful.

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