Stephy Leung and Brian Merck met their junior year of high school at a Katy versus Cinco Ranch high school football game. Stephy was a cheerleader. Brian was in the stands, and when he spotted Stephy on the sidelines he told his friends, “I’m going to marry that girl one day.” He introduced himself during halftime and they became friends. Seven years later on May 29, 2016, the couple exchanged vows at Hidden Falls in the Texas Hill Country.

Stephy is a graduate of Cinco Ranch High and Texas A&M University. She earned a degree in business-marketing and works in loan production at AmCap Mortgage Ltd. Brian graduated from Taylor High and attended Texas A&M and the University of Houston, where he earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies. He is a licensed real estate appraiser employed by Property Interlink.

First Date

After five years of friendship they began dating in 2012. Brian took Stephy to The Avengers, and she recalls, “He looked over and made this really nerdy explosion sound with dramatic hand motions. I thought to myself, ‘All right, this guy is weird.’ ” She decided against going to the bathroom and texting her dad to pick her up because she felt that would be too rude. So she stuck around and soon fell in love with Brian’s goofy sense of humor.


The couple lived in their respective parents’ homes in Katy, focused on their careers, and enjoyed traveling, movies and spending time together. Brian bought a ring but didn’t tell anyone where or when he would be proposing, so it was a surprise for everyone.


On Labor Day weekend in 2014, the couple went vineyard hopping at Lakeway, Texas. They drove to a bed and breakfast on a Friday night. They pulled into a church parking lot and watched the sun set. Brian pulled out a little black ring box, and Stephy immediately began crying. He asked her to marry him, but she couldn’t stop crying long enough to answer him. After about a minute, he asked again, “Well? Will you?” and she finally responded with a YES. They Facetimed with their friends and family afterwards to share the exciting news.


During their 20-month engagement they raised a mini pig named Bear and a Yorkipoo named Rex, moved out of their parents’ houses and into a house in the The Heights, and took a handful of trips to the Texas Hill Country for wedding meetings and tastings. They also took a trip to Costa Rica and to the Coachella music festival in California.

The Wedding

The inspiration for their elegant wedding was the color scheme of the bed and breakfast where they had stayed during their engagement weekend — blush and gold wallpaper, white furniture with gold accents, numerous gold picture frames, and a ceiling painted in dusty blue.


Bouquets were a mix of roses in white, blush and pale pink, including wedding spirit, mother of pearl, faith roses, Tibet with rosette succulents, large leaf dusty miller and eucalyptus. The cross arrangement included the same roses with white hydrangea, large leaf dusty miller and eucalyptus. Row markers included white hydrangea, blush roses, white spray roses, dusty miller and eucalyptus.


The bride wore an Essense of Australia fit-and-flare gown with ivory beaded tulle over gold satin with illusion shoulder straps, plunging back with crystal buttons, and a drop waist. Blush crystal bow heels from BHLDN and an ivory veil with a thin crystal edge completed the ensemble. Bridesmaids wore Jenny Yoo Annabelle dresses in Mayan Blue with nude colored heels. The groom wore a navy blue suit with blush colored tie, gray waistcoat, “good luck” Hawaiian socks, and brown Cole Haan shoes. Groomsmen wore navy blue suits, blush ties and brown shoes.

Bridal party:

Dr. Jerry Edmonson, pastor of The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch and a close family friend, officiated. Parents of the bride, Alex and Pat Leung, were in attendance with parents of the groom, Steve and Janice Merck. Maid of honor Jordan Talhelm and matron of honor Janet Rust stood with bridesmaids Ashley Brown, Spencer Hom, Vicky Flores, Vy Pham, Ashley Nettleship and Kelsey Neidert. Emily Rust served as the flower girl. Best man Chris Haynes stood with groomsmen Andrew Pujats, Michael Mawdsley, Casey Hom, Wes Merck, Travis Leach, Ryan Cicatello and Marshal Bond.

Down the Aisle:

The bride’s father cracked “Dad jokes” to make her laugh and calm her nerves. The couple did not have a first look, so as the bride walked down the aisle she saw her groom wiping away his tears. “In the seven years I’ve known him, I never saw him cry, so that moment was very special to me,” she says.

Top wedding moments:

Pastor Ed­mon­­­son had them hold hands, and Stephy tickled her soon-to-be husband’s palm because she could tell he was nervous at the altar. It made him chuckle. They wrote vows and exchanged them in letters written before the ceremony, because the bride knew she’d become emotional if they were read at the altar. They hadn’t practiced their first kiss, and the groom joked that he would dip the bride, but she told him not to because she would fall off her heels. He did it anyway, but it worked out perfectly. Two white doves were released to symbolize their journey as one.

The Reception

The reception was as elegant as the wedding and was located near waterfalls and lush outdoor foliage.


Gold lanterns, mirror trays and gold candlestick centerpieces with hydrangea, blush and white roses, dusty miller and eucalyptus adorned tabletops, as well as gold charger plates, ivory satin table linens, menu cards tucked into napkins and lots of mercury glass candles. Head table centerpieces were displayed in tall glass cylinders with fresh curly willow, hydrangea, blush roses and eucalyptus. Gold foil “Love Makes the World Go Round” signage was placed throughout venue, and ivory swag hung from the ceiling and chandeliers. The groom made a wooden stand for the place cards, and guests signed a globe in lieu of a guest book. Guests also enjoyed a cigar bar with a traditional guest book to sign, a chocolate fountain and specialty drinks — Pimm’s Cup, Texas Tea and Moscow Mule. A photo booth with still photos, photo flip books and video messages captured the fun.

The cakes:

The five-tier pink champagne cake was filled with raspberry and decorated with blush mother-of-pearl roses, white pearl beading and a rose topper. The groom’s cake was designed as a Yeti cooler with Shiner Boc beer bottles.

Top Reception Moments:

The couple danced to Banners’ Start a Riot. Father and daughter danced to Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses. Mother and son danced to Simple Man’s Shinedown. The Texas A&M Aggie war hymn was played as a huge group of Aggies linked arms and sang at the top of their lungs. Everyone enjoyed the rap/hip hop/dance music that played all night.

The Exit:

A send off of floating Thai lanterns commemorated the celebrations that the bride’s parents had enjoyed in their youth and the lantern the couple had lit when visiting Thailand. While lighting the floating lanterns, one got caught in the wind and fell onto the bride’s gown, and the groom and one of the photographers had to stomp it out. Thankfully, no one was injured, and the bride thought it was comical. The newlyweds exited to a flurry of sparklers.

The Honeymoon

The couple enjoyed eight days at the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and met several other fun couples on their honeymoon. The groom’s mother sent them a text message that Pastor Edmonson forgot to sign their marriage license, which he had never done in all his years of officiating weddings. The couple thought it was funny and joked during their honeymoon that, “We technically aren’t married yet!”

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