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We’re all you need to plan your Houston Wedding. Inspiring ideas, tips, trends + happenings in the world of Houston Weddings.


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Luxury events for Houston’s discerning brides. 2.12.15 | 10.18.15 houstonbridalshows.com


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Weddings

A new year, an exhilarating engagement, a fresh chapter to your love story…and the best time to begin planning your perfect wedding. As we welcome 2015, we want to welcome you to the pages of Weddings in Houston. Our new issue marks many exciting new developments for us, as well, from beauty and fashion spreads featuring the season’s most alluring styles and hottest bridal products, to stunning styled shoots showcasing the talents of Houston’s most in-demand designers and experts.

i n H o u s t o n®

SPRING | SUMMER 2015 Founder & Chairman JB DAY

Publisher & CEO RADHIKA J. DAY

President

Tour our collection of Houston’s most elegant indoor-outdoor ceremony and reception venues (page 28), journey with us to a hidden garden where the floral and design artistry of Todd Events is in full bloom (page 44), peek into a brand-new venue styled for us by AJ’s Urban Petals (page 220) and start visualizing your dream dress as we reveal 2015’s hot-off-the-runway gown trends (page 202). These are just a few of the amazing places we’ll take you with our inspiration-packed new issue.

VIK DAY

Managing Editor NATASHA GARBER

Account Executive LESTER CHILDRES

Operations Manager SUE CONNER

Production Manager CARRIE SKUPINSKY

Production Coordinator ASHLEY PICKETT

As you embark on the path to “bride,” we will be at your side, in the pages of this exceptional magazine; online at weddingsinhouston.com and on the wildly popular Houston Wedding Blog; on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter; and in person at our signature I Do! Bridal Soirees, where you’ll find Houston’s finest vendors, in an environment of VIP luxury and indulgence.

Editorial Assistant MICHELLE NAIK

Sales Assistant CLARA SNELSON

Art Director CHARLOTTE MICUS

Designers MALIA GATTAS, JOHN GATTAS

Congratulations, Houston bride. We are so honored to serve as your guide.

Photography LARRY FAGALA

Styling SUMMAR SALAH

Contributing Writers CARRIE SKUPINSKY, JULIE LEMEROND, CHERISE LUTER, MAGGIE MARTON

Radhika J. Day Publisher & CEO

Weddings in Houston LP 525 Arlington Street Houston TX 77007 713.464.4321

Weddings in Houston

®

info@weddingsinhouston.com WeddingsInHouston.com HoustonWeddingBlog.com HoustonBridalShows.com

JAN/FEB 15

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FEBRUARY: Monique Lhuillier Gown Neiman Marcus; Earrings Tootsies; Headpiece Mia Bridal Couture; Photographer Larry Fagala; Wardrobe Styling Summar Salah; Set Styling & Bouquet Todd Events; Dancers Students Of The Houston Ballet Academy APRIL: Naeem Khan Gown; Rings Trumpet & Horn; Necklace & Earrings Sloan/Hall; Location The Astorian; Photographer Larry Fagala; Wardrobe Styling Summar Salah; Decor & Florals Aj’s Urban Petals JUNE: Galia Lahav Gown Neiman Marcus Dallas; Earrings Tootsies; Ring Zadok Jewelers; Photographer Larry Fagala; Wardrobe Styling Summar Salah; Set Styling & Bouquet Todd Events

Weddings in Houston Magazine is printed semi-annually and distributed with six covers. Content changes in January and July. Copyright© 2015, Weddings in Houston LP

All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. All information contained in this magazine is believed to be correct but Weddings in Houston cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by the advertising companies.


CONTENTS

wedding planning CE RE MO N Y & RECEPTION

28 WEDDINGS INSIDE AND OUT

These versatile Houston venues offer the best in indoor and outdoor space, blending freshness with formality.

44 LOVE BLOOMS 66 PERSONAL TASTE 10 ways to serve a wedding menu that expresses who you are and what you love. 92 THE FLAVOR OF LOVE Celebrity chef, restaurateur and icon of Texas cuisine Tim Love offers his recipe for delicious weddings. 96 DIY VS. DON’T TRY Feeling crafty? Follow these tips for a flawless blend of handcrafted and expert-made. 110 A TIME AND A PLACE Esoteric Events’ Kristin Alexander brings chic seasonal and residential touches to her WOW weddings. 116 I DO! BRIDAL SOIREE AT THE JW MARRIOTT HOUSTON DOWNTOWN 120 PROMISES, PROMISES Relax and take pleasure in writing your personal wedding vows. Here’s how. 130 A NIGHT ALL IN WHITE Weddings in Houston’s ClientAppreciation Party. 140 A SEAT AT THE TABLE Who sits where? And why? And does it really matter? Our answers to common seating-plan questions are a befuddled bride’s best friend. WE D D I N G SE RV I C ES

164 GO WITH A PRO 9 reasons to hire a professional planner (including some that may surprise you). 172 BALLROOM BLISS

in every issue

156 PRE-WEDDING & REHEARSAL DINNER CELEBRATIONS

160 CEREMONY & RECEPTION REFERENCE GUIDE

415 WEDDING RESOURCE DIRECTORY


CONTENTS

wedding style JEWE L RY

178 WEDDING RING BUYING GUIDE Diamonds and platinum and— lab reports??—oh my! Get help navigating the ring thing, with our valuable advice. 184 PUT A RING ON IT WE D D I N G ATTI RE

190 GOWNS AROUND TOWN Don’t hit the salons without reading this sanity-saving dress-buying advice. 200 FINISHING TOUCHES 202 GOWN TRENDS 217 HEAD TO TOE STYLE 2 20 SMOKE & MIRRORS BE AUTY & HE ALT H

232 READY, SET…RELAX 5 surefire stress-busters for busy brides (and grooms!). 241 HANDS & FEET

245 COLOR ME BEAUTIFUL

finer details 249 ECO BEAUTY

FLOWE RS, D ECO R & RENTALS

252 20 FOR 2015 Top Houston wedding designers, florists and decorators tap the 20 biggest trends and most alluring looks for this year’s WOW weddings. 274 BOUNTIFUL BLOOMS CU L I N ARY S E RV ICES

284 THE ART OF…DELICIOUS Famed British baker Rosalind Miller crafts confections that are equal parts sweetness and sophistication. 288 THE DO’S & DON’TS OF I DO Be the best bride you can be, with help from our wedding etiquette advice.

303 SWEET SENSATIONS 314 5 WEDDING WELLNESS TIPS Blogger, vegan chef and cookbook author Kathy Patalsky offers advice and recipes for looking and feeling your bridal best. INVITATION S

316 ELEGANTLY INVITED Photos, boxes, foil, acrylic, silk and sparkle—modern invitation design is so much more than mere ink and paper. 322 FIRST IMPRESSIONS GIFT REG ISTRY

328 REGISTER FOR NOW & ALWAYS Look ahead to your happily married life as you assemble your wedding gift list. 335 SOUTHWEST TREATS 336 STYLISHLY SERVED MUS IC & E N TE RTA IN ME N T

338 ALL NIGHT FUN Entertain guests from wedding ceremony to reception sayonara, and then some.


CONTENTS

documenting the day PH OTO G RAPHY

350 GUARANTEED GREAT WEDDING PHOTOS Ensure that you end up with images you love, by taking your cues from the experts. 366 20 SHOTS YOU’LL MISS IF YOU MISS ‘EM Make sure your photographer captures these essential wedding moments for posterity. 372 LOVE ON DISPLAY Preserve, share and treasure your wedding photos, now and for years to come. 376 PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ VIDEO G RAPHY

380 THE VOICE OF VIDEO If a wedding picture speaks a thousand words, what does a wedding film say?

just married

DESTI N ATI O N WEDDING & H O N EY MO O N

392 PUNTA CANA PARADISE The Dominican Republic’s eastern edge is a haven for honeymoon bliss. 398 GET AWAY FROM IT ALL Destination weddings have a rulebook all their own. Follow it, and your far-off festivities will be smooth sailing all the way.

real weddings

40 MICHELLE LOPEZ NEGRETE & RENZO BOLIVAR 82 CRYSTLE STEWART & MAXIME SEBRECHTS 88 KATIE DECKER & MITCHELL CURRIE

104 RACHEL JORDAN & KURT MILLER 132 LARA ALLEN & NICHOLAS OURS 150 LISA HERNANDEZ & JOEL BLANK 186 SHANNON SMITH & TYLER TEYKL 212 FARNAZ HARRAJI & AMIR GAHREMANPOUR 238 HOLLY WILSON & ELLIOTT FRAZIER 242 BRITTNEY HONORA & RANDY APPIAH 246 LIZ WANG & VINNIE GIUFFRE

401 ISLE STYLE

270 JULIE LISKA & JUSTIN BABIN

405 BEACH BOMBSHELL

300 ANITA DAVIS & JOHNNY LINDERMAN

YOUR N EW HO ME

406 THE BALANCED NEST Combine your tastes, your needs and yes—your beloved “stuff”—as you create your newlywed home.

344 BARBARA DELOZIER & WILLIAM MCGOUGH 362 SARAH CAMPBELL & ROBBIE HART 387 KELLI BORN & A.J. ORR 402 BROOKE ABSHIRE & AUSTIN MARRS 412 RACHEL HAMBLIN & ESTEVAN LORENZO


photo DAVINA + DANIEL PHOTOGRAPHY location THE CORINTHIAN


CEREMONY & RECEPTION 28 WEDDING SERVICES 164

Planning

WEDDING

NOW THAT YOU’VE SAID, “YES,” WHERE DO YOU TURN NEXT? OUR WEDDING PLANNING PAGES, OF COURSE. LOCATE A

QUALIFIED CONSULTANT, TOUR TOP VENUES, FIND AN OFFICIANT, AND DISCOVER CEREMONY AND RECEPTION TRENDS. GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED IN STYLE.

W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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& reception

Weddings

INSIDE AND OUT

THESE VERSATILE HOUSTON VENUES OFFER THE BEST IN INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SPACE, BLENDING FRESHNESS WITH FORMALITY. So, you’re pining for a place where you can say your al fresco vows surrounded by views, and celebrate after, in the grandeur of a beautiful ballroom? Or perhaps you’re yearning for a location where you can treat guests to cocktails on the terrace, a formal dinner in a fine dining room, and postprandial cigars on the patio? We’ve got just what you’re seeking, no matter how you decide to divvy up your indoor-outdoor nuptial event!

writer MAGGIE MARTON ~ photo D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

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location THE HOUSTONIAN HOTEL, CLUB & SPA


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R AV E N E AU X C O U N T RY C LU B

9415 Cypresswood Drive Spring, Texas 77379 Outside: Emily Fate, special events coordinator at Raveneaux Country Club, says her favorite outdoor space is the Terrace, which “has a breathtaking view overlooking our championship golf course, the perfect backdrop to any event. This beautiful area is a full open-air space with nothing to block the 180-degree view, but can easily be tented for any inclement weather that is foreseen.” Inside: “Our Grand Ballroom is one of the most beautiful locations we have here at Raveneaux Country Club and is by far my favorite indoor space,” Fate says. “It features a magnificent chandelier that was inspired by the chandelier in Napoleon’s Raveneaux House, plus a

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wall of windows reaching over 20 feet high that overlook the lush greens of the golf course, and a stunning floorto-ceiling stone fireplace. Every time I walk into the Grand Ballroom I feel like I am stepping into my own personal fairytale.” Hot for 2015: Fate reports that she’s seeing an increase in personalization. Trends include “sign-in books that break away from the traditional book,” and take on more modern forms. “We have brides who are planning on using artwork, photo guestbooks, guitars, mannequin dress forms, wood heart messages dropped into a shadow box, and maps marked with shared-journey pins,” she says. Couples also crave outdoor elements later in the evening, including s’mores stations on the balcony, fireworks over the golf course,

and hot cocoa and warm spiced cider on the Terrace. DUKESSA

2840 Chimney Rock Road Houston, Texas 77056 Outside: Dukessa owner Sara Bhatty says that the venue’s coveted courtyard is especially stunning after nightfall: “We have a really nice waterfall fountain in our courtyard that can be used as a backdrop for the ceremony or for the cocktail hour, and LED lights in the fountain.” In the middle of the courtyard, an oak tree offers an opportunity for unique decor. Bhatty says couples have dressed it up with lanterns, lights, birdcages and more. Inside: “Our indoor space, the Royal Hall, has a really lovely balcony terrace that you can have access to if you


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ceremony & reception just want to take your drinks out. It overlooks the courtyard—perfect if you want to go out for a moment and relax, or get a breath of fresh air,” Bhatty says. She notes that couples who select this venue are looking for a specific feel: Mediterranean, vintage and elegant. “Black-crystal chandeliers, hand-carved iron, wrought-iron gates, premier furnishings, distressed mirrors, distressed wood—clients who choose our place are looking for elegant, but not flashy,” she says. Hot for 2015: In the year ahead, Bhatty says that lighting will be big, along with unique touches. “I think dressing the outside is in,” she notes, explaining that she has couples asking to hang globe lights, string lights and decor items around the courtyard. LAS VELAS

5714 Fairdale Lane Houston, Texas 77057 Outside: The architecture of Las Velas evokes European villas and South American styling. The small courtyards include elegant fountains and lush gardens, and “make you feel like you’re in a faraway place,” says venue director Elmira Frias. Designed as a complement, rather than an alternative, to the venue’s indoor space, the courtyards add a romantic element for indoor events to spill outside into the “paradise” of the site’s natural setting, Frias adds. This flow allows couples and their guests “to have an experience—to feel like they are having a destination wedding.” Inside: The outdoor elements that make Las Velas so unique are echoed in the venue’s interior, as well. “Our main indoor space has an outdoor feel,” Frias says, describing the space’s “indoor courtyard,” which features skylights and a fountain, though the entire 32 

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area is covered and air-conditioned for comfort. Hot for 2015: Frias sees brides thinking outside the box, and using inspiration from online image-sharing sites. She says brides are incorporating their own elements—for example, centerpieces made with mementos from romantic travels, or meaningful wine bottles—which enables them to spend more of their budget on food, bar and music. PINE FOREST COUNTRY CLUB

18003 Clay Road Houston, Texas 77084 Outside: At Pine Forest Country Club, couples love to unite the venue’s distinct indoor and outdoor spaces, according to Stella Haral, director of catering. “Right now, the rustic, the

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barn-inspired, the outdoor, are very big,” she says. “We have beautiful areas outside by the pool and by the golf course,” which blend seamlessly with the club’s elegant interiors. Inside: According to Haral, many brides love that the indoor space creates a sense of being outdoors. “The indoor space overlooks the golf course, and the view is such a big deal,” she says. Plus, with two balconies overlooking the golf course, one of them covered, “The bride with an outdoors fantasy can get it halfway.” Hot for 2015: “We are getting more and more requests for outdoor weddings. ‘Shabby chic’ has taken off like crazy,” Haral says. She sees rustic, barn-inspired themes with touches like mason jars and s’mores stations continuing to gain popularity this year.

C H AT E A U C O C O M A R

14525 Champions Drive Houston, Texas 77069 Outside: With its storybook setting and European Old World styling, Chateau Cocomar is best known for its magnificent marble ballrooms and antique French accents. But the venue’s immaculately manicured WakeCo Jardin has become extremely popular for intimate cocktail receptions, al fresco lounge areas and spectacular “first look” photo ops, notes Cheateau Cocomar’s Sherry Alvarez. Inside: “Our first-floor ballroom, foyer and Chantilly room are our most popular indoor spaces,” Alvarez says. “Most couples choose to use these areas for cocktail and reception space. They are special because they allow guests to mix and mingle, exploring


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each of the rooms and finding something different—cocktail bars, buffets, appetizer displays, formal dining tables—in each.” Hot for 2015: “A lot of our brides want to incorporate the outdoors for some portion of their event, whether it’s cocktail hour or ceremony,” notes Alvarez. She says that 2015 brides are planning outdoor gatherings that take advantage of Chateau Cocomar’s “beautiful European exterior, which is unique to Houston, and makes for a gorgeous backdrop for wedding guests to enjoy.” THE GROVE

1611 Lamar Street Houston, Texas 77010 Outside: Tatiana Escobar, catering manager for The Grove, says her favorite outdoor space is the Treehouse Deck,

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part of the venue’s second-floor privateevent space. “The deck has incredible views of the downtown skyline, as well as of Discovery Green park. The view is the perfect balance between the architecture and urban scenery of Downtown, and the peaceful tranquility of the park,” she notes. Tenting is available for the deck as well. Inside: Escobar points to the Primavera Room, located at the eastern end on the first floor of the restaurant, for its intimate feel. The space is used for small ceremonies and receptions, or rehearsal dinners. “There is also a small adjacent deck located just outside the room that can be used for a variety of events such as cocktail receptions and wedding ceremonies. The architecture, including the designer light fixtures, and the intimate size of the Primavera

Room, make this space special to me,” she says. Surrounded by glass walls and Brazilian ipe wood, the space works well for a seated dinner or cocktail reception. Hot for 2015: Escobar says couples are going in an industrial direction for 2015 weddings: “I am seeing more of a modern geometric style as well as industrial designs. The use of simple shapes and metallic colors is becoming popular.” OLD GLORY RANCH

3633 River Road Wimberley, Texas 78676 Outside: Old Glory Ranch has two stunning riverside locations: the intimate Landing, and the capacious Wedding Deck. According to venue owner Suzanne McCord, “Each provides an


wedding planning |

ceremony & reception amazing setting with rapids gently flowing, and ancient cypress trees that are vibrant green in the spring and summer, and bold copper and orange in the fall. We also have an oak grove that can be transformed into an outdoor space for ceremonies with amazing sunsets.” The venue offers an inclement-weather plan, allowing events to be moved indoors to the Chapel Hall, if necessary. Inside: “The Chapel Hall is the ideal indoor setting, giving clients the feel of an old country church that is warm and inviting,” McCord says. “The ambiance of Victorian Texas, with gorgeous antique appointments from around the world, and stained-glass windows, gives this building a comfortable elegance unsurpassed by modern buildings. Since it is not sanctioned or affiliated with any particular religion, it offers clients the option to have whatever type of ceremony they might choose.” The space can also transition into a reception area with a relaxed setting and rustic-chic decor. Hot for 2015: “Trends seem to be ‘shabby chic,’ with personal touches, such as couples making their own invitations, favors, programs, frames for photos, and so on,” McCord says. Recently, the venue introduced the Sport Court, which is popular among clients who want to include outdoor games for their cocktail hour or reception. McCord explains, “It features a regulation-size croquet court with a gazebo that serves as a bar, and lawn games around the perimeter such as ladder golf, bocce ball, washer toss and corn hole,” bringing an air of youthful whimsy to an already wonderful wedding. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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Michell4e & Ren2zo1 writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography DAVINA + DANIEL PHOTOGRAPHY

11.09.13

“Who wants to go on a blind date, right? No one! What are the odds that a blind date will lead to a

happy ending? Never!” says Michelle—who proved herself wrong, in the best way, by marrying Renzo, with whom she was set up by a mutual friend. The bride, who happens to be the owner of beloved West University gift-and-housewares boutique Blue Leaf Houston, has a natural flair for gracious design, which her 300-guest wedding, with its lavish decor, and divine menu of Peruvian specialties (the groom’s family is from Peru) and Southern delights from caterer Jackson and Company, showed off beautifully. As celebratory as it was spectacular, Michelle and Renzo’s wedding also featured swings hung from the ceiling, confetti cannons, a cigar roller and an after-party, complete with disco-ball drop. W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 michelle lopez negrete

renzo bolivar     300    brennan’s of houston   the corinthian   who made the cake!   jackson and company    badgley mischka &

  zadok jewelers   blue leaf houston   paris

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Love Blooms

AMIDST MANICURED LAWNS AND CHATEAU TREASURES,

LOCATION: PRIVATE RESIDENCE PHOTOGRAPHY: LARRY FAGALA WARDROBE STYLING: SUMMAR SALAH SET STYLING, DECOR, FLOWERS & STATIONERY: TODD EVENTS HAIR: CERON FOR CERON SALON ASSISTANT: TAYLOR HUDGINS FOR CERON SALON MAKEUP: GABBY CAMACHO FOR CERON SALON


opposite page: gown MONIQUE LHUILLIER, NEIMAN MARCUS earrings TOOTSIES headpiece MIA BRIDAL COUTURE dancers STUDENTS OF THE HOUSTON BALLET ACADEMY this page: ring ZADOK JEWELERS on him: suit M PENNER HOUSTON shoes DONALD J PLINER cufflinks MEGIN SPIVEY, NEIMAN MARCUS on her: lace shorts & top DOLCE & GABBANA, NEIMAN MARCUS ring, bangles & earrings ZADOK JEWELERS shoes CARVELA, TOOTSIES


this page: flower girl dress LITTLE DREAMERS floral wand & headpiece TODD EVENTS dancers STUDENTS OF THE HOUSTON BALLET ACADEMY opposite page: kimono & marabou slippers AGENT PROVOCATEUR bouquets TODD EVENTS


“I never saw so sweet a face As that I stood before. My heart has left its dwelling place And can return no more.” -John Clare

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these pages, on him: suit, pocket square & tie M PENNER HOUSTON cufflinks, ring & watch ZADOK JEWELERS details: watch ZADOK JEWELERS lavender geode cufflinks MEGIN SPIVEY, NEIMAN MARCUS pocket square & bowtie TOM FORD, NEIMAN MARCUS


these pages: styling, flowers, decor & rentals TODD EVENTS

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“The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden...” -George Moore

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this page: stationery & bouquets TODD EVENTS opposite page: on model, left: gown JOVANI, NEIMAN MARCUS earrings ALEXIS BITTAR, NEIMAN MARCUS on model, right: gown DAVID PECK USA shoes CHRISTIAN DIOR, NEIMAN MARCUS earrings TOOTSIES


these pages: hand-painted cake HANNAH JOY’S CAKES gown SAREH NOURI, MIA BRIDAL COUTURE headpiece MIA BRIDAL COUTURE jewelry ZADOK JEWELERS bouquet TODD EVENTS


“I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself.” -Pa blo Neruda


this page: flowers, decor & styling TODD EVENTS opposite page: gown LIANCARLO, IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER headpiece BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL necklace TOOTSIES ring ZADOK JEWELERS


this page: suit M PENNER HOUSTON shoes DONALD J PLINER cufflinks MEGIN SPIVEY, NEIMAN MARCUS opposite page: gown GALIA LAHAV, NEIMAN MARCUS DALLAS earrings TOOTSIES ring ZADOK JEWELERS flowers TODD EVENTS


“It’s all I have to bring to-day, This, and my heart beside, This, and my heart, and all the fields, And all the meadows wide.” -Emily Dickinson

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opposite page: flowers & styling TODD EVENTS this page, on her: gown LIANCARLO, IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER headpiece BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL necklace TOOTIES ring ZADOK JEWELERS on him: suit, tie & pocket square M PENNER HOUSTON shoes DONALD J PLINER cuff links, ring & watch ZADOK JEWELERS


opposite page, on her: gown VALENTINO, NEIMAN MARCUS clutch JUDITH LEIBER shoes CARVELA, TOOTSIES jewelry NEIMAN MARCUS on him: suit SAKS FIFTH AVENUE shoes DONALD J PLINER pocket square NEIMAN MARCUS car 1953 BENTLEY R TYPE, PRIVATE COLLECTION


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PERSONAL

taste

10 WAYS TO SERVE A WEDDING MENU THAT EXPRESSES WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU LOVE. writer JULIE LEMEROND ~ photo D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Your wedding is all about you and your beloved—and should be. There is no other occasion more personal than the celebration of a relationship that results in the ultimate commitment. You wouldn’t be willing to carry any old flowers down that special aisle, or wear some off-therack dress to say, “I do,” to your groom. So why, then, would you be willing to serve food that might look pretty on the plate, but doesn’t

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ceremony & reception mean anything to you beyond mere sustenance? Offering a menu that is a reflection of you is a way to share a taste of who you are, where you come from, what you like and what you love. Think that sounds like a complicated recipe? Not so, say Houston culinary experts, who are ready, willing and excited to fulfill requests for beloved comfort foods, Southern favorites, ethnic specialties—even items that pay homage to your fave fast-food indulgences or craving-satisfying snacks, whether for your wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, or any event associated with this most special of occasions. 1 . TA S T E T E S T

Before your menu is set (and perhaps even before your venue is confirmed), you should be able to arrange a tasting provided by your caterer and attended by you, your groom and your wedding coordinator. This tasting will be a great way to communicate what you want with all of the people responsible for your event. It’s also an excellent opportunity to explain what flavors you like, and share details about your background with your chef. “You should be able to taste a few of the items you are looking to serve your guests,” suggests Virginia Patterson, sales manager for Seasons 52, which is known for its healthful, delicious food, and is fast becoming a favorite Houston venue for rehearsal dinners, pre-wedding events and intimate marriage celebrations. “Having a few people taste the items and help you decide will ensure great food being served for your special day, and great food will leave a lasting impression on your guests.” Adds Chris Nguyen, owner of Café Natalie Catering, “If you strive to appeal 68 

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to all your guests’ palates, you risk developing a menu of unoriginal selections. To create a wedding meal that is more personally significant to the bride and groom, we present our interpretations of the couple’s favorite foods or restaurants, family culinary traditions, seasonal specialties, and any unique ethnic-inspired dishes. 2 . L E T ’ S TA L K T E X A S

We live in a location well known for its succulent meats and proteins. Steaks, ribs, chicken, seafood—you name it, and Texas does it right. Thomas P. Nguyen, owner of SouthAfrican-fusion eatery Peli Peli, states: “Being in Texas, steak is king. Our filets are very popular, especially filets that are locally sourced from Texas distributors,” he adds.

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But it’s not just the quality of local meat that makes Texas cuisine such a standout. “Houston is called the Bayou City, and it’s where bayou culture bumps into Texas tastes,” notes Fern Casio of notable Southern fine-dining establishment Brennan’s of Houston. “Our food is unique; we call it Texas Creole, and we take the best local product available and blend it with our culinary heritage”—which happens to be the heritage of many Houston brides and grooms.

Michele Payne, director of catering and private events for famed Houston eatery Cullen’s, sees this regional favorite finding its way into wedding and special event menus on a regular basis—and she is a major fan. “Savory grits, sweet grits and ooeygooey grits. Shrimp and grits, appleand-caramel grits, cheese grits. All of these great grits options have made a resurgence,” she says, noting that out-of-town visitors, especially, are delighted by this special Southern treat.

3. G I T YO U R G R I TS

4. FUSION FEAST

Perhaps no Southern food is simpler or more beloved than wholesome, comforting grits. Which, with their great versatility, just happen to lend themselves to some of the most exciting menu items you can imagine!

You don’t need an absolutely authentic appetizers-to-dessert ethnic menu to infuse your wedding meal with your personal taste. Peli Peli’s Nguyen offers this suggestion for making your menu a reflection of yourself: “Really


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incorporating a bit of your heritage, by use of seasonings, sauces and spices in the dish, creates your own unique ‘fusion,’” he says. “We suggest taking marinades and seasonings that are commonly used in your culture and using those items to flavor and create your dishes.” Whether it’s chipotle pepper or cumin, coriander or Kalamata olives, anise or sesame seeds, talk to your chef about how to spice up common hors d’oeuvre, side dishes, proteins and desserts with a subtle but sensational taste of your culture. Nguyen enjoys assisting clients in cooking up hors d’oeuvre ideas with international appeal. Recommending three appetizer selections with different flavor profiles such as spicy, sweet and savory, and a range of proteins,

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Nguyen says beyond these basics, anything is possible. “Our bulgogi on jalapeño corncake is a favorite appetizer with great Asian flair and a hint of Texas heat in the pepper flakes. Miniature truffled mac-and-cheese cups are popular for the bride and groom who love Southern comfort food.” 5. CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS

“Bringing back ‘oldies’ is a frequent request that we always meet with the chefs about,” says Nicole Wilker, senior party planner at Brennan’s. “In fact, our Baked Alaska has made quite a comeback since being requested at a reception. There are several items that have ended up incorporated into our menus.” For a fun personal touch, Brennan’s often will name the revived classic after the bride or groom, turning

it into a signature wedding dish. Want to add a retro touch to your revelry, and delight older guests with memories of traditional fancy-dining favorites? Consider snazzing up your menu with beloved classics, which may include succulent shrimp cocktail, tableside-prepared Caesar salad, sweetand-salty rumaki, twice-baked potatoes and flambéed Bananas Foster. 6 . S I G N AT U R E S I P S

“This is where you can really have fun with the details of the event,” says Patterson, who notes that Seasons 52 mixologists infuse signature wedding and special event cocktails with the same market-fresh ingredients her chefs use in their menus. “Make the signature cocktail fun, eye-appealing and, most of all, tasty!”


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Payne describes these delicious drink ideas: “Freshly muddled fruits and herbs infused into cocktails are hot right now. Think blackberries and rosemary or strawberries and basil. These drinks are vibrant in color and can be made to match the couple’s wedding color or theme.”

Notes Nguyen: “In designing signature cocktails, we are currently seeing a trend toward serving butler-passed classics with a twist of local flavor. Guests love our Lavender French 75 made with Tito’s vodka and our Old Fashioned made with Garrison Brothers whiskey. For the modern couple, chile-pepper or

sake-based cocktails are great flavorful selections with an exotic edge.” Donnette Hansen, owner of the renowned Rainbow Lodge, which specializes in fresh game and Texas flavors, offers this recommendation for how best to prepare and serve signature drinks: “If you are having a large wedding, try to stay away from cocktails that require a great amount of time to make. That can create a backup at the bar upon arrival, while making them in advance would probably diminish the integrity of the cocktail,” she says. Instead, stick to signature cocktails that have two or three key ingredients and a pretty garnish. 7. P E R F E C T P R E S E N T A T I O N

Presentation details such as specialty glassware, drink garnishes, colored rim sugar and bar signage can boost the impact of your signature sip as well. “Seasons 52 did an event with a specialty drink that would traditionally go in a highball glass. But for this event we served the drink in a Champagne glass and it made all the difference in the world. The different glass made it fun and classy,” recounts Patterson. And don’t forget to place signage on bars or butler trays identifying the name of your drink and its meaning to you. 8 . A F T E R - PA R T Y R E F U E L

Reveling late into the night is a wedding tradition—because who really wants the party to end? To nourish your guests and give them a little something to soak up those signature cocktails, a round of wee-hours treats is in order. And by now, any sort of formality has subsided, so bring on the fun bites and flavors of your youth! “We’ve had requests for everything 74 

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ceremony & reception from taquitos and doughnut holes to waffle fries and nachos,” says Payne. “This has become a popular way to end the evening. After hours of dancing and imbibing, couples want to ‘top off’ their guests’ tummies,” she continues. “Guests enjoy interactive stations for late-night bites,” notes Nguyen, who likes the option of the traditional taco cart, serving up barbacoa, el pastor and chorizo tacos with plenty of delicious toppings. “We also suggest a ramennoodle station with pork-belly buns as an Asian fusion option, or a flavoredpopcorn bar to give your guests a takeaway treat.” Depending on how late your festivities linger into the night, you may want to welcome the morning with a delicious breakfast buffet. Delight your guests with Houston favorites including savory

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breakfast tacos (filled with a choice of eggs, potatoes, cheese, chorizo and a variety of salsas) and tasty kolaches—a nod to Houston’s Czech history. 9. PLAN WELL

Making sure your guests are fed well throughout your wedding will help maintain energy and momentum. Hansen advises on how to plan a menu well to sustain and satisfy your guests, while infusing your edibles with a

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personal touch. “I think it is always better to have fewer ‘memorable’ menu items and plenty of them, than a scattering of many items but not enough of any of them for the whole crowd. Guests will talk about the food, and you never want to hear, ‘I didn’t get any, they ran out.’” Another tip: Don’t stuff your guests at the cocktail hour if you’re serving a lavish, multi-course dinner, or having

lots of interactive stations. Instead, have three to five selections of butler-passed small bites, including items that speak to your background—fragrant samosas, shrimp-and-grits bites, or miniature Maryland crab cakes, perhaps. 1 0 . O P E N C O M M U N I C AT I O N

Realize that most establishments look forward to working with you to create a menu that is a reflection of you, even if it’s not what they are used to doing.


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ceremony & reception Hansen states: “With a strong kitchen on your side, getting the menu you want should be easy. Communicate your ideas. The most fun part of my day is sitting down and writing custom menus—I enjoy translating a family favorite into a banquet or appetizer possibility.” At the same time, be flexible and realistic, knowing that not every venue will be able to cater to every desire you have. “Ask to talk with the chef of the venue where you are booking your event,” recommends Patterson. “The chef ultimately will be the one responsible for your food even though the event coordinator is helping you plan the event. The chef can then understand exactly what you are wanting and how to create it.”

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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C2rystle & Max writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography SELECT STUDIOS

08.09.14

It would be hard to top Max’s proposal to Crystle for sheer romance: The Belgian-born model alighted with his beloved from

a chartered helicopter, then surprised the former Miss USA (2008) with his down-on-one-knee question in front of giddy friends and family dressed in T-shirts reading, “True Love is Crystle Clear.” Yet the couple’s summer wedding did manage to take romance to a whole new level, with a lavish 320-guest celebration set at castle-like Chateau Cocomar. Fittingly, the bride, who currently stars in OWN Network’s Tyler Perry sitcom “For Better or Worse,” was the very picture of a fairytale princess in her Lazaro gown and sparkling updo. And she has special praise for those who brought her regal fantasy to life: “The entire event was coordinated by [venue owner] Karen Martin and the Cocomar ladies,” Crystle notes. “They planned and executed together a tremendously awesome event that will forever be remembered!” W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 crystle stewart & maxime sebrechts     320   chateau

cocomar     plants n’ petals   café natalie catering    lazaro   al’s formal wear   hawaii

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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Katie & Mitchell2 writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

03.08.14

Jewelry designer Katie Decker has a passion for ornamentation, so it’s no surprise the bride selected La Colombe

d’Or’s magnificently ornate, oak-paneled Grand Salon to celebrate her marriage to high-school sweetheart Mitchell. Having already designed her own rose-gold engagement ring, Katie took her inspiration from the romantic hue, bringing the color to her cake, her invitations, even her blush-toned Ines Di Santo gown. At the couple’s elegant reception, French-style furniture surrounding the dance floor “made it feel as if you had gone back in time and entered a Belle-Epoque-style club,” Katie says. And while dining and dancing in that lavish environment was decidedly delightful, the bride says her favorite memory was “walking down the aisle and seeing Mitchell for the first time, with all our friends and family in one place. It was so surreal…and such a happy occasion.” W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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 katie decker

mitchell currie     280    hotel zaza   la colombe d’or   susie’s cakes & confections    ines di santo from mia bridal couture   j. cogliandro &

photography   bering’s   tuscany & amalfi coast

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THE FLAVOR OF

love

CELEBRITY CHEF, RESTAURATEUR AND ICON OF TEXAS CUISINE TIM LOVE OFFERS HIS RECIPE FOR DELICIOUS WEDDINGS. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photos courtesy TIM LOVE

If you’ve caught him on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup,” the Food Network’s “Top Chef: The Cruise,” or in any of his many appearances on national shows including NBC’s “Today Show” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” you know that chef Tim Love is a consummate entertainer and a master with a slab of good meat. But the owner of acclaimed Texas restaurants Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Queenie’s Steakhouse, Love Shack and the famed White Elephant Saloon, is also a connoisseur of cuisine that transforms special events into unforgettable occasions. Elk-sausage sliders with foie gras and blueberry jam? Yeah, that’s Love’s specialty. Mini smoked-chocolate pie bites? He loves to serve ’em up on reception dessert displays. Read more in our exclusive Q&A!

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Weddings in Houston: How did you get your start in cooking? Tim Love: I’ve been cooking since I was a kid. My dad lived on a 26-acre farm and I was an avid hunter, so cooking always seemed like a natural progression in understanding food. I got my first job in a kitchen when I was a student at the University of Tennessee and immediately knew that it was where I belonged. I’ve been working in restaurants ever since. WIH: When did you open your first restaurant? TL: I opened my flagship restaurant, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, in Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards in 2000. WIH: How has your Texas heritage influenced your cooking? TL: How hasn’t Texas influenced my cooking?! I am constantly inspired by our state’s bold flavors, culinary traditions and local ingredients. WIH: How about drink pairings for these kicky cocktail-reception bites? TL: The cucumber-jalapeño margarita is always a home run. In the summertime, “adult” slushies are fun. And a hot toddy in the winter hits the spot. WIH: What are some of your favorite hors d’oeuvre and small-bite options for the Houston bride who wants to bring a taste of Texas to her cocktail reception? TL: Passed hors d’oeuvre can have a bad reputation for being dull, so I like to spice things up with a variety of unique items such as prosciuttowrapped chicharrón with crème fraîche and caviar, and my signature rabbitand-rattlesnake sausage with pickled vegetables. A personal favorite is my elk-sausage sliders topped with foie gras and blueberry jam. Exciting food is such a great conversation starter—so it’s key to make sure hors d’oeuvre have a kick! 94 

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WIH: For the bride who wants to treat her guests to Texas flavor, but avoid a basic meat-and-potatoes meal, what are your suggestions for plated entrees and sides? TL: One of the most popular dishes at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro is our roasted-garlic-stuffed beef tenderloin, which we serve with Western “plaid hash,” grilled asparagus and Syrah demi-glace. This is a decadent, creative spin on the classic “meat and potatoes.” For more adventurous guests, we have a goat crépinette with white beans and sorrel, or black-trumpet-crusted elk loin with grilled ramps and spicy garlic gremolata. WIH: Houston brides love their bling, their football, and a whole lot of ACTION. What are some fantastic action stations for Texas wedding celebrations? TL: There are tons of fun options—cooking whole animals, sushi made to order with all wild fish, or cooking paella over open flames. In fact, anything

cooked family style over open flames is always fun! I think weddings should be fun, celebratory and not stuffy at all. My goal is to keep people eating, drinking and having a great time. WIH: What are your favorite ways to transform down-home Texas desserts into special-occasion treats? TL: Pie bites are a great option—they are playful, easy to eat and everyone can find a flavor they like. A few of my favorites are smoked-chocolate pie, white-chocolate-mousse-banana-cream pie and blueberry-cumin pie. They provide the comfort of classic, hometown treats while still allowing for creative twists. WIH: Last but not least, what’s your favorite late-night snack to soak up those celebratory libations and send guests home satisfied? TL: My all-time favorite late-night bite is our mini crispy chicken sandy. We add all the classic toppings, bread-andbutter pickles, Hellmann’s mayo and slaw—you just can’t go wrong!

“ photo courtesy TIM LOVE

I think weddings should be fun, celebratory and not stuffy at all. My goal is to keep people eating, drinking and having a great time.”


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DIY

vs. don’t try

FEELING CRAFTY? FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR A FLAWLESS BLEND OF HANDCRAFTED AND EXPERT-MADE. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo STUDIO D. SHARP

Have you heard the one about the bride who attempted to impersonate a professional coordinator, florist, caterer, baker, decorator and graphic designer? She’s still recovering (not to mention missing from most of her wedding-day photos, having been frantically rushing around behind the scenes). While it can be gratifying— and lots of fun—to have a hand in crafting your special day, many

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elements are best left to actual experts. So what should you DIY—and which wedding components should you probably not try? We’ve got your tips for a wedding that is as personal as it is, well…perfect! PA P E R & I N K

DIY: Thank-you cards, place cards,

favor tags. The area of graphic design and paper products (stationery, menu cards, labels, favor tags and packaging, bunting, signage, etc.) is a tempting one for amateurs. Plenty of design-related computer programs and online options make it simple to create pretty paper products featuring fabulous fonts, photos, artwork and effects. Their versatility also makes it easy to go overboard. If you’ve got a good eye for design

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and are handy with—or eager to try— software like PrintingPress, PrintMaker Platinum or The Print Shop Deluxe, you may want to design and print your own personalized cards and tags. You can also turn to Etsy to customize items like wine-bottle and favor-box labels, without actually having to design and print your own.

accommodation information, and lists of local-area attractions. As for printing, do you really think you can get that fantastic foil-stamping effect or raised lettering out of your home laser printer? Um, nope. Leave the invitation to the experienced professional (for more on invitation design trends and ideas, see “Elegantly Invited,” page 316).

Don’t Try: Wedding invitations.

FLOWERS & DECOR

A full wedding-invitation suite is a major endeavor. First off, there’s the design itself, which can involve hours of sketching, computer illustration and color matching to align the invitation design with your wedding’s theme and color scheme. Then there are the suite components, which typically include the invitation, RSVP card, RSVP envelope, and enclosures such as maps,

DIY: Guestbook, bunting, paper

flowers. There are plenty more decor and floral DIY projects you may want to attempt—especially for the ceremony and cocktail reception—but these are a few of our favorites. When we say “guestbook,” we actually mean any number of guest sign-in options, including thumbprint boards (which


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ceremony & reception can be designed as peacock tails, balloon bunches, tree leaves—you name it!), card “trees” (where guests actually clip, pin or hang sign-in cards in any shape you wish), Jenga blocks or quilt squares. Want to add a sweet, retro touch to your festivities? Take an easy video lesson on how to create colorful bunting or paper flowers that can be used as backdrops, chair decor and more (Pinterest has tons of photo and video tutorials to choose from).

Don’t Try:

Bridal bouquet, reception centerpieces. Perhaps the biggest mistake DIYminded brides make is attempting to design, arrange, transport and set up their wedding flowers. Sure, it’s tempting to think you can conserve money by reducing that “flowers” line item on

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your wedding budget. But the truth is that a professional florist, with access to wholesale flowers, floral vessels and flower-arranging tools, will pay a lot less for those bountiful blooms and accoutrements than you will. Not to mention that she’ll know exactly what’s in season (meaning both freshest and least pricey), and how to care for and preserve it before the big day, and she’ll transport your flowers at the right temperature, under the right conditions, so that they arrive in excellent shape at your ceremony and/or reception venue. And that’s not even accounting for the years of experience and education she likely has in designing and arranging flowers and plants to fit individual wedding themes, gown designs, sentimental notions and personal styles.

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FA S H I O N & S T Y L E

DIY: Bridal garter.

Bridal accessories offer the crafty bride oodles of options for showing off creativity, skill and personal flair. Our favorite fashion DIY is the handmade bridal garter, which you can fashion for yourself with little more than a bit of lace, a length of satin ribbon, a piece of ½-inch elastic, scissors, a safety pin (to pull the elastic through the garter), thread and a basic sewing machine. Bling it up, if that’s your thing, with a pre-made rhinestone applique—available at most fabric, craft and notion stores.

Don’t Try: Wedding gown.

This probably goes without saying, but unless you are a professional fashion designer and/or seamstress,

designing and sewing your own wedding gown is almost certainly going to be way too much to handle. Even if you are a professional designer and/or seamstress, the fabrics, trim, construction and detailing that are involved in wedding-gown creation are so unique and specialized, they’ll likely test your skills in ways your skills really don’t need to be tested right now, while you’re having fun being a bride-tobe. If you can’t afford the high price of a couture bridal creation, or if the traditional white wedding gown isn’t your cup of tea, shop vintage retailers, department stores or local boutiques for a special-occasion dress that fits your budget and bridal style, and spend a little extra on having it professionally altered to perfectly fit your figure, as well.


O REAL WEDDINGS

Rachel & K2urt writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography STEVE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

07.11.14

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens during autumn is not just beautiful, it’s a fine place and time to

pop the question, as Kurt did to Rachel: “The walkway was surrounded by thousands of pumpkins and decorated by beautiful seasonal flowers,” recounts the bride. “The calming water of White Rock Lake behind us lent itself to the most perfect romantic backdrop ever.” And the romance didn’t end there. The couple, who met as students at UT Austin, celebrated their wedding at The Bell Tower on 34th Street, with 240 delighted friends and family members. The bride enchanted everyone in her gorgeous Watters gown, while the groom held his beloved’s hands tightly during the deeply personal ceremony. Notes Rachel: “Kurt and I truly feel that our perfect evening lasted forever as we got to soak up every moment of happiness and fun of the party.” 104 

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REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

 rachel jordan

kurt miller     240   the bell tower on 34th street  ,    aj’s urban petals   dju productions    watters from mia bridal couture   al’s formal &

wear   steve lee photography   st. lucia

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A TIME AND

a place

ESOTERIC EVENTS’ KRISTIN ALEXANDER BRINGS CHIC SEASONAL AND RESIDENTIAL TOUCHES TO HER WOW WEDDINGS. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photos SAMUEL LIPPKE

A fast-rising star of L.A.’s hot event-design scene, consultant Kristin Alexander understands that the modern wedding is a traditional occasion as much as it is a contemporary party. Which is why the owner of Esoteric Events strives to design weddings that are, in her words, “cutting edge and classic, with ‘residential’ flair” (read: lounge seating, comfy cushions, dining-table chairs, etc.). Another of her design directives: “It’s key to work with the wedding’s 110 

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season, and not against it.” Here, we tap into Alexander’s considerable talents, and get her tips for creating a wedding that feels right at home, and of its time. Weddings in Houston: How would you describe your signature style and planning process? Kristin Alexander: I believe each wedding should feel unique and intimate, and should serve as an outward extension of my clients and their lifestyles. I place a large emphasis on the planning process, which I believe is key to my approach.


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While I tailor my methodology to suit every client, my fundamentals always remain the same. The process always begins with getting to know each other. From learning their story, getting to know their individual personalities, understanding and honing in on their design preferences, to finding a way to bring to life each and every request, I pride myself on delivering a comprehensive and customized approach to each and every client. WIH: Houston summers are HOT, so most summer brides have their weddings indoors.What are some of your favorite ways to give an indoor setting a summery feel? KA: Bring the outdoors in at indoor weddings by placing an emphasis on live greenery. Oversized trees, hanging floral and garland chandeliers adorned with foliage and flowers bring life to any space. WIH: We love a signature wedding drink. What are your recommendations for fabulous seasonal cocktails the wedding couple can brand as their own, and share with guests? KA: I think it is important for the couple to choose a signature cocktail that speaks to them. That said, some of my favorite seasonal cocktails are: 112 

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Cucumber Gin Fizz (gin, simple syrup, lime, cucumbers, soda) Summer: Paloma (tequila, lime, grapefruit soda) Fall: Blackberry Sage Old Fashioned (bourbon, bitters, sage simple syrup, blackberries) Winter: Bee’s Knees (gin, honey syrup, lemon) Spring:

WIH: What are some of your favorite wedding design and decor trends for 2015? KA: I believe we will continue to see lots of blush and cream color palettes, but I think there will be a transition to deeper color palettes, which I’m really excited about. I also forecast a surge of custom structures, complete with drapery and hanging floral arrangements, both indoors and out, which create intimate, memorable spaces for receptions. WIH: What do you love most about working with engaged couples on their weddings? KA: I truly love getting to know each and every one of my couples. Building relationships throughout the planning process is by far the best part of what I do. I have learned so much from every experience and am grateful that these have allowed me to grow and evolve as an event planner.


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SEASONAL STYLE Sing

With their milder temperatures and relative lack of major weather events, spring and fall are Houston’s top wedding seasons. Here are Kristin Alexander’s suggestions for sensational spring and fall seasonal decor and styling:

•  Warm  a  neutral  spring  palette  with  accents  of  peach,  cream, champagne, blush and a metallic, like rose gold. •  Large,  loose,  cascading  bouquets  of  seasonal  spring  blooms—lily of the valley, peonies, lilac and wisteria—are both dramatic and breathtakingly beautiful. •  Forgo the expected and walk down the aisle in a nontraditional-colored gown, like blush. •  Hire a harpist or a string quartet to create an ethereal vibe  for the ceremony. •  Add  a  whimsical  touch  to  the  dessert  menu  by  serving  artisan cotton candy in an array of pastel spring colors and nontraditional flavors such as honey-rose or chai. •  Add  dimension  to  the  table  by  departing  from  traditional  white taper candles. Colored tapers in hues of blush and lilac add elegance and soft pops of color. •  Bring all the attention to your face by sweeping hair back  into a soft, loose chignon or a ponytail. 114 

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Fa

•  Mix  rich  colors  such  as  merlot,  aubergine  and  rust  with  shades of cream. Don’t place too much emphasis on matching, as a variety of tones evokes a sense of romance. •  Bountiful and lush arrangements of seasonal flowers—sage,  dahlias, berries, oak leaves and camellias—are striking. •  Make a statement while exuding sophistication by choosing  a dress with lace sleeves. •  Gift  pashminas  or  blankets  to  each  couple  so  that  as  the  temperature drops, guests will enjoy a feeling of warmth throughout the celebration. •  Serve  seasonal  foods  with  rich  flavors,  like  butternutsquash soup, truffle risotto and fig cheesecake. •  Incorporate  touches  of  gold  throughout  your  paper  items  and tabletop decor: escort cards, programs, menus, floral vessels and silverware. •  Opt for a romantic hairstyle like soft curls or a loose braid  to conjure an effortless autumnal look.


I DO! BR I DA L S OIR E E AT T H E

JW Marriott

HOUSTON DOWNTOWN

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Weddings in Houston’s signature I Do! Bridal Soiree brought its special brand of wedding inspiration to the newly opened JW Marriott Houston Downtown—and brides came in droves to experience the magic. With more than 500 guests on hand, the I Do! Bridal Soiree at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown was one of our most popular events ever, showcasing the expertise of A-list floral designers, rental and decor experts, photographers, videographers, bridal salons, bakers, beauty professionals and more, and indulging brides in VIP treatment. We’d like to extend special thanks to show photographer M. Wang Photography, red-carpet photographer Civic Photos, show videographer A&A Photo and Video, DJ and emcee Jonny Black of Jonny Black Productions, lighting expert DJU Productions, JW Marriott Houston Downtown director of catering Jeffrey Chirinos and his entire catering staff, along with the more than 50 extraordinarily talented Houston wedding vendors and experts who welcomed—and wowed—our beautiful brides. We look forward to meeting you at our next I Do! Bridal Soiree, coming to The Corinthian on Feb. 12!

location JW MARRIOTT HOUSTON DOWNTOWN ~ writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography M. WANG PHOTOGRAPHY


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ceremony & reception

location CHATEAU POLONEZ

PROMISES,

promises

RELAX AND TAKE PLEASURE IN WRITING YOUR PERSONAL WEDDING VOWS. HERE’S HOW.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER

With so much focus on the festivities, it can be easy to overlook the most important part of your wedding—namely, your wedding. Your big day is a big day precisely because of the importance of the promises you and your beloved make to one another, in front of those you love most. Don’t relegate your ceremony to afterthought status. Take time, in these months and weeks before your special day, to enjoy

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ceremony & reception expressing your love with personal vows that speak from your heart to his. You’re likely to utter these words only once in your life—so make them mean everything you mean to say. 1 . TA L K A B O U T I T T O G E T H E R B E FO R E YO U B EG I N .

Personal vows are just that—highly personal. Which means your vows will come out of your unique experience and be expressed in your unique voice. That said, if you have decided together to pen personal vows to each other, you should figure out if you’d like to approach it as a team project, or each solo. Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to both write vows of roughly equal length, so one partner isn’t making a lengthy, erudite speech while the other is distilling things down to the

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nitty gritty. Basic rule of thumb: Each partner’s vows should be about two to three minutes long.

your hands.” Once your imagination is in motion, don’t rein it in; there will be time to pare down your words later, after your emotions are on the page.

2. DON’T EDIT FROM

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T H E O U T S E T.

3. MAKE PROMISES.

In the words of Minister Lynn Turner of Houston’s Weddings Performed, “Write from your heart, write from your experiences, look at your future together.” To get to the heart of that “heart,” it can help to let your mind wander a little. Try some stream-of-consciousness writing, starting with a list of your beloved’s qualities or a distinct memory of your time together, for example: “strong, inquisitive, deadpan funny, brilliant, compassionate, headstrong, gentle,” or, “Yosemite beneath the stars, we watched the moon make a rainbow in the mist, and you actually clapped

They don’t call them vows for nothing, so make sure to express your commitment with concrete promises, big and small. And don’t be afraid to mix a little funny into the formal—your ceremony is serious, but it doesn’t have to be grave. It’s OK to say, “I promise to support and uplift you no matter what challenges we face,” and, “I promise to kiss you every night before bed,” and also, “I promise never to complain about the fact that you match your socks by thickness instead of color.” Sweet, humorous glimpses into your private life and the little, special things

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you know and love about one another make your ceremony memorable not just for you, but for your guests as well. Just don’t go overboard with the jokes—this is an exchange of vows, not an opportunity for you to test out your new standup routine. 4 . P L E D G E YO U R LOV E .

While they’re certainly essential elements of most weddings, the rings, the kiss, the readings by guests, “are really all window dressing,” Minister Turner notes. “What’s absolutely required is a declaration of intent. As the officiant, I need to ask, ‘Do you take this man to be your husband? Do you take this woman to be your wife?’” As bride and groom, though, your answers need not be standard “I do’s.” Here’s where you’ll make your personal statement of


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ceremony & reception commitment, for example: “I, Melanie, take you, Dylan, as you are, for who you are, today and for all days to come,” or “I, Rosa, take you, Jonathan, to share the adventure of life with me from this day forward,” or “I, Jasmine, take you, Robert, to be my husband and best friend, my partner in crime, my gentleman and my confidante, in this moment and for all time.” If you are both spiritual or religious, you may choose to acknowledge the divine in one another, or make reference to God as witness to your pledge. Just don’t try to write the entire ceremony, soup to nuts. “When couples do that, it really takes the spontaneity out of what we do as officiants. We end up having to read everything word for word, and it becomes a canned ceremony,” Turner adds. 5. T Y P E O U T YO U R VOWS A N D SAV E .

While you might prefer classic pen and paper for taking the notes that will become your vows, once you have a solid draft completed, you’ll want to type them out and save the document to your computer. This will allow for easy edits, and for changes you may want to make as you think about your vows in the days leading up to your wedding. The intensity of the final approach to your big day may bring up new thoughts and feelings you want to express to your groom—allow yourself to work these into your vows. And don’t worry about learning your words from the heart by heart. “I tell my couples, don’t stress about memorizing vows. You’re in very good company with world leaders, presidents, even the pope. We all have cheat sheets!” online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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A Night All in White Weddings in Houston’s client-appreciation party on Aug. 7, 2014, blanketed La Colombe d’Or in style. Our special thanks to Darryl & Co. for the wondrous white floral and decor, to Susie’s Cakes & Confections for stunning white and gold cakes, to Jonny Black Productions for great entertainment that kept guests dancing long into the evening, to Civic Photos for fantastic event pix, and to Ed Bodde and Dan Zimmerman, our gracious venue hosts. Thanks too, to our amazingly talented and deeply valued clients, who turned up decked out in dazzling white for their special night! location LA COLOMBE D'OR ~ writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography CIVIC PHOTOS


O REAL WEDDINGS

L1ara7 & Nick

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography SARAH AINSWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

07.12.14

We like to think of Lara and Nick’s meeting as a bright silver lining on a very dark cloud: The couple first

encountered one another in July 2011 in Fort Payne, Ala., where both were volunteers assisting in tornado relief efforts. Their long-distance relationship—he was in North Carolina, she lived in Houston—blossomed, and in 2012, Nick moved to Houston. With its cornflower-and-peach color scheme and steak-and-lobster menu, the pair’s summer wedding was a true Houston classic. The gracious bride adds, “It was also Nick’s brother-in-law’s (he was Nick’s best man) birthday, so after his speech we gave him a cheesecake and sang him, ‘Happy Birthday.’ It was pretty cool to see all 150 people join in and celebrate.”

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REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

 lara allen

nicholas ours     150   dream bouquet   who made the cake!   katie & co.    allure bridals from la rêve bridal couture   al’s formal wear      &

 t. carolyn fashions   williams-sonoma   ireland

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A SEAT AT THE

table

WHO SITS WHERE? AND WHY? AND DOES IT REALLY MATTER? OUR ANSWERS TO COMMON SEATING-PLAN QUESTIONS ARE A BEFUDDLED BRIDE’S BEST FRIEND. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

The RSVPs are in. The centerpieces are selected. The menu is set. It’s time for…the dreaded seating plan. If you’re in a tizzy about organizing your reception tables, we’re here to calm your nerves. Because, after all, these are dinner seating arrangements we’re talking about, not global crisis negotiations. While a seating plan is super important, especially if you’re planning to serve a formal plated dinner, figuring out who should sit where does not have to keep you up at night. But a good seating plan will keep guests chatting, reminiscing, striking up new friendships, and basically having the time of their lives, all night long. So pull up a chair and listen in. 140 

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ceremony & reception SHOULD MY GROOM A N D I S I T S E PA R AT E LY FROM OUR GUESTS?

Only if you wish to. A sweetheart table, where the bride and groom sit together, without any distractions, is a preference for some brides. Others want to be in the middle of the action, seated at a long, rectangular “bridal table,” shared with the entire bridal party, and usually stationed at the front of the reception room, near the dance floor. As for seating position, tradition dictates that the groom sits to the right of the bride, and the best man to her left, while the maid of honor sits to the groom’s right. But modern brides often choose to seat couples next to each other, or slightly mixed up (for mingling fun). Whether you choose to sit solely with your new groom, or in the midst of your best

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ceremony & reception friends and closest family members, make sure you do make a place for yourself at the reception! D O I R E A L L Y N E E D A S E T- I N S T O N E S E AT I N G P L A N ?

Um, yes. You really do. Here’s why: No matter how many delicious signature wedding drinks and sumptuous hors d’oeuvre you ply them with during cocktail hour, when it comes time for the grand reception, wedding guests get a little…nervous. Especially at larger weddings, guests are encountering people they’ve never met before, in a formal atmosphere, where they’re dressed in formal clothes and expected to socialize formally. Taking the decision about where to sit out of their hands reduces their anxiety and allows them to settle in, get comfortable, and

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ceremony & reception stop being so formal. Having a seating plan also helps ensure that people who probably shouldn’t sit together—exes, feuding factions, guests of significantly different ages or politics or sports-fan affiliations, for example—don’t. I S I T B E T T E R T O S E AT G U E S T S W I T H P E O P L E T H E Y K N O W, O R M I X T H E M U P W I T H N E W FA C E S ?

Both! College or high-school friends who haven’t seen each other in ages will welcome the chance to catch up over dinner at your fabulous reception. But your party is also a great opportunity to bring your friends and his together to strike up new friendships. As for family, it’s always lovely to have the parents, grandparents and close friends of the bride and groom sit together at one table.

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A S S I G N E D S E AT S O R A S S I G N E D TA B L E S — W H I C H I S B E S T ?

Assigned seats, indicated with escort cards that correspond with formal place cards upon the table, are elegant and impressive—but only for the most formal seated dinner receptions. Otherwise, assigned tables are the way to go. To guide guests to their assigned tables, have escort cards displayed at the entrance to the reception area. And when we say “displayed,” we’re really leaving things up to your imagination. A quick peek on Pinterest will reveal that brides have presented escort cards tucked in wine-bottle corks, clothespinned on flower-edged lines, tied with ribbon to Champagne-flute stems, and on and on. Just make sure each table is clearly marked with signage indicating its number or name. From there,

guests will sort out exactly where to sit—though the hope is that they’ll spend little time in their seats, and lots of time on the dance floor! OK, I’M FEELING A LITTLE BETTER ABOUT THIS WHOLE S E AT I N G - C H A R T T H I N G . ANY LAST ADVICE?

Glad you asked. When sketching out your seating chart—and yes, you should definitely sketch it out with visuals showing round, square and rectangular tables (if you’re planning a mix of table shapes), make sure you’re working with a finalized list of RSVPs. You probably shouldn’t do your seating chart until about two weeks out from your wedding day, to assure that everyone who will be attending your celebration is accounted for. Check off

ceremony & reception

each individual name on your RSVP list, and make sure to seat unaccompanied guests at tables with at least one or two other unaccompanied guests. If you are working with a wedding consultant or planner, have him or her on hand while you do your seating chart, perhaps over dinner or drinks at your home with you and your fiancé. But try to limit the seating-plan-organization crew, and avoid bringing others (your parents, bridal party members, etc.) in for this vital task. When it comes to wedding seating, everyone has an opinion. The only ones that matter, though, are yours and your beloved’s. Everything else takes a back seat. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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O REAL WEDDINGS

L1isa & Joel

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography MORGAN LYNN PHOTOGRAPHY

09.20.14

Houston Rockets director of broadcasting Joel Blank has none other than his ex-girlfriend to thank for hooking him

up with his lovely bride, KHOU-TV anchor Lisa Hernandez. We bet Lisa’s thanking her, too. Though both Joel and Lisa were, by their own admission, “anti-blind-date,” the pair agreed to let the aforementioned ex, who happened to be Lisa’s personal trainer, set them up. As Joel recounts it, “We had our first date, and knew we had gone on our last first date.” The couple made it official with a lovely late-summer wedding at the dazzling Crystal Ballroom at the Rice, where guests dug into fajitas, indulged in a decadent “dessert gallery,” and danced the night away. We don’t know who’s luckier—the bride, who, dressed in her stunning Ines Di Santo mermaid gown, tearfully exchanged vows with the man of her dreams, or the groomsmen, who each went home with an NBA game ball signed by Dwight Howard, James Harden, Kevin McHale, Calvin Murphy, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.You be the judge! 150 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 lisa hernandez & joel blank     225   crystal ballroom

at the rice     eb inc events   susie’s cakes & confections   sambuca catering   katie & co.    ines di santo from ivory bridal atelier   31 films   turks & caicos

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Your Guide to Pre-wedding d Rehearsal Dinner

Cele ations

photo M. WANG PHOTOGRAPHY flowers & decor PLANTS N’ PETALS •

Brennan's Houston

Cadillac Bar

• 3300 Smith St • Houston, TX 77006 • 713.522.9711 BrennansHouston.com

• 1802 Shepherd Dr • Houston, TX 77007 • 713.862.2020 CadillacBar.com Cadillac Bar is the perfect venue to celebrate your rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, wedding reception, quinceañera or bar/bat mitzvah. With two private rooms, accommodating 30 to 400 guests, the possibilities are endless! Our event planner is available to help coordinate all the details for your unforgettable day.

For over 40 years Brennan’s Houston has been the destination for brides who are searching for Southern hospitality. We have several different size rooms to accommodate any size celebration and a dedicated culinary staff to make your taste buds sing. “The grandest restaurant in the city.” – Alison Cook, chron.com.

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

200

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests ••

156 

Min. Price $60

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests •

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Events at a Time

Min. Price $12 ••


Downtown Aquarium

The Grove

• 410 Bagby St • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.315.5168 DowntownAquarium.com

• 1611 Lamar St • Houston, TX 77010 • 713.337.7321 TheGroveHouston.com The Grove offers three private rooms and one outdoor space for events where you’ll find a stunning view of Discovery Green and the downtown skyline. Our catering manager and beverage director will help you craft an extraordinary menu with stylish and precise service from our gracious staff for a memorable event.

The Ballroom can be divided into one or two special events and can easily accommodate 50-400 guests. The Downtown Aquarium is the perfect venue for any occasion. Come visit us today. You won't want to be anywhere else for your celebrated occasion.

Events at a Time

5

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $30

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

120

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests ••

••

Hilton Americas - Houston

Houston Event Centers

• 1600 Lamar St • Houston, TX 77010 • 713.739.8000 AmericasHouston.Hilton.com

• 9906 Gulf Fwy • Houston, TX 77034 • 713.987.7300 HoustonEventCenters.com

Skyline Ballroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows provide unrivaled views from the 24th floor, with the glittering downtown cityscape as the backdrop for your celebration. Set up to accommodate receptions, seated dinners or banquets, Skyline’s dedicated kitchen and serving area, experienced banquet staff and award-winning chefs provide superior service for your dream wedding.

Houston Event Centers is a family of four full-service event venues in southeast Houston, Texas, specially equipped to host your very special day. From La Reyna, Colorado Hall, Alegria Hall to El Gran Palacio, you will find a venue to suit your rehearsal dinner.

Events at a Time

10

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

130

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests

Min. Price $110

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

1000

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

••

Min. Price $20

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

• 111 North Post Oak Ln • Houston, TX 77024 • 713.680.2626 Houstonian.com

• 806 Main St • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.237.1111 JWMarriottHotelHouston.com

Located in the heart of Houston, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa is a beautiful wooded retreat nestled amidst 18 acres of towering pines and serene oaks. Special wedding venues include unique ballrooms for larger groups, to the more intimate elegance of the Manor House or Hearth Room at Olivette.

Events at a Time

6

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

500

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

As the premier luxury hotel in downtown Houston, the JW Houston effortlessly hosts events in 14,500 square feet of modern event space, including two elegant ballrooms. While you are staying with us, we strive to take care of your every desire by intuitively anticipating your needs, guarding against unnecessary distractions and orchestrating an event that is both seamless and memorable.

Call For Price

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

650

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests

Min. Price $150

La Colombe d’Or

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa

• 3410 Montrose Blvd • Houston, TX 77006 • 713.524.7999 LaColombedOr.com

• 600 La Torretta Blvd • Montgomery, TX 77356 • • 936.448.3031 • LaTorrettaLakeResort.com • From casual poolside barbecues to intimate formal affairs, La Torretta provides an array of celebration venues. La Torretta’s new Lakeside Restaurant & Bar is the ideal venue for rehearsal dinners. Lakeside Restaurant & Bar offers a traditional steak dinner with a twist of sophistication, and with its private event room and lakeside deck overlooking the most beautiful sunsets in Texas, you have the perfect recipe to celebrate the occasion.

La Colombe d’Or has two lovely spaces that can accommodate rehearsal dinners: The Mansion and the Salon. The Mansion can accommodate up to 100 guests for a seated affair, while the Salon can accommodate up to 300 guests for a seated affair. We also have other dining options for smaller parties.

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

300

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests •

Min. Price $60

Min. Price $100

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

250

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $45

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The Lasker Inn

Maggiano’s Little Italy

• 1019 16th St • Galveston, TX 77550 • • 409.497.4318 • LaskerInn.com •

• 2019 Post Oak Blvd • Houston, TX 77056 • 713.961.3565 Maggianos.com

The exquisitely restored 9000 sq ft Greek Revival home is Galveston Island’s premier luxury wedding venue, featuring a lavish and sophisticated yet charming atmosphere just blocks from the beach and Historic Strand District. Specializing in the Classic Wedding Weekend with all the amenities to make your dreams come true. Hosting bridal luncheons, rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, receptions, and luxurious accommodations for overnight guests. Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

175

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Located in the heart of the Galleria area, Maggiano’s Little Italy with its award winning cuisine makes every occasion magical. Whether you’re hosting a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or wedding reception, your personal banquet coordinator will help you plan the perfect event. Four spacious rooms adorned with rich oak paneling and crystal chandeliers can accommodate an intimate party of 20 up to a grand event of 200.

Min. Price $30

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

240

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Magnolia Hotel Houston

Mr. Peeples Seafood and Steaks

• 1100 Texas Ave • Houston, TX 77002 • 281.657.2600 MagnoliaHotels.com

• 1911 Bagby St • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.652.0711 MrPeeples.com Admire the stunning view of Houston’s downtown skyline as your guests sip champagne at sunset or dine against a backdrop of stars. Located in Midtown, Mr. Peeples private rooms are the perfect place to host your next occasion. Our fully customizable rooms can be tailored to your exact needs.

Experience a sophisticated yet chic location for your rehearsal dinner! Guests will enjoy a stylish setting, delectable food, and the warm hospitality of Magnolia Hotel Houston. Bring everyone together for a grand welcome reception or an intimate family affair and kick off the perfect beginning to your wedding events!

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

230

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests

Min. Price $28

Events at a Time

5

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $60

Ouisie’s Table

The Overlook

• 3939 San Felipe St • Houston, TX 77027 • 713.528.2264 OuisiesTable.com

• 20114 Pinehurst Dr • Atascocita, TX 77346 • 281.812.0193 TheOverlookEvents.com

Ouisie’s Table is a place where fond memories are formed and life’s events are celebrated. Whatever your needs, Ouisie’s Table offers several venues and settings from which to choose. Each of our spaces has its own unique feel and character and lends itself to entertaining in a special way.

The Overlook is a beautiful facility full of American Craftsman style charm, and set on a 22 acre green space filled with walking trails, ponds and woods. The Overlook is a gem unlike any other location you’ll find in the greater Houston area. If you are looking for the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony, reception or special event, The Overlook is just the place.

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

300

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $40

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $15

The Power Center

• 110 Vintage Park Blvd, Building J, Suite P • • Houston, TX 77070 • 281.257.9500 • PeliPeli.com

• 12401 South Post Oak Rd. • • Houston, TX 77045 • 713.723.6837• ThePowerCenterHouston.com

The 120-seat Acacia Private Room @ Peli Peli is the perfect setting for intimate wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners. Located in the Vintage Park Lifestyle center in Northwest Houston, the Acacia Private Room features award-winning South African cuisine by Chef Paul Friedman - The 2013 Chef of Chefs Award winner and Diners’ Choice Award winner for Top 100 Best American-fare restaurants in the US.

Discover the elegance of The Power Center. Recently renovated, The Power Center is an oasis of sophisticated accommodations with more than 20,000 square feet of event space. We are a fullservice banquet venue. Our flexibility in cuisine and service sets us apart from the competition. Free ample parking, five-star catering and our professional staff can meet your specific needs for your special day.

1

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

100

Outdoor Site

N

Min. Price $25

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

1200

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests •

•  WED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

Peli Peli

Events at a Time

Max. Guests

158 

Min. Price $25

Min. Price $31


Rainbow Lodge

• 2910 Royal Oaks Club Dr • Houston, TX 77082 • 281.899.3200 RoyalOaksCC.com

Rainbow Lodge celebrates the Texas outdoors “in style” with its refined collection of hunting and fly fishing artwork. The Famous “Tied Fly Bar” is a great place to start your rehearsal dinner with passed appetizers and then move into one of our private rooms for a mouthwatering meal highlighting Regional Texas Gulf Seafood and Wild Game Specialties. Private Rooms seat 12-72, or reserve the entire restaurant for groups over 175.

The luxury and exclusivity of Royal Oaks Country Club makes it the perfect place to celebrate large weddings and receptions, intimate gatherings and chic events on the terrace. With the finest cuisine prepared especially for you and your guests and uncompromising personal service, each event at Royal Oaks Country Club is planned to perfection.

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

175

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Royal Oaks Country Club

• 2011 Ella Blvd • Houston, TX 77008 • 713.861.8666 Rainbow-Lodge.com

Min. Price $43

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

250

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests •

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center

Sambuca - Crystal Ballroom at the Rice • 909 Texas Ave • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.227.7423 SambucaCatering.com

• 5222 Seawall Blvd • Galveston, TX 77551 • 800.445.0090 SanLuisResort.com

The Crystal Ballroom with its exquisite crystal chandeliers, murals, and wrap-around terrace seats 400 guests with a dance floor. Food and beverage is provided by Sambuca Restaurant. The Empire Room has a 20’ bar, private terrace, sound system, 18th century fireplace and exquisite crystal chandeliers.

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Galveston’s San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center ensures every nuptial detail from a grand seated affair to an intimate celebration for two. Acres of plush seaside amenities provide views and vision for a magical experience fro world-class menus and service to premier day spa and salon treatments.

Call For Price

Events at a Time

10

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

1500

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $25

Star Fleet Yachts

Seasons 52

• 280 Grove Rd • Kemah, TX 77565 • 281.334.4692 StarFleetYachts.com

• 842 W. Sam Houston Pkwy • Houston, TX 77024 • 832.540.2373 4410 Westheimer Rd • Houston, TX 77027 • 713.542.7857 Seasons52.com Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonally inspired menu. Our menu is paired with an ever-changing collection of more than 100 wines, 52 of them available by the glass. Enjoy live music in our piano bar. Or host a group at our Chef’s Table or in a private dining room. There’s always something new to discover at Seasons 52. Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

Max. Guests

90

Outdoor Site

Y

Create lifetime memories with a cruise on Clear Lake or Galveston Bay. Welcome aboard one of our private, luxury yachts where our friendly and experienced crew will take care of your every need... we do all the work! Ideal for weddings, receptions, and rehearsal dinners for up to 150 guests.

Min. Price $35

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

150

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Min. Price $59

Table on Post Oak

Veranda by *17 at The Sam Houston Hotel

• 1800 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 6110 • Houston, TX 77056 • 713.439.1000 TableRestaurants.com Contemporary cuisine – featuring seasonal green market freshness and a foraged mise en place. Large private dining room that can be divided into three spaces, Chefs TABLE and stylish outdoor patio. We can create a memorable event for you be it a small party to one that uses the entire restaurant space. The stunning décor, floor to ceiling windows and Uptown location makes TABLE an ideal place to gather on your special day! Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

160

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests •

Min. Price $30

• 1117 Prairie St • Houston, TX 77002 • 832.200.8807 VerandaBy17.com A permanent tented roof and central air conditioning have transformed the Veranda into a semi-outdoor oasis in the heart of downtown Houston. Featuring cuisine from award-winning *17 restaurant, the Veranda at The Sam Houston Hotel is an ideal venue for weddings, corporate functions, social events and more for up to 190 guests.

Call For Price

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

190

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests

Min. Price $50

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159


ceremony & reception

REFERENCE GUIDE

Magnificent  mansions,  boutique  hotels,  luxury  resorts,  gracious  country  clubs  and  so  much  more!  Use  this  guide  to peruse  Houston’s finest facilities for unforgettable wedding ceremonies and receptions. Compare venue sizes, catering fees and special  services, all at a glance.

Maximum Capacity

Simultaneous Events

Minimum Price Per Person

Off-Site Catering Available

Kosher Menu Available

Outdoor Area Available

Handicap Accessible

Ceremony Site Available

Page Number

281.395.5070

300

1

$50.00

81

Ashelynn Manor 25276 Nichols Sawmill Rd. • Magnolia, TX 77355

281.252.3355

275

2

Call

75

Ashton Gardens 21919 Inverness Forest Blvd. • Houston, TX 77073

281.362.0011

300

2

$50.00

16-17

The Astorian 2500 Summer Street • Houston, TX 77007

832.460.6695

750

1

$60.00

14-15

The Bell Tower on 34th Street 901 West 34th St. • Houston, TX 77018

713.868.2355

1200

2

$80.00

21

Boardwalk FantaSea Yacht Charters #8 Kemah Boardwalk, Suite G • Kemah, TX 77565

281.538.9600

130

1

$99.00

142

The Bougainvilleas Event Center 12126 Westheimer Rd., • Houston, TX 77077

832.914.7844

350

2

$30.00

155

Brennan’s Houston 3300 Smith St. • Houston, TX 77006

713.522.9711

200

2

$60.00

80

Briscoe Manor 5801 FM 723 Rd. • Richmond, TX 77406

281.238.4700

350

1

$100.00

101

Butler’s Courtyard 122 Michigan Ave. • League City, TX 77573

281.557.5551

300

1

Call

135

Cadillac Bar 1802 Shepherd Dr. • Houston, TX 77007

713.862.2020

400

2

$12.00

Chateau Cocomar 14525 Champions Dr. • Houston, TX 77069

713.538.9400

999

1

Call

IFC-1

Chateau Polonez 12612 Malcomson Rd. • Houston, TX 77070

281.655.5656

352

1

$60.00

86-87

Citadel On Kirby 12131 Kirby Dr. • Houston, TX 77045

832.986.1714

1200

2

$50.00

153

The Corinthian 202 Fannin St. at Franklin • Houston, TX 77002

713.523.5780

1900

1

$75.00

2-3

Cross Key Acres 5543 FM 762 Rd. • Richmond, TX 77469

832.595.9898

300

1

Call

146

Crowne Plaza Houston - Brookhollow 12801 Northwest Fwy. • Houston, TX 77040

832.214.2797

600

4

$20.00

38

Crystal Ballroom at the Rice 909 Texas Ave. • Houston, TX 77002

713.227.7423

400

2

Call

115

Cullen’s 11500 Space Center Blvd. • Houston, TX 77059

281.991.2000

1000

7

$30.00

146

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Downtown 400 Dallas St. • Houston, TX 77002

713.351.5766

320

2

$45.00

122

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway 6 Greenway Plaza • Houston, TX 77046

713.850.2356

450

7

$30.00

32

•  W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

Phone

Agave Estates 1138 FM 1463 Rd. • Katy, TX 77494

Venue / Address

160 

Outside Catering Permitted

All information is subject to change without notice. Some features may be available on a limited, seasonal or by-request-only basis. To interactively compare facilities visit WeddingsinHouston.com.

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126


Minimum Price Per Person

Outdoor Area Available

Handicap Accessible

Ceremony Site Available

Page Number

400

5

$30.00

124

Dukessa 2840 Chimney Rock Rd. • Houston, TX 77056

832.982.4852

350

1

$30.00

129

Enchanted Cypress Ballroom 12603 Louetta Rd. • Cypress, TX 77429

281.826.0505

600

1

Call

139

Four Seasons Hotel Houston 1300 Lamar St. • Houston, TX 77010

713.652.6223

350

3

$100.00

23

The Gallery 6303 Beverly Hill St. • Houston, TX 77057

713.255.2889

300

1

Call

107

The Grove 1611 Lamar St. • Houston, TX 77010

713.337.7321

250

3

$75.00

95

Hacienda Las Flores El Palomino Ranch 17411 Roberts Rd. • Hockley, TX 77447

281.758.2244

1000

1

$35.00

137

Heather’s Glen 200 East Phillips St. • Conroe, TX 77301

936.441.6611

300

1

Call

HESS Club 5430 Westheimer Rd. • Houston, TX 77056

713.627.2283

350

2

$35.00

Hilton Americas - Houston 1600 Lamar St. • Houston, TX 77010

713.739.8000

2200

7

$110.00

Hilton Garden Inn - Pearland 12101 Shadow Creek Pkwy • Pearland, TX 77584

713.340.0110

300

1

$34.00

Hilton Houston North 12400 Greenspoint Dr. • Houston, TX 77060

281.875.4574

1000

5

$24.00

Hilton Houston Post Oak 2001 Post Oak Blvd. • Houston, TX 77056

713.961.9300

1000

3

Call

Hilton Houston Westchase 9999 Westheimer Rd. • Houston, TX 77042

713.735.5923

320

3

Call

Hotel Derek 2525 West Loop South • Houston, TX 77027

713.961.3000

350

6

$65.00

Hotel Galvez & Spa 2024 Seawall Blvd. • Galveston, TX 77550

409.765.7721

350

3

$30.00

Hotel Granduca 1080 Uptown Park Blvd. • Houston, TX 77056

713.418.1000

132

5

Call

Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District 5701 Main St. • Houston, TX 77005

713.526.1991

500

18 $150.00

The Houston Club One Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana, 49th Floor • Houston, TX 77002

713.632.1554

150

1

$100.00

Houston Event Centers 9906 Gulf Fwy. • Houston, TX 77034

713.987.7300

1000

1

$20.00

Houston Marriott North 255 North Sam Houston Pkwy. East • Houston, TX 77060

281.875.4000

530

3

$35.00

138

Houston Racquet Club 10709 Memorial Dr. • Houston, TX 77024

713.464.4811

300

4

$50.00

143

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 111 North Post Oak Ln. • Houston, TX 77024

713.680.2626

500

6

Call

10-11

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 806 Main St. • Houston, TX 77002

713.653.3290

650

2

$150.00

24-25

Kemah Gardens 1019 Lewis Dr. • Kemah, TX 77565

281.334.0501

150

1

Call

145

Kosher Menu Available

Simultaneous Events

Outside Catering Permitted

Maximum Capacity

Off-Site Catering Available

Phone 713.315.5168

Venue / Address Downtown Aquarium 410 Bagby St. • Houston, TX 77002

√ √

√ √

148-149

127

79

126

36

43

76

71

64

111

6-7

76

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W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

161


162 

500

2

$53.00

936.448.3031

1200

2

$40.00

Las Velas 5714 Fairdale Ln. • Houston, TX 77057

713.977.5773

250

1

$40.00

The Lasker Inn 1019 16th St. • Galveston, TX 77550

409.497.4318

175

1

$30.00

Los Candiles Reception Hall 6518 Brittmoore Rd. Suite A • Houston, TX 77041

713.896.0235

350

1

Call

The Lyceum of Galveston Island 2401 Winnie St. • Galveston, TX 77550

409.789.4142

300

1

Call

Madera Estates 3201 North Frazier St. • Conroe, TX 77303

936.441.9337

500

1

Call

Magnolia Hotel Houston 1100 Texas Ave. • Houston, TX 77002

281.657.2600

250

2

$28.00

Moffitt Oaks 20125 Cedar Ln. • Tomball, TX 77377

281.370.6616

250

1

$35.00

Northgate Country Club 17110 Northgate Forest Dr. • Houston, TX 77068

281.444.5302

320

1

$32.00

Northwest Forest 12715 Telge Rd. • Cypress, TX 77429

281.256.3548

400

6

Call

Old Glory Ranch 3633 River Rd. • Wimberley, TX 78676

512.847.3646

600

1

Call

Omni Houston Hotel 4 Riverway Dr. • Houston, TX 77056

713.871.8181

750

3

$75.00

Ouisie’s Table 3939 San Felipe St. • Houston, TX 77027

713.528.2264

300

3

$50.00

The Overlook 20114 Pinehurst Dr. • Atascocita, TX 77346

281.812.0193

1000

2

$21.00

The Parador 2021 Binz St. • Houston, TX 77004

713.529.3050

550

1

Call

Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club 3000 Plantation Dr. • Richmond, TX 77460

281.342.9940

240

1

$30.00

Peli Peli 110 Vintage Park Blvd, Building J, Suite P • Houston, TX 77070

281.257.9500

100

1

$25.00

Petroleum Club of Houston 1201 Louisiana St., 35th Floor • Houston, TX 77002

713.659.1431

350

3

$60.00

Pine Forest Country Club 18003 Clay Rd. • Houston, TX 77084

281.463.0900

350

1

$50.00

The Power Center 12401 South Post Oak Rd. • Houston, TX 77045

713.723.6837

1200

3

$31.00

Prohibition Supperclub & Bar 1008 Prairie St. • Houston, TX 77002

281.940.4636

200

2

$80.00

Quail Valley City Centre 2880 La Quinta Dr. • Missouri City, TX 77459

281.403.8517

350

3

$20.00

Rainbow Lodge 2011 Ella Blvd. • Houston, TX 77008

713.861.8666

250

2

$35.00

•  W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

35

122

31

131

144

102

68

109

99

121

147

125

34

19

77

85

30

123

141

Kosher Menu Available

Page Number

832.850.8313

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 600 La Torretta Blvd. • Montgomery, TX 77356

Ceremony Site Available

$75.00

Handicap Accessible

3

Outdoor Area Available

Minimum Price Per Person

Outside Catering Permitted

Simultaneous Events

Off-Site Catering Available

Maximum Capacity 700

Phone 713.524.7999

La Fontaine Reception Hall 7758 W. Tidwell Rd. • Houston, TX 77040

Venue / Address La Colombe d’Or 3410 Montrose Blvd. • Houston, TX 77006

√ √

√ √

√ √

97

√ √

91

138

98

128

80


Outdoor Area Available

Handicap Accessible

Ceremony Site Available

Page Number

2

$34.00

73

800.778.3196

300

1

Call

100

Rosemary’s Garden 14639 Bellaire Blvd. • Houston, TX 77083

281.568.9151

500

5

$25.00

103

Royal Oaks Country Club 2910 Royal Oaks Club Dr. • Houston, TX 77082

281.899.3200

250

1

$40.00

113

The Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston 2222 West Loop South • Houston, TX 77027

713.850.2800

600

4

$50.00

33

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center 5222 Seawall Blvd. • Galveston, TX 77551

800.445.0090

1500

10

$30.00

74

Serenity Cove Lodge 14589 Weir Creek Rd. • Willis, TX 77318

281.831.9757

300

1

$20.00

78

Shepard Hill Estates 11134 Shepard Hill Rd. • Willis, TX 77318

713.703.2756

250

1

Call

93

Sheraton North Houston Hotel 15700 John F. Kennedy Blvd. • Houston, TX 77032

281.442.5100

550

5

$44.00

70

Shirley Acres 217 Woerner Rd. • Houston, TX 77090

281.444.2582

500

1

$50.00

128

St. Regis Aspen Resort 315 East Dean St. • Aspen, CO 81611

970.429.9555

600

2

$225.00

5

Star Fleet Yachts 280 Grove Rd. • Kemah, TX 77565

281.334.4692

150

4

$59.00

144

Sweetwater Country Club 4400 Palm Royale Blvd. • Sugar Land, TX 77479

281.980.4100

300

1

$39.00

123

Sylvan Beach Pavilion 1 Sylvan Beach Dr. • La Porte, TX 77571

832.643.4422

650

1

$40.00

151

Table On Post Oak 1800 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 6110 • Houston, TX 77056

713.439.1000

300

1

Call

The Tremont House 2300 Ships Mechanic Row • Galveston, TX 77550

409.763.0300

300

5

$30.00

65

Veranda by *17 at The Sam Houston Hotel 1117 Prairie St. • Houston, TX 77002

832.200.8807

190

2

$50.00

37

The Villagio 10901 Braes Bend Dr. • Houston, TX 77071

281.352.0903

500

1

$59.00

142

Walden on Lake Houston Golf & Country Club 18100 Walden Forest Dr. • Humble, TX 77346

832.445.2104

250

1

$30.00

123

Waterpoint Premier Lakeside Venue 15264 Highway 105 West • Montgomery, TX 77356

936.597.7700

300

1

Call

The Westin Galleria 5060 West Alabama St. • Houston, TX 77056

713.960.8100

1000

3

Call

The Westin Oaks 5011 Westheimer Rd. • Houston, TX 77056

713.960.8100

600

2

Weston Lakes Country Club 32611 FM 1093 • Fulshear, TX 77441

281.346.1967

200

Willow Fork Country Club 21055 Westheimer Pkwy. • Katy, TX 77450

281.579.6262

The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center 2301 North Millbend Dr. • The Woodlands, TX 77380

866.342.4039

Kosher Menu Available

Minimum Price Per Person

Outside Catering Permitted

Simultaneous Events

Off-Site Catering Available

Maximum Capacity 300

Phone 281.320.6009

Rockin’ Star Ranch 8002 Fuelberg Pease Ln.• Brenham, TX 77833

Venue / Address Raveneaux Country Club 9415 Cypresswood Dr. • Spring, TX 77379

67

105

69

Call

69

1

$18.00

72

250

1

$25.00

123

800

8

$79.00

133

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163


wedding planning | wedding

services

Go with

A PRO

9 REASONS TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PLANNER (INCLUDING SOME THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU).

Tasks abound when it comes to planning your wedding, from figuring out your  ideal budget, to finding the perfect location, colors, dress and flowers, to making  sure all the pieces are in place, on time and in perfect form, on your big day. In  fact, the only thing you know for certain, from the get-go, is who will welcome  you with open arms, and a deal-sealing kiss, at the end of that ceremony aisle.

writer JULIE LEMEROND ~ photo STEVE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

164 

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wedding planning |

wedding services And  that  someone  special—how  he makes you feel, and how lucky you feel  to  be  his  bride—  is  exactly  what  you  should  be  focusing  on.  Which  is  why  hiring  a  professional  to  handle  all  the  rest  is  of  such  vital  importance.  Here  are our top nine reasons why the logistics, details and design of your wedding  should be entrusted to an expert.  1 . Y O U W I L L S A V E M O N E Y.

Although it may sound like yet another  expense, a wedding planner can actually  help keep your budget in line, and may  even  negotiate  lower  vendor  fees  than  you’d be able to arrange for yourself.  Kat  Creech,  owner  and  creative  director of Kat Creech Events, explains:  “Researching  the  options  to  find  the  best wedding photographer or the perfect  caterer  or  the  best  florist,  within 

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wedding planning |

your  budget,  can  take  up  a  lot  of  time  within  a  bride’s  busy  schedule.  A  good  wedding  planner  will  be  able  to  tell  you  who  the  best  vendors  are,  within  the  budget  you  have.  They’ll  know who is professional, creative and  trusted within the industry.” 

help  make  the  entire  process  enjoyable  and  fun,  comfortably  handling  the  stressful  details  on  your  behalf,”  she says. 5 . Y O U W I L L E N J O Y W AT C H I N G YO U R V I S I O N C O M E TO L I F E .

Love Pinterest? “That wedding Pinterest 

wedding services

board  you’ve  been  building  for  the  last  three  years  probably  has  a  mismatched  collection  of  color  palettes,  theme ideas and types of locations on  it,” says Shaun Gray, owner of Gray &  Assoc. Events. Among the best parts of  his job, he says, is helping clients sort  through  an  overwhelming  assortment 

2 . YO U W I L L SAV E T I M E .

Although keeping you within your budget  is  important,  perhaps  even  more  important  is  the  amount  of  time  that  your  wedding  planner  can  save  you.  According to Creech, “Brides today are  getting married a little later in life and  have full-time careers, not allowing the  time to invest in all of the emails, meetings and phone calls. A good wedding  planner will break the to-do list down  into smaller increments, making it more  manageable.” 3. YO U W I L L P R ES E RV E Y O U R S A N I T Y.

This period of time in your life should  be  exciting  and  fun,  not  leaving  you  feeling harried and frantic.  “Event  planning  has  been  identified  as one of the top-10 most stressful jobs.  Do  you  really  want  to  apply  for  that  position for your wedding?” asks Claudia  de  Velasco,  owner  of  and  senior  event planner for A Day to Remember.  “Let  your  planner  handle  the  research  and provide you with direction.” 4 . YO U N E E D A L I A I S O N TO MANAGE OTHERS’ E X P E C TAT I O N S .

Creech  notes:  “A  planner  is  a  neutral  individual  to  whom  it  is  safe  to  point  for  direction.  It  is  much  easier  to  say,  ‘The  wedding  planner  thinks  it  is  best  for  us  to…’  or  to  have  your  planner  contact  guests  who  have  abused  their  RSVP  with  more  individuals  than  invited.  A  great  wedding  planner  will  W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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wedding planning |

wedding services of  inspiration,  find  their  ideal  design  scheme,  and  transform  it  into  an  actual event.

6. P L A N N E R S M A K E E XC E L L E N T SOUNDING BOARDS.

...the best part of my job is helping clients sort through an overwhelming assortment of inspiration, find their ideal design scheme, and transform it into an actual event.” Shaun Gray GRAY & ASSOC. EVENTS

Having  someone  available  who  is  not  a friend or family member can make a  huge  difference  when  planning  your  nuptials. Although your sister may have  some  great  ideas,  and  your  mom  has  your  best  interests  at  heart,  they  may  not  be  adept  at  delivering  what  it  is  that you truly want.  “We  listen  and  pull  together  from  gathered information, those things that  are  most  important  to  each  couple,”  notes  Jo  Ann  Schwartz  Woodward,  owner  of  planning  firm  Schwartz  &  Woodward. “We want to assist in making your vision and dreams come true.” Gray  agrees:  “Having  a  wedding  planner  available  for  questions  while  you’re building the biggest day of your  life  will  really  help  you  to  channel  all  the energy and excitement you have for  your wedding day and put that energy  to good use.” 7. T H E Y ’ V E B E E N T H E R E , D O N E T H A T.

“Your wedding planner will work with  you  in  defining  your  style,  ambiance  and  personality,  while  incorporating  the latest trends,” de Velasco says. “We  as planners strive to have your wedding  reflect  who  you  are  and  ensure  those  personalized details are displayed. After  all, this is your wedding!” 8 . YO U R M O M A N D B R I D ES M A I D S W I L L H AV E M O R E F U N .

Does  a  wedding  planner  take  away  from  the  enjoyment  that  your  family  and  best  friends  want  to  experience  in helping to create your special day?  Not  at  all,  says  Creech.  “Having  a  168 

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wedding services professional planner provides an environment where less is more, allowing  your  friends  and  family  not  to  feel  the  stress,  but  enjoy  the  moments  together,”  as  they  assist  in  planning  pre-event  parties,  helping  you  shop  for  your  gown  and  accessories,  and  contribute  to  small,  personal  DIY  projects.  “They  will  probably  thank  you  for  this,  as  they  also  have  very  busy lives!”  9. YO U W I L L G E T TO B E A B R I D E , A N D O N LY A B R I D E , O N T H E B I G D A Y.

On  your  wedding  day,  you  should  have  one  responsibility  only:  enjoying  yourself to the absolute fullest.  “Being a guest at your own wedding  is  so  important,”  Schwartz  Woodward  says.  “The  bride  or  her  mother  does 

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not  want  to  be  running  around  with  a  clipboard  trying  to  orchestrate  the  celebration.  A  planner  is  there  to  take  care  of  those  details,”  so  that  you  can  eat,  drink,  dance,  talk  and  celebrate  with loved ones. “At the end of the day,  most couples tell us that the feeling of  being surrounded by family and friends  was  the  most  special  part  of  the  day,”  she adds.  Gray  concurs.  “You’ve  been  planning  this  day  for  close  to  a  year,  or  possibly  longer,  and  when  it  comes  down  to  it,  10  hours  later,  the  day  is  gone.  Spend  those  10  hours  reconnecting  with  college  friends,  hugging  Aunt  Gina,  laughing  with  baby  Eric,  and making a great first impression for  your groom’s family. Leave the vendor  communication,  timeline-building  and  escort-card-placing to us.”

wedding services

At the end of the day, most couples tell us that the feeling of being surrounded by family and friends was the most special part of the day.” Jo Ann Schwartz Woodward SCHWARTZ & WOODWARD

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Bliss

BALLROOM

CLASSIC ELEGANCE GETS A CONTEMPORARY TOUCH AT A LUXURY DOWNTOWN HOTEL.

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concept & design A DAY TO REMEMBER Claudia de Velasco

stylist & design A DAY TO REMEMBER photography AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER venue THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HOUSTON gown IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER hair & makeup HILDA KERSHMAN MAKEUP ARTIST tuxedo AL’S FORMAL WEAR flowers FLORA & EVENTI linens & chairs EB INC EVENTS lighting DJU PRODUCTIONS rentals ANY OCCASION PARTY RENTALS cakes & desserts SUPREME KAKES & MORE pianist SCOTT GRAHAM PIANO


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JEWELRY 178 WEDDING ATTIRE 190 BEAUTY & HEALTH 232

Style

WEDDING LOOK BEAUTIFUL, FEEL BEAUTIFUL, BE BEAUTIFUL. OUR WEDDING STYLE SECTION FEATURES JEWELRY, GOWNS, GROOM’S ATTIRE, ACCESSORIES, HEALTH AND FITNESS TIPS, BEAUTY TRENDS AND MORE.


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wedding style | jewelry

Wedding Ring

BUYING GUIDE

DIAMONDS AND PLATINUM AND—LAB REPORTS??—OH MY! GET HELP NAVIGATING THE RING THING, WITH OUR VALUABLE ADVICE.

An engagement ring and wedding band are no mere pieces of jewelry. Each is a symbol of something much more precious than fine metals or rare gems: everlasting love. Which is why, for most couples, your wedding rings are almost certain to be the most important, and expensive, jewelry items you’ve ever purchased—and why choosing rings, whether you do it together or individually, can be fraught with intense pressure. The best way to alleviate this pressure, and ensure that your ring-buying experience is the most fun you’ll ever have shopping, is to do your research, know what you’re looking for (even if you allow yourself tons of room for design creativity), and have proof of your diamond’s pedigree. And that’s where we come in, with these essential ring-buying tips.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo LARRY FAGALA

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rings ZADOK JEWELERS bouquet & styling TODD EVENTS


wedding planning |

jewelry

I F YO U ’ R E N OT G O I N G W I T H HIM TO CHOOSE, GIVE HIM PLENTY OF CLUES.

Selecting and purchasing a wedding ring is one area where even the most modern couples tend to follow tradition. This usually means that the groom ultimately will purchase the engagement ring all by himself, even if his future bride has been part of the preshopping process. If you’re on the road to engagement, there are plenty of ways to let your guy know what you like, and what you don’t. You can point out rings and diamond cuts you like in store window displays (they don’t have to be engagement rings, just rings you’re fond of), comment on celebrity wedding ring styles you admire (understanding that your future fiancé might not be able to afford Kim K.’s $1.25-million dazzler, but, instead a slightly more modest version), and peruse the websites of local jewelers (among the best are Zadok Jewelers, Wolf Diamonds, Donoho’s Fine Jewellers and Nazar’s Fine Jewelry), together for ideas.

Of course, the best way to get the engagement ring of your dreams is to choose it together. He can always return to the jeweler to pick up the final piece, and surprise you by putting it on your finger. GET LOOSE…LOOSE S T O N E S , T H AT I S .

C H O O S E A R I N G T H AT

When selecting an engagement ring, you’ll likely be selecting a loose diamond, then choosing a setting into which that sparkling stone will be dropped. Which means it pays to understand a bit about how diamonds are classified and graded. For any diamond you consider, make sure its “4 C’s”—carat, clarity, color, cut—have been assessed and documented by a qualified gemologist. There are many organizations that provide this kind of documentation, and grades in these areas can vary widely from assessment to assessment. In the diamond world, it’s generally acknowledged that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the top dog in gem certification. When selecting a

R O L LS W I T H YO U.

photo SELECT STUDIOS

photo J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

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diamond, ask your jeweler to see the GIA lab report on the stone of your choice, and feel confident knowing that all your diamond’s information is stored in the organization’s database. Because just like a diamond, a diamond’s lab report is forever.

Besides looking perfect, your ring has to fit you, and your lifestyle, perfectly. For starters, make sure your ring fits well. Ring fittings should be scheduled when you are well rested (but not first thing in the morning, when you’re most likely to retain water) and when your body is at a comfortable temperature— not too hot, not too cold. Also, while you may want to go for the biggest diamond and most spectacular ring you can afford—this is your engagement ring, after all—an excessively expensive ring might cause you concern: Are all the stones in place? Should I take it off before going anywhere or doing anything active? What if I lose it? What if it’s stolen? As a new bride, this should be the happiest time in your life. So choose a ring that won’t compromise that joy by burdening you with worry. When choosing a ring, it’s also important to consider your daily activities and leisure-time hobbies. Do you like to garden? Are you an avid crafter or knitter? Do you play an instrument? All of these might factor into the style, shape and size of the ring you choose. A solitaire ring with a highly raised stone, for example, might be tricky to fit inside gardening gloves, or might tend to snag on yarn. Select a ring that will go where you go and do what you do, so that you don’t have to worry about removing the ring you love in order to do the things you love.


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BA N D TO G E T H E R , B U T L E T YO U R INDIVIDUAL STYLES SHINE.

Your wedding bands, those precious rings you’ll exchange at the moment of “I do,” represent the bond between you. But they don’t need to match in order to show what a great match you two are. If your groom digs sleek, matte titanium, and you’re a yellow-gold gal, pick bands in the metals each of you prefers. If his style is contemporary and cutting edge, and you have a passion for all things vintage, let him work with a jeweler to design a modern ring he’ll love to wear, while you scout estate sales, auctions and vintage-jewelrysellers for the antique you seek, or freshen up your great-grandmother’s beloved ring. To bring your two bands into harmony with one another, and make them special to both of you, engrave the inside of the bands with a meaningful inscription—a loving phrase you both use, or the date of your wedding, perhaps.

your rings will depend on what you can afford—meaning how much you earn and how much you’re able to save for rings—it should also reflect the value of the rings. So settle on a budget that may stretch you a bit (perhaps

your groom has to forgo that coveted motorcycle for another year or two, for instance), but won’t break your bank, and within that budget, select for the highest quality, craftsmanship and, yes, sparkle, you can get.

Diamond Glossary ASSCHER CUT:

A popular, square, eight-sided cut shape.

BEZEL:

The upper, faceted part of the diamond.

CARAT:

The weight of a diamond.

CLARITY:

The presence or absence of inclusions and/or blemishes to the stone.

Gemological Institute of America certifications use a scale of D through Z to describe the color of a diamond. Within each letter grade can be variations as well.

COLOR:

CROWN:

The top of the diamond after it is cut.

The point at the bottom of a cut diamond.

CULET:

CUSHION CUT:

Also called pillow cut, because it is shaped like a square pillow.

The way a rough diamond is finished. This is the most important factor in how brilliantly a diamond reflects light.

CUT:

S E T Y O U R B U D G E T, A N D S T I C K W I T H I T.

What you pay for your wedding rings is an investment, more than it is a mere price. Your diamond engagement ring and wedding bands are intended to last your entire lives together, and, in many cases, continue on as heirloom treasures for future generations to cherish. So paying more for your wedding jewelry than for any other piece of jewelry you’ve ever purchased is, for most couples, par for the course. That said, your diamond ring should not be your emergency financial relief fund (which would entail selling the ring), nor should it land you in deep debt just as you’re embarking on marriage, and everything that comes with it. While the amount you spend on 182 

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EMERALD CUT: FACET:

This type of cut has long rectangular facets.

One of many flat surfaces on a cut diamond.

The effect of light hitting the stone, creating a dramatic reflection in a rainbow of colors. FIRE:

GIRDLE:

The widest part of the diamond.

MARQUISE CUT:

A fancy cut shape; it is elongated with points at each end.

Tightly placed small diamonds, pieced together so that the metal on the ring is hidden.

PAVÉ:

PAVILION: PEAR CUT:

The space from the girdle down to the culet of the diamond. This shape is round at one end and tapered at the other.

SQUARE OR PRINCESS CUT: A

brilliant cut that can be square or rectangular in shape.

The size of the facet at the crown; larger tables may seem brighter but may lack fire.

TABLE:


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Sparkle + fire = your heart’s desire.

1. NAZAR’S FINE JEWELRY 18K WHITE GOLD & DIAMOND RING nazarelle.com 2. MARK BROUMAND BRILLIANT ROUND CUT DIAMOND RING markbroumand.com 3. ZADOK JEWELERS ASSCHER CUT DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING zadok.com 4. WOLF DIAMONDS EUROPEAN MINER CUSHION CUT DIAMOND RING wolfdiamonds.com 5. DONOHO’S JEWELLERS CHRISTOPHER DESIGNS CRISSCUT BAGUETTE & PAVÉ SET ROUND DIAMOND RING donohos.com 6. ANNA SHEFFIELD BEA BRIDAL SET annasheffield.com 7. MARK BROUMAND FANCY YELLOW OVAL CUT DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING markbroumand.com 8. ZADOK JEWELERS CARELLE GREEN TOURMALINE & DIAMOND AFTER DARK RING zadok.com 9. ZADOK JEWELERS POMELLATO NUDO 18K ROSE GOLD RINGS, ASSORTED STONES zadok.com 10. ZADOK JEWELERS GOSHWARA ROCK N ROLL AMETHYST CABOCHON 18K RING zadok.com


O REAL WEDDINGS

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Shannon & Tyler writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography MD TURNER PHOTOGRAPHY

06.21.14

Oh, how we love a well-planned proposal. Take, for example, Tyler’s to Shannon: After a sunny day of boating

together on Austin’s Lake Travis, the groom-to-be feigned a “late” dinner reservation and led his beloved to Windy Point Park, where, after telling Shannon how much he loved her, he spun her around to face the words, “Will You Marry Me?” spelled in rose petals in the sand. He then proceeded to place a ring that he had custom designed for his one-and-only on her shaking-with-excitement hand. The couple’s Crystal Ballroom at the Rice wedding, with its sophisticated palette of blush, navy and gold, and its romantic candlelit glow, wasn’t just elegant—it was also a whole lot of fun: “Everyone enjoyed letting loose and dancing the night away,” Shannon says. “The dance floor was never empty. It was the night of a lifetime!” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 shannon smith

tyler teykl     200   crystal ballroom at the rice   sambuca catering    brickhouse bridal   al’s formal wear   md turner photography   antigua

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&


wedding style | wedding

attire

Gowns

AROUND TOWN

DON’T HIT THE SALONS WITHOUT READING THIS SANITY-SAVING DRESS-BUYING ADVICE.

Choosing  a  bridal  gown  presents  a  distinct  conundrum:  namely,  how  to  attire oneself for arguably the most traditional of rituals, while still being  fabulous, unique and stylishly on trend. A conundrum, yes. But oh what a  delightful one! Because while searching for your wedding-day attire can be  full of anticipation, drama, and, let’s face it, occasional disappointment— when the style you fell in love with in a photo, for example, turned out  to be less than lovable on your actual body—it’s still likely to be the most  fun  you’ll  ever  have  shopping  for  clothes.  Embrace  it,  enjoy  it,  and  go  with what feels and looks right, rather than what you always thought you  should or would wear as a bride. And while you’re at it, follow this essential advice for selecting, buying and caring for your “Yes, yes, YES!” dress.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo LARRY FAGALA

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bouquet TODD EVENTS


wedding style |

wedding attire

1. DON’T DROP IN.

Shopping for a wedding dress is different  from  shopping  for  regular  clothes  in  one  critical  way:  Most  gown  salons  advise, if not require, a pre-set appointment  with  an  in-store  consultant  to  help you choose and try on gowns.   There  are  a  few  reasons  for  this: 

One,  the  sheer  selection  of  gowns  at  any  given  salon  can  be  overwhelming;  a  salon  consultant  will  take  into  account  your  budget,  wedding  theme  and  style  preferences,  and  help  you  narrow down your choices to a manageable number.  Two, wedding gowns are way more 

complicated,  in  many  cases,  than  just  plain  fancy  dresses;  your  dedicated  gown  consultant  will  help  you  work  those laces, pearl buttons and illusionnetting  bits  (and  snap  on  those  industrial-chic  spring  clamps  that  get  the  dress to fit just so, prior to alterations).  And  three,  salon  consultants  aren’t  just salespeople, they’re talented stylists;  your  consultant  will  help  you  choose  appropriate accessories, even footwear,  to help show how a gown might actually look when you’re big-day-done-up. 2. DON’T JUMP THE GUN.

Starting your gown-shopping adventure  too early is just as risky as starting too  late (see item 3). Since other elements  of  your  wedding  will  determine  the  best gown not just for your figure and  style, but for the grand occasion itself,  it’s wise to have things like your wedding season, venue and general theme  or “vibe” nailed down before you delve  into dress shopping.  Another  risk:  Shopping  for  a  gown more  than  a  year  in  advance  of  your  wedding  (or  before  you’re  even  officially  engaged!)  can  lead  to  bad  dress  decisions.  Lots  can  change  in  the  12  months before your wedding, including  your wedding design scheme, your figure  and  the  latest  collections  available  at local salons.  3. L E AV E T I M E FO R O R D E R I N G , R E C E I V I N G A N D A LT E R AT I O N S .

About nine to 10 months prior to your  wedding  is  the  general  rule  of  thumb  for  when  to  begin  your  gown  shopping. And that “begin” is an important  distinction—after  all,  finding  the  right  wedding  dress  can  take  time.  You  know  what  else  can  take  time?  Ordering  your  dress,  waiting  for  your  dress  to  be  made  and  delivered  to  your  salon,  having  your  dress  altered  to  192 

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wedding attire perfectly  fit  your  body,  and  selecting  the  accessories,  footwear  and  jewelry  with which you’ll build your complete  bridal  ensemble.  Remember,  that  gorgeous  soufflé  of  tulle  and  Chantilly  lace  you’re  slinking  around  the  salon  in  is  a  sample—your  actual  gown  will  be made to order by the design house. About  eight  to  nine  months  out  from  your  wedding  day,  expect  to  put  a  deposit  down  on  your  selected  gown—you’ll  pay  the  remainder  once  it’s delivered to your salon, about three  to four months before your wedding. In  the last couple months prior to the big  day, you’ll do your fittings, make minor  adjustments,  add  accessories,  and  pull  the whole fabulous outfit together.  4. N I X T H E C ROW D.

This is a toughie, but trust us. While it’s 

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wedding attire tempting to bring your mom, his mom,  your  aunts,  your  sisters,  his  cousins,  your bridesmaids and all your assorted  besties  along  to  the  salon  to  weigh  in  on  your  wedding  dress  choices,  one  or two trusted escorts is a much better  idea.  Bringing  lots  and  lots  of  folks  to  your  salon  appointment  has  an  odd  tendency  to  lead  toward  conflicts  in  taste, or, on the flip side, a “mob rules”  mentality. At the very least, having too  many  opinion-givers  can  slow  things  down, and limit the number of gowns  you’re  actually  able  to  try  on  during  your  salon  appointment  (typical  salon  appointments are one to one-and-a-half  hours long, max).  We recommend bringing your mom,  perhaps  your  sister  or  maid  of  honor,  and  maybe  your  wedding  planner  (who  offers  the  advantage  of  a  more  objective  opinion).  More  than  three  “guests” at your appointment is simply  too many.  5 . A R R I V E P R E PA R E D.

Getting  ready  for  your  salon  appointment  involves  several  steps.  First,  do  your  research;  while  you  don’t  want  to  arrive  armed  with  a  massive  binder  of  designer  collections  and  must-try  “looks,” it does help to have at least an  idea about gown silhouettes, styles and  designers you admire.  And for goodness sake, don’t show  up  to  your  salon  appointment  in  sweats and a greasy ponytail. You’re  trying  on  the  gown  you’ll  wear  on  the most important occasion of your  life—start  from  a  place  of  pretty.  While there’s no need to show up in  full  professional  bridal  makeup  and  hair, you’ll want to look put together  and  well  groomed.  Wear  heels  of  roughly  the  height  you’re  planning  to  wear  with  your  wedding  gown,  and  wear  or  bring  a  strapless  bra  196 

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wedding attire and  shapewear  (though  most  salons  have  these  available  to  try  under  your gown).  Oh, and don’t forget to fuel up. Gown  shopping can be emotionally and physically demanding. Don’t starve yourself  before  hitting  the  salon.  Instead,  have  a  good,  solid,  protein-packed  meal  or  smoothie  an  hour  or  two  before,  and  consider bringing a snack such as nuts,  dried  fruit  or  an  energy  bar,  in  case  your energy flags. 6. FOCUS ON FIT R AT H E R T H A N S I Z E .

Wedding  gown  sizing  and  regular  clothes  sizing  have  almost  nothing  in  common. You may be a size 2 in your  normal, daily life, only to discover that  the  wedding  gown  of  your  dreams  fits  you  best  in  size  6.  It’s  OK,  really.  First  off,  nobody  but  you,  the  salon  consultant  and  the  designer  will  ever  really  know  what  size  your  dress  is.  Second,  what  good  is  there  in  buying  a size 2 gown if it squeezes you in all  the  wrong  places  and  cuts  off  your  circulation,  causing  you  to  faint  dead  away  at  the  altar  and  miss  doing  the  “YMCA”  dance  at  the  reception  with  your  best  friend  from  actual  YMCA  summer camp?  The  best  wedding  dress  is  the  dress that fits you best. Which doesn’t  just  mean  hugging  your  voluptuous  curves,  or  showing  off  your  strong  back,  or  making  your  tall  frame  look  willowy  instead  of  gangly.  It  means  making  you  feel  that  feeling,  all  the  feelings,  when  you  look  in  the  mirrors  that  surround  the  salon  pedestal.  It’s the gown that makes you exalt in  the anticipation of that moment when  your  betrothed  first  lays  eyes  upon  you  on  that  magical  day.  It’s  that dress.  And  it’s  out  there,  waiting  for  you to fall in love with it.  198 

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Glitzy gifts for your bridal party and pre-wedding bashes. 1. BEN-AMUN BAGUETTE & PEARL NECKLACE shopbop.com 2. BEN-AMUN PEARL & CRYSTAL FAN EARRINGS shopbop.com 3. SAMANTHA WILLS PRECIOUS DREAMERS CUFF IN SILVER samanthawills.com 4. MRS. B COLLECTION PEARL NECKLACE & EARRINGS mrsbcollection.com 5. SHOUROUK APOLONIA PEARL NECKLACE IN CHALK shourouk.com 6. BIJUJU BRIDAL BAR DRAPE ME OVER YOU NECKLACE SET bijuju.com/weddings 7. FLEURINGS LARGE GOLD PENDANT VASE fleurings.com 8. ERICA COURTNEY FIRE OPAL EARRINGS Judith Ann Jewels Houston 9. BEN-AMUN BELLE EPOQUE HAND BRACELET AND DECO PENDANT shopbop.com W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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DRAMATIC BACKS 1. Kitty Chen PARVANI VIDA, THE PRINCESS BRIDAL 2. Sareh Nouri MIA BRIDAL COUTURE 3. Alvina Valenta IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER, WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE 4. Watters BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL, MIA BRIDAL COUTURE 5. Alvina Valenta IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER, WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE 6. Catherine Deane 7. Amsale MIA BRIDAL COUTURE 8. Hayley Paige NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE 9. WTOO BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL, HOUSTON BRIDAL GALLERY

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deep necklines

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O REAL WEDDINGS

Farn2az & Amir2

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography KREATIVE ANGLE PHOTOGRAPHY

01.04.14

New to Houston while preparing for her wedding, bride Farnaz found planning her perfect day a bit

of a challenge. But, with the help of a close friend, she did her research—and created an event she’d never forget. The bride wed her groom, Amir, in a traditional Persian ceremony, attended by 100 of their closest friends and family, after which the newlyweds joined their guests for a Mediterranean feast, followed by dancing—lots and lots of dancing, which, the bride says, is her fondest memory of the big day. Award-winning Houston event-design firm Plants N’ Petals lent its fine floral talents to the black-tie affair, making a beautiful day even more beautiful.

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 farnaz harraji

&

amir gahremanpour

   100    plants n’ petals   david tutera from parvani vida  kreative angle photography  1 cinema productions  florence

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rome


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Ultra-feminine details complete your wedding-day look. 1. STUART WEITZMAN NUDIST SANDAL IN PLATINUM NOIR Stuart Weitzman Houston Galleria 2. SAMANTHA WILLS MIDNIGHT GARDEN BUN COVER IN GOLD samanthawills.com 3. SJP DORIS METAL NAPPA PEEP TOE IN SOFT GOLD nordstrom.com 4. MARCHESA ISABELLA LASER-CUT CALF HAIR CLUTCH BAG neimanmarcus.com 5. LULU TOWNSEND GLITTER FRAME CLUTCH dsw.com 6. HELENA NOELLE COUTURE VINTAGE HEIRLOOM BRIDAL SASH helenanoelle.com 7. BIJUJU BRIDAL BAR PEARL HAIR COMB IN GOLD bijuju.com 8. LE FLOWERS BRIDAL FLORAL SASH etsy.com/shop/leflowers

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1. BADGLEY MISCHKA LEIGHA EMBELLISHED HEEL PEEP-TOE BOOTIE badgleymischka.com 2. TORY BURCH GOLD-PLATED CRYSTAL & RESIN CUFF net-a-porter.com 3. TORY BURCH FRET CLUTCH toryburch.com 4. DEEPA GURNANI DOUBLE PETAL BRIDAL HEADWRAP deepagurnani.com 5. DEEPA GURNANI SIDE BURST FLOWER BRIDAL HEADBAND deepagurnani.com 6. JIMMY CHOO CHANDRA SHIMMER SUEDE CLUTCH jimmychoo.com 7. TIFFANY & CO. T-WIRE DIAMOND AND GOLD BRACELET tiffany.com 8. JIMMY CHOO LANCE GLITTER LEATHER SANDAL jimmychoo.com

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SMOKE MIRRORS luxe meets industrial chic

location: the astorian photography: larry fagala stylist: summar salah flowers & decor: aj’s urban petals makeup: aubrie layne hair: tonya riner


opposite page: gown NAEEM KHAN earrings BACCARAT ring TRUMPET & HORN shoes JIMMY CHOO, NEIMAN MARCUS this page: gown RIVINI jewelry BACCARAT bubbles BRIGHT STAR PRODUCTIONS


these pages: flowers & decor AJ’S URBAN PETALS opposite page: gown NAEEM KHAN rings TRUMPET & HORN necklace & earrings SLOAN/HALL


these pages: bridal seperates HAYLEY PAIGE, NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE jewelry BACCARAT tablescape AJ’S URBAN PETALS


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this page: cake SUSIE’S CAKES & CONFECTIONS bouquet AJ’S URBAN PETALS opposite page: gown ALON LIVNÉ, MIA BRIDAL COUTURE necklace KENDRA SCOTT headpiece NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE


this page, left: dress LANVIN, NEIMAN MARCUS necklace & earrings KENDRA SCOTT ring BACCARAT right: dress VALENTINO, NEIMAN MARCUS shoes GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI, NEIMAN MARCUS headband DIOR necklace SLOAN/HALL ring BACCARAT opposite page, left: outfit BRUNELLO CUCINELLI, NEIMAN MARCUS jewelry SLOAN/HALL shoes TOM FORD right: jumpsuit BRUNELLO CUCINELLI, NEIMAN MARCUS earrings OSCAR DE LA RENTA, NEIMAN MARCUS ring BACCARAT shoes GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI, NEIMAN MARCUS decor AJ’S URBAN PETALS


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this page: flowers & tablescape AJ’S URBAN PETALS opposite page: gown HAYLEY PAIGE, NOW & FOREVER ring TRUMPET & HORN necklace BACCARAT earrings LULU FROST, NEIMAN MARCUS


wedding planning | beauty

& heah

Ready, Set...

RELAX

5 SUREFIRE STRESS-BUSTERS FOR BUSY BRIDES (AND GROOMS!).

These  days,  the  average  bride,  in  the  months  leading  up  to  her  wedding,  is expected to be not just a betrothed gal, but an interior designer, fashion  stylist,  arbiter  of  excellent  taste,  digital  scrapbooker  extraordinaire,  webmaster,  family-conflict  mediator  and  attendee  at  countless  appointments,  consultations and fittings. And that’s just the average bride. You, of course,  darling, are much more than average. So it’s no wonder you’re feeling just a  bit stressed out…um, make that utterly overwhelmed. We can’t eliminate all  the extra responsibilities you’ll be taking on as you make your way toward  your beautiful day. But we can offer some simple, practical, even delightful, 

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo GALIA LAHAV

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wedding style |

beauty & heah

ways to reduce pre-wedding stress and  actually savor the pleasure of this special  time  in  your  (crazy  busy,  insanely  overscheduled, totally hectic) life.  B U R N O F F A N X I E T Y.

Exercise  packs  a  double  punch  as  part  of  the  busy  bride’s  pre-wedding  routine.  It’s  well  known  that  regular 

aerobic  exercise  reduces  pesky  stress  hormones  such  as  adrenaline  and  cortisol.  But  cardiovascular  exercise  also  stimulates endorphins—those awesome  “feel-good” chemicals that reduce pain  and lift your mood. Which means that  a  rigorous  hike,  run,  bike-ride  or  spin  class  just  might  make  it  easier  for  you  to  actually  enjoy  that  fifth  cake  tasting 

or gown-shopping appointment. Which  brings  us  to  exercise  advantage  #2:  Those  regular  workouts,  while  they’re  snuffing  out  stress  hormones  and  getting  you  all  endorphin-high,  will  also  allow you to have your fifth cake tasting AND fit into your couture goddess  gown, too! J O U R N A L Y O U R W A Y T O J O Y.

OK,  maybe  not  joy,  maybe  not  right  now.  But  keeping  track  of  your  prewedding  experiences,  from  walking  through  the  doors  of  that  perfect  ballroom,  to  giggling  over  a  DIY  project  with  your  giddy  mom,  to  enjoying  a  profoundly  romantic  picnic  with  your  dashing  hubby-to-be,  lets  you  reflect  on  moments  that  might  otherwise  be  lost  in  the  tumult  of  daily  activities.  Plus,  taking  time  out  each  day  or  a  few  times  a  week  to  write,  longhand,  for 20 or 30 minutes, means ensuring a  quiet escape (with or without wine) in  the midst of the mayhem. Doesn’t hurt,  either, that those journals you keep will  stand as a document of this wonderful  moment for decades, even generations,  to come. TA K E C A R E O F Y O U R S E L F … BY LETTING OTHERS TA K E C A R E O F Y O U .

Even  if  you’ve  always  been  the  one  who  takes  care  of  others—no,  especially  if  you’ve  always  been  the  one  who takes care of others—when you’re  prepping for your wedding, it’s vital to  let  others  take  care  of  you.  Whether  those  doing  the  caretaking  are  your  friends  (who  are  eager  to  plan  girls’  nights  out,  showers,  special  outings),  or  professionals  you  pay  for  their  services  (facialists,  massage  therapists,  fancy hair stylists), now is the time to  give someone else the reins and just… indulge.  You  need  it.  You  deserve  it.  234 

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wedding style |

beauty & heah And  yeah,  they  want  to  do  it  for  you. Really.  I T ’S O N C E I N A L I F E T I M E ; H AV E T H E T I M E O F YO U R L I F E .

From  the  proposal  to  the  preparation  to the pre-wedding celebrations to the  big day itself, the average engagementto-marriage  span  is  about  one  year.  Though  that  may  seem  like  a  long  time,  most  brides  find  that  it  flies  by.  And  while  pre-wedding  stress  might  make you wish, at times, that the planning  phase  would  be  over  and  done  with  like…now,  the  truth  is  that  you’ll  likely  wish  you  remembered  more  about  these  months  when  all  is  said  and  done.  A  great  way  to  ensure  that  you  do  is  by  doing  things  you  enjoy.  New  things.  Interesting  things.  Silly  things. Fun things.  

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wedding style |

beauty & heah

R E M E M B E R W H AT M AT T E R S .

The  absolute  worst  thing  a  bride-tobe  can  do  is  lose  sight  of  what  it  is  that  got  her  into  this  whole  insane,  exhilarating  mess  in  the  first  place:  true,  forever,  blessed  love.  Take  time,  all  the  time,  to  stay  connected  with your spouse-to-be (see, we told  you  these  were  great  for  grooms,  too!).  Whether  that  means  walking  the  dogs  together  every  Saturday  morning,  surprising  him  with  dinner  and  margaritas  at  his  favorite  Tex-Mex joint, or planning a quickie  escape to that romantic Hill Country  B&B  you’ve  heard  so  much  about,  make  sure  to  make  each  other  feel  as  adored  now,  during  these  crazy  months, as you will pledge to adore  each  other  forever  on  that  one   amazing day.

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Holly & Elliott4 writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography FIREHEART PHOTOGRAPHY

09.01.13

Though they attended the same Fort Bend high school, Holly and Elliott didn’t actually meet until years later at a

birthday party. “I saw Elliott playing giant Jenga, and instantly his smile drew me in,” Holly recounts. There were smiles all around when Elliott surprised Holly with his proposal in front of more than 20 family members and close friends at a Thanksgiving dinner the couple hosted at their home. And more smiles still when 180 guests gathered for the couple’s sunset wedding at Katy’s Agave Road, where, after a night of celebration, the newlyweds snuck outside for a last dance to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.”

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REAL WEDDINGS

 holly wilson & elliott frazier    180  agave road  lbl event rentals  fireheart photography  costa rica

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Get gorgeous from tips to toes! 1. ALESSANDRO PEDIX HEEL SMOOTHING STICK alessandro-international.us 2. H20 + SOFTENING MINT FOOT RUB h2oplus.com 3. LUSH LEMONY FLUTTER CUTICLE CREAM lushusa.com 4. BURT’S BEES COCONUT FOOT CREAM burtsbees.com 5. BUTTER LONDON SCRUBBERS 2-IN-1 NAIL PREP & REMOVER WIPES sephora.com 6. ALESSANDRO HANDSPA AGE COMPLEX MICRO PEEL alessandro-international.us 7. BUTTER LONDON HORSE POWER NAIL FERTILIZER sephora.com

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Brittn2ey & Ran2dy writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography CIVIC PHOTOS

07.19.14

Listen up, ladies: There’s something to be said for making the first move. Just ask Houston bride

Brittney—who may never have ended up with the love of her life if she hadn’t asked handsome Randy for his digits at that Southern Methodist University dorm icebreaker 10 years back. “We ended up talking for hours on end,” she recalls, “then officially started dating on Sept. 24, 2004…and the rest is history!” At the couple’s beautiful Chateau Cocomar wedding, the groom, whose family hails from Ghana, changed into traditional Ghanian clothing halfway through the reception and delighted in watching his family shower his bride in money—a Ghanian tradition that Brittney says, “was a complete surprise to me, but made for an awesome story and a unique experience at our wedding.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 brittney honora

randy appiah     280    raveneaux country club   chateau cocomar   a day to remember &

  flora & eventi     eb inc events   dju productions    pronovias from weddings by debbie       t. carolyn fashions   civic photos   jamaica

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1. TOM FORD BEAUTY NAIL LACQUER IN CARNAL RED Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria 2. BECCA BEACH TINT SHIMMER SOUFFLÉ sephora.com 3. TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY SMART MASCARA beauty.com 4. MICHAEL KORS GLAM LIP LUSTER IN ICON macys.com 5. LORAC BAKED EYE SHADOW TRIO IN SUPERSTAR beauty.com 6. MAKE UP FOR EVER ROUGE ARTIST INTENSE LIPSTICK IN SATIN VERMILLION RED sephora.com W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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Liz & Vinnie

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography GEORGE STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

03.22.14

Pediatric cardiology fellow Liz met Vinnie, an applications engineer, at a bar on St. Patrick’s Day, when

neither was out searching for love: “We both had gone out in our rattiest clothes, ready to just have fun with our friends,” Liz recounts. In the tradition of their first encounter, Vinnie’s proposal, offered to Liz at the top of a mountain they had just hiked in the pouring rain, was a less than glamorous affair. But their wedding at Discovery Green’s The Grove made up for all that, done up as it was in gold, glitter and blush, against a backdrop of chic, sleek cream and navy. For her special day, Liz wore not one, but three knockout gowns, including a shimmering vintage halter-neck sheath with a stunning draped back. And a very special day it was for the bride and for her mother, whose recent kidney transplant meant that she could fully enjoy the festivities.“I thank God every day for the selfless gift of organ donors,” says the grateful—and gorgeous—bride. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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 liz wang

vinnie giuffre     70   the grove   kat creech events   dream bouquet    darryl & co.   bright star productions   napa valley

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Organic, sustainable skincare and makeup for big-day beauty. 1. RED FLOWER AMBRETTE ORGANIC PERFUME redflower.com 2. ILIA BEAUTY LIPSTICK ‘IN MY ROOM’ iliabeauty.com 3. ORIGINS MAKE A DIFFERENCE PLUS + REJUVENATING SERUM origins.com 4. AU NATURALE ORGANIC CRÈME BRONZER STICK aunaturaleglow.com 5. ALIMA PURE PEARLUSTER EYESHADOW IN ATLANTIS alimapure.com 6. TATA HARPER RESURFACING MASK tataharperskincare.com 7. NVEY ECO ORGANIC MOISTURISING FLUID FOUNDATION ulta.com

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photo LARRY FAGALA bouquet TODD EVENTS


FLOWERS, DECOR & RENTALS 252 CULINARY SERVICES 284 INVITATIONS 316 GIFT REGISTRY 328 MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT 338

Finer

DETAILS ON YOUR BIG DAY, IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT MOST. FROM FOOD TO FLOWERS, LIGHTING TO ENTERTAINMENT, WE BRING YOU ALL THE ESSENTIALS, PLUS SPECIAL TOUCHES, DESIGN TRENDS AND EXCLUSIVE FINDS.

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finer details | flowers,

dec & rentals

20 FOR 015

TOP HOUSTON WEDDING DESIGNERS, FLORISTS AND DECORATORS TAP THE 20 BIGGEST TRENDS AND MOST ALLURING LOOKS FOR THIS YEAR’S WOW WEDDINGS. Bold color, a little shimmer, a lot of floral and plenty of personalization: No cookiecutter weddings are allowed for 2015, as brides and grooms put their signature stamp on their day, through decor that speaks to their past and celebrates their future.

Prime Palettes

T O TA L LY 8 0 s TA B L E T O P

“If there is a mascara color from the 80s, use it,� says Jill Vidal, owner of rental and design company EB Inc Events. “Electric blue, violet, bright green, geometric prints, and sequins, are hot. Also, black and white is making a huge comeback.� And don’t be afraid to mix high-contrast prints, like stripes and florals.

writer CHERISE LUTER ~ photo D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

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location HOTEL ZAZA decor & flowers DARRYL & CO.


finer details

| flowers, dec & rentals R O S E G O L D S TA N D A R D

The romantic feel of the French countryside has been a popular theme for a few years, but if you add the bold colors of 2015, you get a whole new look.” Darryl Murchison DARRYL & CO.

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When it comes to weddings, “Rose gold is the new gold,” declares Johanna Terry, owner of Johanna Terry Events. Bold gold is huge on fashion runways, but softer rose gold is the metallic of choice for wedding decor and rentals. Her favorite pairing: rose gold with blush pink—a perfect marriage of romantic colors. THROW SOME SHADE

Couples wanting to keep it simple can opt for one color, but include varying shades and tones of that color to add interest. For instance: “shades of green, including avocado and grass green, or bright pink with raspberry and coral,” says Vidal. Try bright tones for the ceremony, then shift to the darker hues for the evening reception.


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Dream Themes COUNTRY COOL

The romantic feel of the French countryside has been a popular theme for a few years, but if you add the bold colors of 2015, you get a whole new look. “What we are doing now is taking those ivory muslin-covered traditional chairs and reupholstering them in textiles like bold-colored velvets,” says Darryl Murchison, the creative mind behind top event-design company Darryl & Co. “It’s classic design with a punch.” BOHO HAUTE

Think beautiful prints, decorative lamps and casual dining. With its residential feel and air of relaxation and decadence, the Bohemian theme is a huge trend for couples looking to bring an exotic insouciance to their celebration. But, Todd Fiscus, owner of design firm Todd Events, urges couples to proceed with caution: “Bohemian can look like an easy style to achieve, but be careful. It really takes a lot of work to make this look sing.” M I X & M AT C H

When two individuals come together to celebrate their union, they bring with them individual tastes, styles and ideas—which bodes well for 2015 wedding design. Mixing and matching themes to create a unique, unified look is a major development for this year’s weddings. Lisa Anhaiser of LBL Event Rentals offers this example, “Rustic has taken a turn and incorporated industrial elements. This means events will have more practical features and will showcase an oxymoronic ‘modern-rustic’ feel.” Other ideas include urban-beachy (neutral colors and cool marine blues, sand- and succulent-based centerpieces, 256 

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| flowers, dec & rentals glass), vintage-elegant (lace, Art Deco touches, lavish floral arrangements) or steampunk-sophisticate (Victorian light fixtures, globes and gears, blacks and metallics) on for size. AS SEEN ON TV

Everyone has seen their share of movie- and book-themed weddings— “Star Wars” is a perennial favorite, as are “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby.” But it’s the small screen that’s exerting its influence on 2015 weddings. “I see a lot of couples incorporating their favorite TV shows into their weddings,” says Terry, “from doing a ‘Breaking Bad’-themed engagement shoot to having a ‘Game of Thrones’-themed wedding.”

Sights on Ceremony LUXE OUTDOORS

Setting your ceremony in the midst of a grove of trees or on a dock overlooking a lake takes advantage of all that nature has to offer. But this is your wedding, not a Saturday picnic, after all. If you’re planning to say your vows al fresco, take a bit of advice from Vidal and add a luxurious touch to your outdoor scene by adding diaphanous draping to your altar canopy, and hanging chandeliers from the trees overhead. A LTA R S TAT E S

Elaborate altars are a mainstay of Jewish, Hindu and Muslim weddings. But even nondenominational couples are incorporating canopies and chuppahstyle structures into their ceremonies. “Brides are drawn to the substance and focal point the structures create,” says Sheli Hart, lead event designer for Flora & Eventi. “They make a great backdrop for photos, versus the traditional altarflanking arrangements we see so often in ceremonies.” 260 

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Bohemian can look like an easy style to achieve, but be careful. It really takes a lot of work to make this look sing.” Todd Fiscus TODD EVENTS

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Nothing is more romantic than a ceremony aisle covered in rose petals, but for 2015, the tradition is getting a bit of an update. “It’s increasingly popular to create patterns or ombré color graduations down the sides of the aisle, or even for the center,” Hart says. “The use of a patterned rose petal design is getting popular as well.” ORGANIC ELEGANCE

“More and more brides are interested in floral arrangements inspired by nature,” says Bahara Jamea, wedding and event designer with Plants N’ Petals. “It is a less structured but highly designed look that does not feel too forced. I am seeing a lot of Jewish brides wanting asymmetrical floral designs on their chuppahs, which


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| flowers, dec & rentals adds interest to the traditional flat-top, four-legged structure. Popular flowers include amaryllis, anemones, dahlias, trailing honeysuckle, poppy, chocolate cosmos and peonies.”

Rose gold is the new gold. We will see the use of rose gold with muted hues a lot in 2015.” Johanna Terry JOHANNA TERRY EVENTS

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Party Pretty

COMPLEMENT & CONTRAST

For this year’s weddings, couples are shying away from anything too matchymatchy, including furniture. To keep your wedding from looking like a flea market, Anhaiser suggests choosing one unifying element: “Couples want mismatched pieces, but to keep it cohesive, the furniture should have a similar color palette,” she suggests. And don’t be afraid to add a little of the unexpected she adds: “There’s nothing more striking than a room full of solid-white furniture with pops of floral color and metallics.”


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ANTIQUE CHIC

As a way to celebrate the joining of two families, modern brides are incorporating family heirlooms into reception decor. Jamea suggests displaying pieces from weddings past: “Have mom’s, grandmother’s, great-aunt’s, etc., bridal gowns encased in acrylic and displayed or placed on pretty dress mannequins, alongside a picture of them in the gown. If the gown is not available, other mementos of the day will work as well, especially if there are photos to display alongside them.” S TA R B A R S

Bar areas are usually relegated to the far sides or back of the reception room, and only come to mind when a glass needs filling. We invite you to take up one of our favorite trends for

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2015, and turn your beverage station into a centerpiece. Your designer or caterer can create mini lounges with furniture and decor pieces to make the bar an anchor for the reception space, and use gleaming bar surfaces, mirrors, uplighting and candles to give it a cocktail-lounge feel. “Take it to the next level with visually appealing bar backs and floral components,” advises Fiscus. FINE FLICKERS

Our love affair with candlelight for weddings is still very much aglow. But the hottest lighting look for 2015 weddings is electric. Hanging bulbs, chandeliers and table lamps all create an intimate dining experience and elegant restaurant feel. “We love seeing lampshades. They look fantastic in any

application—with ribbon, petals, greenery, etc. We also love playing with Edison bulbs and soft-pink light bulbs. Anything that gives that soft glow adds so much to a tabletop,” says Fiscus. LOUNGE LIFE

In the past, couples had little ability to put their stamp on their reception venue. Chairs, tables, walls and even lighting was generic and, in some cases, could not be altered. But now, thankfully, customized reception spaces and flexible-use ballrooms are the norm. “We are creating architectural pieces, building out walls, and incorporating soft seating all around to give the whole room a lounge feel,” Murchison says. “We are essentially designing the space more like a high-end restaurant than a reception, which means that


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couples can create an atmosphere all their own.” BIG SHOT

If a couple is looking for some serious bang for their buck, Murchison suggests focusing their budget on one or two high-impact floral pieces instead of multiple small pieces at every table. “One big statement piece will be more memorable than numerous small pieces. You want your guests to say,

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‘Wow,’ when they enter the room, and an impact piece will do that. Have candles on each table and two gigantic pieces in the center of the room.” LOOKING GLASS

And speaking of mirrors, reflective surfaces are one of the most popular decor items for 2015 wedding, Terry says. Mirror tabletops, mirrortile side tables and lamp bases, and mirror-like mercury glass, all are big for

giving receptions an air of glamour and sophistication. Actual mirrors, whether framed or not, are showing up in reception decor, too, where they also serve a secondary purpose: “Whether you use a collection of antique gold mirrors or just oversize mirrors,” Terry says, “those mirrors help to make small reception areas appear larger.” online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com


O REAL WEDDINGS

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J2ulie & Just2in writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER

04.25.14

While European-themed Chateau Polonez was the site of their spring wedding, it was the allure of the

islands that served as inspiration for Julie and Justin’s memorable celebration. The couple, who became engaged in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, and would eventually honeymoon in French Polynesia, infused their special day with “beachy” elements, from a blue-and-coral palette to sand-rock-and-starfish candle displays, to guest tables named for famed island destinations. Did the newlyweds sail off into the sunset? Not exactly. But after hours of dancing and dining with those they loved most, they did drive off in a 1965 Rolls-Royce the groom had always coveted. “We had such a wonderful time,” the bride says, “and were so thankful to have our family and loved ones there.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 julie liska

justin babin     130   chateau polonez    brickhouse bridal       t. carolyn fashions   minister lynn turner, &

weddings performed   akil bennett photographer   tahiti

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&

moorea


P

BOUNTIFUL BLOOMS

PICK YOUR PERFECT BOUQUET flowers DARRYL & CO. ~ photo LAUREN LARSEN PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers PLANTS N’ PETALS ~ photo D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers THE SENTERPIECE ~ photo LADY LINDSAY PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers ARTEFLORA ~ photo BRICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY


flowers FLORA & EVENTI ~ photo SERENDIPITY PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers HAUTE FLOWERS & FINDS ~ photo LINDSEY ROGERS

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flowers & photo HEB BLOOMS


flowers TODD EVENTS ~ photo ANDREA POLITO PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers AJ’S URBAN PETALS ~ photo AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER

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flowers LARY’S FLORIST & DESIGN ~ photo RSVP STUDIOS


flowers JOHANNA TERRY EVENTS ~ photo SAGAR RASTE PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers FLOWERS OF KINGWOOD ~ photo SHANNON NICHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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flowers & photo DREAM BOUQUET


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e art of...

DELICIOUS

FAMED BRITISH BAKER ROSALIND MILLER CRAFTS CONFECTIONS THAT ARE EQUAL PARTS SWEETNESS AND SOPHISTICATION.

A longtime lecturer in graphic design at London’s Central St. Martins College  of Art and Design, Rosalind Miller found her true calling making edible works  of  art.  Within  several  years  of  launching  Rosalind  Miller  Cakes  in  2007,  the  baker/designer was winning industry awards and being featured in wedding  publications across the globe. These days, Miller’s eponymous cake company  is  a  preferred  vendor  for  some  of  the  UK’s  most  prestigious  wedding  venues, including The Dorchester, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, and  Shakespeare’s Globe, and she supplies magnificent cakes to exclusive London 

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photos ROSALIND MILLER CAKES

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hotels  including  The  Ritz,  Claridge’s  and  The  Savoy,  among  others. As for her wedding cakes themselves, well, let’s just  say they take dessert to a whole new level. In this exclusive  Weddings in Houston Q&A, Miller sweet-talks us on the topic  of sugar as an artistic medium. And we just eat it up.  Weddings in Houston: How did you get your start in baking and cake design? Rosalind Miller: In 2007, after working for many years as a  lecturer in graphic design at Central St. Martins College of Art  and Design, I decided to move into the world of baking and  cake decorating. I first studied art at college, earning a BA and 

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a Masters Degree in textiles, and later an MA in communication design at Central St. Martins, before going on to run an  art gallery and shop in London. After that, I taught art at various colleges. I have always had a passion for baking and art. WIH: When and why did you launch Rosalind Miller Cakes? RM: I  first  experimented  with  cupcakes  using  sugar  flowers  to  decorate  them,  and  sold  them  at  Greenwich  Market  in London. I wanted to make wedding cakes that were each  their  own  individual  work  of  art,  and  didn’t  just  replicate  traditional cake decorating styles and techniques, so I set up  Rosalind Miller Cakes in 2009.


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Rosalind Miller

“ WIH: What techniques and design flourishes distinguish your cakes from others? RM: I  am  well  known  for  my  sugar  flowers,  and  I  love  floral  designs.  I  try  to  create  designs  that  are  unique  and  have some kind of contemporary or interesting twist. For a  traditional floral cake I may give it a contemporary twist by  adding  gold-leaf  stripes.  I  think  I  have  become  known  for  this and my customers come to me for a cake that is elegant  and  beautiful,  but  also  not  the  same  as  everyone  else’s.  Apart  from  floral  designs,  one  of  my  most  popular  and  well-known  styles  is  the  silhouette  cut-out  style,  seen  on 

I wanted to make wedding cakes that were each their own individual work of art, and didn’t just replicate traditional cake decorating styles and techniques.”

my  Enchanted  Forest  cake,  which  customers  love  because  it is so striking. WIH: What are your favorite emerging cake-design trends? RM: I  think  that  sugar  flowers  have  made  a  huge  resurgence  recently  and  will  continue  going  strong,  as  they  are  so timeless and beautiful. I also love clean, graphical styles,  which I am seeing more of lately. WIH: What do you love most about creating wedding cakes? RM: I  love  the  whole  process,  from  meeting  the  client  and working out their tastes and what they are looking for,  through to designing and creating the actual cake!

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THE DO’S & DON’TS OF BE THE BEST BRIDE YOU CAN BE, WITH HELP FROM OUR WEDDING ETIQUETTE ADVICE. writer NATASHA GARBER

I Do

Q: I want my parents to be the first people we tell about our engagement. But my fiancé, who was previously married and has a child, wants to tell his young son and his ex-wife first. Who should be the first to know?

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A: While it is tradition for the bride’s  parents to be the first ones told about  the  engagement,  these  are  nontraditional  times  we’re  living  in.  With  second marriages and children from previous  marriages  now  a  common  part  of  the  picture,  it’s  important  to  consider  everyone’s  feelings.  Since  you  will  become  your  husband’s  son’s stepmother, your husband’s exwife,  as  mother  of  the  child,  should  be  told  first,  and  immediately  after,  both  you  and  your  husband—or  better  yet,  all  three  of  the  adults  involved—should  let  your  husband’s  son  in  on  your  engagement  news.  Then  you  can  go  ahead  and  share  your  engagement  with  your  parents,  your  husband’s  parents,  and  all  your  friends,  both  on  social  media  and  in  real life. 

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Q: We are paying for our wedding ourselves—with a very tight budget. I want a beautiful reception, with great food, great music and gorgeous tables, but the only way we can swing it is to invite fewer people. However, our church is really big, with plenty of room for ceremony guests. I told my husband we could invite some people to the ceremony only, and have just our closest friends and family members at the reception after. He says that’s a bad idea. Who’s right? A:  In  this  case,  your  husband-to-be  is  correct.  Try  to  put  yourself  in  your  guests’ shoes and imagine receiving an  invitation to a wedding ceremony only,  with  no  festivities  afterwards  to  fete  the couple’s blessed union. Now try to  imagine what you’d feel like when you 

found out that other guests were in fact  invited to gather after the ceremony to  eat, drink, dance and have a grand ol’  time. You’d feel pretty…awful.   There  are  plenty  of  other  potential  pitfalls  with  this  plan,  too.  What  if,  for  instance,  some  of  your  ceremonyonly guests don’t realize they were not  invited  to  the  reception,  and  show  up  anyway—only  to  discover  there’s  no  place for them at any of those gorgeous  tables  you  just  had  to  have?  What  if  a  reception-invitee asks a ceremony-only  guest  for  help  with  directions  to  the  big  bash  after  church?  What  if  one  of  the  guests  you’ve  invited  solely  to  the  ceremony  is  a  work  colleague  who’ll  one  day  become  your  boss  and  when  it  comes  time  for  that  raise  you’ve  been  hoping  for,  will  remember  how  you slighted her at your wedding, and, 


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well…you get the picture.  A  much  better  idea  is  to  scale  back  your  fancy  reception  plans  a  bit,  and  invite  more  loved  ones  to  the  party.   Stick  with  simple  centerpieces,  fun  food  stations,  beer  and  wine  plus  one  signature cocktail, a great DJ, and tons  of  votive  candles  for  an  affordably  romantic  effect.  You’ll  never  miss  the  French Champagne and filet mignon— but you’d surely miss the friends, family  members  and  others  who  didn’t  make  the cut.  Q: My parents divorced when I was a toddler, and my dad moved overseas for work. He and I have never been close, in location or emotionally. But I’m very close with mom’s longtime partner, who has been like a father to me. Do I have to have my biological

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father walk me down the aisle, or can I choose whom I want? A:  Again,  while  it  is  tradition  for  the  bride’s  father  to  walk  her  down  the  aisle,  that’s  all  it  is—a  tradition,  not  a  requirement.  Your  father  likely  recognizes  that  you  two  aren’t  particularly  close. At the same time, your mother’s  partner,  with  whom  you  share  a  very  close  relationship,  likely  would  be  honored  and  touched  to  be  asked  to  present  you  to  your  groom.  It  is  well  within  your  rights  to  ask  him—but  do  be  mindful  of  your  biological  father’s  feelings. If he is invited to the wedding,  talk  to  him  beforehand  and  let  him  know  he  will  always  be  an  important  part of your life, and that you are glad  he will be there to celebrate this milestone occasion with you. 

For brides who don’t have a father or  father figure in their lives, it is perfectly  acceptable to have your mother, uncle,  brother, sister, a very close friend, or any  combination  thereof,  walk  you  down  the aisle. This is your day, and you get  to  choose  who  accompanies  you  on  that journey to meet your spouse. Q: My almost-husband and I are both vegans and plan to have only vegan food at our reception. But my fiancé’s parents are freaked out by our choice, and say we can’t serve their friends “tofu and nuts” for dinner. What should we do? A:  Here’s  the  thing:  Your  wedding  is  about  the  two  of  you.  But  it’s  not  just  about  the  two  of  you.  A  wedding  reception is your opportunity to thank 


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| culinary services your  friends  and  family  for  honoring  your  marital  bond,  and,  at  the  same  time,  an  opportunity  for  those  who  love  you  to  celebrate  the  joy  of  your  new  union.  So  if  you  want  to  have  a  strictly  vegan  reception,  that  is  absolutely your prerogative. Just make it an  amazing  vegan  reception  your  guests  will savor and love.  Global  recipes  offer  plenty  of  delicious  vegan  options  that  are  full  of  flavor,  spice  and  excitement,  and  lend  themselves  to  pretty  presentation.  Spring  rolls,  nut  pates,  samosas  and  chilled gazpacho “shots,” all make fabulous vegan hors d’oeuvre, while dinner  options may include pastas, enchiladas,  vegetable stews and hearty salads.  Vegan wedding cake is a little trickier  to  come  by,  but  not  impossible  to  find.  If you’re having difficulty finding a vegan  wedding  cake  you’re  confident  will  satisfy your non-vegan guests, opt for a dessert table with vegan mini-treats including  nut-crust  tarts,  tofu-based  puddings,  bar  cookies and vegan “cake balls.”  Take your future hubby’s folks along  to  your  catering  and  cake  tastings,  so  they  can  find  out  for  themselves  just  how delicious vegan can be.  Q: One of my bridesmaids recently got laid off from her job. I don’t want to put extra financial pressure on her with the cost of her bridesmaid dress, accessories, pre-wedding bridesmaids’ trip, etc. But I also don’t want to embarrass her by talking about her situation in front of the rest of the b-maid crew. Help! A:  You’re  thoughtful  to  consider  your  bridesmaid’s  financial  situation.  Bear  in mind that in addition to the added financial burden of being a bridesmaid,  she may be experiencing an emotional  burden  as  well,  especially  being  in 

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the midst of a group of happy, hyper,  wedding-crazy  gals…including  you,  Ms.  Bride-to-Be.  Now’s  the  perfect  time to take your bridesmaid bestie out  for lunch or cocktails, offer her a sympathetic  ear  (if  that’s  what  she  needs)  or just an escape from her blue mood.  Give  back  to  her  what  she’s  given  to  you  as  a  bridesmaid,  meaning:  support, friendship and love. Once you’ve  done  that,  you  can  check  in  with  her  about  her  financial  situation,  and,  if  necessary,  offer  to  assist  with  paying  for  bridesmaid  stuff.  The  cost  of  her  dress,  alterations,  shoes,  etc.,  is  likely  minimal  compared  with  what  you’re  spending  on  your  wedding,  and  your  assistance  may  ensure  that  she’s  able  to be there, right next to you, on your  big day, as you’d always dreamed she  would be.

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| culinary services Q: We’re expecting around 250 guests at our wedding. My mom wants us to have a receiving line at the reception, but that just seems so old-fashioned to me. Plus, with all those guests, it’s going to take forever. What’s a good alternative for greeting and thanking guests that will allow us to enjoy our party and satisfy my mom? A:  You’re  right,  a  traditional  receiving  line—bride,  groom,  both  sets  of  parents, best man, maid of honor, and  bridesmaids—can  take  a  very  long  time,  especially  with  so  many  guests.  That  may  be  the  reason  it’s  fallen  out  of  fashion  somewhat  over  the  years.  But  it’s  still  important  to  individually  acknowledge  guests  who  have  come,  some  of  them  from  very  far  away,  to  celebrate your special day.  

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You  and  your  husband  can  simply  “receive”  guests  at  your  ceremony  site  as  they  file  out.  Or  you  may  wish  to  greet guests at the entrance to the cocktail hour as they arrive to start the celebration, or at the reception as guests go  in to dinner. Another option is to take  time  during  your  wedding  to  go  from  table  to  table  greeting  and  thanking  guests as a couple, perhaps during the  starter course of your reception meal.  Just  do  the  math,  and  make  time  for 

everyone: At the rate of two or three minutes per table, 25 tables of 10 guests each  will take a little over an hour to visit.  Q: This is my second marriage, but my bridesmaids want to host a bridal shower for me. I had a big shower prior to my previous wedding—would it be wrong for me to have one now? A: There is no reason your bridesmaids  should  not  have  a  shower  for  you. 

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However,  you’ll  want  to  be  thoughtful  about  whom  they  invite.  Only  family  members  and  very  close  friends  who  attended your previous shower should  be  invited  to  this  one.  New  acquaintances  and  colleagues  who  did  not  attend your previous shower, however,  may  be  invited  to  this  one.  And,  of  course,  do  not  invite  anyone  to  your  shower who is not invited to your wedding.  This  would  constitute  a  breach  of  etiquette  whether  this  is  your  first 

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| culinary services marriage, second marriage, or any marriage at all. Q: It would be much more convenient for us if our guests were to send wedding gifts to our home rather than bring them to the wedding. How should I make this request on the invitation? A:  There  is,  unfortunately,  no  polite  way  to  word  this  request  on  the  invitation. In fact, any mention of gifts on  the  invitation  is  inappropriate.  Simply  make  sure  your  preferred  shipping  address  is  easy  to  access  on  your  online  registries;  in  this  day  and  age  the  majority  of  your  guests  will  shop  for  your  gifts  online,  so  you  likely  have  less  to  worry  about  than  you  might think.

Creative Flavor writer CARRIE SKUPINSKY

Your menu and bar should reflect your personality as a couple, and, at the same time, meld with the style of your wedding. The food and drink you serve should be festive, and both reflect and enhance the atmosphere of your wedding.  Rather  than  follow  trends  or  a  typical  menu,  get  creative.  As  you  work  with  your  caterer,  baker  and  wedding  planner,  consider these points. S E A S O N . Serving seasonal ingredients and specialties will both ensure the freshness of your reception food, and add to  the festivities. In warmer weather, choose lighter fare; dishes and cocktails might feature fresh fruits, grains and vegetables,  cold soup shooters, and refreshing sorbets. Likewise in colder weather, opt for heavier dishes, rich sauces and warming,  holiday-style drinks.

Don’t get caught up in trends; instead let your menu be yet another reflection of your life together, and  the love that you share. Try basing a menu item or two on a memorable shared meal, serve a favorite varietal of wine, or  offer a guilty-pleasure snack as a wedding favor.

P E R S O N A L I T Y.

D I E T. Our food choices are so personal; if you have dietary restrictions or avoid certain foods, don’t adjust your habits to  appease a crowd. Instead, embrace your favorite tried-and-true dishes, and allow your caterer to enhance them.   C U L T U R E . Your wedding is an opportunity to introduce and blend your families’ traditions, and food and drink can be a  large part of this. Get feedback from family members and collect recipes you might add to your menu.

Don’t let numbers force you to sacrifice a dish or drink if it’s important to you. Just think smaller scale; if you  can’t afford an entire entree or a full bar with the ingredients that are important to you, explore the option of using it in an  appetizer or signature-cocktail toast instead.

B U D G E T.

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Anita & Johnny writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography THE SILHOUETTE STUDIO

03.22.14

Sometimes a pickup line is more than a pickup line—sometimes it’s the beginning of forever. At a sports bar

where each of them happened to be celebrating with friends, Anita stole a glance at Johnny, who worked up the nerve to approach her. “The bartender told me you ordered a real man,” he grinned at her. “The fun and laughter hasn't stopped since,” Anita says. Four years later, Johnny surprised Anita with a December Disneyland proposal, complete with fireworks and faux snow; 15 months after that, the pair wed in sensational style at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice, surrounded by vibrant jewel tones, candlelight, brilliant crystal sparkle, and 150 of their most beloved friends and family members. Which we love. But what we love even more about this spectacular Houston wedding is that groom Johnny was the one who shared it with us—and in doing so, shared, with us, and all of you, his love story with the love of his life, Anita. Which we really, really, really love. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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 anita davis

johnny linderman     150   crystal ballroom at the rice  ,    flora & eventi   who made the cake!   sambuca &

catering   turks & caicos

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SWEET SENSATIONS

Who Made The Cake!

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 Sweet and Saucy Shop

photo JOSE VILLA

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Beyond Butercream

305 photo JENNIFER BRATKO

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Supreme Kakes & More

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photo SUPREME KAKES & MORE


 Cakes by Krishanthi

photo NICOLA & GLEN

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 Susie's Cakes & Confections

photo LARRY FAGALA

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Who Made The Cake!

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Hannah Joy's Cakes

Gigi's Cupcakes

photo BINFORD CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

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photo HANNAH TALLERINE


Susie's Cakes & Confections

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photo NHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Who Made The Cake!

photo NHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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5 WEDDING

Wellness Tips

BLOGGER, VEGAN CHEF AND COOKBOOK AUTHOR KATHY PATALSKY OFFERS ADVICE AND RECIPES FOR LOOKING AND FEELING YOUR BRIDAL BEST.

1 . A D D A S M O O T H I E A D A Y.

3 . F U E L U P O N Y O U R B I G D A Y.

Most  brides  struggle  to  juggle  work,  friends,  family  and  all  the  tasks  that  go  along  with  planning  a  wedding.  Don’t  let  your  nutrition  suffer  because  of  your  hectic  schedule.  One  easy  solution:  Add  a  smoothie  a  day!  Try  a  green smoothie for breakfast, or a berry  protein  smoothie  for  lunch,  or  even  a  delicious  chocolate  protein  shake  for  dessert.  This  is  an  easy,  fast  and  delicious  way  to  boost  your  nutrition  so  you’re in great shape for your big day.  *Pro  Tip:  Add  super  foods  like  chia  seeds,  maca  powder,  protein  powder,  cacao  powder,  spirulina  and  more,  to  supercharge your smoothie blend. 

Start your wedding day with something  light  and  revitalizing,  like  fresh  fruit.  But  don’t  try  any  new  foods;  instead,  keep  it  simple  with  your  personal  faves.  Berries,  melon  and  bananas  all  are  great  options.  Also:  Drink  plenty  of  water  early  in  the  day  to  help  with  hydration  for  the  rest  of  the  day  and  night.  Hydrated  skin  appears  more  glowing,  supple  and  radiant,  so  you  don’t  want  to  risk  being  dehydrated.  Be  sure  to  eat  something  moderate  in  the  middle  of  your  day,  a  light  meal  with  some  protein,  maybe  a  wholegrain  salad  with  tempeh  bacon  and  light  greens,  or  even  a  protein  shake.  The  best  tip  I  can  give  is  to  listen  to  your body. If you are hungry, eat—just  practice  portion  control.  Small  meals  throughout the day will keep you from  being ravenous at any point.  *Pro  Tip:  You  might  want  to  skip that  early-morning  cup  of  coffee  and  replace  it  with  water,  coconut  water,  herbal  tea  or  a  tall  hydrating  smoothie. 

2. EXERCISE TO SOOTHE STRESS.

Working  out  is  a  great  way  to  soothe  your  wedding-planning  stress.  Cardiovascular exercise, strength training and  stretching  not  only  help  you  combat  stress, but may also help you with prewedding  weight-loss  or  tone-up  goals.  If  you  are  not  used  to  working  out,  schedule an appointment at a local gym  with  a  personal  trainer  who  can,  even in just one session, give you some  tips  on  how  to  work  out  to  prep  for  your big day.  *Pro  Tip:  Be  sure  to  try  yoga—it  can  help  keep  you  calm,  focused  and  limber, as you rush around to consultations, fittings and tastings. 314 

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4. SNACK FOR MAXIMUM ENDURANCE.

Prepping  for  a  wedding  requires  a  lot  of energy, so be sure to practice smart  snacking.  Again,  listen  to  your  body;  when  it  is  hungry,  eat.  Some  brides  suppress their hunger cues and turn into starvation queens, hoping to drop 

a  few  pounds  before  the  wedding.  But  skipping  meals  is  not  the  answer.  Restrictive eating will lead to ravenous  hunger, mood swings and fatigue, hindering your precious productivity. *Pro  Tip:  A  few  favorite  healthy  snacks  include  nut  butter,  hummus,  fresh  veggies,  fresh  fruit,  bean  salads,  avocado  toast,  smoothie  bowls  and  smoothie  sips,  healthy  raw  nuts,  oatmeal,  grain  salads,  healthy  homemade  muffins, light soups and more.  5. KEEP IT GOING!

I  see  a  lot  of  brides  acquire  healthy  new habits while they are prepping for  their  big  day,  only  to  drop  them  once  newlywed  life  sets  in.  Don’t  fall  into  that group! This is your opportunity to  keep your wellness going and maintain  those  healthy  habits  you  acquired.  As  you  embark  on  the  journey  of  marriage,  do  so  with  a  healthy,  happy  spirit,  and  you’ll  enjoy  the  adventure  just that much more. Find out more about Kathy Patalsky and vegan eating at lunchboxbunch. com and findingvegan.com. Patalsky’s book, “365 Vegan Smoothies” (Avery/Penguin Publishing, 2013), is available on Amazon.


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Smoothie Recipes

KALE SUNSHINE REFRESH GREEN

Directions for all smoothies: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend from low to high until frosty smooth.

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½ cup non-dairy milk (soy or almond) ½ cup fresh orange or grapefruit juice 1½ cups kale leaves 1 cup mango chunks (fresh or frozen) 1 banana (fresh or frozen) ½ cup ice (optional) (Add water or more juice to thin out as desired) BOOST IT: 1 tsp chia seeds

P CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER DREAMS SHAKE

1   - 2 ½  tbsp salted peanut butter 2   tsp cacao powder, unsweetened 2  fresh or frozen bananas 1  cup vanilla soy milk Maple syrup or agave syrup to taste (optional) Pinch of ground cinnamon

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egany

INVITED

PHOTOS, BOXES, FOIL, ACRYLIC, SILK AND SPARKLE— MODERN INVITATION DESIGN IS SO MUCH MORE THAN MERE INK AND PAPER.

From save-the-date announcements to the final invitation—and, possibly, all the shower invitations in between—couples can utilize printed pieces to reflect their style and give guests a glimpse of what’s to come on the big day.  Invitations  no  longer  adhere  to  a  set  of  traditional  rules;  rather,  they  are a way for a couple to incorporate personality, style and custom design.  As  Debbie  Zissman  of  DGZ  Weddings  notes,  “Brides  are  realizing  that  the invitation can really set the tone for a guest’s perception of the entire event.”  Each  aspect  of  creating  and  sending  printed  pieces  requires  careful  selection  of  appropriate  paper,  inks,  embellishments  and  more.  Those  individual elements all factor into the bottom line, as well, so it’s critical to plan carefully. Which is where we come in, with these essential invitation  tips and trends from Houston’s top stationery experts.

writer MAGGIE MARTON

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Save The Date PICK A PIC.

“We  are  seeing  a  lot  of  photo  savethe-dates,  but  the  artistic  quality  has  really  improved,”  says  Katie  Hackedorn, owner of Katie & Co. While this  style has been popular for years, in the coming year the emphasis will be on photo quality and composition. “People  are being a little more creative in their photography and having some really beautiful save-the-date photos taken.” D O N ’ T B L O W Y O U R B U D G E T.

Conserve  your  invitation  budget  by  printing save-the-date announcements digitally.  Digital  options  cut  down  on  the cost but can still be elegant and evocative.  If  you  do  choose  digital  printing, make sure to use good paper.  “When  paired  with  a  nice  paper  and  font, digital save-the-dates can be really pretty,” Hackedorn says.  P L A N A H E A D.

Schedule  your  save-the-date  mailing  with ample time for guests to make arrangements to attend. For destination  weddings, or if your wedding coincides with  a  holiday  that  may  require  extra  planning, aim for one year out. Otherwise, six months is standard.

Invitation Innovations M I X YO U R M E D I A .

“We  are  doing  clear  acrylic  invitations  etched with the wording, as well as mirrored and colored acrylic,” Zissman  says.  “We  also  are  doing  invitations  printed on wood, leather, slate and aluminum. Since some of these options  can  be  a  bit  more  expensive,  some  brides may opt to give these special invitations to close friends and family, or possibly the bridal party, and then print matching invitations on paper 318 

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invitations

for  the  rest  of  the  guest  list.  And,  of  course, there is our chocolate invitation, which is always hand delivered, with a companion paper invitation set.” KEEP IT CLASSIC.

“Our  clients’  (and  our)  favorite  design  themes  for  the  next  year  are  all  about  vintage—everyone is going back to a  more  formal,  delicate  look,”  notes  Michelle Bolivar, owner of gift, housewares  and  stationery  boutique  Blue  Leaf  Houston.  “Light  colors,  gold  hues  and  mixed  textures  are  very  popular  right  now.  From  stationery  to  registry  and china patterns, brides are coming in and wanting to go back in time.” CONSIDER CUSTOM DESIGN.

Work  with  your  stationer  to  design  an invitation that evokes your

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invitations unique  personalities  and  event  theme.  This  might  include  incorporating embellishments, accessorizing your envelope and eschewing traditional colors like cream or white for the  colors  of  your  wedding  palette.  Linda  Merchant,  in-house  stationer  for historic Houston retailer Bering’s,  notes, “New trends for 2015 are custom invitations with color, ribbons, and many different fonts on the wedding invitations and the savethe-dates.  Brides  are  using  a  lot  of  natural colors and materials for their custom invitations.” M A K E T H E C U T.

“To  add  some  flair,  our  brides  are  die-cutting  their  invitations,”  notes  designer  Christiana  Turner  of  Isabella  Invitations.  “In  addition  to  die-cutting,  laser-cutting has definitely made a comeback and this will continue for awhile.  Brides  love  the  modern  edge  and intricacy that laser-cut details bring to their invitations.”

Passion f Print EMBRACE TRADITION.

Long popular for its classic, beautiful style, letterpress is a traditional choice for  invitation  print.  “Letterpress  continues to be very popular,” Hackedorn  says. “It is a beautiful form of printing  that tends to look a little more vintage and rustic, but can also be made to look very modern when paired with foil stamping, which is also popular for 2015.” G E T FA N C Y W I T H F O I L .

“Foil  printing  is  also  a  good  way  to  print a light ink color on a darker paper.  The  foil  inks  are  opaque,  which means you can print white ink on a black card, for instance,” Hackedorn explains.  320 

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T A K E T H E H E A T.

“Thermography produces a raised effect  similar  to  what  we  see  in  engraving,”  Turner  notes.  In  the  thermography  process, a special powder is added to the  ink  printed  on  the  paper.  “Once  the combination is heated, it creates a raised effect on the paper, but it costs less  because  it  does  not  require  the  creation of engraving plates.” T R Y D I G I T A L F O R V E R S A T I L I T Y.

Along with being a great budgetfriendly alternative to traditionally printed invites, digital printing also lets you “incorporate more colors, because  everything is printed together,” Hackedorn  says.  “Traditional  thermography  or engraved invitations require a separate printing pass for each color.”

Accessies and Embeishments

envelopes, wedding-detail and accommodation  cards,  maps,  etc.,  and  instead use their budget to make the invitations more substantial, and play with fun details.” FA C T O R I N P R I C E .

Embellishments such as Swarovski crystals, pearls, lace, brooches, ribbons and twine add intrigue and elegance to wedding invitations, but they also add cost.  Discuss  your  invitation  budget  with your stationer before you start selecting  accessories  and  extras,  and  make sure to factor in the cost of extra  postage for extra weight, as well.

Invitation Etiquette

BE FORMAL BUT FLEXIBLE.

“Etiquette  rules  haven’t  changed  but  they  have  loosened  a  bit.  We  are  seeing  more  brides  request  online  RSVPs,  for  example,”  Turner  says,  though  she 

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adds,  “We  still  prefer  the  traditional  RSVP cards sent by mail.”  BE GRACIOUS WITH GUESTS.

“Avoid  sending  the  invitations  just  a  couple  of  weeks  before  the  big  day.  It will make guests feel like they were  an  afterthought,”  Zissman  advises.  “And  never  send  anyone  a  save-thedate and then cut them from your wedding list.”  DON’T GAB ABOUT GIFTS.

“Wedding-registry  etiquette  and  the  ‘unspoken approach’ for sharing the registry details with wedding guests is something we discuss with our customers who ask about how to communicate their registry with invited guests,”  notes  Julie  Shuford,  marketing  manager  for  Bering’s.  “This  is  a  wedding, and invitees know that a celebratory gift is proper etiquette.” 

THINK OUTSIDE THE ENVELOPE.

When it comes to embellishment, “the  sky’s  the  limit,”  Hackedorn  says.  “We  have  done  invitations  in  boxes,  with  ribbons and rhinestone brooches and embellished  silk  flowers.  One  invitation in particular was a layered card with a wide satin bow tied around it that  lay  in  a  shimmer-paper  box  lined  with silk flowers that had rhinestone centers.  We  did  a  beautiful  black  silk  box with hot-pink silk lining that contained a triple-thick black invitation with silver engraving.” FOCUS ON THE LITTLE THINGS.

“We  see  our  clients  really  wanting  to  spend their money on accents and minor details like gold foiling, noticeably delicious paper stock and fun envelope liners, rather than many multiple pieces belonging to the whole  package,”  Bolivar  says.  “Most  of  our  brides  want  to  nix  inner 

When paired with a nice paper and font, digital save-the-dates can be really pretty.” Katie Hackedorn KATIE & CO.

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Imp3ressions4

F I R S T

TEN FOUR PAPER COMPANY

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1

2 1. ISABELLA INVITATIONS 2. KATIE & CO.

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3

4

5 3. DGZ WEDDINGS 4. PEAR TREE GREETINGS 5. BLUEBONNET PRESS


SEASIDE PRESS

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LETTERED OLIVE

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Register

FOR NOW & ALWAYS

LOOK AHEAD TO YOUR HAPPILY MARRIED LIFE AS YOU ASSEMBLE YOUR WEDDING GIFT LIST.

Registering for wedding gifts can be utterly exhilarating. Which is exactly why  it can also be fraught with impulsive choices, oversights and a list that leans too far toward fancy or casual. The key is to create a registry that’s the right  balance of trendy and classic, with items that are great for everyday use, and— this  is  your  wedding  registry,  after  all—special  items  for  special  occasions. 

writer MAGGIE MARTON

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gift registry

Before you open registries in all of your favorite stores, be mindful that it will help your guests if you limit your store selections, while expanding your gift selections. Julie Shuford, marketing  manager at iconic Houston retailer Bering’s,  says,  “We  advise  narrowing  registries to three or four stores. The goal  with this is to give guests options without overdoing it.” Once you’ve picked  your retailers, it’s time to go shopping  for items that will feather your newlywed nest, and bring joy and comfort to your married life. HOME STYLE

Include linens in your registry to create  a  cozy  home  that  evokes  your  style.  Victoria van Roijen, manager of registry marketing  at  Williams-Sonoma,  notes,  “Linens  can  change  the  style  in  every 

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room  of  your  home.  Updating  the  sheets on your bed, the towels in your bathroom or the pillows on your couch are great ways to stay current without over-committing to a trend.” “Our  customers  are  very  interested  in  registering  for  Bella  Notte  Linens,”  notes  Michelle  Bolivar,  owner  of  beloved local boutique Blue Leaf Houston. “They are very fine linens but with  a  casual  elegance  that  today’s  bride  and  groom  are  looking  for.  You  get  a  beautiful bedroom, but with washable linens,  which  makes  it  worth  every  penny—especially when planning on a family.”   The same rules apply to kitchen and  dining-room  linens.  According  to  van  Roijen,  “Table  linens  are  a  great  way  to achieve a new style in your kitchen  or dining room and require very little

commitment  or  investment.  A  simple  white or cream tablecloth can instantly add sophistication to a table, while hemstitched linen placemats offer a more laid-back, but still polished, look.” G R A C I O U S TA B L E

One  persistent  myth  is  that  fine  china  is  too  delicate  for  everyday  use.  But  due  to  the  high  heat  used  in  its  firing  process, bone china and porcelain are actually quite strong and durable. Some  are dishwasher friendly, too.  Looking  for  one  fabulous  table-setting option that will do double duty for daily  meals  and  entertaining?  Consider  a white bone china, or banded china in white or ivory, perhaps with a gold or platinum  rim  for  a  touch  of  elegance.  You can add accessories and table linens with pops of color to dress up or down your table settings. At  Blue  Leaf  Houston,  British  tableware brand Royal Crown Derby, known  for its highly decorative china and exquisite collectables, is a top choice with registering brides. The brand “has  come up with some new china patterns  that  the  brides  are  eating  up,”  notes  Bolivar.  “We  have  brides  come  in to register for cheaper, more ‘everyday’  patterns,  and  they  end  up  going  crazy  for  Royal  Crown  Derby  patterns  because they’re so special and cool.”  And  don’t  forget  to  accessorize,  she  adds: “L’Objet has absolutely gorgeous  salt  and  pepper  shakers  and  napkin  holders,”  for  example.  “They’re  so  beautiful  that  brides  think  they’re  little  pieces of sculpture or art instead of salt and pepper shakers!”  China  can  also  be  used  as  a  foundation for layering trends or seasonal decor.  Shuford  says,  “All  of  our  classically  beautiful  fine  china  lines  and  patterns lend themselves to whatever might  be  trending  at  the  moment.  We 


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gift registry

generally suggest mixing in seasonalcolor  placemats,  glassware,  napkin  rings or chargers to achieve ‘inspiration’  looks  our  brides  might  find  on  Pinterest,  Instagram  or  in  magazines.  These  simple  updates  also  make  it  easy  for  couples to bring in the inherited place settings they may already possess. Mixing and matching is always in style.” Another  option  is  a  durable,  classic  set  of  dinnerware.  Williams-Sonoma’s  van  Roijen  says,  “We  recommend  selecting a versatile set of white porcelain dinnerware that you can dress up  with  beautiful  chargers,  napkins  and stemware for a special occasion, or pare down with simple linens and everyday glasses to achieve a more casual aesthetic.”  SOMETHING SPECIAL

As you register, consider the entertaining that you plan on doing. Van Roijen  says,  “We’re  starting  to  see  couples  focusing on a more casual style of entertaining.  We  recently  launched  a  new  line  called  Open  Kitchen  that  caters  to  this  trend—it’s  all  about  affordable, everyday essentials for dining  and  entertaining,  and  it’s  been  extremely popular with registrants. We  designed this line in house with premium materials, like durable high-fired  porcelain that’s oven safe.” Also,  she  suggests,  register  for  at  least 12 place settings, anticipating that  plates  will  break  and  forks  will  get  damaged  in  the  garbage  disposal.  You’ll also want to bear in mind that as  a married couple, you’ll likely be hosting  family  occasions.  When  you  start  to count up how many people could show  up  at  Thanksgiving,  well…you’ll  want to be prepared. Lastly, van Roijen  advises, “Always register for more wine  glasses  than  you  think  you’ll  need— you’ll be glad there are extras.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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IN BALANCE

JUST FOR FUN

It’s  tempting  to  select  a  fabulous  collection  of  on-trend  pieces.  However,  remember that trends don’t stay trendy  for long, so aim for a mix of classic, seasonal  and  of-the-moment.  If  you  prefer classic, casual dinnerware, for example, you can bring in trendy silver  candlesticks,  interesting  serving  pieces,  striking  floral  arrangements  and textured linens, for a great, modern tabletop.  When  adding  trend  pieces  to  your  registry, select quality to increase the piece’s  longevity.  Van  Roijen  says,  “Invest  in  high-quality,  versatile  items  that can be repurposed to suit current trends.  For  example,  white  porcelain  dinnerware can be traditional, modern or rustic, depending on how you accessorize it.”

While  it’s  important  to  register  for  dining  and  living  staples,  it’s  equally  important  to  register  for  items  that  fit  your  interests  and  hobbies.  Shuford  notes, “Wedding registries are a reflection  of  each  couple’s  likes  as  well  as  needs. Invited guests who are shopping  registries often find grilling equipment,  gardening gear or other less traditional registry items endearing, because these items  remind  them  of  the  bride’s  or  groom’s interests.” One way to add fun and flair to your  registry  is  with  a  cool  kitchen  gadget.  Van  Roijen  says,  “We  always  recommend couples register for at least one novelty kitchen gadget to whip up their  favorite treat, or make entertaining with  friends  a  little  more  fun.”  She  notes  that an air fryer is a popular registry

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item  because  it  makes  guiltless  versions of everyone’s favorite fried foods,  like  French  fries,  fried  chicken  and  homemade doughnuts. Other indulgent  gadgets  that  top  the  Williams-Sonoma  registry  list  are  mini-pie-makers,  icecream  makers  and  milkshake  makers.  “One of our most sought-after gadgets  for  entertaining  is  the  Breville  Pizza  Maker,  which  makes  brick-oven-style  pizzas  in  a  matter  of  minutes.  The  KitchenAid Pasta Press Attachment and  Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker  are also novelties that you wouldn’t use  every day, but are really fun for hosting gatherings.” REGISTRY RULES

Selecting  gifts  for  your  registry  is  a pleasure—and buying those gifts should be equally pleasurable for


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gift registry your  guests.  To  make  gift-buying  easier and more comfortable, select items in a wide range of price points: under $50, under $75, under $100, under $200, and beyond, so all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford.  You  don’t  want  your  college  friend feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he can’t find a single gift he  can afford; and on the opposite side, you  don’t  want  your  parents’  closest  friends to have to buy you a multitude of smaller items to give you a generous gift. In  Shuford’s  words:  “Just  like  no  two couples are the same, guests have  various  gifting  preferences.  The  best registries include a mix of prices and types of items, which help to ensure that guests feel comfortable finding something they will be excited  purchasing.” Van  Roijen  agrees.  “Since  you  want  your guests to have a few gifts to choose from, you should have two to three items on your list for each wedding  invitation  you  send  out.  Some  people recommend basing your giftselection number on the number of guests, but couples and families usually send one gift, so going off of invitation count is your best bet. If you’re having  a shower, add one additional gift for each shower guest.” Throughout  your  pre-wedding  celebrations and as the big day nears, stay on  top  of  your  registry  to  ensure  it’s  robust.  When  a  guest  buys  a  gift  for  you, your registry should automatically update, allowing other guests to see what’s  been  purchased.  Make  sure  to  revisit your registry often, and update it with additional selections as products are purchased so that guests always have a variety of things to choose from.  They’ll appreciate it, and, ultimately, so  will you.

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Add a ltle local flavor to your wedding favo .

1. BLUE BELL CREAMERIES HOMEMADE VANILLA ICE CREAM bluebell.com 2. REPUBLIC PLATA TEQUILA republictequila.com 3. KATE ASPEN JUST HITCHED BOTTLE OPENER kateaspen.com 4. TINY PIES PIE POPS tinypies.com 5. POTTER COUNTRY STORE TEXAS PECANS GIFT TIN pottercountrystore.com 6. NATURE FAVORS BLUEBONNET KIT etsy.com/shop/naturefavors 7. TLC SOAPS TINY TEXAS RED CURRANT SOAP etsy.com/shop/tlcsoaps 8. DGZ CHOCOLATES ENGLISH TOFFEES dgzchocolates.com

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Set the table with spring’s soft hues.

1. STUDIO B FLORAL COUNTRY BOWL purehome.com 2. L’OBJET LIMOGES PORCELAIN WHITE SWAN SALT CELLAR shoptiques.com 3. JUNG LEE NY GOLD EDGE PEDESTAL & CAKE SERVER jungleeny.com 4. PINK SQUARE BAROQUE DINNERWARE SERVICE horchow.com 5. ROYAL DOULTON 1930 POLKA ROSE & 1960 GOLDEN ROSE MUGS casa.com 6. SWEET ENTERTAINING DESSERT STAND modcloth.com 7. L’OBJET BLOSSOM BOWL gracioushome.com 8. WILLIAMS-SONOMA SOHO RECTANGULAR PEDESTAL TRAY williams-sonoma.com 9. JUNG LEE NY EXTRA LARGE WHITE TRAY WITH LEATHER HANDLES jungleeny.com 10. CHRISTOFLE ALBI SILVER SERVING TRAY christofle.com


finer details | music

& entertainment

All Night FUN

ENTERTAIN GUESTS FROM WEDDING CEREMONY TO RECEPTION SAYONARA, AND THEN SOME.

Yes, it’s the day you make your marital vows—but it’s also one of the biggest parties of your life. And what is the most important element at  a  party?  The  entertainment,  of  course.  From  ceremony  accompaniment  to selfie stations to beats that get everyone moving on the dance floor,  memorable  wedding  entertainment  comes  in  many  sounds,  sizes  and  sorts. While you’re choosing the right performers, emcees and interactive  diversions for your big day, don’t forget that you and your guests are in  for  a  full  day  of  celebration,  with  many  phases.  Keep  guests  entertained from start to finish, for a lively, lovely fete they will never forget.

writer CHERISE LUTER ~ photo NHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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music & entertainment C E R E M O N Y S TA G I N G

“ Jonny Black JONNY BLACK PRODUCTIONS photo COMPOSURE STUDIOS

We do want to get on the mike and take charge, tell them what’s going to happen, so they can enjoy themselves without worrying about it.”

The  most  important  portion  of  the  day—can’t have a wedding day without  a wedding, after all—the ceremony is a  perfect time for the bride and groom to  give guests a first taste of their couplehood  characteristics,  and  a  glimpse  of  what is to come. Scott Graham, composer, pianist, and  owner  of  Scott  Graham  Piano,  shares  three  things  each  couple  should  think  about  when  choosing  their  ceremony  music:  “One,  what  ambiance  do  they  want  to  create?  Two,  what  are  their  favorite songs and at what point during the ceremony would they like them  played? And three, what songs do they  think their guests would enjoy hearing?” The ceremony is a serious time, but  it  doesn’t  have  to  be  solemn.  Graham  encourages  couples  to  have  fun  with  their  song  choices,  especially  during  the  pre-ceremony  wait.  “The  music  selections should get everyone excited  to celebrate. Choose classics or today’s  current  hits  to  entertain  your  guests  for  a  livelier  vibe,  or  select  romantic  classical or jazz tunes to add a level of  sophistication to your event.” C O C K TA I L C O O L

Once the ceremony is done, the cocktail hour is the time to get guests into a celebratory mood. Mixing and matching live music with a DJ is an updated  way to entertain during this transition, suggests  Jason  Fajkus,  vice  president  of  DJU  Productions.  “A  string  quartet  (three  violins  and  one  cello)  and  a  DJ  play  music  together.  The  DJ  plays  the  beats,  and  the  strings  play  the  lyrics.  It’s  amazing  entertainment  for  guests,  as it is cocktail music, but like they’ve  never  heard  cocktail  music  before.”  Fajkus  also  suggests  a  saxophonist  if  you  want  to  add  a  little  sexiness  to  familiar songs. 340 

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music & entertainment

Graham  agrees  that  playing  familiar  tunes is the best choice to keep guests  entertained while those hors d’oeuvre are  being  passed.  “People  enjoy  it  when  they  can  recognize  a  song;  they  tend  to  sing  along  to  it,  which  I’ve  noticed  is  contagious.  If  the  bride  and  groom give me free reign, I’ll get some  ideas from the guests. ‘Linus and Lucy’  (the  ‘Peanuts’  theme)  and  the  ‘Rocky’  theme are always big crowd favorites.” Making  the  transition  from  cocktails  to  the  main  bash  is  important,  too.  “If  the  cocktail  hour  is  in  the  foyer,  and  the ballroom doors suddenly open, this is our opportunity to really set the mood,”  notes  DJ,  emcee  and  entertainer  extraordinaire  Jonny  Black,  of  Jonny Black Productions. At this point,  it’s time to up the volume, but not too much—“We  don’t  want  to  blast  them,  this  is  not  a  club,”  Black  says—“but  we do want to get on the mike and take  charge,  tell  them  what’s  going  to  happen,  so  they  can  enjoy  themselves  without worrying about it.” He  also  advises:  “Right  after  this  entrance  is  the  perfect  time  for  first  dances.  If  you  wait  until  after  dinner,  you don’t have the full attention of everyone  in  the  room.  Also,  remember, this is a very emotional part of the evening. It’s a good idea to get the  tears and emotions expressed and out  of the way, to raise the energy level for the party.” For  the  ultimate  in  personalization,  couples can have a song written just for  them, for their first dance. When creating  an  original  composition,  Graham  goes out of his way to learn as much as  possible about the couple, so the piece  reflects them. “When I compose a song  for a couple, I like to tell their story. I  start  with  asking  questions  about  how  they met, their likes and dislikes, their favorite  places  to  visit,  and  what  they  342 

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enjoy together as a couple, adding elements from their individual personalities to create a melody and turn it into a  beautiful song to celebrate their union.” DINNER & DANCING

Dinner  entertainment  is  sometimes  overlooked,  but  couples  should  never  opt for dead air, even while their guests are enjoying their meals.  “Some  parents  and  older  guests  might not want to stick around through  the wilder late-night partying part of the  evening.  During  dinner  is  a  great  time  to  appeal  to  their  tastes,”  Black  says.  “Go  for  slower  classics,  from  the  time when they got married. It’s a great  way  to  make  that  connection  with  everyone in the room.” Because, if the  celebrating  is  going  strong  later  on,  “and  all  of  a  sudden  Mom  comes  and  says to the DJ, ‘Play Sinatra,’ you’ve just  lost the party atmosphere.”  “Dinner music can be a nice variety  of both upbeat and slower songs,” adds Graham.  “I  like  to  play  upbeat  songs  as dinner is being served or if there’s a  banquet  table  and  people  are  lining  up  waiting  to  get  their  food.  Then  I  like  to  slow  the  pace  down  a  bit  and  play  elegant  background  music  during  dinner.  Romantic-style  songs  create  a  nice  soothing  atmosphere  for  dining  and mingling. Guests should be able to  recognize  and  enjoy  the  music  in  the  background,  while  carrying  on  a  nice  conversation at their tables.” Once the dining is done, it’s time to  let loose and pump up the volume, and have  your  DJ  or  band  play  songs  that  you love, along with high-energy music  from  your  backgrounds  and  cultures  (Indian  bhangra,  Latin  salsa,  a  Jewish  hora, etc.). For a fun club vibe, turn the  lights down and let guests help themselves to glow sticks and cocktails illuminated with LED ice cubes. So cool! 

GETTING INTERACTIVE

Props, games and interactive entertainment have become ubiquitous elements  at  wedding  receptions.  Couples  have  even incorporated them into their cocktail hour for a little pre-game warmup.  They  add  another  layer  to  the  merriment and give guests who may not be keen on dancing a chance to get in on  the  fun.  One  of  the  newest  trends  in  interactive  entertainment  has  been  the  incorporation of social media.   Photo  booths  are  now  “fully  connected  social-media  photo  stations,”  says  Fajkus.  “Guests  can  upload  to  Facebook,  or  text  or  email  themselves  their  photo.  Also,  by  using  Instagram,  they  can  take  a  picture  anywhere,  hashtag the photo, and it will print out at our photo station printer. It’s a great  way  to  take  pictures  anywhere  at  the  event and have them print on site.”  Interactive entertainment is not just a sideline to dance-floor action. Couples  can  opt  to  have  a  dance  floor  that  reads  and  responds  to  dance  movements, Fajkus says. “So a bed of roses  can  be  displayed  on  the  floor,  but  as  guests  dance  across,  the  roses  will  push out of the way and a monogram or any image or video can be displayed  underneath.  The  floor  has  over  175  different applications, so no matter the  theme or layout, the interactive projection will wow guests as it moves when they move.” And  don’t  forget  your  younger  guests!  “Kid-friendly  DJs  are  a  great  way to entertain young guests with music and contests such as hula-hoop,  limbo and line dancing,” notes Delores  Messer,  president  of  Adams  &  Green  Entertainment.  “Bubble  machines  and  video games are also a huge hit with kids, as well as clowns doing balloons,  face  painting  and  small  magic  tricks.”  And  for  captivating  entertainment 


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music & entertainment

with  an  educational  twist,  Adams  &  Green  offers  a  one-hour  “Mad  Scientist” show—fast becoming a favorite for  parties with young guests in a range of ages. THE GRAND FINALE

Once the last glass of bubbly has been  poured, it is time for a fond farewell— but  not  a  low-key  one.  A  well-chosen  song and a little production magic are  the  perfect  recipe  for  a  memorable  sendoff. When  choosing  a  final  song,  make  sure it is consistent with the rest of the  day’s mood. “Glad You Came” by The  Wanted  is  terrific  for  couples  with  a  passion  for  pop,  “Time  of  My  Life”  by  Bill  Medley  and  Jennifer  Warnes—also  known  as  the  “Dirty  Dancing”  song— works well for a nostalgic feel, and for  couples looking for a bona-fide classic,  “Save the Last Dance For Me,” sung by  Michael Bublé, is a surefire hit. For  major  impact,  Fajkus  suggests  a  dramatic  element  such  as  a  fireworks  show  (especially  if  the  event  venue  is  located on a body of water), a display  of  Roman  candles  shot  across  the  exit  pathway,  or  a  release  of  floating  lanterns,  thought  to  bring  good  luck  and  prosperity. Black’s last bit of advice: “You want  to end on a high note, with a big bang.  We  discourage  couples  from  having  parties that last longer than five hours, so  that  everyone  stays  until  the  end.  Whether it’s a slow or fast song, we are  always going to get guests on the floor  for one last hoorah, then send them off for the evening. That way, the majority  of guests are present, and the sendoff pictures are awesome.”  online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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B3arbara & Billy writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

08.30.14 A

college meet-cute. A wintry Central Park down-on-one-knee-in-the-snow proposal. A magnificent 225-guest

wedding so celebratory that attendees couldn’t wait to start dancing and took to the floor during dinner! Could Barbara and Billy’s nuptial story be any more romantic? The pair’s Petroleum Club wedding had all the makings of an unforgettable evening, from the ivory, gray and gold palette, to the shrimp-cocktail-and-filet-mignon dinner, to the spectacular “statement” cake from famed baker Nadine Moon. Yet it was the feeling of being surrounded by family and friends, and “hosted by the most wonderful parents anyone could have,” that the bride says will forever be her greatest memory of her most special day.

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REAL WEDDINGS

 barbara delozier

william mcgough     225   the petroleum club of houston   who made the cake!     bering’s   bright star productions    monique lhuillier   d. jones photography

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photo LARRY FAGALA hair CERON FOR CERON SALON photoGABBY NHAN PHOTOGRAPHY makeup CAMACHO FOR CERON SALON gown MIA BRIDAL COUTURE bouquet TODD EVENTS jewelry ZADOK JEWELERS


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Documenting

THE DAY

MEMORIES MAY FADE, BUT THE BEST WEDDING IMAGES LAST A LIFETIME, AND THEN SOME. CHOOSE A

PHOTOGRAPHER OR VIDEOGRAPHER, FIND A STYLE THAT SUITS YOUR PERSONALITY, THEN SMILE.

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documenting the day | photography

Guaranteed

GREAT WEDDING PHOTOS

ENSURE THAT YOU END UP WITH IMAGES YOU LOVE, BY TAKING YOUR CUES FROM THE EXPERTS.

When the music stops and the guests go home, your wedding photos remain as a visual document of the most important occasion of your life. So it pays to enlist a photographer who understands your vision and has the talent to capture it for eternity. While budget is certainly a factor in hiring your photographer, it’s only part of the picture. Just as important is finding a photographic style that excites you and a photographer with whom you connect personally.

writer CARRIE SKUPINSKY ~ photo J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

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location CHATEAU COCOMAR decor PLANTS N’ PETALS


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photography

Here, four fine Houston wedding photographers offer more advice for getting photos to love for a lifetime. S I M PAT I C O , S Y N C E D , P S Y C H E D

You and your fiancé have been learning a lot about your preferences and personal tastes as you plan your wedding. For photos that will please you both, as long as you both shall live, you’ll want to hire a person who “gets” you—your life, your love, and your distinct personality as a couple. Barett Henry of Civic Photos says, “Deciding what type of photography impresses you will give you a great head start in selecting the photographer for your special day. Do you want traditional photography? Fine art? Vibrant colors? A vintage look? By sharing this crucial information,

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you can get insight as to how the photographer you’re communicating with can help fulfill that vision.” It may take some time to find the right person. “Don’t give up on what you want for your photographer,” says Steve Lee of Steve Lee Photography. “Keep looking until you find the perfect match.” Besides the must-have “shot list” (heaven forbid we miss those placesetting details or the bright red soles of your bridal Louboutins), if you have a creative vision for a certain type of shot, talk to your photographer about your ideas. As an experienced professional, and a photographic artist, the photographer may have ideas to take your vision one step further, or suggest great shots you’d never even considered. “I personally love shooting in fields with

tall and faded grass, since the couple really stands out in those settings,” says Henry. Adds photographer Akil Bennett: “I usually try to shoot in locations with lots of greenery. This makes for a beautiful background.” Want to book an engagement shoot, boudoir pix, or even a trash-the-dress session? Brainstorm with your photographer about out-of-the-box ideas. On-location and outdoor boudoir photography are fresh and exciting alternatives to in-studio boudoir, especially when styled with vintage lingerie, accessories and props. For an engagement shoot with personal meaning, consider returning to the spot where you met, whether it was at a local honky-tonk, on a spring-break beach holiday, or at your mutual alma mater. As for TTDs, “Our best trash-the-dress


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shoot was with the bride and groom in a pool together,” says David Stanley of DC Stanley Photography. GET THE BIG PICTURE

Once you’ve honed in on your style and have your top photographer choices in mind, decide together what add-ons are most important for you, and work them into your budget. For starters, don’t make any assumptions about what’s included in the photography fee, referred to as the “investment” by most wedding photographers. “Some photographers include prints in their wedding collections, but this should be one of the items you ask about during your consultation with the photographer prior to booking,” says Henry. Depending on your lifestyle and

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what you plan to do with your photos—for instance, do you prize the idea of a big, beautiful, customized, flush-mount album, or are you more of a DIY-er or digital-file sharer?—“There may be more than one way to get to the price that fits your budget,” says Stanley. Though he does add: “We feel an album is the most memorable item one can have from the wedding day. You want to be able to go back and feel like you were there. Others should be able to pick up the book and understand the story of the wedding day.” While you’re talking wedding packages with your potential photographers, make sure to inquire about what they have to offer as far as types of albums, turnaround time and cost of prints, and unique products they might specialize in, such as reproductions on canvas.

P R E PA R E F O R T H E S P O T L I G H T

On one of the most exciting and emotional days of your life, being followed by the paprazzi can be more than a little nerve-wracking, especially for the shy bride. As Lee says, “Having hundreds of photos taken of you can be an awkward experience. The good news is that as the shoot goes on, you will naturally become more comfortable.” “Just try your best to ignore us,” Bennett advises. “I know it can be difficult at times, but we generally like to keep our distance to help with this. This way we can capture beautiful moments and interactions throughout the day. When posing, I like to give minimal instructions to my clients. I let them do whatever comes naturally. If the portraits are too staged, then the expressions I get aren’t authentic.”


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photography Throwing a little touch-up kit into your bridal clutch will keep your big-day beauty going strong. What should it include? “Lip gloss (usually packaged by the makeup artist) and powder for your nose and forehead,” says Stanley. SET A SCHEDULE

When it comes to scheduling your couples’ shots and wrangling your (tipsy and exuberant) bridal party and family for formal photos, communication with your photographer and all those photo subjects beforehand is key. A shot list given to the photographer prior to the wedding, as well as to your consultant or coordinator, will help things run more smoothly. “I highly recommend doing a first look—it’s my favorite part of the wedding day,” says Bennett. “Try your best to minimize the amount of people present. I know family and the wedding party are just as excited, but it makes for a really nice moment if the couple can have some privacy.” “You might do a first-look shot alone, and then do all your family photos before the ceremony,” says Lee. “Be sure to let your wedding party and family know where to be and when.” “I’m an advocate for family photos before the ceremony, not after,” says Stanley. “In fact, I educate my wedding couples about how important it is for them to go and enjoy the cocktail hour. Things happen so fast that they really should enjoy everything!” “While the wedding party is walking from ceremony to the cocktail hour or between shot locations, you get great spontaneous moments to capture,” notes Henry. He also suggests, “Take time during the reception for individual family shots with the bride and groom.” 356 

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photography Don’t forget to consider the time of day when plotting your photography timeline. The experts all agree that the hour of the day during which images are shot has a major effect on the mood of the lighting, especially for outdoor shots. “I like to start shooting either two hours before sunset, or 30 minutes after sunrise (for engagement or bridal shoots). The lighting is really soft and beautiful which allows for more flattering portraits,” says Bennett.

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For a traditional 20-minute ceremony that will be held outdoors, “Start about one and a half hours before true sunset,” suggests Stanley. Lee adds: “One hour before sunset, untill sunset, is referred to as the golden or magic hour. Be sure to get some photos done outdoors during this time.” THE FINISHING TOUCH

After the party, some couples want a total mental break from the wedding, while others obsess over Facebook from their honeymoon hotel, looking for candid wedding snapshots. Either way, you’ll want to know what to expect when you’re expecting your professional photos. Henry suggests asking the following: “How many images should I expect

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from the wedding day? How long will it take before I see the images in an online gallery?” Photo editing, too, is something you should discuss in depth to best manage expectations. Determining which images you may want edited more heavily (such as your bridal or couple portraits) and what your photographer provides is important. “You should ask which images taken on the wedding day will be edited. The image style you love will determine what type of photo editing you will require of your wedding photographer,” says Henry. “We edit our photos for color, exposure and cropping, and release digital negatives with personal printing rights from the wedding,” says Lee. And

speaking of usage rights, that’s another point to bring up with your photographer as well, to make sure that you are all in agreement regarding printing, posting and displaying your wedding images. With a little extra planning and communication as our pros suggest, that first look at your photos will bring back to you, in living color (or sepia, or black and white), just how amazing your wedding was. And your relationship with your photographer just might last—through baby portraits, senior portraits, family portraits, milestone anniversary parties—for years and years to come. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com


O REAL WEDDINGS

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Sarah & Robbie

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography SARAH AINSWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

04.04.14

He proposed at Walt Disney World. They honeymooned on a Disney cruise. Do we sense a theme here? Absolutely, says

bride Sarah, who wore a Disney-princess-worthy tiara for her Ashton Gardens wedding to high-school sweetheart Robbie. The pair, both of them former Walt Disney World employees, treated guests to such Disney-inspired delights as a signature “True Love’s Kiss” martini, featuring a pink-sugared rim, and a choreographed first dance to a waltz taken from Disney World’s Wishes Fireworks Spectacular. The bride’s most treasured memory? “Our special unity candle,” Sarah says. “We invited all of our guests who have helped shape our lives to join us in the lighting of the candle. It made for a beautiful and touching ceremony to make eye contact with each row of guests.”

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 sarah campbell

robert hart     120   ashton gardens     eb inc events       t. carolyn &

fashions   disney cruise

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if you miss ’em

20 SHOTS YOU’LL MISS MAKE SURE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES THESE ESSENTIAL WEDDING MOMENTS FOR POSTERITY. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHER

When you think about your wedding photos, you probably picture fabulous formal portraits of you, your groom and your families, dressed to the nines. You may also imagine that knockout image of you two as newlyweds, making your way back up the aisle, or the exuberant bouquet toss at the reception after the “I do’s.” And these are, indeed, classic wedding photo ops that should not be missed by your photographer. But what about the small glances, brilliant details and poignant moments of your wedding day? Miss your chance to get great photos of these, and

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photography you’ll have a visual document of your day that tells only part of the story. As a professional, your photographer is trained to know and capture all of the nuances necessary to keep your event alive and fresh in your mind for years to come. And these are the shots you want to make sure he or she gets, before they’re gone: FIRST LOOK.

One of the most memorable moments of an already momentous occasion, this emotion-packed photo is one no bride and groom should be without. H A I R & M A K E U P.

Behind the scenes is often a delightful scene unto itself. Let your photographer click away while you and your bridal party get made up, done up, dressed up and bustled up for the big day. D R E S S D E TA I L S .

There will be plenty of pictures of you in your gown, but be sure to capture the fine metallic embroidery on the bodice, the pearls woven into the train or the magnificent lace overlay of your skirt. BRIDE’S SHOES.

Girls love their shoes! Be sure to document your fancy footwear, perhaps taking the opportunity to snap your wedding rings encircling the heel of your shimmering pumps. SHOE EMBELLISHMENTS.

More shoe photos? Absolutely. If your bridal peep-toes have custom Swarovski-crystal flowers or sumptuous satin bows, aren’t those precisely the kinds of details you want to document? B R I D E & DA D.

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girl is getting married. Find time for a quiet moment with him, and let your photographer linger discreetly nearby, snapping a few precious shots. FLOWER GIRL/RING BEARER.

Images such as these are always sweet because young kids grow up so fast— and tend to be so spontaneous and adorable on the wedding day.

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GROOM & MOM.

least one traditional and one unique shot (think: offbeat locations, making funny faces, the groomsmen carrying the bride, etc.).

He’ll always be her little boy, so this is one pleasure she should not be denied.

BRIDE’S PROCESSIONAL.

of these people together in the same place again, take advantage.”

B R I D E /G R O O M W I T H PA R E N T S .

A portrait of you with your parents and your significant other with his is an image that will endure for years to come.

B R I D E /G R O O M W I T H E X T E N D E D F A M I L Y.

B R I D E /G R O O M W I T H S I B L I N G S.

This photo should be executed for the bride’s and groom’s families separately, followed by the happy couple with each family. “I think group shots of the entire family are vital,” says photographer Joe Cogliandro. “It’s capturing everyone together for historical purposes. Since you may never have all

Whether you’re close, or not as tightknit as you’d like to be, a portrait with siblings will mean a lot to Mom.

Depending on the type of wedding and where it is held, this shot may be a bit tricky. “In Texas, many churches do not allow photography during the ceremony,” explains David Jones of D. Jones Photography. “We can get in to shoot for about 20 minutes afterwards, so we have learned to be efficient and follow their rules.” C U LT U R A L K E Y S T O N E S .

B R I D A L P A R T Y.

These are your closest friends and family members, so of course you want photos with them. Leave time for at

Depending on the culture or religion, there might be an exchange of rings, the toss of a bouquet or garter, the covering of the bride’s head with a

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photography sari, the slipping on of a necklace, or the lighting of an oil lamp. Make sure to capture these unique rites and rituals. FIRST KISS.

Sharing the moment after being pronounced husband and wife happens only once. A photo that takes you back to that feeling is priceless. A L T A R E X I T.

“Getting the bride and groom coming back down the aisle together is a very important shot,” photographer Adam Nyholt says. The elation and happiness of the moment are always evident in the couple’s expressions. FIRST DANCE.

During this heartfelt, unpracticed performance, “I can capture truly candid and sweet moments between the bride and groom,” says photographer Steve Lee. “At this time, they tend to really show their emotions.” FAT H E R / D A U G H T E R & MOTHER/SON DANCE.

This shot provides yet another glimpse at profound emotion, and is a lovely moment of connection between generations. THE CAKE.

Typically photographers go for photos of the cutting of the cake. That’s great, but don’t overlook the cake itself. Many are intricate pieces of art and should be remembered as such, with shots of both the entire cake, and its many fine details. RECEPTION SIGNAGE.

A great way to open or close an album, attention-grabbing signage sets the tone for a book of beautiful photos. 370 

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love ON DISPLAY PRESERVE, SHARE AND TREASURE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS, NOW AND FOR YEARS TO COME. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo STUDIO D. SHARP

Creating a wedding album to treasure forever—and to be cherished for generations to come—starts before the first photo is even shot, with good planning. While fine wedding photographers make photos available to wedding clients soon after the wedding through online galleries, proofing sites and social media, there is nothing like a beautifully crafted physical

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album to preserve your most cherished photos, and endure as a family keepsake for generations to come. For many wedding photographers, the classic leather album continues to be the choice of brides and grooms alike. As for photo layout, couples are tending toward simple, storybook-style

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designs, which convey the story of the wedding—the anticipation and buildup, the getting ready, the first look, the exchange of vows, the exhilaration that segues into celebration. Among top-selling albums are 20-page 12-by-12-inch and 10-by15-inch flush-mount wedding albums,

which feature thick, solid pages, with photos printed completely flat across the page. As album exteriors go, modern couples are drawn toward premium leather covers, and are choosing to have cover text embossed or printed. To get the most out of your album, select a clean, uncluttered layout, and save the captions and embellishments for less formal wedding or bridal scrapbooks you or your bridal party may create. Remember, your wedding album is intended to become a family heirloom, to be enjoyed by generations to come. Many photographers also offer gallery wraps, where an image is printed directly to a canvas and wrapped around a wood frame—an ideal choice for mantel-ready wedding portraits and engagement-shoot favorites. Other customizable choices, and albums created using unusual materials such as acrylic, glass, metal and interesting fabrics, can be found at Etsy, or sourced by your photographer at your request. A good wedding photographer will go beyond the big picture, to capture small nuances of color, sentiment and beauty—and you’ll want to mix these detail shots in with larger-focus photos. Another way to bring texture and drama to your wedding album is by mixing color shots with black-andwhite images. Generally speaking, black-and-white is excellent for action shots—your descent of a staircase with your train trailing behind you, your tearful embrace of your father when he sees you in your gown for the first time, your bouquet toss, an intimate kiss with your groom in the middle of a crowded dance floor. Vibrant color, meanwhile, is best for capturing flowers, lighting, cake decoration and room shots. Lastly, don’t go overboard with album design. There are plenty of fun,


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unique ways to use your wedding photos—so save the whimsy and spectacle for these. Go ahead, have a field day creating sweet and/or funny thank-you cards featuring some of your wilder dance-floor shots. Or consider ordering custom postage stamps featuring a fun outtake shot from your engagement session, post-ceremony recessional or cake-cutting. But for the album itself, a clean layout, with sufficient wh space in between, will trump razzle-dazzle graphics and gimmicky album design anytime—and ensure that your wedding album will fill you with as much joy years in the future as it does when you open it for the very first time. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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Ritz

PUTTIN’ ON THE

BLACK AND WHITE, SHIMMER AND MATTE, ROUGH AND REFINED— OPPOSITES ATTRACT AT THIS SWANK WEDDING SHINDIG.

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concept & design Kat Creech Events Kat Creech

concept & design kat creech events photography ama photography & cinema location THE astorian flowers dream bouquet gown IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER lighting DJU PRODUCTIONS rentals Johanna terry events linens EB Inc events cake WHO MADE THE CAKE!


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e Voice

OF VIDEO

IF A WEDDING PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS, WHAT DOES A WEDDING FILM SAY?

Rather than mere footage of the big day, the modern wedding video is the cinematic narrative of a profoundly personal milestone. Typically shot using the kind of professional equipment you’re more likely to find on a film set than in at a suburban backyard birthday party, today’s wedding film is a major production—many of them complete with trailers, outtakes, extended cuts, even movie posters!

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo AMA PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMA

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S T Y L E & S U B S TA N C E

“Sometimes  trends  are  worth  following, and other times, they’re not,” notes  Emmy-winning  filmmaker  and  in-demand  Houston  wedding  videographer Alex Douglas of Sculpting With  Time  Productions.  “We  approach  filmmaking with the intention that we want

your film to be as powerful and moving when you see it 20 years from now, as it was the first time you saw it.” For Sculpting With Time clients, that  means “having a film that really captures and personifies who the bride and  groom  are  as  people,”  Douglas  explains.  “The  novelty  of  having  a 

trendy wedding film that looks like a music  video  is  wearing  off.  Regardless  of who our client is, we want their personality, their passions and their love to really shine through.” Joey  Mathews  of  31  Films,  notes,  “Our  couples  are  really  interested  in  story-based editing—not just flashy camera moves, but telling the story of the day in a beautiful and meaningful way.”  Not only does the client appreciate this  type of wedding film more, but the filmmaker is more appreciative, too: “It’s an  exciting trend for us because we feel that what we are creating for them has a timeless reach—something that they will love sharing for generations to come.” SHORT & SWEET

While  wedding  films  mimic  feature  films in many ways, when it comes to run times—which seem to grow ever longer for features—wedding films are moving in the opposite direction. “My  couples  are  wanting  shorter videos,” notes Aisha Khan of Ama Photography & Cinema. “It’s very different  from a decade ago, when most wanted an hour-long video. Now, they want to  relive the whole day in five to 10 minutes,” more in the style of popular YouTube clips. “But it’s a very intense five  to  10  minutes,”  she  adds.  “There’s  no  down time in the video for people to look away”—making it a great choice for sharing with wedding guests and far-flung friends or family who may not have been able to attend.  To make sure that couples don’t miss  out  on  important  moments,  “We  will  do  an  extended  cut,”  Khan  says.  “For  instance, if they want to see the entire ceremony, we give them that edit, shot from different angles, so they can relive that moment exactly as it was, with nothing cut out. Same thing for the first  dance or speeches.”  382 

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videography EDITS & EXTRAS

“ Joey Mathews 31 FILMS

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Our couples are really interested in storybased editing—not just flashy camera moves, but telling the story of the day in a beautiful and meaningful way.”

Eddie  Hafiz,  of  Pixel  Studio  Productions,  a  Houston  film  studio  known  for its cinematic and documentary film styles, focuses as much on film editing  as  on  the  shooting  itself.  “We’re  offering our clients custom edits, with a  two-week  turnaround,”  he  notes.  Not  just  that,  but,  “The  client  has  the  option to sit with the editor to make custom tweaks.”  Pixel  Studio  also  offers  same-day  edits of ceremony footage that can be screened at the reception, as well as behind-the-scenes “love story” videos with intimate interviews, and effects like 3D animation. Mathews likes to screen the couple’s  love story film, usually shot about a month before the wedding, just before the newlyweds are introduced at the


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reception.  “We’ve  even  started  mixing  the love story film with a same-day edit that includes portions of the day mixed with their story,” he adds. “It has  a huge impact, while also sharing with your guests the story of how you met.  People are blown away by it.” Douglas  also  likes  to  shoot  short  videos as save-the-dates—a thrilling alternative to the typical sent-by-post announcements.  And,  “For  guests  that  can’t be in attendance,” he says, “we stream a live simulcast of your wedding online so that they can be there in spirit. The options are as endless as  your creativity!” SHARE & SHOW OFF

Like any cinematic enterprise, the filming of your wedding video is just one part  of  the  moviemaking  magic.  Once 

“ Alex Douglas SCULPTING WITH TIME PRODUCTIONS

videography

At the end of the day, most couples tell us that the feeling of being surrounded by family and friends was the most special part of the day.”

photo STEFANO CHOI PHOTOGRAPHY

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videography your wedding film has been shot and edited, it’s time for the sharing to begin. Experiencing your wedding film  with friends and family, whether virtually, or gathered around the big screen, is  always  a  thrill.  So  ensure  that  your  videographer is prepared to provide you with your film in a format you can share and share...and share again. Khan, who notes that popular Vimeo is the video-viewing website of choice for her clients, satisfies eager couples and their wedding guests with a oneminute film trailer that is released within  10  days  of  the  wedding.  “We  give  it  to  the  client  on  a  USB  drive.  It’s  really  cool,  and  they  can  just  drag it and drop it on their computer.  It  makes  it  very  easy  to  share  with  their family members, colleagues and friends on Facebook and other social media sites.” Even cooler? “We do a custom movie  poster for our couple. The ‘credits’ list  everyone—the wedding party, flower girl, etc. We even do a custom title for  their movie!” Hafiz, meanwhile, notes  that  his  clients get either a DVD or Blu Ray disc,  or  both  if  they  prefer.  “We’ll  also  post  their video on a blog,” he adds.  For 31 Films clients, “Facebook is probably the most widely used site for  sharing  wedding  videos,”  Mathews  says, “but there are other creative platforms  like  Instagram  to  share  a  short  teaser film with friends and family.” Douglas suggests “brides and grooms  break  out  the  Champagne  and  popcorn, and have a viewing party with all their VIPs before sharing their films  online.”  By  watching  the  film  together  with your nearest and dearest, “You’ll all laugh and cry together, and they’ll feel special to have been shown the film before the world of social media sees it.” 

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O REAL WEDDINGS

Kelli + A.J.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography SARAH AUSTIN PHOTOGRAPHY

05.17.14

Having begun their courtship at the University of Georgia, it’s no surprise that Kelli and A.J. wanted their wedding to “feel

like an elegant garden party at a Southern home.” As the bride describes, “The ambiance began with a drive up scenic River Oaks Blvd. with Houston’s most beautiful homes,” and continued with a gracious country-club setting, decorated with soft-pink peonies, mercuryglass votives, twinkle-lights and French armchairs. A reception menu filled with Southern favorites—fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, pulled-pork sliders—nourished guests for a night of dancing to live music. As the night progressed, guests enjoyed hand-rolled Cuban cigars on the starlit patio, and late-night chicken-and-waffle bites. Jo Ann Schwartz Woodward of wedding consulting firm Schwartz & Woodward “was great at listening to our vision and implementing it flawlessly,” Kelli says.“It was truly the wedding of our dreams!” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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 kelli born

a.j. orr     150    brennan’s of houston   schwartz & woodward     plants n’ petals   eb inc events &

  who made the cake!   bright star productions   katie   bering’s; kuhl-linscomb; williams-sonoma   turks & caicos

&

co.

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location ST. REGIS ASPEN


DESTINATION WEDDING & HONEYMOON 392 YOUR NEW HOME 406

Just

MARRIED

NEWLYWED LIFE IS FULL OF PASSION AND EXCITEMENT, AND MANY IMPORTANT DECISIONS. MAKE THEM WISELY WITH OUR POST-WEDDING RESOURCES AS YOUR GUIDE.

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wedding & honeymoon


Punta Cana

PARADISE

THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S EASTERN EDGE IS A HAVEN FOR HONEYMOON BLISS.

Situated on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean’s Greater Antilles, the Dominican Republic is fast becoming one of the archipelago’s hottest spots for Houston honeymooners. And Punta Cana, located on the island’s easternmost edge, is its prime destination. With newly launched nonstop flights to the island nation, and a variety of properties—from ultra-luxe resorts to activity-filled all-inclusives—catering to romance-seeking newlyweds, Punta Cana is an accessible and unforgettable Caribbean paradise. Get away to one of these top-ranked Punta Cana destinations, and savor a blend of sunshine, crystal-clear water, fine cuisine and decadent relaxation.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA

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z

SANCTUARY CAP CANA BY ALSOL www.sanctuarycapcana.com

spa, a romantic sunset picnic (fine bubby and snuggly blanket provided, natch), or a leisurely gourmet breakfast in bed.

ACTION & ADVENTURE

SETTING & SCENERY Located in the exclusive private community of Cap Cana, a short drive from the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana airport, this spectacular resort, which offers an all-inclusive option, is known for its breathtaking coastal views and grown-up vibe. Newly reopened after major renovations, the resort now features a lavish adults-only section, “The Castle,” which boasts spectacular suites

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with private rooftop plunge pools, walk-out suites that lead to a natural salt pool, and suites with access to a private island.

ROMANCE & RELAXATION Couples recovering from the whirlwind of wedding planning can enjoy a sideby-side massage in the resort’s on-site

For golfers, the Punta Espada experience—a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course whose shoreline-hugging 13th hole is one of the most photographed on the planet—is a must. Other honeymooners get their thrills swimming in the magnificent Blue Hole Connote at Cap Cana’s Scape Park, zip-lining through lush jungle greenery or kayaking the placid waters of Playa Juanillo.

DINE & DANCE Sanctuary Cap Cana’s Blue Marlin restaurant serves up fresh seafood in a resort-casual setting with incredible ocean views. Try the saffron-infused Spanish paella and divine crab cakes for a treat. Looking for a more private dining experience? The resort concierge will gladly arrange a romantic dinner for two on the beach, with sumptuous options from your choice of gourmet menus. For late-night fun, hop over to neighboring AlSol Luxury Village and enjoy poolside cocktails and DJ beats at Dux, one of the island’s hot hottest clubs.


z

EDEN ROC

just married |

destination wedding & honeymoon

AT CAP CANA

www.edenroccapcana.com

SETTING & SCENERY Inspired by the grand 1960s resorts of the French and Italian Rivieras, Eden Roc at Cap Cana has a decidedly European aesthetic. It’s also the only Relais & Châteaux hotel on the island—a distinction that draws luxury-seeking honeymooners from all over the world. Intimate and secluded, Eden Roc has just 34 suites, each decorated in pops of vibrant color against a backdrop of cool creams and whites, all featuring private pools and knockout Caribbean views.

ROMANCE & RELAXATION Considering that your Eden Roc suite will feature a private swimming pool, outdoor rain shower, marble Jacuzzi, goose-down duvet, 55-inch LCD flatscreen, and Nespresso machine—as well as access to all-day gourmet room service and private-gazebo massage and spa service—you could spend your entire honeymoon right there in your room. But if you do decide to venture a little further afield, you’ll find lush gardens, chic lounge areas and the Blue Lagoon Pool Bar & Restaurant— named one of the “sexiest swim-up bars in the Caribbean” by USA Today Travel.

Dominican merengue or bachata dance lessons, Dominican cooking classes or olive-oil and vinegar tastings.

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

resort’s Caletón Beach Club. End your romantic evening with a digestif at Riva Bar, designed in homage to the Riva Aquarama pleasure boat, the symbol of glamour in 1960s Monte Carlo.

For fine dining at its best, reserve a spot at Mediterraneo, whose menu blends local elements with specialties flown in from artisanal suppliers in Europe. For succulent seafood and prime meats served in a casual-chic setting right on the sand, take advantage of Surf & Turf Sundays at La Palapa by Eden Roc, located at the

ACTION & ADVENTURE Like Sanctuary Cap Cana, Eden Roc offers guests access to all of Cap Cana’s exhilarating activities, on both land and sea. Off property, there’s the par-72 Punta Espada golf course, of course, along with cave expeditions, deep-sea fishing and cigar-factory tours. On site, meanwhile, indulge in your choice of W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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PARADISUS PALMA REAL www.paradisus.com

z newlyweds. Aqua aerobics, snorkeling, Olympic games, candle-making, cigarrolling and paddle tennis are just a few of the activities you’ll find on the schedule, should you wish for a daytime diversion. Gaga for golf? You’ll be pleased to know that Paradisus Palma Real guests get unlimited green fees at the picturesque and challenging Cocotal Golf Course, designed by José Pepe Gancedo.

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

SETTING & SCENERY Set on the sands of world-renowned Bávaro Beach, Punta Cana’s Paradisus Palma Real gives all-inclusive convenience a sumptuous feel, making it an ideal location for honeymooners craving maximum relaxation. Take advantage of “Royal Service”—an adults-only boutique hotel within the resort, featuring individual butler service, a private pool with Bali beds, and preferential on-property restaurant reservations—for the ultimate in luxury and privacy.

ROMANCE & RELAXATION The resort’s signature Yhi Spa is a must-try experience for wedding-weary honeymooners. Slip into the spa’s Oriental Garden for a decadent foot massage, tropical wrap and tea ritual, or sit back in the aromatic steam of the spa’s Finnish sauna. Sip tropical drinks side by side at one of the resort’s 396 

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three crystal-clear swimming pools. Or simply lounge in your insanely comfortable ocean-view bed, resting your heads against pillows you’ve individually selected from your suite’s exclusive “pillow menu.”

ACTION & ADVENTURE Action is where Paradisus Palma Real really shines, making it a go-to honeymoon choice for get-up-and-go

There are LOTS of dining options at Paradisus Palma Real, so arrive hungry. For sophisticated cuisine from the resort’s seven-Michelin-star chef, make reservations for Passion by Martín Berasategui. Check out regional Mexican specialties from Acapulco, Mexico City, Yucatán, Mérida and more at Mole. And dig into a vast international poolside buffet, any time of day, at Naos. For nighttime fun, take in a live theatrical show, dance to DJ-driven beats, or cozy up to a banquette at the hip Red Lounge Bar, for cocktails, conversation and a few stolen Mr.-andMrs. kisses.


just married |

destination wedding & honeymoon

GET AWAY

from it all

DESTINATION WEDDINGS HAVE A RULEBOOK ALL THEIR OWN. FOLLOW IT, AND YOUR FAR-OFF FESTIVITIES WILL BE SMOOTH SAILING ALL THE WAY. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo DC STANLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

The wedding, as ritual and celebration, has plenty of social, logistical and family etiquette associated with it—most of which you’ll encounter for the very first time when planning your big day. For destination-wedding couples, the rules of etiquette (who’s invited, who pays for what, how do we find time to be together alone, etc.) are somewhat different, and often difficult to navigate. Q:What are the hosts—whether the bride and groom, or one or the other’s or both sets of parents—supposed to pay for? A: Some couples only want to have a destination event if they can provide everything for all guests, including travel expenses, accommodations and activities. These couples might choose to have a more intimate destination wedding, just family and very close friends, in order to keep costs from 398 

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being astronomical. And that’s just fine, if that’s your choice. But do recognize that the only destination wedding components you are required to pay for, according to accepted etiquette, are the wedding ceremony and reception, including all food, beverages and entertainment. If you’d like to help particular guests, who may be financially strapped, with travel arrangements, your offer likely will be appreciated—by those guests you are helping out. But be mindful that other guests who decline your invitation for financial reasons might not be so appreciative when they discover you have been selective in your generosity. Q: Who should absolutely be invited to the destination wedding, and how should save-the-dates and invitations be handled?


just married |

A: While it’s a fabulous getaway for all invited, this is still your wedding. Unless you’re plotting an elopement, you should plan to invite your immediate families and closest friends. Most destination wedding couples do not invite acquaintances or work colleagues—though some do. Since time off work and travel planning are involved, it is thoughtful to send save-the-dates anywhere from six months to a full year out from the planned wedding date. Invitations should follow two to three months ahead of the wedding date. If you’re concerned about hurting the feelings of those you simply are unable to invite, due to the travel logistics and financial commitment of the typical destination wedding, you have a couple of options. One is to respond immediately to those who may express disappointment to other friends or family members, reassuring them of your love and affection, and letting them know that because of the very personal nature of your wedding, you have decided to keep it small. Another option, and one that we highly recommend for couples who plan to wed far away from home in front of a select handful of loved ones, is to host a celebratory “newlywed” bash some time soon after you return home. It doesn’t

destination wedding & honeymoon

have to be wedding-fancy, but should be full of friends, family, food, drink, music, laughter and…fun. Q: Quite a few of our guests will be staying at hotels that are a fair distance away from the resort where we are having our wedding and hosting wedding-related activities.Who should handle the cost of their transportation to and from the resort? A: If transportation is required for any part of your wedding weekend, you, as the wedding couple, should both arrange it and pay for it. If you are working with an independent local planner, or an on-site wedding consultant at your resort, give that person the timelines for all scheduled activities, and a list of who is staying where. At the luxurious and picturesque St. Regis Aspen Resort, for example, director of catering Tobias Rimkus notes that a destination wedding offers a perfect opportunity to rent a magnificent house with “spectacular mountain views, and plenty of privacy.” The resort, which is a favorite spot for Houston couples seeking a unique, non-beach wedding destination, can easily arrange for transportation to and from your mountaintop manse, for popular outings such as flyfishing and whitewater rafting during summer, and skiing or W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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snowshoeing during winter, as well as to events you are hosting at the resort. Whatever you do, do not expect guests of yours who are staying somewhere other than the wedding hotel or resort to call for taxis or rent vehicles on their own. And definitely make sure to include an appropriate gratuity with the transportation fee you pay. Q: What should I wear for my destination wedding—and what should I expect my bridal party to wear? A: A destination wedding is not the same as a cathedral wedding or luxury cosmopolitan hotel ballroom wedding. It is meant to be a vacation, and should be enjoyed as one. While you are within your rights to wear anything you wish (this is your wedding, after all), a beach

bride might want to think twice about wearing a very formal fitted gown with a long, complicated train, or a delicate mantilla veil that might get twisted about by the brisk ocean breeze. Dressing for your destination is best, whether that means a silk-charmeuse sheath, boho-chic goddess gown or a simple silk A-line. Doing your “I do’s” on the sand? Consider subbing sparkling “foot jewelry” for standard bridal heels, or forgoing a delicate cut-flower bouquet for a hand-tied bunch of beach succulents and grasses. For bridesmaids, destination weddings are the perfect settings for mixand-match dresses, perhaps in different styles (of each bridesmaid’s choice), unified by color (like coral, blush pink, cerulean blue or sandy taupe).

Q: We’re thrilled to have our nearest and dearest attending our destination wedding—but we’d like to get some “alone time,” too. What should we do? A: Most destination wedding weekends last only two to four days, max. That’s not a lot of time, once you factor in staggered arrivals and departures, travel time, etc. You probably won’t have this unique opportunity again, so take advantage of it. Be with your friends and family, even if it’s just lounging casually on the beach, or breakfasting together on the terrace of your Tuscan villa. Not every moment of your wedding getaway has to be organized and scheduled to the hilt. But you can sneak some private time together by providing activities for your guests to enjoy. Rimkus suggests, for instance, sightseeing tours, mountainside gondola rides and excursions to Aspen’s local boutiques, which offer “some of the best shopping in the country.” Perhaps use a free hour or two, while guests are occupied, to enjoy a relaxing couple’s massage, or just some quiet time indulging in a late breakfast in bed. Also: The best thing about a destination wedding is that once guests depart for home, you two get to stay on. Plan your honeymoon to follow directly on the heels of your wedding weekend, and island-hop to another luxury destination in that Caribbean archipelago, tour a few fabulous European cities after your French Riviera nuptials, explore Colorado’s exhilarating natural scenery, or simply stay put at your wedding site, reliving all the glorious memories of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration— and creating many, many more. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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Isle Style 1

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Brooke & Aust7in2 writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography ADAM NYHOLT PHOTOGRAPHER

11.23.13

Like their Aruba engagement, high-school sweethearts Brooke and Austin’s destination wedding was set in a stunning

seaside locale. The couple joined 75 of their closest friends and family at the Dominican Republic’s luxurious Sanctuary Cap Cana for a weekend celebration full of sun, sand and spectacular ocean views. The pair’s ceremony took place on a private island, where a white-linen-draped, orchid-bedecked chuppah “was the perfect backdrop to say, ‘I do!’” the bride notes. For their reception, the couple treated guests to a light-up dance floor where everyone let loose—they were on vacation, after all! “Our favorite memory of the wedding day was how laid back it was,” Brooke says. “It was so easy to just take a deep breath and truly enjoy our special day.”

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&

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new home

e Balanced NEST

COMBINE YOUR TASTES, YOUR NEEDS AND YES—YOUR BELOVED “STUFF”—AS YOU CREATE YOUR NEWLYWED HOME.

In this day and age, newlyweds come from all types of backgrounds—living separately in rentals, living together in a shared rental, or living together in a home owned by one or the other, or both together. If you’re in the market for new digs as a duo, you’ll have plenty of questions to address and needs to consider before deciding on a home that suits you as individuals, and as a couple. Even if you already have a history of living together, your marriage will make that arrangement official—not to mention introducing lots of new registry items to your household—which means it may be time to take stock,

writer JULIE LEMEROND

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location CHATEAU COCOMAR decor PLANTS N' PETALS


just married |

your new home

purge extra stuff, and generally make things feel a little more permanent. We consulted Waukita Ray-Swales, realtor associate at Keller-Williams Realty and owner of Houston’s Veranda Realty Group, for her advice on building a balanced and beautiful newlywed nest you’ll both be happy to come home to.

1. DOWN TIME

How you like to spend your leisure hours might not seem like the most pressing concern when talking real estate. But this question is important, because it can play a big role in whether or not you choose to live in a townhome, condo or house together.

“A single-family home will require yard work, which many couples enjoy doing together, but then there are those couples who simply want to travel during their weekends and free time. In that case, they would be better suited to a townhome or condo,” says Ray-Swales. You also may want to consider your ability and desire to do “handyman” work around the house, and how much responsibility you as a couple want to take on in maintaining your residence. And don’t forget to factor in whether you’ll need a yard for a dog, or, looking toward the future, for children. 2 . M O N E Y M AT T E R S

Although your dream home may be just within financial reach, what is the point of having it, if you are doomed to spend Saturday nights confined to its walls because you can’t afford to go anywhere? “Sometimes it is best to wait a couple of years to save up funds so you can purchase not just what you can afford, but what makes sense for your budget,” Ray-Swales notes. “You want to always leave yourself enough financial freedom to allow you to enjoy your leisure time together.” In-depth discussions about finances prior to tying the knot are not just beneficial, they’re essential. “Every couple should determine what their total debtto-income ratio will be once they have combined their living expenses,” says Ray-Swales. “This will include credit card debt, outstanding student loans, car payments, estimated utility bills, etc. All of their existing debt will determine what they will be able to afford when they are making plans to purchase a home.” “In some instances, one or both individuals own a home prior to getting 408 

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just married |

your new home

married, but the space may not work as well for a couple as it did when living solo. In this case, they will want to speak with a realtor about what their current resale value is. With that information, they will be able to determine if it is the right time to sell and/ or purchase.” 3. HIDDEN COSTS

Check out all of the costs associated with your home-buying purchase. For example, choosing a townhome or condo over a single-family home will inevitably tack on a homeowners-association monthly fee (which may be well worth it, depending on your lifestyle). “Some association fees can be significant—even half as much as the

mortgage payment,” Ray-Swales warns. “Be sure to work these additional fees into your budget so that there are no surprises at the end of the month.”

as a unique sense of style that becomes ‘theirs’ instead of ‘his’ or ‘hers.’” 5. SO M E T H I N G O L D, SOMETHING NEW

4. HIS AND HERS

Balancing out personal style can be a true test of your love for one another (does he really need that basketball hoop on the wall in the spare bedroom?). But compromise is indeed a virtue, and one that will need to be cultivated throughout your lives together. Ray-Swales suggests blending both of your styles together and creating an eclectic living space that reflects both of you. “Mixing styles creates a ‘livedin’ feel and an environment where both feel as though they have made a contribution. This creates harmony, as well

When two lives come together as one, all of the ‘stuff’ that each person has tends to come along for the ride. Sifting through said stuff (and choosing to get rid of some of it) can be emotionally challenging. What one person deems important, the other may dismiss. True communication and respect for one another’s feelings will ease this process tremendously, as well as set the precedent for future communications in your married life. “When individuals have lived separate lives where they may not have had to depend on any other person when making decisions, it is sometimes difficult to step back and consider the other partner’s feelings and opinions before making a major decision they both have to live with long-term. Couples who choose their battles wisely and give in to one another when their decisions are not dire will build a relationship with a strong foundation,” says Ray-Swales. 6 . S A C R E D S PA C E

Above all, remember that you are building not just a home, but your lives together. And just as you want to come home to your spouse every evening, you should look forward to being at home in the living space you have created together. As Ray-Swales notes, “Marriage is a give-and-take relationship that is ongoing throughout the couple’s life together. Learning to give in on things that really are not earth-shattering will allow the couple to build a strong foundation, not only in their decorating styles, but also in their marriage.” 410 

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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Rachel & Estevan writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography J. BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

04.29.14

“Estevan and I met in February of 2013 at our mutual friends’ game night where we were the only two single people,”

recounts bride Rachel. “They swear it was a coincidence.” We’re pretty sure it wasn’t. For their spring wedding, the couple selected a fresh, seasonal palette of mint and soft pinks, and filled their rustic-elegant venue with touches of burlap, mercury glass and vintage furniture including rough-hewn farm tables, refurbished doors and wine barrels. Describing her favorite wedding moments, Rachel recounts sipping margaritas made with her father-in-law’s secret recipe and partying to a lively mix of country, pop and Tejano music. But most of all, she cherishes the memory of her father-daughter dance to The Temptations’ “My Girl.” “My dad sang this song to me while he taught me to swim in our backyard. It is my first memory, and a precious reminder of our relationship.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   • 

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 rachel hamblin

&

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&

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A LTERATIO N S

Wedding

R ES O U R C E D I R EC TO RY

The Grove 95

Shepard Hill Estates 93

Kristin Johnston Bridal Tailoring 194

Hacienda Las Flores El Palomino Ranch 137

Sheraton North Houston 70

MW Couture 215

Heather’s Glen 148-149

Shirley Acres 128

HESS Club 127

St. Regis Aspen Resort 5

BANKS & FINA NC I A L P L A NNI NG

Hilton Americas Houston 79

Star Fleet Yachts 144

Mutual of Omaha Bank 408

Hilton Garden Inn Pearland 126

Sweetwater Country Club 123

Hilton Houston North 36

Sylvan Beach Pavilion 151

BEAUTY & H E A LTH

Hilton Houston Post Oak 43

Table on Post Oak 67

Aishah El-Akkari Makeup Artistry 234

Hilton Houston Westchase 76

The San Luis Resort,

Cleopatra’s Secret 236

Hotel Derek 71

Hayley & Co. 234

Hotel Galvez & Spa 64

The Tremont House 65

Hilda & Co. Airbrush Make-Up 234

Hotel Granduca 111

Veranda by *17 at

Hilda Kershman Makeup Artist 237

Hotel ZaZa Houston 6-7

Shrink Studios 237

The Houston Club 76

The Villagio 142

Texas Center for Cosmetic & Implant

Houston Event Centers 39

Walden on Lake Houston

Dentistry 235 TheWeaveologist.com 236

Houston Marriott North 138

Spa & Conference Center 74

The Sam Houston Hotel 37

Golf & Country Club 123

Houston Racquet Club 143

Waterpoint Premier Lakeside Venue 105

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 10-11

The Westin Galleria 69

BRIDA L SHOWS

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 24-25

The Westin Oaks 69

I Do! Bridal Soiree - The Corinthian Bind-In

Kemah Gardens 145

Weston Lakes Country Club 72

La Colombe d’Or 35

Willow Fork Country Club 123

CEREMO NY & R EC E PTI O N

La Fontaine Reception Hall 122

The Woodlands Resort

Agave Estates 81

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 31

Ashelynn Manor 75

Las Velas 131

Ashton Gardens 16-17

The Lasker Inn 144

CU LIN ARY S ERV ICES

The Astorian 14-15

Los Candiles Reception Hall 102

Café Natalie 299

The Bell Tower on 34th Street 21

The Lyceum 68

Capitol Beverage Service 290

Boardwalk FantaSea Yacht Charters 142

Madera Estates 109

DGZ Chocolates 295

The Bougainvilleas 155

Magnolia Hotel Houston 99

Gigi’s Cupcakes 292

Brennan’s Houston 80

Moffitt Oaks 121

Hannah Joy's Cakes 295

Briscoe Manor 101

Northgate Country Club 147

M.E.B. Cakes 294

Butler’s Courtyard 135

Northwest Forest 125

Jackson and Company 2-3

Cadillac Bar 126

Old Glory Ranch 34

Nothing Bundt Cakes 296

Chateau Cocomar - IFC-1

Omni Houston Hotel 19

Sugar Bunch Creations 297

Chateau Polonez 86-87

Ouisie’s Table 77

Supreme Kakes & More 293

Citadel On Kirby 153

The Overlook 85

Susie’s Cakes & Confections 289

City of La Porte 100

The Parador 30

Tasty Image Chocolates 296

The Corinthian 2-3

Pecan Grove Plantation

Trifles Gourmet Desserts 298

Cross Key Acres 146 Crowne Plaza Houston Brookhollow 38

Country Club 123

& Conference Center 133

Who Made the Cake! 291

Peli Peli 141 Petroleum Club of Houston 97

D EST IN AT ION WED D ING & H ON EY M OON

Crystal Ballroom at the Rice 115

Pine Forest Country Club 91

Cullen’s 146

The Power Center 138

Elias Events 400

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston

Prohibition Supperclub & Bar 98

Hotel Galvez & Spa 64

Quail Valley City Centre 128

Kemah Gardens 145

Rainbow Lodge 80

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 31

Downtown 122 DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway Plaza 32

Raveneaux Country Club 73

Old Glory Ranch 34

Downtown Aquarium 124

Rockin’ Star Ranch 100

Pompano Beach Club 397

Dukessa 129

Rosemary’s Garden 103

Rockin’ Star Ranch 100

Enchanted Cypress Ballroom 139

Royal Oaks Country Club 113

The San Luis Resort,

Four Seasons Hotel Houston 23

Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston 33

The Gallery 107

Serenity Cove Lodge 78

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Shepard Hill Estates 93

P HOTOG RAP H Y

Star Fleet Yachts 159

St. Regis Aspen Resort 5

1 Cinema Photo + Video 374

Table on Post Oak 159

The Tremont House 65

A Lifetime of Memories

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference

FLOWERS, DECOR & R E NTA LS

Adam Nyholt Photographer 353

A Memorable Event 263

Akil Bennett Photography 361

AJ’s Urban Petals 256

Chris Curry Wedding Photography 358

Any Occasion Party Rental 260

Civic Photos 367

VID EOG RAP H Y

Arteflora 254

Click Photo & Video 343

31 Films 384

Darryl & Co. - Bind-In

Color Tyme Photography 354

A&A Photo and Video 382

Dream Bouquet 261

D. Jones Photography 355

Ama Photography & Cinema 383

EB Inc Events 265

DC Stanley Photography 365

Pixel Studio Productions 386

Flora & Eventi 257

Depshots Photography 373

Sculpting With Time Productions 385

Flowers of Kingwood 268

Ever & Anon Photography 368

H Team Design Group 269

Fernando Weberich Photography BC

WEBS IT ES

HEB Blooms 267

FireHeart Photography 371

HoustonBridalShows.com

Johanna Terry Events 264

Genovese Ashford Studios 371

HoustonWeddingBlog.com

Lary’s Florist & Designs 255

In a Lifetime Photography 375

WeddingsInHouston.com

LBL Event Rentals 273

J. Cogliandro Photography 357

Plants N’ Petals 258-259

Joseph West Photography 356

WED D IN G AT T IRE

The Senterpiece 266

Kreative Angle Photography 369

Al’s Formal Wear 198

Something Special in Flowers 262

MD Turner Photography 375

Brickhouse Bridal 195

Todd Events 8-9

M. Wang Photography 357

Houston Bridal Gallery 209

Ron Dillon Photography 360

Kristin Johnston Bridal Tailoring 194

SB Image Studios 370

Ivory Bridal Atelier 199

Steve Lee Photography 359

La Rêve Bridal Couture 192

Photography 352

GIF T REG ISTRY Bering’s 330 Blue Leaf Houston 332

The Sam Houston Hotel 159

Mia Bridal Couture 193

Celebrity China & Cookware 334

P HOTO BOOT H

MW Couture 215

Kuhl-Linscomb 331

Click Photo, Video & Photobooth 343

Nima Bridal 213

Williams-Sonoma 333

DJU Productions 347

Now & Forever Bridal Boutique 197

Jonny Black Productions 341

Parvani Vida Bridal & Formal 205

INVITATIO NS Bering’s 320

P R E-WED D IN G C ELEB RAT ION S

Bluebonnet Press 319

Brennan’s Houston 156

DGZ Weddings 318

Cadillac Bar 156

Isabella Invitations 318

Downtown Aquarium 157

Katie & Co. 319

The Grove 157

Ten Four Paper 320

Hilton Americas Houston 157

J EWEL RY Donoho’s Jewellers 13 Nazar’s Fine Jewelry 189 Wolf Diamonds 181

Houston Event Centers 157

The Princess Bridal 198 T. Carolyn Fashions 194 Tux Mobile 196 Twin Oaks Cleaners 219 Weddings by Debbie 207 Winnie Couture Flagship Bridal Salon 203

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 157

WED D IN G M IN IST ERS

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 157

Weddings Performed 170

La Colombe d’Or 157 La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 157

WED D IN G S ERVIC ES

The Lasker Inn 158

A Day To Remember 166

LI GHTING & SOU ND

Maggiano’s Little Italy 158

Calberts Weddings & Events 170

Bright Star Productions 283

Magnolia Hotel Houston 158

Elias Events 400

DJU Productions 347

Mr. Peeples Seafood and Steaks 158

Events by Disa 168

Ouisie’s Table 158

Events by Doyin 171

M US IC & ENTERTA I NME NT

The Overlook 158

Gray & Associates Events 169

Adams & Green Entertainment

Peli Peli 158

Kat Creech Events 166

The Power Center 158

Schwartz & Woodward 167

Zadok Jewelers 183

Agency 340 DJU Productions 347

Rainbow Lodge 159

Jonny Black Productions 341

Royal Oaks Country Club 159

YOU R N EW H OM E

Scott Graham - Pianist & Composer 343

Sambuca - Crystal Ballroom

Michelle Ray Properties 409

Strings Attached Houston 340

at the Rice 159 Seasons 52

416 

Center 159 Veranda by *17 at

•  W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

159

Veranda Realty Group 411

Profile for Weddings in Houston

Weddings in Houston - JANUARY-JUNE 2015  

Weddings in Houston - JANUARY-JUNE 2015