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Re a d t h e La t e s t Is u e1

NOVEMBER/ DECEMBER


Weddings in Houston

400+ Pages of Fresh ideas, REAL WEDDINGS, inspiration & Houston's BEST WEDDING PROS


Weddings in Houston

400+ ideas,

Pages

of Fresh

& inspiration Houston's REAL WEDDINGS

FROM

BEST WEDDING PROS


Weddings in Houston

400+ ideas,

Pages

of Fresh

& inspiration Houston's REAL WEDDINGS

FROM

BEST WEDDING PROS

Special Issue

Display UNtil February 28 $5.95

April 06

www.weddingsinhouston.com


Houstonu

wedding Blog HoustonWeddingBlog.com

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


to the reader The moment of transition from beloved to bride-to-be is a profound one. In a world of missed chances and not-quite-Mr.-Rights, you two have found each other, finally. Soon, you will celebrate, with those you love most dearly, the magnificent fortune of that bond—and they, in turn, will honor and celebrate both of you.

Weddings i n H o u s t o n®

FALL | WINTER 2014 Founder & Chairman JB Day

The occasion of your wedding is unlike any other. And its unique combination of ritual and revelry offers you the opportunity to express yourself—your style, your personality, your culture, your emotions—in wonderful ways.

Publisher & CEO Radhika J. Day

President Vik Day

Managing Editor

In this issue of Weddings in Houston, we bring you the ideas, materials and expertise to show off who you are, and how very much you love each other. Peruse our “Salon Showcase” for a glimpse at the ambiance and gorgeous style trends you’ll find at Houston’s hottest bridal salons. Delve into “Tastemakers & Trendsetters,” where we profile five of Houston’s most acclaimed wedding-design talents. Uncover a baroque-meets-burlesque wedding fantasy; ascend to an urban rooftop for cosmopolitan bridal inspiration; tour exquisite tablescapes; feast your eyes on beautiful Houston Real Weddings, including our first-ever samesex commitment ceremony. You’ve already made one exceptional choice—picking up your copy of Weddings in Houston. Plenty more are yet to come, from flowers to cake to favors. We’ll be with you every step of the way—in print, at weddingsinhouston.com, on the Houston Wedding Blog, on social media, and in person at our signature I Do! Bridal Soirees, to help ensure that the moment of transition from bride-to-be to wife, is the most memorable of your life.

Natasha Garber

Account Executives brent mcniel CHRISTINE NOKTA

Operations Manager sue conner

Production Manager Carrie Skupinsky

Production Coordinator ASHLEY PICKETT

Editorial Assistant Michelle Naik

Production Assistant CLARA SNELSON

Art Director Charlotte Micus

Designers Malia gattas, john gattas

Photography Larry Fagala

Styling summar salah

Contributing Writers

Founder & Chairman

Publisher & CEO

Christina Caldwell, mauri elbel, rina chandarana John, carrie skupinsky, julie lemerond, maggie marton, blake miller, shari lynn rothstein-kramer, rachel lincoln sarnoff

Weddings in Houston LP 525 Arlington Street Houston TX 77007 713.464.4321 info@weddingsinhouston.com WeddingsInHouston.com HoustonWeddingBlog.com HoustonBridalShows.com AUGUST: Oscar De La Renta Gown Joan Pillow Bridal Salon; Necklace Joseph; Earrings Kendra Scott; Bouquet Darryl & Co.; GROOM: Barbetti Blazer, Bernardini Shirt, Chiari Belt, Chiari Trousers & Tie Versione; Boutonniere Darryl & Co. Location Houston Oaks Country Club; Photography Larry Fagala; Styling Summar Salah; Hair & Makeup The Perfect Face OCTOBER: Inbal Dror Gown Joan Pillow Bridal Salon; Couture Mask Cathy Rascoe; Jardin Bracelet Tootsies; Necklace BHLDN; Location The Corinthian; Photography Larry Fagala; Styling Summar Salah; Hair & Makeup The Perfect Face DECEMBER: Austin Scarlett Gown Mia Bridal Couture; Couture Headpiece Cathy Rascoe; Earrings & Necklace Neiman Marcus; Bracelet Tootsies; Location Houston Oaks Country Club; Photography Larry Fagala; Styling Summar Salah; Hair & Makeup The Perfect Face

Weddings in Houston Magazine is printed semi-annually and distributed with six covers. Content changes in January and July. Copyright© 2014, 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.


wedding planning

contents CE RE MO N Y & RECEPTION

24 ESTATE OF GRACE Sprawling lawns, verdant views and regal architecture are just a few of the fine features you’ll find at Houston’s estates, mansions, gardens and chateaux.

44 AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER I Do! Bridal Soiree at The Corinthian 52 WELL REHEARSED Before the big day, have a good night.

70 STAND ON CEREMONY The rites of marriage take a personal turn.

88 BEAUTIFUL BOWS 90 SMALL PLATE, BIG BITE Caterer Peter Callahan makes masterpieces in miniature.

100 THE LITTLE THINGS Small wedding details can have big emotional impact.

114 COCKTAIL CULTURE Mix up a little magic at your wedding reception.

130  I DO! BRIDAL SOIREE AT THE ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON 132 SOCIAL STUDIES Learn how to invite social media to take part in your wedding—and where to draw the line. W e d d in g S ervices

152 MOTHERWISE Dress smart, with fashion etiquette for moms of brides and grooms.

156 TASTEMAKERS & TRENDSETTERS Plants N’ Petals

158 Making Room For Mother-In-Law She’s not your mom, she’s not exactly your friend…so who is this new woman in your life?

in every issue 144 Pre-wedding & Rehearsal Dinner Celebrations

148 Ceremony & Reception Reference Guide

415 Wedding Resource Directory


contents

wedding style Jewe lry

166 ROCK RULES Follow these 4 expert tips for choosing and buying your perfect diamond.

174 BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL 176 TASTEMAKERS & TRENDSETTERS Events in Bloom W e d d in g Attire

178 5 FASHION POINTERS This one’s for the grooms, gals.

186 FOR HER 192 HOUSTON SALON SHOWCASE 200 STYLE FROM HEAD TO TOE Complete your wedding-day look with the perfect bridal accessories.

216 OPULENCE AMONG THE OAKS Baroque meets burlesque in a sun-dappled forest clearing.

206 FOR HIM 229 ALLURING GOWNS Stunning bridal styles from the I Do! Bridal Soiree runway, presented by Weddings in Houston.

beauty & h ealt h

238 BEAUTIFUL BRIDE Top fitness and beauty experts offer their best advice for getting big-day gorgeous.

finer details 246 BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

248 TASTEMAKERS & TRENDSETTERS Todd Events

Flowers, DEcor & Rentals

252 UNEXPECTED BLOOMS Flowers bring fresh elegance to oft-overlooked reception and ceremony areas.

260 6 SMART FLOWER-BUYING TIPS Don’t pick your petals without them.

268 TASTEMAKERS & TRENDSETTERS Darryl & Co.

270 THE GRACIOUS TABLE Setting a beautiful wedding table is a labor of creativity…and of love.

281 TABLES BY DESIGN

308 NEW YORK’S QUEEN OF CAKES Sylvia Weinstock wows with her fabulous wedding confections. In vitations

310 A MOST INTRIGUING INVITATION Give guests a window into your one-of-a-kind wedding.

316 JUST MY TYPE Erika Firm’s passion for printing is an invitation-seeking bride’s best asset.

318 INVITING IDEAS Gift Reg istry

320 THE GOOD STUFF Classic registry gifts are heirlooms in the making—so choose wisely and well.

330 OUR FAVORITE THINGS Music & E ntertainment

332 UTTERLY ENTERTAINING Let’s get this party started—and keep it going strong. T ransportation

340 THAT’S HOW WE ROLL Cu l inary Serv ices

292 LOCAL FLAVOR If it’s fresh in the state, it belongs on the plate.

302 PERSONAL TASTE 303 ELEGANT CAKES

Arrive—and depart—in style on your wedding day.

344 STYLE AND THE CITY Houston’s skyline provides the perfect backdrop for an urban bride’s rooftop reverie


documenting the day

contents Ph OTO g RAPhY

350 SNAP JUDGMENT A lot goes into finding a photographer with whom you “click.”

362 20 UNFORGETTABLE SHOTS You’ve got one chance to capture the moment—don’t miss it!

368 TASTEMAKERS & TRENDSETTERS Lary’s Florist & Designs

370 BOOTH OR DARE Grab a prop and strike a pose—it’s all in good (make that great!) fun.

376 PICTURE PERFECT Showcase and share your wow wedding photos. vIdEO g RAPhY

382 LIGHTS! CAMERA! CELEBRATION! The modern wedding film is a major production.

just married 389 AFTERNOON DELIGHT

Vibrant hues and sweet retro touches make for an easy, breezy, daytime wedding.

dESTI N ATI O N WEddINg & h O N EY MO O N

394 GREAT ESCAPES Explore three exotic honeymoon destinations that will transport you out of the ordinary…and into the extraordinary.

real weddings 38 LISA HOPKINS

& DONALD BARRY

48 RASHI VATS & DANIEL GOTERA 66 JORDAN DE SHAZER & MOISES GONZALEZ

82 IRIS VILLARREAL & JAMES SHENE 96 ANTHONY DOWD & RICHARD RAY 110 ASHLYN HIGIE & ZACH BLAKEMAN 124 MICHELLE MECOM & CHRIS O’MALLEY

138 JESSICA OCHOA & ANDREW KELSON 170 SARAH FABIAN & LOGAN PREWETT 188 BRITTANY TINER & RYAN DECK

403 HONEYMOON MUST-HAVES

212 MARLA DOUGHTY & RYAN MURPHY

YOuR N EW hO ME

222 RACHEL CRAMER

404 MARRIAGE & MONEY It’s never too early to start a financial dialogue with your future spouse.

408 RIGHT AT HOME Planning to invest in a newlywed nest? Let our experts offer guidance.

& JONATHAN COLLETTI

278 SARA PRESTON & BRET LABADIE 326 CAMERON DUNN & BRYAR JOHNSON

358 LANA LJUBOJA & BOJAN MURANOVIC

400 JESSICA LEWIS & DUSTIN PRIEMER 412 KERRY LEVINE & KRISTOPHER BOLLMAN


venue La colombe d’or photo joshua tyi photography

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ceremony & reception 24 wedding services 152

wedding planning 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.

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ceremony & reception W E D D I N G

P L A N N I N G

estate of grace

Sprawling lawns, verdant views and regal architecture are just a few of the fine features you’ll find at Houston’s estates, mansions, gardens and chateaux.

From regal estates to extravagant mansions, Houston offers a bounty of private venues to the couple seeking elegance, picturesque views, and room to revel. Here, we explore nine fine properties that have it all. M a d e r a E s tat e s

Something about these 17 picturesque pine-blanketed acres, where Western writer John Latham wrote and published over 1,000 short stories and seven novels, spoke to Larry and Kim Austin. The couple loves a good story, and when the old Latham property in Conroe

writer Mauri Elbel ~ photo fireheart photography~ venue agave estates

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ceremony & reception became available in 2007, they couldn’t resist. From the beginning, the Austins wanted to recreate the feel of a locale very close to their hearts: the historical, artsy enclave of San Miguel de Allende, nestled in the highlands of central Mexico. Collaborating with architect and artist James Hogg, the team created a unique spot for brides and grooms to begin their own story together by thoughtfully transporting pieces of San Miguel de Allende to Madera Estates. From its Spanishderived name to its unique furnishings and artisan-crafted elements, Madera Estates has become one of Houston’s premier wedding venues. The venue offers both indoor and outdoor ceremonies as well as indoor receptions. The 5,000-square-foot Hacienda reception hall, which features six

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chandeliers, soft ivory walls trimmed in wood, and cathedral doors imported from San Miguel de Allende, seats up to 300 and includes a dance floor and two adjoining rooms. “Most of our brides elect to have their ceremony in our beautiful courtyard in front of our Spanish-inspired, wood-burning fireplace, just as the sun sets,” says Katy Weintritt, general manager. Others opt for a dance-floor setup in the courtyard so guests can sway beneath the stars. Briscoe Manor

Just minutes away from downtown Houston, Briscoe Manor feels miles away from the ordinary. Marrying Texas sophistication with chic elegance on 55 acres of Briscoe family land, the venue’s expansive grounds echo the landscape of Texas Hill Country,

complete with everything from limestone architecture to a small herd of native longhorns that graze peacefully in the distance. With an on-site chapel that can hold up to 300 guests, brides seeking a church can enjoy the convenience of hosting their ceremony and reception in one place. After the ceremony, guests can gather in the courtyard for cocktails before migrating to the ballroom for the reception. The back patio, complete with a fire pit, is the ideal spot to incorporate creative ideas such as s’more stations and cigar bars. The private manor has both indoor and outdoor capabilities and prides itself on its mission of hosting only one event per day. “We feel that every person who comes through here deserves our undivided attention––a


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ceremony & reception bride should feel like she is the only one getting married that day,” says Lesli Hirsh, director sales and events. An expansive lakeside area surrounded by oaks and pecans is another picturesque outdoor ceremony option that accommodates up to 500. For receptions, Briscoe’s ballroom holds 350 to 370 guests buffet style and has a 320-seated dinner capacity. After the dinner and dancing have wound down, Briscoe Manor, which happens to be located outside of Houston city limits, can coordinate a fireworks finale, for a wedding sendoff no guest will ever forget. A s h e ly n n M a n o r

Ashelynn Manor is a serene, close-tohome wedding destination, featuring a breathtaking mansion nestled on

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25 park-like acres. In 2003, Kevin and Tessie Ashe purchased the property and transformed it into one of the most admired full-service venues in the greater Houston area. More recently, they added a vintage chapel to the venue. “Our grounds are landscaped with roses all around and our guests always comment on how peaceful and comfortable the grounds feel,” says Tessie Ashe, noting the venue’s quaint arbors, picket fences and Amish gazebos— perfect for wedding photos. While it feels remote and private, Ashelynn Manor is conveniently centered between Houston and College Station, making it an easily accessible destination with a variety of options for ceremonies and receptions. “Our Carriage House is tailor made for the

perfect reception,” says Ashe. “If a bride chooses to have an outdoor wedding and the weather becomes inclement, she has the option to move her ceremony into the chapel, since we only do one wedding at a time.” She adds: “The beauty of having your wedding here at Ashelynn Manor is we have a wonderful staff that will be here to help you with all your details. We are here to serve you.” C h at e a u P o l o n e z

Nestled in the forests of Northwest Houston, Chateau Polonez is a blend of European-inspired architecture, lush landscaping and serenity, situated on five green acres. Nearing its decade mark, this European-style venue features vaulted ceilings throughout, a dramatic double-staircase entry, a


ceremony & reception beautiful grand ballroom, and five acres of naturally wooded and manicured gardens. “Our focus at Chateau Polonez is for every event to get our full attention,” says Kasia Senko Tran, director of marketing. From the domed ceiling, featuring a hand-painted mural of the sky, to the lush landscaped grounds complete with a gazebo overlooking the lake, to the chandeliers, satin curtains and chapel-like setting of the indoor ballroom, Chateau Polonez makes a profound impression on guests from the moment they enter. The indoor ceremony area, featuring a dramatic backdrop of tall windows overlooking the lush gardens, can accommodate up to 200 guests––a great first option, but also an excellent backup plan for outdoor ceremonies

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when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Chateau Polonez can accommodate up to 240 guests downstairs and an additional 112 on the upstairs balconies, for a total capacity of 352 either seated or buffet style, but the venue also caters to intimate events as small as 20, by drawing satin curtains to section off areas of the downstairs ballroom. C h at e a u C o c o m a r

Step into Chateau Cocomar and you are immediately transported into a lavish European dream. The expansive 37,000-square-foot venue boasts massive chandeliers and wood-paneled walls imported from a private European collection. “It is a journey of love and elegance––from the first moment you step

onto the palatial grounds you are transported to another time and place,” says owner Karen Martin. Chateau Cocomar’s exterior is surrounded by lush gardens, grand fountains, courtyards and a gazebo, while its interior is an equally stunning blend of gothic and cathedral arches. “The unique feature of Chateau Cocomar is that you can host your entire wedding festivities without ever having to flip a space,” says Martin. “You can get ready and dressed in one area, then walk to the grand second-floor ballroom and have your ceremony there, then walk outside or into the various side rooms for your cocktail hour, and finally walk to the grand first-floor ballroom and have your reception.” Because Chateau Cocomar hosts only one event per day, the bride has myriad


ceremony & reception options for ceremonies and receptions, depending on guest count––450 guests can be accommodated for a seated dinner in the first-floor ballroom, 250 guests in the second-floor ballroom; combining the two spaces yields a 700-guest capacity. “Because Chateau Cocomar is so grand, sometimes brides are a little overwhelmed by the space and how it can be used,” says Martin, who urges her brides-to-be to remain calm. “Our logistics directors are here to assist and design the best floor plan for your dream wedding.” Haras Hacienda

Haras Hacienda, a luxurious estate located in the equestrian heart of Texas, encompasses a private boutique hotel, a fine Mexican restaurant and catering service—and will soon be

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home to a spa and spacious convention center. Located just 30 minutes from downtown Houston, this property exudes the feeling of a true hacienda, with its warm Latin flair, arch-covered walkways, and elegant chandeliers. With expansive green space and a large lake with a wooden bridge linking to a small island, Haras Hacienda provides a breathtaking backdrop for the big day no matter where you choose to wed on the property. Book the spacious outdoor plaza centered around a circular fountain, host a cocktail party near the outdoor pool or say your vows in the chapel overlooking the lake. Haras Hacienda can seat between 800 and 1,000 for large weddings, and offers the added perks of in-house catering, ample parking, and the ability to host up to 14

guests overnight in a private cottage. The best part, according to owner Carmina Zamorano? Haras Hacienda has its own white horse-drawn carriage, which transports the bride and her father to the ceremony area, where her expectant groom-to-be awaits. T h e B e ll T o w e r o n 3 4 t h

Whether you envision an intimate or spectacular wedding, look no further than The Bell Tower on 34th. Located in the heart of Houston, this legendary property is listed on the National Historic Registry, dating back to Stephen F. Austin and Baron De Bastrop. In 2009, after extensive renovations, The Bell Tower on 34th became what it is today: “like something straight out of a movie set,” says Angela Nicholson Igo, director of


ceremony & reception marketing and advertising. “For almost 200 years, the property has held a  little-known place in Texas history.” The Bell Tower features magnificent architecture inspired by grand Italian villas and luxurious haciendas. A unique destination-style facility, The Bell Tower is ideal for special celebrations with more than 75 guests, and accommodates up to 750 for seated dinners. Perhaps its most famed feature is its outdoor courtyard, featuring a 30-foot water wall that illuminates the evening with brilliant colors, while the chapel and ballrooms evoke the feeling of being inside a majestic European space. And with its large grounds and “sayyes-to-the-bride” service approach, The Bell Tower can add flames to its water wall for maximum impact, bring in a

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50-foot-high Ferris wheel, or arrange or accommodate anything from skywriting to crop-duster flyovers. A g av e E s tat e s

Located in Katy, just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Houston, is an oasis of tranquility known as Agave Estates. The vast property actually houses two venues—Agave Road and Agave Real—each with its own unique style and character. What began on 30 acres has grown into a sprawling 47-acre, all-inclusive venue offering on-site floral, invitation design, photo booth availability and custom linens. Immaculately manicured tropical landscaping accentuates the rustic yet elegant architecture found throughout the property, while thoughtful decor and unique features abound.

“Here, our guests see lush, tropical gardens and buildings reminiscent of old Mexico––you get a tropical, ‘OldWorld’ setting minutes from Houston,” says venue director Steve Livingston. He notes that recent trends at the property include decor schemes based on lace, burlap, and natural wood centerpieces; brides in cowboy boots; and Chinese paper lanterns hung above the dance floor for an extra touch of festivity. Ashton Gardens

With its lush forest setting and glassenclosed chapel, Ashton Gardens is an ideal wedding location for brides who want the picturesque setting and relaxing feel of an estate wedding, but with the tradition of a house-ofworship ceremony. Couples who marry


ceremony & reception at Ashton Gardens will find plenty of room for preparing in the venue’s spacious bridal dressing suite and private groom’s lounge, before making their way down the aisle between classic ivory pews. And because Ashton Gardens understands that it’s not just the magic of the moment, but memories of that moment, that are so vital to the bride and groom, the chapel features a loft just for photographers and videographers, so they can capture the ceremony perfectly without intruding upon it. Once the vows have been spoken, the celebration may commence—in either of Ashton Gardens’ ballrooms, which both feature floor-to-ceiling windows, crystal chandeliers, and fountained courtyards that can be tented and air conditioned to expand the venue’s

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reception space, and welcome as many loved ones as the couple holds dear. And even modest-budget brides can enjoy the wedding of their dreams, since Ashton Gardens offers complete packages that include tables, linens, simple but elegant centerpieces, specialty lighting, and a built-in dance floor for partying the night away. H e a t h e r ’ s Gl e n

If dewy lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, cascading waterfalls and bubbling fountains are your idea of a wedding Paradise, then Heather’s Glen just may be the perfect venue for you. Located 20 miles north of Houston in scenic Conroe, Heather’s Glen features all of these intriguing elements—and much more. At Heather’s Glen, the bride has her choice of a garden ceremony, typically

set around the centerpiece of a garlanded gazebo, or a more traditional sharing of vows, staged in the venue’s high-ceilinged chapel, which features stained-glass windows, a spiral staircase and ample windows. Receptions take place in a 100-yearold mansion, where the in-house catering department can provide anything from luscious pork tenderloin to festive fajitas, along with add-ons including ice sculptures, chocolate fountains and “wow”-worthy wedding cakes. While the venue’s manicured grounds and Victorian-influenced indoor spaces draw brides by droves to Heather’s Glen, it’s the full-service wedding packages that often seal the deal, offering both value and a stress-free planning experience—a perfect combination for the practical and elegant Houston bride.


Lisa d Donald REAL WEDDINGS

~ JanUarY 1 9, 2014 ~

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While their Match.com introduction might not be the essence of tradition, Don’s request to Lisa’s dad for permission to marry his daughter certainly was. “After getting my dad’s blessing, he dropped to one knee and I said, ‘Yes!’” recalls the bride—who also happens to be director of catering and conferences for one of Houston’s most revered wedding venues: The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. Naturally, the couple wed at Lisa’s longtime place of employment, aided in planning by the hotel’s social catering manager, Jim Gray. Highlights of the joyful occasion included a ceremony filled with poignant readings by the couple’s many family members. Avid foodies both, Don and Lisa incorporated wine pairings into their lavish menu, and treated guests to exquisite desserts, almond-and-raspberry wedding cake, and postprandial cigars. “My favorite part of the night was singing and dancing with my niece and goddaughter Caroline to—yes—‘Sweet Caroline,’ by Neil Diamond,” Lisa recalls happily. “The entire room joined in!” writer natasha garber ~ photography D. Jones Photography W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names lisa hopkins

donald barry  number of guests 135  venue the houstonian hotel, club & spa  lighting bright star productions  cae susie’s cakes

&

confections  officiant minister lynn turner, weddings performed  photography d. jones photography  honeymoon hawaii

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&


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an affair

to remember

the I Do! BRIDAL Soiree at the corinthian

location the corinthian ~ writer Natasha Garber photography D. Jones photoGRAPHY ~ videography stills A&A PHOTO AND VIDEO

On the evening of Thursday, April 17, an exclusive selection of Houston’s finest wedding experts displayed their talents, services and wares amid the splendor of downtown Houston’s iconic neoclassical venue. The I Do! Bridal Soiree at The Corinthian offered stylish Houston brides an opportunity to indulge, fantasize and relax, all while planning the event of a lifetime. From dazzling designer tablescapes to mingling models attired in the season’s most exquisite couture gowns, the I Do! Bridal Soiree at The Corinthian was a bridal bash unlike any other—one that wouldn’t have been possible without the following contributors: Corinthian director of events Boyd Bryan and his exceptional staff; catering firm Jackson and Company for the evening’s delicious food and beverages; Linens by Lisa for the beautiful linens; Jonny Black Productions for entertainment and emceeing; A&A Photo and Video for video footage; and D. Jones Photography for documenting this unforgettable evening.

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Rashi d Daniel

REAL WEDDINGS

~ october 1 8-19, 2013 ~

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She’s a news reporter for FOX/KRIV, he’s a sports reporter for CBS/KHOU, and their Catholic-Hindu, utterly beautiful, twoday Houston wedding celebration is most definitely media worthy. Both first-generation Americans, Rashi and Daniel made their backgrounds—her family is from India, his hails from Cuba—a major part of their nuptial event. Marriage rites and rituals included a Catholic cathedral wedding, a baraat and a Hindu ceremony, and, touchingly, a tribute to both sets of paternal grandparents, who had both recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversaries. “It was a special moment because everyone saw how far our families have come,” Rashi says, “and how we were seamlessly coming together.”

writer natasha garber ~ photography SB Image Studios W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names rashi vats

daniel gotera  number of guests 300  venue doubletree by hilton houston greenway plaza  proposal site state &

fair of texas in dallas—where they’d had their first date four years earlier  photography sb image studios  videography & photo booth a&a photo and video  registry williams-sonoma  honeymoon hawaii

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ceremony & reception

well

rehearsed

Before the big day, have a good night.

writer Mauri Elbel ~ photo J. cogliandro photography

A kickoff to the main event, the rehearsal dinner sets the tone for the most unforgettable day of your life. But this pre-wedding extravaganza is more than mere R&R following your practice session for the big day— often, it’s the first time both sides of the family come together with the couple and their wedding party for mixing, mingling and merriment.

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ceremony & reception “The rehearsal dinner is like the final countdown to the big day,” says Houston wedding planner Sobi Qazi of Lion & Lamb Event Services. “It is a time of joy and celebration for both families. Enjoy this evening as individuals, for it will be the last moment before officially becoming one.” We checked in with a few of Houston’s top wedding planners, and those at the helm of the city’s hottest rehearsal-dinner venues, to boil down the basics—and seek sensational design, cuisine and planning ideas—for the second most important night of your life. The Lowdown

Wondering what a rehearsal dinner entails? After a general run-through of the processional and recessional,

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ceremony & reception the rehearsal dinner presents the opportunity for a relaxed and intimate celebration with your closest guests. “Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner served as a great way for both families to meet and get to know each other,” says Qazi. However, as families have increasingly grown close prior to

wedding festivities, the rehearsal dinner has become another celebration of the upcoming nuptials—an opportune time for undistracted moments spent with close family and friends. Best Time

The rehearsal dinner typically is held

directly after the ceremony rehearsal, says Allison C. Haworth, banquet sales manager for Maggiano’s Little Italy. The ideal time to host the rehearsal dinner is the night before your wedding. Your family and wedding party will be in wedding mode, so it is the time you can guarantee that the majority of them can attend. Because they will already be reserving the time off for your wedding, keeping the rehearsal dinner on the day before your wedding will allow them to maximize their time off from work to spend it with you. Nevertheless, some wedding planners see couples deciding to hold the rehearsal dinner a few days prior to the wedding to ensure ample time for relaxing and recovering before the big day. Who Hosts

Traditionally, the groom’s family hosts the rehearsal dinner, but sometimes both families split the costs, says Vinceanne Mandola, partner in popular rehearsaldinner venue Grappino di Nino. “With traditions continuously changing, we find many couples either pay for their rehearsal dinner themselves, or both sets of parents host the event together,” concurs Qazi. Toast Time

Rehearsal dinner toasts are often a point of confusion, so here are some basic rules to follow as you raise your glass: Generally speaking, the welcome toast starts with the groom’s family, and the bride’s family can respond in kind, says Jo Ann Schwartz Woodward, owner of distinctive wedding-planning firm Schwartz & Woodward. The best man is next in line, and friends and family who wish to toast, share stories and entertain the bride and groom, 56 

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ceremony & reception follow suit. Toasts to the bride and groom are given by the best man, maid of honor and the groom’s parents, notes Nicole Wilker, who heads up private parties at Brennan’s Houston. In recent years, the “rules” have relaxed a bit and toasts have expanded to include siblings, cousins and childhood friends. At the conclusion of the dinner, a thank-you speech typically is given by the groom’s parents, if they have hosted the event.

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I n v i tat i o n E t i q u e t t e

There is no rule that says you have to invite anyone and everyone to your rehearsal dinner. That said, there are certainly people whom you should include. Your immediate families, your wedding party and their spouses, and in some cases out-of-town guests, are included, too. At the end of the day, the size of your guest list should be based on, and accommodate, your budget. If

you cannot include your out-of-town guests in order to stay on budget, then offer them an alternative by providing them with a list of fun things to do around town. Local shopping, restaurants, spas and golf are all great activities guests can take advantage of, and will help them turn your wedding into a mini vacation. The Dish

When it comes to what’s for dinner,


ceremony & reception Houston’s hottest venues can whip up a customized menu to suit just about any desire or craving. Maggiano’s Haworth suggests a high-end, family-style menu featuring items like crab cakes, asiagocrusted shrimp, peppercorn-crusted sirloin and lobster cannelloni, or a classic family-style menu including “Mom’s” meat lasagna, stuffed mushrooms, rigatoni and chicken parmesan, for more casual affairs. Surefire crowd-pleasers? Haworth recommends butler-passed appetizers, handcrafted cocktails and a signature sweets table. Whether you opt for fine dining or a laid-back scene, Brennan’s wows with everything from its tenderloin and jumbo lump-blue-crab cakes, to more casual alligator meat pies with red beans and rice. “We have been serving Texas Creole since the early 1950s and I must say, it has always been truly unique,” says Wilker. Couples can show off their Southern roots at Ouisie’s Table with menu options like shrimp-and-cheese grits, buffalo tenderloin, wild-boar dishes and chicken-fried steak, says Wafi Dinari, owner and managing partner. “I feel it is important for the rehearsal dinner location and menu to reflect the personalities of the bride and groom,” says Donnette Hansen, owner of Rainbow Lodge—an ideal rehearsal-dinner venue for nature lovers of South Texas. If “deer lease” and “opening day” are familiar phrases in your family, Hansen assures you that you and your loved ones will feel right at home in this game-connoisseurs’ mecca. A few of the Rainbow Lodge’s more casual nibbles are fried oysters with caper tartar, wild game sausages, pheasant tinga tostadas and whole roasted suckling pig, while fancier options include a set menu of items such as pan-roasted sea bass on fresh-corn-and-poblano risotto, 60 

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ceremony & reception bison medallions, lobster lollipops, and duck with olives and preserved lemon. Sipping Pretty

Don’t overlook what’s being poured into the glasses being raised. “It all depends on what the bride and groom feel more comfortable with,” says Tatiana Escobar, catering manager for The Grove, ideally situated on the south end of Houston’s new 11.8-acre urban park, Discovery Green. “After all, it is a celebration for them. I usually recommend having a full bar, beer and wine, so that guests can select a drink of their choice.” That being said, signature cocktails are all the rage for rehearsal dinners and weddings alike. At Brennan’s, the bride and groom can come into the restaurant ahead of time to

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sample signature drinks like the Blushing Bride. “Usually, if a signature cocktail is offered, the couple will limit the alcohol to the cocktail and a selection of wines, and forgo the full liquor bar,” says Wilker. “Most parents like this idea as well, so everyone can be rested and fresh for the big day.” S ta r t E a r ly

When it comes to planning a rehearsal dinner, don’t wait until the last minute. Many couples wait to plan their rehearsal dinner because they are so focused on the rest of the wedding. Remember that the rehearsal dinner will most likely be on a Friday night, which means the busiest time of day on one of the busiest days of the week for restaurants and venues. Reserve your rehearsal-dinner

location within a month after securing your wedding venue and choose a centrally located venue near your wedding ceremony and hotel accommodations to make it convenient for visiting guests. D o n ’ t D u p l i c at e

When selecting the menu for a rehearsal dinner, avoid repeating what will be served at the wedding, says Wilker. “It is important to not duplicate it or upstage it,” she notes. Some couples keep it fancy while others opt for a more relaxed rehearsal dinner since the following day is likely to be formal. Claudia G. de Velasco, owner of A Day To Remember, echoes Wilker’s words. Remember that your wedding and rehearsal dinner are not competitors, she says. “If your wedding is going to be a formal affair, don’t feel pressured to have a black-tie event for the rehearsal dinner. On the contrary, maybe go more relaxed and casual.” The Grove offers a wide range of creative menus to suit just about every taste—from seated rehearsal dinners and stand-up cocktail receptions to buffet or family-style events. “We usually recommend not having any similar items to the wedding menu,” says Escobar. “That way each night can be memorable in its own way.” And while it’s important to keep the rehearsal-dinner food and ambiance distinct from that of the wedding, that doesn’t mean the quality of the event should be less than exceptional. Most importantly, your rehearsal dinner should be inviting, unpretentious and delicious—an environment where guests can relax and enjoy one another’s company, and honor you, your beloved, and your proud families.


Jordan d Moises

REAL WEDDINGS

~ March 1 5, 2014 ~

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“Hook, line and sinker,” is how Jordan describes her feeling about Moises when the then-Sigma-Chi-president texted her, “I like your boots,” following the fraternity-chapter meeting where the two first met working on a philanthropic project. While Moises proposed in Paris, the couple’s wedding was Tex-Mex all the way, from their Houston Livestock Show rehearsal dinner to their menu of chips-and-queso, tamales and plantain-crusted chicken, to the custom Texas-flag boots the bride wore at her reception—which took place, incidentally, at her family’s vast horse ranch, where Jordan spent much of her youth. With their wedding, she adds, she and Moises strove for “a tasteful balance between our down-to-earth roots and our love for rich color and bold decor—basically the chicest darn ranch shindig this cowgirl has ever seen!”

writer natasha garber ~ photography Adam Nyholt Photographer W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names jordan de shazer

moises gonzalez  number of guests 370   flowers & decor darryl & co.  wedding dress rivini from mia bridal couture  photography &

adam nyholt photographer  registry williams-sonoma   honeymoon st. lucia

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ceremony & reception

flowers & decor darryl & Co. location houston oaks country club

stand on

ceremony

The rites of marriage take a personal turn.

writer Rina Chandarana John ~ photo larry fagala

From the orchid on the place setting to the Swarovski crystals on the cake topper, a bride can spend hours poring over the small details that go into the biggest party of her life. With so much energy—not to mention money—spent on the reception, it’s no wonder that many brides leave the wedding ceremony to standard rituals and traditional settings. But while ritual and tradition are vital parts of the wedding celebration, your ceremony also is a wonderful opportunity for personalization and sentiment, fine detail and deep meaning.

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ceremony & reception The Rite Site

Whether in the city or country, the location of your wedding plays a big role in the overall emotional tenor of your ceremony. Notes Houston event planner Shaun Gray of Gray & Assoc., “We have a couple we are working with who are both engineers and they travel all over the world for work.” The pair is based in Texas, “and because they are both equally in love with all our state has to offer, they selected Northwest Forest Conference Center as their ceremony and reception venue,” Gray says. “Nothing says, ‘I love Texas!’ more than being married in front of the Alamo, right? Well at Northwest Forest, you get to do that without traveling to San Antonio,” he adds, explaining that the venue is a full-scale replica of San Antonio’s famed historic mission.

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“The entire celebration will be themed around different icons that are true to the couple’s interpretation of the magic that is Texas.” In Spirit

Weddings are a unique occasion for family far and near to come together to celebrate the new couple. But if a loved one such as a parent or grandparent is deceased, a memory table filled with favorite photos is a meaningful way to have them there in spirit. “At one wedding both parents of the bride were deceased,” says Jo Ann Schwartz Woodward of Houston planning firm Schwartz & Woodward. “We had a special memory table with photos and the mother’s favorite flowers.” She also has used flowers to reserve chairs in the first

row of the ceremony in memory of family members. Sobi Qazi of Lion & Lamb Event Services agrees that it is important to recognize lost loved ones at a wedding. “We have had the groom walk down the aisle with a single long-stemmed rose, either white or red, to honor his late mother or father,” placing the flower on a chair in the first row before taking his spot at the altar, she says. BEST S e n t i m e n t s

“The easiest way to incorporate personal and sentimental pieces into the ceremony is on the couple’s bodies,” Gray says. “This holds true especially if the couple is getting married in a house of worship.” Gray explains that while ceremonies held in hotel ballrooms or other non-church sites can


ceremony & reception be decorated with personal elements, church ceremonies tend to be sparely decorated, relying on the spiritual grandeur of the ceremony space. To personalize a church ceremony, Gray suggests that a groom could carry his father’s pocketwatch, while a bride could tie an heirloom locket

around her bouquet, “so that these special pieces are close to the couple, and remind them poignantly of where they came from, throughout the ceremony.” Planner Jubilee Lau of Jubilee Lau Events in San Francisco says her brides also have added family heirlooms, such as a grandmother’s brooch or necklace,

to their bouquets. “It’s a way to bring family history into the wedding, and if grandparents have passed away, it makes it feel like they are still part of the wedding,” says Lau. Schwartz Woodward suggests that couples ask their mothers what types of flowers they used in their weddings, and incorporate those blooms into the bride’s bouquet. Fa b r i c o f L o v e

While “some brides wear a family wedding dress or veil that has been passed down from generation to generation,” notes Schwartz Woodward, even a small piece of history can have major importance as part of the bride’s wedding-day attire. Pinning a small swatch of lace from a family wedding dress onto the bride’s petticoat, for instance, is a thoughtful and personal way to remember the past. “It makes for a wonderful photo and is meaningful to many brides,” Schwartz Woodward says. Lau adds that even stitching a beloved family member’s name inside her wedding gown can have profound meaning for the bride. Another of Schwartz Woodward’s favorite ideas is to monogram a handkerchief—either a family heirloom or one purchased specifically for the wedding—with the date of the mother-of-the-bride’s wedding, as well as the bride’s wedding. “It can be passed on to their children to use,” the planner says. Kids’ Stuff

Young bridal-party members always elicit smiles at the wedding ceremony, especially when they are styled for the occasion. Tracie Domino of Tampa, Fla.’s Tracie Domino Events says there’s nothing wrong with adding a little 74 

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ceremony & reception humor to your young guests’ entrance. “Dressing your ring bearer as a secretservice agent is sure to get a laugh, and the little guy will love his moment in the spotlight,” she notes. Another lovely touch is to infuse young guests’ attire with sentimental value—making the flower-girl dress or ring-bearer pillow from fabric taken from the bride’s mother’s wedding gown, for example. Picture Perfect

Photos, whether vintage, childhood or professionally shot just for the occasion, bring memories and meaning to the ceremony experience. A ceremonyentrance table or shelf display featuring framed photos mixed with flowers, candles, and vintage or thematic items, for instance, is a terrific way to pay

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homage to your past before embarking on your future. Particularly with heirloom wedding photos, “It is so much fun to see who is related to whom and to see the wedding attire,” says Schwartz Woodward. With one wedding she worked on, Lau says, “The bride grew up with lots of family and friends’ photos in her home.” To echo the bride’s childhood home and add sentiment to the ceremony, the planner picked out pictures from old family albums and created a “wall of fame.”

personalized note cards for guests to write thoughtful wishes or fill in helpful advice to the newlyweds. Wedding planner Jung Lee of Fête New York makes custom oversized guestbooks with thick paper for guests to write special notes or add photos, recipes or any other trinkets they wish to leave for the couple. Other guestbook alternatives include sign-in trees (using fingerprints or cutouts as “leaves”), rock jars, quilt squares, photo-booth books, and canvases paired with paintbrushes for guests to leave their artistic mark.

Best Wishes

Many couples forgo the standard guestbook and opt for other creative ways to solicit and hold onto their guests’ best wishes. Schwartz Woodward says she often creates

Tokens of Love

Qazi likes to help the groom pick out a wedding gift for his bride-to-be. “From musical instruments, to iPads with prerecorded messages, we help couples


ceremony & reception find the perfect wedding-day surprise based on what speaks to their relationship,” she says. W e ll N a m e d

If your ceremony guest list is small, planner Jennifer Brisman of Weddings New York says programs can be personalized to include the guests’ names. “It makes them feel you were being thoughtful,” she notes. Domino suggests having a little fun with the content. “You can list the nicknames of all the bridal party members, or maybe just the groomsmen, in addition to their real names.” Religious Customs

Aspects of a couple’s parents’ wedding can also be brought in through religious customs. Schwartz Woodward

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says that she has seen a couple use their grandparents’ or parents’ kiddush cup for a Jewish ceremony. “Weddings are a time of love and unity and we like to make sure that all traditions, cultures and families are represented,” agrees Qazi, who has done many “fusion” weddings. Qazi planned a Vietnamese and Hindu wedding and used cultural inspirations for the wedding invitations and the traditional attire. “We used a Buddha to represent the bride’s side and a Ganesh for the groom’s side.” She also recommends that her clients provide their guests with programs that describe the symbolism of these traditions so that the guests can understand their significance. Domino says couples often incorporate readings or Bible verses that were

part of their sorority or fraternity rituals. And Lau adds that she has couples of different cultural backgrounds incorporate different languages into the readings. Readings and Vows

Qazi notes that adding your love story to vows or readings is a good way to personalize a ceremony. “One couple had their pastor explain the story of how they met,” she recounts. “This was a great way to add humor and joy for their guests to really feel as if they were part of the journey of their love story.” She has also had clients walk down the aisle to their recorded vows. Move to the Music

When walking down the aisle, Qazi


ceremony & reception says her South Asian couples choose songs that reflect their stories with family, love and life. “Hindi songs explain love as a crazy emotion that is so powerful it can be overwhelming in a good way,” she explains. Although music choices may be limited in certain houses of worship, Domino suggests getting creative everywhere else. “We have a client getting married this spring walking down the aisle to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ and another bride walked down the aisle to U2’s ‘Beautiful Day.’” Lau says using your talent makes the day even more special. “We had one groom compose his own music for the bride to walk down the aisle to.” Notes Qazi: “It is moments like these that everyone will remember for years to come.”

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Iris d James

REAL WEDDINGS

~ March 8, 2014 ~

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Who says cheap wings and 99-cent margaritas can’t possibly lead to true love? Neither Iris nor James, that’s for sure. The lovebirds, who met randomly at a Pasadena, Texas, Western bar, “hung out all night that night, and have been hanging ever since,” Iris says. In 2012, James surprised Iris at her “Ugly Christmas Sweater” graduation party, bearing a piñata filled with faux diamonds and ring pops. “I finally got to take my blindfold off, and James went down on his knee and proposed to me in front of everyone,” Iris recalls. “And, of course, tears, happiness and Facebook posts ensued.” The couple’s vintage-elegant wedding, with its shades of coral, ivory and gray, and its touches of burlap and lace, was the perfect expression of their tastes, and their love. Iris says she’ll never forget “running through the corridor of ribbon wands during our final send-off.”

writer natasha garber ~ photography Ama Photography & Cinema W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names iris villarreal

james shene  number of guests 170  venue agave real  wedding dresses allure for ceremony, watters for reception; both from brickhouse bridal  bridesmaids dresses david’s bridal  mother of &

the bride attire t. carolyn fashions  photography ama photography

cinema  registry macy’s  honeymoon dominican republic

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elements bEAutIFuL

bows

cLassic bow bLush cLutch davieandchiyo.com

bLumarine gown blumarine.com for the retailer nearest you.

La gartier carLy cLair garter lagartier.com

kieL james patrick navy & pink stripe bow tie braceLet Brooks Brothers Houston Galleria

vaLentino couture bow Lace pumps Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria

white by vera wang crystaL bow headband David’s Bridal

van cLeef & arpeLs noeud ring Neiman Marcus

susie’s cakes & confections susiescakes.com


ceremony & reception

smALL

plate, bIG bite

caterer peter caLLahan makeS maSterpieceS iN miNiature.

writer natasha garber ~ photos courtesy of peter caLLahan

Culinary innovator Peter Callahan never met a menu item he wasn’t able to render in perfect, miniature, delectable form. Known for his mastery of mini savory and dessert dishes, and his pioneering design of custom trays and shelves upon which to display his bite-size creations, Callahan has catered spectacular events for Martha Stewart, Vera Wang and Kate Spade, to name just a few of his fashionable clients. And with the publication of his book “Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party” (Clarkson Potter, 2011), he has brought elegant itty-bitty bites

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ceremony & reception to celebrations across the nation. We got Callahan to dish on a few delicious topics, including small-plate pairings, Texas meat-and-potatoes mouthfuls, and the very best in two-bite desserts. So dig in! Weddings in Houston: What are some of your most popular small plates for wedding celebrations? Peter Callahan: Mini burgers are probably the number-one item. It’s a grilled, tiny burger (to me, a burger must have char-grilled flavor), a cherry-tomato slice, a dollop of ketchup, a tiny piece of lettuce, and a small bun, the size of a quarter. Then there is our mini grilled cheese with brioche bread— we make the pans for them, as they don’t exist, and we use aged Gruyere

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cheese. We also do mini Patron tequila bottles where we drill the corks, drop in a straw, and then fill the bottle with margaritas—really good ones that we squeeze the limes for—then we pair it with a mini taco shell with cod, mango and avocado, and Thai chile paste for zip. The taco goes on a whole lime that is cut at the top in a “V” to hold it snugly. People flip. WIH: This is Houston, where meat and potatoes still reign supreme. What are some of your favorite ways of doing meat and potatoes as small bites instead of a big plated entree? PC: Steak frites is one of the most popular items we do in small plates. We take a New York strip or rib eye and slice it in two-and-a-half-inch slices

and shingle them on a plate, then pair it with a paper cone of crispy fries. It’s a big crowd pleaser. We also might pair short ribs with some celery-root-potato puree—the short ribs when boneless are as soft as butter, easy to eat and beyond delicious WIH: Is it really possible to have an ALL small-plate reception and have guests leave feeling full and satisfied? PC: Yes, you just need to have enough small plates, and enough hors d’oeuvre to fill up guests before the small plates. Here is our formula: for cocktails, 14 passed bite-size hors d’oeuvre per guest, then three plates per guest, then go into dessert “hors d’oeuvre.” Guests will need to be dancing it off, and will be very satisfied and well fed.


ceremony & reception WIH: What kinds of small plates pair well with wine or beer? PC: I like a toasted lobster roll paired with a good IPA beer, or small short-rib burgers paired with a Manhattan cocktail, or spaghetti and meatballs paired with a Chianti. WIH: In addition to a beautiful wedding cake, what are a few small-bite sweet treats that will wow wedding guests? PC: Mini s’mores are a big hit. Ours are a graham cracker topped with chocolate, topped with toasted marshmallow, then we set it on a marshmallow base for styling—and yes, many guests eat the decorative base. Other passed items include our “chipwich” lollipop, which is a small chocolate-chip cookie filled with vanilla ice cream on a Lucite skewer set in a rectangular tray. Also mini apple crumb pies drizzled with rum-caramel sauce—and for fall, lady apples dipped in caramel with a chocolate-ganache center that we pipe in after coring them. WIH: What advice do you have for the recent bride who wants to feature small plates at her own party in her newlywed nest? PC: My book “Bite by Bite” contains recipes, yields and styling guidelines to make the most amazing reception, all with mini or mid-size foods, with an emphasis on comfort foods that are everyone’s favorites. You will have a reception like none other and it will be all the guests talk about! online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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Anthony d Richard REAL WEDDINGS

~ sept eMber 14, 2013 ~

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When stylist Anthony was referred to realtor Richard—the latter provided a vacant property for a video shoot when the original site backed out at the last minute—he couldn’t have known that his rescuer would also end up being his lifelong mate. But the shoot led to a date, where “we seriously hit it off and agreed to meet again. And again. And again. And finally, he just never left,” Richard recounts. “Ah, true love!” Two years into their courtship, Richard proposed in Manhattan at Rockefeller Plaza’s famed Christmastree-lighting ceremony. The following autumn, the pair had a commitment ceremony—and partied the night away—at the Sam Houston Hotel, where, Richard says, the evening’s most joyful highlight was “bringing 165 family members and friends together in one place to help us celebrate our special day.”

writer natasha garber ~ photography 1 Cinema Productions W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names anthony dowd

richard ray  number of guests 165  venue sam houston hotel  consultant kat creech events  flowers dream bouquet  ceremony bacdrop darryl & co.  linens & chairs flora & eventi &

 lighting bright star productions  cae susie’s cakes & confections  photography & videography 1 cinema productions  honeymoon hawaii

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ceremony & reception

little things

featured products weddingstar, blue leaf HOUSTON, bella figura, BERING’S, darryl & co.

the

Small wedding details can have big emotional impact.

writer Rina Chandarana John ~ photo NHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Planning a wedding reception is a process that is full of big decisions: venue, florist, entertainment, photographer. But for all these hugely important choices, it is the small details, the personal gestures and sentimental touches, that make a wedding reception beautiful and meaningful for guests and couple alike.

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ceremony & reception

favor Treat House

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photo nhan photography chocolate invite & survival kit dgz weddings

Book ’Em

Love Song

While the wedding guestbook is an enduring tradition, that doesn’t mean your wedding guestbook has to be traditional in design. Planner Jennifer Brisman of Weddings New York suggests, in place of a standard sign-in book, “Have an urn or bowl and let guests leave little words of wisdom for the newlyweds. It is comical to see what people come up with.” Guests can also sign their names directly on the urn. Sobi Qazi of Houston-based Lion & Lamb Event Services suggests creating a red-carpet video guestbook, where guests can leave a recorded video message for the couple. “Guests feel as if they are attending a celebrity soiree,” she says, adding that she has even created a personalized backdrop that includes the couple’s monogram. A truly unique—and practical—guestbook idea is to have a wooden bench made for guests to sign with their good wishes. After the wedding, the newlyweds can preserve the bench and have it for decor in their home or garden.

Wedding consultant Jo Ann Schwartz Woodward of Houston’s Schwartz & Woodward says it’s always a delight for guests when a bride or groom puts her or his talents on display at the reception. “There was a bride singing to her groom and then he joined her to do a duet,” she says of a recent wedding. “There was not a dry eye in the room.” The planner recalls yet another wedding where the couple played their favorite instruments at the reception. “They met in band and they both played the trumpet,” she explains. “As a surprise for the parents and guests, I arranged for the couple to practice with the band and they played their trumpets at the reception.” Sometimes family members can surprise the couple with their own special abilities. “A mother of the bride who had never sung in public before made arrangements to take singing lessons and sang to the bride and groom for their first dance,” Schwartz

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cake NOTHING BUNDT CAKES HOUSTON GALLERIA

Woodward recounts. “It truly was a ‘wow’ moment.” And don’t forget to have your MC, DJ or bandleader involve guests in your reception’s music selections. “I have seen bandleaders circulate during cocktails and start conversations to find out what guests’ favorite music is so that it can be added to the playlist,” says Brisman. “It makes people feel that the party was for them.” As for speeches, impromptu toasts are more heartfelt than prepared ones, according to Brisman. “The MC can even go around and ask the guests questions, and this way they will speak from the heart.” Sweet Sentiments

Cakes are often the focal point at a reception. Qazi says cakes are a perfect way to help your guests learn more about your relationship. “We have had couples replicate a building, such as the UT Tower, where they first laid eyes on each other,” she says. “I have also seen a replica of a mechanic’s tool


ceremony & reception box as a groom’s cake, to represent the groom’s profession.” Schwartz Woodard says she had one couple with a cake topper that represented them in a hot-air balloon. Think of a hobby or passion that you both enjoy and incorporate that as part of the topper. Or if the groom proposed on the beach, a cake topper could be some beautiful shells. There also are plenty of Etsy shops featuring handmade or vintage cake toppers—nuzzling “lovebirds” are a favorite figure—that can be customized with the couple’s name or initials, and marriage date. The continuing popularity of candy buffets and dessert tables is a testament to their universal appeal. After all, who can resist a chance to indulge in favorite childhood treats or sinfully decadent grown-up goodies? Coordinator Jung Lee of planning firm Fête in New York says she likes to introduce a customized candy bar that can be color coordinated or decorated based on a couple’s wedding theme. Food for Thought

A little extra attention goes a long way when it comes to planning your wedding menu. Your cocktail hour, for instance, may feature favorite foods you have enjoyed individually or as a couple, whether they include comfortfood classics like macaroni-and-cheese or pigs-in-blankets, ethnic specialties like samosas or quesadillas, or mini versions of items inspired by your favorite restaurant menu. Brisman also reminds couples to take note of vegetarian or vegan guests and ensure that they have a special entree served to them, so that they may savor the festivities right along with everyone else. While food sets the mood, specialty drinks can help to tell the couple’s love 104 

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ceremony & reception story. “One of my most recent weddings had a love-potion station, since the bride was a pharmacist and wanted to tie in those details,” says Qazi. “We had arranged specialty drinks that had the color of the couple’s theme.” Tracie Domino of Tracie Domino Events in Tampa, Fla., advises couples to customize the cups their specialty drinks are served in. “Have them made with your wedding logo or your monogram,” she suggests. Wedding planner Cassandra Santor of Cassandra & Co. Weddings in Los Angeles notes that couples should make sure their favorite beverages are featured at the reception. “If you love sake, like a couple I worked with a few years back, perhaps you swap out those Champagne flutes for custom sake glasses for your toast,” she says.

S w e e t ly S e at e d

In recent years, escort cards, which let guests know where they are to be seated, have gone from simple to spectacularly creative. Lee says she had one couple use a real lemon tree with the seating assignments written on little black cards which were pinned to the individual lemons. One of Qazi’s couples attached small elephants to the escort cards to match the wedding’s decor. Proposals happen in the most unique places. “One groom had proposed in a hot-air balloon, so we had a beautiful photo of the sky with clouds enlarged and used as a backdrop,” says Schwartz Woodward. The backdrop was placed near the entrance of the reception hall and paper hot-airballoon escort cards were placed in

alphabetical order on the backdrop for guests to find their names. Special memories and hobbies can be incorporated into escort cards, as well. A love for sun and sand could be reflected in seashells or starfish with cards attached by pretty ribbons. Perhaps you favor a seasonal sentiment. If your wedding takes place during the winter, for instance, cards can be attached to pine cones or shimmering paper snowflakes. Picture Perfect

“One of the most unique things that was done was when a bride took both her grandmothers’ wedding dresses and her mother’s wedding dress and had a photographer come and photograph her in the dresses,” says Schwartz Woodward. “These pictures were featured at the wedding reception.” Comfort Zone

Thinking about the comfort and enjoyment of your guests is high on the wedding-planning priority list for planner Santor. “Seat the older guests further from the speakers, and keep your parents where they can easily see your first dance, the speeches and cake cutting,” she advises. She also suggests thinking about the weather if the wedding is outdoors during the year’s chillier months. “Inexpensive pashminas in addition to properly placed heaters can make a big impact,” she says. Get Social

Before an event is even over, some guests may have already posted updates on Twitter and Instagram. You and your groom can get in on the social-media fun by making your wedding more accessible to guests. “We 106 

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ceremony & reception have signs for guests to hashtag the couple on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social-media websites,” says Qazi. Nothing Overlooked

From the moment they arrive at your wedding reception to the moment they depart, guests should feel immersed in the beauty and joy of your life’s most precious celebration. Which means no area should be overlooked—not even the restrooms. “A couple should always think about ways to make the restroom inviting and clean,” says Lee. This may include setting counters and even the tops of toilet tanks with candles or small floral arrangements, setting out touch-up toiletries and offering baskets of individually wrapped mints.

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Ashlyn d Zach

REAL WEDDINGS

~ March 16, 2013 ~

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“When we were planning the wedding we wanted it to be something that let our personalities shine through,” says Houston bride Ashlyn. “We chose a design that was simple but still unique, and we decided to keep all of our events at Hotel Derek. This made it easy for guests, and allowed the evening to flow smoothly.” Ashlyn and groom Zach, who met as undergrads at UT Austin, treated their 130 guests to dinner and lively dancing, in a room done up for the occasion in chic shades of lime green, black and white. “We were so thankful to spend such an important day in our lives with our friends and family,” Ashlyn says. “Some of our favorite moments were the first dance, bouquet and garter toss, and dancing the night away!”

writer natasha garber ~ photography Motley Melange W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names ashlyn higie

zach blakeman  number of guests 130  venue hotel derek  flowers plants n’ petals  decor & rentals darryl & co.  cae who made the cake!  wedding dress &

jane wang from now

forever bridal boutique  photography motley melange  registry macy’s  honeymoon costa rica

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&


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ceremony & reception

cocktail culture

Mix up a little magic at your wedding reception.

writer Maggie Marton

Mixology—the art of creating delicious cocktails using fine spirits and fresh ingredients—is making its mark across the country. From swank hotel bars to vintage speakeasies, from fine-dining establishments to neighborhood watering holes, bartenders are reviving classic cocktails and inventing innovative concoctions that are meant to be sipped, savored and celebrated. And there’s no better occasion for

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ceremony & reception celebratory sipping than your wedding. So take a page from the mixologist’s recipe book and shake up a little something special for your guests to enjoy, with these tips and recipes from top cocktail and catering pros. S i g n at u r e M i x

There is a perfect drink to accompany any celebration—though sometimes it takes collaboration to develop it. Your venue’s bar staff can help devise a drink that will fit the look and feel of your wedding while complementing the food that you serve. At Houston’s finest wedding venues, cocktail collaboration has become an integral part of reception planning. These days, caterers frequently recommend enhancing the reception experience with personalized items. One of

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the simplest and most enjoyable of these is the signature cocktail, which reflects elements of the couple’s personalities, the wedding’s theme or color scheme. Shane Bruns, director of food and beverage at the Omni Houston Galleria Hotel, which includes the Noe Grill and Black Swan nightclub, says that the signature cocktail trend encourages distinctive drink choices. “The trend to have a unique signature cocktail at your wedding is growing tremendously,” he notes. “This allows our bartenders to get creative and truly bring in the mixology aspect.” The best place to start creating your signature wedding cocktail is with your preference in beverages. “We make a featured cocktail based on the type of spirits the bride and groom share in common and flavor profiles they

prefer,” says Barbara Jacobs, chief operating officer for downtown L.A.’s popular The Edison. She also suggests including Champagne and wine choices along with spirits, all of which should pair with the couple’s food choices. However, she cautions couples to choose their spirits wisely and avoid cocktails that are too high in sugar, so that guests enjoy the festivities without getting too intoxicated. If the bride and groom prefer different spirits—say, she’s vodka and he’s gin—Rob Pate, the owner and general manager of Peche and Cherry Street restaurants in Austin, has a solution: “A ‘groom’s drink’ and a ‘bride’s drink’ make perfect sense.” He notes that people are taking cocktails a lot more seriously in general. “The standard offering of red or white wine and vodka aren’t


ceremony & reception really special, and people want to find unique ways to showcase their personality,” he says. “A great way to do this is through custom drinks.” With the continuing popularity of vintage-inspired weddings, bar offerings that reference another decade are in high demand. According to Bruns, “retro cocktails” and “new renditions of the classic recipes” are favorites for wedding festivities. Popular choices include the beloved gin or vodka martini, whiskey- and rye-based drinks such as the vermouth-tinted Manhattan or the classic old fashioned, and the refreshing gin and tonic. Couples also can customize their cocktail offerings to match the weather. For winter weddings, warm guests up with a whipped-cream-topped Irish coffee, hot buttered rum or spiked chai.

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For warm weather or outdoor events, Bruns says, “We can offer a frozen mimosa or poinsettia (a classic Champagne cocktail with orange liqueur and cranberry juice) versus the traditional presentation.” Also a great heat-beating treat: “watermelon sangria that we can top with frozen grapes.” T i m e a n d Pl a c e

Planning a daytime wedding? A lunch reception? Perhaps a day-after brunch? The key to cocktail planning is to choose an appropriate drink to complement the location or time of your celebration. For example, a martini or bourbon-based cocktail likely would be too heavy for a brunch or mid-day celebration, while an orange-juice-based beverage might seem a tad informal for a grand evening affair.

According to Jacobs, her staff has executed signature cocktails for every hour of the day. “We have done cocktails for any occasion, from breakfasts to midnight. Cocktail creations are driven by the client, the occasion, and personal choices.” Setting up a drink station and allowing guests to craft their own concoction is an appealing option. “For morning or early-afternoon functions, a Bloody Mary bar is the way to go,” suggests Bruns. “You can offer different types of Bloody Mary mix, vodkas and a plethora of condiments for the drink, including spicy green beans, asparagus, olives, cocktail onions, cherry peppers, celery, Cajun spice, sea salt, celery salt, etc.”  For evening events, Bruns likes to stock bars with electronic ice cubes that


ceremony & reception light up guests’ drinks, adding an element of drama to a darker venue. For outdoor events or warm-weather events, Pate suggests lighter drinks with effervescence. “Never underestimate the cooling effect of an Aperol Spritz (a fizzy Italian cocktail made with Prosecco) or French 75 (a sweet drink made with gin, Champagne and lemon juice). Morning drinks are always better with bubbles, and for evening, you can usually go a little stronger and heavier with bourbon or tequila,” he says.  Fresh is Best

As with fine cuisine, fresh, locally grown and organic ingredients are essential when it comes to cocktail creation. Top-tier hotels, bars and restaurants take their cocktail recipes seriously, utilizing fresh and locally

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ceremony & reception sourced ingredients, which not only infuse drinks with more flavor, but also pay homage to the bride and groom’s wedding city and region. Ask your caterer or bar manager about using spirits, wines, beers and other items from the region, and consider creating a signature cocktail that utilizes brands distilled right here in Texas. “We offer a variety of craft cocktails that incorporate an array of unique and seasonal ingredients such as blackberries, watermelon, ginger, mint, jalapeño, sage, strawberries and cucumber. Many of these ingredients are from local farms in and around Houston,” says Bruns. At his venues in Austin, Pate says his bartenders strive to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. He notes, “We respect the

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‘slow food’ philosophy, and some of our closest friends are urban farmers in the Austin community, especially Paula and Glenn Foore, the owners of Springdale Farm. Whether it’s local honey or peaches from the downtown farmer’s market, you’ll always find seasonal produce working its way into dishes or drinks at Peche and Cherry Street.” Make It Memorable

The best way to create a custom beverage for your wedding is to communicate freely with your catering consultant from the get-go. Let your food-and-beverage provider know what colors, flavors, places, historical periods, styles, cultural touchstones and shared experiences are important to you. Doing so will help them help

you to put your unique fingerprint on your one-of-a-kind event. Once you’ve worked with a craftsman bartender to devise the perfect cocktail to suit your venue, time and aesthetic, consider taking it a step further by making your cocktail choice a memorable part of your celebration. Souvenir menu cards can share your unique cocktail recipe, allowing your guests to recreate the beverage after the celebration. If your custom cocktail involves a specific element, like a swizzle stick, replace the standard disposable option with a lovely favor version for guests to take home and use again and again. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com


Michelle d Chris

REAL WEDDINGS

~sept eMber 14, 2013 ~

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REAL WEDDINGS

While Michelle admits that meeting Chris as a high-school senior “was not love at first sight, as I was not looking for a boyfriend,” her future husband’s persistence paid off. Seven years after they met, the couple joined together in matrimony, with an elegant wedding in Chateau Cocomar’s magnificent castle-like setting, complete with marble floors and twinkling chandeliers. Michelle’s chosen palette of soft neutrals and a hint of blush pink created an air of timeless romance—the perfect backdrop for the newlyweds’ first dance (Michelle’s favorite wedding memory), and every moment thereafter. At the night’s close, guests held aloft 20-inch-long sparklers as Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley shared a kiss.

writer natasha garber ~ photography dc stanLey photography

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REAL WEDDINGS

names michelle mecom

&

chris o’malley  number of guests

150  venue chateau cocomar  photography dc stanley photography  honeymoon seven-day caribbean cruise

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I Do! Royal Sonesta AT THE

Bridal Soiree¶

HOTEL HOUSTON

When brides strolled into the I Do! Bridal Soiree at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston on Sunday, Jan. 26, they found themselves surrounded by design beauty, floral bounty and unparalleled planning expertise—everything they could want to create an unforgettable wedding. With Champagne cocktails in hand, and their entourages in tow, brides wandered through magnificent tablescapes, met with top wedding professionals, and swooned over our spectacular I Do! Bridal Soiree runway extravaganza, featuring 2014’s most coveted designer bridal gowns and accessories. Our thanks to the wonderful Royal Sonesta Hotel, with special thanks to director of special events Ted Cwikowski for helping bring our I Do! vision to life. We’re equally grateful to Lenny Matuszewski for producing, Darryl & Co. for designing and decorating, and Bright Star Productions for illuminating, our signature runway show; A Memorable Event, Linens by Lisa and EB Inc Events for dressing up our chairs with lovely linens; Jonny Black Productions for emceeing this gorgeous event; Ama Photography & Cinema for capturing the magic in images; and A&A Photo and Video for filming our soiree.

location Royal Sonesta hotel houston ~ writer Natasha Garber ~ photography AMA Photography & Cinema


photo MORRIS SKUPINSKY


ceremony & reception

social studies

Learn how to invite social media to take part in your wedding—and where to draw the line. writer Natasha Garber ~ photo dc stanley photography

A wedding is a unique occasion for beautiful decor, unscripted emotions and spontaneous moments of joy—which makes it the perfect occasion for candid photos, videos and comments. And if, like the rest of us, you’re living in the 21st century, you know there’s no more ubiquitous mode for sharing in-the-moment content than via social media. If you’re hooked on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook

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ceremony & reception and/or Twitter—or know that a large percentage of your guests are likely to be—but unsure of how big or how small a role you want social media to play in conjunction with your big day, this social-media advice is for you. 1 . C o l l ect i d eas an d g at h er opinions .

While the sheer volume of bridal and wedding inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram can be overwhelming, these photo-focused social-media sites are a treasure trove of unique ideas for the design- and fashion-minded bride. Searching by very specific keywords and hashtags can help you locate a peep-toe pump in that exact shade of Tiffany blue you love, or a DIY ombré table-runner, or the latest collection by your most coveted bridal designer. Once you have a handful of pretty pix, share them with your friends and your wedding planner or florist, to solicit opinions and help you choose. But remember, when it comes to social media, friends are as likely to give negative opinions as positive, so take comments with a grain of salt, and don’t let yourself be talked out of something you really love. 2 . S h are t h e jo u rney towar d yo u r b i g d ay.

Start by posting a photo of your engagement ring, and perhaps sharing a short recap of your proposal story; but definitely leave out private details like carat weight and the cost of your ring, which are nobody’s business but your own and your fiancé’s. You can also post photos from your courtship, your engagement party, and, when the time is right, change your relationship status from “in a relationship” to “engaged”—and sit back and enjoy while the well wishes come in. 134 

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ceremony & reception While social media is a great tool for sharing images and thoughts before and during the wedding, such a special occasion demands a formal invite. Send your printed wedding invitations by mail rather than creating a Facebook event for the big day—this is not a Tupperware party or birthday bash, it’s the most important event of your lifetime. You can, if you wish, include a link to your wedding’s Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest page on your save-the-date card, but don’t include URLs, hashtags or other social-media-related information on your actual invitation.

turn them off for the duration of the festivities, many modern couples are opting to designate a unique ID for their weddings and invite guests to use it—especially for the reception. If you’re in the latter camp, you can give yourselves and your guests easier access to cell-snapped wedding photos by creating a hashtag for your wedding, and posting it at the guestbook or escort-card table, perhaps in an elegant frame or on a cute vintage chalkboard. Make sure the hashtag is unique and practical (“#JessRob2014,” “#DelacorteIDo,” “#EricaAndMarkWedding,” etc.), and use it to locate candid photos during and after the wedding.

4 . C reate a h as h ta g .

5 . S et t h e

While some brides prefer that guests leave their cell phones at home, or

socia l - me d ia r u l es .

3 . P u t it on paper .

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Whether you choose to make social

media a major part of your event, or you prefer that guests keep their posting, pinning and tweeting for another day, the choice is yours. Just as you disseminate details about your wedding registry by word of mouth, you can designate several attendees to spread the word about your socialmedia preferences from the get-go. Ask designated individuals to advise guests, upon entering the ceremony space, to kindly turn off their cell phones for the duration of the ceremony, in order to honor the sacred importance of the occasion. If you are not averse to their sharing of wedding photos, images and wishes during the reception, you can let them know that social-media documentation of the wedding is welcome, and that you look forward to getting tagged while getting hitched.


Jessica d Andrew REAL WEDDINGS

~ noVeMber 15, 2013 ~

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REAL WEDDINGS

“With a venue like this, it’s easy to do little and have a huge impact,” says bride Jessica of downtown Houston’s chic Sam Houston Hotel. “I wanted the wedding ceremony and reception to be soft, romantic and neutral, and my color palette”—a contemporary combo of gray, blush, white and silver—“reflects that.” You’d never know from viewing Jessica and Andrew’s wedding photos that the couple planned their wedding—with help of coordinator Sobi Qazi of Lion & Lamb Event Services—in just three weeks. But that wasn’t their biggest challenge. “The biggest challenge was having our guest count jump up by 70+ guests the week of the wedding,” Jessica says. “But it was an easy fix because I had the best vendors, who were able to work together and make it work.”

writer natasha garber ~ photography 1 Cinema Productions

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141


REAL WEDDINGS

names jessica ochoa

&

andrew kelson    number of guests

200   venue sam houston hotel    flowers, decor & lighting keisha’s kreations    wedding dress vera wang from david’s bridal   consultant lion & lamb event services    photography & videography 1 cinema productions    honeymoon anguilla

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Your Guide to Pre-wedding d Rehearsal Dinner

Celeations

photo MORRIS SKUPINSKY flowers & decor AJ’S URBAN PETALS •

Brennan's Houston

Cadillac Bar

• 3300 Smith St • Houston • 713.522.9711 BrennansHouston.com

• 1802 Shepherd Dr • Houston • 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 sized 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

Min. Price $60

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests

Downtown Aquarium

Energy Ballroom at the Holiday Inn

• 410 Bagby St • Houston • 713.315.5168 DowntownAquarium.com

• 1112 Eldridge Pkwy • Houston • 281.679.6900 facebook.com/holidayinneldridge The Energy Ballroom is a boutique event venue nestled inside the scenic Energy Corridor District of West Houston. Whether you want to use our award-winning restaurant to cater your rehearsal dinner, or another local eatery, our staff is committed to providing you with exemplary service.

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 •

144 

Min. Price $12

Min. Price $30

4

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

N

120

Outdoor Site

N

Max. Guests •

•  Wed d ing s inh ous to n.com

Events at a Time

Min. Price $24


Grappino di Nino

The Grove

• 2817 West Dallas St • Houston • 713.522.5120 Ninos-Vincents.com

• 1611 Lamar St • Houston • 713.337.7321 TheGroveHouston.com

Experience the warm feeling of Tuscany as you walk through our charming piazza. The beautifully landscaped courtyards, spacious banquet rooms and a rustic wineroom will create unforgettable memories. We have an Italian bar offering grappas, wines, antipasti and desserts.

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

150

Outdoor Site

Y

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.

Min. Price $40

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

Y

120

Outdoor Site

Min. Price $45

Y

Hilton Americas - Houston

Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District

• 1600 Lamar St • Houston • 713.739.8000 AmericasHouston.Hilton.com

• 5701 Main St • Houston • 713.526.1991 HotelZaZa.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. Events at a Time

10

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

130

Outdoor Site

Y

Hotel ZaZa is Houston’s premier luxury boutique hotel, located in the heart of the Museum District, adjacent to Hermann Park, the Museum of Fine Arts and Contemporary Arts Museum. Boasting spectacular city views, Hotel ZaZa offers several unique event venues, ranging in capacity, décor and personality.

Min. Price $110

Events at a Time

18

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

N

510

Y

Outdoor Site

Min. Price $120

Y

Houston Event Centers

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa

• 9906 Gulf Fwy • Houston • 713.987.7300 HoustonEventCenters.com

• 111 North Post Oak Ln • Houston • 713.680.2626 Houstonian.com

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

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

1000

Outdoor Site

Y

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.

Min. Price $20

Events at a Time

6

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

Y

600

Outdoor Site

Y

Y

Call For Price

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

La Colombe d’Or

• 806 Main St • Houston • 713.237.1111 JWMarriottHotelHouston.com

• 3410 Montrose Blvd • Houston • 713.524.7999 LaColombedOr.com

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. Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests •

Y

650

Outdoor Site

Celebrate your wedding in the grandeur of one of Houston’s historical gems and the “World’s Smallest Luxury Hotel” epitomizing Southern French hospitality and exuding gracious comfort, elegance and warmth.

Y Min. Price $150

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

N

250

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $75

N

• W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

145


La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa

The Lasker Inn

• 600 La Torretta Blvd • Montgomery • • 936.448.3031 • LaTorrettaLakeResort.com •

• 1019 16th St • Galveston • • 409.497.4318 • LaskerInn.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.

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

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

250

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $45

Y

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

175

Min. Price $30

Y

Magnolia Hotel Houston

• 2019 Post Oak Blvd • Houston • 713.961.3565 Maggianos.com

• 1100 Texas Ave • Houston • 281.657.2600 MagnoliaHotels.com

Located in the heart of the Galleria area, Maggiano’s Little Italy and its award winning cuisine make 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.

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!

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

240

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Events at a Time

Max. Guests

Y Min. Price $24

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

Y

Outdoor Site

230

Y Min. Price $28

N

Outdoor Site

The Majestic Metro

Masraff’s

• 911 Preston Ave • Houston • 713.224.7226 MajesticMetro.com

• 1753 Post Oak Blvd • Houston • 713.355.1975 Masraffs.com Masraff’s is “the” contemporary high energy restaurant Houstonians have been waiting for. Raised fireplace, dichromatic lighting, bar/lounge, wine cellar, the Gallery and the main dining room with open kitchen concept bring the energy level up and tantalize your palate. Private dining is available for 2 to 150. Enjoy outdoor dining on the “Atrium” or “The Patio” on the Boulevard.

Make your wedding the social event of the year. Experience the grandeur of one of Houston’s most outstanding historic buildings in the heart of exciting Downtown Houston. Perfect for large and small rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions.

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

400

Outdoor Site

Y Call For Price

N

Events at a Time

6

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

150

Outdoor Site

N Call For Price

Y

The Overlook

• 3939 San Felipe St • Houston • 713.528.2264 OuisiesTable.com

• 20114 Pinehurst Dr • Atascocita • 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.

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

300

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $40

Y

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests •

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Ouisie’s Table

Events at a Time

Max. Guests

146 

Outdoor Site

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $15

Y •


Peli Peli

Rainbow Lodge

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

• 2011 Ella Blvd • Houston • • 713.861.8666 • Rainbow-Lodge.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.

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. Our 4 Private Rooms seat 12-72 for rehearsal dinners. You can also reserve the entire restaurant for groups over 75.

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

120

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $25

N

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

175

Outdoor Site

Min. Price $43

Y

Royal Oaks Country Club

Sambuca - Crystal Ballroom at the Rice

• 2910 Royal Oaks Club Dr • Houston • 281.899.3200 RoyalOaksCC.com

• 909 Texas Ave • Houston • 713.227.7423 SambucaCatering.com The Crystal Ballroom with its exquisite crystal chandeliers, heroic 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.

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

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

250

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $30

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

Y

400

Y Call For Price

Y

Outdoor Site

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center

Table on Post Oak • 1800 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 6110 • Houston • 713.439.1000 TableRestaurants.com Contemporary cuisine – featuring seasonal green market freshness and a foraged mis 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!

• 5222 Seawall Blvd • Galveston • 800.445.0090 SanLuisResort.com 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 from world-class menus and service to premier day spa and salon treatments.

Events at a Time

10

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

1500

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $25

Y

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

160

Outdoor Site

Y Call For Price

N

Veranda by *17 at The Sam Houston Hotel

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 215 guests. Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

215

Outdoor Site

for more details, visit

• 1117 Prairie St • Houston • 832.200.8807 VerandaBy17.com

Y

www.WeddingsInHouston.com

Y Min. Price $50

N •

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ceremony & reception

Reference Guide

This directory will provide you with information on Houston’s finest facilities for ceremonies and receptions. All information is ­subject to change without notice. Some features may be available on a limited, seasonal

Kosher Menu Available

Outdoor Area Available

Handicap Accessible

Ceremony Site Available

Page Number

Outside Catering Permitted

Off-Site Catering Available

Maximum Capacity

281.395.5070

300

1

$50.00

√ √

81

Ashelynn Manor 25276 Nichols Sawmill Rd. • Magnolia

281.252.3355

275

2

Call

√ √

√ 57

Ashton Gardens 21919 Inverness Forest Blvd.

281.362.0011

300

2

$50.00

The Bell Tower on 34th Street 901 West 34th St.

713.868.2355

400

2

$50.00

√ 19

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

281.538.9600

130

1

$99.00

√ 94

The Bougainvilleas Event Center 12126 Westheimer Rd.

832-914-7844

350

2

$30.00

√ √

√ 139

Brady’s Landing 8505 Cypress St.

713.928.9921

500

5

$26.00

√ 106

Brennan’s Houston 3300 Smith St.

713.522.9711

200

2

$60.00

√ 54

Briscoe Manor 5801 FM 723 • Richmond

281.238.4700

400

1

$80.00

√ 55

Butler’s Courtyard 122 Michigan Ave. • League City

281.557.5551

300

1

Call

√ 133

Cadillac Bar 1802 Shepherd Dr.

713.862.2020

400

2

$12.00

√ 62

Chateau Cocomar 14525 Champions Dr.

713.538.9400

1050

1

Call

Chateau Polonez 12612 Malcomson

281.655.5656

352

1

$60.00

The Club at Carlton Woods One Carlton Woods Dr. • The Woodlands

281.863.5844

300

1

$85.00

The Corinthian 202 Fannin St. at Franklin

713.523.5780

1900

1

$75.00

Crowne Plaza Houston - Brookhollow 12801 Northwest Fwy.

832.214.2797

600

4

$20.00

The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice 909 Texas Ave.

713.227.7423

400

3

Call

Cullen’s 11500 Space Center Bvd.

281.991.2000

1000

7

Demers Banquet Hall 8225 Cantrell St.

713.772.0726

300

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Downtown 400 Dallas St.

713.351.5766

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway 6 Greenway Plaza Downtown Aquarium 410 Bagby

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Simultaneous Events

Phone

Agave Estates 1138 FM 1463 • Katy

Venue / Address

148 

Minimum Price Per Person

or by-request-only basis. To interactively compare facilities visit WeddingsinHouston.com.

√ √ √

12-13

Cover Fold

64-65

√ 17

√ √

√ √ √

IFC-1

√ √

√ 60

√ √

√ 73

$30.00

1

$17.00

√ √

√ 92

320

2

$45.00

√ √

713.850.2356

450

7

$30.00

√ √

√ 104

713.315.5168

400

5

$30.00

√ 116

108

80


713.652.6223

350

The Gallery 6303 Beverly Hill St.

713.255.2889

Grappino di Nino 2817 West Dallas St.

Page Number

Four Seasons Hotel Houston 1300 Lamar St.

Ceremony Site Available

4

Handicap Accessible

120

Outdoor Area Available

281.679.6900

Call

Kosher Menu Available

Energy Ballroom at the Holiday Inn 1112 Eldridge Pkwy.

Outside Catering Permitted

2

Off-Site Catering Available

600

Minimum Price Per Person

Maximum Capacity

Simultaneous Events

Phone 281.826.0505

Venue / Address Enchanted Cypress Ballroom 12603 Louetta Rd. • Cypress

√ √

√ 109

√ √

√ 120

3 $100.00 √

√ 27

300

1

√ √

√ 69

713.522.5120

150

2

$40.00

√ 121

The Grove 1611 Lamar St.

713.337.7321

250

3

$35.00

√ 91

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

281.758.2244

1000

1

$35.00

√ 141

Haras Hacienda, Catering, Restaurant, Boutique Hotel & Spa 26427 Peden Rd. • Magnolia

281.259.4861

1000

3

$45.00

√ √

42-43

Heather’s Glen 200 East Phillips St. • Conroe

936.441.6611

300

1

Call

86-87

HESS Club 5430 Westheimer Rd.

713.627.2283

350

2

√ √

√ 105

Hilton Americas - Houston 1600 Lamar St.

713.739.8000

2200

7 $110.00

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake 3000 Nasa Pkwy.

281.333.9300

300

2

$50.00

Hilton Houston North 12400 Greenspoint Dr.

281.875.4574

1000

5

$24.00

Hilton Houston Post Oak 2001 Post Oak Blvd.

713.961.9300

1000

3

Call

Hilton Houston Westchase 9999 Westheimer Rd.

713.735.5923

400

3

Hotel Derek 2525 West Loop South

713.961.3000

350

Hotel Galvez & Spa 2024 Seawall Blvd. • Galveston

409.765.7721

Hotel Granduca 1080 Uptown Park Blvd. Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District 5701 Main St. The Houston Club One Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana St, 49th Floor

$24.00

Call

$35.00

√ √

85

√ 32

√ √

√ 34

√ 33

$60.00

√ √

6

$65.00

√ √

350

3

$30.00

713.418.1000

132

5

713.526.1991

480

18 $110.00

713.632.1554

150

1 $100.00

√ √

Houston Event Centers 9906 Gulf Fwy.

713.987.7300

1000

1

$20.00

√ 119

Houston Marriott North 255 North Sam Houston Parkway East

281.875.4000

530

3

$35.00

√ 36

Houston Oaks Country Club 22602 Hegar Rd. • Hockley

936.372.4305

450

1 $125.00

√ 31

Houston Racquet Club 10709 Memorial Dr.

713.464.4811

300

4

$50.00

√ 101

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 111 North Post Oak Ln.

713.680.2626

600

6

10-11

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 806 Main St.

713.653.3290

650

2 $120.00

√ √

20-21

√ √

Call

Call √

√ 77

√ 46

√ 115

√ √ √

108

4-5

√ 136

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Ceremony Site Available

√ 37

√ 3

$30.00

√ 122

1

$40.00

√ 127

250

2

$24.00

√ √

√ 93

713.224.7226

400

1

√ √

√ 63

Moffitt Oaks 20125 Cedar Ln. • Tomball

281.370.6616

250

1

Music World Entertainment Venues 1505 Hadley St.

713.772.5175

4000

2

Call

Noah’s 21402 Merchant’s Way • Katy

832.451.7201

400

2

$11.00

Northgate Country Club 17110 Northgate Forest Dr.

281.444.5302

320

1

$32.00

Northwest Forest 12715 Telge Rd. • Cypress

281.256.3548

500

5

Call

Old Glory Ranch 3633 River Rd. • Wimberley

512.847.3646

600

1

Call

Omni Houston Hotel 4 Riverway Dr.

713.871.8181

750

3

$75.00

Ouisie’s Table 3939 San Felipe St.

713.528.2264

300

3

$50.00

√ √

The Overlook 20114 Pinehurst Dr. • Atascocita

281.812.0193

1000

2

$21.00

The Parador 2021 Binz St.

713.529.3050

550

1

Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club 3000 Plantation Dr. • Richmond

281.342.9940

240

Peli Peli 110 Vintage Park Blvd, Building. J, Suite P

281.257.9500

Petroleum Club of Houston 800 Bell St., 43rd Floor Pine Forest Country Club 18003 Clay Rd. Quail Valley City Centre 2880 La Quinta Dr. • Missouri City

Phone

Maximum Capacity 200

1

$10.00

713.524.7999

700

3

$75.00

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 600 La Torretta Blvd. • Montgomery

936.448.3031

1200

2

$40.00

Lasker Inn 1019 16th St.. • Galveston

409.497.4318

175

1

Madera Estates 3201 North Frazier St. • Conroe

936.441.9337

300

Magnolia Hotel Houston 1100 Texas Ave.

281.657.2600

The Majestic Metro 911 Preston St.

Call $35.00

89

√ 129

√ 134

√ √

√ 54

√ √

√ 117

√ 30

√ √

√ 35

√ 125

√ 75

Call

√ 26

1

$30.00

√ 137

120

1

$25.00

√ √

√ 123

713.659.1431

500

4

$60.00

√ 143

281.463.0900

300

2

$45.00

√ 107

281.403.8517

350

3

$20.00

78

Rainbow Lodge 2011 Ella Blvd.

713.861.8666

250

2

$35.00

√ √ √

80

Raveneaux Country Club 9415 Cypresswood Dr. • Spring

281.320.6009

300

2

$34.00

√ √

√ 59

Rosemary’s Garden 14639 Bellaire Blvd.

281.568.9151

500

4

$25.00

√ √

√ 71

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√ √

Page Number

Handicap Accessible

Kosher Menu Available

Outdoor Area Available

Outside Catering Permitted

Off-Site Catering Available

√ 120

281.334.0501

La Colombe d’Or 3410 Montrose Blvd.

Venue / Address

150 

Minimum Price Per Person

Simultaneous Events

√ √

Kemah Gardens 1019 Lewis Dr. • Kemah


1

$40.00

713.850.2800

600

4

$50.00

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

800.445.0090

1500

10 $30.00

Sans Souci Ballroom 26511 Tomball Pkwy. • Tomball

281.803.3333

1000

1

Call

Shepard Hill Estates 11134 Shepard Hill Rd. • Willis

713.703.2756

300

1

Call

Sheraton North Houston Hotel 15700 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

281.442.5100

550

5

$24.00

Shirley Acres 217 Woerner Rd.

281.444.2582

500

1

$50.00

South Shore Harbour Country Club 4300 South Shore Blvd. • League City

281.334.0521

250

1

$40.00

Star Fleet Yachts 280 Grove Rd. • Kemah

281.334.4692

150

4

$59.00

Sugar Creek Country Club 420 Sugar Creek Blvd. • Sugar Land

281.494.9131

400

1

Sweetwater Country Club 4400 Palm Royale Blvd. • Sugar Land

281.980.4100

300

Sylvan Beach Pavilion 1 Sylvan Beach Dr. • La Porte

832.643.4422

Table On Post Oak 1800 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 6110 The Tremont House 2300 Ships Mechanic Row • Galveston Veranda by *17 at The Sam Houston Hotel 1117 Prairie St.

Venue / Address

250

√ √

Page Number

Handicap Accessible

√ 29

281.899.3200

The Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston 2222 West Loop South

Ceremony Site Available

Outdoor Area Available

√ √

Kosher Menu Available

Outside Catering Permitted

Off-Site Catering Available

√ 103

Maximum Capacity

Minimum Price Per Person

Phone

Simultaneous Events

Royal Oaks Country Club 2910 Royal Oaks Club Dr.

√ 56

√ √

√ 61

√ √

√ 113

√ 76

√ √

√ 72

√ √

√ 134

$25.00

√ √

1

$39.00

√ √

√ 137

650

1

$40.00

√ 95

713.439.1000

300

4

Call

409.763.0300

300

5

$30.00

√ 47

832.200.8807

215

1

$50.00

√ 9

The Villagio 10901 Braes Bend Dr.

281.352.0903

500

1

$59.00

√ √

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

832.445.2104

250

1

$30.00

√ √

√ 137

Waterpoint Premier Lakeside Venue 15264 Highway 105 West • Montgomery

936.597.7700

300

1

Call

√ 135

The Westin Galleria 5060 West Alabama

713.960.8100

1000

3

Call

√ 51

The Westin Oaks 5011 Westheimer Rd.

713.960.8100

600

2

Call

√ 51

Weston Lakes Country Club 32611 FM 1093 • Fulshear

281.346.1967

200

1

$18.00

√ √

√ 74

Willow Fork Country Club 21055 Westheimer Pkwy. • Katy

281.579.6262

250

1

$25.00

√ 137

The Woodlands Country Club 100 Grand Fairway Dr. • The Woodlands

281.863.1411

350

1

$75.00

√ 53

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

866.342.4039

800

8

$79.00

√ 41

The Wynden 1025 South Post Oak Ln.

281.768.6070

400

1

$75.00

√ 79

√ √

58

28

√ √ 99

√ √

118

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wedding services W E D D I N G

P L A N N I N G

motherwise dress smart, with fashion etiquette for moms of brides and grooms

Q: When should I start shopping for my wedding outfit? A: Once the bride has decided on her gown and chosen the length and color of the bridesmaids’ dresses, you should feel free to begin shopping. Ideally, this should take place at least four months before the wedding. This time cushion will allow you to have the most choices in attire, and ensure that they are altered and ready by the big day. Note: Traditionally the mother of the bride decides whether the mothers will be wearing long dresses or not.

writer Barbara Tibbetts, T. Carolyn Fashions ~ photo Select studios

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wedding services Q: Do the mothers’ dresses have to “match?” A: The only “matching” that needs to be considered is that if one mother has chosen a long gown, the other should also wear a long gown. This way they are both adhering to the same degree of formality, and there will be balance and symmetry in the family wedding photographs. Most importantly, each mother should choose a color in which she looks her best. The MOB and the MOG are in the categories of “hostess” and “honored guest,” respectively. They are not in the “bridesmaids” category. Their dresses should not clash with those of the bridesmaids…but they do not have to match the bridesmaids—or each other, for that matter. Q: I am a breast-cancer survivor and have the scars to show for it. Will I be able to find something beautiful that will hide my scars? A: Certainly! If the neckline is too low, a panel of fabric can be attached using extra material saved during hemming of the garment. If the bodice is ruched, the panel also can be  similarly ruched. Lace, net, appliqués or any other design elements from the dress can be incorporated along the neckline as well. Don’t be afraid of a strapless gown. Interesting straps can be added to cover port-a-caths  and help to hold up the dress. By using fabric, lace and/or beading saved from the dress during the alterations process, you can embellish straps to give a custom look. To cover a scar, you can easily add a single shoulder strap to create a one-shoulder gown. A good alterations person can be creative and customize your outfit to achieve a beautiful one-of-a-kind gown that you will love. Q: What is your best accessory advice—for both style and comfort? 154 

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wedding services A: Wear comfortable shoes! Many mothers bring a second pair of shoes to slip into at the reception. If you are wearing a gown, be sure the hemline will accommodate both pairs of shoes. You don’t want to be stepping on your dress during the reception. If the venue is outdoors and you will be on grass or sand, choose a chunkier heel. Thin, spiky heels sink into the ground and make for very unstable standing and walking. If you choose a shoe with rhinestones on it, be sure to check and see if the stones are set in prongs. These prongs can snag and tear the hemline of a long gown. If this occurs, the only way to salvage the gown is to make it into a short dress. A purse is a necessity. You will need one for a compact and lipstick, and don’t forget the Kleenex! Held in one arm (like a football), a purse will keep your arm in check as you are escorted down the aisle. If you have a particular piece of jewelry you’d like to wear to the wedding and eventually pass down to the next generation, take this into consideration when choosing your outfit.  A less ornate outfit usually calls for a necklace and earrings. However, sometimes there is so much beading on the neckline of a dress that a necklace is simply overkill. In this case, beautiful earrings and a bracelet are usually all that are needed to complete the finished look you are going for. Q: I plan to lose weight before the wedding and I want to make sure my outfit fits my new figure. What is your shopping advice? A: Ninety-nine percent of the mothers we’ve seen are on a diet! Some have been successful in losing as much weight as they’d like to before the big day…but most are not. I encourage the

mother of the bride or groom to find a dress that makes it look like she’s been on a diet; in other words, a very flattering dress that makes you look as if you were one or two sizes smaller. Are such magical dresses available? Absolutely! If you put off buying a dress until you’ve reached your “goal”

weight, you actually may put yourself under so much stress that you end up putting on weight rather than shedding it. Not just that, but such a short shopping window likely will limit your attire choices. Remember, most dresses can be made smaller but few can be made larger.

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TA S T E MA KERS & T RENDSET T ERS

Plants N’ Petals

photo MICHAEL CARR PHOTOGRAPHY

My years of experience allow me to quickly gauge a bride and begin putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle—her style, venue, season, colors—all as part of my initial design. - Abraham Hakakian 156 

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PLANTS N’ PETALS

A B R A H A M H akak i an , O w ner

In business for 33 years, Hakakian says he cherishes “having the opportunity to design weddings for the children of previous clients and friends whose weddings I had the privilege to produce.” The Biz:

He and his Plants N’ Petals staff “truly consider the bride’s personal style while developing her wedding design,” Hakakian notes. “My years of experience allow me to quickly gauge a bride and begin putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle—her style, venue, season, colors—all as part of my initial design.”

S i g n at u r e S t y l e :

Fa shion Fave s :

Banana Republic

Go-To H ou ston R estauran ts :

Américas, Seasons 52, Mark’s, Da Marco

Trending f or Wedding s: Hakakian sees high demand for “posh organic designs with accents of gold and antique gold.” At the same time, brides are embracing “lessuniform table designs,” and falling in love with “things that could be found in your grandmother’s china cabinet, but reworked in new, fashionable ways.” It’s all part of “creating a fantasy—and having their guests really feel it.” Dream Wedding: If

he could do anything with a wedding, Hakakian says he’d love to create a “controlled outdoor wedding inside of a large industrial warehouse using immersive video.” He explains: “With this innovative technology I can recreate my client’s favorite garden, a forest or even their own backyard, indoors, without the risk associated with an outdoor wedding. Buzzing bees and floating butterflies would fly around between the guests. I envision soft verdant grass under their feet and the sight and sound of birds swooping over tables. The ceremony would take place during the ‘day,’ and throughout the evening the scene would move into dusk. Eventually guests would be dancing under a starry night ‘sky.’ I would seamlessly mesh video, lighting, floral and decor, in order to create a truly unique and unforgettable experience for my bride and her guests. All I’m waiting for is the perfect bride to give me the green light!”

photo MICHAEL CARR PHOTOGRAPHY

photo MICHAEL CARR PHOTOGRAPHY

photo MICHAEL CARR PHOTOGRAPHY

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wedding services

making room for

mother-in-law

She’s not your mom, she’s not exactly your friend…so who is this new woman in your life? writer Dr. Deanna Brann ~ photo select studios

Wedding season is almost here and wedding preparations are in full frenzy. Brides have so much to think about and plan—invitations, dresses, showers, cake, flowers, ceremony location, reception details, and on and on. The list seems endless. Even so, one vital element for making the day flawless often gets forgotten: figuring out how to “manage” your future mother-in-law.

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wedding services This relationship, after all, may feel a bit awkward at first. Your fiancé’s mother is not your mother, and she’s also not really your friend, yet she’s about to become a big part of the rest of your life. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, you have no doubt heard all sorts of stories about what an absolute nightmare mothers-in-law can be. It doesn’t exactly tempt you to embrace this near stranger with wild abandon, does it? To make things even more challenging, no two mothers-in-law are alike. Each one comes with her own personality, demeanor and style, based on her life experiences, personal history, and yes, her own personal emotional baggage. To make both your wedding and your future life with your mother-in-law go as smoothly as possible, it helps to know more about the cards you’ve

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been dealt. With that in mind, below are descriptions of four basic types of mother-in-law. Figuring out which category she’s in will go a long way toward helping you see the best way to handle any situation that arises with her— wedding or otherwise—so you can avoid tension or conflict before it occurs.

mother her son, but she also views her daughter-in-law as a “daughter,” which means she wants to mother her as well. Off -t h e - W a l l W a n d a :

She comes across as mean, insensitive and self-centered. Everything is about her and what she feels, wants and needs. Her behavior is often extreme.

C o mf o r t a b l e C a r l a :

She has created a new identity for herself beyond that of “mother.” She is clear that her new role in her son’s life is secondary to his wife’s role. M o t h e r i n g M a r g a r e t:

She struggles with letting go of her “mom” role. She wants everything to be the way it’s always been, even though circumstances are now different. She not only wants to continue to

U n c e r ta i n S a r a :

She has let go of her son, but she is uncertain about her new role as a mother to an adult child and to a daughter-in-law. Sometimes she tries too hard, and sometimes she just misses the mark. Although these types can overlap a bit, chances are that one of them best describes your future mother-in-law. Keeping your mother-in-law’s “type” in


wedding services mind, now consider the following tips for starting out on the right foot and setting the tone for how your relationship will go: Decide what you will call her. Figuring out what you are comfortable calling your future mother-in-law may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s a really big deal to her. Once you’ve made the decision, talk with her about your choice so she can get used to it. Let her wear it for a while. Give her a piece of the action. Let her be part of the preparations, as well as the wedding itself. You can assign her major duties or small tasks, but be sure to give her something to do that she can feel good about, so that she won’t feel pushed aside or ignored. Ask her for input. Remember, this is her child’s wedding too. You don’t

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wedding services have to let her make the most critical decisions, but asking her for her opinion now and then is a gracious gesture that will make her feel valued. Let her join in the fun. If you’re having a “nail” day or other excursion that includes your mother and bridesmaids, consider asking your future mother-inlaw to come along. You don’t have to ask her every time, but extending a few invitations assures her that you want her to be a part of your new life with her son. Share with her. Keep her updated on the wedding plans and share some of the funny stories with her. Many mothers of the groom feel as though the wedding is happening around them, with them being merely passive observers instead of key players. Help her to have some special memories that she can share with her friends, too.

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wedding services Above all, remember to speak and act with kindness and compassion. It never hurts to be gracious, and your efforts will go a long way toward ensuring that everyone lives happily ever after. Deanna Brann, Ph.D., is a leading expert in the field of mother-in-law/ daughter-in-law relationships. She is the author of “Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law” and “Mothers-in-Law and Daughtersin-Law Say the Darndest Things.” www.drdeannabrann.com

online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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photo LARRY FAGALA location the corinthian


Jewelry 166 wedding attire 178 beauty & health 238

wedding style

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.

photo select studios

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W E D D I N G

S T Y L E

ROCK RULES

Follow these 4 expert tips for choosing and buying your perfect diamond.

An engagement ring does more than sit pretty on a bride’s left hand. It tells the story of you and your beloved, and the bond you have with one another. Diamond rings can have just as much personality and be as varied as each couple themselves, which is why it is so important to take the time to find the perfect stone to express your perfect love story. Before you set out on your diamond hunt, take to heart these words of wisdom from top rock experts.

writer Julie Lemerond ~ photo larry fagala

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jewelry 1 . P i c k a t r u e pr o .

Before you even start looking at rings, the very first thing you should do is find a jeweler you can trust. Awardwinning jeweler Alfredo Molina, CEO and owner of Molina Fine Jewelers in Phoenix, and Black, Starr & Frost in Newport Beach, Calif., prides himself and his dedicated staff on providing a one-of-a-kind experience for each individual client who walks through his door. That kind of personalized service, he says, is the sign of a consummate professional. When searching for a jeweler, “Do your homework,” he recommends. “There are no laws at the state or federal level that protect the consumer. Anybody can become a jeweler.” And just like the purveyors who sell them, “All diamonds are not created equal,” he adds. A quality jeweler has ties to the community, a history of good business practices and a reputation of trust. Look for a jeweler who has certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)—a well-respected national organization that trains gemologists to the highest standards of the industry. And keep in mind that finding a jeweler with a longstanding history also means that you can continue to build a relationship over the years, as you continue to add to your jewelry collection in the future.

of advertising, marketing and digital media for Zadok Jewelers in Houston. When it comes to sparkle, he says, “Cut is king. Color and clarity will not make your stone sparkle more; cut is what will do that.” Katelyn Cristoforetti, lead “perfection stylist” for diamond firm Hearts On Fire, couldn’t agree more. “Cut is the ‘C’ that really makes your diamond sparkle, and the diamond industry states that if a diamond’s clarity, color and carat weight all remain constant, then cut will affect the value of the diamond by as much as 50 percent or more,” she says. While cut is the biggest player in the 4 C’s, color, clarity and carat weight also do have some bearing on a ring’s brilliance. Color and clarity are graded on a scale and can vary greatly from stone to stone, and as mentioned above, can be enhanced or dulled by the cut of the stone. It’s not just the shape of the cut, but the quality of that cut, that brings out the hidden features of the diamond. “Even between two diamonds that are the same shape, the quality and symmetry of the actual cut will dictate the brilliance and radiance of the diamonds,” says Zadok.

There are seemingly endless cut shapes for diamonds these days, which means it pays to pay attention to what you like—on celebrities’ fingers, in magazines and on sites like Pinterest and Instagram. The most popular cut—which also happens to be the most timeless—is the classic round. Yet there are a myriad of other choices as well: cushion, square/princess, emerald, Asscher, oval, heart and pear, to name several (see “Diamond Glossary” sidebar for descriptions). No matter what shape you select, remember: “You want to get the best sparkle with the diamond you choose,” says Cristoforetti. “Having the diamond cut perfectly, you know you are getting the performance you want, meaning the sparkle factor.” 3. Don’t settle for just any setting.

Finding your ideal stone is one thing— and has much to do with simple science and skill. Choosing a setting for your gorgeous sparkler is another enterprise entirely—one that depends on personal taste, style, personality and desire. Zadok advises brides: “Go with what you think expresses your sense

2 . L e ar n t h e 4 C ’ s — e s p e c i ally t h e f i r s t o n e .

There are four main components that sum up what to look for when purchasing a diamond, commonly referred to as the “4 C’s”: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. The cut of a diamond is by far the most important of the four, says Gilad Zadok, executive vice president 168 

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jewelry of style,” as each bride’s personality and taste may differ. He recommends looking for something that will be “beautiful and desirable for many years to come. Picture looking for a ring that your future daughter will want to wear someday.” Molina breaks it down even further. “There are so many things to take into consideration when purchasing a diamond ring, but remember that this is going to be something that will be worn the rest of your life,” he says. He urges couples to be practical when selecting the setting for the gem that eyes will be drawn to on a daily basis. “Jewelry should be selected by the physical attributes of the wearer,” he says. “On long fingers, elongated or oval cut stones are very becoming, whereas on shorter fingers, a round stone is more becoming,” he explains. But even more important, says Molina, is the feeling you get when looking at and wearing the ring. “My grandfather used to always say the number one thing to ask yourself, is ‘Does it speak to me?’” 4 . A v o i d c o n fl i c t.

Any diamond bought in the United States these days should be from a conflict-free source. “Several years ago, leading diamond manufacturers joined with the UN in adopting an international agreement known as the Kimberley Process (KP) to prevent all traffic in conflict diamonds. The KP requires certificates of origin to be attached to all rough diamonds from conflict-free countries,” says Cristoforetti. Molina and Zadok agree, saying that conflict diamonds are a thing of the past, as long as you are purchasing within U.S. borders.

Knowing the provenance of your diamond, and knowing that you have invested your heart and mind in the diamond-buying experience, can ensure not just satisfaction in your purchase, but a true sense of joy. You’ll take joy, too, in knowing that you have

found a jeweler who will be with you through life’s milestones and celebrations. “Jewelry is the most emotionally charged gift that a man can buy a woman,” Molina says. “We are proud to be a part of that process, that part of a family’s history.”

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:

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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Sarah d Logan

REAL WEDDINGS

~ OCTOBER 5, 2013 ~

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Middle-school classmates who attended separate high schools then reconnected in college, Sarah and Logan have a long Houston history and a lot of family and friends between them. Their choice of Wimberley’s Old Glory Ranch as the venue for their festive fall wedding gave them the opportunity to celebrate with 300 of their nearest and dearest in a setting of privacy and natural splendor. “The theme for our wedding was ‘shabby chic’ and rustic,” explains Sarah. “Everything was perfect”— from the “beautiful flowers” to the “delicious food” to the “mismatched vintage china.” Best of all, she adds, was having those she loved most make their way to the Hill Country for an unforgettable destination wedding conveniently close to home.

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REAL WEDDINGS

names sarah fabian

&

logan prewett    number of guests 300    venue old

glory ranch    invitations bering’s    wedding dress matthew christopher from weddings by debbie    registry bering’s    honeymoon bahamas

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Bold

p a nd

b e a u ti f u l

DE BEERS Phenomena High Jewelry Collection Glacier Diamond Necklace De Beers Houston Galleria

WHITE GOLD & ROSE-CUT DIAMOND EARRINGS zadok.com

ASsCHER-CUT ENGAGEMENT RING zadok.com

IPPOLITA 18K Gold Rock Candy Gelato Ring ippolita.com

Armenta Boulder Opal Dagger DIAMOND EARRINGS armentacollection.com

IPPOLITA 18K Gold Gelato 8-Stone Bangle ippolita.com

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Van Cleef & Arpels Oiseaux de Paradis ring vancleefarpels.com

CARELLE BROOKe LEAF PENDANT AMETHYST zadok.com

IPPOLITA 18K Gold Gelato Mini Hoops ippolita.com

David Yurman Morganite, Diamond & 18k Yellow Gold Ring Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria

NINA RUNSDORF PEACH MOONSTONE & BRIO RING Neiman Marcus

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TA S T E MA KERS & T RENDSET T ERS

Events inBloom

“If we put a specific piece into the party, it’s not because it matches the color scheme, or because we have 10 of them—it always has to be purposeful.” 176 

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- Rob Smith


EV ENTS IN BLO O M R O B S M I T H , O w ner

The Biz: A

former accountant, and the son of an “artistically inclined” mother and “very pragmatic” father, Smith brings both brilliant creative vision and solid business sense to his 16-year-old event firm. But it’s his passion for fabulous flowers that has made him a favorite among society brides.

“I’m super cerebral when it comes to the design process,” Smith says. “If we put a specific piece into the party, it’s not because it matches the color scheme, or because we have 10 of them—it always has to be purposeful.” He adds: “I think sometimes people perceive that we do really elaborate parties. But even with clients who want flowers everywhere, we bring an edited version of that vision. People who appreciate an edited approach are the ones who come to us.” Signature St yle:

Fa s hion Fave s :

Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss

Go-To H ou ston Re stauran ts:

Laredo Taco Place, Benjy’s on Washington, Caracol, Black Walnut

When it comes to trends, “I learned my lesson early on,” Smith recounts. “For a while, red was the color. It was everywhere. Bridesmaids in red, brides carrying red bouquets. I gave them exactly what they thought they wanted. Then the pictures started rolling in—and those reds got so dated so quickly.” As a result, he says, “One of the first questions we talk about is the longevity of the look. We take inspiration more from really classic weddings than watching the trends and runways.”

Trending for Wedding s :

Dream Wedding: Though he’s known for timeless wedding design, Smith says, “I’ve always wanted to do a gothic wedding.” Perhaps surprising to some, “I love the band Evanescence,” he reveals. “I’ve always loved their music videos, and I think their styling is romantic and beautiful in a very cool way.” Keying on that inspiration, “I can imagine doing this wedding at The Corinthian [a converted neoclassical bank building] in really moody, very dramatic, opera-ish velvets, with really full, developed flowers, with a pale-color staircase, perhaps, but the bride coming down in a richly colored gown,” he envisions. “And candles everywhere you can possibly put them, along with crystal chandeliers.”

photo CHRIS BAILEY

photo CHRIS BAILEY

photo laura burlton

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wedding attire W E D D I N G

S T Y L E

5 fashion pointers This one’s for the grooms, gals.

It may be your ultimate moment in the spotlight—but hold on there, bridey: It’s your future hubby’s time to shine, too. Whether he’s a dedicated follower of fashion, or strictly a jeans-and-T dude, on his wedding day he’s going to want to raise the style bar. And you can help make sure he does, by sharing with him these sharp fashion tips for 2014 grooms.

writer Natasha Garber ~ photo larry fagala

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wedding attire 1 . A t u x i s n o t a m u s t.

Unless, of course, you’re planning a black-tie affair, in which case a black tuxedo is de rigueur. For all other types of weddings, from ballroom-elegant to backyard-retro-chic, a stylish suit isn’t just less formal than a tux, it can be downright trendsetting.

For classic cool, nothing beats a three-piece suit, whether in a solid color, pinstripe or even a subtle plaid. Ditch the jacket after the formalities are done, and you’ll be the picture of contemporary style in your fitted vest and matching trousers. Looking for a vintage vibe? If you’re

tying the knot during the cooler months, a natty herringbone suit or tweed jacket and wool trousers are a nod to the past without being too “themed.” For warm-weather weddings, consider a seersucker suit and bow tie, or a soft linen suit in tan or pale gray, paired with suspenders. Doing your “I do’s” destination style? Skip the jacket altogether and walk down the aisle (and party the night away) in a finely made, but not overly tailored, shirt and loose pants in a comfortable, natural fabric—say, cotton, linen or silk. Throw on a linen blazer to beat the chill and add a touch of preppy formality. 2 . S i gn a l t h a t i t ’ s a p a r t y … w i t h a pat t e r n .

There is absolutely no rule that says you must wear a solid-color shirt—or even a solid-color suit—for your wedding. Nothing says, “Let’s get this party started,” like stripes, checks, plaid, paisley or even a hip print of tiny motifs. Some possibilities: pairing a crisp black suit with a black-and-white check shirt, a dark-gray suit with aubergine stripes, or a light-brown or tan suit with a pink-and-brown plaid. For the ultimate in killer cool, mix your patterns, pairing perhaps a chalkstripe suit with a super-fine check shirt, or a herringbone suit with a striped shirt. Determined to stick to a sound, solid shirt on your seriously major day, but still looking for a way to add a bit of pop to your getup? Move on to #3, mister. 3. Tie one on.

The single most noticeable—and versatile—accessory in your wedding-day ensemble is sure to be the one you wear around your neck. A necktie completes all but the most informal groomswear looks, and offers you a 180 

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wedding attire way to express your fashion sensibility (and if you lack that, just think of it as a way to say something interesting about yourself). No tie look is more dapper for 2014 grooms than the sleek, simple, skinny tie. And yes, black is still the color of choice for this hip tie style, and works well for grooms and groomsmen alike, especially when paired with a crisp white shirt. For a dash of panache, you can forgo basic black and coordinate your skinny tie with one of your standout wedding colors—think: mint, pink, bronze, gray, red, ochre (that’s a dusky, mustard yellow, fellows). For a more buttoned-down affair, try a classic necktie paired with a coordinating pocket square. Again, you can echo a highlight color from your wedding palette, or coordinate with your

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wedding attire bride’s bouquet or belt, or stir things up with bold stripes or funky polka dots. If you and your groomsmen will be donning tuxedos for your formal wedding, you’ll need to complete your look with either a self-tie bow tie that coordinates with your lapels, or, for a slightly more modern look, a black

four-in-hand tie (a formal long-tie style). Oh—and speaking of bow ties, they’re not just for tuxes anymore. Rustic-chic, retro-hip and just plain tasteful grooms everywhere are knotting up natty bows in just about any color, print and pattern imaginable. One of our favorite bow-tie purveyors is Mo’s Bows

(mosbowsmemphis.com), the brainchild of child entrepreneur Moziah Bridges, who launched his Memphisbased company at the age of nine (he’s 12 now), when he couldn’t find “cool and fun” bow ties to complement his excellent fashion sense. Awesome, right? 4 . B r i ng t h e “ s o m e t h i ng b l u e .”

While black and charcoal are the two most popular hues for grooms’ suits, blue is quickly catching up as a color of choice for 2014 husbands-to-be. And we’re not just talking navy. Royal blue, ultra-deep midnight blue and gray-toned Spanish blue are just a few of the blue hues that are hot for this year’s grooms—just leave the baby blue for throwback theme parties.

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wedding attire 5 . G e t c r e at i v e w i t h accessories.

While the aforementioned necktie is the spotlight accessory of your wedding getup, there are plenty more places you can, and should, add a little extra something that speaks to the celebratory and momentous status of the day. There’s no reason why your bride should be the only one bearing flora on your big day. Nothing’s more stylish on a groom’s lapel than a unique boutonniere. For a romantic look, ask your florist to create a boutonniere with a single orchid or rose. For a more masculine take, or to bring in a cool Texas touch, try succulents, wheat, wildflowers, and/or a bit of burlap or raffia. Wearing a formal French-cuff shirt? Let your cufflinks express your unique personality and style. Artisan sites like Etsy (etsy.com) offer countless cufflinks, including styles made from sports-car engine parts, shotgun shells and railway tokens. You can also find, or customize, cufflinks with wedding messages (“just” and “married,” wedding date and initials, etc.), cufflinks with vintage maps, and cufflinks in the shape of “Star Wars’” Millennium Falcon—to name just a few more options. Other accessory ideas include patterned cummerbunds, classic suspenders and colorful socks. Of course, your wedding also is a great occasion to get fancy with your footwear— which may, in fact, mean going the opposite of fancy with the shoes you choose. Converse high-tops, vintage kicks and cowboy boots are just a few fine options. Whichever you choose to add to your ensemble, just remember: You’re only going to do this once, so do her a favor, and do it in impressive style. W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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bauble bar fire opal collar baublebar.com

eliza paGe relic viNe baNd elizapage.com

pretty balleriNas rosario Glitter flats prettyballerinas.com

for her thomas laiNe belle epoque crystal earriNGs thomaslaine.com

alexaNder mcqueeN suede butterfly & crystal clutch ssense.com

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carveN le parfum eau de parfum Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria


Alexis Bittar Multi-Gemstone Feather Necklace Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria

Elizabeth Cole Everdeen opal earrings elizabethcolejewelry.com

Elizabeth Cole antique gold cherub ring elizabethcolejewelry.com

Vince Camuto Baguette Cutout Cuff vincecamuto.com

Hortense Half-Cup Bra & TANGA SET in Parrot Blue journelle.com

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Brittany d Ryan

REAL WEDDINGS

~ NOVEMBER 2 3, 2013 ~

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REAL WEDDINGS

“I’d never given much thought to the idea of ‘love at first sight’—until the moment it happened to me,” says Brittany. The bride first locked eyes with her hubby-to-be at a country-music festival in Steamboat Springs, Colo.—an instant that, she says, “felt like a movie” and changed her life. Eleven months into their long-distance relationship (he was in Austin, she in Houston), Ryan proposed aboard a gondola at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel. The couple’s Catholic ceremony was intimate and spiritual; their red-gold-and-black Hotel ZaZa reception was all about fun. “Since our love story began at a music festival,” Brittany says, dancing ruled the day—the highlight of a celebration “designed to include all of our guests; we wanted them to feel how much we loved them.”

writer Natasha Garber ~ photography select studios

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ryan deck  number of guests 300   venue hotel zaza   invitations katie & co.   flowers & decor darryl & co. names brittany tiner

&

 cake who made the cake!   his & hers signature cocktails whiskey press; dirty martini   wedding dress ines di santo from ivory bridal atelier   jewelry zadok jewelers   photography select studios  registry bering’s; williams-sonoma  honeymoon dominican republic

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mia Bridal couture A cool white  backdrop, a blend of modern and baroque  touches,  and  plenty  of  mirrored  surfaces,  all  combine  to  create  an  atmosphere  of  contemporary  glamour  and  cool  elegance  at  mia  Bridal  couture’s  new  River  oaks  location. salon owner starla Flake describes  it as “an inviting and personable boutique  shopping  environment  shielded  from  the  hustle and bustle of wedding planning.”

AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE:

TO P D E S I G N E R S : Amsale,  Rivini,  Judd  Waddell, enaura, Watters, Pronovias Atelier 

Belts,  jewelry  and  veils  accompany  mia’s  marvelous  gown selection, with many styles featuring  oodles of glamour-girl sparkle.

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS:

TRENDING NOW: When  perusing  mia’s  latest collections, look for interesting necklines  (sheer,  beaded,  intricate),  low  open  backs and elaborately beaded gowns.

MIA BRIDAL COUTURE River oaks www.miabridalcouture.com

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Brickhouse Bridal comfortable,  elegant  and  well  organized,  Brickhouse  Bridal  strives  to  deliver  “the  experience  of  a  lifetime”  to  brides  shopping  for  their  once-in-a-lifetime gown, notes salon owner  starla  Flake.  “We  are  committed  to  being  the  salon  that  offers  the  best  service  and  value,  in  a  boutique  environment  for  the  bride and her bridal party.” 

AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE:

Watters,  martina  Liana,  Paloma  Blanca,  stephen  Yearick,  enzoani,  Lusan mandongus 

TOP DESIGNERS:

“in  addition  to  bridal  gowns,  we  offer  bridal-party  attire,  moB/mog  attire,  fl ower-girl  dresses  and  bridal  accessories.  We  also  can  schedule  intimate bridal appointments on sundays,”  Flake notes.

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS:

T R E N D I N G N OW: Brickhouse  Bridal’s  fashion-forward  brides-to-be  are  asking  for  runway-fresh  details  including  “low  peplums,  fun  skirts  and  off-the-shoulder  straps,” Flake reports. Also popular: “blush  bridal gowns.”

BRI C KH O U SE B R I DA L the Woodlands www.brickhousebridal.com

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ivory Bridal Atelier “At  ivory  Bridal  Atelier,  we  appreciate  the  intimacy  of this special time, and strive to create an  experience that is as private as each bride  wants it to be, fi lled with special touches to  make  the  journey  memorable,”  says  salon  co-owner  sharon  Levy.  once  she  selects  gowns  to  try  on,  the  bride  can  expect  to  be ushered into an oversize dressing suite,  which features a separate living-room area  where  her  guests  can  enjoy  champagne,  petit  fours  and  mini  cupcakes  while  waiting for the big reveal.

A M B I A N C E & AT M O S PH E R E :

TO P D E S I G N E R S :   Reem  Acra,  ines  di  santo, Liancarlo, Anne Barge, galia Lahav ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS:  “our salon specializes in dressing the bride from head to  toe,” Levy says. “We carry a large selection  of unique couture designer gowns as well as  veils, hairpieces, jewelry, shoes, belts, garters and even evening bags for the big day.”

the  salon’s  brides  are  moving  away  from  big  ballgowns  and  classic  lace,  toward  slinky  fi tted  styles  with  dramatic  backs.  “Brides  are  wanting  a  sexier,  more  dramatic  look  on  their  big  day, and aren’t afraid to show some skin,”  Levy says.

TRENDING NOW:

IVO RY B R I D A L AT E L I E R River oaks www.ivorybridalhouston.com

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houston Bridal gallery AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE: done up in  feminine,  shabby-chic,  romantic  decor— “think  burlap  and  lace,  and  you  nailed  it,”  notes  owner  Robyn  Lounsberry—  houston  Bridal  gallery  puts  the  focus  on  the  relationship  between  consultant  and  bride.  “our  goal  is  to  make  this  one  extremely  important  aspect  of  the  bride’s  wedding-planning  process  as  stress-free  and seamless as possible.” TO P D E S I G N E R S : Pronovias,  matthew  christopher,  essense  of  Australia,  nicole  miller AC C E S S O R I E S & E X T R A S : Brides  can  fi nd  rehearsal-dinner  attire,  bridesmaids’  dresses, jewelry, headpieces, garters, shoes,  undergarments and veils at houston Bridal  gallery,  along  with  gorgeous  gowns.  “An  added  bonus  is  our  in-house  seamstress,”  Lounsberry  says.  “she  has  been  with   houston Bridal gallery from day one, and  she is amazingly talented.”

Lace  overlays  over  warm-neutral-tone  lining  are  very  popular  with  2014-2015  brides,  as  are  gold  and  rose-gold  accessories,  according  to  Lounsberry.  T R E N D I N G N OW:

HO U STO N B R I D A L GA L L E RY memorial/spring Branch www.houstonbridalgallery.com

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style

eLeMents

FRom hEaD To ToE Complete your wedding-day look with the perfect bridal accessories.

ella eNvelope clutch us.accessorize.com

eNchaNted atelier by liv hart fiNale headbaNd bellableubridal.com

cathy rascoe headpiece cathyrascoe.com

Jimmy choo fable satiN saNdals jimmychoo.com

trumpet & horN tiara i riNG trumpetandhorn.com

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katie burley milliNery fleur de foret comb katieburley.etsy.com •  W ed d ing s inh ous to n.com


edward berGer for moN cheri headpiece edwardberger.com

viNce camuto Julia clutch vincecamuto.com

ruby martiNi studs zadok.com

stuart weitzmaN biG bow satiN heels Stuart Weitzman Houston Galleria

aGeNt provocateur bra aNd brief set agentprovocateur.com

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Weddings by debbie With  its  Venetian-style  textured  walls  and  murals  reminiscent  of  the  uffi zi  gallery  in   Florence,  Weddings  by  debbie  has  a  decidedly  european  air—but  with  all  the  southern  comfort  and  gracious  service  a  houston  bride  expects.  “When  a  bride  enters our salon, we want her to feel as if  every aspiration she has had for fi nding the  perfect own is about to come to fruition,”  says A.J. Ruley, vice president of sales and  marketing  for  the  family-owned,  quartercentury-old  bridal  institution.  “We  have  rooms with mannequins that showcase our  designers,  and  elegant  lighting  that  illuminates crystal and intricate beadwork.”  A M B I A N C E & AT M O S P H E R E :

TOP DESIGNERS: Farage,  Lazaro,  marisa,  matthew  christopher,  Pronovias,  stephen  Yearick

A  true  fullservice  salon,  Weddings  by  debbie  offers  in-house alterations performed by a master  seamstress,  as  well  as  an  on-site  pressing  department  that  fl awlessly  handles  fi nal  gown procurement. Looking ahead, “Weddings  by  debbie  is  proud  to  announce  the expansion of our store with a broader  selection  of  mothers’  gowns,  luxury  evening  wear  and  attendants’  apparel,”  Ruley  adds.  “We  hope  to  have  the  new  renovations  completed  by  the  end  of  the  July.  Also  coming  in  the  fall  will  be  a  new  ‘fi nishing  touches’  department  featuring  a  collection  of  reception  dresses  and  rehearsal-dinner attire.”

AC C E S S O R I E S & E X T R A S :

TRENDING NOW: higher necklines, sleeves  of  different  lengths,  crystal-encrusted  lace  and  textured  skirts  all  are  in  demand  for  brides-to-be.  As  for  color,  Ruley  says,  “darker  shades  of  champagne,  taupe  and  blush have hit the runways and have made  a huge impact.”

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Winnie couture  Flagship Bridal salon houstontrained,  Beverly-hills-based  designer  Winnie  chlomin  Lee’s  Buffalo  speedway  fl agship salon is a fantasyland of sparkling  crystal chandeliers, gleaming surfaces, and  racks and racks of ultra-glamorous gowns,  “at  price  points  for  every  bride,  all  featuring  Winnie  couture’s  signature  luxury  embellishments  and  impeccable  attention  to detail,” notes company ceo chris Lee. A M B I A N C E & AT M O S P H E R E :

TOP DESIGNERS:

Winnie chlomin Lee

Belts,  jewelry  and  headpieces  are  available,  and  shoes  may be ordered to accompany your gown  of choice.

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS:

TRENDING NOW: Lee points to lace bodices,  layered  tulle  and  swarovski-crystal  waist  accents  as  top  2014  trends;  he  adds  that  Winnie  couture  diamond  Label  collection’s  Alençon-lace  fi t-and-fl are  style  is  a huge hit, too.

WI N N I E C O U TUR E F L AG S H I P B R I D A L S A LON West university www.winniecouture.com

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wedding attire

FOR HIM

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1 avioN reserva 44 tequila Tony K’s Home of Fine Spirits

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2 Jack russell terrier bookeNds lilyrain.com

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3 michael aram rope valet tray michaelaram.com 4 alexaNder mcqueeN studded suNGlasses Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria

5 tom ford tobacco vaNille eau de parfum neimanmarcus.com

6 brooks brothers eNvoy leather messeNGer baG Brooks Brothers Houston Galleria

7 the wiNstoN eNGraved shaviNG set harrys.com

8 Jack spade woody iphoNe case Saks Fifth Avenue Houston Galleria

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Parvani Vida spacious  and  well  appointed,  with  comfortable  sitting  areas  and  perfect  lighting,  Parvani  Vida  has  been  providing  houston-area  brides  with  gown-selection  services  for  more  than  a  decade.  “our  goal  is  to  help  you transform your wedding dream into a  reality,” says salon owner Jeannie nguyen.

A M B I A N C E & AT M O S P H E R E :

D E S I G N E R S : Allure,  casablanca,  christina  Wu,  david  tutera,  enzoani,  La  sposa, sophia tolli

TO P

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS: every accessory  a  bride  could  desire—including  footwear,  headpieces  and  wraps—can  be  found  at  Parvani  Vida,  which  also  carries  bridalparty attire and formalwear.  TRENDING NOW: nguyen  identifi es  tearose-hued  gowns  as  an  emerging  trend,  along with romantic lace veils.

PA RVA N I V I D A sugar Land www.parvanivida.com

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Belle Revé  Bridal couture  AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE:   “our  salon 

is very quiet and intimate,” says Belle Revé  owner Lytrina Brisco. “during her appointment,  the  bride  has  our  full  attention,  so  we can focus on fi nding the right gown for  her without distractions.” TOP DESIGNERS:  sophia tolli, Jim hjelm,  stephen  Yearick,  La  sposa,  ti  Adora  by  Alvina Valenta, Wtoo curve AC C E S S O R I E S & E X T R A S : Along  with  bridal gowns, Belle Revé offers jewelry and  accessories  by  malis-henderson,  and  styling accessories and lingerie by commando.  Brides who wish for lady-in-waiting service  can  engage  Belle  Revé  staff  to  assist  with  dressing,  styling  and  little  to-do’s  on  the  big day. 

“We  are  seeing  more  brides  opt  for  sheath  dresses  instead  of  fuller  gowns,”  Brisco  notes.  “Brides  are  also  looking  for  dresses  with  sleeves  and  elaborate back detailing instead of the typical strapless gown.” Also, she adds, “Brides  are looking for dresses with color to them.  champagne is a very popular shade.” TRENDING NOW:

BELLE R EV É B RI DA L CO U T U R E shadow creek Ranch, Pearland www.bellerevebridal.com

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Marla d Ryan

REAL WEDDINGS

~ NOVEMBER 9, 2013 ~

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Decidedly unromantic memories of their first high-school encounters—Ryan stepping on Marla’s foot at the homecoming dance, awkward eye contact in the halls—eventually led to magnificent memories of the most extraordinary occasion of their lives. Dressed in a stunning Austin Scarlett gown and matching custom veil, Marla wed Ryan in a church ceremony, then joined guests for dining and dancing at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, in a romantic ballroom done up in dreamy shades of blush, pink, cream and gold. While the evening’s great music, late-night chicken and waffles, and flower-bedecked wedding cake all were highlights, “One of our favorite memories was sharing a dance with my grandparents, who have been married for 62 years and were also high-school sweethearts,” Marla says. “I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the room.”

writer natasha garber ~ photography J. Cogliandro Photography W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names marla doughty

ryan murphy  number of guests 200  venue the houstonian hotel, club & spa  lighting bright star productions  cake

susie’s cakes

&

confections  wedding dress austin scarlett from mia bridal couture  rehearsal dinner hotel zaza  photography j. cogliandro &

photography  registry macy’s; williams-sonoma  honeymoon will have to wait until the groom finishes medical school

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david Peck usA “in our chic  and  inviting  studio,  a  bride  can  explore,  right down to the last stitch, how she wants  to  look  on  the  most  important  day  of  her  life,” says designer david Peck of his eponymous  atelier.  every  garment  produced  by  david  Peck  usA  is  conceptualized,  designed  and  manufactured  in  the  company’s houston headquarters, which means  the  company  has  complete  control  of  the  design  and  gown-creation  process.  “this  allows the bride the ability to check in on  the dress every step of the way,” he adds.  AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE:

TOP DESIGNERS:

david Peck usA 

the salon offers  made-to-measure  and  customized  versions  of  its  ready-to-wear  styles  for  the  bridal  party,  as  well  as  couture  little-girl  designs for the bridal entourage’s youngest  members.  Another  bonus:  Alterations  and  modifi cations  for  custom  bridal  gowns  are  included  in  the  price  of  the  gown,  while  fees  for  alterations  on  RtW  and  semi-custom gowns are minimal. “this service alone  can save the bride and her party hundreds  or even thousands of dollars,” Peck says.

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS:

“Romantic  volume,”  Peck  notes,  “meaning  volume  that  is  very  soft  and  obscure,  shown  through  light  tulle, delicate laces and soft organza.”

T R E N D I N G N OW:

D AV I D PE C K U S A upper Kirby/River oaks www.davidpeckusa.com

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Opulence

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among the oaks Baroque meets burlesque in a sun-dappled forest clearing.


concept & design Kat Creech Events Kat Creech

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concept & design Kat Creech, Kat Creech Events / photography Steve Lee Weddings / location Private Property flowers Dream Bouquet / linens & dining chairs EB INC events / lounge decor Plants N’ Petals china, stationery, props Blue Leaf houston / cake Who Made The Cake! / gown Turquoise by Ines di Santo from Ivory Bridal Atelier W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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Rachel d Jonathan

REAL WEDDINGS

~ AUGUST 24, 20 13 ~

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A perfect Valentine’s date—Galveston harbor tour, lovely lunch, Moody Gardens stroll—turned into an evening Rachel will never forget, when Jonathan surprised her with a candlelit marriage proposal at his Houston home. Six months later, the pair said their vows before 200 friends and family members at the same church where they’d first met at a singles’ bible-study class. A vintage Rolls-Royce—arranged by the bride’s father as a surprise for the newlyweds—conveyed the couple to their country-club reception, where they dined and danced the night away. “It was truly everything I could ever have dreamed of and more,” Rachel says. “Our wedding day and love story came right out of a fairytale.”

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REAL WEDDINGS

names rachel cramer

jonathan colletti  number of guests 200  wedding theme “classic and elegant”  what the bride will remember most “having all of our loved ones &

with us to celebrate our marriage and love for one another was the best feeling in the world”  wedding dress eve of milady from weddings by debbie  photography & videography md turner photography  registry macy’s; bering’s  honeymoon bora bora

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La Rêve Bridal couture modern, yet  warm,  La  Rêve  Bridal  couture  features  an  open-concept store design, and with plenty  of soft lighting and soothing hues, to help  brides feel serene and happy while seeking  out their special-day gown.

AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE:

TOP DESIGNERS:  

maggie  sottero,  Allure  couture,  essense  of  Australia,  Pronovias,  Justin Alexander signature

ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS:  As expected, La  Rêve Bridal couture offers elegant accessories to accompany its popular gowns. Less  expected: “We offer a unique room, which  we  call  our  ‘skype  Room,’”  explains  manager  Aisha  osanyin.  “this  is  where  brides  who cannot come with their mom or loved  ones can skype with them anywhere in the  world while picking out their bridal gowns.  many of our brides love this feature!” TRENDING NOW: osanyin  says  La  Rêve  is  receiving  numerous  requests  for  verylow-back  and  illusion-fabric-back  gowns,  mirroring  red-hot  red-carpet  styles.  “We’re  also  still  seeing  great-gatsby-inspired  looks  such  as  beaded  cap  sleeves,  sheath  gowns and halo headbands, and the return  of the ballgown, as opposed to the fi t-andfl are style that has been the ongoing trend  for years.”

L A R Ê V E B R I D A L CO U T U R E sugar Land www.larevebridalcouture.com

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Now & Forever Bridal Boutique Glass doors open to reveal polished hardwood floors bathed in natural light, and racks of sophisticated couture gowns, at this chic, intimate Upper Kirby salon.

Ambi ance & Atmosphere:

Accessories & Extr as: To complement their designer gowns, Now & Forever Bridal Boutique offers delicate veils, unique headpieces and jewelry.

Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley Paige, Tara Keely by Lazaro, Victoria Nicole Bridal Couture, Christos

Top Designers:

Tren ding Now: “We’re seeing lots of variation in fabric choices, and texture details such as hand-appliquéd lace and flutter-sheers,” notes salon owner Kim Vo, who is also getting requests for gowns with diverse necklines and daring peekaboo details

Now & F o r ev e r B r i da l Bouti qu e Upper Kirby www.nowandforeverbridalbtq.com

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Alluring GOWNS

Stunning bridal styles from the I Do! Bridal Soiree runway, presented by Weddings in Houston. View the entire gallery of gowns at HoustonBridalShows.com. Visit the salons for more details. photography ama photoGraphy & ciNema videography a&a photo aNd video stage decor darryl & co. lighting briGht star productioNs master of ceremonies JoNNy black productioNs hair & makeup the saloN saks fifth aveNue location royal soNesta hotel houstoN

ed di& ngs i nho us tbridal o n. c o m  boutique •  229 gown W Now forever


I V O R Y

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B R I D A L

A T E L I E R


B R I C K H O U S E

B R I D A L

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N O W & B R I D A L

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F O R E V E R B O U T I Q U E


M I A

B R I D A L

C O U T U R E

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W I N N I E

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C O U T U R E


W E D D I N G S

B Y

D E B B I E

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PA R VA N I

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V I D A


D AV I D

P E C K

U S A

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beauty &health W E D D I N G

S T Y L E

beautiful bride Top fitness and beauty experts offer their best advice for getting big-day gorgeous.

Though you may have been planning your wedding for months now, it is time to focus on yourself as you head into the final stretch before the big event. In as little as three to four weeks you will be able to get fit, get beautified and even bounce back from a little nip and tuck, with help from the pros.

photo Larry fagala

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hair the perfect face


beauty &health 4 W e e ks B e fo r e Yo u r Wedding

About a month before the big day you want to plan out your schedule to fit in workouts. By this time you should have already picked out your dream wedding dress and had it fitted, so the goal isn’t to slim down for the big day, but to tone up. The perfect workout for this task is The Bar Method, which should be done three to four times a week. The Bar

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Method is designed to tone and sculpt muscles, enhance posture and reshape your body. Method creator Burr Leonard shares a quick tip on how this look is achieved: “The Bar Method alternates between exercises that demand intense bursts of energy, and deep stretches. This format produces both high caloric burn and firmer muscle mass. It also gives you an overall slimmer, more youthful appearance by working on your posture.”

3 to 8 Weeks Before 
 Y o u r W e d d i n g

Studies have shown that not only brides-to-be are seeking physical enhancements before the wedding— so are the mothers of the bride and groom. If you, your mom or his mom is considering minor plastic surgery to enhance your features, now is the time to do it. San-Diego-based, boardcertified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo suggests two quick procedures


beauty &health that require minimal recovery time. 1. Breast augmentation: Whether you have been considering a breast enhancement for years or you just want to fill out your dress, this procedure is quick and easy, with minimal down time. It takes about two hours in surgery, one week until you’re back to normal activities and three weeks until you can exercise normally.  “Most of our brides have their augmentation completed six weeks before their last dress fitting,” adds respected Houston cosmetic surgeon Dr. Carlos Murillo, of Murillo Plastic Surgery. “This will allow time for your dress to fit just right, and for you to rock that honeymoon swimsuit.” 2. CoolSculpting: As a non-surgical alter­native to liposuction, Cool­Sculpting helps you get a thinner and trimmer

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midsection. “On average, a single Cool­ Sculpting treatment creates a 25-percent reduction in fat in the treated area,” Chaffoo explains. To conduct the procedure, the surgeon uses a specialized device that cools fat cells to a point at which they become damaged and die, and this is why your more toned appearance will become visible as soon as three weeks after treatment. 2 Weeks Before Yo u r W e d d i n g

A couple weeks before the wedding day is the best time for any Botox treatments. For whatever area you want treated, Botox will need at least a week for swelling to go down. “The most common area of injection is between the eyebrows where adults frequently develop a furrow. This area

responds extremely well to Botox. ‘Crows’ feet’ and forehead lines also respond well,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt of Baxt Cosmedical. “Many of our brides like to treat their bridesmaids to a Botox bridal party,” adds Dr. Murillo. “You can meet us at the office or we can come to you. There is no down time to your wrinklefree face. Once we place our topical anesthetic, we place the Botox quickly and efficiently. The full effects of the Botox are seen at seven days and last for six months.” 1 Week Before Yo u r W e d d i n g

During the weeks before your wedding you will have been exercising, beautifying, and planning last-minute


beauty &health

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beauty &health details for your overall wedding look. But while you do, it is important to remember that looking good on the outside is achieved by feeling good on the inside. Cosmetic treatments can aid in a beauty regimen, but to get a glowing appearance, you must nourish your body with plenty of healthy foods. Certified nutritionist Franci Cohen has created a “Wedding-Prep” food guide that lays out which nutrients to include in your diet to ensure optimal vitality

and beauty on your wedding day. 1. Carrots for a natural glow: We all know that eating obscene amounts of carrots can give the skin that orange hue, but a slightly above-average intake can do wonders for your health as well as your beauty regimen. Carrots are high in beta-carotene (a derivative of vitamin A, which plays a huge role in the renewal, protection and fortification of cells). Ingesting this nutrient from sources such as carrots

will most definitely beautify your skin from within. More than three decades of research support the claim that those who get ample amounts of vitamin A from beta-carotene have lower incidences of skin cancers, and have long-term glowing, beautiful and nurtured skin. 2. Almond milk for smooth skin: Almond milk is a nutrient-dense food that offers an abundance of essential nutrients and trace minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B-2, vitamin E, tryptophan and copper. The vitamin E in almond milk protects the skin from free-radical damage, leaving only plumped, young, beautiful skin. And almond milk plays a role in the body’s regulation of oil, which can prevent acne and other skin conditions. Almond milk is also an excellent hydrator for the skin. 3. Blueberries for clear skin: Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which fight those nasty free radicals that we keep mentioning. They protect the skin from premature aging, and help maintain a healthy and clear complexion. As they counteract the aging process, they help skin steer clear of the age spots, wrinkles, acne and other blemishes that accompany the aging process.  4. Flaxseeds to reduce wrinkles and dry skin: The oil from tiny little flaxseeds can do wonders for skin tone. Flaxseed oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial to the skin. They are loaded with vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, fiber and zinc. This is the perfect elixir to treat various skin disorders associated with dryness, such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for the repair of skin cells, leading to the reduction and prevention of wrinkles.

online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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Beauty Essentials�

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1. Sonia Kashuk Pink Innocencia Hand Crème target.com 2. OPI nail lacquer in privacy please o­ pi.com  3. Vince camuto Fiori eau de parfum vincecamuto.com 4. Kate Somerville HydraCLEAR katesomerville.com 5. BITE BEAUTY luminous crème lipstick in lavender sephora.com 6. LUSH OCEAN SALT SCRUB lushcosmetics.com


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10 7. MARC JACOBS Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in heart-shaped sephora.com  8. TORY BURCH EAU DE PARFUM bloomingdales.com  9. TARTE Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer in Park Ave Princess sephora.com  10.  URBAN DECAY NAKED 3 PALETTE sephora.com  11.  clayspray Glow Red Clay Mask beautyhabit.com

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TA S T E MA KErS & T rENDSET T ErS

Todd Events

photo steVe WruBeL

We’re most known for great design, great event flow, luxurious touches — extravagant parties that don’t feel obnoxious. - todd Fiscus

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TODD EV ENTS

T O D D F I S C U S , O w ne r & C R E A T I V E D I R E C T O R

An event-design expert for more than 20 years, Fiscus started Todd Events in Dallas a decade ago; he launched his Houston location last fall. The company stocks over 60,000 square feet of inventory including tabletop items, stage facades, furniture and luxury rentals.

The Biz:

“We are a very unique company, with a lot of playthings,” Fiscus says. “We’re most known for great design, great event flow, luxurious touches— extravagant parties that don’t feel obnoxious.”

Signat ure St yle:

Fa shion Fave s :

Tom Ford, Hermès, Thom Browne, “Anything from Neiman Marcus!”

Go-To Hou ston Restaurants:

Tiny Boxwoods, RDG Bar Annie, El Tiempo

1308 Cantina “Rose gold,” Fiscus says. “It is warmer than gold or white, and has such a beautiful sheen.” This coming wedding season, also look for “big floral statements and more-minimal tabletops,” he adds, as well as “smaller tables for intimate conversation.”

Trending for Weddings:

“We are lucky to do fantasy weddings for a living,” Fiscus notes. “But something I am looking forward to doing is using black again. I would love to do an incredibly sophisticated wedding in a rich black color palette with shocking-colored flowers.” In line with his black-is-the-new-black outlook: “We recently created a room entry in black with a panel of 5,000 roses in brilliant shades of pink. So chic! Now I am inspired to do that for an entire wedding—but it will be for a very adventurous bride.” Dream Wedding:

photo liz banfield

photo two pair photography

photo STEPHEN KARLisch

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photo GENEVIEVE DE MANIO flowers & decor todd events

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flowers, decor & rentals 252

culinary services 292 invitations 310 gift registry 320

music & entertainment 332

transportation 340

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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flowers, decor &rentals F I N E R

D E T A I L S

unexpected blooms Flowers bring fresh elegance to oft-overlooked reception and ceremony areas.

Your life is in full bloom: You’ve found the right person to spend the rest of your life with, and now you’re planning the party of a lifetime to celebrate your precious bond. Flowers, almost certainly, will be a big part of that event. To create a cohesive celebration environment that immerses your guests in the beauty and sentiment of your special day, take your blooms beyond standard altar arrangements, centerpieces and bouquets, into hidden corners and private spaces, unadorned surfaces and overlooked places.

writer Christina Caldwell ~ photo AMA PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMA

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flowers & decor FLORA & EVENTI


flowers, decor &rentals Quirky floral “gestures” can really add to your guests’ memories of the ceremony, says David Tutera, floral designer to the stars and star, himself, of WEtv’s popular “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera.” “Unexpected flowers add a touch of magic and whimsy to your wedding.

When your guests come across these hidden buds, there is a moment of surprise when they first realize what they’ve found,” Tutera says. “It keeps the decor interesting and invites your guests to explore your wedding further and see what other hidden gems they can find.”

Li t t l e T r ea s u r e s

It’s all about the details. When you’re really looking to add a “wow” factor to your celebration, you should look everywhere but the expected places, says Sheli Hart, event designer for Houston’s Flora & Eventi. “Adding flowers to the ceiling or existing lighting fixtures, or surrounding the stage for a DJ or band, or even around or under a dance floor, can really be a unique touch,” Hart says. Though the trend is just beginning to take off in Houston, “creating a raised dance floor out of Plexiglas with a full display of flowers and lighting underneath is a real showstopper,” she adds. Succulents might not be traditional flowers, but they can add volume, texture and luxury to your typical bundle of blooms. Their rich, thick, fleshy leaves have a distinctly modern, architectural feel, so give your event a bit of edge by incorporating aloe into your altar, cacti into your centerpieces or jade plants on the bar, suggests Stacy Mendenhall, owner of Lary’s Florist & Designs in Friendswood. “Personalize, personalize, personalize,” adds designer Teresa Vencil of Houston’s Haute Flowers & Finds. “For example, if you decide that all your bridesmaids are going to wear cowboy boots with their dresses, and your favorite grandpa, who has passed away, loved wearing his favorite pair of boots, create a centerpiece for the ceremony entry table that includes his boots, filled with a beautiful floral arrangement, to greet your guests.” C e r emony Sig h t s

The current trend of rustic, vintageinspired ceremonies has seen a spike in the popularity of wildflowers and other natural greenery, Tutera says. For outdoor weddings, some of those flowers 254 

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flowers, decor &rentals can even be pulled from surrounding areas the day of your ceremony if your wedding planner is feeling ambitious. “It adds an organic touch while still feeling special and upscale,” he says. You can also punch up your ceremony by decorating reception seat backs or simply scattering small, random bouquets with your favorite florals throughout the pews. Your guests will naturally pick them up and bring them to the reception, carrying over a piece of the ceremony, Tutera says. “I also love to frame the altar or space where you and your groom will stand to take your vows,” Tutera says. “It evokes an intimate and romantic feeling for the whole ceremony.” If you want your ceremony to have a professional, out-of-a-magazine look, there are certain blooms that are really popping for 2014. “Some of the musthave flowers are garden roses, peonies and clematises,” says Mendenhall. “Wedding-flower trends for 2014 will be loose and airy, with the addition of foliage, botanicals and succulents.” Try adding small bunches of full, ruffly flowers to the ends of pews or chair rows, perhaps accented with silky ribbons, or rustic raffia for a country-chic touch. If your ceremony site has a contemporary feel, place succulents in tall hammered-tin canisters or white ceramic pots at the end of every third or fourth row. Or, for a cost-effective and effortlessly romantic touch, create a simple “runner” out of fresh rose petals.

your ideal floral fantasy—especially if it involves exotic or particularly pricey blooms (peonies, for instance, an eternal wedding favorite)—can seem overwhelming. But there are ways around the heavy cost of fresh-cut blooms. Shonda Cheris, event designer for Washington-based

event-planning company Livewire 99, advises brides to take the local, seasonal approach to get the most bang for their floral bucks. “A bride should request in-season flowers, and if she must have a particular flower, but it is expensive during the time of year she wants it, consider

F r e s h B l oom s on B u dge t

It’s a difficult fact that every bride has to come to terms with when she’s planning her impending nuptials: Flowers are expensive! When you’ve grown accustomed to seeing $15 bouquets of roses at the grocery store, the cost of W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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flowers, decor &rentals changing the wedding date,” Cheris says. “Seriously, it will be worth it to have the wedding you desire.” Lower-cost blooms such as chrysanthemums and common roses, as well as lush greenery, can be used to create a look of abundance, particularly in large-scale floral design—think chuppahs, mandaps and altar canopies—and especially in areas that are far away from the guest’s eye. Save pricier blooms for close-up floral features such as centerpieces. Flowers made by hand from delicate tissue paper also can give the ceremony a sophisticated yet homey feel without venturing into the realm of arts and crafts, notes Darryl & Co.’s Jerri Powell. But really, the best thing a bride can do when working within the confines of the budget is to keep an open mind,

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Hart says. Discussing and trusting your budget to a professional will ensure you get the flowers you want, perhaps with cash to spare. “Focus on the things that are really important to you. Be open minded to non-floral and floral centerpiece options,” Hart says. “Trust your florist to lead you in a direction that is truly going to give you the most bang for your buck. Be open minded to the sizes of your floral arrangements and let us design something that suits your style, as well as the size of the venue.” By allowing your florist or decorator to make floral-design recommendations, you may actually find yourself not just saving money, but also showing off your style savvy. Today’s hottest floral trends, which include monochromatic arrangements and “repeating”

arrangements—i.e., duplicate arrangements running down the length of a long royal table—allow the most bang for your buck. Why? Because your florist can buy fewer types of flowers in larger quantities, enabling volume discounts. Also, Hart adds, “A lot of florists can be flexible with the cost of labor, depending on the scope of the design.” She notes that the cost savings can equate to the same amount a bride might spend if she were to source loose stems and attempt to arrange them herself. “I would highly recommend a bride not take on the added responsibilities of arranging flowers herself or with her bridesmaids the day before the wedding. This creates a lot of added stress and the possibilities of things not working out as planned are likely. Flowers are delicate and floral design is a true art form.”


flowers, decor &rentals

6 smart

flower-buying tips

Don’t pick your petals without them.

writer Christina Caldwell ~ photo SARAH AINSWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

Heading into your first consultation with a floral designer is enough to make your head spin. Between distinguishing your freesia from your phalaenopsis, to figuring out whether to go high, low or somewhere in the middle with your centerpieces, purchasing your wedding-day petals can be a lot more complicated than it sounds.

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flowers, decor &rentals Fortunately, we wrangled five fabulous floral and design experts who know the wedding floral scene from stem to stamen, and asked them for their best flower-buying tips. 1 . G o w i t h a p ro.

To ensure superior floral quality, it’s essential to hire a reputable florist with exclusive access to the finest growers and distributers worldwide. “The costs of arranging flowers yourself versus hiring a professional really balance out,” adds David Tutera, New York-based celebrity florist and the face of weTV’s “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera.” “Though you’ll have to pay for labor when hiring a professional, they likely will have access to wholesale costs for the flowers, which will be cheaper than what

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you’ll be able to buy yourself.” Truthfully, on your wedding day, the last thing you’ll want to do is fret about your flowers. You don’t need that stress, nor will you have the time to create fresh, professional-looking floral arrangements in the last few days—or even hours—leading up to your wedding. Aside from event decor, a floral expert knows how to construct a bouquet and boutonnieres, “which is not easy,” Tutera says. “And most importantly, they are knowledgeable about how and when to use blooms that will continue looking fresh throughout your wedding.” 2 . Ta k e t o t h e fie l d s .

Rustic, homegrown ceremonies have become popular, and with them has grown the popularity of tousled,

natural-looking flowers. If you’re getting married in a town with plentiful wildflowers, there’s no harm in going to pick your own blooms, especially for accent flowers, or to feature in vintage vignettes—say, on your guestbook table alongside framed family photos. They’re free (or close to it) and bring a local feel to your celebration. “Instead of doing tall or high round arrangements, do small clusters of arrangements that have a few [local] flowers in them,” says Shondra Cheris, event designer with Washington-based Livewire 99. While small, DIY wildflower touches are charming, it’s best to leave complex arrangements such as your bridal bouquet to a professional. To keep your overall floral look unified, ask your florist to incorporate a few local or wild blooms.


flowers, decor &rentals 3 . B u y in b u l k .

This doesn’t mean making a trip to a big-box store. Rather, if you have an overall theme or design scheme in mind for your ceremony and reception, and you’re willing to limit the variety of flowers you use, “purchasing larger amounts of fewer types of flowers can save you money,” Tutera notes. 4 . Sp l u r ge h e r e , s ave t h e r e .

When working with a budget, it’s important to determine what floral elements are essential to your wedding experience. Again, your bouquet is one place to allocate ample funds. “The bride should never be conservative on her bouquet,” says Jerri Powell, director of sales for Houstonbased Darryl & Co. “This, after all, is a precious gift from her groom and of immeasurable value.” While bridesmaid bouquets are a great way to show your girls your gratitude, and add a pop of color to your altar, they can be scaled back considerably in comparison to the bridal bouquet, says Sheli Hart, event designer for Houston’s Flora & Eventi. Flowers for the bridesmaids and rest of the bridal party “should suit the theme, but can definitely be a more cost-effective option,” she says. Large floral statements, too, are another floral area you should fund amply—but smartly. Notes Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, with offices in Dallas and Houston, “One of my favorite design elements, is to create two amazing, huge—as in smart-car-sized— florals, on pedestals, and then surround them with tables with candles and gardenia details. The room will feel fresh as opposed to all tables getting the same thing.” 264 

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flowers, decor &rentals 5 . G e t s avvy abo u t s ea s ona l s .

Being stubborn in your floral selections will ultimately lead to a hefty bill. If you want winter flowers in summer, or summer flowers in winter, prepare to take on the cost of importing blooms from exotic locales, where the seasons are reversed—and understand that flowers that have to travel far may not be at the peak of freshness on your wedding day. Instead, it’s usually a good idea to use at least a significant portion of seasonal blooms in your personal flowers, as well as ceremony and reception arrangements, says Stacy Mendenhall, owner of Lary’s Florist & Designs in Friendswood. Though you might want spring tulips in your winter ceremony, you can add season-appropriate greenery and juniper boughs for a playful floral duality.

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“Find out what is going to be in season and plan around that,” Tutera says. “There are many flower varieties that work all year long, such as roses and hydrangeas. These can be mixed and matched in corresponding colors with what will be in season around the time of your big day, to build lush and textured arrangements. But the seasonal varieties should take center stage to highlight their timely beauty.” 6 . T h in k beyond t h e b l oom .

Thanks to the rise of the Pinterestsphere, creative ideas for alternatives to traditional exotic floral varieties— many of which create the same warm, romantic feel of from-the-garden varieties—are becoming more widespread and innovative.

For large-scale floral decor—think chuppah, mandap or altar—carnations, hydrangeas, basic roses and even intricately folded paper flowers can be used to create volume and abundance, especially in areas that are farther from the guest’s eye. Meanwhile, the shimmer of metallics (mercury-glass vases, gold candlesticks, silver julep cups) and the sparkle of glass and crystal (votive holders, beaded strands, brooches and gems) provide the perfect contrast to offset natural, dewy petals and leaves, and give arrangements a special-occasion feel. And lastly, experts recommend incorporating fruit, succulents, greenery and, of course, plenty of candles, to add texture, contrast, vintage elegance or modern edge to your wedding flowers.


TA S T E MA KERS & T RENDSET T ERS

Darryl & Co.

“ From the moment a bride walks in our door until she walks down that aisle, she will feel like the only bride in the world.” - Darryl Murchison photo A&A photo and Video


Darr yl & Co .

D arr y l M u rc h i s o n , O w ner

Murchison’s eponymous design firm, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is an enduring Houston favorite for the glamour and sophistication it brings to weddings—not to mention galas, corporate events and milestone celebrations. Says Murchison: “The highlight of my career is being able to create beautiful events for our clients each and every weekend. Making their special day come to life truly gives me joy. We do what we love and love what we do!” The Biz:

Known for its extraordinary inventory of everything from lavish linens to lounge furniture to one-of-a-kind theme decor, Darryl & Co. is really about the experience, Murchison says. “From the moment a bride walks in our door until she walks down that aisle, she will feel like the only bride in the world. We do events on such a grand scale that many people are intimidated by our name if they have a smaller wedding. This is such a misconception! We cater to all brides and weddings, large or small. Our joy is not in the size of the wedding, but in being able to create memories of a lifetime.” Signature S t yle:

“Black and white will always be a classic in my book, so anyone that incorporates these colors well has my vote. For everyday wear, I am a huge fan of H&M.”

Fa shion Fave s :

G o-To H ou ston Re staurants:

Américas, Churrascos

“Greenery is back!” Murchison says. “For a while people did not want any greenery; arrangements were tight, with flowers only. Now we are seeing a return to a more natural and organic look with movement and green. Also, repetitive design is big. A royal table with grand repeating candelabras or centerpieces is very hot right now.” Trending for Wedding s :

“My fantasy wedding would be one that ignites all five senses. From the moment the guests walk in the room they would feel as though they had been transported into another time and place. I would want an intimate affair with every detail perfectly accounted for. From floor to ceiling, unexpected lighting touches, enticing smells, flawless floral application, melodic music and flow of the room, would give this wedding the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that would make it one of a kind.” Dream Wedding:

photos john ly photography

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flowers, decor &rentals

location chateau cocomar

the

gracious table

Setting a beautiful wedding table is a labor of creativity…and of love.

writer Blake Miller ~ photo holly hoyt photography

There’s a lot that goes into creating an inviting and accommodating wedding table— and that’s as it should be. After all, the reception table is where guests will spend a majority of their time at your celebration—eating, drinking, talking, laughing, reminiscing and marveling at the visual impression of those linens, those flowers, that crystal, that candlelight. And while there are no rules for designing the perfect table, decor experts agree that texture and variation are tops in tables for 2014.

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flowers, decor &rentals

flowers & decor aj’s urban petals linens & rentals eb inC EVENTS photo larry fagala

Home C h ic Home

Rather than mere showcases for fancy stuff, today’s wedding receptions are environments that express the couple’s personalities and tastes. So it’s no surprise that wedding planners suggest looking around the house for inspiration. “When it comes to dressing tabletops today, weddings are being accessorized by home furnishings,” explains wedding planner Joyce Scardina Becker with Events of Distinction in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Whatever is happening in the interior-design world is seen in wedding tablescapes.” If your own home decor feels somewhat less than special-occasion “special,” take cues from leading interior designers like Oprah favorite Nate Berkus, whose sleek, transitional lines—mixing and 272 

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flowers & decor darryl & co. photo larry fagala

matching antique crystal wine glasses with modern chargers—work well as wedding tabletop decor. W h at ’ s O l d i s N e w

The popularity of TV’s “Downton Abbey” has only reinforced the vintage aesthetic that is still going strong for 2014. “Vintage-inspired weddings and Old-World traditional looks are growing in popularity, adding twists on luxurious elegance,” says Jill Vidal of top Houston rental firm EB Inc Events (formerly Elegant Beginnings). “One of our biggest trends right now is vintage rentals,” adds Penne Hamblin with Houston’s well-stocked Any Occasion Party Rental. “We are constantly looking for unique items that remind you of raiding your grandmother’s attic, to give a warm, vintage feel to an event.”

Hamblin suggests scouring resale shops, antique stores and even eBay for mismatched china place settings and glassware. “Not only do a lot of brides love the look, it’s a whole lot of fun to go treasure hunting for these items!” M i x i t Up

While harmony and cohesion are key to a reception room, there’s no guideline that says tabletops need to be precise duplicates of one another. Instead, opt for a different yet complementary aesthetic for each table’s decor. Nothing is more alluring to the guest’s eye than imbuing each table with its own personality, versus the cookie-cutter effect of having each rose in the exact same place in every single centerpiece. Consider varying the table shapes from circular to rectangular


flowers, decor &rentals to square, and incorporating different linens and interchangeable place settings that could easily work well at each table. And while Scardina Becker loves this eclectic look, she cautions: “The key here is to know how to accessorize and know when to edit.” P a l e t t e P l ea s e r s

Choosing a tabletop color palette can be one of the most difficult—and, ultimately, enjoyable—tasks in a bride’s planning process. “We are seeing a lot of big, bold pops of color mixed with simple floral statements,” says wedding-planner Kristin Banta of Kristin Banta Events in Los Angeles. “This trend is great for the couple on a budget, as the impact from the pop of color balances the restrained florals. Bold color statements can come from the chargers, chairs, glasses and linens.” Also, brides are learning that their wedding’s color palette can extend beyond one or two colors. “Color palettes have grown from two or three colors to four, five and even six!” says wedding- and event-planner Anne Markey of Favor Me Events in Charlotte, N.C. “Like I always say: It doesn’t need to match. It just needs to ‘go.’” Meanwhile, at Houston event-decor firm The Perfect Touch, owner Vik Chadha says 2014 brides are tending toward ivory, cream and classic neutral tones, and getting their “wow” factor from bling: “Sequin linens are really in. They have a lot of sparkle, which brings that classic, Gatsby look.” Confused about which hues to use? A good place to start is by having a look at color wheels or paint swatches for inspiration, and discovering what shades complement each other, and which are best for contrast. 274 

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flowers, decor &rentals G r ace in P l ace

While centerpieces will always have a home on the wedding table, today’s brides are looking to their place settings—chargers, china, glassware, flatware and accessories—to make the biggest tabletop statement. “I am loving the use of statement glasses to accent the rest of your tabletop decor,” says Banta. “Bringing in a signature glass helps to make each place setting pop, and is a great way to add personality and dimension to your tabletop.” Markey seconds the idea: “More and more brides are opting to get their ‘bang’ from the linens, chargers, place settings and candles, and not go overboard with gigantic floral arrangements.” Looking for something beyond mere clear? Consider mercury glass or

rose-colored wine glasses to punch up your pretty table. G e t S t ac k ed

Layers of material and texture add interest and dimension to any tabletop aesthetic. “One of my favorite tabletop trends is the use of stacked chargers, and china of different patterns and textures, to create a decadent experience at each place setting,” says Banta. “There should be some consistency to the patterns and colors selected; however, feel free to get creative and adventurous as, except for the top plate, only the outer plate rims will be seen.” Like with your home, mixing and matching patterns and textures is one of the easiest ways to bring dimension to the tabletop. “If your desire is to have tabletop florals play only a

small role, drama does not have to be sacrificed,” Banta notes. “A luxurious, textured linen can often offer greater impact than your florals. A beautiful tabletop is not just about what your guests are seeing, but it’s also about what your guests can feel.” Adds Markey: “Brides are not afraid of textures in fabrics, as well as mixing patterns, linens and even furniture—such as pairing farm tables with ‘Ghost’ chairs.” Bare it All

For the bride who loves a minimal look, or who wants a more rustic aesthetic, Cheryl Rebsch of Any Occasion Party Rental suggests skipping the linens altogether. “Tables with no linens are so pretty, and a nice change from all of the fabric in one room,” she says. “We have dark-stained-wood rustic tables with matching chairs, benches and even a bar. These work great in a rustic theme room. Some brides incorporate deer horns and burlap with this look to make it more Texas-rustic.” Keep T h eme s S u b t l e

Sure, “Great Gatsby” fever has been high since the movie exploded last summer. And while it’s certainly fun to draw inspiration from the story’s 1920s aesthetic—or other visually notable eras such as Victorian era, 1940s or 1950s— steer away from explicitly “themed” weddings as a whole, says Markey. “I think it is important to remember that this is a wedding, not a birthday party,” she explains. “When a couple looks back at photos of their wedding in 10 years, they should not cringe because they got suckered into the hype surrounding a blockbuster that year.” online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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Sara d Bret

REAL WEDDINGS

~ OCTOBER 26, 2013 ~

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Sara always had a crush on her best friend’s older brother. And Bret, for his part, felt the same way about his younger sib’s BFF. But it wasn’t until 10 years after they’d first met that the pair expressed the connection they’d felt all those years. “One night, Bret texted me and said he had always felt that there was something between us and he wanted to see if there was. I agreed, so he drove up to Austin that night,” the recent bride recounts. “We got engaged four months later!” The couple’s classic Crystal Ballroom at The Rice wedding was a perfect expression of that longtime love, finally realized, and forever embraced.

writer natasha garber ~ photography Sarah Ainsworth Photography W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

 sara preston

bret labadie     220   crystal ballroom at the rice   katie & co.     plants n’ &

petals   sambuca catering    maggie sottero from brickhouse bridal    the grove   sarah ainsworth photography   williams-sonoma   anguilla

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Tables

BY DESIGN

Feast your eyes on magnifi cent tablescapes 

created exclusively for Weddings in Houston by talented houston fl orists supported by  fi ne local linen companies. All images ©Weddings in Houston

flowers & decor PlANts N’ PEtAls location rOYAl W edsONEstA di ngs i nho ushOtEl t o n. c o m  hOustON •  281 photo AMA PhOtOGrAPhY & CINEMA


TAB LES BY D ES I G N

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Flora & Eventi flowers & decor location the corinthian

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TA B LES BY DESIGN

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Events in Bloom flowers & decor location the corinthian

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TAB LE S BY D ES I G N

A Memorable Event flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

photo MORRIS SKUPINSKY

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The Perfect Touch flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

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TA B LES BY DESIGN

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Darryl & Co. flowers & decor location the corinthian

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TAB LE S BY D ES I G N

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Plants N' Petals flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

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photo MORRIS SKUPINSKY


TA B LES BY DESIGN

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Todd Events flowers & decor location the corinthian

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TAB LE S BY D ES I G N

Darryl & Co. flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL houston

photo AMA PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMA

photo AMA PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMA

Arteflora Todd Events § flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

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TA B LES BY DESIGN

photo AMA PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMA

AJ’s Urban Petals flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

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TAB LE S BY D ES I G N

Flora & Eventi flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

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Todd Events flowers & decor location ROYAL SONESTA HOTEL HOUSTON

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TA B LES BY DESIGN

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A Memorable Event flowers & decor location the corinthian

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culinary services F I N E R

D E T A I L S

local flavor

If it’s fresh in the state, it belongs on the plate.

The best way to give your guests a taste of the great state of Texas…is to give your guests many tastes of the great state of Texas. That’s because Texas, with its rich cultural history and unique geographic location, offers a delicious array of flavors, ingredients and emblematic dishes just waiting to be savored on your special day. Oh—and if you are hesitating to add elements of Texas to your reception meal at the risk of seeming cliché or literal, don’t worry, the beautiful part of adding local flavor is that little touches go a long way. As Margery Reinheardt, CPCE, director of catering for the Hilton Houston Post Oak advises, “Remember that it only takes

writer Maggie Marton ~ photo select studios

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culinary services a suggestion of Texas to add native charm to a wedding event. In Houston, everything from Gulf Coast to Tex Mex to multicultural cosmopolitan fare, and rodeo glitz and glam, make the grade.” Ta s t e o f T r a d i t i o n

“Every wedding has a place for tacos,” says Reinhardt. “Late-night breakfast tacos, fresh snapper or shrimp mini taco hors d’oeuvre, or filled candied taco shells with dark-chocolate

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ganache, cinnamon, almonds, Texas berries and orange spiked cream for dessert, are a delicious reminder of our humble heritage.” According to Wafi Dinari, co-owner and managing partner of popular Houston eateries Ouisie’s Table and The Bird and The Bear Bistro, Texas flavors draw from many different traditions. Synthesizing those flavors creates a unique, stylish Texas menu. “Things like barbecue, biscuits, good Southern

desserts and Tex Mex are traditions of Texas,” he notes. Dinari suggests menus that feature shrimp-and-cheese grits, chicken-fried steak with the works, a bacon-wrapped meatloaf, or a crab Cobb salad. A traditional menu might incorporate game such as venison, bison, quail, elk and wild boar. Fresh and Spicy

“Texas flair to me is about freshness and flavor. Think: spicy,” says


culinary services Lisa Hopkins, CMP, CPCE, director of catering for The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. She suggests integrating coastal flavors inspired by the Gulf. “Brides can share a little bit of the Gulf Coast by offering seafood like snapper, then adding a pepita crust with tomatillo and guacamole. Or, for the land lovers, what about a roasted-peach-and-pecan-stuffed Marble Farms pork chop with gingermaple jus?” At the Rainbow Lodge—a favorite of hunters, game lovers and foodies alike—owner Donnette Hansen, too, loves to offer a range of fresh and spicy flavors, including spicy Gulf shrimp with red chilies, fire-roasted oysters, and corn-and-crawfish fritters, all of which are delicious Texas-inspired menu selections.

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culinary services Get Local

The best way to ensure the freshness and quality of ingredients in your Texas-inspired celebration menu is to source food locally. Hansen says, “We source locally no matter what, and that first menu meeting is a perfect time to mention your favorite ingredients and your budget. Consider whole roasted suckling pig with bourbon-and-southTexas-citrus glaze, grilled venison or buffalo tenderloin with jalapeño bread pudding and cilantro chimichurri, pheasant tinga tacos or tostadas, grilled quail, and duck bites.” Nicole Wilker, who manages private dining at Brennan’s Houston, says that Houston brides have an advantage because there is an abundance and variety of regional food available. She suggests a menu that starts with “something that has a little kick, followed by grass-fed beef or freshly caught Gulf fish with a side of grits. And, to finish, what is more grand than a Texas pecan pie or pecan pralines?” Wilker sources ingredients like antelope from southwest Texas, and local berries from Froberg’s Farm in Alvin, Texas, and works with a local farmer to source a variety of potatoes from russets to fingerlings. Seasonal Flair

And speaking of seasonal availability— you’ll find more and more independent catering firms and hotel catering departments able to discuss it in detail, and provide you with good advice on getting your money’s worth. At the Hilton Houston Post Oak, Reinheardt says, “Locally produced cheeses are available year round, but produce is subject to the month the wedding will take place.” And she reminds brides that local, seasonal options do tend to be more expensive. “With limited production 298 

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culinary services from these artisans, most of the suppliers do not have the mass quantities of those items produced for national distribution, which means the size of the event may dictate what is readily available. Even small events, though, should expect to pay more for these products.” She suggests local, seasonal seafood options available from the Texas coast, like fresh oysters, shrimp and live crawfish. “Texas redfish is now commercially farmed and is a practical and delicious fish for banquet events as entrees and appetizers. Jalapeñobacon-wrapped quail with maple glaze is a great small-plate item, as are fresh quail eggs: Try them deviled as appetizers, on top of eggs Benedict for brunch, or as a source of flavor over many entrees—they

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just add a level of sophistication to your menu.” For a personal touch, Reinheardt suggests reminding guests of the dinner’s Texas origins by providing beautifully printed souvenir menus. M o d e r n Fa r e

Whether it’s high-quality steaks, traditional barbecue or regional favorites from around the state, taking those dishes and putting a contemporary spin on them is what raises the bar for wedding fare. And don’t forget the libations. Every wedding needs a specialty cocktail, especially if the beverage selection is limited to beer and wine. Adding one good, icy vodka cocktail is a great idea, even with more modest budgets. “Bourbons, rums, vodkas and gins,

blended whiskeys, and tequilas, can be found brewing all around our state,” Reinhardt adds. Mixing in these spirits adds the perfect finishing touch to a locally inspired menu. While you’re creating the perfect Texas-touched dining experience, Hansen cautions against overdoing thematic elements, especially when it comes to integrating the food with the decor. “Don’t get too caught up in the boots-and-hats theme; it has been way overdone and it seems to be more of a costume party than a memorable food and drink experience.” Instead, she suggests that couples bring a few of their personal favorite things from their ranch or house and let them work their way onto the tabletop, for a Texas dining experience that tastes, and feels, deliciously like home.


culinary services Personal Taste

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. 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, holidaystyle drinks.

Season.

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.

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. D i e t.

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.

C u lt u r e .

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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Elegant

c a k es

cake susie's Cakes & Confections ~ photo nhan Photography


culinary services

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New York’s

Queen of Cakes Sylvia Weinstock WOWS with her fabulous wedding confections.

photos courtesy SYLVIA weinstock

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Sylvia Weinstock Cakes New York Sylvia Weinstock, owner and designer sylviaweinstock.com Though she trained early on as a pastry chef, Weinstock launched her wedding-cake empire quite unassumingly, with a pretty cake she designed for a friend’s daughter’s nuptials. The young woman decided to display the cake design in the window of the New York City takeout-food joint where she worked. A prestigious caterer happened to see it, liked it, asked Weinstock to make a cake for a client of his…and the orders just started rolling in.

The Background:

Weinstock is known for elaborate cake designs—many of which tower seemingly to the ceiling—featuring exquisite sugar-flower details and interiors that are as rich and decadent as their exteriors are spectacular. The G oods:

Weinstock’s celebrity clientele includes Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Eddie Murphy, Alec Baldwin and Oprah, along with the sort of New York bride who can afford a custom Sylvia Weinstock creation (her cakes have fetched as much as $70,000!). The Fans:

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invitations F I N E R

D E T A I L S

a most intriguing invitation Give guests a window into your one-of-a-kind wedding.

Setting the tone and style of your nuptials starts with your wedding stationery—after all, that save-the-date and invitation are the first two wedding-related items your guests will ever see. The details that go into your invitation suite, from paper type to printing technique to color palette to embellishment, all work together to give guests a glimpse of the type of event that awaits them. To ensure you select the right wedding stationery for this very important job, here are 10 tips from top stationery pros.

writer Blake Miller ~ photography Nhan photography

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invitations bell’Invito, BELLA FIGURA silver desk set kuhl-linscomb pen BLUE leaf houston


invitations 1. Trump Tradition

Your mom might argue that an all-white invitation with black cursive script and zero motifs of any kind is the only way to go, but keep this in mind: If a traditional look doesn’t suit you, there are plenty of other equally elegant routes. “Choose the design that’s right for you,” says Sabrina Moyle, founder of Hello Lucky design studio in San Francisco. “Don’t get too caught up in worrying about tradition. Instead, choose an invitation that fits your style, whether it’s colorful or classic.” 2. Peruse Price

News flash: Stationery costs money. As with wedding gowns, avoid weddinginvitation “sticker shock” by researching various styles you love before getting your heart set on one that’s out of your price range. Christiana Turner with Houston’s Isabella Invitations [formerly Elegant Custom Invitations] suggests determining your estimated number of guests as well as your bottom-line budget. “Also, don’t forget to consider the cost of postage and any additional stationery you may need, such as thank-you notes, programs and menu cards, when making calculations.” 3. Embrace Paper

While it may feel as though every interaction, transmission and request is conducted digitally these days, “Remember that your wedding is a great opportunity to slow down, reflect and celebrate,” explains Moyle. Wedding invitations should be presented on paper and delivered via post. Anything else is too casual for a formal event. 4. Don’t Procrastinate

“A very common mistake in the invitation process is not allowing enough time to choose, purchase and print the 312 

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invitations stationery,” says Turner. “Wedding invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks in advance, and production often takes up to six weeks for custom invitations, and five to seven business days for catalog invitations.” Invitation designers caution that many brides tend to count eight weeks back from their wedding date, and then add another month and a half to arrive at a date when they need to order their invitations. These brides may find themselves suffering unnecessary headaches when there is a mistake that causes them to fall behind in sending their invitations out. To avoid this situation, designers advise clients that once their venue is booked, invitations should be the next thing to check off on their list. To be safe, most designers tell their clients to order their invitations no less than six months ahead of the wedding date. 5. Beware Bargains

The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” often rings true when it comes to wedding stationery. “Just because it seems like a bargain, doesn’t mean it is the right choice,” says Debra Hall of Olive Paper in Charlotte, N.C. “Be sure you’re happy with the overall quality before you commit.” Keep in mind things such as paper weight, a higher quality of which can easily make your wedding invitation appear and feel much more luxurious. 6. Go With a Pro

As with just about everything bridal related, there are certain protocols and conventions required when issuing a formal invitation. To make sure you adhere to what’s expected, it’s best to use a professional to design and create your wedding invitations. Since this likely will be your first time issuing W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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invitations such an important invitation, you won’t be familiar with wedding-invitation conventions or protocols. Professionals, on the other hand, maintain extensive knowledge of these conventions for a living, and know how to steer brides in the right direction. Invitation designers will be able to point out details as significant as the wording of the invitation, along with processes as seemingly insignificant as the stuffing of the envelope—yes, there is a right and a wrong way to insert all those pieces. 7. Count Correctly

What happens when you run out of invitations because you spilled coffee

on a few, or a half dozen went missing in the mail? You’re out of luck when you don’t have any backups, which is why Turner suggests that when placing your order, you should make sure to account for late additions to the wedding, lost invites and keepsakes. “It’s generally suggested that you order 10 to 15 percent more invites than you think you need,” she advises, adding that you can avoid ordering too many invitations by organizing your guest list by couple and family rather than individual guest. Adds Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York in New York City: “Remember, one invitation typically invites two people. So if you’re having a party for 300

guests, you do not need to order 300 invites. Divide your number in half and then add an extra 25 for cushion.” Ordering too few invitations, meanwhile, can result in unnecessary stress and higher expenses to get additional small quantities. In most cases, it costs more to order invitations in smaller quantities than it does to order them in bulk. And it is almost inevitable that you will have last-minute guest additions, lost invitations or forgotten guests. 8. Avoid Oopsies

Treat your wedding invitations as you would the resume you’re sending to your dream employer. There is nothing

photo steve lee photography invitation blue leaf houston

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invitations worse than a grammatical, spelling or punctuation error on something as important as your wedding invitation. “Proofread, proofread, proofread!” says Turner. “Ask your family members and friends to proof your wedding invitation a gazillion times, and even when they have given you the thumbs up, look over it one more time.” 9. Eschew the Envelope

Sometimes more is just better. And in the case of a wedding invitation, sometimes more than an envelope is what’s demanded of the occasion. “We’re going for a sense of excitement and intrigue so that when guests open it there is a ‘wow’ factor,” says Johnson of her high-end wedding pieces. “Brides are going for creative ways to package it all together—belly bands, laser-cut sleeves, pockets, boxes—all of these add style and function to the presentation of your invitation.” 10. Post Perfectly

Those “Love” postage stamps are awfully cute, but don’t assume your invites require the standard postage amount. “This one seems like a nobrainer,” says Turner, who adds that too often couples assume they’re applying sufficient postage to their invites only to have them returned by the post office weeks later, often too late to do anything about. To avoid this catastrophe, Turner suggests compiling “one complete invitation, including any enclosures, and taking it down to your local post office to have it weighed before placing postage on the envelope. You should also ask the post office about any upcoming postage increases as you may need to buy the ‘Forever’ stamp, which is good no matter how many U.S. Postal Service increases are made.” W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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invitations

photo Delphine

just my type

Erika Firm’s passion for printing is an invitationseeking bride’s best asset.

writer natasha garber

Named for her vivacious French grandmother, Erika Firm’s SouthCarolina-based invitation design firm, Delphine, is known for exceptional print quality and typography. As she notes, “Everyone in the studio is a total ‘type nerd!’” In this exclusive Weddings in Houston profile, awardwinning designer Firm talks about photo Delphine what it takes to create the perfect invitation for your perfect occasion. Weddings in Houston: How did you get your start as a graphic designer, and what was your motivation for launching Delphine? Erika Firm: My very first design gig was designing the playbill for my sixth-grade class production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I’ve been designing and creating for as long as I can remember. I launched Delphine in 2003, when two different friends who owned stationery shops let me put some of my cards in their shops. Within a few days my products sold, and I started putting a larger collection together; a few months later I debuted at the National Stationery Show in New York City. WIH: What are the hallmarks of a Delphine letterpress wedding invitation? 316 

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EF: Our signature style is on the romantic side, and all our wedding invitations have full matching suites, which sets us apart from a lot of other invitation options out there. When we design a new invitation, we also design the matching savethe-dates, reception cards, information cards, menus, place cards, thank-you cards—even matching coasters, stir sticks, matches and cocktail napkins. Nothing is an afterthought. Another thing that makes us unique is that nearly all of our designs are available in a less-pricey flat-printed format. WIH: How do you work with your bride and groom to create their ideal invitation? EF: Each quarter we release a new collection of invitation suites. Most of our customers are busy professionals, and nearly all our orders land in our inbox between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m! We’ve done the design work already, so our couples choose from a selection, then customize it with their favorite colors and fonts to make it their own. Our letterpress invitations are printed on a vintage Heidelberg press, with soy-based inks and gorgeous 100-percentcotton paper. Our flat-printed invitations are available on the same cotton paper, or if a more modern look is what you’re after, we print on smooth 110-pound paper. One of the beautiful things about letterpress is that we can print on just about anything! One of my favorite looks is gold metallic ink on dark charcoal or black paper.


invitations When we work with a couple who wants a truly unique design—something not from our website—we either meet in person or chat on the phone about the details of their wedding. We talk a lot about the mood they are trying to set, and I ask them lots of seemingly random questions, like, “What is the last piece of clothing you bought? What’s your favorite cocktail? What music is playing in your car today?” It’s a really fun process. WIH: What are a few of your favorite stationery-design trends for 2014 and 2015 weddings? EF: While we keep our eye on trends, we try not to be too “trendy.” We really strive for our designs to be timeless. Super trendy design has its place, but my personal opinion is that a wedding isn’t the occasion for it. That being said, I’m loving the black-and-white trend that is going on now, and I love that hand-drawn type and calligraphy are so popular. Another trend that I think is gaining more momentum for the upcoming season is pairing gold with soft romantic colors. And for 2015 I think pastels will work their way up from the fashion world into the wedding world. Think cotton-candy colors: pink, mint, soft yellow and lilac. WIH: How do you make sure the invitation is intriguing and elegant from the moment a guest receives it? EF: I always encourage our clients to splurge on hiring someone to hand-address their envelopes. I particularly like white ink on grey envelopes, and also love modern black script on an angle. For just a few dollars you can really dress up an envelope, then add vintage stamps for that final touch. Imagine getting a gorgeous, thick envelope with hand-lettering and a slew of vintage stamps. How special would you feel when you saw that in your mailbox? WIH: For a bride with budget considerations who still wants a couture look to her invitations, where should she splurge with her invitation suite, and where might she save? EF: Besides calligraphy or hand-lettering for the envelope, which I look at as essential, not a true splurge, I always encourage couples to spring for a printed menu. Honestly, if it comes down to being able to budget for either a program or a menu, I vote menu. A good compromise is to do a simple one-card program instead of a thick, boring booklet, to free up budget for a printed menu. A menu is a really welcome sight for guests when they finally sit down at the table, and it makes a lovely keepsake.

A good way to save on your printing budget is to print a combination reception-information/RSVP card, and ask your guests to reply online. Then instead of printing an invitation, invitation envelope, RSVP card, RSVP envelope, reception card and information card, we’re just printing the invitation and envelope, and one single insert card. It saves on printing fees and postage. And now if we’re only printing the two cards, we go ahead and splurge on extra-thick paper for the invitation, and some pretty edge painting. These little details make a huge impression. Another way to save is to skip letterpress, or only letterpress the invitation, and flat-print the rest of the suite. It’s considerably less expensive, and can help make room in the budget for other stationery splurges like vintage stamps and extra-special thank-you cards. WIH: Why is the invitation such an important part of the wedding—in other words, why is it worth a substantial investment? EF: It goes without saying that the invitation sets the tone for a special event. It’s the very first peek that a guest has at what’s in store, and should get them intrigued and excited to attend. Besides photographs, stationery is really the only lasting memento from a wedding. Long after the cake is eaten and the flowers have wilted, the paper goods will be tucked away in someone’s scrapbook or hiding in a purse to be rediscovered. WIH: What do you love most about creating wedding invitations? EF: I love creating memories. Invitations, menus, programs and thank-you notes are souvenirs in the literal sense. In French, “souvenir” means to remember. Stationery is a remembrance of things past.

photo Delphine

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isabella invitations DGZ WEDDINGS BLUEBONNET PRESS KATIE & CO. BELl'Invito - BLUE LEAF HOUSTON BERING'S BELl’Invito - BLUE LEAF HOUSTON

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gift registry F I N E R

D E T A I L S

the good stuff

Classic registry gifts are heirlooms in the making— so choose wisely and well.

The world of bridal registries is seeing a renaissance in traditional items and luxury goods—and that’s a good thing. While trendy ergonomic lemon squeezers and countertop espresso machines can be fabulously fun additions to today’s newlywed nests, it’s the fine china, the good crystal, the luxury linens, that are likely to be with you through the years, and become heirloom pieces to be passed down to and enjoyed by future generations. With that in mind—and with the price points most fine tableware and home goods carry— here is what to keep in mind when registering for classic wedding gifts.

writer Blake Miller ~ photo d. Jones photoGRAPHY

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table setting kuhl-linscomb


gift registry E v e r y d ay E l e g a n c e

Your mom insists you need at least 12 full place settings of china, silverware and crystal, not to mention a luxurious silk-blend tablecloth for the dining-room table you have yet to purchase. But today’s modern couple may not necessarily need or want to register for all of the traditional items their moms and dads stocked up on decades ago. Instead, register for what you really love, and keep practicality in mind. “Couples should understand that many of the popular or traditional guidelines do not necessarily reflect the genuine needs of today’s couple,” explains Isabelle von Boch of famed European tableware-maker Villeroy & Boch. “Why register for an extravagant set of china and keep it hidden away in the cupboard, unused? Beautiful, quality china doesn’t have to be fragile. It should be strong, and safe for the dishwasher and microwave.” Transitional clothing—pieces that work well both day and night—are staples in a fashionista’s closet. The same principle holds true for creating a fashionable yet practical tabletop at home. Keeping versatility in mind while registering for luxury items—especially when it comes to tableware and flatware—is a must. Choose pieces that work well not only for special occasions, holidays and upscale dinner parties, but also for everyday use. “Don’t register for a lifestyle in which the everyday is treated as inferior,” explains von Boch. “Register for a pattern that may be dressed up or down and works easily with other designs.” Consider investment pieces that you will use every day or more often than on major holidays, she suggests, “and your investment will be worthwhile.” 322 

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gift registry She adds, “In terms of place settings, multi-functional little plates are great gems to bring the ‘wow’ factor to any party or for everyday living.” And remember, “Couples do not have to buy a traditional, five-pieceplace-setting china collection,” advises von Boch. “Register for china that is available in open stock instead.” Open stock china simply means this: Couples may register for individual pieces—dinner and bread plates, for example—rather than the traditional, complete place setting. The result is a collection of high-end china that suits a couple’s entertaining needs and contemporary lifestyle. T h e C a s e f o r C r y s ta l

It may seem like an indulgent item on your registry, but, in fact, crystal is something couples should keep on their short lists. “Whether a couple chooses traditional, vintage-inspired, or stemless tumblers, crystal is meant to be enjoyed and can be used for any occasion,” von Boch notes. “Buying a new home, the arrival of a new baby, a hard-earned promotion at work, and, of course, wedding anniversaries, are just a few of life’s milestones that couples will have to look forward to after the wedding day,” explains Michelle Richards, director of public relations and special events for Waterford Wedgwood. “Whether it’s as simple as a toast with your treasured Champagne saucers or as decadent as a sparkling Waterford chandelier in your dining room, crystal is fast becoming the universal symbol of chic elegance and sophistication.” His Opinion

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gift registry crystal Champagne flutes, gold-plated dessert saucers and fine silverware. But just because he seems disinclined to place any obstacles in the path of your enthusiasm doesn’t mean you should leave him out of the fun. Before adding items to your registry, include your fiancé in your plans. “It is important that while a bridal registry is, well, a bridal registry, your fiancé should play a hand, if he is so inclined,” says Shuford. Have him weigh in on areas where his interests lie, such as the grill or bar. For example, crystal rocks glasses or tumblers, a martini-shaker set or whiskey decanter are great additions to any well-stocked bar. He may also want to be involved in decisions on items that affect his daily comfort, such as luxury bed linens and towels.

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Price Range

Elizabeth Swift, gift-registry specialist with iconic Houston retailer Kuhl-Linscomb, says, “It is important to cover high and low price points on your registry and several items in each category. Your guests want to feel like they have plenty to choose from for the varying events they will be attending leading up to and including the wedding. This is the one time in your life you will have lots of help purchasing items from your wish list, so select those big-ticket items for your registry as long as you cover the other end of the spectrum as well.” You never know who may want to splurge a little or go in with a group of people to get you an amazing gift. If the only items you care to add to your registry are pricier than most guests

will likely purchase, one way to skirt the issue of price point is to register for gift cards. “Gift cards on your registry are a wonderful option for guests, as they can be purchased in any amount,” Shuford notes. While Shuford recommends keeping price point in mind while registering for luxury goods, she offers this caveat: “When considering higher price-point registry items, we suggest moving forward with what you like. It is far better to register for what you like as a couple—even if it means only ending up with six place settings when you would like 12—and collect the pattern or pieces over the years, than to settle for something. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your wedding registry doesn’t have to be either.”


Cameron d Bryar

REAL WEDDINGS

~ OCTOBER 5, 2013 ~

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There’s something to be said for spontaneity, notes bride Cameron, whose then-boyfriend Bryar “proposed completely out of the blue at my apartment on a lazy Sunday afternoon.” While the proposal may have been less than formal, the couple’s Galveston wedding was a grand celebration at the historic Tremont House hotel, where 300 guests enjoyed gourmet Texas specialties—seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits, beef brisket— along with DIY Champagne cocktails, glamorous boas, and dancing on a magnificent monogrammed white dance floor. The bride’s favorite memory? “Dancing a father-daughter dance to ‘My Girl.’”

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REAL WEDDINGS

names cameron dunn

&

bryar johnson   number of guests 300    venue

the tremont house    wedding theme rustic-chic    flowers & decor darryl

&

co.    cake susie’s cakes

&

confections    photography

adam nyholt photographer   videography sculpting with time productions    registry kuhl-linscomb    honeymoon hawaii

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favorite

our

t h in g s 1 1 Saint-Louis APollo GlassES kuhl-linscomb

2 Dubost Laguiole Birch Steak Knives williams-sonoma

3 PAPAYA! Starlet & Peony Accessory PouchES blue leaf houston

4 Thymes Mandarin Coriander Reed Diffuser thymes.com 5 ALPACA Silver pITcher janetkain.com 6 ANNA WEATHERLY CHINA blue leaf houston 7 koyal RED FLOWER charger koyalwholesale.com 8 HARNEY & SONS WEDDING TEA harney.com 9 MICHAEL ARAM Rope Magnifying

4

5

Glass & Letter Opener michaelaram.com

10 Rifle Paper Co. Recipe Box blue leaf houston 11 Hans Harald Rath ALPHA GLASSES stillfried.com

8

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3

2

6

10

7

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music &entertainment F I N E R

D E T A I L S

utterly entertaining Let’s get this party started— and keep it going strong.

A wedding is a celebration of two lives coming together to form one rockin’ relationship that will stand the test of time. But while the vows might be powerfully heartfelt, sometimes wedding entertainment can lack the passion of the moment—and leave guests feeling a little…unloved. Remember, your wedding is a celebration not just of your marriage bond, but also of the gratitude and affection you feel for the people who have come—some from very far away—to witness and revel in your sacred union. Give them something special, something to enjoy in the moment and remember with joy for years to come, with entertainment that delights the ear and excites the heart.

writer Christina Caldwell ~ photo SB IMAGE STUDIOS

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music &entertainment

photo J. Cogliandro Photography

photo 1 Cinema productions

C oc k t a i l M e l o d i e s

After the ceremony, the cocktail hour is your guests’ first impression of what is to come the rest of the night. As you’re swept away to take photos, and taking a breather with your new spouse before the craziness starts up again, your guests—many of whom will be strangers to one another—likely will be gathering in a room without you. It’s up to you to break the ice, even if you’re not there in person. Great cocktail-hour entertainment can do that, says Allyson Levine, vice president of sales at powerhouse entertainment firm Bob Gail Special Events, with offices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The company provides or produces entertainment for hundreds of weddings, corporate events and milestone ­celebrations each year. While the cocktail hour might be about, well, cocktails (Levine suggests livening up the party with a signature drink that represents you as a couple, or two signature drinks that represent the bride and groom individually), those libations aren’t nearly as fun without entertainment to accompany them. Starting with sweet, soft tunes and moving into more jaunty numbers when you’re ready to make your grand entrance, it’s important to make sure the cocktail-hour music flows smoothly, says Scott Graham, a well-known Houston musician-composer who has played more than 2,600 special events in his career, including countless cocktail hours. “The cocktail-hour music can be a nice variety of more upbeat and lively music, like standards and today’s current hits,” Graham says. Ultimately, the cocktail hour is about loosening up the crowd for the festivities to come. Reception Revelry

Television-reality-show “bridezillas” often try to plan every tiny detail of their wedding and reception— making pretty much everyone around them miserable (including, frequently, themselves). The best way

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music &entertainment to make sure you actually enjoy your own wedding is to leave the entertainment to the experts, especially when it comes to music. “The best way to plan is not to plan,” says Brian Pincus, vice president of Bob Gail Special Events. “Our bands have enormous repertoires and are highly skilled at keeping their finger on the pulse of what is happening in front of them. They evaluate what song is appropriate from one moment to the next as the evening naturally evolves.” You might have an idea of what song you want played for your fatherdaughter dance, or which song will accompany your first dance as a married couple. So do make sure to communicate your desires for these important numbers to your entertainment provider. For the remainder of

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music &entertainment the entertainment, though, “It’s all about blending the classics with modern twists,” says Jonny Black, owner of Houston’s popular Jonny Black Productions. Where rap was a popular genre for “dance party” weddings of yore, Black notes, more Top 40 and indie rock selections are being seen for 2014. “A few years ago, the bride was maybe a little more urban,” Black says. “The music is definitely changing [for 2014] to more of a Top 40, hipster culture.” For any entertainment company, it pays to have great energy, and to really “click” with the wedding. The entertainment priority for most brides is to have a fun party; the best way to do this is to feel a sense of fun when you communicate with your potential band or DJ. Latin salsa, for instance, might not mesh well with a vintage-chic wedding, and Scott Graham’s piano stylings might not work for a large, danceheavy bash. It’s all about matching the right music to the right event and the right entertainer to the right bride and groom, Graham says. “Before my events, I schedule a meeting with the bride and groom or event planner to get some ideas about what music they would like to hear and what they are expecting their guests would enjoy,” Graham explains. “Then I gather the music and prepare personalized songbooks, pulling sheet music from my library so that I am equipped with a large variety of music for all my events.” When traditions such as the bouquet toss and the cutting of the cake are planned to coincide with the natural breaks of the band, the music will flow with more energy. Bands often find themselves able to really engage the guests on the dance floor when the wedding coordinator plans her timeline taking music sets into account. A well-planned W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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music &entertainment musical set allows the bandleader to be master of ceremonies for the bouquet toss, the toasts and more. Go With the Flow

A new and exciting trend that has popped up recently is the incorporation of photo booths, games and other non-traditional activities to keep guests excited and engaged with the fête. “These elements can be fun, as long as they are planned in a way that does not step on the evening’s flow,” Levine says. That means not taking the focus away from the dance floor, but rather adding the elements as extra fun to an already lively event. The evening’s flow greatly depends on the band’s mood, and as a wedding performer, Graham really feeds off his audience. While some bands might be turned off by requests, he welcomes them and hopes they turn his selections into a game of their own. “I feel that live music is evolving more and more at weddings. The music can change from upbeat and fun to classic and romantic in an instant, and live music adds extra emotion and expression for everyone to enjoy,” Graham says. “People often prefer live piano music for a more elegant atmosphere, or simply to provide a nice ambiance. For me personally, I enjoy it when people are playing ‘name that tune’ along with the music or putting in their requests for specific songs.” At the end of the night, brides and grooms are going to be spent. A mix of excitement, release from pre-wedding stress, and long hours of dancing, can lead to exhaustion. So when your guests still want to party the night away, it’s time to give them a subtle hint. The right entertainment can do that, including high-tech elements and music selections. 338 

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music &entertainment “We have been incorporating LED walls into the staging of music events, which provide infinite opportunities to tie in aesthetics and unique technology,” Pincus says. Not only are LED walls a modern way to bring soft, clean-looking light to the event, but they can be amped up for electrifying dance numbers and toned down as the hours tick into the early morning. Black suggests candlelight and soft room lighting for early in the reception, but as the evening progresses and guests imbibe a few drinks, colored lighting, strobes and “lights that pop” can be incorporated into the mood. When the bride and groom begin to tire, the wall’s effects can signal the perfect ending to a most entertaining evening.

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transportation F I N E R

D E T A I L S

that’s how we roll Arrive—and depart—in style on your wedding day.

While the destination itself is certain to be spectacular, getting there should be half the fun. And it can be, with the right kind of special-occasion transportation. Depending on your venue and wedding-design theme, a luxury vehicle may be in order, or a vintage truck—or perhaps a fully loaded party bus, ready to haul the whole happy crew to the site of your big bash. Here are our top five tips for enjoying the wedding-day ride of your life.

writer Natasha Garber ~ photo steve lee weddings

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transportation 1 . B o o k e a r l y.

Specialty-vehicle rental agencies have limited fleets, and do tend to book up, especially during the spring and fall wedding seasons. Reserving your vehicle(s) six to nine months prior to your big day is a good idea, and will save you from having to settle for a ride you might not love with all your heart. 2. Don’t forget the p r e - w e dd i n g p a r t i e s .

“Nothing compares to riding around town in one of our luxurious limousines, SUV limousines or limousine party buses,” says Karen Zuri of leading Houston specialty-vehicle firm, Sam’s Limousine. Increasingly popular for “celebrating in Houston on your last night out as a single person,” she says, Sam’s party vehicles are equipped with everything from club-quality sound and light systems to plasma TVs to dance poles. Sam’s can even book your group into the hottest spots in Houston, Zuri adds. “Don’t waste time waiting in line. Let us know in advance the clubs

you would like to visit and leave the driving to us.” 3. Do unto others…

While you’re not obligated to provide transportation for your bridal party or guests, it’s an awfully nice thing to do if you can afford it—especially if you’re planning on hosting many out-of-town guests. Consider hiring a limousine, trolley or small shuttle vehicle as a thank-you to your hardworking bridesmaids and groomsmen—they’ll appreciate it immensely, especially at the end of a long, fun-filled night. And for larger guest groups, vehicle-rental agencies including Sam’s Limousine offer shuttle buses for as few as 25 people, luxury coaches for 55 people, and just about everything in between. 4 . T h i n k b e yo n d the town car.

While a classic livery sedan is the vehicle of choice for many an upscale Houston bride, options abound—so look into yours. Zuri says many of

her 2014 brides are opting for sleek Mercedes S-Class sedans, classic RollsRoyce models and the very latest 2014 MKT Lincoln stretch limousines, all driven by “chauffeurs who are accustomed to providing elite services and transportation that you will always remember.” Other local vehicle agencies offer vintage sports cars, luxurious Bentleys and festive red San-Franciscostyle trolleys. 5 . G e t a g e ta w ay p i c (or lots)!

Like every other element of your wedding, your specialty vehicle is, well… special. Don’t miss your chance to preserve a perfect memory of your departure in your beautiful weddingday ride. Make sure your photographer knows when you plan to make your getaway, and where your vehicle will be waiting, so that he or she can get the perfect shots of you ducking into your vehicle, waving farewell to your beloved friends and family, and sharing a newlywed smooch in the back seat.

photo nhan photography

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Style

and the city Houston’s skyline provides the perfect backdrop for an urban bride’s rooftop reverie.

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concept & design Lion & Lamb Event Services Sobi Qazi

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concept & design Sobi Qazi, Lion & Lamb Event Services / photography A&A Photo and video location The Grove Houston / flowers & decor Darryl & Co. / linen & dining chairs Eb inc events china & glassware Bering’s / invitations Isabella Invitations / cake Who Made The Cake! gown & accessories Weddings by Debbie / makeup & hair Hilda & co. airbrush make-up

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photography 350 videography 382

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.

photo nhan photography

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photography D O C U M E N T I N G

T H E

D A Y

snap judgment

A lot goes into finding a photographer with whom you “click.”

For about six hours, you, your groom and your guests will be immersed in a real-life fairytale. But what happens when the event is over? How will you be able to remember not only the way the room looked, but the details that went into that beautiful environment, and how your loved ones looked celebrating in it? The answer is by hiring the right photographer.

writer Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer ~ photo joseph west photography

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photography In t h e K n o w

The first step in finding the ideal photographer for your wedding is to consult a list of trusted sources, so that you know what your options are. Weddings in Houston magazine and weddingsinhouston.com both offer a list of reputable, talented and highly professional local photographers, along with information about their businesses and photography styles, as well as gallery samples. Once you’ve narrowed down a handful of potential candidates, take your search straight to first-hand sources: “There’s no better way to find a vendor than by asking someone who’s just been there,” says David Stanley of DC Stanley Photography. “First-hand is the way to go.” Adds Houston photographer Adam

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Nyholt: “Ask your friends, your wedding planner or an industry insider. Your best recommendations will come from referrals from a trusted source.” Photographers across the spectrum agree that finding your photographer through a trusted and reputable source is imperative. The best references come from wedding planners, who are professional, impartial and likely will have worked with a range of different photography professionals—so tap into your planner’s past experience for tips. Photographer Steve Lee of Steve Lee Weddings suggests that a good place to start is at your venue of choice. “Talk to the catering manager to see whom he or she recommends.” Many venues actually have preferred-vendor lists and will be more than happy to share their best and brightest photographers.

A sk A w a y

Be it by phone or in person, ask questions of your potential photographer—lots of questions. Remember, you’ll be spending more time with this person on your wedding day than almost anyone else. By having a conversation, you’ll begin to get a feel for the photographer’s personality, which, photographers agree, must click with yours. “If you wouldn’t want to have a drink in a bar with your photographer, then you probably shouldn’t hire him or her,” explains Joe Cogliandro of J. Cogliandro Photography. “Like draws to like.”  Which brings us to the technical side of things. It may be great to “get along,” but what is the photographer’s work like? Do you like his style? Are her images artistic or straightforward?


photography Does she shoot in a photojournalistic style? What are the albums like? What format does he shoot in? Does he have backup equipment? And that’s just the beginning. As Nyholt explains, “The bride must connect with the photographer’s work. I know it sounds cheesy, but the images she looks at must make her feel something.” When choosing a photographer, remember that it’s not just the results he or she produces, but also the method to the magic. When contacting a reference, ask if her photographer was discreet while capturing fabulous images, or constantly in guests’ faces. Did she have a good working experience with her photographer before, during and after the wedding? And, very importantly, did she receive her images in a timely manner? In v e s t m e n t A d v i c e

With so many photographers available, there are bound to be as many prices— referred to by many photographers as the client’s “investment,” which it certainly is—so what’s the right price? And for that price, what should be included? Some photographers offer services individually, from the number of coverage hours, to the addition of a second shooter, to engagement sessions and albums; others have packages from which brides may choose.  “We offer services ‘a la carte,’” says Lee. “But our minimum is me and an associate shooting. We build from there.” “An engagement session, eight hours of wedding coverage, some kind of print, a shared copyright (which allows both bride and photographer to utilize images), and a disc of print-ready images, are what I believe a bride needs,” says Stanley.  “I am a little above the average in pricing,” says photographer David 354 

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photography Jones of D. Jones Photography. “But I customize everything for my brides. There’s no such thing as a standard package. Every bride has her own wants and needs.” Generally speaking, for high-quality professional photography, a Houston bride can expect to pay anything from a low of $3,000 to a high of $18,000, with the average bride spending approximately $5,000 to $6,000 on her photography package. So remember, proper pricing is the pricing with which you are comfortable, and which works with your budget. Show Time

By the time your big day rolls around, you and your photographer should be familiar with each other; you should be comfortable talking to him and being in

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his presence. “It’s about growing your relationship,” says Cogliandro. “Clear and open communication is 90 percent of what makes brides comfortable with me. From the beginning of the process, emails, texts and then follow-up phone conversations are necessary.” But be cautioned: Though a couple should let their photographer know their likes and dislikes, micromanagement won’t help the photographer’s creativity. A bridal photography session, where the bride is in full wedding-day hair, makeup and gown, is a great way to get comfortable with each other. Jones, who’s been in the photography business for 21 years, says that a couple of hours spent together doing this kind of “dress rehearsal” is very helpful. He adds that engagement sessions, where

the couple is photographed together, also serve as “getting-to-know-you” time for the bride and groom, and their photographer. According to Lee, time is the greatest gift a bride can give to her photographer on her wedding day. “Allow time for portraits that celebrate the two of you. One hour can easily shrink to 30 minutes, 30 can become 10, and so on. We need—minimally—an hour or so to capture the love, romance and raw emotion.” Information is power. And any time you hire a vendor, you’re placing your faith in their ethics and abilities. Take your time and do your due diligence. Visit multiple photographers, discuss with your significant other what you do and do not like, review your research, trust your gut—and then go for it.


Lana d Bojan

REAL WEDDINGS

~ FEBRUARY 1, 2014 ~

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Sometimes it takes a wedding to inspire a wedding. Take the case of Houston lovebirds Lana and Bojan, who traveled to New Mexico for a friend’s nuptials. “The day before the wedding, Bojan surprised me by renting a car and taking me sightseeing through gorgeous forests and snow-covered slopes,” Lana recounts. On the way back to their hotel, Bojan stopped, got out of the car, and told Lana to close her eyes. “When I opened them, he was standing next to a snowman. He asked me to look inside the snowman, and when I did, I found the engagement ring. Truly one of the happiest days of my life,” the bride says. Another happy day? The day of the couple’s magnificent La Colombe d’Or wedding, of course.

writer natasha garber ~ photography Joshua Tyi Photography W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names lana

190    venue

ljuboja la

bojan muranovic    number of guests colombe d’or    invitations katie & co. &

  lighting bright star productions    wedding dress maggie sottero from weddings by debbie    groomswear al’s formal wear    photography joshua tyi photography    registry williamssonoma    transportation sam’s limousine    honeymoon st. lucia

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photography

20 unforgettable You’ve got one chance to capture the moment—don’t miss it!

shots

writer Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer ~ photo select studios

With so many things happening all at once on your wedding day, how can you be expected to remember every essential moment? You can’t—that is why you hire an experienced photographer. As a professional, that photographer is trained to anticipate and capture all of the nuances of your very special day. And you can help your

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photography photographer out by making sure he knows these are the must-get shots he, well, must get. F i r s t L o o k . One of the most memorable moments of an already momentous occasion, this emotionpacked photo is one no bride and groom should be without. H a i r & Mak e u p. Behind the scenes is always fun. Let your photographer click away while you and your bridal party prep for the big day. D r e ss D e t a i ls . 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. B r i d e ’ s S h o e s . Girls love their shoes! Be sure to document your fancy footwear for posterity.

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S h o e EMBE L L I S H ME N T S . More

shoe photos? Absolutely. If your bridal peep-toes have custom Swarovskicrystal flowers or sumptuous satin bows, aren’t those precisely the kinds of details you want to document? B r i d e & Da d . This is the time to catch the emotional side of Dad—after all, his little girl is getting married. Find time for a quiet moment with him, and let your photographer linger discreetly nearby, snapping a few precious shots. G r o o m & M o m . He’ll always be her little boy, so this is one pleasure she should not be denied. 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 S i b l i n g s .

Whether you’re close, or not as

tight-knit as you’d like to be, a portrait with siblings will mean a lot to Mom. 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. 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 Joe Cogliandro of J. Cogliandro Photography. “It’s capturing everyone together for historical purposes. Since you may never have all of these people together in the same place again, take advantage.” B r i d al Pa r t y. These are your closest friends and family members, so of course you want photos with them. Leave time for at least one traditional and one unique shot (think: offbeat locations, making funny faces, the groomsmen carrying the bride, etc.).


photography B r i d e ’ s P r o c e ss i o nal . Depend-

ing 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.” 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. F i r s t K i ss . Sharing the moment

after being pronounced husband and wife happens only once. A photo that takes you back to that feeling is priceless. C u lt u r al K e y s t o n e s . De­pend­ ing 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 sari, the slipping on of a necklace, or the lighting of an oil lamp. Make sure to capture these unique rites and rituals. 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. F i r s t Dan c e . During this heartfelt, unpracticed performance, “I can capture truly candid and sweet moments between the bride and groom,” says Steve Lee of Steve Lee Weddings. “At this time, they tend to really show their emotions.” F at h e r / Da u g h t e r & M o t h e r / S o n Dan c e . This shot provides yet another glimpse at profound emotion, and is a lovely moment of connection between generations. Th e Cak e . 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. R e c e p t i o n S i g na g e . A great way to open or close an album, attention-grabbing signage sets the tone for a book of beautiful photos.

online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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TA S T E MA KERS & T RENDSET T ERS

LarysFlorist &Designs

“We take great pride in our attention to detail. I put my hands on every glass, chair, candle, napkin and arrangement to make sure it is perfect.� - Stacy Mendenhall


LARY’ S FLORIST & DESIGNS S T A C Y M E N D E N H A L L , O w ner

The florist of choice for four presidential inaugurations, plus countless weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, milestone birthday celebrations and holiday parties, Friendswood-based Lary’s Florist & Designs celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year. A recent bride herself, Mendenhall purchased the business in 2012. The Biz:

Signature S t yle: “At Lary’s, we begin by meeting with our bride,” Mendenhall says. “We then create the visuals for her to see, and to add her own thoughts and suggestions. Our goal is to make sure that her wedding day is everything she ever dreamed of and more.” No matter the theme or design scheme, “We take great pride in our attention to detail. I put my hands on every glass, chair, candle, napkin and arrangement to make sure it is perfect. I make sure that when photographed, it is symmetrical and everything looks fabulous. All the brides we have worked with have told us that they come to Lary’s because our arrangements, reputation and service are outstanding, and we take great pride in that.” Fa shion Fave s :

Tory Burch, Diane von Fürstenberg, Gucci, Vince Camuto

Go-To H ou ston Re stauran ts:

Arturo’s, The Capital Grille, Taste of Texas, Buca di Beppo

Mendenhall says that vintage still reigns supreme, with palettes based on blush, lavender, peach and Tiffany blue. Top textures and decor touches include lace, burlap, pearls and glass milk bottles, while favorite flowers include peach-hued roses, succulents and delicate baby’s breath. “This look is in high demand and we have everything to create it,” she notes. “We love it!”

Trending for Wedding s :

Mendenhall says she’s actually been fortunate enough to design her fantasy weddingscape—a Great-Gatsby-theme celebration at Butler’s Courtyard in League City. “We used black and gold linens, gold chiavari chairs, and vintage bronze candelabras that held beautiful white roses and white hydrangea mixed with black ostrich feathers. Every single guest was dressed in ’20s attire. The attention to detail throughout the venue was impeccable.” Dream Wedding:

photo ADAM NYHOLT PHOTOGRAPHer

photo ADAM NYHOLT PHOTOGRAPHer

photo Taylor thornhill

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photography

booth or dare Grab a prop and strike a pose—it’s all in good (make that, great!) fun.

writer Natasha Garber ~ photo SARAH AINSWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

What happens in the booth definitely doesn’t stay in the booth—and that’s exactly how it should be. After all, photo booths are meant to bring wedding guests together to get a little crazy and make a lot of memories. And those memories, in the form of photo strips, videos, even animated flipbooks? They are fast becoming the most popular take-home favor in the wedding universe. Thinking of making off-the-cuff, prop-filled,

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photography let-your-hair-down photos or video part of your reception revelry? Think inside the booth, with help from Houston’s top photo booth pros. J o nn y Bla c k P r o d u c t i o ns

Jonny Black Owner What’s Special: “With our photo booths, you get unlimited prints, and the couple can customize photo strips with their names and wedding date,” notes Black. During the wedding reception, guests who get photographed in the booth receive duplicate photo strips; one to take home as a favor, and one to go in a custom scrapbook, along with personal notes and messages, that the couple can take home as their own special favor. “After the wedding, we email a link of booth’s digital gallery

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to the bride and groom, and they can download any images they want, share them on social media—basically do anything they like with them.” Booth Basics: Jonny Black Productions’ roomy photo booths can accommodate up to eight guests and all the props they can handle. A friendly attendant mans the booth throughout the reception to ensure everything runs smoothly, and encourages guests to get a little…crazy. So Social: “At a wedding, not all of the guests are going to be ‘party animals,’” Black says. “Of course, we do our part in getting everyone to dance and celebrate. But for guests who are not into that, the photo booth gives them a chance to have a lot of fun, and take home memories of the experience.”

Cl i c k Ph o t o , V i d e o & Ph o t o B o o t hs

Farhan Khokhar Owner What’s Special: “What sets our company apart is that we are constantly looking at new ways to embrace technology,” Khokhar says. “With the introduction of live video services, we can leave the bride and groom with unique views of their wedding from the guests’ perspective.” Booth Basics: For large groups, Click offers the Open Air “booth”—a freestanding booth structure that features color and black-and-white still photos, as well as video clips in which guests can leave a short message for the bride and groom. Not only is the video feature hugely popular, but the versatility of the open-air


photography concept “allows us to break out of the restrictions of a traditional booth and accommodate couples as well as groups of varying sizes.” Want to put your guests in the spotlight? Consider Click’s Red Carpet booth. “As the name suggests, we treat your guests to a night of Hollywood fun,” Khokhar says. “Out comes the red carpet and the custom step-and-repeat background. There is a live photographer and assistant who will help your guests with the right pose and the right props. We can also provide a live video capture with an interviewer, for a real Hollywood feel.” Energy Boost: One of the best things about photo booths, Khokhar says, is that they “give your guests something to do in the ‘down times’ during the reception. Typically photo booths are up and running when the guests arrive at the reception, and close to the door so that the guests can see the booth”—a tempting diversion during slow moments, and as the evening progresses into ever-livelier celebration. i H e a r t F l i p b o o ks

Magalie Albert Owner What’s Special: Rather than a regular photo booth, the iHeart Flipbooks setup is a “mobile flipbook studio,” according to Albert. The resulting take-home product is a small book consisting of a series of images in different positions that create the illusion of flowing movement when the pages are flipped quickly by the viewer’s thumb. Neat, huh? Booth Basics: The iHeart Flipbooks team arrives at your reception space and sets up a 10-by-10-foot booth, lickety-split. Then, once the party action starts, guests wander over and take W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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photography their turns, in groups large or small, dancing, blowing kisses, making faces, holding up signs or props, and just basically being themselves while the video camera rolls. “After the video is reviewed and everyone agrees that it’s priceless, we print the video, put it through our

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cutter, and bind the flipbook on the spot—voila, it’s like magic!” Albert says. Smooth Flow: With iHeart Flipbooks, Albert’s main aim—besides making sure guests have an amazing time, and newlyweds get a delightfully animated document of their special day—is customizing the action to the event.

Along with positioning her studio so that it doesn’t take focus away from the wedding couple or the entertainment stage, and adjusting the booth’s music volume (yes, there are tunes to accompany the fun) to not compete with the reception’s dance music, “I have the couple give me the schedule, the first dance, etc., so that we can close the booth during important parts of the wedding,” she says. “Otherwise, we make the booth available throughout the entire evening.” While guests might enjoy a cocktail-reception icebreaker in the studio, “the end of the night is usually the craziest—it’s a whole other atmosphere. People start doing really funny stuff, letting loose— even older guests in their 60s and 70s. The value and memories linger long after the event.”


photography

picture Perfect Showcase and share your WOW wedding photos.

writer Natasha Garber ~ photo joseph west photography

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, including Houston’s Steve Lee of Steve Lee Weddings and Khloe Madison Photography, 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 album to preserve your most cherished photos, and endure as a family keepsake for generations to come. 376 

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photography For Lee’s clients, the “classic leather book” is the album of choice. As for photo layout, “Our design has always been simple, storybook-style designs. I look at the book design like a storyboard for a film. I want to convey the story of the wedding with my design.” Photographer Matt Trevino notes, “My top-selling albums are the 20-page 12-by-12-inch and 10-by-15-inch flushmount wedding albums”—which feature thick, solid pages, with photos printed completely flat across the page. “They are bound with premium leather and you have your choice of embossed or printed text on the front cover.” Trevino personally designs the album, using his client’s photo selections, and employing “a contemporary layout that isn’t cluttered and is very easy on your eyes. My brides love these albums because they instantly become family heirlooms.” 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.com, 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 blackand-white images. Generally speaking, black-and-white is excellent for action shots—your descent of a staircase with your train trailing behind you, your 378 

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photography 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. Classic shots, well laid out, with sufficient white 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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videography D O C U M E N T I N G

T H E

D A Y

lights! camera! celebration! The modern wedding film is a major production.

The more things change, the more they stay the same? Not so in the wonderful world of wedding videography. When it comes to capturing your wedding on film, the more things change, the more Hollywood-like they become. Not even a generation ago, wedding videos were saved on clunky tapes, and filled with several hours of clumsy footage that was boring for almost every viewer but, perhaps, the bride and groom. Today’s wedding videos, on the other hand, can have the cinematic quality, along with the interesting storyline, of a feature film. And sharing your wedding film with family and friends can now be accomplished with just the click of a button.

writer Julie Lemerond ~ photo Joshua tyi Photography

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videography Sit back and enjoy our showing of cool ideas, hot trends and smart planning practices in wedding cinema— then get ready to play your starring role. Studio Style

Along with advances in technology for videographers comes increased

demand for professional quality and creativity in production—both of which are welcome changes, according to Aisha Khan, owner of Ama Photography & Cinema in Houston. “Smaller equipment has allowed the documentation of weddings to be more interactive, and the video

quality of DSLR’s (digital single-lens reflex cameras) is allowing wedding videographers to take on the hats of cinematographers on the wedding day. It is now possible to create films worthy of watching in movie theaters, and with the right planning, creativity, skills and equipment, it is possible to create inspiring cinematic works out of real life,” she says. Alex Douglas, owner of Houston’s Sculpting With Time Productions, couldn’t agree more. “Now, in the wake of the DSLR camera revolution, all of the necessary tools to create a sophisticated and refined film have become more accessible. This movement has allowed us personally, as filmmakers, the ability to bring a level of production that’s never been seen in wedding films before.” Adrian Pereyra, owner of Houston’s Elect Film Productions, combines handheld-camera work with Hollywoodstyle equipment including cranes and dolly sliders, to produce footage he describes as “vintage and eclectic, with a bit of elegance.” Perhaps most exciting of all? “We are also now exploring the use of remote-controlled drones to get aerial shots of the reception and ceremony,” he adds. To make sure you know exactly what kinds of equipment your videographer plans to use, and how he or she plans to charge for services, “Ask as many questions as possible,” Pereyra advises. And make sure your videographer is flexible enough to accommodate what you need for your big day. “Although I have set packages, I am not opposed to customizing my package for a bride to make sure she is happy.” First Look

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videography couples choose to see each other before the ceremony, in a much more intimate setting than in front of all of the guests, while others choose to enjoy being surrounded by all of their family and friends, in keeping with the tradition of the first glance as the bride walks down the aisle. For those couples who opt for the former, a video of that moment when you first lock eyes with one another is something to cherish. Douglas describes the emotion he captures during this unique time. “This moment between you two really translates beautifully to the big screen, as there is always such raw and powerful emotion being evoked.” Khan mentions that the first-look video has become her favorite to capture. “It allows the couple to express

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the many emotions of seeing their partner for the first time in an intimate setting without the ‘all eyes on you’ type of pressure that comes from standing at the altar.” But beware, and plan wisely, if you’ve got your heart set on a firstlook film, she cautions. Due to wedding-day stressors and timing, the first look can often become something that is either rushed or altogether scrapped from the day. “I’ve had too many couples plan out and schedule a first-look shoot on their wedding day only to realize the day of the wedding that their hair and makeup have taken an hour longer than expected. Unfortunately, couples end up forced to sacrifice items off their wedding timeline and the first look is always the first to go.”

Hip Clips

Once your videographer has edited your wedding film(s), you’ll almost certainly want to start sharing it as soon as possible. Which, with today’s social media technology, is a breeze. Everly mentions that Facebook “is still the powerhouse for sharing videos as well as images,” but he notes that Instagram is a close second. “Now that Instagram supports video, you can use it to create a sneak peek for friends and family. Using a 15-second clip from your video is a great teaser—and then they can link to your website to see the full video.” Speaking of websites, creating one before your wedding offers a perfect way for guests to check in on any details you wish to disclose in advance of the wedding. Douglas


videography helps couples create customized wedding websites that can be used to share any videos created before and on the day of the wedding. He agrees that Facebook is the top spot for sharing links to the videos. “Add the link to your film on your Facebook page, and hundreds of people will be able to watch it within seconds…then watch the ‘likes’ and the comments immediately pour in.” Douglas also recommends bringing a “live and in person” element to video viewing. “Another fun idea we encourage our couples to do is to throw a watch party for the premiere of their highlight and feature films. Make some popcorn and bust out the Champagne. Your VIPs are going to be excited to all watch the films together the first time!”

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Afterno on delight

Vibrant hues and sweet retro touches make for an easy, breezy, daytime wedding.

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concept & design Events by Doyin Doyin Fashakin

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concept & design Doyin Fashakin, Events by Doyin / photography A&A Photo & Video location Sugar Creek Country Club / flowers & decor Flora & Eventi / menu cards & stationery Isabella Invitations tableware Linens by Lisa / gown Enzoani from Parvani Vida / tuxedo Al’s Formal Wear W e ddi ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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photos photos THE THE SAROJIN SAROJIN photo AMA PHotography & cinema 392 

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destination wedding & honeymoon 394 your new home 404

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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destination wedding &honeymoon J U S T

M A R R I E D

great escapes

Explore three exotic honeymoon destinations that will transport you out of the ordinary…and into the extraordinary.

Just as your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, your honeymoon is a oncein-a-lifetime getaway. If you’ve been yearning to journey beyond the beaten path, take this opportunity to take off for someplace...special. These far-flung locales will tempt you with a taste of paradise, and the promise of adventure.

writer natasha garber

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photo TURTLE INN

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destination wedding &honeymoon The Sarojin Khao Lak, Thailand There are Thai tropical honeymoons, there are Thai beach honeymoons…and then there is The Sarojin. Set amidst sumptuous tropical gardens flanking nearly nine contiguous miles of perfect white-sand beach, The Sarojin boasts 56 luxurious rooms, including 14 fabulous suites, each featuring a private pool, separate living rooms and a superb sun terrace. Of course, just as one would expect at a multiple-awardwinning luxury boutique hotel and spa, every aspect of The Sarojin’s guest accommodations have been planned for maximum relaxation and serenity—even the bathrooms, which are like microcosmic garden oases themselves, with their intimate couples’ tubs, rain showers and ample dressing areas. But this isn’t just any beach resort—this is The Sarojin. And, as such, it’s not just the perfect place to relax after months of wedding planning, not to mention the thrill of the big day itself. It’s also a location where exploration yields a bounty of incredible discoveries—if exploration is what you and your newly minted spouse desire. For intrepid honeymooners, five rain-forest national parks provide an abundance of

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excursions, hiking adventures and exceptional photo ops. Then there’s renowned Phang Nga Bay, and the worldfamous dive sanctuaries of the Similan and Surin Islands national marine parks. You could, of course, honeymoon at The Sarojin and barely venture beyond the property’s boundaries. The Sarojin’s Pathways Spa, for instance, floats over the property’s main estuary, and lulls guests with the sounds of the Andaman Sea while pampering honeymooners with classic Thai deeptissue massage, rejuvenating scrub treatments and al fresco lounge spaces for the ultimate in his-and-hers relaxation. To refresh and replenish, you and your one-and-only will do well to indulge in lobster au gratin with mushroom ragout at the resort’s acclaimed Ficus restaurant, or devour bananaflower salad and prawn satay at Thai-influenced The Edge, located where else, but at the stunning line where land meets sea.


destination wedding &honeymoon Turtle Inn Placencia, Belize

In the picturesque Creole village of Placencia lies one of the most beautiful hidden gems in honeymoon history: Turtle Inn. Famed film director Francis Ford Coppola recognized the location’s loveliness when he acquired the inn back in 2011—just months before Hurricane Iris hit, wiping out the filmmaker’s prized property. Luckily for newlyweds, Coppola just made it that much better in the rebuilding, bringing in countless luxury amenities and a proudly eco-friendly approach to land stewardship and management of the 25-cottage resort. Each thatched cottage is equipped with a private deck and decorated with handcrafted furnishings, so that guests may sunbathe, snuggle and soak in the beautiful surroundings in comfort and seclusion. And when they’re good and ready—and not a moment before—honeymooners may opt to explore the nearby coral reefs, which happen to offer some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the entire world. Clear, calm waters offer spectacular views of dazzling stoplight parrotfish, queen angelfish, squirrelfish and great barracuda—not to mention the occasional majestic whale shark, if you time your trip just right. If underwater adventure isn’t your cup of tea, consider a trek into hidden inland lagoons, or visit nearby Mayan ruins for a lesson in history and natural beauty. However far off the beaten track you veer, be sure to beeline back to Turtle Inn’s serene Sunset Spa, for a revitalizing post-wedding essential-oil massage or invigorating sea-salt “body glow” treatment. And get those glowing bodies back to your luxurious seafront cottage, for an evening of gourmet in-room dining, effervescent Champagne, and, yes, deep Mr.-and-Mrs. kisses. W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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destination wedding &honeymoon Riad Meriem Marrakesh, Morocco If New-York-based designer Thomas Hays is the mastermind behind Riad Meriem’s seductive interiors, then legendary Marrakesh itself is the influence behind the hotel’s ineffable vibe. This intimate and alluring riad—the name for a traditional Moroccan house or palace featuring an interior garden or courtyard—is both a showplace for its designer’s passion for Moroccan textiles and exquisite paintings, and a haven for honeymooners seeking romance and adventure in equal measure. Each of Riad Meriem’s guest rooms and suites is unique in furnishings and decor, from the alluring Aubergine Room to the contemporary Matisse Suite, with its lantern-surrounded soaking tub and evocative artwork. When not luxuriating in the cool confines of your Riad Meriem room, you two may want to venture near—as in one of the property’s bougainvillea- and jasmine-dappled verandas—or far, finding your way through the Medina quarter’s bustling souks, museums and mouthwatering eateries. But for newlyweds, Riad Meriem’s greatest pleasure may be its simplest: enjoying a lazy, late-morning breakfast of fresh Moroccan breads, savory cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit and aromatic coffee on the property’s terrace, amongst the olive trees, pomegranate bushes and glorious views of North Africa’s Atlas Mountains.

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Jessica d Dustin

REAL WEDDINGS

~ JUNE 1 , 2013 ~

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One more reason to attend professional networking events: meeting the love of your life. Handsome Dustin caught Jessica’s eye at one such Houston event; four years later the pair shared their vows in an intimate St. Croix destination wedding, with 55 of their loved ones on hand to join in the celebration. Jessica radiant in flowing Pronovias, her groom resort-dapper in his pale gray suit, the Houston-based paramours partied beach-style—with the help of rum cocktails, a tropical-inspired menu, and DJ-spun tunes—then enjoyed a lazy Virgin Islands recovery with their best friends and closest family members.

writer natasha garber ~ photography DC Stanley photography W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names jessica lewis

dustin priemer  proposal perfection “at the end of an amazing european vacation, on a pier at sunset &

in barcelona, dustin simply said, ‘i love you very much and i want you to be my wife’”   number of guests 55   wedding dress pronovias from houston bridal gallery   photography dc stanley photography   registry macy’s; williams-sonoma   honeymoon anguilla

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honeymoon

must- h a v es

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3

1. HENRI BENDEL Monogram Oval Sunglasses Henri Bendel Houston Galleria 2. HENRI BENDEL West 57th Passport Cover Henri Bendel Houston Galleria 3. CLINIQUE SPF 40 broad spectrum SUNSCREEN clinique.com 4. NANETTE LEPORE MAYAN RIVIERA CAFTAN nanettelepore.com 5. SEAFOLLY SUMMER GARDEN BIKINI seafolly.com 6. VINCE CAMUTO Adrelin flat vincecamuto.com 7. HENRI BENDEL Batik chic tote Henri Bendel Houston Galleria 8. ETRO silk-chiffon pareo net-a-porter.com

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your new home J U S T

M A R R I E D

marriage & money

It’s never too early to start a financial dialogue with your future spouse.

My bride and I have been married for 27 years, but neither of us will forget those first months of marriage, when we found ourselves in a number of heated disagreements about how to spend (or not spend) our money. To avoid some of the conflicts we struggled through, consider reading this article out loud to the love of your life so that the two of you can begin a money dialogue that will hopefully last throughout your lives. And keep in mind the word “dialogue” is important here, since a dialogue happens between two people sharing thoughts about a topic and coming up with an answer together, rather than one person trying to change the opinion of another.

writer Randall Neighbour ~ photo J. CoGLIANDRO

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location CHATEAU COCOMAR decor PLANTS N' PETALS


your new home When and how do we want to retire? During our engagement, my wife-tobe asked me about retirement. We were in our mid-20s, and I never gave retirement a thought before that conversation. One thing we agreed on immediately was that we wanted a comfortable retirement where we didn’t have to worry about money. This is an important conversation to have with your soon-to-be spouse. Together, decide how and where you want to enjoy your golden years and how much it will cost in today’s dollars per year to help achieve it. Then start saving money and investing, and don’t take on more risk than you can tolerate. Remember, the sooner you begin saving for retirement, the longer your money is working for you. To have enough for a comfortable retirement, you may have to delay buying those custom drapes for the living room or buying that new car, but it’s worth

it. No one in their 60s ever says, “I wish I had saved less when I was first married!” How can we create a budget and live within it? For a number of years, my wife and I have carefully monitored how much we spend on eating out, electronics, clothing and stuff for the house. It’s easy to spend $2,000 (or far more) each year on these things, and much of that is money that should be set aside for big-ticket items that are usually put on a credit card or financed at a bank. In other words, it’s money that shouldn’t be spent today, but saved for retirement. Is living on a budget worth it? Absolutely! Two years ago we celebrated our anniversary with an over-the-top luxurious week in Paris. This year, we bought a new car and paid cash for it. Living within a budget for a number of years has rewarded us with a paid-off

photo j. Cogliandro photography

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mortgage, nice cars in the garage, and regular vacations. Creating a budget and both of us working hard to live within it is the reason why we have a solid retirement pathway and we can enjoy life today without taxing our future with unnecessary debt. How should we prioritize generosity to keep money in its rightful place? Shortly after marriage, my wife and I decided to be generous with our income even if it meant temporarily sacrificing some personal comfort. For 27 years, we’ve given away a percentage of our income to worthy charities, specific needs in our community, and to an orphanage in Malawi. This might sound odd, but by prioritizing charitable giving in our budget (not giving what’s left over, because there’s rarely extra money left over) we have found that we are the masters of our money. In other words, money—having it or not having it—does not rule us nor our level of happiness. Making a conscious decision to be generous, by budgeting generosity each month, has not been easy when we want something we have to delay purchasing, but it’s worth it. The more generous we are, the less we care about what we can buy, and, in turn, we rarely argue about money. Randall Neighbour is a Registered Representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. He can be reached at 713.552.7918; randall.neighbour@lfg. com. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/ dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. CRN-764155-111113


your new home

right at

home

Planning to invest in a newlywed nest? Let our experts offer guidance. writer natasha garber ~ photo adam nyholt photographer

If you’re among the majority of newly married Houston couples who plan to purchase a home during their first year of marriage, you’re in luck. Not only do Houston and its surrounding areas offer exceptional options in neighborhood, home type and price, but Weddings in Houston just happens to have a line on some of the finest real estate and home-financing pros in town.

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your new home Before you enter the housing market, take a moment to take in this expert advice from Waukita Ray-Swales, owner of Veranda Realty Group/Keller Williams Realty; Michelle Ray of Michelle Ray Properties, a broker associate of Keller Williams Realty; and Mutual of Omaha branch manager Sean Bohn, who works with home buyers to offer a comprehensive portfolio of residential financing solutions, including conventional loans, refinances and jumbo loans. Weddings in Houston: How should a soon-to-be-married or newlywed couple determine if they are financially ready to buy a house? Michelle Ray: The first step is financial pre-approval for a mortgage and determining the approval amount right for your budget.   WIH: What’s involved in that process? Sean Bohn: It’s a good idea to start the pre-approval process once you are contemplating purchasing a new home. A good lender will be able to provide helpful guidance that will give you peace of mind during your home purchase process. The lender will ask for basic credit history, income documentation and asset documentation to determine if you are qualified. With the Houston housing market growing stronger, most realtors are requiring a pre-approval letter to accompany an offer made on a home. The pre-approval process will help a couple determine how much they can afford to spend on a home. Generally, up to 36 percent of the borrower’s gross monthly income is allowed as total monthly debt. This includes the principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowner insurance associated with the mortgage, as well as any other installment or revolving debt appearing on the couple’s credit report or elsewhere. 410 

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WIH: How can a couple get in the best possible financial shape to purchase a home? Waukita Ray-Swales: Pay off all revolving debt, such as credit card debt, revolving credit lines for appliances, furnishings, etc. Create—and live strictly by—a sensible and realistic budget, and save as much money as possible. If there are credit score issues, consult with a credit counseling service to resolve any roadblocks that could prevent you from qualifying for a loan.  All of the above require some major sacrifices, but home ownership is ultimately well worth the pain of “living well below one’s means.” WIH: What are some of your favorite Houston neighborhoods for young couples looking to buy a starter home, townhome or condo? WRS: I am partial to neighborhoods “inside the loop” when I counsel soonto-be-married or newlywed couples, because of their accessibility and proximity to the major freeways, shopping districts, arts districts and sports arenas. Some of my favorites are: Houston Heights Area—This neighborhood is a designated historic district with a small-town feel and an abundance of renovated bungalows, as well as newly constructed townhomes in the outlying neighborhoods. With a great hike and bike trail that runs all the way through Memorial Park and Downtown, it was recently voted one of the “Top 10” walking neighborhoods in America, and has an abundance of eateries, pubs, coffee houses and shopping establishments along the way. The median sale price is approximately $400,000, but properties range from under $200,000 to over $2.5 million. Washington Corridor/Rice Military/ Camp Logan—Rice Military is at the

heart of Houston’s Inner Loop, and is also five to 10 minutes away from Downtown, Memorial Park and the Museum District. It is still an area of transition, which keeps the prices affordable for first-time buyers. Many renovated bungalows are scattered throughout the area, but in recent years there has been a surge in townhome construction. Entry-level homes in this neighborhood start around $300,000, and the close proximity to the popular Washington Avenue Corridor is a huge draw to young professionals. Montrose—Montrose is one of the older, more “culturally hip” Houston neighborhoods, like the emerging Midtown section nearby. It is located just west of Downtown, with an abundance of renovated bungalows, recently built townhomes, high-rises and lofts, so it appeals to a large number of young professionals, as well as empty-nesters. Like the Houston Heights, it has a smalltown atmosphere and a great location, and homes are still very affordable, starting in the mid-$200,000s to the $800,000s. Upper Kirby—This neighborhood is truly located in the heart of Houston, with an eclectic combination of cottages, townhomes, duplexes and small businesses. Because of the many restaurants, bars, coffee houses, galleries, antique stores and unique retail shops, it has become affectionately known as Houston’s “bohemia.” Like the Montrose area, entry-level homes will range from $250,000 to $400,000. EaDo (East of Downtown)—Located just north of Interstate 45 and between the George R. Brown Convention Center and the East End District, EaDo is a vibrant Houston neighborhood near Houston’s three largest business districts: Downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center and the Houston Ship


your new home Channel. Dubbed the “Art & Soul of Houston,” EaDo is a fast-growing neighborhood nestled within one of the more exciting sections of the city, with easy access to major freeways, major thoroughfares and METRO Transit. Houston’s major business districts are all a short distance away, making this neighborhood an easy commute, while still remaining comfortably close to many of Houston’s entertainment options. Homes in this neighborhood begin in the $200,000s and consist mostly of townhomes or zero-lot-line single-family homes. WIH: What’s the biggest challenge couples face when moving in together—and what can they do to ease it? MR: We offer “LoveNest” consultations from a staging perspective that help couples determine their style as a couple. The biggest challenge usually is combining their furniture—that and determining closet space. As for closet space, it’s important to make sure you have enough. Regarding furniture, the questions couples face include: Will he keep all his furniture? Will they get rid of it and just keep hers? Will they sell it and buy new things? There’s also the issue of style. He might want contemporary, she might want traditional, for instance. I recommend using a staging company like the one I maintain as a subsidiary of Michelle Ray Properties. An accredited staging professional can consult with the couple on how to combine their decorating styles, how to create a personal space, and how to organize items and declutter. You want a place for everything. And you want the house to flow in terms of color and decor. If you don’t have an eye for it, it becomes a mishmash. That’s where a professional comes in. W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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Kerry d Kris

REAL WEDDINGS

~ OCTOBER 5, 2013 ~

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Though they’d always known they’d wed, Kerry and Kris, who were introduced by a mutual friend in 2002, were simply waiting for the timing to be right, “which, for us, just happened to be about 10 years,” the bride says. Kris proposed to his beloved on bended knee at the top of a Colorado ski slope while fellow skiers applauded. “It was magical and I could not have imagined it being any better,” Kerry says. A little over a year later, the pair celebrated with 150 friends and family members, who sat at tables named for the groom’s favorite James Bond movies, and dined on filet mignon and shrimp, followed by slices from a magnificent four-tier wedding cake. The bride’s favorite moment? “Our first dance after we were introduced as husband and wife,” she recounts. “We danced to Aerosmith’s ‘Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.’”

writer natasha garber ~ photography Morgan Lynn Photography W ed di ngs i nho us t o n. c o m   • 

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REAL WEDDINGS

names kerry levine

schwartz

&

kristopher bollman   number of guests 150   consultant woodward   decor & rentals eb inc events   lighting bright star &

productions   cake who made the cake!   groomswear al’s formal wear   wedding bands zadok jewelers   registry kuhl-linscomb; williams-sonoma   honeymoon tahiti

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Wedding

R es o u r c e D i r ec to ry

Accesso ries

Four Seasons Hotel Houston 27

Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston 29

AB Bling 183

The Gallery 69

The San Luis Resort,

Cathy Rascoe 189

Grappino di Nino 121

alteratio ns MW Couture 207

Sans Souci Ballroom 61

Hacienda Las Flores

Shepard Hill Estates 113

El Palomino Ranch 141 Haras Hacienda, Catering, Restaurant,

Ba nks & Financ i al P lanni ng

Spa & Conference Center 56

The Grove 91

Boutique Hotel & Spa 42-43

Sheraton North Houston 76 Shirley Acres 72 South Shore Harbour Country Club 58

Lincoln Financial Advisors 411

Heather’s Glen 86-87

Star Fleet Yachts 134

Mutual of Omaha Bank 411

HESS Club 105

Sugar Creek Country Club 28

Hilton Americas Houston 85

Sweetwater Country Club 137

Be au ty & H ealt h

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake 32

Sylvan Beach Pavilion 95

Cleopatra’s Secret 244

Hilton Houston North 34

The Table on Post Oak 99

Designer Smiles 241

Hilton Houston Post Oak 33

The Tremont House 47

Hilda & Co. Airbrush Make-Up 244

Hilton Houston Westchase 108

Veranda by *17 at

Hilda Kershman Makeup Artist 240

Hotel Derek 77

Murillo Plastic Surgery 243

Hotel Galvez & Spa 46

The Villagio 118

Texas Center for Cosmetic & Implant

Hotel Granduca 115

Walden on Lake Houston

Hotel ZaZa Houston

Golf & Country Club 137

Dentistry 245 TheWeaveologist.com 242

Museum District 4-5

The Sam Houston Hotel 9

Waterpoint Premier Lakeside Venue 135

The Houston Club 136

The Westin Galleria 51

Bri dal S hows

Houston Event Centers 119

The Westin Oaks 51

I Do! Bridal Soiree - JW Marriott Houston

Houston Marriott North 36

Weston Lakes Country Club 74

Houston Oaks Country Club 31

Willow Fork Country Club 137

Houston Racquet Club 101

The Woodlands Country Club 53

Cere m o ny & Rec e pti o n

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 10-11

The Woodlands Resort

Agave Estates 81

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 20-21

& Conference Center 41

Ashelynn Manor 57

Kemah Gardens 120

The Wynden 79

Ashton Gardens 12-13

La Colombe d’Or 37

Downtown Bind-In

The Bell Tower on 34th Street 19

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 3

Cul in a ry S ervices

Boardwalk FantaSea Yacht Charters 94

The Lasker Inn 122

Café Natalie 301

The Bougainvilleas 139

Madera Estates 127

Capitol Beverage Service 300

Brady’s Landing 106

Magnolia Hotel Houston 93

DGZ Weddings 302

Brennan’s Houston 54

The Majestic Metro 63

Gigi’s Cupcakes 296

Briscoe Manor 55

Moffitt Oaks 89

M.E.B. Cakes 298

Butler’s Courtyard 133

Music World Entertainment Venues 129

Jackson and Company IFC-1

Cadillac Bar 62

Noah’s 134

Nothing Bundt Cakes 296

Chateau Cocomar - Cover Fold

Northgate Country Club 54

Sugar Bunch Creations 294

Chateau Polonez 64-65

Northwest Forest 117

Supreme Kakes & More 299

City of La Porte 94

Old Glory Ranch 30

Susie’s Cakes & Confections 295

The Club at Carlton Woods 17

Omni Houston Hotel 35

Who Made the Cake! 297

The Corinthian IFC-1

Ouisie’s Table 125

Crowne Plaza Houston - Brookhollow 60

The Overlook 75

Crystal Ballroom at the Rice 73

The Parador 26

Cullen’s 108

Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club 137

Demers Banquet Hall 92

Peli Peli 123

Kemah Gardens 120

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston

Petroleum Club of Houston 143

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 3

Pine Forest Country Club 107

Old Glory Ranch 30

Quail Valley City Centre 78

Pompano Beach Club 399

Rainbow Lodge 80

The San Luis Resort,

Downtown 80 DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway Plaza 104

D est in at ion We dding & H on ey m oon Hotel Galvez & Spa 46

Downtown Aquarium 116

Raveneaux Country Club 59

Enchanted Cypress Ballroom 109

Rosemary’s Garden 71

Shepard Hill Estates 113

Energy Ballroom at the Holiday Inn 120

Royal Oaks Country Club 103

The Tremont House 47

Spa & Conference Center 56

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Flowers, Decor & Re ntals A Memorable Event 277 AJ’s Urban Petals 262 Any Occasion Party Rental 264 Arteflora 254 Darryl & Co. - Bind-In Dream Bouquet 257 EB Inc Events 267 Events in Bloom 255 Flora & Eventi 273 Haute Flowers & Finds 266 Keisha’s Kreations 265 Lary’s Florist & Designs 263 Linens by Lisa 271 Party Time Rentals 275 The Perfect Touch 274 Plants N’ Petals 258-259 Something Special in Flowers 256 Todd Events 6-7 Gift Reg istry Bering’s 322 Blue Leaf 324 Celebrity China & Cookware 322 Kuhl-Linscomb 323

Adam Nyholt Photographer 365 Akil Bennett Photography 379

Table on Post Oak 147

Click Photo & Video 339

Veranda by *17 at

Color Tyme Photography 372 DC Stanley Photography 377

T ra n sp ortat ion

Depshots Photography 357

Sam’s Limousine & Transportation 343

Fernando Weberich Photography BC FireHeart Photography 381 In a Lifetime Photography 380 J. Cogliandro Photography 361 John Ly Photography 375 Joseph West Photography 378 Joshua Tyi Weddings 356 Kreative Angle Photography 364 MD Turner Photography 380 Motley Mélange 354 Nhan Photography 353 Ron Dillon Photography 381 Sarah Ainsworth Photography 367 SB Image Studios 373

DJU Productions 335 iHeart Flipbooks 338 Jonny Black Productions 337 Photobooths of Houston 339 P r e-W eddin g C e l eb rat ion s Brennan’s Houston 144

Donoho’s Jewellers 15 Zadok Jewelers 173 Lig h ting & Sou nd Bright Star Productions 261 Dynamo Entertainment 276

Elect Films 387 Nostalgic Videography 388 Sculpting With Time Productions 388 Webs it es HoustonBridalShows.com HoustonWeddingBlog.com WeddingsInHouston.com We ddin g At t ire Al’s Formal Wear 182

Katie & Co. 312

J ewelry

Ama Photography & Cinema 385

Belle Revé Bridal Couture 181

Isabella Invitations 315 Love Ashley 313

31Films 386 A&A Photo and Video 384

Steve Lee Photography 363

Click Photo, Video & Photobooth 339

DGZ Weddings 312

V i deog raph y

Select Studios 352

Williams-Sonoma 329

Bluebonnet Press 313

The Sam Houston Hotel 147

D. Jones Photography 355

Ph oto Boot h

Bering’s 315

Center 147

Civic Photos 371

Macy’s 325

Invitatio ns

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference

Cadillac Bar 144 Downtown Aquarium 144 Energy Ballroom at the Holiday Inn 144 Grappino di Nino 145 The Grove 145 Hilton Americas Houston 145 Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District 145 Houston Event Centers 145 The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 145

Brickhouse Bridal 195 David Peck USA 184-185 Houston Bridal Gallery 199 Ivory Bridal Atelier 197 La Rêve Bridal Couture 180 Mia Bridal Couture 193 MW Couture 207 Now & Forever Bridal Boutique 227 Parvani Vida Bridal and Formal 209 Oleg Cassini - David’s Bridal 211 T. Carolyn Fashions 182 Tux Mobile 183 Twin Oaks Cleaners 228 Weddings by Debbie 203 Winnie Couture Flagship Bridal Salon 205 We ddin g M in i st ers Weddings Performed 154

Music & Enterta i nm e nt

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 145

We ddin g S ervic es

Adams & Green Entertainment Agency 336

La Colombe d’Or 145

A Day To Remember 154

The Composed Bride 338

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 146

Events by Doyin 162

DJ Dave Productions 336

The Lasker Inn 146

Events by Sarah 163

DJU Productions 335

Maggiano’s Little Italy 146

Gray & Associates Events 159

Harpist - Amy Waltz 338

Magnolia Hotel Houston 146

Kat Creech Events 163

iHeart Flipbooks 338

The Majestic Metro 146

Lion & Lamb Event Services 161

Jonny Black Productions 337

Masraff’s 146

Perfect Carma Events 161

Photobooths of Houston 339

Ouisie’s Table 146

Schwartz & Woodward 155

Scott Graham - Pianist & Composer 337

The Overlook 146

Stewart Weddings 162

Strings Attached Houston 336

Peli Peli 147

SwaLaRue Events 160

Rainbow Lodge 147 Ph oto g raph y

Royal Oaks Country Club 147

1 Cinema Productions Photo & Video 366

Sambuca - Crystal Ballroom

A Lifetime of Memories Photography 374

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at the Rice 147

You r N ew H o m e Michelle Ray Properties 407 Veranda Realty Group 409


Profile for Weddings in Houston

Weddings in Houston - JULY-DECEMBER 2014  

Weddings in Houston - JULY-DECEMBER 2014