“The first time I laid eyes on William, he was at my front door wearing a tuxedo,” reveals Tracy Glesby of her first date to a black-tie gala with William Guy Northington. “He wore the same tuxedo from our first meet on our wedding day,” she adds. The night he proposed, Tracy and William chose their wedding date: New Year’s Eve 2019.
With just eight months to plan a celebration for 350 loved ones, they immediately hired Ann Whittington of Ann Whittington Events to ensure the entire soirée went off without a hitch. “When you have Ann Whittington as your planner, none of it feels like a task,” shares Tracy of the planning process. “I was very fortunate to have her!” When it came time to choose the location of their nuptials, the couple knew Houston was perfect as it’s not only where they reside, but also where they fell in love.
“Since our wedding was on New Year’s Eve, we wanted to make sure all the events were inside and it was a ‘one stop shop’ kind of an evening,” affirms Tracy, who focused on their guests’ experience from the beginning. Since her family has been members of The Houstonian for nearly half a century, the luxury property made for the perfect venue that could not only accommodate their guest list, but also allow for the ceremony and reception to be in two different spaces. “It really felt like home for me,” notes the bride of their selected site. “I have so many memories there and will continue to for years to come.”
When the big day finally arrived, loved ones made their way into the dimly lit ceremony space. Instead of the typical black, white, and metallic color palette for many events on New Year’s Eve, the pair embraced vibrant hues for the décor. “I love color!” exclaims the bride. Inspired by the famous wedding scene in Crazy Rich Asians, Tracy walked down the aisle as musicians recreated the musical moment from the film – “guitarist, singer, and all... It was perfect!” she adds. At last, she met William beneath a well-lit acrylic chuppah draped with asymmetrical florals in punchy shades of fuchsia, marigold, and cerulean for the Jewish ceremony. “I’ll never forget the roar of clapping and ‘Mazels’ that came after William smashed the glass,” recalls Tracy, “or better yet, the huge smile of success on his face that said, I’m so glad I got that on the first try!”
To create a seamless transition from ceremony to reception, the theme carried through to the tablescapes in the ballroom, “with a bit more Champagne,” smiles the bride of the bubbly that flowed all night long. Guests found their seats at round tables strewn with elegant linens and adorned with low centerpieces of peonies, roses, and additional billowing blooms in nearly all the colors of the rainbow accented with wintry branches. The head table showcased the same blossoms in a stunning floral “runner” that extended the length of the table. Candles provided a romantic ambience, and the pièce de résistance was the large ceiling installation of colorful flowers over the custom dance floor.
Following a delectable sit-down dinner service along with slices of the couple’s white-and-gold wedding cake, friends and family danced and celebrated to the sounds of a live band. “We wanted great music with performers,” declares the bride of the entertainment. “I mean, ‘jump off the stage, dance with the crowd, give me three dancing trumpet players doing the limbo’ kind of band!” Just before midnight, the newlyweds locked eyes from across the room, and as the 10-second countdown to midnight began, they took strides towards one another and met in the middle of the stage. Once the clock struck 12 o’clock, confetti erupted for their first New Year’s kiss as husband and wife.
“The most important aspect of the celebration for me was that Tracy have the wedding of her dreams,” says William. And she did. “Most of my memories from that evening were feelings, but I remember everything about my husband,” muses the bride. “From the first time I saw him that evening until the next morning – what he wore, how he danced, his words, his gestures, every movement ingrained in my memory.” Though the day went by much too quickly, the pair made sure to cherish every moment. “I can honestly say, I wouldn’t change a thing,” confirms the groom. “It was our perfect wedding.”
With her dream wedding forever in her mind, the bride offers a word of advice for future couples – once they’re married. “It is such a special thing when you can make every single guest feel how much they mean to you,” she shares, admitting it’s difficult to do so at an event with a large guest list. “You will not have the time to do this during your wedding, so when writing thank-you notes, do so timely and put into words how much you care for them, how you have learned from them, and how you are better for having them in your life. People aren’t told every day how wonderful they truly are and to receive a note in the mail outlining just that is so very meaningful.”