Texas Weddings Summer 2021

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CELEB RAT E TOGE T HE R AT TH E WE ST IN GA L LERIA & T HE WE ST I N OA KS HOU STON Tucked inside The Galleria, in the heart of Uptown Houston, your guests will enjoy the convenience of these two recenlty renovated luxury hotels. With five distinct ballrooms we can accommodate intimate gatherings to large parties for any style of celebration. From delicious cuisine and personalized service, to enriching experiences and vibrant venues, we ensure that every detail of your event comes to life lawlessly.

The Westin Galleria

The Westin Oaks



A beautiful foyer entrance on the third floor leads to our iconic ballroom that is adorned with luxurious crystal chandeliers. Celebrate with up to 850 guests.

A classic space boasting oversized chandeliers, located on the third floor; an ideal setting for celebrations up to 450 guests.


Located on the third floor this contemporary space is accented with modern chandeliers. This is the perfect ballroom for up to 250 guests. MONARCH BALLROOM


Floor to ceiling windows offer expansive views of the downtown skyline and evening city lights. This ballroom is located on the 21st floor and is ideal for intimate gatherings up to 150 guests.

Elegance awaits on the 24th floor in this open ballroom offering stunning city views that provide a dramatic and chic backdrop for up to 200 guests.


5060 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX 77056 713.770.6267 marriott.com/HOUGW THE WESTIN OAKS HOUSTON AT THE GALLERIA

5011 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77056 713.770.6267 marriott.com/HOUOW ©2021 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Westin and its logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.


Features Billboard Bride. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Something Borrowed. . . . . . . . . 136

In Every Issue Editors Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Editor’s Edit Laurette . . . . . . . . . 20 Editor’s Edit Elizabeth . . . . . . . . 24 Editor’s Edit Jimmy . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Editor’s Edit Tiffany . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Trends It’s Shower Time!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Real Weddings Dee & Daryl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kelley & Tyler. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rachel & Kyle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda & Trip. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elfega & Ruderis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina & Emanuel. . . . . . . . . . . Stephanie & Steven . . . . . . . . . . .



46 50 56 60 64 68 72


88 page




Events Bridal Extravaganza. . . . . . . . . . . 80 Visit the Venues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 A Love for All Seasons . . . . . . . 106




Anguilla Island Adventure. . . . . 114 Margaritaville Lake Resort . . . . 122

Entertaining Make-up Must Haves . . . . . . . . . 130


e d i to r ' s l e t t e r




’ve been a bridesmaid before. However, each bride is new and different and exciting. The experience reminds me how lucky I am to be an editor in the wedding industry. I love everything about weddings and always have. If you don’t have a date to a wedding; I’m your girl.




Summer 2021

I’m so excited that my friend Dee asked me to stand by her side. Most of her girls she’s known 20 years or more. We had no drama selecting bridesmaid gowns and we had an absolute blast poolside at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles at the bachelorette party. See the pic of the cutest bridesmaid gift ever in the Make Up Must Do article. We had a blast preparing for her shower, bachelorette party and destination wedding in Las Vegas. See page 32 as we weighed bridal shower options. At the end of the day, we chose a private home due to Covid-19 concerns. Dee had to deal with a lot of Covid-19 related issues; she handled them like a champ. As an example, the governor of Nevada kept changing the capacity numbers multiple times throughout her engagement. Thankfully, some restrictions were lifted two weeks before the wedding and everyone on the RSVP list was able to attend.


Times haven’t been easy for today’s bride. I never thought we’d have to write about micro-weddings, encore weddings, streaming ceremonies or un-inviting guests; but we have. We will continue to cover the topics that matter to you as we help you navigate the recovery of the wedding and event industry. At the end of the day, we were all happy with the ceremony and socially-distanced reception. Masks and all. Cheers to you,


tex as Welcome back


Yes you can!

Travel on your honeymoon


Must Do’s


Real Weddings



Brid al Sh ow HOUSTON


ON THE COVER Billboard Bride Lauren Lanning EDITOR IN CHIEF Laurette M. Veres MANAGING EDITOR Elizabeth Craft GRAPHIC DESIGN Elizabeth Craft Tiffany Wade Jimmy Patel Goran Atanasovski PRODUCTION Nicholas Nguyen EDITORIAL Elizabeth Craft Jimmy Patel Tiffany Wade Kathryn Paden Taylor Goodridge Marisa Byers

© Copyright 2020-2021 Bridal Extravaganza Show PO Box 667399 Houston TX 77266 281-340-7777 H Texas Magazine – Texas Weddings Magazine

P.S. We are so excited to help Texas and America reopen. Thank you for supporting our in-person events.





GLA Lauren Lanning is the new Billboard Bride. She is marrying Rob Gerasimowicz this October in a double ring ceremony in The Woodlands. -8-

AMOUR by Laurette Veres Photography by Ivan Garcia Studio -9-

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ob proposed during the Christmas holidays. The evening started at Trulucks in The Woodlands, the location of their first date and their go to for date nights. Then, they headed to Rob’s father’s home for a family party. It was a rainy evening, but the rain cleared just as they approached a small bridge leading up to his dad’s front door. This bridge is special to Rob because it is where he used to play growing up and it was one of his mother’s favorite elements about his childhood home. Rob lost his mother to cancer when he was just 17 years old. Rob said he felt his mom helped make the rain stop so they could get inside without getting wet. He stopped directly on top of the bridge and expressed his love. Rob began, “As we stand on something that brings two elements together, something that represents love and family, I want to ask you a very important question, it’s really the only question left to ask you.” He got down on one knee and asked, “Lauren, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” Underneath

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BILLBOARD BRIDE the cool night sky, with not one drop of rain, standing on this symbolic bridge, Lauren froze, then started to sink to the ground and said “yes!” Then he said, “we walked on this bridge as two people and tonight we walk off this bridge as one.” They opened the door to family waiting with cameras and champagne. It was not a holiday party; it was an engagement party and Rob thought of every detail. He made sure Lauren’s two children were front and center of the room when they walked in. They were officially becoming a family of four and he wanted the children’s blessing as well. A bridge will now symbolize something very different for this couple moving forward. Love is the bridge between two souls causing two hearts to beat as one.

The Photo Shoot After seeing the winner of the billboard bride, Ivan Garcia, photographer and owner of Ivan Garcia Studio, felt Lauren was so elegant and sophisticated, he

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BILLBOARD BRIDE envisioned the shoot at an upscale downtown location. “I wanted to showcase the kind of work we can provide in a downtown location,” he says. The Crystal Ballroom, a 1913 historic ballroom located in the heart of downtown Houston’s Rice Hotel was selected. “We have a lot of Texas and US History here. The chandeliers, murals and unique hand-crafted carvings are all original,” says Emily Conroe of the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice. “This is the perfect venue for the bride who is looking for elevated glamour.” Stacie Holyoak and Christy Pascavis are co-owners of Holyoak Floral Designs. Their passion for their work is evidenced in this shoot. “People are looking for something referencing, so we stuck with light and airy – pinks, pastels,” says Stacie. “We like brides who like to design. We like to do things that are out of the box. If it hasn’t been done, we’ll do it,” says Christy. Mayra Malik from Simple Beauty Artistry chose a soft, effortless updo as the first hair style of the day. “An updo is the perfect way to highlight the neckline of your gown,” says Mayra. For makeup, a natural, organic look was applied to highlight Lauren’s eyes. “Makeup should enhance the bride’s beauty, not over power her,” she says. The gown will always take center stage and this is certainly the case at the Billboard Bride photo shoot. Disney Fairy Tale Weddings selected

Ventura’s Bridal Fashions as one of the exclusive locations to carry this line. We all remember the story of Cinderella who dreamed of going to the ball and finding her prince. This famous fairy tale begins with a single wish, an exquisite dress, and the dream of a lifetime. Today, the timeless Cinderella tale comes alive with classic glamour. This gown features airy, ethereal ice blue tulle ruched across the bodice and waistline and framed by linear sequin and bead clusters. The second gown from Allure Bridals, features luxurious stretch crepe with lace and crystals covering the plunging low back. Covered buttons detail the entire scalloped, lace train. Side lace panels peek out on the side. “Today was magical,” said Lauren. “This is unbelievably exciting. I’m just thrilled to have this experience.”

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Get this




ashions.c om allhousto n.com Ivangarc iastudio.c om Holyoak floraldes igns.com Simpleb eautyart istry.com BridalEx travagan za.com Crystalb

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Since 2016 we have poured our hearts and souls into creating floral designs that amaze and inspire. This commitment to our craft has won us multiple awards, including Best Florist at the 2019 Bridal Extravaganza - and it keeps pushing us forward to this day.

HolyoakFloralDesigns.com 713-408-0627 - 17 -

The Woodlands at Hughes Landing

Every Bride

is Treated Like a Celebrity

photo by: nhan photography

Who Made The Cake! • 713.528.4719 • WhoMadeTheCake.com

LAURETTE’S EDIT Shoe Lover Formé is the only shoe shaper that safely stretches shoes up to a half a size. This can make every pair of shoes in your closet more comfortable and your feet healthier and happier. Formé shapers give new life to shoes you love but don’t wear because they never fit quite right. Formeconfomfort.com

Photo: Ivan Garcia Studio


Be Good




Aurora Tennis Bracelet

Bridal Party If you want more than the traditional robe and rhinestones, look to JJwedding collection’s new offerings. What a great gift to give your bridesmaids! This comfy and fashionable loungewear can be enjoyed after the wedding too. Jjwinks.com ALL COURTESY PHOTOS

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Carolina Herrera launched a new feminine perfume, Good Girl Eau de Parfum Suprême. Suprême reinvents the emblematic contrast of lights and shadows that made the first Good Girl scent (2016). The new flacon features an intriguing degrade from black to glitter (the shoe) and a gold heel.


Incredibly Comfortable These sustainably made, handembroidered ballet flats are bringing ancient South Asian craftsmanship to modern luxury. Not only are Fuchsia Shoes often worn down the aisle, every sale supports local artisans in Pakistan. Co-founders Afshan and Rameez improved on the structure of traditional Pakistani flats with a more comfortable sole that molds to your feet. Each pair’s designs honor their traditional Pakistani roots, with exquisite hand-embroidered detailing inspired by centuries-old Mogul artwork.

Comfort over Fashion

Relax Try Almond Zum Rub if you haven’t already. Featuring deep moisturizing goat’s milk and shea butter salve, it’s perfect to rub on elbows, frizzy hairs, lips, heels, cuticles, tattoos, anywhere that’s dry, damaged, or where your body needs it moist. And wherever you rub it, you’ll always finish with a happy mending.

Designed with comfort as top priority, bridal designer Laurie Underwood of “Project Runway” Season 14 fame, has launched a chic sneaker for brides to slip into on their wedding day. The sneaker, affectionately called the Laury Bride Reception Trainer is the answer for women who want a pair of chic flats for their big day. The vegan-leather sneaker retails at $126.49 and is available at laurybride.com


Stay Organized This pink leather travel jewelry case is from Joie de Viv and is crafted from fine leather, and the perfect companion for your travels. Made from 100% real leather, the case can be carried in just about any purse or travel bag. Joiedeviv.com - 21 -

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ELIZABETH’S EDIT Dress to Impress, Dress for You Choose your wedding gown based on You. What You love, what You want. Many important people may try to get their opinions in on what dress they like best, but ultimately You make the decision.

Capture the Moment



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It will flash by in a moment, so capture it. Allocate extra funds in your budget for exceptional photographers and videographers. Also, snap a couple pictures during your wedding planning; you find the perfect dress, snap a pic; you find the venue, take a pic. It is fun to look back at all your special wedding moments.

ELIZABETH’S EDIT Brilliant Backdrops When you look towards your person at the end of the aisle, a stunning backdrop adds wonders to the moment. Whether a wreath of greenery or a flourishing, rose stack of books, the elegant décor is central to completing the journey.

Flowers, some Fake mostly Fresh When it comes to adding floral to your décor, fresh flowers are the way to go. The fresh aroma of gardenia and roses is an excellent compliment to centerpieces, but some décor, like backdrops, may be best complimented with fake florals, you wouldn’t want your backdrop wilting.

Light the Night An essential décor element you can not miss is lighting. Chandeliers, lanterns and candles if you can. Light up the room so everyone can see the beautiful bride and groom. PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH CRAFT

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Create amazing memories and also allow the guests at your wedding to capture the memories with customized Snapchat Filters. These are great, guests can post and save pictures without having to put a caption.

Photo: Instagram @ypatel35

Photo: Instagram @Crealit y.Check

Logos & Snapchat Filters

Personalized Clothing

Cake Décor Unsure of how to decorate your cake? Graphic designed images and/ or cutouts can be a great alternative to the traditional flower petals or frosting designs commonly used.

Photo: Instagram @Crealit y.Check

Get personalized clothing items for yourself, friends and family. Not only will it be great for group pictures but also a great memoir for everyone.

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Photo: Instagram @Crealit y.Check


Personalized items, such as monogrammed plates with the initials of the bride and groom and their wedding date, can be a great way to add a personal touch to wedding decor. Plus they could serve as wedding favors for guests to take home and remember the happy occasion.

Photo: Instagram @Crealit y.Check

Personalized Décor

Personalized Gifts Get personalized gifts for yourself, friends and family. This is a great way of thanking everyone for their support on your big day.

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Photo: Jessica Castro Weddings

Photo: Jessica Castro Weddings

Pictures with Your Sisters

Getting Ready Photos There is something very moving about a photo of a bride getting ready for a wedding. Just looking at this photo gives us that feeling of excitement and anticipation.

Donut Display Photo: Victoria grace Photography

Nothing is stronger than a sisterhood bond. Seeing these bridesmaids hold up theor sorority sign makes us feel the love and support they provide the bride.

I love the idea of adding a donut display to a wedding desert table. Not only can you make the display look very pleasing, but it’s a great way to allow guests to choose which donut they want!

Rose gold has been popular for a while and is utilized a lot in weddings. No matter how it is used, the pink hue it provides looks very elegant and precious. Photo by: Tiffany Wade

Photo: Giverny Wedding Photo & Film

Rose Gold Details

Welcome Signs

Fairytale Backdrop

The use of a welcome sign during a wedding can make a big difference. Very popular right now are mirror signs, acrylic signs, and wooden signs and they add some elegance to any wedding entrance.

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This backdrop is made of books intricately placed with pink flowers appearing as if they are growing out of them. It is perfect for a spring or fairytale theme. It is certainly a favorite! Photo by: Tiffany Wade

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It’s Shower Time! Story and photos Laurette M. Veres Research by Nora Brasher

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Tiny Boxwoods

he traditional bridal shower can be as different as the bride. First, identify the type of bride. Second, plan something to accentuate her personality. For the sorority girl: Bloom & Bee at the new Post Oak Hotel is simply the toast of the town. Be seated in the main dining area for maximum attention, or adjourn to the private room for, well, privacy.


Guess the Dress, Date Night Idea Bar


Nail polish with note “Mani Thanks”

For the gambling gal: A suite at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles will satisfy the dice tossing itch. Take out can be ordered from Grotto or Cadillac Bar. For the big city bride: Brasserie 19 can place a curtain on the back of their restaurant and provide semiprivate area. Yes, patrons will still be able to see your group across the bar. Isn’t the point to be seen?


Private home built by Fisher Lane Builders


Postino Heights Butcher’ Block Various Bruschetta Prosciutto with brie Panini

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we thought it best to host the shower in a private home. We were unsure which establishments would be open. We also weren’t sure who would feel safe enough to travel to Lake Charles. To entertain friends, guests were invited to guess the dress the bride to be would wear on the big day by drawing on card stock. They were also invited to add their favorite date night suggestion to the date night jar.

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The Grand Hall At Deer Lake Lodge

Rustic elegance & country charm!

Call today to learn about our booking specials!

281-639-8077 Grandhalltexas.com

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Ashelynn Manor Southern Charm at its Best

Chosen as one of the area’s “Top 5 Premiere Wedding Venues”, this stunning country wedding venue, with its pristine Chapel, Carriage House and Antebellum Estate, is a full service venue only minutes from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Houston with easy access to both Hwy 290 and the Grand Parkway.

August 14th, 2021

Ashelynn Manor Southern Charm at its Best

Ceremony includes

Reception includes


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Roberts Cemetery Rd

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Let us help you Celebrate This year has been like no other, and it is worth celebrating how far we have come! Whether you are planning a wedding, bridal shower, engagement party or a rehearsal dinner, let us help you celecrate at Hearthstone Country Club!

BOOK YOUR EVENT TODAY!! Special package pricing available.

Contact Us: 281.815.9100 sarah.brasure@clubcorp.com



"Let us be your something blue...



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Two of Hearts Dee, an Account Manager met Daryl, a National Account Manager while gambling at a Casino on Thanksgiving. He proposed in Las Vegas. “He surprised me at our favorite restaurant by the fountains at Prime, he had a photographer and champagne! I had no idea,” says the bride.


DEE DOUGLAS DARYL WINGO Wedding location The Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, on The Monet Patio. How did you select your location? “I was considering three different locations. 1. Cruise ship 2. Disney World 3. Las Vegas. I based it on flexibility and price. We then decided to keep the same theme all the way through.”

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Cashman Photo

October 10th, 2020

Gown info Dress by Ashley and Justin Bridal, from Impression Bridal. I found a great slip to help with my dress when going to the bathroom. The bridal buddy, best purse ever.

Elvis is in the building Elvis made an appearance during cocktail hour. At the end of the evening, an Elvis snack bar was served. And the place cards were made so guests could keep and even make into a Christmas ornament.

Rehearsal dinner We had it at Spago by Wolfgang Puck, on the patio, overlooking the fountains. There was a 4-course meal with 24 guests.

Dee’s tips When picking your location, if anything is outdoors, make sure you know where the sun is setting at that time of the day. You don’t want people in the sun! Everyone is always worried about decorations, you really should worry about keeping everyone entertained, you don’t want people standing around looking bored.



by Kathryn Paden


The day after she graduated from college, Kelly drove to her favorite place, Tyler’s family lake house in Sam Rayburn, to enjoy her first week of summer. At sunset, Tyler asked Kelly to go with him to check some fishing traps he had laid out earlier, this wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, so she went along. Tyler had Kelly get out of the boat onto a cliff overlooking the water and asked her to look for the traps in the water. As Kelly turned back around to Tyler, she saw him down on one knee with their yellow lab, Costa, right by his side!

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Katelyn Holm • Sonder Photo

After reading about Magnolia Bells online, the couple decided it was the perfect location for their wedding. Magnolia Bells is nestled in the woods north of Magnolia near The Woodlands, Texas. The property provided the couple with both a chapel and an intimate and secluded reception setting that was perfect for their wedding. Kelly was surrounded by her closest friends as they helped her get ready. She wore a stunning Martina Liana ball gown from Brickhouse Bridal in The Woodlands. After both Kelly and Tyler were dressed to their best, they did their ‘first looks’, which included holding hands on either side of the chapel door. As the ceremony began, some of the couple’s longtime friends made their way down the aisle before it was time for Kelly to make her entrance. Moments later, Kelly made her way down the aisle accompanied by her father to give her away to her high school sweetheart. Kelly and Tyler were soon married, and the

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celebrations began. Guests made their way over to the reception hall to find tables accented with pinks, blues, and golds. As the wedding party made their way into the reception, each couple was announced and had their choice of song as they were presented! Kelly and Tyler soon joined everyone else, making their entrance as Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Murphy. The couple enjoyed showing off their choreographed first dance, courtesy of one of their groomsmen’s family members! As the night continued, Kelly’s father surprised her during his father of the bride speech by bringing out a cowboy hat and singing one of LSU’s popular songs “Callin’ Baton Rouge” for everyone to hear. The night was filled with laughter and plenty of dancing, as the reception came to an end the couple was seen off surrounded by family, friends and plenty of sparklers.

Dress Details Kelly wore a traditional ball gown with a flirty twist, made for a modern-day fairytale. Designed by Martina Liana, Kelly’s gown featured a deep-V neckline, beaded bodice, lace and tulle and a sweet, lace keyhole back.

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Love is Sweet – Dessert Details Kelly had a traditional 5 tier white wedding cake from Cakes by Gina. Her cake featured various flavors including, vanilla with buttercream frosting, vanilla with strawberry filling, and lastly tres leches. Tyler opted for a donut wall and mini pies for his groom’s dessert! Donut flavors included glazed, chocolate, and blueberry. The mini pies were apple, blueberry and peach, giving guests many options for their sweet tooth!

Honeymoon Surprise Tyler surprised Kelly with a trip to Bonaire, a Caribbean island, and he planned the whole thing himself!

Bride’s Advice: Make sure to eat food (breakfast, lunch) the day of the wedding. Make sure to try on your dress and see if you can dance in it! I found out the night before the wedding that it was extremely hard to step backwards without almost tripping. One of the best things I did to determine who my caterer was- I used the company to cater appetizers for my engagement party a year before! That way I could taste some of what they had for cocktail hour, and I got to see what their wait staff was like! I ended up using one of the same appetizers for both the engagement party and wedding because of how many guests loved the dish.

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“Receiving our photos was like living our wedding day all over again, and they were all absolutely perfect. I will cherish them for the rest of my life, and I’m so glad I chose to work with BLVD Photography!” Carson M. (Past Bride)

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Wedding Site After falling in love with the first venue they toured, Rachel and Kyle knew they no longer needed to tour the other two potential venues. Balmorhea Wedding & Events provided the couple with an elegant waterfront utopia spanning 32 acres in Magnolia, Texas.


Wild Rumpus Photography


Personal Touches The bride wore a beautiful gown from Brickhouse Bridal. The bridesmaids wore pale blue, knee length dresses in different styles. On their wedding day, Rachel and Kyle were all about personalization. All of the bridal party were given monogrammed robes to get ready in, while the guys wore Star Wars inspired cuff links, as well as crazy socks! The couple was surrounded by family and friends as they celebrated the best day of their lives!

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July 23rd, 2017

Bride’s Advice: Take in every second of your wedding day, it goes by so fast. Also, be sure to invest in a good videographer, our one regret from our wedding day was not having one.

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Stop by and see us for

Bridal Extravaganza


lovinthisphotography.com • megan@lovinthisphotography.com •



Proposal After carrying a ring around in his pocket waiting for the perfect moment, Trip popped the question to Amanda while in a friend’s backyard. After 30 seconds of wideeyed shock, Amanda said yes! Of course, impromptu champagne was poured to celebrate their engagement.



August 18th, 2018

by Kathryn Paden

Wedding Location Amanda and Trip chose to have their wedding at The Adolphus Hotel, located in Dallas, Texas. Their final decision was based on the fact that the hotel has an on-site spa that offers complimentary day-of hair and makeup services! Something Amanda loved having. The Adolphus also supplied Amanda and Trip the ability to have their ceremony, reception, and all other accommodations in one place, making it easy, safe and fun for their guests! The couples wedding was described as ‘perfectly theirs!’ They played their favorite 2000’s pop punk hits all night long on the dance floor. As the night came to an end, guests received ribbon wands with bells to give the couple a noisy send-off.

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Ashley Rains Photography

Gown info Lazaro ballgown, custom jeweled bodice with custom jeweled straps

Honeymoon Playa Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico

Bride’s Advice Hire a wedding planner! If you want to plan your own wedding or can’t afford a full blown wedding planner, still budget for a “day-of” coordinator. I loved having someone to orchestrate the day according to my previous decisions so I didn’t have to be stressed!

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Jordan Limousines Greater Houston, Galveston area and Southeast Texas’ premier provider of vintage Rolls Royce and Bentley limousines for your wedding or special event.

We treat you like royalty!

713.680.3181 | www.jordanlimos.com


Destined for Love Elfega Andrade, a school clerk and Ruderis Ventura, an electrician, met at church, became friends, and later started dating. The two wed at the Big Sky Barn in Montgomery, Texas. It was rustic and modern. A church friend made their wedding cake. The couple laughs looking back at how quickly they transitioned from wedding to mini-honeymoon, because of COVID-19 and everything shutting down their 7-day honeymoon was squeezed into 3 days. God brought these two together and their love remains strong despite this year’s challenges. “In the end I can say that the love that God put in us had prevailed, with the conviction that our history had already been written by someone higher than us (God). That day, November 24, my wife told me YES and that she would marry me!”

March 12, 2020



“Our Love Story is Special.” -Ruderis - 64 -

Khronos photography & video

Honeymoon The couple spent their honeymoon in Puerto Rico.

Wedding Location Big Sky Barn in Montgomery, Texas Gown Ventura’s Bridal

Bride’s Advice Enjoy your day to the fullest! Don’t get so into the details that you forget that your wedding day is to be enjoyed with the groom, your family and your friends.

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Attend America's Largest Bridal Show!

January 8-9, 2022 George R Brown • Houston

TICKETS $15 Online • $25 at the Door BridalExtravaganza.com photo: Ivan GarwcIa StudIo • Gown: ventura’S BrIdal FaShIonS • haIr and makeup: SImple Beauty artIStry • Floral: holyoak Floral deSIGnS

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Proposal “New York has always been a favorite place of mine. I was in ballet for about 16 years and during my time as a young dancer, I took summer classes in New York City. Because of this I have always had a very youthful and romanticized idea of New York. After graduating from University, my boyfriend (at the time) and I decided to plan a trip for a little get away. One of my favorite spots in New York is Central Park, and while we were walking in the park one day, I noticed a small lake with row boats. Unfortunately, it was already pretty late that day, so we decided that we HAD to come back before we left. We ended up renting a boat the day before we came back to Houston. We rowed out right into the middle of the lake, surrounded by the city and the park, it was so peaceful and quiet. Out of nowhere my boyfriend is on his knee presenting a small red box, and a diamond ring. I was in shock the entire time, as I hadn’t expected a thing! Of course, the answer was yes, and after I questioned him a million times to make sure it wasn’t a prank!!” -Christina

September 7th, 2019



Christina, a nursing student and Emanuel, a family-owned business manager met through an online dating app and spent their first date at Tacos-A-Go-Go. They clicked instantly and from that day were attached at the hip. After searching for the perfect wedding venue, they found Magnolia Bells which has a rustic vibe and a convenient location for their guests. To make their day extra special Christina’s dad and sister-in-law put together a cute slideshow with baby videos of the couple that looped the entire wedding for their guest’s enjoyment. Christina’s best friend/bridesmaid illustrated a large print of Christina, Emanuel and all their fur-babies for guests to sign. It made the perfect keepsake as a reminder of their wonderful day and all the friends and family who celebrated their day with them.

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Giverny Photo + Film

Honeymoon Christina and Emanuel spent their honeymoon in Hawaii, where they visited the Big Island and Oahu.

Wedding Location Magnolia Bells Gown Essence of Australia from La Reve Bridal Couture

Cake Virginia’s Cakes

Bride’s Advice The Bride to Bride Facebook Group was a key part of my wedding planning because as a visual person AND an over-thinker, it helped reassure me about certain decisions and also inspire ideas. Also, don’t forget to cherish each moment of your big day, even the craziness, it flies by before you know it!

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December 7th, 2019


Proposal On December 23, 2018, the year before Stephanie and Steven’s wedding, they planned to have a date night to exchange Christmas gifts. While Stephanie was getting ready for a night out at Christmas dinner, Steven came over to her house with his gift and stashed away some celebratory champagne. Before dinner, Stephanie and Steven exchanged gifts. Stephanie gave Steven a watch, and when it was time to open her gift, she noticed that there was a large box. As she opened it, another box appeared followed by a few more. Thinking that this was the final gift, Stephanie became disappointed when she saw an Amazon echo box. Steven told her to open the box, and when she did, a tiny black box appeared. A surprised Stephanie opened the box and saw that it was empty. She then looked up at Steven as he stood with the ring. He then got down on one knee and proposed.

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Photography by Daria Ratliff

“It was a special moment just the two of us and we went out for a nice dinner with my parents and our siblings after,” said Stephanie, “I’ll remember it always.”

Wedding Location The wedding ceremony took place in Houston, Texas at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, and the reception was held at the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Since Stephanie and Steven are native Houstonians with large families, Houston was a requirement. Both Stephanie’s grandparents and parents were married at St. Theresa’s, so it was the perfect place to do marriage preparation and have our ceremony. “The McGovern garden was so beautiful when I visited with my Mom and it is one of the most unique venues we visited in Houston,” said Stephanie.

Unique Touches Stephanie gifted her bridesmaids with Stan Smith sneakers. They changed into them during the reception and danced the night away. Stephanie and Steven believed they took a huge gamble when they chose an outdoor venue for the reception. “We had plan A,B, and C for all weather conditions, and it ended up being the most perfect Texas winter night. No tent was required, and we got to dance under the stars. I still thank God every day for the good weather,” said Stephanie.

Honeymoon Stephanie and Steven spent their honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Wedding Location St. Theresa’s Catholic Church and McGovern Centennial Gardens Cake Whisk Bakery

Bride’s Advice “If you find yourself being the middleman between mom, groom, planner, family etc., take yourself out of the middle and tell them to contact each other for any questions or concerns. I found myself very distracted with what everyone needed and should have relaxed a lot more leading up to the big day. It’s your day and no one else’s. Also, try to eat something! I totally missed my cake and was too nervous to really enjoy the food.”

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Welcome to Houston’s Local

Bridal Event Photos by Anthony Rathbun


he Bridal Extravaganza Show kicks off wedding season for the great state of Texas. It’s here that brides, bridesmaids, mothers-of-the bride, grooms, and wedding planners meet with local vendors. Looking to plan the wedding of your dreams? Then making plans to attend this over-the-top biannual event is an absolute MUST.

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Trending Now! The January Bridal Extravaganza was a huge success! The socially distanced, reimagined Bridal Extravaganza took place at the George R. Brown on January 9-10, 2021. A new sense of renewal and optimism swept through the crowd. Brides were definitely ready to get back to the business of wedding planning. Brides were gifted with masks provided by EB, Inc. The show offered a new, touchless feature where brides and


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EVENTS wedding vendors could exchange information via QR code. Both brides and vendors loved this safe way to communicate. For the first time in many years, brides could try on gowns at the show and make a purchase. Brides giggled with excitement as many of them tried on a wedding gown for the first time! Impression Bridal was on hand with hundreds of gowns at all price points. The current billboard bride Lexi was the emcee for seminars and fashion shows each day. One of the most exciting events of the day was the Impression Bridal formal fashion show.

Socially distanced couches provided by American Furniture Warehouse created a cozy and safe seating area. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the Bride Tribe spirit competition as bride teams took the stage. The winner’s t-shirt said Fiancé, and she sang like Beyoncé! Overall, brides, vendors and guests felt safe as they attended the first bridal event to take place in over a year. The staff of the show was proud to be selected by the George R. Brown as the first public event since the pandemic.


The next Bridal Extravaganza is January 8-9, 2022 ❒

The Bridal Extravaganza is taking place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. This bridal show is the most established, elite, and resourceful event for bridal parties, not just in the state of Texas, but in the entire country. Brides and grooms will join forces with their wedding party and attend an amazing convention to plan for the moment they’ll never forget.

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venues visit the

by Laurette Veres Photos by Grace Rose Photography

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Visit the Venues hosted a Mock Wedding at Morgan Falls Event Center this spring. On the Visit the Venues Tour, engaged couples and their guests are chauffeured to a wedding planning location aboard amazing luxury vehicles on an exclusive wedding planning tour. Colors of ivory, blush, burgundy with navy, gold and slate brought to life a modern garden theme thanks to the dynamic teams at The Red Experience and KC Events. Their beautiful creations were lit perfectly by the lighting experts at LitePro Houston. Brides couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous gowns from Karina King Bridal Boutique. This new store in Memorial also styled the men and bridesmaids. As soon as guests got off the bus, saxophone music from Steven L Phillips lofted through the air. From that point on, the fun began. Cakes, light bites, music, photo booths and wedding vendors rounded out a great afternoon of wedding planning.

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Thank you to the following vendors: Morgan Falls Event Center For Heavens Cakes Weddings Unlimited The Red Experience KC Events LitePro Houston SnapitHTX The Steven L Phillips Group Rose Grace Photography Luis Magarin Videographer for Weddings Unlimited Kary King Bridal Boutique Moon Struck Events Exquisite Taste Mobile Bartending Habaneros Grill and Bar

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Weddings by Andrea Wedding Planning ~ Wedding Coordination ~ Decoration and Linen Rentals www.wedbyandrea.com @wedbyandrea hello@wedbyandrea.com 832-797-6353


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We’re offering 20% off all wedding packages through the end of the month! Check out our Photo + Video packages. We would love to bring your wedding story to life! Contact RedRockVisuals@gmail.com for more information. www.redrockvisuals.com

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a love


by Laurette Veres Photos by Grace Rose Photography

for all seasons

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The Ballroom at Bayou Place was transformed into a magical wonderland depicting the four seasons at: A Love for All Seasons, a luxury boutique bridal show hosted by the Bridal Extravaganza, Elias Events Weddings and Kirksey Gregg Productions. This evening of fashion began with VIP guests receiving an Ultimate Wedding Box and gift bag. They also scored front row seats to the fashion show presented by Impression Bridal. Models were adored with jewels from Valobra Master Jewelers and carried bouquets from Dream Bouquet. Blue Fine Menswear showcased custom suits for men – and local celeb Frank Billingsley of KPRC made a guest appearance on the runway.

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Thank you to the following vendors: Ballroom at Bayou Place Elias Events Weddings Impression Bridal Blue Fine Menswear DarKer Side DJ Rexberry Luxury Events Kirksey Gregg The Grand Hall Sanora Owens Photography Grace Rose Photography Proof It Happened Sweet Nation Co. Paparazzi Vue Valobra Master Jewelers Dream Bouquet Camelot Realty The Dowry

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Experience the ultimate luxury vacation with all the accomodations at the best island in the Caribbean.


Island Adventure courtesy photo


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Marisa Byers

courtesy photos

Experience the fun and adventure of island life at both The Reef by Cuisinart and Cuisinart Golf & Spa. Both resorts offer seemingly never ending accomodations to ensure there will never be a dull moment during your memorable trip to Anguilla! As a seasoned travel writer, I don’t want to say the travel gets old, but one might think, another island in the Caribbean? What on earth could THIS island show me that the last one didn’t offer? Well, for one thing, Anguilla, was rated the BEST island for the third year in a row. Anguilla, a British territory in

This island offers everything you expect from the Caribbean and more.

the Caribbean, is one of those islands that makes you stand corrected. The island itself is small, only 16 miles long by 3 miles wide, but the vistas, the beaches, the people, and the FOOD will undoubtedly leave you wanting more. Anguilla, affectionately called the Rainbow Island, is located in the Caribbean east of

Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, and directly north of St Maarten. Anguilla is known for its coral reefs and beaches and includes many smaller islands and cays. The first thing you notice when you arrive to the island destination is the plethora of sailboats. Boats are everywhere. In fact, most tourists arrive on St Maarten, then take a water ferry to Anguilla. Other options include - 115 -

TRAVEL puddle jumper planes or private jets. The luxurious Cuisinart Golf Resort and Spa has a panoramic view of the Caribbean. The open, Grecian-esque architecture blends perfectly with the turquoise, serene water. As you walk through the white, spectacular lobby entrance which seamlessly blends to the rest of the resort, you are greeted by the sounds of the ocean taunting you into its languid embrace. Trust me, it is a strong pull.

Plan a day to enjoy this challenging 18-hole course at the Cuisinart Golf Resort. With club rentals included with your stay EVERYONE can participate in the fun!

The first resort was developed with the Amalfi coast in mind. The stark white buildings opposite the crystal blue water showcase all that the resort has to offer. The Cuisinart spans many acres and can accommodate large families. They have

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a variety of rooms, bungalows, suites, and apartments surely fitting any need. Each suite will boast a view of the water and a small walkout balcony, should you be lucky enough to be on the first floor, then you will have direct access to the beach. If you have the means to rent the “house”, I highly recommend it! This house boasts 3-4 bedrooms, that are all detached but are connected by a central atrium. When you walk in

the house, your kitchen, dining and entertaining area welcome you, as do the wall of windows that take you to the private pool and direct, private access to your own little

section of the beach and resort. Should you choose to have butler and chef services, that can be made available. No luxury is spared in this dreamy setting.

There is MUCH to do at the Cuisinart Resort. There is something for EVERYONE to do! The kids have their own bright, mesmerizing water splash pad area that

can entertain for hours, you might even see an adult or two on a hot day! There are pools throughout the resort for lounging, sunbathing, and swimming. But they also have aquatic kickboxing/cycling and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board YOGA!! These are all offered to all guests at no extra charge! Open, yet inviting, bar areas are the perfect respite for - 117 -

TRAVEL visitors to relax and soak up the views. The bar offers guests group tastings of Caribbean rums, flights of wine, etc. You have a vision? They have the reality. There are five main restaurants on the main resort and each offers different cuisine to satisfy varying palettes. Asian/infusion, Spanish, French, local, no matter what you eat, you will be DELIGHTED, it IS Cuisinart for goodness sake! A specialty of the Asian fusion restaurant is their cooking classes.

This was probably one of my favorite things about the whole trip. We were given a set menu, chef hats, all the ingredients (like in a Hello Fresh box) and a fun chef to guide us through the process on the hibachi grille. Nothing can bring a group together like a cooking class filled with yummy smells, good conversation, and learning something new. What a lovely way for newlyweds to learn new skills together to have as memories for the

years to come. Every time they prepare THAT special dish, it will take them back to Cuisinart. When Cuisinart built this resort, no expense was spared. This is evident in every detail you see, especially in the spa and golf areas. The spa is a multi-awardwinning blissful haven. The building is a 27,000-squarefoot complete circle allowing windows for views of the resort and island. There are 16 full service rooms. If you choose to indulge in one of the

For the ultimate luxury, several beachfront suites are available to rent and include accomidations such as private pools and jacuzzis.

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many spa packages, you are whisked to the waiting area on the second floor. This overlooks the peaceful water and there’s a breeze from the ocean that floats in and out of the room. They have Vichy rooms, couples massage rooms, hydrotherapy massage and private men’s rooms too. There is a salt water hydro therapy pool for relaxing before or after your treatments. You may never want to leave.

If spa treatments aren’t your thing, that’s ok, they offer classes on essential oils, a “blending” bar where you create your own body scrubs/oils/lotions and even candle making! Truly, something for everyone. Although, I cannot say that I am an avid golfer, I can appreciate beauty and precision when I see it. The Cuisinart Golf Resort

is SPECTACULAR. Greg Norman, the legend, himself, helped personally design this “fun, but challenging” golf course. It is well known across the Caribbean and most vacationers will make a stop at the course no matter what hotel/resort or island they are staying on. The course is fun but challenging because there is water on 13 of the 18 holes. I guess we ARE on an island. If you are a guest of the hotel

and decide to play, there are clubs for you to enjoy included in your stay. No need to pack those heavy sticks and lug them through customs. You can always upgrade to a “premium” selection of clubs for a fee, Obviously, with all of the above mentioned options at the Cuisinart resort, why would you need to leave? Well, technically, you don’t. Mr. Cuisinart decided he would just build - 119 -

TRAVEL another resort a few miles down the road “just in case” you got bored or wanted something else to do on the island. No joke. The Reef is a mile or so down the resort road and is a high rise building with 50 rooms in the main building with 25 beach front villas/suites. We were unable to get a full tour of this fabulously posh resort because it had been rented out by a family for the week. (Hello, adopt me please.)

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Lucky for us, guests of both resorts can come and go as they please and use all the facilities the Reef has to offer. This Anguilla trip has quickly settled itself into one of the top three vacation spots I’ve been lucky enough to visit. The island, the people, the food, it’s heaven. The only negative thing I can say about the trip was the length I stayed. It wasn’t enough. If

you are going to have a bit of a trek to get there, and you do, then you should enjoy your time there unrestricted. You will thank me later. Bon voyage!

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One Particular Harbor Parrottheads have a new perch!

Photos and story by Laurette Veres

You might recall the big resort on Lake Conroe. Over the years it has had several names: Del Lago, La Torretta, La Torretta del Lago and La Torretta Lake Resort. Perhaps your high school prom was held here. My college sorority formal was, and my husband’s office holiday party. No matter what you called it, the resort on that one particular harbor on Lake Conroe is back, newly renovated and celebrity themed. Jimmy Buffet’s brand of fun has taken over, introducing the Margaritaville Lake Resort. From the minute you enter the property, you feel the relaxation of the islands. A line of surfboards marks the entrance, a larger than life flip flop fills the lobby and 143 palm trees have been added to the landscape. Expansive lobby windows open up to the lake. You’ll find the accommodations extremely well appointed. Coral, blue and white create the color pallet with pops of yellow, orange and green for a - 122 -


beachy effect. Every surface is bright, shiny and clean. Faucet handles are shaped like whale’s tales. Most rooms have balconies with great water views of the one particular harbor. The artwork is Caribbean themed and the bedding, oh the bedding. So comfortable! Each room is a suite with a door between the living area and the sleeping area. Perfect when some of your sailors hit the hay earlier than others. There is also a village of lake cottages, colorful buildings

along the water. They could have been picked up from Key West and dropped off here. Designed for families, they’ve got a fullsize refrigerator, sink and, microwave, living area and two sleeping areas. The crown jewel of the property is the expansive lakeside waterpark which is included with your stay. The waterpark is a dream. Whether you are looking for changes in latitude or just a respite from city life, the waterpark is a

great getaway. There are several pools, splash pad, lazy river, and the It’s 5 o’clock somewhere swim up bar. Most splash pads are reserved for kids, but this exciting pad has a giant bucket that DUMPS water every couple of minutes. Young and old alike wait to be drenched here. Write your own version of Margaritaville. Relax in the room with the blender as you enjoy the views, hang by the pools or join in the activities. There are morning stretch classes, water aerobics, scavenger hunts, water balloon tosses (second place, baby!), hula hoop competitions, and family karaoke at Parakeets Kids Club. Parrot Island Mini golf is included and it’s a great 18-hole course complete with water features, flamingos, and parrots. You should also make time for the spa with its large hammam type steam room and special putting green area. Boat rentals and 18-hole golf course are on the property. The ballroom looks over the lake and is truly the perfect location for a waterside wedding.

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Landshark Bar & Grill sits right on the beach. Sand has been imported to enhance the island vibe. Views are spectacular; almost every seating area looks over the water. One of my favorite places is the deck. Watching the sunset here takes you to the Caribbean, truly. The fish and chips are beer battered and worth the calories. Looking for the cheeseburger in paradise? The extensive burger menu includes the BBQ Burger, Mushroom swiss burger, Hawaiian luau burger and

the King of somewhere hot burger is topped with spicy pepper jam Tabanero hot sauce, cheese and jalapenos. It seems a little odd, but Houstonians now sail north to the tropics and the tranquility of that one particular harbor-at Margaritaville Lake resort. www.margaritavilleresorts. com/margaritaville-lakeresort-lake-conroe

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Attend America's Largest Bridal Show!

Winter ❦ Summer George R Brown • Houston


BridalExtravaganza.com photo: Ivan Garcia Studio • gown: Ventura’s Bridal Fashions • hair and makeup: Simple Beauty Artistry


Make-up Trial Run: A Must Do

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by Laurette Veres Food by Tom Flynn Photography by Tiffany Wade

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hether you’ve had your makeup applied professionally or not , it ’s imperative to have a trial run with the make-up ar tist who will be at your wedding. The purpose of the trial according to makeup ar tist Marisa Byers is “to make sure you and your make-up ar tist are on the same page, that you share the same aesthetic.” When bride-to-be Dee asked me if she could meet her makeup ar tist at my house, I thought it was the per fect time to host a casual lunch to toast the bride.

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Make-Up Artist Resource Guide: E xquisite Reflections http://exquisitereflections .info

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tradition back to

by Laurette Veres

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Kari Loth of Southern Bash events brings traditions to life in this styled shoot. “I love hearing the stories behind different items. Whether it is a heart from her grandfather’s shirt sewn into her dress, or her mom’s handkerchief wrapped around her bouquet, I believe little things make the biggest impact on a bride and her magical day,” says Loth.

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On the following pages, the wedding traditions Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue come to life. Dusty blue provides a pop of color amongst an array of white flowers in the bridal bouquet and on the table. The bouquet was created by Katie at Millie May Blooms. The gowns, from Say Yes to Your Dress, both offer fit, form and function. The beautiful fan back bustles perfectly for dancing.

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Just on the outskirts of downtown McKinney, Texas, you’ll find Lady Butterbug venue. This intimate venue holds 50 people comfortably. Here, the romantic vibe takes on new meaning in the gardens and on the patio. Photographers love the sunsets here, and Loth recommends brides allow extra time for all the great photo spots on property.

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Vendors Planner: Southern Bash Photo: J L Glamour Venue: Venue at Lady ButterBug Linens: Metro Linens Table Decor: Royal Events Rentals DFW Jewelry: Griffin Jewelry Floral: Millie May Floral Cake: Sweet By Design Hair and Makeup: Aimee Daily Artistry Gowns: Say Yes to Your Dress Bridal Paper Products: Santina Amendola Designs

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