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IDEAS + 300 Resources to PLAN your HOUSTON WEDDING

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Weddings in Houston

BEST of EVERYTHING to plan YOUR Houston WEDDING the


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300 Houston RESOURCES to help PLAN your DREAM WEDDING


BEST of EVERYTHING to plan YOUR HOUSTON WEDDING the


ENGAGED & CONFUSED? 300+ Resources to PLAN your HOUSTON WEDDING


photo: m wang photography

photo: m wang photography

photo: d jones photography

Luxury events for Houston’s discerning brides. 10.18.15 | 01.21.16 houstonbridalshows.com


photos: j. cogliandro photography unless otherwise noted

photo: aleďŹ ya akbarally


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

There is nothing like being in love and being loved. And there is no more profound experience than sealing your love with a meaningful exchange of vows in the midst of your nearest and dearest. This year marks a move toward lush glamour and unbridled romance, as wedding couples embrace elegance—but with a personal touch. Our new issue reflects this wonderful trend, showcasing its splendors through dreamy inspiration shoots, dazzling fashion spreads, and the joyous weddings of real Houston couples…like you and your beloved. The perfect complement to our print magazine, a brand-

Weddings i n H o u s t o n®

FALL | WINTER 2015 Founder & Chairman JB DAY

Publisher & CEO RADHIKA J. DAY

new ­ weddingsinhouston.com launches this summer, bringing you

President

everything you need to plan your perfect Houston wedding,

VIK DAY

wherever and whenever you want it. Engage with us, and other brides, on F ­ acebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter; and in person at our signature I Do! Bridal Soirees, where you’ll find Houston’s finest ­vendors, in an environment of VIP luxury and indulgence. Congratulations, Houston bride. We are so honored to serve as

Editor NATASHA GARBER

Account Executives LESTER CHILDRES, CORRIE DOMINGO

Operations Manager SUE CONNER

Production Manager

your guide.

CARRIE SKUPINSKY

Production Coordinator ASHLEY PICKETT

Editorial Coordinator MICHELLE NAIK

Radhika J. Day Publisher & CEO

Sales Coordinator JACLYN CHRISTIAN

Weddings

Art Director CHARLOTTE MICUS

in Houston

®

Designers MALIA GATTAS, JOHN GATTAS

Photography LARRY FAGALA, ASHLEY NICOLE

Styling SUMMAR SALAH

Contributing Writers

Weddings in Houston

®

AUTUMN RHEA CARPENTER, JULIE LEMEROND, CHERISE LUTER, MAGGIE MARTON, MICHELLE NAIK, CARRIE SKUPINSKY

Weddings in Houston LP 525 Arlington Street Houston TX 77007 713.464.4321 AUGUST: Gown Naeem Khan Jewelry Patricia Peckinpaugh Mantilla JT Bordadores Photographer Larry Fagala Styling Summar Salah Flowers & Decor Todd Events Hair Ceron for Ceron Salon Makeup Gabby Camacho for Ceron Salon SEPTEMBER: Gown Ivory Bridal Atelier Headpiece Brickhouse Bridal Ring Zadok Jewelers Photographer Larry Fagala Styling Summar Salah Flowers & Decor Todd Events Hair Ceron for Ceron Salon Makeup Gabby Camacho for Ceron Salon OCTOBER: Photographer Elizabeth Messina Gowns & Accessories Twigs & Honey Makeup & Hair Erin Skipley Model Dominique Farias

info@weddingsinhouston.com WeddingsInHouston.com HoustonWeddingBlog.com HoustonBridalShows.com Weddings in Houston is printed semi-annually and distributed with a different cover each month. Content changes in January and July. Copyright© 2015, Weddings in Houston LP

NOVEMBER: Photography & Gown Lusan Mandongus DECEMBER: Suit M Penner Houston Shorts & Top Dolce & Gabbana Jewelry Zadok Jewelers Photographer Larry Fagala Styling Summar Salah Flowers & Decor Todd Events Hair Ceron for Ceron Salon Makeup Gabby Camacho for Ceron Salon JANUARY: Gown Naeem Khan Earrings Baccarat Ring Trumpet & Horn Shoes Jimmy Choo, Neiman Marcus Location The Astorian Photographer Larry Fagala Styling Summar Salah Flowers & Decor AJ’s Urban Petals Hair Tonya Riner Makeup Aubrie Layne

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


CONTENTS

wedding planning CE RE MO N Y & RECEPTION

28 FAIRYTALE WEDDINGS

Wildflower-filled meadows, serene chapels and glittering ballrooms— Houston’s fabulous event venues offer sublime celebration spaces.

46 JARDÍN DEL AMOR 66 HAUTE HOTELS Grand lobbies, regal ballrooms and gorgeous grounds—Houston’s stylish hotels offer elegant space for celebrating…and a whole lot more.

88 DINNER IS SERVED More than a meal, your wedding menu should be a full-flavored, perfectly personalized dining experience.

98 MIX MASTER Jonathan Pogash, aka “The Cocktail Guru,” serves up celebrations, one delicious drink at a time.

102 DIY VS. DON’T TRY Feeling crafty? Follow these tips for a flawless blend of handcrafted and expert-made.

114 BOLD & BEAUTIFUL Master floral designer Jeff Leatham makes a statement.

124 PROMISES, PROMISES Relax and take pleasure in writing your personal wedding vows. Here’s how.

132 I DO! BRIDAL SOIREE AT THE CORINTHIAN

134 A SEAT AT THE TABLE Who sits where? And why? And does it really matter? Our answers to common seating-plan questions are a befuddled bride’s best friend. WE D D I N G S E RV I CES

158 EXPERT EASE 8 reasons to hire a professional planner.

172 THE ROYAL OUI 181 WEDDINGS BY DESIGN Lounge and luxuriate in these fine settings.

in every issue

150 PRE-WEDDING & REHEARSAL DINNER CELEBRATIONS

154 CEREMONY & RECEPTION REFERENCE GUIDE

415 WEDDING RESOURCE DIRECTORY


CONTENTS

wedding style JEWE L RY

188 WEDDING RING BUYING GUIDE Diamonds and platinum and— lab reports??—oh my! Get help navigating the ring thing with our valuable advice. 193 DAZZLING DELIGHTS 194 GO FOR THE GOLD WE D D I N G ATTI RE

200 HOW TO SHOP FOR YOUR WEDDING DRESS Don’t hit the salons without this advice. 206 MODERN LOVE 208 SWEET ROMANCE 210 GOWN TRENDS: DRAMATIC BACKS 212 FINISHING TOUCHES 214 GOWN TRENDS: SHEER DELIGHT 216 GOWN TRENDS: CATCH THAT TRAIN 218 GOWN TRENDS: COLOR ME BEAUTIFUL 220 FOR HER 222 COUTURE IN CONTRAST 227 MIXED METALLICS 228 GOWN TRENDS: PLUNGING NECKLINES

230 SEASIDE REVERIE BE AUTY & H E ALTH

234 READY, SET…RELAX 5 surefire stress-busters for busy brides (and grooms).

finer details

FLOWE RS, DECOR & RE N TA LS

G IFT REG ISTRY

252 18 TANTALIZING DECOR IDEAS Top Houston wedding designers, florists and decorators tap big trends and alluring looks for WOW weddings.

334 REGISTER FOR NOW & ALWAYS Look ahead to your happily married life as you assemble your wedding gift list.

282 BOUNTIFUL BLOOMS

340 PLUG AND PLAY

CU L IN A RY SE RVIC ES

345 COCKTAILS ANYONE?

292 DUFF GOLDMAN TAKES THE CAKE The thrill-seeking “Ace of Cakes” host shows Weddings in Houston his softer side.

MUSIC & E N TE RTA INMENT

296 THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF I DO Be the best bride you can be, with help from our wedding etiquette advice.

239 LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD How to look and feel your best for the big day…and beyond.

305 SWEET SENSATIONS

243 GOLDEN GODDESS

316 AN INVITATION TO ELEGANCE Set the tone for your wedding with a high-impact invitation suite.

244 BEST FACE FORWARD 249 GIVE ME SOME LIP

INVITATION S

325 YOURS TRULY

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


CONTENTS

documenting the day PH OTO G RAPHY

358 PICTURE THIS Great wedding photos are a matter of shared vision. 370 BEAUTY, UNDERCOVER Bridal boudoir shows its editorial edge. 374 22 SHOTS YOU’LL MISS IF YOU MISS ’EM Make sure your photographer captures these essential wedding moments for posterity. 383 JUST MARRIED Kirk and Laura Knight, stars of Bravo’s hit reality series “Newlyweds The First Year,” dish on their courtship, big DC wedding and cringe-worthy moments on national TV. VIDEO GRAPH Y

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

just married

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

394 PUNTA CANA PARADISE The Dominican Republic’s eastern edge is a haven for honeymoon bliss. 400 GET AWAY FROM IT ALL Destination weddings have a rulebook all their own. Follow it, and your far-off festivities will be smooth sailing all the way. 403 EXOTIC ESCAPE 407 ON-TREND TRAVEL

real weddings

40 RANDI SMITH & JOHNNY CARRABBA 60 OANH NGUYEN & JOHN NGUYEN 82 CHELSEY HEAREN & MARK JONES 110 LAURA ASHCROFT & ANDREW MILLER 120 JACQUELINE WATSON & MARK LUPTON JR. 144 COURTNEY LANDRY & KOLBY BRAILSFORD 168 RORIE HILL & RYLEY POBLETE 178 JUSTIN SMITH & BAKER GOLDSMITH 196 CHRISTINE McKINNON & JEREMY HUNT 224 MEGAN PIERCE & RANDY ROSENBAUM 246 JESSICA HOGAN & CLAYTON CRUM 272 ALEXANDRA NEWTON & JEFFREY “HUGH” MARSH JR. 276 LAURA HUTCHINSON & RAVI PATEL

YOUR N EW HO ME

322 KERRI SMELEK & MICHAEL CHILDRESS

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

342 MARIBETH DRAKE & WESLEY PRUITT 352 JAMIE LIN & JASON SHING 380 OLIVIA HALL & JEFF SIMMONS 404 ANNE MARIE HENICK & JAMIE BÉNARD 412 SOPHIA ASARIA & ALIM BHANJI


Planning

WEDDING

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

QUALIFIED C ­ ONSULTANT, TOUR TOP VENUES, FIND AN OFFICIANT, AND DISCOVER CEREMONY AND RECEPTION TRENDS. GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO START PLANNING IN STYLE.

photo: j. cogliandro photography location: the corinthian


CEREMONY & RECEPTION 28 WEDDING SERVICES 158

W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  27


wedding planning | ceremony

& reception

Fairytale

WEDDINGS

WILDFLOWER-FILLED MEADOWS, SERENE CHAPELS AND GLITTERING BALLROOMS—HOUSTON’S FABULOUS EVENT VENUES OFFER SUBLIME CELEBRATION SPACES.

All fairytales require a princess, her prince, a love story and a magical setting. A fairytale wedding requires the exact same elements—as well as outstanding service, exceptional food and lots of room to dance. From city lights to countryside, and plenty in between, these 11 diverse Houston-area venues each provide a picturesque jumping off point for “happily ever after.”

writer AUTUMN RHEA CARPENTER ~ photo AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY

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location: chateau polonez


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THE CORINTHIAN

M A D E R A E S TAT E S

Downtown

Conroe

The Corinthian hosts only one event per day, making it an ideal space to bring your one-of-a-kind fairytale dream to life. Everything in this venue is magnificent, including its 90-foot aisle, 24 regal 35-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a grand hall that boasts over 10,000 square feet of soaring ceilings. “Some of the great elements we offer include a Champagne lounge in the ladies’ powder room, a groom’s lounge with a whiskey bar, plenty of room for your guests to be serenaded during dinner by a pianist at a grand piano, and, finally, fireworks highlighting the couple’s departure in a vintage Rolls-Royce,” says sales director Kelly Biggs.

For couples seeking a fairytale setting with a Latin touch, Conroe’s Madera Estates (“madera” is Spanish for “wood” and pays tribute to the property’s expansive piney woods) takes its inspiration from the rich traditions of the Mexican highlands’ San Miguel de Allende. Surrounded by 17 acres of pristine forestland, the venue’s rustic outdoor ceremony sites shine with twinkly lights, traditional Cantera-stone columns, fountains, wood-burning fireplaces, hand-carved tables and iron accents. “Brides have ridden in on horses and grooms have landed in helicopters,” says Amanda Haley-Johnston, general manger of Madera Estates. “We have a tower for unique pictures

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that capture the property in all of its magical expanse. Weddings held on the acreage all around us create a kind of whimsy for any couple who wants more of an ‘enchanted’ memory.” MOFFITT OAKS To m b a l l

Set upon the shore of a shimmering lake, in a meadow filled with Indian Hawthorn, this venue makes rustic fairytale wedding dreams come true, with horse-drawn carriages, waterfront ceremonies and fireworks. This event venue offers couples several options, including a romantic lakeside arbor, a rustic-elegant barn, and a grand ballroom hung with Swarovski chandeliers. “We offer a honeymoon suite for our bride and groom to escape after


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an eventful night. The suite provides a secluded, romantic and intimate time for them to privately review their memories of their wedding day,” says Melissa Barnard, Moffitt Oaks event coordinator. “Our 47 acres allow our couples to drift off with their photographer after the ceremony to capture the essence of their love while being immersed in nature.” H E AT H E R ’ S G L E N Conroe

An enchanted garden, lush with greenery and dense with flowers. A private chapel nestled in a forest clearing. Heather’s Glen offers both of these, and more. Its sun-dappled secret garden includes waterfalls, seasonal blooms and brick pathways with charming vignettes throughout the inviting

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grounds. Meanwhile, the chapel has both Victorian and garden accents, along with a spiral staircase fit for a grand entrance. “The property has an incredible timelessness,” says Heather George, owner of Heather’s Glen. “The lighting in the garden makes the grounds feel enchanted and romantic. As the sun goes down, chandeliers and lanterns in the garden and reception room light up, along with uplighting in the trees and twinkling lights on the trellises.” ASHTON GARDENS Katy and North Houston

Couples who wish to invite a little nature into their weddings are drawn to this enchanting venue, where wood beams frame floor-to-ceiling windows, offering a view of the verdant forest

surroundings, with “the comforts and security of being indoors,” says Stephanie Selaiden, corporate director of sales and marketing at Ashton Gardens. The ballroom is adorned with Austrian-crystal chandeliers, while a ­ grand staircase makes for a spotlight entrance that would make any princess proud. Looking for an extra-romantic fairytale touch? “For evening weddings in our chapel we have a moonlight candle package that includes over 100 candles placed throughout the chapel to create a very romantic and intimate ceremony setting that will be unforgettable for you and your guests.” And for something completely new, look for Ashton Gardens’ new West Houston location, opening in Katy this summer.


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ROSEMARY’S GARDEN

S H E PA R D H I L L E S TAT E S

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

Bellaire

Willis

North Houston

With its charming gazebo and serene chapel, Rosemary’s Garden is a sweet, budget-friendly location for low-key weddings with a fairytale feel. The large windows in the venue’s ballroom look out onto lush magnolia trees, and a green vista that transports guests away from Houston’s busy city streets. This relaxed venue is ideal for a nofuss wedding with Southern hospitality and plenty of storybook touches. “Our chapel, with red carpet and French-style doors, the candelabras and piano, the Roman columns and angelic statues—these, put together with white flower arrangements, create a very romantic experience for our brides and grooms,” says Rosemary Pham, CEO and owner of this Bellaire gem.

If your fairytale wedding vision has you drifting back in time, to the era of grand estate houses filled with antiques, wraparound verandas looking out upon sprawling lawns, and a manicured rose garden sparkling in the sun, this venue is a great fit. “From the traditional bridal suite to the gentlemen’s game room, there are intimate areas throughout the estate,” says Sammie Scott, owner of Shepard Hill Estates. “The property also has a private cottage for a romantic evening after the celebration in the grand ballroom. To personalize your special event, we can arrange a horse-drawn carriage for the bride’s arrival, and for the new husband and wife to ride off into the sunset.”

Any princess seeking a French-style castle decorated with a private collection of historic European art and antiques will be drawn to Chateau Cocomar. The “castle’s” vaulted ceilings, spiral staircase and grand fireplaces make it the perfect setting for brides seeking the ultimate in grandeur. Chateau Cocomar’s grand ballroom— the Salle de Versailles—evokes Old World elegance, with embellished hand-painted gold-leaf walls, Venetianinspired murals, crystal chandeliers and gleaming marble floors. “With an elegant red carpet on our front steps, the bride’s farewell is always one to remember,” says Chateau Cocomar’s Sherry Alvarez. “And a beautiful display of fireworks is the perfect

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ceremony & reception way to the seal the night with a kiss for an unforgettable fairytale ending.” C H AT E A U P O L O N E Z Northwest Houston

Couples can write their own personal fairytale in this dramatic, Europeaninspired venue, located a short drive from downtown Houston—but infused with a faraway-land feel. Its most enchanting space, The Gazebo on the Lake, “is wrapped in wisteria that drips beautiful purple flowers in the spring and creates a lovely fairytale setting for a ceremony,” says Kasia Tran, venue director for ­Chateau Polonez. From the chateau’s grand portecochere entrance, to its dramatic domed foyer, to its wooded fireplace courtyard and intimate back terrace, each unique space at Chateau Polonez is fit for a royal wedding experience, “on its own, without any additions,” Tran notes. A S H E LY N N M A N O R Magnolia

Known for its Southern charm, this venue is the perfect spot for the gracious and lovely maiden to wed her handsome country squire. The vintage-style “little white chapel” evokes memories of Sundays spent at Grandma’s quaint country church—but with modern seating for 275 guests. Outdoors, there is a beautiful Amish gazebo, set upon an open pasture backdrop with horses grazing in the distance. “We have had a horse-and-carriage deliver the bride to the ceremony, and a helicopter take the couple away from our front lawn,” says venue owner Tessie Ash. “Many of our brides transform our Carriage House with pipe and drape into a beautiful formal ballroom. The possibilities are endless.” 36  • W E D D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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R O C K I N ’ S TA R R A N C H Brenham

Time stands still in the most magical spot on this venue’s property, which is under the pecan tree, beside a tiny pond, in the heart of a working ranch. Imagine this natural setting juxtaposed with Victorian furniture, and a 7,000-square-foot ballroom with vaulted ceilings. What you picture is precisely the kind of countryside fairytale wedding—with just a touch of

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glamour—that the owners of Rockin’ Star Ranch have envisioned. “We can host an intimate ceremony under the stars, a luxurious reception in our elegant ballroom, or a wildly fun Western affair in the arena,” says Elaine Dillard, director of operations at Rockin’ Star Ranch. “At sunset, wild elk, oryx and whitetail deer all make an appearance alongside the horses and cattle in our rolling pastures. We offer a constellation of scenarios to suit every

destination-wedding wish.” Should your wedding wishes include accommodations for a select group of guests, Rockin’ Star can provide these, too. The property’s eight private cottages and cabins are equipped with private baths and luxurious linens, and each has its own unique charm and character. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com


O REAL WEDDINGS

Randi & Johnny writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

10.04.14

While Johnny Carrabba is one of Houston’s most successful restaurateurs, his namesake Kirby Drive restaurant

has achieved no greater accomplishment than being the location where Johnny met the woman who would become his bride. “He left a sticky note with his number to call if we ever needed to make a reservation,” recounts Randi, who’d dropped into the original Carrabba’s to dine with a business associate. She called the number on the note, they fell madly in love, Johnny proposed (with, adorably, a sticky note under the ring box on the table of their favorite New York restaurant), and one fine fall day, the pair joined 450 of their nearest and dearest for a lavish celebration, filled, naturally, with plenty of Italian touches.

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W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  41


REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple randi smith

johnny carrabba    number of guests 450    wedding colors white, cream & blush  lighting bright star productions  cake  susie’s cakes & confections  rings & jewelry  zadok &

jewelers    photography j. cogliandro photography    videography 31 films    honeymoon italy

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LOVE BLOSSOMS IN DAZZLING COLORS

photography LARRY FAGALA wardrobe stylist SUMMAR SALAH location PRIVATE RESIDENCE set styling, decor and flowers TODD EVENTS hair CERON FOR CERON SALON assistant TAYLOR HUDGINS FOR CERON SALON makeup GABBY CAMACHO FOR CERON SALON


previous pages: gown and top NAEEM KHAN mantilla JT BORDADORES jewelry PATRICIA PECKINPAUGH handcrafted floral rosary and decor TODD EVENTS these pages: set styling, flowers and decor TODD EVENTS

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W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  49


these pages: gown ZAC POSEN, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE HOUSTON GALLERIA headpiece MIA BRIDAL COUTURE jewelry TOOTSIE’S clutch JUDITH LEIBER, NEIMAN MARCUS HOUSTON GALLERIA flowers and decor TODD EVENTS

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these pages: gown VALENTINO, NEIMAN MARCUS HOUSTON GALLERIA headpiece MIA BRIDAL COUTURE jewelry ZADOK JEWELERS bouquet and boutonnieres TODD EVENTS

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this page: flowers, decor and rentals TODD EVENTS opposite page: gown and top NAEEM KHAN mantilla JT BORDADORES jewelry PATRICIA PECKINPAUGH handcrafted floral rosary and decor TODD EVENTS

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this page: pearls and lace cake SUSIE’S CAKES & CONFECTIONS flowers TODD EVENTS opposite page: set styling, flowers and decor TODD EVENTS

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W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  57


O REAL WEDDINGS

Oanh & John2

photos: a&a photo and video

writer NATASHA GARBER

09.20.14

Introduced by a mutual friend, Oanh and John spent two years falling in love, until the smitten

groom led his beloved up to the tallest peak in San Diego, Calif., and asked her to be his forever. “I felt like I was on top of the world at that moment,” Oanh says. While narrowing their wedding guest list down to a mere 350 was a tricky task, the bride notes, the pair did manage to gather all their loved ones into one place for one truly enchanted evening: “We fell in love with The Bell Tower on 34th,” the bride says. “Not only was it elegant and grand looking, but it was really romantic at night when all the lights were dimmed and the room was full of flickering candlelight.”

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REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple oanh nguyen bell tower on 34th

john nguyen  number of guests 350  venue  the  wedding colors  blush, white & gold  wedding dress galia lahav from ivory bridal atelier  honeymoon singapore & bali

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&


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Haute HOTELS

location: the houstonian hotel, club & spa

GRAND LOBBIES, REGAL BALLROOMS AND GORGEOUS GROUNDS—HOUSTON’S STYLISH HOTELS OFFER ELEGANT SPACE FOR CELEBRATING…AND A WHOLE LOT MORE.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY

When it comes to your wedding venue, the beauty of a great hotel lies in, well…not just its beauty. Although a great wedding hotel must be lovely to look at, inside and out, it must also have the ability to cater to your—and your guest group’s—every need. From ceremony sites to fine cuisine to in-house bridal services aplenty, these eight sophisticated Houston-area hotels aim to make your special day very special, indeed. 66  • W E D D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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ceremony & reception THE SAM HOUSTON HOTEL Downtown

Weddings at “The Sam,” as it’s colloquially known, take place in a very special space on the hotel’s second floor. Veranda by *17 creates the illusion of a covered rooftop, and gives wedding couples and their guests alike the experience of a semi-outdoor oasis in the heart of downtown Houston. When touring the space, many couples fall in love with its original 1920s brick facings, white draping, and 50-foot faux-ivy wall, which, notes catering manager Christopher Paschal, “are beautiful with or without extra decor enhancements.” And then there’s the food. While Veranda by *17 can accommodate up to 215 guests, it’s also favored by foodie couples planning more intimate nuptial

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affairs, with a focus on cuisine and wine. Menu items include crab cakes, truffle macaroni-and-cheese, seared scallops and crispy-skin snapper, and the hotel’s catering staff commits itself to pre-event tastings that ensure the menu is exactly what the wedding couple craves—just part of the hotel’s dedication to “exemplary customer service, understanding the importance of sacred unions and the celebrations that follow,” Paschal says. HOTEL ZAZA Museum District

An art-lover’s dream—and a glamour girl’s haven—Hotel ZaZa has earned its reputation as one of the city’s most iconic properties. After all, where else can you hang your Louboutins from a crystal chandelier for a killer photo opp

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(as numerous ZaZa brides have done), or sip signature ZaZa cocktails with your nearest and dearest in the midst of renowned contemporary paintings by Texan and international artists? While Hotel ZaZa attracts brides with its chic-meets-sexy Phantom Ballroom—floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Mecom Fountain are a big part of the allure—it’s the hotel’s exclusive access and intimate spaces that set it apart. “Our brides and couples have exclusive use of the beautiful Hotel ZaZa property, not just for their wedding day photos, but for engagement photos and bridal portraits,” notes Lisa Hudson, associate director of catering and special events. Add to that the hotel’s luxurious theme suites—“Fatal Charms,” with its red-velvet-and-faux-mink sofa

and crystal chandeliers, and “Black Label,” featuring a magnificent marble fireplace and bed-like lounge seating, to name just a couple—and Hotel ZaZa is an ideal spot for sleek, chic wedding events from the night before to the big day, and beyond. THE FOUR SEASONS Downtown

With all the luxurious decor and furnishings, upscale amenities and signature “no-is-not-in-our-vocabulary” service associated with the Four Seasons brand, the luxury hotel group’s downtown Houston property is a one-stop shop for brides who seek excellence all around. If there’s one word—besides “luxurious”—that describes the Four Seasons, it’s “accommodating.” Among the city’s


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ceremony & reception most seasoned experts in his field, Four Seasons director of catering Gary Baumann, along with his highly trained wedding staff, can basically provide anything and everything a wedding couple needs. Authentic South Indian feast for 300? Done. Twinkle-lit floral “ceiling” hovering over a custom-monogrammed dance floor? Absolutely. Personalized, hand-selected, Houston-theme gift bags placed in each visiting wedding guest’s beautifully appointed Four Seasons guest room? With pleasure. “We don’t believe in ‘no,’” Baumann says. “We recently had a couple who didn’t want wedding cake. No cake. But the groom loved chocolate-chip cookies. When it came time for cake, instead we had warm cookies with shots of vanilla ice cream. The guests went crazy for it!”

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H O T E L G A LV E Z & S PA Galveston

A prestigious Wyndham Grand Hotel, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Historic Hotels of America,” and the grand dame of the Gulf Coast, with more than a century of rich history—and a dazzling view of the sea. Hotel Galvez & Spa is all of these, as well as one of the region’s top spots for weddings with incomparable Southern style. “Brides have the option of choosing one of three beautiful outdoor venues for ceremonies: our Oleander Garden, Centennial Green and our Front Lawn,” notes senior catering sales manager Angela Westhoff. “Plus, you’ll be celebrating your wedding at the only historic beachfront hotel on the Texas Gulf Coast.” For post-ceremony partying, the

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Music Hall “is known for its grand archways leading to alcoves, and its windows overlooking the Gulf,” she adds. And that legendary Gulf Coast location makes for exceptional photos, adds catering sales manager Gina Hengst: “We’ve seen our brides use our historic bar—which, according to some accounts, dates to 1876—for their photos, or our sun-drenched promenade.” Meanwhile, she says, “Our lobby’s grand staircase is perfect for the ‘first look,’ and the front of the hotel is always a striking backdrop.” HOTEL DEREK Galleria/Uptown

If you’re the kind of bride who’s always on the go, and perennially attached to her mobile, but still set on planning a lavish wedding, then Hotel Derek may

be just the place for you. “We remember that this is all about the bride and groom and how they prefer to work,” notes director of catering Misty King-Obenauer. “We’ll text, Tweet, Pin, Instagram, or even telephone in order to accomplish their vision and deliver a wedding experience that is uniquely theirs.” At Hotel Derek, that perfectly personalized wedding is likely to take place in the flexible Bravo Ballroom—which can make even a 400-guest wedding feel intimate. Adds King-Obenauer, “This room is attached to a boldly designed, sprawling foyer space adjoining our Splash Pool, where guests can sip cocktails and cool off from dancing in the Texas evening breeze.” Determined to celebrate ’til the wee hours? “Our Bravo Ballroom is also adjacent to our ‘tunnel,’ where we


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keep the party going, with late-night food truck appearances from some of H-Town’s favorites.” HOTEL GRANDUCA Galleria/Uptown

An Italian destination wedding, complete with hand-painted frescoes, rustic chandeliers, piazza fountains and gardens reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside, without leaving Houston? You’ll find it at Hotel Granduca, where, says catering sales manager Laura Gerardi, “Every detail, from the decor to the hand-painted ceilings to the intricate floors, allows guests to experience the charm of Italy without leaving the city.” The grounds beside Hotel Granduca’s pool and spa are the hotel’s best-loved spot for “I do’s,” especially

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at twilight, when couples can say their vows under a canopy of twinkling lights, surrounded by verdant scenery. A bit of Houston “weather” in the forecast for your wedding day? Take your ceremony indoors to the glassenclosed Atrium, with views of the hotel’s manicured gardens. Then proceed into the adjoining Salone Rialto, for an intimate celebration of up to 100 guests, and dance the night away beneath Italian-inspired ceiling murals. H I LT O N H O U S T O N P O S T O A K Galleria/Uptown

Did you know that Hilton Houston Post Oak was designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei? If you didn’t, you’re in good company. “Most guests do not know that our hotel is an I.M. Pei building,” says director

of catering Margery Reinheardt. But even guests who are unaware of the building’s architectural provenance are impressed by its event spaces, including the brand-new, intimate BLVD Ballroom, featuring an 80-foot-long wall of windows facing picturesque Post Oak Boulevard. For larger gatherings, the soaring ceilings of the Grand Ballroom give a sense of spaciousness, even when the room is packed with revelers. For its sheer grandeur (the room’s ceilings are 23 feet high at their peak, and feature large mirrors that appear to expand the space even more), the ballroom’s 12 cascading Louis XIV crystal chandeliers are “always a point of focus,” Reinheardt adds. The ballroom’s specially constructed ceiling allows for just about any


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installation; brides can bring in custom uplighting displays and fabric configurations for impressive atmosphere. THE HOUSTONIAN HOTEL, C L U B & S PA Galleria/Uptown

Whether you’re a Houston native or a recent transplant, if you have an abundance of far-flung friends and relatives, and you’re looking for a place to gather for a weekend of Houston-style celebration, there’s no place like The Houstonian to host your wedding. “We are best suited for a ‘Houston destination wedding,’ where guests are coming in to celebrate together in a traditional, exclusive setting,” says Lisa Hopkins Barry, director of catering and conferences. “The facility’s pool

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complex, outdoor food and beverage outlet Arbor Grill, and the Houstonian Club Fitness Center, lend themselves to people of all ages who enjoy a hotel with a country-club feel. Guests don’t have to leave the property to feel like they spent their weekend someplace special.” For something extra-special at The Houstonian, arrange an intimate rehearsal dinner in the cozy Hearth Room, located in the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, Olivette, which “has Tuscany-style decor, and looks out onto our beautiful grounds,” Barry says. OMNI HOTEL Po s t O a k /G a l l e r i a

With room for 800 of your friends, family, colleagues, family’s friends, friends’ families and, well, you get the picture, the Omni Hotel’s Regency

Ballroom is capacious enough for even the biggest wedding. Yet, with floorto-ceiling windows overlooking the property’s lush acreage, the ballroom’s prefunction space creates a gracious, elegant setting that’s perfect for cocktails before the big event. And whether it’s those tasty cocktailhour hors d’oeuvre, or made-to-order stations serving up a variety of items to please everyone in your group, the Omni prides itself on “farm-to-table menus,” says director of catering Georgia Graugnard. “Everything is really fresh.” Late at night, when your big crowd whittles down to a cadre of close friends, head to the Omni’s Black Swan lounge, where local club DJs spin dance faves—the perfect mix for afterparty hijinks…not to mention tons of fun group-selfies.


O REAL WEDDINGS

C2helsey & Mark5

photos: 1 cinema productions

writer NATASHA GARBER

10.04.14

On a trip to Cabo San Lucas with friends, Chelsey and Mark had the fine fortune to arrive at “Lovers’ Beach” just when

the tide was low enough for them to walk under the beach’s famed rock arch. “He said, ‘Let’s take a picture by it,’” Chelsey recounts. “When we went to take the picture, he got down on one knee, and…” well, you can guess the rest. For the couple’s fall wedding at picturesque Madera Estates, “picture-perfect” weather made for a lovely outdoor ceremony. For the couple’s relaxed post-ceremony revelry, prime rib and pistachio-crusted redfish from Café Natalie Catering fueled the crowd for dancing. As for the surroundings themselves? “We kept the decor simple because the venue is so beautiful and speaks for itself,” Chelsey says. “It doesn't need much!”

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REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple chelsey hearen & mark jones    number of guests 250  venue  madera

estates  wedding colors  cranberry & gold  catering café natalie catering  wedding dress mori lee from the princess bridal    honeymoon costa rica

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DINNER IS

served

MORE THAN A MEAL, YOUR WEDDING MENU SHOULD BE A FULLFLAVORED, PERFECTLY PERSONALIZED DINING EXPERIENCE. writer JULIE LEMEROND ~ photo JOSEPH WEST PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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

Before your menu is set (and perhaps even before your venue is confirmed), you should be able to arrange a tasting provided by your caterer and attended by you, your groom and your wedding coordinator. This tasting will be a great way to communicate what you want with all of the people responsible for your event. It’s also an excellent opportunity to explain what flavors you like, and share details about your background with your chef. “You should be able to taste a few of the items you are looking to serve your guests,” suggests Virginia Patterson, sales manager for Seasons 52, which is known for its healthful, delicious food, and is fast becoming a favorite Houston venue for rehearsal dinners, pre-­ wedding events and intimate marriage celebrations. “Having a few people taste the items and help you decide will ensure great food being served for your special day, and great food will leave a lasting impression on your guests.” Adds Chris Nguyen, owner of Café Natalie Catering, “If you strive to appeal to all your guests’ palates, you risk 90  • W E D D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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

We live in a location well known for its succulent meats and proteins. Steaks, ribs, chicken, seafood—you name it, and Texas does it right. “Texas comes into our menus through locally sourced produce, wild fish, beef and cheeses,” says KimDanielle Garver of lovely Table on Post Oak restaurant, which offers private dining for rehearsal dinners, engagement parties and intimate, food-focused wedding celebrations. “We love to find small farmers and boutique producers of ingredients that are Texas based,” she adds, name-checking renowned cheese shop Houston Dairymaids, among others. Dig into a reception dinner from Rosemary’s Catering, meanwhile, and you’re likely to find produce from Spring-based Atkinson Farms, or Katie’s Seafood Market—a Galveston institution. “We are proud of our Texas heritage and enjoy providing our clients a ‘taste of Texas,’ with true Texan hospitality,” explains director of sales Lezlie Mahan. Meanwhile, at notable Southern fine-dining establishment Brennan’s of Houston, the region’s unique seasonings and fusion of flavors come through in each mouthful. “Houston is called the Bayou City, and it’s where bayou culture bumps into Texas tastes,” notes Fern Casio. “Our food is unique; we call it Texas Creole, and we take the best local product available and blend 92  • W E D D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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it with our local culinary heritage”— which happens to be the heritage of many Houston brides and grooms. Perhaps no Southern food is simpler or more beloved than wholesome, comforting grits. Michele Payne, director of catering and private events for famed Houston eatery Cullen’s,

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sees this regional favorite finding its way into wedding and special event menus on a regular basis—and she is a major fan. “Savory grits, sweet grits and ooeygooey grits. Shrimp and grits, appleand-caramel grits, cheese grits. All of these great grits options have made

a resurgence,” she says, noting that out-of-town visitors, especially, are delighted by this special Southern treat. 3. CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS

“Bringing back ‘oldies’ is a frequent request that we always meet with the chefs about,” says Nicole Wilker, senior party planner at Brennan’s. “In fact, our Baked Alaska has made quite a comeback since being requested at a reception. There are several items that have ended up incorporated into our menus.” For a fun personal touch, Brennan’s often will name the revived classic after the bride or groom, turning it into a signature wedding dish. At Table on Post Oak, specialoccasion classics like crab and salmon get a fresh twist, says Garver. “Our ponzu crab is loved by our brides. Visually, it’s gorgeous. The colors and the plating are exquisite: colossal crab meat, ponzu vinaigrette, avocados, tomato, shishito peppers—this dish is a feast for the eyes and a delicate nibble for the tongue.” Meanwhile, salmon loin comes with tangy romesco sauce, wrapped with wheat paper, seared and baked crispy, then sliced in medallions with spaghetti squash, for “a dish that wows with flavor and has a pretty, contemporary flair,” she notes. At Rosemary’s Catering, the culinary team has tons of fun turning childhood favorites into sophisticated celebration highlights. Enduring comfort-food fave macaroni-and-cheese, for instance, comes with black summer truffles, and guests can select from such toppings as freshly poached lobster, pulled duck confit and spicy Andouille sausage. For late-night dessert fun, treat your guests to Rosemary’s ice-cream-truckreminiscent “Nitrogen Creamsicles,” flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen, and served with tantalizing dips, including


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blood orange, passion fruit, blackcurrantbourbon and raspberry-Chambord. 4 . FA M I LY F E A S T

When it comes to celebratory dining, “family-style” service is soaring in popularity, even for ultra-elegant events. Café Natalie’s Nguyen attributes that trend to a growing desire to make the wedding experience feel inclusive and exuberant—without sacrificing an ounce of “special-occasion” excitement or culinary virtuosity. Noting that family style is “not as expensive as a plated, seated dinner, and not as cheap as a buffet,” Nguyen says wedding couples and their guests love watching vibrant, beautifully presented platters being brought to the table, and they cherish the fun of passing them around, chatting with tablemates about the fabulous food.

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Nguyen notes that family style works particularly well with ethnic cuisines, both because the dishes themselves are usually presented without excessive fussiness or delicate “construction,” and because the cultures where these foods originate tend to dine family style as a matter of course. Italian and Asian cuisines, in particular, are perfect for platter-passing, though Nguyen has done family-style TexMex, tapas and other cuisines as well. “It really encourages guests to talk to one another and communicate, even if they’re shy, or not normally comfortable talking to strangers they may be seated with,” he adds. 5 . S I G N AT U R E S I P S

“This is where you can really have fun with the details of the event,” says

Patterson, who notes that Seasons 52 mixologists infuse signature wedding and special event cocktails with the same market-fresh ingredients her chefs use in their menus. “Make the signature cocktail fun, eye-appealing and, most of all, tasty!” For Nguyen, it’s all about the “craft cocktail.” Craft beer, artisanal spirits, locally sourced fruits and garnishes—all of these go into making Café Natalie’s celebratory cocktails, which can be named for the bride or groom, or the newlyweds as a couple. “Champagne tends to flow freely at Table on Post Oak,” Garver says, “and many of our brides love a Champagne cocktail. Our sommelier, who hails from France, loves to pair classic vintages with signature glassware to create oneof-a-kind cocktail receptions.”


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Mix

ceremony & reception

MASTER JONATHAN POGASH, AKA “THE COCKTAIL GURU,” SERVES UP CELEBRATIONS, ONE DELICIOUS DRINK AT A TIME. photos COURTESY OF JONATHAN POGASH

He’s gone from tending bar to becoming the nation’s preeminent cocktail consultant for leading restaurants and spirit companies— not to mention a regular mixology expert on NBC’s “Weekend Today in New York.” In this exclusive Q&A, “The Cocktail Guru,” Jonathan Pogash, invites us behind the bar, where we discover the best in special-occasion libations for your wedding celebration.

Weddings in Houston: How did you acquire a taste for creating specialty cocktails? Jonathan Pogash: As a struggling actor in New York, I tended bar to make money. As I experienced the hospitality industry, and the creativity behind coming up with new concoctions behind the bar, I fell in love. I began putting my own drinks on the menus at the bars I was working in, and the rest is history. WIH: How have wedding cocktail and bar offerings changed since you got your start in bartending? JP: Nowadays it’s the norm to do something special beveragewise at your wedding. Signature cocktails, craft beers and local wines are all on trend and are only gaining popularity. It’s those special added details that allow the couple to enjoy the experience on that day and for years to come. It’s memorable for guests, as well. WIH: For the budget-conscious couple, how can they get the most bang for their bar buck? JP: Serve your signature cocktail(s) during cocktail hour, and serve beer and wine during dinner. It makes a big impact for you and your guests to have that special, unique, meaningful 98  • W E D D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

Young Love

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka 1/2 oz. simple syrup 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice 8-10 mint leaves 2 oz. Prosecco Shake all ingredients (except for Prosecco) in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled flute and top with Prosecco. Garnish with a mint sprig.


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cocktail created just for you, served at the start of the reception. And most of the time, guests won’t mind beer and wine being the only drinks available during the remainder of the reception. You can, of course, choose to include the signature cocktail throughout the rest of the reception, therefore minimizing any open bar or liquor tab costs. that guests can choose. WIH: Houston brides and grooms love signature wedding cocktails. What are your tips for creating and customizing a perfect signature sip? JP: Allow the drink to speak for you: I always consult with my clients beforehand to get some background on their relationship, how they met, likes and dislikes, and what they feel their guests could get behind in terms of drinks. Keeping with the theme of the wedding is also important. You can do this with color, garnish, and drink names and ingredients. For a local feel, incorporate local spirits, fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc., in your signature cocktail. A unique name is one of the most important aspects of a signature cocktail. It needs to be memorable, clever and, most important of all, personal. Make a big deal of it by mentioning it, and any special or local ingredients, on printed menus, and even on take-away postcards or glasses.

Honey Pom Pom

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh P ­ omegranate Vodka 3/4 oz. pomegranate juice 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice 1/4 oz. honey syrup Combine ingredients and shake very well with ice. Strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel

WIH: Houston’s climate is notoriously hot and humid. What are a few refreshing ideas for pre-ceremony beverages? JP: Punches and pitcher drinks! They’re not only easy to serve (since they’re prepared in large quantities), but they guarantee refreshment due to the fact that they incorporate plenty of ice, and usually plenty of fresh fruit and juices. WIH: Any recommendations for keeping guests from overdoing it during the wedding celebration? JP: Water—and lots of it! This really is the key to maintaining control while serving alcohol. Have plenty of bottled water or tap water stations around the reception and on the tables. One should also ensure the drinks don’t contain too much alcohol in the first place. If you hire experienced bartenders to work your wedding, they should be able to monitor guests’ intake and be able to determine when someone has had too many. WIH: What’s one thing no wedding bar should be without? JP: Fresh ingredients. No more of those pre-made sour and sticky sweet drink mixes! Ensure that your drinks have fresh citrus, and demand that your venue provide this to you.

The Best Peach Bellini In The World

1 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka 3/4 oz. peach nectar 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice 3 oz. Prosecco Add ingredients directly to a mixing glass with ice and gently fold/stir. Strain into a Champagne flute. Garnish with a peach slice.

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The ABC’s of Marriage (Acai-Blueberry-Cucumber)

1 oz. Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka 3/4 oz. strawberry lemonade 1 cucumber slice 3 oz. Prosecco Muddle the cucumber slice in the bottom of a mixing glass, then add remaining ingredients with ice and gently fold/stir. Strain into a Champagne flute. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

Acai-Blueberry Cooler

2 oz. Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka 1 1/2 oz. lemonade 2 oz. club soda or sparkling wine 5 raspberries Shake all ingredients except for club soda or sparkling wine. Strain over ice into a tall glass.  Top with club soda or sparkling wine. Stir briefly and garnish with a mint sprig and raspberries.

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Ginger-Pomegranate Bellini

1 oz. Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka 3/4 oz. ginger juice 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice 1/2 oz. honey syrup 2 oz. Prosecco Add ingredients directly to a mixing glass with ice and gently fold/stir. Strain into a Champagne flute. Garnish with an orange.

Wild Bride

1 oz. Van Gogh Wild Apple Vodka 1 oz. limeade 5 mint leaves 3 oz. Prosecco Slap the mint and throw into mixing glass. Add ice and remaining ingredients (except for Prosecco) and shake briefly. Add Prosecco and gently fold. Strain into a Champagne flute. Garnish with a red-apple slice.


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DIY

vs. don’t try

FEELING CRAFTY? FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR A FLAWLESS BLEND OF HANDCRAFTED AND EXPERT-MADE.

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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

DIY: Thank-you cards, place cards, PA P E R & I N K

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

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

Don’t Try: Wedding invitations.

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

accommodation information, and lists of local-area attractions. As for printing, do you really think you can get that fantastic foil-stamping effect or raised lettering out of your home laser printer? Um, nope. Leave the invitation to the experienced professional.

DIY: Guestbook, bunting, paper flowers. There are plenty more decor and floral DIY projects you may want to attempt—especially for the ceremony and cocktail reception—but these are a few of our favorites. When we say “guestbook,” we actually mean any number of guest sign-in options, including thumbprint boards (which can be designed as peacock tails, balloon bunches, tree leaves—you name FLOWERS & DECOR


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

Don’t Try: Bridal bouquet, r­eception

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

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

DIY:

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

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

Don’t Try: Wedding gown.

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


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

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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L1aura & A1ndrew writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

12.20.14

For her Christmastime wedding to Andrew, Laura got her wish, when days of rain gave way to a brisk,

beautiful evening, just in time for her dream celebration.“We were married in front of the huge, fully lit oak tree on the meadow of The Houstonian”, Laura says. “The weather was perfect, with a slight nip in the air. Our guests were served apple cider and hot chocolate to warm themselves up during the ceremony, with naughty and nice versions of both.” Post-ceremony, guests moved into the hotel’s Grande Ballroom, where a live band kept the crowd dancing—and kept the newlyweds appropriately elated all night long: “We kept high-fiving each other, saying, ‘We did it! We’re married!’”

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple laura ashcroft

&

andrew miller    number of guests 300    venue the houstonian

hotel, club & spa  wedding colors  pink, red, purple, gold, silver & bronze  lighting bright star productions  cake susie’s cakes & confections  invitations isabella invitations  wedding dress monique lhuillier    photography d. jones photography    honeymoon cabo san lucas

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BOLD AND

beautiful

MASTER FLORAL DESIGNER JEFF LEATHAM MAKES A STATEMENT.

photos COURTESY OF JEFF LEATHAM

In international event-design circles, he’s known as the “king of clean.” But floral genius Jeff Leatham is so much more than the reigning monarch of the monochromatic arrangement. As longtime artistic director for the Four Seasons George V in Paris, Leatham’s bold, vibrant floral installations and design work have won fans including Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey and Madonna. He’s partnered with Hermes, Rolls-Royce and the Dallas Museum of Art. His new book, “Visionary Art and Floral Design” (Rizzoli, 2014), is a must-have. His floral design is currently on display in the Jeff Leatham Garden at Houston’s brand-new, 140,000-square-foot Gallery Furniture in Richmond— Leatham connected with “Mattress Mack” after contributing to wedding design for the daughter of Mack and wife Linda McIngvale (who happens to own Houston eventdesign firm A Memorable Event). Leatham’s thoughts on flowers, color and weddings with inimitable personality are the subject of this exclusive Weddings in Houston Q&A.

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‘‘

YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE FOR A first impression, SO AN ENTRANCE PIECE IN YOUR RECEPTION AREA IS so

Weddings in Houston: How were you first introduced to the world of floral design? Jeff Leatham: It was really an accident. I had been living in Los Angeles, doing a lot of retail management. I started modeling, went to Europe, and when I came back to L.A. I didn’t have a job. I put it out there to friends, asking if they knew anyone who was hiring. A friend had a friend who worked at the flower shop at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. I went in to help her for a few days…and it was so much fun, such a great experience, she asked me if I wanted to come back the next week. It was the first time I saw flowers as art—and it just grew into something I really wanted to do.

WIH: What’s the single most important aspect of reception room design? JL: Lighting. Find the best lighting company you can, even before you find your florist. Then focus on the table art. WIH: How did you end up at the Four Seasons George V in Paris? JL: When the Four Seasons reopened the George V, they asked me to come work there. The hotel’s renovation was so exciting, there was so much press around it—and so much money to be spent. In the first year alone the hotel spent nearly $2 million on flowers. It was a major undertaking, and it really put me on the map. I was able to experiment and try new things. If they

’’

important.

didn’t work, I could just toss them out and start over. That’s when I started to work with really clean design and big bunches of flowers. WIH: With Houston’s heat and unpredictable weather, most brides opt for indoor venues. What are your favorite ways to transform a basic ballroom into a lush, vibrant wedding… experience? JL: You only have one chance for a first impression, so an entrance piece in your reception area is so, so important. For centerpieces—“table art,” I call them—remember that people are going to be sitting in front of those arrangements for three or four hours. People are going to be looking at

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  115


them, touching them. You should have three different centerpiece designs, to bring depth and texture to the space. But keep it monochromatic, though just different enough, and never use more than three different types of flowers. It’s so important—and difficult—to know when to “stop” with floral design. WIH: How would you describe your signature style? JL: It’s funny really. Jean Paul Gautier designed that pointy bra costume for Madonna—since then he will always be known as the “pointy bra guy,” even though he does so many different things in fashion. I’ll always be known as the guy with the big bunches, big 116  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

vases with flowers leading up the sides. But really, for me, mixing it up is important. I don’t always do the clean, monochromatic style. Sometimes I’ll do an English Garden design, or really romantic pink flowers. But it is funny— I’ll put a really pretty arrangement like that up on Instagram, and it will get 2,000 Likes. Then I’ll put just a huge bunch of hydrangea up, and it will get 5,000. I find that simplicity really gets people’s attention. WIH: What’s your best advice to brides for working with a floral designer? JL: Every bride has always imagined that day. When I work with a bride, it’s important to have her explain to me what her dream wedding is. I

ask the bride to stop, close her eyes, tell me with her eyes closed what she sees her wedding feeling like. Then we go from there. I work best with brides and clients when they really trust me. So, trust your wedding designer. Don’t micromanage. I do understand that wedding flowers are a big expense, and sometimes the couple or their family has saved a lot of money to spend on those flowers, and they want to make sure they are spending it well. But if you can just trust your designer, you will always get a better effect.


O REAL WEDDINGS

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photos: christa elyce for joey t. photography


Jacquel6ine & Mark5 writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography CHRISTA ELYCE

01.10.15

The best of friends since third grade (“He used to help me pull out my baby teeth!” she laughs), bride Jacqueline

and groom Mark finally made their bond official early this year. Radiant in her softly tousled hair and diaphanous Watters gown, Jacqueline held Mark’s hand throughout the entire ceremony, letting go, finally, to kiss her new husband…and dance the night away in a room decorated with “an ambient warm glow, making it feel romantic and rich on a cold winter’s evening.” And while the couple couldn’t have been happier to celebrate with the crowd of 230 loved ones gathered for the occasion, the bride says she most cherished “finding little pockets of time where Mark and I got to talk, just us two.”

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  121


REAL WEDDINGS

couple jacqueline watson colors blue, peach

&

mark lupton jr.    number of guests 230    wedding

white  rehearsal dinner  the houstonian hotel, club & spa  flowers the senterpiece  lighting bright star productions   cake susie’s cakes & confections    invitations bering’s  wedding dress watters from mia bridal couture &

 mother of the bride dress t. carolyn fashions    honeymoon dominican republic

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wedding planning |

ceremony & reception

PROMISES,

promises

RELAX AND TAKE PLEASURE IN WRITING YOUR PERSONAL WEDDING VOWS. HERE’S HOW. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo D. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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

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

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ceremony & reception

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

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

2. DON’T EDIT FROM T H E O U T S E T.

3. MAKE PROMISES.

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

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

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

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


wedding planning |

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

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

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I DO! BRIDAL SOIREE AT

The Corinthian With its neoclassic columns, soaring windows and dramatic double staircase, The Corinthian is one of Houston’s most magnificent event venues. On Thursday, Feb. 12, this Downtown gem welcomed a sold-out crowd of brides, grooms, and their entourages, for an evening of wedding inspiration and planning unlike any other. Attendees toured spectacular design and decor displays, snapped photos of strolling models showcasing the season’s finest bridal couture, and feasted on international fare courtesy of Jackson and Company. An upstairs “Groom’s Lounge” offered a perfect spot to relax, enjoy a bite and sip fine single-malt Scotch. We’d like to extend special thanks to show photographer Civic Photos, to MC and DJ Jonny Black Productions, to venue director Boyd Bryan and the superb staff of The Corinthian, and to EB Inc Event Rentals & Design for registrationtable linens, and LBL Event Rentals for show linens. We could not produce this extraordinary event without this exceptional team of contributors. Our big thanks, too, goes to the more than 50 amazing vendors who showcased their talents and services, and, most especially, to our fabulous Houston brides. We look forward to meeting you at our next I Do! Bridal Soiree, coming to the Four Seasons Hotel Houston on Sunday, Oct. 18!

location THE CORINTHIAN ~ writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography CIVIC PHOTOS


wedding planning |

ceremony & reception

A SEAT AT THE

table

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

The RSVPs are in. The centerpieces are selected. The menu is set. It’s time for…the dreaded seating plan. If you’re in a tizzy about organizing your reception tables, we’re here to calm your nerves. Because, after all, these are dinner seating arrangements we’re talking about, not global crisis negotiations. While a seating plan is super important, especially if you’re planning to serve a formal plated dinner, figuring out who should sit where does not have to keep you up at night. But a good seating plan will keep guests chatting, reminiscing, striking up new friendships, and basically having the time of their lives, all night long. So pull up a chair and listen in. 134  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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ceremony & reception

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

Only if you wish to. A sweetheart table, where the bride and groom sit together, without any distractions, is a preference for some brides. Others want to be in the middle of the action, seated at a long, rectangular “bridal table,” shared with the entire bridal party, and usually stationed at the front of the reception room, near the dance floor. As for

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seating position, tradition dictates that the groom sits to the right of the bride, and the best man to her left, while the maid of honor sits to the groom’s right. But modern brides often choose to seat couples next to each other, or slightly mixed up (for mingling fun). Whether you choose to sit solely with your new groom, or in the midst of your best friends and closest family members, make sure you do make a place for yourself at the reception!

D O I R E A L L Y N E E D A S E T- I N S T O N E S E AT I N G P L A N ?

Um, yes. You really do. Here’s why: No matter how many delicious signature wedding drinks and sumptuous hors d’oeuvre you ply them with during cocktail hour, when it comes time for the grand reception, wedding guests get a little…nervous. Especially at larger weddings, guests are encountering people they’ve never met before, in a formal atmosphere, where they’re


wedding planning |

ceremony & reception dressed in formal clothes and expected to socialize formally. Taking the decision about where to sit out of their hands reduces their anxiety and allows them to settle in, get comfortable, and stop being so formal. Having a seating plan also helps ensure that people who probably shouldn’t sit together—exes, feuding factions, guests of significantly different ages or politics or sports-fan affiliations, for example—don’t. I S I T B E T T E R T O S E AT G U E S T S W I T H P E O P L E T H E Y K N O W, O R M I X T H E M U P W I T H N E W FA C E S ?

Both! College or high-school friends who haven’t seen each other in ages will welcome the chance to catch up over dinner at your fabulous reception. But your party is also a great opportunity to bring your friends and

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wedding planning |

ceremony & reception his together to strike up new friendships. As for family, it’s always lovely to have the parents, grandparents and close friends of the bride and groom sit together at one table. OK, I’M FEELING A LITTLE BETTER ABOUT THIS WHOLE S E AT I N G - C H A R T T H I N G . ANY LAST ADVICE?

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

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wedding planning |

ceremony & reception

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

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  141


O REAL WEDDINGS

Courtney & Kolby

photos: khanh nguyen photography

writer NATASHA GARBER

12.05.14 Gentlemen, pay attention: When your mom tells you there’s a nice girl at church she wants you to meet because “you two would make a cute couple,” you may want to listen to her. That cute girl just might end up being your very beautiful bride one day. That’s exactly what happened to groom Kolby and bride Courtney, who, after that initial prompting by Kolby’s mother, corresponded via Facebook, on and off for months, before finally getting together for their first date. Kolby proposed at Courtney’s graduation from pharmacy school, and the pair tied the knot in fabulous style, joined by 200 of their friends and family members, for a classic black-tie affair at Chateau Cocomar. But don’t think black-tie meant stiff or staid for this fun-loving pair; after a candlelit ceremony, cocktails, and a buffet-style dinner with open bar, “The remainder of the reception was filled with dancing, laughter and fun!”

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REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple courtney landry & kolby brailsford    number of guests 200  venue  chateau cocomar

 wedding colors  navy, ivory & gold  catering café natalie catering  flowers & decor flora & eventi  wedding dress ysa makino from weddings by debbie    honeymoon riviera maya

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  149


Your Guide to Pre-wedding d Rehearsal Dinner

Celebrations

photo: civic photos tablescape: eb inc event rentals & design •

photo: laurie perez

Brennan's Houston

• #8 Kemah Boardwalk, Suite G • Kemah, TX 77565 • 281.538.9600 BoardwalkFantaSea.com

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

With a gorgeous interior, ample dining space and a host of menu options available, the Boardwalk FantaSea offers the ideal setting for your most important events – all on the water. Our yacht gives us the ability to throw some of the best private parties and events in the Houston, Kemah, Clear Lake and Galveston Bay.

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

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

Boardwalk FantaSea Yacht Charters

130

150  • WED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price Call

Y

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests •

200

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $60

Y •


Cadillac Bar

Downtown Aquarium

• 1802 Shepherd Dr • Houston, TX 77007 • 713.862.2020 CadillacBar.com

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

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

400

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.

Y

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $12

Events at a Time

5

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

400

Outdoor Site

Min. Price $30

Y

The Grove

Hilton Americas - Houston

• 1611 Lamar St • Houston, TX 77010 • 713.337.7321 • TheGroveHouston.com Welcome your guests to a truly unique dining experience in the middle of a lush downtown park. With crisp architecture and beautiful interior design, The Grove offers 3 private rooms that accommodate a variety of events from an intimate meal for 20 guests to a seated dinner for 220. Our restaurant is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows which provide an incredibly stunning view of Discovery Green Park and the downtown skyline to complement your very special and elegant evening. Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

220

Outdoor Site

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

Y Min. Price $65

Y

Events at a Time

10

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

••

130

Y

Outdoor Site

Min. Price $110

N

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

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

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

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

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.

michael carr photography

Events at a Time

6

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

500

Outdoor Site

Y

Call For Price

Y

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

650

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $150

N

La Colombe d’Or

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa

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

• 600 La Torretta Blvd • Montgomery, TX 77356 • • 936.448.3031 • LaTorrettaLakeResort.com •

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

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests •

Y

300

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $100

N •

From casual pool side 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.

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

75

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $24

Y • W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  151


Magnolia Hotel Houston

Maison Baie

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

• 7809 Broadway St • Galveston, TX 77554 • 713.796.2680 MaisonBaie.com Overlooking the waters of picturesque Pelican Rest marina, Maison Baie is the ideal location for your celebration. Immerse yourself in lush gardens and an idyllic coastal setting for a romantic wedding your guests will never forget. Catering and event services by Rosemary’s Catering.

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

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

230

Outdoor Site

photo: the rk group

Y Min. Price $28

N

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

300

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $48

Y

Mr. Peeples Seafood and Steaks

The Overlook

• 1911 Bagby St • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.652.0711 MrPeeples.com

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

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

Events at a Time

5

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

400

Outdoor Site

Y

The Overlook is a beautiful facility full of American Craftsman style, 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.

Min. Price $60

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

Y

400

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $15

Y

Petroleum Club of Houston

The Power Center

• 1201 Louisiana St, 35th Floor • • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.659.1431• PCOH.com

photo: akil bennett photography

Surrounded by Houston’s downtown skyline, the Petroleum Club of Houston has a long history of providing an atmosphere of unsurpassed elegance and fine dining. With world-class chefs, tempting cuisine and attentive service, the club sets the tone for the wedding of your dreams. Allow our professional team to assist you in creating an unforgettable evening!

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

350

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

Outdoor Site

Y

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

Min. Price $60

N

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment N

Max. Guests

1200

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $31

N

Rainbow Lodge

Quail Valley at City Centre

• 2011 Ella Blvd • Houston, TX 77008 • 713.861.8666 Rainbow-Lodge.com Rainbow Lodge celebrates the Texas outdoors “in style” with its refined collection of hunting and fly fishing artwork. The Famous “Tied Fly Bar” is a great place to start your rehearsal dinner with passed appetizers and then move into one of our private rooms for a mouthwatering meal highlighting Regional Texas Gulf Seafood and Wild Game Specialties. Private Rooms seat 12-72, or reserve the entire restaurant for groups over 175.

• 2880 La Quinta Dr • Missouri City, TX 77459 • 281.403.8521 GolfQuailValley.com The Quail Valley City Centre offers three event spaces all with spectacular golf course views. Individual private rooms are designed for each client’s needs and our customizable menus are a delight for all tastes. Let us show you what we can do for your special event. photo: richard muniz

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

300

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Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $20

Y

Events at a Time

3

Private Bar Service

Y

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment

Y

175

Outdoor Site

Y

Max. Guests •

Min. Price $43


Royal Oaks Country Club

Sambuca - Crystal Ballroom at the Rice

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

• 909 Texas Ave • Houston, TX 77002 • 713.227.7423 SambucaCatering.com

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.

Entertaining groups of any size is one of our specialties. Let our staff plan your wedding rehearsal dinner or reception; whether it’s cocktails and hors d’oeuvre for 10 or a seated dinner for 200. Each of your guests will feel like a VIP! Sambuca is where Houston comes for their parties and events.

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

250

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $30

Y

Events at a Time

2

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

400

Call For Price

Y

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center

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

• 5222 Seawall Blvd • Galveston, TX 77551 • 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. photo: konstantin goldenberg

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

90

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $35

Y

Star Fleet Yachts

Table on Post Oak

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

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

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

Events at a Time

4

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

150

Outdoor Site

Y Min. Price $59

Events at a Time

1

Private Bar Service

Private Rooms

Y

Entertainment Y

Max. Guests

Y

160

Outdoor Site

Y Call For Price

N

Veranda by *17 at The Sam Houston Hotel

photo: alyse french

Events at a Time Private Rooms Max. Guests

2 Y 190

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

Outdoor Site

www.WeddingsInHouston.com

Y

Entertainment N

for more details, visit

• 1117 Prairie St • Houston, TX 77002 • 832.200.8807 VerandaBy17.com

Outdoor Site

Y

Min. Price $50

N •

• W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  153


ceremony & reception

REFERENCE GUIDE

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

Handicap Accessible

√ 101

√ √

√ 97

2

$50

√ 14-15

750

1

$60

√ 16-17

713.868.2355

1200

2

$50

√ 21

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

281.538.9600

130

1

$99

√ 138

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

832.914.7844

350

2

$30

√ √

√ 145

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

713.522.9711

200

2

$60

√ 140

The Briar Club 2603 Timmons Ln • Houston, TX 77027

713.622.3667

600

3

Call

√ 118-119

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

281.557.5551

300

1

Call

√ 79

Cadillac Bar 1802 Shepherd Dr • Houston, TX 77007

713.862.2020

400

2

$12

√ 130

Chateau Cocomar 14525 Champions Dr • Houston, TX 77069

713.538.9400

999

1

Call

Chateau Polonez 12612 Malcomson Rd • Houston, TX 77070

281.655.5656

352

1

$60

√ 80-81

Citadel On Kirby 12130 Kirby Dr • Houston, TX 77045

832.986.1714

1200

2

$50

√ 93

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

713.523.5780

1900

1

$75

√ √ √

√ 2-3

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

832.595.9898

300

1

Call

√ 141

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

832.214.2797

600

4

$20

√ √

√ 36

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

713.227.7423

400

2

Call

√ √

√ 89

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

281.991.2000

1000

7

$30

√ 141

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

713.351.5766

320

2

$48

√ √

√ 126

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

713.850.2356

350

7

$30

√ √

√ 92

Phone

Maximum Capacity

1

Ashelynn Manor 25276 Nichols Sawmill Rd • Magnolia, TX 77355

281.252.3355

275

1

Call

Ashton Gardens 21919 Inverness Forest Blvd • Houston, TX 77073

281.362.0011

300

The Astorian 2500 Summer St • Houston, TX 77007

832.460.6695

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

Venue / Address

280

154  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

√ √ √

Page Number

Outdoor Area Available

281.395.5070

Ceremony Site Available

Kosher Menu Available

Agave Estates 1138 FM 1463 Rd • Katy, TX 77494

Off-Site Catering Available

Minimum Price Per Person

$50

Simultaneous Events

Outside Catering Permitted

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

IFC-1


Handicap Accessible

5

$30

√ 72

Dukessa 2840 Chimney Rock Rd • Houston, TX 77056

832.982.4852

350

1

$30

√ 135

Enchanted Cypress Ballroom 12603 Louetta Rd • Cypress, TX 77429

281.826.0505

400

1

Call

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

713.650.1300

350

3

$150

√ 7

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado 198 State Road 592 • Santa Fe, NM 87506

505.946.5700

200

1

$95

√ √

√ 401

The Gallery 6303 Beverly Hill St • Houston, TX 77057

713.255.2889

300

1

Call

√ 113

Granduca Hotels 1080 Uptown Park Blvd • Houston, TX 77056

713.418.1000

100

2

$75

√ 35

The Grove 1611 Lamar St • Houston, TX 77010

713.337.7321

220

3

$65

√ 63

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

936.441.6611

180

1

Call

√ 142-143

HESS Club 5430 Westheimer Rd • Houston, TX 77056

713.627.2283

300

1

$35

√ √

√ 131

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

713.739.8000

2200

7

$110

√ √

√ 67

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

713.340.0110

300

1

$34

Hilton Houston North 12400 Greenspoint Dr • Houston, TX 77060

281.875.4574

1000

5

$24

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

713.961.9300

1000

3

Call

√ 65

Hilton Houston Westchase 9999 Westheimer Rd • Houston, TX 77042

713.735.5923

320

3

Call

√ √

√ 68

Hotel Derek 2525 West Loop South • Houston, TX 77027

713.961.3000

420

6

$65

√ √

√ 71

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

409.765.7721

350

3

$60

√ 58

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

713.526.1991

500

18

$150

√ 4-5

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

713.632.1554

150

1

$100

√ 68

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

281.875.4000

530

3

$35

√ 76

Houston Racquet Club 10709 Memorial Dr • Houston, TX 77024

713.464.4811

250

5

$65

√ 75

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

713.680.2626

500

6

Call

√ √

√ 10-11

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

713.237.1111

650

2

√ √

√ 24-25

Kemah Gardens 1019 Lewis Dr • Kemah, TX 77565

281.334.0501

150

1

Call

La Colombe d’Or 3410 Montrose Blvd • Houston, TX 77006

713.524.7999

700

3

$75

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

713.979.1435

500

3

$30

$150

Page Number

Outdoor Area Available

Ceremony Site Available

Kosher Menu Available

Outside Catering Permitted

Off-Site Catering Available

Minimum Price Per Person

Maximum Capacity 400

Simultaneous Events

Phone 713.315.5168

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

√ √ 77

√ √

√ 130

√ √

√ 34

√ √

√ 129

√ 39

√ √

√ 126

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  155


2

$48

Ceremony Site Available

√ 23

√ 43

Page Number

√ √

Kosher Menu Available

Handicap Accessible

1200

Outdoor Area Available

936.448.3031

Las Velas 5714 Fairdale Ln • Houston, TX 77057

Outside Catering Permitted

Off-Site Catering Available

Minimum Price Per Person

Simultaneous Events

Maximum Capacity

Phone

Venue / Address La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 600 La Torretta Blvd • Montgomery, TX 77356

713.977.5773

250

1

Call

Los Candiles Reception Hall 6518 Brittmoore Rd, Suite A • Houston, TX 77041 713.896.0235

350

1

Call

√ √

√ 74

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

409.789.4142

300

1

Call

√ √

√ 90

Madera Estates 3201 North Frazier St • Conroe, TX 77303

936.441.9337

500

1

Call

√ 69

Magnolia Hotel Houston 1100 Texas Ave • Houston, TX 77002

281.657.2600

250

2

$28

√ √

√ 105

Maison Baie 7809 Broadway St • Galveston, TX 77554

713.796.2680

300

1

$48

Moffitt Oaks 20125 Cedar Ln • Tomball, TX 77377

281.370.6616

275

2

$45

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

281.444.5302

320

Northwest Forest 12715 Telge Rd • Cypress, TX 77429

281.256.3548

Old Glory Ranch 3633 River Rd • Wimberley, TX 78676

√ √

√ 41

√ 83

1

$32

√ 140

400

6

Call

√ √

√ 73

512.847.3646

600

1

Call

√ 32

Omni Houston Hotel 4 Riverway Dr • Houston, TX 77056

713.871.8181

750

3

$75

√ √

√ 37

The Overlook 20114 Pinehurst Dr • Atascocita, TX 77346

281.812.0193

1000

2

$21

√ 139

The Parador 2021 Binz St • Houston, TX 77004

713.529.3050

550

1

Call

√ 30

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

281.342.9940

240

1

$30

√ 107

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

713.659.1431

350

3

$60

√ 61

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

281.463.0900

350

1

$50

√ 91

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

713.723.6837

1200

3

$31

√ √ √

√ 78

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

281.940.4636

350

2

$50

√ 104

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

281.403.8521

300

3

$20

√ 108

Rainbow Lodge 2011 Ella Blvd • Houston, TX 77008

713.861.8666

250

2

$35

√ 106

Raveneaux Country Club 9415 Cypresswood Dr • Spring, TX 77379

281.320.6009

300

2

$34

√ √

√ 95

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

800.778.3196

500

1

Call

√ √

√ 128

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

281.568.9151

500

5

$25

√ √

√ 125

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

281.899.3200

250

1

$40

√ 117

156  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

√ √


10

$30

281.803.3333

1000

1

Call

Serenity Cove Lodge 14585 Weir Creek Rd • Willis, TX 77318

281.831.9757

300

1

$20

√ √ √ 38

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

713.703.2756

250

1

Call

√ √

√ 109

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

281.969.1214

550

5

$44

√ √

√ 70

Shirley Acres 217 Woerner Rd • Houston, TX 77090

281.444.2582

500

1

$50

√ √

√ 108

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

970.429.9555

600

2

$225

√ √

√ 45

Star Fleet Yachts 280 Grove Rd • Kemah, TX 77565

281.334.4692

150

4

$59

√ √

√ 72

Station 3 1919 Houston Ave • Houston, TX 77007

832.831.8113

225

1

Call

√ 13

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

281.980.4100

300

1

$39

√ √

√ 107

Sylvan Beach Pavilion 707 Bayshore Dr • La Porte, TX 77571

832.643.4422

650

1

$40

√ √

√ 123

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

713.439.1000

300

1

Call

√ √ 87

Texas Renaissance Festival 21778 FM 1774 • Todd Mission, TX 77363

800.458.3435

400

4

$20

√ 148

The Tremont House 2300 Ship Mechanic Row St • Galveston, TX 77550

409.763.0300

430

3

$60

√ 59

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

832.200.8807

190

2

$50

√ 33

The Villagio 10901 Braes Bend Dr • Houston, TX 77071

281.352.0903

500

1

$59

√ √

√ 127

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

832.445.2104

250

1

$30

√ √

√ 107

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

936.597.7700

300

1

Call

√ 103

Waters Edge Venue 3901 Nasa Pkwy • Seabrook, TX 77586

281.291.9900

275

1

Call

√ 136

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

713.960.8100

1000

3

Call

√ √

√ 85

The Westin Oaks 5011 Westheimer Rd • Houston, TX 77056

713.960.8100

600

2

Call

√ √

√ 85

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

281.346.1967

180

1

$21

√ √

√ 96

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

281.579.6262

250

1

$25

√ 107

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

866.342.4039

800

8

$79

√ 137

√ √ √

√ 31 √ 94

√ √ 147

√ √ √

√ √ √

Page Number

1500

√ √

Ceremony Site Available

800.445.0090

Sans Souci Ballroom 26511 State Highway 249 • Tomball, TX 77375

Handicap Accessible

Outdoor Area Available

Outside Catering Permitted

$60

Kosher Menu Available

Off-Site Catering Available

4

Minimum Price Per Person

Maximum Capacity 750

Simultaneous Events

Phone 713.627.7600

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

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

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  157


wedding planning | wedding

services

Expert

EASE

8 GREAT REASONS TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PLANNER.

There are so many questions and so many decisions to be made when planning your wedding. In fact, the only thing you know for certain, from the get-go, is who will welcome you with open arms, and a deal-sealing kiss, at the end of that ceremony aisle. And that someone special—how he makes you feel, and how lucky you feel to be his bride—is exactly what you should be focusing on. Which is why hiring a professional to handle all the rest is of such vital importance. Here are our top eight reasons why the logistics, details and design of your wedding should be entrusted to an expert.

writer JULIE LEMEROND ~ photo DEBORAH ZOE PHOTOGRAPHY

158  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


wedding planning |

can make sure all items are needed and accounted for,” notes planner Lauren Ehly of Lauren Ehly Events, so that vendors aren’t charging you for items you don’t need—extra rental pieces, or a tent that’s larger than the size required to accommodate your group size, for example. Planner Disa Badillo of Events by Disa says, “I always let my brides know that we are able to negotiate more than they are, because we have preferred vendors and bring them a large volume of business, so they are able to give us discounted rates.”

them my personal phone number so they can send me text messages, photos, anything they want, and I can respond quickly.” 4 . Y O U W I L L E N J O Y W AT C H I N G YO U R V I S I O N C O M E TO L I F E .

Love Pinterest? “That wedding Pinterest

wedding services

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

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

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

This time in your life should be exciting and fun, not harried and frantic. “Event planning has been identified as one of the top-10 most stressful jobs. Do you really want to apply for that position for your wedding?” asks Claudia de Velasco, owner of A Day to Remember. “Let your planner handle the research and provide you with direction.” Badillo adds, “Brides want to know they are being taken care of, and not forgotten. During the planning process, I give my brides weekly updates of what I’m doing for them, and I give W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  161


wedding planning |

wedding services of inspiration, find their ideal design scheme, and transform it into an actual event. 5. THEY'VE BEEN THERE, D O N E T H A T.

“Your wedding planner will work with you in defining your style, ambiance and personality, while incorporating the latest trends,” de Velasco says. “We as planners strive to have your wedding reflect who you are and ensure those personalized details are displayed.” 6. YO U R M O M A N D B R I D ES M A I D S W I L L H AV E M O R E F U N .

Does a wedding planner take away from the enjoyment that your family and best friends want to experience in helping to create your special day?

162  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


wedding planning |

wedding services

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  163


wedding planning |

wedding services Not at all, says Creech. “Having a professional planner provides an environment where less is more, allowing your friends and family not to feel the stress, but enjoy the moments together,” as they assist in planning pre-event parties, helping you shop for your gown and accessories, and contribute to small, personal DIY projects. “They will probably thank you for this!” 7. P L A N N E R S M A K E E X C E L L E N T SOUNDING BOARDS.

Having someone available who is not a friend or family member can make a huge difference when planning your nuptials. Although your sister may have some great ideas, and your mom has your best interests at heart, they may not be adept at delivering what it is that you truly want.

164  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


wedding planning |

wedding services

“The bride, groom, MOB, FOG, should all be able to come to me and trust me with whatever ideas or concerns they may have in the planning stages,” notes Mehak Adamjee of MAM Planning-Design. “This is when the client and I have the chance to get to know each other and build a relationship. As a planner, it is my job to understand their visions before the big day.” 8 . YO U W I L L B E A B R I D E , A N D O N L Y A B R I D E , O N T H E B I G D A Y.

On your wedding day, you should have one responsibility only: enjoying yourself to the absolute fullest. “Being a guest at your own wedding is so important,” Schwartz Woodward says. “Neither the bride nor her mother wants to be running around with a clipboard trying to orchestrate

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  165


wedding planning |

wedding services the celebration. A planner is there to take care of those details,” so that you can eat, drink, dance, and celebrate with loved ones. “At the end of the day, couples tell us that being surrounded by family and friends was the most special part of the day,” she adds. Gray concurs. “You’ve been planning this day for close to a year or longer, and when it comes down to it, 10 hours later, the day is gone. Spend those hours reconnecting with college friends, hugging Aunt Gina, laughing with baby Eric, and making memories with your groom’s family. Leave the vendor communication and escortcard-placing to us.” online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

166  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


Planning 12-9 MONTHS

•Announce engagement •Select a wedding date •Set a wedding budget •Hire a wedding consultant •Reserve officiant •Compile guest list •Select bridal party & attendants •Reserve ceremony & reception sites •Reserve rehearsal dinner site •Choose gown & secure with deposit 9-6 MONTHS

•Order invitations & stationery •Book photographer & videographer •Book entertainment •Schedule portraits •Meet with vendors for details •Select & order groom’s attire •Begin to plan honeymoon

wedding planning |

TIMELINE •Select gift registry •Send out save-the-date cards 6-4 MONTHS

•Submit engagement announcement to local publications •Select wedding rings & jewelry •Finalize guest list •Select & order cake •Choose flowers •Research license requirements •Book day-of wedding transportation •Send out invitations 4 MONTHS-6 WEEKS

•Select & hold accommodations for visiting guests •Arrange for final dress fittings •Purchase your guestbook •Order your wedding favors

wedding services

1 MONTH

•Finalize ceremony & reception •Finalize rehearsal dinner plans •Go over song list with your DJ •Call guests who haven’t responded •Make your seating plan •Select and wrap attendants’ gifts, parents’ gifts and partner’s gift. 1 W E E K - 2 D AY S

•Give caterer your final guest count •Give consultant all vendor info •Arrange to pick up bridal attire •Confirm honeymoon travel •Assemble wedding-day “kit” •Pack for honeymoon •Get a manicure & pedicure •Compose vows •Pick up marriage license •Rest & breathe

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  167


O REAL WEDDINGS

168  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


Rorie & Ryley writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography STEVE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

03.14.15

They met as fellow students in architecture school—and that’s also where Ryley asked Rorie to

be his bride. “We were collecting our things from the studio, when Ryley got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage,” Rorie recounts. “The college of architecture was always a second home for us. Now we will also remember it as the start of something bigger.” The couple’s wedding was an intimate affair of 90 guests gathered at The Houston Club, atop iconic One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston. And while the spectacular Houston skyline view was indeed memorable, nothing about the couple’s wedding was more unforgettable than the moment Ryley’s father, recently rehabilitated after a stroke, took to the floor to dance with the mother of the groom. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  169


REAL WEDDINGS

couple rorie hill & ryley poblete  number of guests 90  venue  the houston club

 wedding colors   ivory & gray  cake who made the cake!  wedding dress anne barge  photography steve lee photography  honeymoon toronto & fogo island

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the ROYAL OUI LAVISH, LOVELY AND DRAPED IN LUXURY

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photography AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY location CHATEAU COCOMAR coordination LAUREN EHLY EVENTS linens, flowers & rentals A MEMORABLE EVENT props & table settings A MEMORABLE EVENT, KUHL-LINSCOMB cake WHO MADE THE CAKE! gowns & accessories MIA BRIDAL COUTURE cocktail attire SAKS FIFTH AVENUE mini desserts JACKSON AND COMPANY wedding & reception stationery KATIE & CO. note cards KUHL-LINSCOMB makeup & hair HAYLEY & CO. decor installation DJU PRODUCTIONS W E DDI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  173


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O REAL WEDDINGS

photos: parallax studio

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J2ustin & Baker1 writer NATASHA GARBER

04.11.15

“Justin and I met in 2010 as students at the Conrad H. Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at

the University of Houston,” Baker says. “After dating for four years, the ‘if we get married’ discussion gradually evolved into ‘when we get married.’” And when they did, with a New York ceremony on the day of their fifth anniversary, followed by a Houston reception a couple of weeks later, Justin and Baker did so in inimitable style. Their 150-guest celebration, staged at an aviation museum decked out in vintage 1950s decor and furnishings, invited partygoers to mingle, lounge, and indulge in gourmet grilled cheese, braised brisket over garlic-herb waffles, and cinnamon-vanilla cake with amaretto icing. “We loved getting to walk to the top of the atrium and see all of our friends and family waving and cheering for us,” Baker says. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  179


REAL WEDDINGS

couple justin smith

&

colors blue, green

&

baker goldsmith  number of guests 150  wedding gray  consultant & invitations  kat creech events

 flowers & decor aj’s urban petals  cake who made the cake!  entertainment & lighting dju productions  honeymoon italy, switzerland & germany

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Weddings

BY DESIGN

photo: civic photos

LOUNGE AND LUXURIATE IN THESE FINE SETTINGS flowers, decor and rentals PLANTS N’ PETALS

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photo: civic photos

1. flowers, decor and rentals FLORA & EVENTI 2. flowers, decor and rentals EB INC EVENT RENTALS & DESIGN

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photo: civic photos

flowers, lighting, decor and rentals TODD EVENTS

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photo: m. wang photography

photo: agape house studio

1. flowers, decor and rentals AJ’S URBAN PETALS 2. flowers, decor and rentals JOHANNA TERRY EVENTS 3. linens and pipe & drape LBL EVENT RENTALS flowers ARTEFLORA decor and rentals FLORA & EVENTI

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photo: civic photos

flowers, lighting, decor and rentals DARRYL & CO.

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JEWELRY 188 WEDDING ATTIRE 200 BEAUTY & HEALTH 234

Style

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


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wedding style | jewelry

Wedding Ring

BUYING GUIDE

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

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

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo LARRY FAGALA

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rings: zadok jewelers bouquet & styling: todd events


wedding planning |

jewelry

for design creativity), and have proof of your diamond’s pedigree. You’ll also want to preserve, protect and enjoy your wedding ring as long as you both shall live. And that’s where we come in, with these essential ring-buying tips. G E T L O O S E … L O O S E  S T O N E S , T H A T I S . 

When selecting an engagement ring, you’ll likely be selecting a loose diamond, then choosing a setting into which that sparkling stone will be dropped. Which means it pays to understand a bit about how diamonds are classified and graded. For any diamond you consider, make sure its “4 C’s”—carat, clarity, color, cut—have been assessed and documented by a qualified gemologist. There are many organizations that

provide this kind of documentation, and grades in these areas can vary widely from assessment to assessment. In the diamond world, it’s generally acknowledged that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the top dog in gem certification. When selecting a diamond, ask your jeweler to see the GIA lab report on the stone of your choice, and feel confident knowing that all your diamond’s information is stored in the organization’s database. Because just like a diamond, a diamond’s lab report is forever. C H O O S E A R I N G T H AT   R O L L S W I T H YO U.

Besides looking perfect, your ring has to fit you, and your lifestyle, perfectly. For starters, make sure your ring fits well. Ring fittings should be scheduled

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

photo SELECT STUDIOS

BA N D TO G E T H E R , B U T L E T YO U R I N D I V I D U A L S T Y L E S S H I N E .

Your wedding bands, those precious rings you’ll exchange at the moment of “I do,” represent the bond between you. But they don’t need to match in order to show what a great match you two are. If your groom digs sleek, matte titanium, and you’re a yellow-gold gal, pick bands in the metals each of you prefers. If his style is contemporary and cutting edge, and you have a passion 190  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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wedding planning |

jewelry

for all things vintage, let him work with a jeweler to design a modern ring he’ll love to wear, while you scout estate sales, auctions and vintage-jewelrysellers for the antique you seek, or freshen up your great-grandmother’s beloved ring. To bring your two bands into harmony with one another, and make them special to both of you, engrave the inside of the bands with a meaningful inscription—a loving phrase you both use, or the date of your wedding, perhaps.  S E T Y O U R B U D G E T,   A N D S T I C K W I T H I T.

What you pay for your wedding rings is an investment, more than it is a mere price. Your diamond engagement ring and wedding bands are intended to last your entire lives together, and, in many cases, continue on as heirloom treasures for future generations to cherish. So paying more for your wedding jewelry than for any other piece of jewelry you’ve ever purchased is, for most couples, par for the course. That said, your diamond ring should not be your emergency financial relief fund (which would entail selling the ring), nor should it land you in deep debt just as you’re embarking on marriage, and everything that comes with it. While the amount you spend on your rings will depend on what you can afford—meaning how much you earn and how much you’re able to save for rings—it should also reflect the value of the rings. So settle on a budget that may stretch you a bit (perhaps your groom has to forgo that coveted motorcycle for another year or two, for instance), but won’t break your bank, and within that budget, select for the highest quality, craftsmanship and, yes, sparkle, you can get. 192  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

Beloved & Bejeweled

Newlyweds, take note: Adorning your adored doesn’t end with “I do.” Precious metals, sparkling gems and beautifully crafted jewelry pieces are always in style, and always a wonderful way to show your spouse just how much you value him or her. G O L D S TA N D A R D

Gold jewelry tops the list of favorite first-anniversary gifts. Classic and enduring, gold is also culturally universal and incredibly versatile. For simplicity and style in equal measure, think solid-gold bangles (brushed-gold and textured gold are superb choices for modern tastes; a trio of delicate bangles is an earthier, more bohemian option). Looking for a bold gold gift that will transition from dress-up attire to T-shirt and jeans without breaking a sweat? Try Marco Bicego’s signature link chain, or a too-cool-for-school Glamazon cuff from Ippolita—both featured designers at Zadok Jewelers. ICE IS NICE

That gorgeous engagement ring and sparkling wedding band you can’t stop admiring on your pretty little finger? They sure could use some good company. “Classic and traditional pieces like diamond studs, solitaire diamond necklaces, and diamond bracelets, all are excellent gifts,” says Shelley Peran of Peran & Scannell Jewelers. “They look great with blue jeans or a cocktail dress.” Peran highly recommends sticking with well-loved diamond favorites as milestone gifts, at least for the first few years of marriage. Her advice to new grooms: “Once she has all the classics, then you can gift her trendier pieces.” And if you’ve already purchased wedding jewelry from a jeweler you’ve come to know and trust, stick with that expert for good: “I have had this store for 35 years,” says Nazar Kalajian, owner of Nazar’s Fine Jewelry, “and I have had customers who have been with me from day one. They bring their kids, their friends, their family—and they know they are coming into a place where they will feel comfortable and secure.” TIME FOR HIM

Mobile devices will come and go. But a masterfully crafted timepiece will become an heirloom the minute it fastens around your husband’s wrist. Don’t think of a watch as a mere teller of time; instead, when choosing a watch as a gift for your groom, select one that will reflect his personal style and habits. A signature Rolex Oyster watch, for example, can’t be matched for clean, classic elegance, with just a bit of rugged edge. Got yourself a soldier? Breitling’s aviation history, high-performance technical specs and military-inspired bands make this watch brand ideal for your man in (or out of) a uniform. For the luxury-loving sort, Cartier’s new Clé de Cartier (clé is French for “key”) is the ultimate in status and comfort. Ask your Donoho’s jeweler—these brands and more are featured at this fine Woodlands store— for more watch recommendations, and watch your man’s face glow with pleasure when he opens his magnificent gift.


Delights

D A Z Z L I N G

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1. BOCHIC MAMMOTH DROP EARRINGS marissacollections.com 2. GABRIEL & CO. WHITE-GOLD AND DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING peran & scannell jewelers 3. KATIE DECKER ‘TUDOR’ EARRINGS katiedecker.com 4. GIVENCHY STRASS CRYSTAL COLLAR NECKLACE barneys.com 5. A. JAFFE ROUND DIAMOND RING donoho’s jewellers 6. YAEL DESIGNS DIAMOND AND WHITE-GOLD BRACELET yaeldesigns.com 7. SIMON G. ‘DELICATE COLLECTION’ ENGAGEMENT SET nazar’s fine jewelry

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Solid choices for artful accessorizing.

1. KAREN KARCH ‘LOVE LOCK’ BRACELET karenkarch.com 2. H. WEISS FILIGREE AND DIAMOND CUFF peran & scannell jewelers 3. MIZUKI DIAMOND AND PEARL EARRINGS neiman marcus 4. JORGE ADELER GOLD AND FRACTURED-CITRINE EARRINGS jorgeadeler.com 5. EFVA ATTLING ‘WIDE & STARS' RING efvaattling.com 6. TACORI ‘PROMISE’ BANGLE zadok jewelers

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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photos: jonathan ivy photography


C2hrist7ine & Jeremy2 writer NATASHA GARBER

02.07.15

Since the first day they met, Sept. 11, 2013, “not a day has gone by that we have not talked to each other,”

says bride Christine about her groom Jeremy. This, despite the fact that Jeremy was involved in a major motorcycle accident in April, 2014, and suffered a serious brain injury. At the time, “We were unsure of what his recovery would look like, and I was obviously devastated and unsure of our future,” Christine says. Yet, strengthened by their faith and their devotion to each other, that future would come to look quite beautiful, indeed. On July 28, three months into his recovery, Jeremy proposed to Christine, and six months later, the pair wed, with a celebration marked by prayer, gratitude and an abundance of love: “We had our last dance to ‘Amen,’ by Dave Barnes,” Christine recounts. “We just held each other and swayed to the words, singing softly to each other. It was like everyone else had disappeared and it was just the two of us.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  197


REAL WEDDINGS

couple christine mckinnon

jeremy hunt  number of guests 180  venue  station 3  wedding colors  white, ivory, brown & green  catering café natalie catering  cake susie’s cakes & confections  wedding dress matthew christopher from weddings by debbie &

 bride's jewelry wolf diamonds    groom's jewelry zadok jewelers    honeymoon st. lucia

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wedding style | wedding

attire

HOW TO SHOP FOR YOUR

Wedding Dress DON’T HIT THE SALONS WITHOUT THIS ESSENTIAL ADVICE.

“To create the most memorable wedding, incorporate meaningful personal touches inspired by the couple’s lives and the unique cultures and traditions of their families.” —Mara Urshel, co-owner, Kleinfeld

writer DAVID ZYLA & EILA MEL ~ photo ELIZABETH MESSINA

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accessories: twigs & honey


wedding style |

wedding attire

As a bridal alterations expert, I can tell the bride with confidence, ‘Anything is possible.’ I can make the dress bigger, I can make it smaller, I can change the style, change the neckline, cover the shoulders. I can take your mother’s wedding dress and redesign it for you, for your size, your style. Recently married, just had a baby, and want to make a christening dress from part of your bridal gown? I can do that, too.” Minerva Wooldridge MW COUTURE

B E YO U R S E L F

• Your wedding is as unique as you are. Don’t feel compelled to shop for a dress or accessories that echo what your mother, sister or best friend wore. • The wedding dress that you admire on someone else or on a hanger may not translate or capture the same thing on you. Don’t think twice about scrapping the idea and going in another direction. • Look for clues in your closet as to the style, neckline and fabric of what will be your most flattering wedding gown. SET LIMITS

• Keep in mind that the more people you bring along for your wedding dress shopping, the more conflicting tastes and opinions you will get! • Trying on too many wedding dresses only leads to confusion. Arrive for your first dress fitting with the intention of only trying on your top five favorite dresses. • Don’t try on wedding gowns that are more than 10 percent above your maximum budget. There is a chance you will fall in love with the unobtainable, and all others going forward in your search will pale in comparison. SHOP SMART

• Don’t try on dresses without the proper foundation garments and the exact heel height you plan to wear. • Reference the white of your eye to find the most complementary shade of white to wear for your wedding day. • Though many brides lose weight in anticipation of their big day, you should always order your dress in your current size. It is easier and less expensive to take a dress in and will lessen the pressure. • Remember to budget for dress alterations, which may be more than you have spent on any other tailoring. 202  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


wedding style |

wedding attire TIME IT RIGHT

• Start your gown shopping 12 months prior to the big day. The average lead time to receive a wedding gown that has been ordered is between five and eight months. • Shop for a wedding gown in December. New gowns arrive throughout November, so everything should be in stock. • Don’t shop for a wedding dress before knowing what time of year and time of day you are planning to hold your ceremony. Emmy-award-winning stylist David Zyla has styled Hillary Clinton, Neil Patrick Harris, Tom Hanks and Susan Lucci. Fashion journalist Eila Mel is the author of “Project Runway: The Show That Changed Fashion.” Their new book, “How to Win at Shopping” (Workman Press, 2015) is available now at Amazon.com.

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GOWN TRENDS

MODERN LOVE 1

SEXY SHIMMER AND BOLD ACCESSORIES

1. Spring 2016 Bridal Collection Angel Sanchez 2. Maiyet Moonstone Skinny Ring farfetch.com 3. Kiss the Bride ‘I Do’ Lipstick clinique.com 4. Rosantica Millenote Gold Tone Necklace net-a-porter.com 5. Chloé Darcey Bracelet farfetch.com 6. Alessia Clutch amandapearl.com 7. Foley Lace-Up Mesh Bootie badgleymischka.com

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GOWN TRENDS

SWEET ROMANCE

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1. Fall 2015 Collection inbal dror 2. Adriana Orsini Lavish Drop Earrings saks fifth avenue houston galleria 3. Lucrezia Headpiece petitelumiere.com 4. ‘Catch’ Eye Shadow Palette toryburch.com 5. Tzarina Crystal Bridal Belt jennypackham.com 6. Cantley Clutch aldoshoes.com 7. Badgley Mischka Satin Peep-Toe zappos.com

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GOWN TRENDS

DRAMATIC BACKS

CRYSTAL, LACE AND BEADING CREATE INTEREST AND INTRIGUE. houston salons: BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL HOUSTON BRIDAL GALLERY IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER MIA BRIDAL COUTURE NIMA BRIDAL WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE PARVANI VIDA BRIDAL & FORMAL THE PRINCESS BRIDAL WINNIE COUTURE FLAGSHIP SALON expert alterations and custom gowns: KRISTIN JOHNSTON BRIDAL MW COUTURE

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Glitzy gifts and accessories for pre-wedding bashes. 1. J. CREW CRYSTAL & FLOWER BIB NECKLACE jcrew.com 2. KATIE DECKER QUATREFOIL BRACELET katiedecker.com 3. KATIE DECKER FLEUR DE LIS RING katiedecker.com 4. LOLA & MADISON ‘KATIE’ EARRINGS etsy.com/shop/lolaandmadison 5. JORGE ADELER 18K GOLD, CITRINE, QUARTZ & DIAMOND EARRINGS jorgeadeler.com 6. OSCAR DE LA RENTA CORAL NECKLACE mytheresa.com

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GOWN TRENDS

SHEER DELIGHT SHEER SLEEVES, PEEK-A-BOO PANELS, MIDRIFFS AND OVERLAYS REVEAL THE SEASON’S HOTTEST TREND. houston salons: BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL HOUSTON BRIDAL GALLERY IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER MIA BRIDAL COUTURE NIMA BRIDAL WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE PARVANI VIDA BRIDAL & FORMAL THE PRINCESS BRIDAL WINNIE COUTURE FLAGSHIP SALON expert alterations and custom gowns: KRISTIN JOHNSTON BRIDAL MW COUTURE

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GOWN TRENDS

CATCH THAT TRAIN GO SHORT WITH SASS OR CATHEDRAL-LENGTH CLASS. houston salons: BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL HOUSTON BRIDAL GALLERY IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER MIA BRIDAL COUTURE NIMA BRIDAL WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE PARVANI VIDA BRIDAL & FORMAL THE PRINCESS BRIDAL WINNIE COUTURE FLAGSHIP SALON expert alterations and custom gowns: KRISTIN JOHNSTON BRIDAL MW COUTURE

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1. BERTA 2. ALON LIVNÉ WHITE 3. SAREH NOURI 4. LIANCARLO 5. MARCHESA

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GOWN TRENDS

COLOR ME BEAUTIFUL LOOK PRETTY IN PINK WITH BRIDAL BLUSH. houston salons: BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL HOUSTON BRIDAL GALLERY IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER MIA BRIDAL COUTURE NIMA BRIDAL WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE PARVANI VIDA BRIDAL & FORMAL THE PRINCESS BRIDAL WINNIE COUTURE FLAGSHIP SALON expert alterations and custom gowns: KRISTIN JOHNSTON BRIDAL MW COUTURE

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For brides, for maids, for Mom. 1. BALUSHKA PAPER FLORAL ARTISTRY CORSAGE balushka.com 2. ALEXIS BITTAR BAGUETTE DROP CLUSTER EARRINGS neimanmarcus.com 3. NATORI ‘LILLIAN’ CAMISOLE & SHORTS natori.com 4. THE MRS. BOX VINTAGE VELVET RING BOX themrsbox.com 5. MIYU DE-STRESS BEAUTY TEA miyubeauty.com 6. OLIVE + PIPER ‘DAISY’ TASSEL EARRINGS oliveandpiper.com 7. DAVIE & CHIYO ‘CHANDON’ CLUTCH davieandchiyo.com

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GOWN TRENDS

COUTURE IN CONTRAST

ADD DRAMA WITH BOLD BLACKS AND WINTER WHITES THIS PAGE: Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear Gown sareh nouri OPPOSITE PAGE: 1. Tahitian Pearl Necklace and Earring Set peran & scannell jewelers 2. Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear Gown zuhair murad 3. Resort 2015 Suit giorgio armani 4. C ordwork & Bead Embroidered Clutch oscardelarenta.com 5. Black & White Orhid Cake cake by nicole 6. Belperron Invitation by Kelle Anne McCarter bella figura 7. Galya Embellished Strap Shoe badgleymischka.com

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photo: laura gordon photography


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O REAL WEDDINGS

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Megan4 & Rand1y writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography ADAM NYHOLT PHOTOGRAPHER

10.26.14

When your boyfriend takes you on a trip to Napa, arranges for a private wine tasting, excuses the staff halfway

through, and proceeds to get a little misty-eyed as he pledges his love to you, well…you begin to suspect something special is coming. “Of course I said, ‘Yes!’” Megan recounts. At the couple’s interfaith ceremony—he is Jewish, she is Catholic—groom Randy’s 10-yearold triplet sons from his previous marriage carried hand-painted signs down the aisle reading, “HERE COMES THE MEGALODON,” their affectionate nickname for Megan. Next, the couple’s Sunday wedding segued into a celebration of food, wine and love, where guests could nibble figs and prosciutto with balsamic glaze while lounging on cushions hand-sewn by the bride, and chat over fine wine underneath the glow of candles and string lights on the patio. “Our sendoff included sparklers and small fabric bags of confetti that I heat-stamped with our logo for guests to throw or blow while we walked out,” Megan says. “It was truly the best day ever.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  225


REAL WEDDINGS

couple megan pierce

randy rosenbaum  number of guests 100  wedding colors white, cream, navy, gray & gold  wedding dress  enzoani from weddings by debbie  bridesmaid dresses  brickhouse bridal  photography adam &

nyholt photographer  honeymoon lake louise, alberta

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&

napa, california


O GOWN TRENDS

MIXED METALLICS

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1. H  ermia Gown Spring 2016 jenny packham 2. My Burberry Fragrance nordstrom.com

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3. Venice Headband justinemcouture.com 4. Fernando Jorge Earrings ufgrangehall.com 5. Gold & Sugar-Flower Cake cakeink.com 6. Paules Gold Sandal aldoshoes.com 7. Bottega Veneta Clutch saks fifth avenue houston galleria

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GOWN TRENDS

PLUNGING NECKLINES

FROM DEMURE TO DARING, LOW NECKLINES ARE DEEPLY STYLISH. houston salons: BRICKHOUSE BRIDAL HOUSTON BRIDAL GALLERY IVORY BRIDAL ATELIER MIA BRIDAL COUTURE NIMA BRIDAL WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE NOW & FOREVER BRIDAL BOUTIQUE PARVANI VIDA BRIDAL & FORMAL THE PRINCESS BRIDAL WINNIE COUTURE FLAGSHIP SALON expert alterations and custom gowns: KRISTIN JOHNSTON BRIDAL MW COUTURE

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1. ROMONA KEVEZA 2. JENNY PACKHAM 3. MONIQUE LHUILLIER 4. BADGLEY MISCHKA 5. ZUHAIR MURAD

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Seaside Reverie

WEDDING FUN IN THE GALVESTON SUN.

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photography ADAM NYHOLT PHOTOGRAPHER venue HOTEL GALVEZ & SPA photo styling, linens, napkins, sashes & decor LAVISH AFFAIRS flowers LARY'S FLORIST & DESIGNS gowns WEDDINGS BY DEBBIE cake WHO MADE THE CAKE! makeup & hair HOTEL GALVEZ SPA W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  231


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wedding planning | beauty

& healt�

Ready, Set...

RELAX

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

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

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo LARRY FAGALA

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flowers & decor: todd events


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beauty & healt� your beautiful day. But we can offer some simple, practical, even delightful, ways to reduce pre-wedding stress and actually savor the pleasure of this special time in your (crazy busy, insanely overscheduled, totally hectic) life. B U R N O F F A N X I E T Y.

Exercise packs a double punch as part of the busy bride’s pre-wedding routine. It’s well known that regular aerobic exercise reduces pesky stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. But cardiovascular exercise also stimulates endorphins—those awesome “feel-good” chemicals that reduce pain and lift your mood. Which means that a rigorous hike, run, bike-ride or spin class just might make it easier for you to actually enjoy that fifth cake tasting or gown-shopping appointment. Which brings us to exercise advantage #2: Those regular workouts, while they’re snuffing out stress hormones and getting you all endorphin-high, will also allow you to have your fifth cake tasting AND fit into your couture goddess gown, too! J O U R N A L Y O U R W A Y T O J O Y.

OK, maybe not joy, maybe not right now. But keeping track of your prewedding experiences, from walking through the doors of that perfect ballroom, to giggling over a DIY project with your giddy mom, to enjoying a profoundly romantic picnic with your dashing hubby-to-be, lets you reflect on moments that might otherwise be lost in the tumult of daily activities. Plus, taking time out each day or a few times a week to write, longhand, for 20 or 30 minutes, means ensuring a quiet escape (with or without wine) in the midst of the mayhem. Doesn’t hurt, either, that those journals you keep will stand as a document of this wonderful 236  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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moment for decades, even generations, to come. TA K E C A R E O F Y O U R S E L F … BY LETTING OTHERS TA K E C A R E O F Y O U .

Even if you’ve always been the one who takes care of others—no,

especially if you’ve always been the one who takes care of others—when you’re prepping for your wedding, it’s vital to let others take care of you. Whether those doing the caretaking are your friends (who are eager to plan girls’ nights out, showers, special outings), or professionals you pay for their

services (facialists, massage therapists, fancy hair stylists), now is the time to give someone else the reins and just… indulge. You need it. You deserve it. And yeah, they want to do it for you. Really. I T ’S O N C E I N A L I F E T I M E ; H AV E T H E T I M E O F YO U R L I F E .

From the proposal to the preparation to the pre-wedding celebrations to the big day itself, the average engagementto-marriage span is about one year. Though that may seem like a long time, most brides find that it flies by. And while pre-wedding stress might make you wish, at times, that the planning phase would be over and done with like…now, the truth is that you’ll likely wish you remembered more about these months when all is said and done. A great way to ensure that you do is by doing things you enjoy. New things. Interesting things. Silly things. Fun things. R E M E M B E R W H AT M AT T E R S .

The absolute worst thing a bride-tobe can do is lose sight of what it is that got her into this whole insane, exhilarating mess in the first place: true, forever, blessed love. Take time, all the time, to stay connected with your spouse-to-be (see, we told you these were great for grooms, too!). Whether that means walking the dogs together every Saturday morning, surprising him with dinner and margaritas at his favorite Tex-Mex joint, or planning a quickie escape to that romantic Hill Country B&B you’ve heard so much about, make sure to make each other feel as adored now, during these crazy months, as you will pledge to adore each other forever on that one­ amazing day. 238  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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LOOK GOOD,

beauty & healt�

feel good

HOW TO LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST FOR THE BIG DAY…AND BEYOND

writer KIMBERLY GOMER, MS, RD, DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION AT PRITIKIN, MIAMI, FLORIDA

Not too long ago, a beautiful young woman, a bride-to-be from Santa Rosa, Calif., came to our Pritikin health resort in Miami with her mother. They had planned their Pritikin vacation as a nice mother-daughter vacation. It was about two months before the young woman’s wedding day. That trip turned out to be a much-needed getaway. The bride had arrived distraught. She had been trying for about four weeks to shed a final 10 pounds before her wedding day. So far, she’d lost only a pound.

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Worse yet, she felt miserable. She was eating very little. She was hungry all the time, and fatigued, and thinking, “I feel terrible. And I look terrible. Am I going to spend my wedding day obsessing about how starved I am, rather than enjoying all the amazing moments of my big day?” From the start of her vacation, her life and outlook, changed almost immediately. When she first walked into our dining room, her jaw dropped. It was breakfast time, and there before her was this big, gorgeous array of foods. Fabulously fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, pineapples and tangerines. Three different types of hot, spiced cereals. Nonfat Greek yogurts. And made-toorder egg-white omelets with savory fillings like fresh salsa, roasted baby potatoes, and succulent grilled red bell peppers and onions. “I can eat all this?” she incredulously asked one of our Pritikin physicians who happened to be by her side and was scooping up a mountain of berries and cinnamon-infused oatmeal for his own breakfast. “Eat all you want,” he smiled. “Eat until you’re full and happy. That’s what the Pritikin Eating Plan is all about.” Our bride from Santa Rosa did just that, for every meal, every day of the two weeks that she and her mother were here. She returned home six pounds lighter, and over the next few weeks before her wedding, easily shed the remaining weight she wanted to lose. Best of all, she was happy. On her 240  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

wedding day, her mother later told me, she glowed, radiant with good health (and not the least bit hungry!). The secret to her success is what we dietitians, doctors, chefs and other faculty teach every day here at Pritikin. OUR MANTRA IS:

Don’t count calories. Don’t starve.

Don’t deprive yourself of food. Instead, take a calorie density approach. I’ll give you a simple example of what I’m talking about. You could count up calories and stick to, say, a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet, but counting calories does not guarantee satiety, or fullness. If you’re eating, for instance, an Egg McMuffin and a couple of slices of pizza, you’re probably coming in under 1,500 calories, but is this amount of food going to satisfy your hunger for the entire day? No way! You keep craving food, and you keep coming back for more. Three slices of

pizza. Then four. It’s only natural. By contrast, our goal here at Pritikin is showing you how to put nice, filling amounts of good, healthy food on your plate, but with each bite you’re just naturally taking in small amounts of calories. It’s smart eating. It’s choosing foods that are low or moderately low in calorie density. It keeps you full and content, which means you’re far less likely to go places (those multiple slices of pizza, for example) you ought not to go. Foods that are low or moderately low in calorie density include all those lovely foods I was telling you about earlier: fruits, vegetables, nonfat Greek yogurt, egg-white omelets, and hot cereals. It also includes potatoes, yams, corn on the cob; whole-grain delights like quinoa, couscous, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta; legumes like pinto beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans; and lean animal foods like bison, fish and white poultry. Sounds both delicious and wonderfully satisfying, doesn’t it? It’s what our 100,000-plus guests here at Pritikin over the last 40 years have enjoyed. And the benefits they have reaped include not only weight loss, but also overall good health, like dramatically improved cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood glucose. These many results have been documented in more than 100 studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals over the past three decades on the Pritikin diet and exercise program.


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beauty & healt�

There is one other component of our program here at the Pritikin health resort that has benefited many bridesto-be over the decades: We teach our guests how to achieve a healthy, relaxed mind. In group seminars and private counseling, our director of behavioral wellness, psychologist Dr. Coral Arvon, has helped hundreds of brides, and their parents and husbands-to-be, scale down wedding stress and scale up joy. “It’s so important to keep yourself in good emotional shape,” Dr. Arvon advises. “All the extra activities of wedding planning can take their toll, leaving you exhausted, which increases stress, creating a vicious cycle.” Two key strategies for warding off stress and fatigue that Dr. Arvon and our Pritikin physicians teach are 1) getting a good night’s sleep, and 2) sticking to your exercise routine. “You’ll be amazed at how good sleep habits and daily exercise can improve not only your energy but your mood,” encourages Dr. Arvon. A third important stress-reducing strategy Dr. Arvon teaches is learning how to take time-outs. “Carve out at least 15 minutes every day just for you,” she suggests. “Take a walk after dinner and enjoy the stars. Book 15-minute chair massages for your back, neck and shoulders. Or just shut the door to your bedroom or office, turn on soothing music, breath deeply, and restore your inner calm. You’ll emerge refreshed, ready to handle the challenges of your pre-wedding days.” When you’re feeling rested and relaxed, you’re looking your very best, not only for your wedding day but for all the days of your life. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  241


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Crock It To Me

PRITIKIN’S CROCKPOT RECIPES MAKE DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS, LOW-CALORIE MEALS AS EASY AS FILL, SET, HEAT. BON APPÉTIT! CAJUN-STYLE RED BEANS AND RICE

LENTIL AND BARLEY SOUP

Savory seasonings and a hint of spice give this Southern dish a kick. Ingredients: 2 cups red kidney beans, dried & rinsed 1 cup brown rice, uncooked 1 red onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 4 stalks celery, chopped 6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup chives, finely chopped 4 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 5 cups water Combine all ingredients in your crockpot, with the veggies on top. Cook on LOW for around 7 hours. Cooking times may vary depending on your crockpot.

Get the flavor of rich, creamy beans and nutty barley without breaking a sweat. Ingredients: 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 can salt-free diced tomatoes 1 ½ cups dried lentils, rinsed 1 cup onions, chopped 1 cup carrots, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1 cup mushrooms, sliced ¾ cup barley, uncooked 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon salt-free Italian seasoning 1 teaspoon dried thyme ¾ teaspoon black pepper Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart or larger crockpot. Cover and cook on HIGH setting for 5 to 6 hours or until lentils are tender, or LOW setting, 10 to 12 hours.

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1

2

Goddess

GOLDEN

3

4

Wedding-day glow from head to toe! 5

6

1. BOBBI BROWN SHIMMER BRICK IN COPPER DIAMOND barneys.com 2. ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE LIP POTION IN DEVILISH NECTAR rougebunnyrouge.com 3. PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA BRONZE BOOSTER PRESSED SHIMMER BRONZER physiciansformula.com 4. LORAC TANTALIZER BODY BRONZING LUMINIZER loraccosmetics.com 5. JANE IREDALE EYE SHADOW KIT IN DAYTIME janeiredale.com 6. TOO FACED CHOCOLATE SOLEIL BRONZER toofaced.com

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1

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Best

FAC E

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F O R WA R D

Top products for a flawless complexion. 4

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1. ORIGINS UNITED STATE BALANCING TONIC origins.com 2. CLINIQUE ALL-OVER CLEARING TREATMENT clinique.com 3. BOBBI BROWN SOOTHING CLEANSING OIL bobbibrown.com 4. MIYU DE-STRESS MI BEAUTY ESSENCE miyubeauty.com   5. RED FLOWER ARCTIC BERRY CLOUD MILK CREAM redflower.com 6. DR. JART WATER-MAX SLEEPING MASK sephora.com 

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O REAL WEDDINGS

photos: brit jones photography

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Jessica & Clayton writer NATASHA GARBER

02.21.15

A surprise trip to Los Angeles, a stay at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel and a private sightseeing tour were

just the lead-up to the big moment: Clayton’s picture-perfect proposal to Jessica directly beneath the iconic Hollywood sign. “I felt so incredibly blessed to have such a romantic fiancé, and was so excited to share the rest of my life with him,” Jessica says. The pair wed at Chateau Cocomar, where, Jessica recounts, “I truly felt like I was a princess in a castle.” After a deeply personal ceremony conducted by a lifelong friend of the groom’s family, the newlyweds joined 230 loved ones for an evening of dining, dancing and many, many toasts. Instead of take-home favors, the wedding couple opted to make a donation to international charity World Vision in the name of their guests—a gesture we couldn’t support more. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  247


REAL WEDDINGS

couple jessica hogan & clayton crum  number of guests 230  venue  chateau

cocomar  wedding colors  pink & gold  catering café natalie catering  wedding dress amsale from mia bridal couture  honeymoon bahamas

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2

Lip

GIVE ME SOME 1

4

3

Kiss-worthy colors for a perfect pout. 5

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1. MAC MINERALIZE LIPSTICK IN LUSH LIFE nordstrom.com 2. YVES SAINT LAURENT POP WATER IN PLUMP UP nordstrom.com 3. TOM FORD MATTE LIP COLOR IN VELVET CHERRY nordstrom.com 4. LORD & BERRY TWISTICK IN ROCK’N ROSE lordandberry.com 5. TARTE AMAZONIAN BUTTER LIPSTICK IN PINK PEONY tarte.com 6. URBAN DECAY NAKED ULTRA NOURISHING LIPGLOSS IN STREAK urbandecay.com

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photo: larry fagala bouquet: todd events


FLOWERS, DECOR & RENTALS 252

CULINARY SERVICES 292 INVITATIONS 316 GIFT REGISTRY 334

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT 346

Finer

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

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finer details | flowers,

decor & rentals

18 Tantalizing DECOR IDEAS

TOP HOUSTON WEDDING DESIGNERS, FLORISTS AND DECORATORS TAP BIG TRENDS AND ALLURING LOOKS FOR WOW WEDDINGS.

Romantic colors, a little shimmer, a lot of floral and plenty of personalization: Brides and grooms put their signature stamp on their wedding day, through decor that speaks to their past and celebrates their future.

writer CHERISE LUTER ~ photo M. WANG PHOTOGRAPHY

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decor & flowers: johanna terry events


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| flowers, decor & rentals

Prime Palettes

YESTERYEAR’S HUES

While beloved purple and its sister colors—lilac, lavender, eggplant, et al—is still the wedding hue of choice for many brides, pink and orange in their softest forms are the new faves in town. Event designer David Rexroat of AJ’s Urban Petals notes that blush, pale mauve and muted coral are among the most popular wedding colors he’s seeing for late-2015 and 2016 weddings. And, of course, lots of ivory and white. “Brides really want that Old World, European look” that these vintage shades convey. R O S E - G O L D S TA N D A R D

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

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

Dream Themes COUNTRY COOL

The romantic feel of the French countryside has been a popular theme for a few years, but if you bring in pops 256  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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| flowers, decor & rentals of color, like Pantone color-of-the-year Marsala (a deep but muted brownishred), you get a whole new look. “What we are doing now is taking those ivory muslin-covered traditional chairs and reupholstering them in textiles like bold-colored velvets,” says Darryl Murchison, the creative mind behind top event-design company Darryl & Co. “It’s classic design with a punch.” BOHO HAUTE

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

When two individuals come together to celebrate their union, they bring with them individual tastes, styles and ideas—which bodes well for wedding design. Mixing and matching themes to create a unique, unified look is a major development for this year’s weddings. Lisa Anhaiser of LBL Event Rentals offers this example, “Rustic has taken a turn and incorporated industrial elements. This means events will have more practical features and will showcase an oxymoronic ‘modern-rustic’ feel.” Other ideas include urban-beachy (neutral colors and cool marine blues, sand- and succulent-based centerpieces, glass), vintage-elegant (lace, Art Deco touches, lavish floral arrangements) or steampunk-sophisticate (Victorian light fixtures, globes and gears, blacks and metallics) on for size. 258  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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LU X E & L AV I S H

There’s no doubt that the coming year’s weddings, especially those slated for opulent hotel ballrooms and historic venues, are taking a luxurious turn. “We are doing a lot of very rich, full, heavy-laden flowers,” says Donna Senter, owner of event-design firm The Senterpiece. “Last year, greenery was really in. Now we’re going back to massive flower arrangements, big floral walls, and candelabras surrounded by tons of flowers.”

Sights on Ceremony LUXE OUTDOORS

Setting your ceremony in the midst of a grove of trees or on a dock overlooking a lake takes advantage of all that nature has to offer. But this is your wedding, not a Saturday picnic, after

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all. If you’re planning to say your vows al fresco, take a bit of advice from Vidal and add a luxurious touch to your outdoor scene by adding diaphanous draping to your altar canopy, and hanging chandeliers from the trees overhead. A LTA R S TAT E S

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

AISLE STYLE

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

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


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

Party Pretty

COMPLEMENT & CONTRAST

With the rising popularity of “Tuscanstyle” seating, where the bride, groom and their wedding party all sit together around a large rectangular banquet

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table, designers are finding new ways to distinguish the guests of honor. “We like accentuating the backs of the bride’s and groom’s chairs,” Senter says. “We might do garlands on the backs of their chairs, or initials and wreaths. One of my favorite things to do is something I call a ‘sconce piece,’ which is more of a teardropstyle arrangement on the back of the chair.” Besides being pretty, these chair accents are practical, as they identify

the newlyweds’ seating spots for guests and photographers alike. ANTIQUE CHIC

As a way to celebrate the joining of two families, modern brides are incorporating family heirlooms into reception decor. Jamea suggests displaying pieces from weddings past: “Have mom’s, grandmother’s, great-aunt’s, etc., bridal gowns encased in acrylic and displayed or placed on pretty dress mannequins,


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| flowers, decor & rentals

alongside a picture of them in the gown. If the gown is not available, other mementos of the day will work as well, especially if there are photos to display alongside them.” SHAPE UP

For the skilled florist, flowers are much more than stems to be arranged in a vessel. Today’s top floral experts are using blooms, vines, twigs, succulents and greenery as sculpting materials, creating whimsical pieces that reflect the wedding couple’s personalities, pets, initials and more. “Hearts made of flowers, topiary animals created from greenery, floral ‘flowers’ and butterflies, letters of the alphabet,”—all of these make for out-of-the-ordinary decor, notes event designer Pam Lopez of A Memorable Event, who likes to use

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carnations, roses and silk flowers for these colorful art pieces. FINE FLICKERS

Our love affair with candlelit weddings is still very much aglow. But the hottest lighting look for weddings is electric. Hanging bulbs, chandeliers and table lamps all create an intimate dining experience and elegant restaurant feel. “We love seeing lampshades. They look fantastic in any application—with ribbon, petals, greenery, etc. We also love playing with Edison bulbs and soft-pink light bulbs. Anything that gives that soft glow adds so much to a tabletop,” says Fiscus. INTRIGUE OVERHEAD

To draw action to your dance floor, draw attention to the area above it.

If your reception venue is built for it, install a fabulous floral focal point over the spot where the action is. “We love creating a big rectangular ‘chandelier’ to hang over the entire dance floor. It can be done simply with trellis from Home Depot, from which we suspend flowers at different lengths,” says Rexroat. “It makes a beautiful faux ceiling over the reception’s dance area.” LOOKING GLASS

And speaking of mirrors, reflective surfaces are one of the most popular decor items for 2015 and 2016 weddings, Terry says. Mirror tabletops, mirror-tile side tables and lamp bases, and mirror-like mercury glass, all are big for giving receptions an air of glamour and sophistication. Actual mirrors, whether framed or not, are showing up


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| flowers, decor & rentals in reception decor, too, where they also serve a secondary purpose: “Whether you use a collection of antique gold mirrors or just oversize mirrors,” Terry says, “those mirrors help to make small reception areas appear larger.” BIG SHOT

For maximum impact, opt for “very big, romantic centerpieces,” Lopez notes. These should be designed with monochromatic flowers in lush, lavish abundance, with stems and leaves hidden from view. “Add tons of candles to the bases of all centerpieces for a romantic glow in the room,” she says.

online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

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Chair Apparent

From regal chiavaris to versatile chameleons to styles inspired by Provence, Tuscany and the vineyards of Napa Valley, cool chairs are one of the hottest trends in wedding design. Here are our tips for dressing yours up without concealing their natural beauty. C O L O R C O N T R A S T:

To add sass to your ceremony seating, set white chairs with seat pads in alternating vibrant colors—tangerine and hot pink, green and yellow, or teal and coral, for example. BAC K ROW:

Give guests a visual welcome by decorating the backs of your last row of ceremony chairs, which they will see as they approach to take their seats. Sweet ideas include garlands of flowers or greenery, streaming ribbons in your wedding colors tied to chair-back slats, or simple sashes knotted across chair backs and tied with bows. FLASH A SASH:

Bring a touch of romance to regal reception-table chiavaris by tying a sheer colored sash on the diagonal across the seat back, and finishing with a pretty bow or floral accent. RUFFLE UP:

For a soft, feminine look, drape reception chair backs with sheer chair-back covers in pale blush, dove gray or lilac, and add a ruffled train in coordinating ombré hues. W E AV E WOW:

Add intrigue to chiavaris by weaving lengths of soft chiffon through slats, and letting the ends pool prettily at the base.

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O REAL WEDDINGS

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A1lexand7ra & Hugh writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

12.06.14

If you’re getting married in Houston, it sure helps to be on staff at one of the city’s top event design

firms—Darryl & Co. That’s where Alexandra works, so, naturally, it was Darryl Murchison who brought his magic to her beautiful winter wedding. A blooming floral entryway arch, stairs lined in lush roses and hydrangea, a 22-foot-tall floral-wall ceremony backdrop—all were design elements of Alexandra and Hugh’s nuptial festivities. “The holidays were in full bloom,” notes the bride. “It was a time of celebration and the guests felt it from the moment they walked in.” As for Alexandra, no moment felt more celebratory, she says, than “walking down the aisle as the new Mrs. Hugh Marsh.”

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple alexandra newton

&

jeffrey “hugh” marsh jr.    number of guests 300

 venue  the corinthian  wedding colors blush, ivory & gold  flowers & decor darryl & co.  cake & catering jackson and company  save the dates katie & co.  invitations & registry bering’s  wedding dress hayley paige from now & forever bridal boutique    photography j. cogliandro photography  honeymoon dominican republic

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O REAL WEDDINGS

L1aura1 & Ravi

photos: tomas ramos photography

writer NATASHA GARBER

11.15.14

Despite their hectic work schedules, Laura and Ravi managed to pull off a spectacular three-day wedding celebration—

thanks, largely, to the expert assistance of consultant Jo Ann Schwartz Woodward. Kicking off the festivities on Friday night with a lively sangeet, featuring an Indian dance performance, the groom arrived to the next day’s baraat in an autorickshaw, welcomed by the crowd with exuberant applause. The traditional wedding ceremony featured a carved wood mandap, with a red backdrop and red, peach and white roses. The couple’s museum reception took its cues from the surrounding exhibits, and included a green cake topped with toy dinosaurs wearing Hindu wedding headdresses, which the bride had made by hand. While dancing, dining and revelry abounded, “The highlight of the evening was when around 20 of Ravi's cousins and friends all came out wearing masks of Ravi making a really awkward face, and danced to the Beastie Boys ‘Intergalactic,’” the bride recounts. “Ravi absolutely loved it and was very moved by the gesture.” 276  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


REAL WEDDINGS

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple laura hutchinson

&

ravi patel    number of guests 300    ceremony hilton houston

post oak  wedding colors  red, peach, pearl & white  consultant  schwartz & woodward  reception flowers & favors plants n’ petals  reception rentals eb inc event rentals & design  lighting bright star productions    cake who made the cake!    honeymoon marathon, texas

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h Bountiful Blooms

photo: steve lee photography

A MEMORABLE EVENT

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photo: larry fagala

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photo: shannon nicole photography

FLOWERS OF KINGWOOD

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photo: heb blooms

HEB BLOOMS


photo: archetype studio

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photo: agape house studio

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photo: j&d productions

photo: joseph grey photography

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photo: m. wang photography

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photo: larry fagala

AJ’S URBAN PETALS

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photo: d. jones photography

THE SENTERPIECE


photo: morgan lynn photography

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photo stefano choi photography

FLORA & EVENTI

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photo lindsay elizabeth photography

DREAM BOUQUET


photo ryan price photographer

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finer details | culinary

services

Duff Goldman

TAKES THE CAKE

THE THRILL-SEEKING “ACE OF CAKES” HOST SHOWS WEDDINGS IN HOUSTON HIS SOFTER SIDE.

Chef Duff Goldman founded his Baltimore-based bakery, Charm City Cakes, after realizing his chef’s schedule was keeping him from pursuing a career as a rock bassist. Instead of picking one gig over the other, Goldman gathered a group of friends and musicians, and launched a cake-design shop with a wild side. Food Network soon tapped Goldman and his staff to star in “Ace of Cakes,” which, after 10 successful seasons, airs in more than 40 countries worldwide. With a long Food Network history under his belt—he’s appeared on “Iron Chef America,” “Cupcake Wars,” and “Chopped,” to name just a few—and a second Charm City Cakes, this one in Los Angeles, in his empire, Goldman is a bona-fide rock star of the cake world. He’s also this issue’s featured baker, sweet-talking us, and you, in this exclusive Weddings in Houston Q&A.

photos COURTESY OF DUFF GOLDMAN

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Cakes are the single most important design element of a wedding, next to the bride’s dress. The first thing everyone wants to see when they walk into a reception is the cake. It’s always magnetic.”

Weddings in Houston: How did you get your start in baking and cake design? Duff Goldman: I started Charm City Cakes in March of 2002 as a way to pay my bills while I was trying to become a fulltime musician. I was always good at cakes in my career as a chef up to that point, and I have a background in art, so cakes really come naturally to me, since they are the intersection of baking and fine art. WIH: When did you realize your calling was to create amazing, astonishing, “I-can’t-believe-it’s-a-cake” cakes? DG: I think when I was invited to compete at a cake competition around 2004 and I was competing against some of the biggest names in the cake art industry at the time. I showed up in Beaver Creek, Colo., and walked into a room full of my heroes. It was intimidating, to say the least, but I’ve always been a pretty confident guy, so I went out there believing that I belonged. I then came in dead last in the competition. I made an awesome cake, but when I started arc-welding on the stage and set my table on fire, I kinda lost some points. WIH: Ugh, hate it when that happens! What are some of the unique challenges of wedding cake design? DG: Wedding cakes are very personal. The most important thing when designing a cake is making sure that you are creating the cake that the couple wants to see in photographs for the rest of their lives, while also capturing their style in that moment. The difficulty is making a cake that will be timeless, but also current and relevant. It’s also important to not be afraid to add your own voice to the creative conversation. We steer many couples in the right direction when something that they are asking for may sound good on paper, but in reality won’t be nearly as cool as they think it will. It’s okay to voice your opinion and explain why some designs or ideas don’t work. As the artist, you are the expert, and I 294  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

have always found that people really appreciate and respond to me actually having an opinion. That being said, it’s also very important not to impose your will. You want to suggest and explain and work with your clients, not tell them what they want. WIH: What are your current favorite design and decorating techniques for wedding cakes? DG: We’ve been really enjoying the resurgence of white, floral wedding cakes. We make so many cars and monsters and buildings that it is very refreshing for me to get to make beautiful cakes with clean lines and classic style. The fun thing about now is that we are fielding so many requests for more traditional cakes, but with a twist. It’s always a fun challenge trying to tie in something modern with something classic. WIH: What, in your opinion, is the role of the wedding cake at the wedding reception? DG: Cakes are the single most important design element of a wedding, next to the bride’s dress. The first thing everyone wants to see when they walk into a reception is the cake. It’s always magnetic. WIH: What’s the coolest groom’s cake you’ve ever created? DG: A life-sized working Ducati motorcycle. WIH: For wedding couples who don’t like cake (Heaven forbid!), or perhaps want to enhance their cake with additional dessert options for guests, what are some of your suggestions? DG: A build-your-own ice-cream sundae bar is always a winner. WIH: What do you love most about working with wedding couples and creating wedding cakes? DG: I love seeing the looks on my clients’ faces when they see the cake that we had designed months earlier come to life and exist in real space. That’s the best part.


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

I Do

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

A: While it is tradition for the bride’s parents to be the first ones told about the engagement, these are nontraditional times we’re living in. With second marriages and children from previous marriages now a common part of the picture, it’s important to consider everyone’s feelings. Since you 296  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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will become your husband’s son’s stepmother, your husband’s ex-wife, as mother of the child, should be told first, and immediately after, both you and your husband—or better yet, all three of the adults involved—should let your husband’s son in on your engagement news. Then you can go ahead and share your engagement with your parents, your husband’s parents, and all your friends, both on social media and in real life. Q: We are paying for our wedding ourselves—with a very tight budget. I want a beautiful reception, with great food, great music and gorgeous tables, but the only way we can swing it is to invite fewer people. However, our church is really big, with plenty of room for ceremony guests. I told my

husband we could invite some people to the ceremony only, and have just our closest friends and family members at the reception after. He says that’s a bad idea. Who’s right? A: In this case, your husband-to-be is correct. Try to put yourself in your guests’ shoes and imagine receiving an invitation to a wedding ceremony only, with no festivities afterwards to fete the couple’s blessed union. Now try to imagine what you’d feel like when you found out that other guests were in fact invited to gather after the ceremony to eat, drink, dance and have a grand ol’ time. You’d feel pretty…awful. There are plenty of other potential pitfalls with this plan, too. What if, for instance, some of your ceremonyonly guests don’t realize they were not

invited to the reception, and show up anyway—only to discover there’s no place for them at any of those gorgeous tables you just had to have? What if a reception-invitee asks a ceremony-only guest for help with directions to the big bash after church? What if one of the guests you’ve invited solely to the ceremony is a work colleague who’ll one day become your boss and when it comes time for that raise you’ve been hoping for, will remember how you slighted her at your wedding, and, well…you get the picture. A much better idea is to scale back your fancy reception plans a bit, and invite more loved ones to the party. Stick with simple centerpieces, fun food stations, beer and wine plus one signature cocktail, a great DJ, and tons of votive candles for an affordably romantic effect. You’ll never miss the French Champagne and filet mignon— but you’d surely miss the friends, family members and others who didn’t make the cut. Q: My parents divorced when I was a toddler, and my dad moved overseas for work. He and I have never been close, in location or emotionally. But I’m very close with mom’s longtime partner, who has been like a father to me. Do I have to have my biological father walk me down the aisle, or can I choose whom I want? A: Again, while it is tradition for the bride’s father to walk her down the aisle, that’s all it is—a tradition, not a requirement. Your father likely recognizes that you two aren’t particularly close. At the same time, your mother’s partner, with whom you share a very close relationship, likely would be honored and touched to be asked to present you to your groom. It is well

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WASHED OUT PHOTO


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within your rights to ask him—but do be mindful of your biological father’s feelings. If he is invited to the wedding, talk to him beforehand and let him know he will always be an important part of your life, and that you are glad he will be there to celebrate this milestone occasion with you. For brides who don’t have a father or father figure in their lives, it is perfectly acceptable to have your mother, uncle, brother, sister, a very close friend, or any combination thereof, walk you down the aisle. This is your day, and you get to choose who accompanies you on that journey to meet your spouse. Q: My almost-husband and I are both vegans and plan to have only vegan food at our reception. But my fiancé’s parents are freaked out by our choice, and say

we can’t serve their friends “tofu and nuts” for dinner. What should we do? A: Here’s the thing: Your wedding is about the two of you. But it’s not just about the two of you. A wedding reception is your opportunity to thank your friends and family for honoring your marital bond, and, at the same time, an opportunity for those who love you to celebrate the joy of your new union. So if you want to have a strictly vegan reception, that is absolutely your prerogative. Just make it an amazing vegan reception your guests will savor and love. Global recipes offer plenty of delicious vegan options that are full of flavor, spice and excitement, and lend themselves to pretty presentation. Spring rolls, nut pates, samosas and

chilled gazpacho “shots,” all make fabulous vegan hors d’oeuvre, while dinner options may include pastas, enchiladas, vegetable stews and hearty salads. Vegan wedding cake is a little trickier to come by, but not impossible to find. If you’re having difficulty finding a vegan wedding cake you’re confident will satisfy your non-vegan guests, opt for a dessert table with vegan mini-treats including nut-crust tarts, tofu-based puddings, bar cookies and vegan “cake balls.” Take your future hubby’s folks along to your catering and cake tastings, so they can find out for themselves just how delicious vegan can be. Q: One of my bridesmaids recently got laid off from her job. I don’t want to put extra financial pressure on her with the cost of her bridesmaid dress, accessories, pre-wedding bridesmaids’ trip, etc. But I also don’t want to embarrass her by talking about her situation in front of the rest of the b-maid crew. Help! A: You’re thoughtful to consider your bridesmaid’s financial situation. Bear in mind that in addition to the added financial burden of being a bridesmaid, she may be experiencing an emotional burden as well, especially being in the midst of a group of happy, hyper, wedding-crazy gals…including you, Ms. Bride-to-Be. Now’s the perfect time to take your bridesmaid bestie out for lunch or cocktails, offer her a sympathetic ear (if that’s what she needs) or just an escape from her blue mood. Give back to her what she’s given to you as a bridesmaid, meaning: support, friendship and love. Once you’ve done that, you can check in with her about her financial situation, and, if necessary, offer to assist with paying for bridesmaid stuff. The cost of her dress,

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| culinary services alterations, shoes, etc., is likely minimal compared with what you’re spending on your wedding, and your assistance may ensure that she’s able to be there, right next to you, on your big day, as you’d always dreamed she would be. Q: This is my second marriage, but my bridesmaids want to host a bridal shower for me. I had a big shower prior to my previous wedding—would it be wrong for me to have one now? A: There is no reason your bridesmaids should not have a shower for you. However, you’ll want to be thoughtful about whom they invite. Only family members and very close friends who attended your previous shower should be invited to this one. New acquaintances and colleagues who did not

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attend your previous shower, however, may be invited to this one. And, of course, do not invite anyone to your shower who is not invited to your wedding. This would constitute a breach of etiquette whether this is your first marriage, second marriage, or any marriage at all. Q: We’re expecting around 250 guests at our wedding. My mom wants us to have a receiving line at the reception, but that just seems so old-fashioned to me. Plus, with all those guests, it’s going to take forever. What’s a good alternative for greeting and thanking guests that will allow us to enjoy our party and satisfy my mom? A: You’re right, a traditional receiving line—bride, groom, both sets of

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parents, best man, maid of honor, and bridesmaids—can take a very long time, especially with so many guests. That may be the reason it’s fallen out of fashion somewhat over the years. But it’s still important to individually acknowledge guests who have come, some of them from very far away, to celebrate your special day. You and your husband can simply “receive” guests at your ceremony site as they file out. Or you may wish to greet guests at the entrance to the cocktail hour as they arrive to start the celebration, or at the reception as guests go in to dinner. Another option is to take time during your wedding to go from table to table greeting and thanking guests as a couple, perhaps during the starter course of your reception meal. Just do the math, and make time for

everyone: At the rate of two or three minutes per table, 25 tables of 10 guests each will take a little over an hour to visit. Q: It would be much more convenient for us if our guests were to send wedding gifts to our home rather than bring them to the wedding. How should I make this request on the invitation? A: There is, unfortunately, no polite way to word this request on the invitation. In fact, any mention of gifts on the invitation is inappropriate. Simply make sure your preferred shipping address is easy to access on your online registries; in this day and age the majority of your guests will shop for your gifts online, so you likely have less to worry about than you might think.


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SWEET SENSATIONS

Cake Ink

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Amy Beck Cake Designs

photo: cristina g photography


Susie’s Cakes & Confections

photo: jonathan ivy photography

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Cakes by Krishanthi


Cakes by Krishanthi

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photo JENNIFER BRATKO


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Cakes by Krishanthi


Who Made The Cake!

photo: nhan photography

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Supreme Kakes & More

photo: agape house studio


Jackson and Company

photo: civic photos


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Nothing Bundt Cakes


Coco Paloma Desserts

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finer details | invitations

An Invitation

TO ELEGANCE SET THE TONE FOR YOUR WEDDING WITH A HIGH-IMPACT INVITATION SUITE.

While paper and ink may be going the way of the dodo in many situations, when it comes to wedding invitations, printed matter is a must. As Debbie Zissman of DGZ Weddings notes, “Brides are realizing that the invitation can really set the tone for a guest’s perception of the entire event.” Each aspect of creating and sending printed pieces requires careful selection of appropriate paper, inks, embellishments and more. Those individual elements all factor into the bottom line, as well, so it’s critical to plan carefully. Which is where we come in, with these essential invitation tips and trends from Houston’s top stationery experts.

writer MAGGIE MARTON ~ photo AKIL BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY

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invitations: katie & co.


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invitations

Save The Date PICK A PIC.

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

Conserve your invitation budget by printing save-the-date announcements digitally. Digital options cut down on the cost but can still be elegant and evocative. If you do choose digital printing, make sure to use good paper.

“When paired with a nice paper and font, digital save-the-dates can be really pretty,” Hackedorn says. P L A N A H E A D.

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

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

“We are doing clear acrylic invitations etched with the wording, as well as mirrored and colored acrylic,” Zissman says. “We also are doing invitations printed on wood, leather, slate and aluminum. Since some of these options

can be a bit more expensive, some brides may opt to give these special invitations to close friends and family, or possibly the bridal party, and then print matching invitations on paper for the rest of the guest list. And, of course, there is our chocolate invitation, which is always hand delivered, with a companion paper invitation set.” KEEP IT CLASSIC.

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

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

“To add some flair, our brides are diecutting their invitations,” notes designer Christiana Turner of Isabella Invitations. “In addition to die-cutting, laser-cutting has definitely made a comeback and 318  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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invitations

this will continue for awhile. Brides love the modern edge and intricacy that laser-cut details bring to their invitations.”

Passion for Print G E T FA N C Y W I T H F O I L .

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

I’m a sucker for letterpress and foil printing on thick cotton paper,” says designer Julie Goette of Ten Four Paper. “Not only do they feel luxurious and set the tone for a special event, there are also so many neat things you can do with these methods.” Double-thick

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invitations paper, for example, allows for unique embellishments “like edge painting, or blind-debossing a pattern on the back of the invitation.” T A K E T H E H E A T.

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

Along with being a great budgetfriendly alternative to traditionally printed invites, digital printing also lets you “incorporate more colors, because

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everything is printed together,” Hackedorn says. “Traditional thermography or engraved invitations require a separate printing pass for each color.”

Accessories and Embellishments

THINK OUTSIDE THE ENVELOPE.

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

Invitation Etiquette

BE FORMAL BUT FLEXIBLE.

“Etiquette rules haven’t changed but they have loosened a bit. We are seeing more brides request online RSVPs, for example,” Turner says. Though she adds, “We still prefer the traditional RSVP cards sent by mail.” BE GRACIOUS WITH GUESTS.

“Avoid sending the invitations just a couple of weeks before the big day. It will make guests feel like they were an afterthought,” Zissman advises. “And never send anyone a save-the-date and then cut them from your wedding list.” When it comes to dates, do your due diligence. If an invited guest is married or in a serious relationship, you should extend the courtesy of inviting

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his or her significant other, even if neither you nor your fiancé are close with that person. However, you are not required to invite all single guests with a “plus-one.” DON’T GAB ABOUT GIFTS.

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

“We see our clients really wanting to spend their money on accents and minor details like gold foiling, noticeably delicious paper stock and fun envelope liners, rather than many multiple pieces belonging to the whole package,” Bolivar says. “Most of our brides want to nix inner envelopes, wedding-detail and accommodation cards, maps, etc., and instead use their budget to make the invitations more substantial, and play with fun details.” ADD BIG BANG FOR LITTLE BUCK.

“I recommend the use of envelope liners and handmade paper bands as ways to add impact without a lot of money,” Goette says. “I source paper from all over the world, with bright colors and absolutely beautiful patterns. It’s an easy way to bring in something unexpected and unique, and the large sheets of paper are not too expensive.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  321


O REAL WEDDINGS

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photos: agape house studio


Kerri & Michael writer NATASHA GARBER

10.11.14

Casual friends for years—although, as the bride admits, “I had a pretty big crush on him”—Kerri and

Michael reconnected at a mutual friend’s party in 2010. It was the right time and right place for their love to bloom, and three years later, Michael surprised Kerri with a romantic proposal that included a five-course dinner of her favorite foods, and a post-proposal party with all of her closest friends and family. The pair kicked off their wedding weekend celebration with a rehearsal dinner at hot new Houston event venue Station 3, where Kerri happens to be the venue’s director. The bride’s brother officiated their personal ceremony, “and was hilarious and poignant,” Kerri says. The couple’s 165-guest reception at the Royal Sonesta Hotel included an “Outdoor Fun” space, featuring favorite outdoor games, and a dessert table with a tiered riser custom built by the groom and his father to house a monogrammed cupcake collage design. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  323


REAL WEDDINGS

couple kerri smelek

&

michael childress    number of guests 165    rehearsal

dinner station 3  venue  royal sonesta hotel  wedding colors  white

&

gray

 consultant & invitations  a day to remember  flowers arteflora  decor & rentals lbl event rentals; flora & eventi; johanna terry events  custom soundproofing dju productions  cake supreme kakes & more  wedding dress maggie sottero from weddings by debbie    honeymoon italy, greece

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spain


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1. L’Objet Snake Magnifying Glass BLUE LEAF 2. BERING’S 3. Rifle Paper Co. KUHL-LINSCOMB 4. Oberon by Jessica Tierney BELLA FIGURA 5. bell’INVITO BLUE LEAF 6. ISABELLA INVITATIONS 7. Haute Papier Gold Scissors KUHL-LINSCOMB

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ISABELLA INVITATIONS

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1. Rustic Thicket by Chelsea Petaja BELLA FIGURA 2. Fluttering Forever by Claire Pettibone WEDDING PAPER DIVAS 3. Vintage Clara by Claire Pettibone WEDDING PAPER DIVAS 4. Rustic Vineyard by Claire Pettibone WEDDING PAPER DIVAS

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finer details | gift

registry

Register

FOR NOW & ALWAYS

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

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

writer MAGGIE MARTON

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gift registry

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

On fashion runways, in wedding design and on dining room tabletops everywhere you look, metallics are major. To tap the trend, think about selecting items with metallic accents, rather

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than full metal pieces. If you already own good, solid silverware, consider registering for gold flatware—which, in most cases, means stainless steel with a gold electroplate finish. When paired with gold-rimmed china—also making a big comeback in the past few years—shiny gold flatware brings instant elegance to the table, especially when complemented by the warm golden glow of candlelight. Perhaps the most versatile and glamorous metallic tabletop touch is rimmed crystal. Whether you mix it in with rimless glassware atop your beautifully set dinner table, reserve it for your bar, or use it for a casual glass of wine with your girlfriends, metallic-rimmed crystal offers a great blend of vintage allure, fashionable fun and pure luxury—the perfect registry

combination. “Our Allegro crystal is clean, clear, classic crystal, but can be detailed with a platinum or gold rim, to make it pop, and give you the ability to accessorize it with other tabletop items,” says Celebrity China & Cookware bridal registry consultant Julia Hernandez. HOME STYLE

Including high-quality linens in your registry is the best way to create a cozy home that reflects your style. Whether it’s updating the sheets on your bed, the towels in your bathroom or the pillows on your couch, textile registry items allow you to stay current without over-committing to a fleeting trend. “Our customers are very interested in registering for Bella Notte Linens,” notes Michelle Bolivar, owner of beloved local boutique Blue Leaf Houston. “They are


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gift registry

very fine linens but with a casual elegance that today’s bride and groom are looking for. You get a beautiful bedroom, but with washable linens, which makes it worth every penny—especially when planning on a family.”   The same rules apply to kitchen and dining room linens. Fine tablecloths, cloth napkins and table runners are essentially fashion for your dining room, and require very little commitment or investment. A simple white or cream tablecloth instantly adds sophistication to a table, while hemstitched linen placemats offer a more laid-back, but still polished, look. For contemporary chic, pair a long, patterned runner with single-color napkins folded lengthwise and laid beneath each table setting. G R A C I O U S TA B L E

One persistent myth is that fine china is too delicate for everyday use. But due to the high heat used in its firing process, bone china and porcelain are actually quite strong and durable. Some are dishwasher friendly, too. Looking for one fabulous tablesetting option that will do double duty for daily meals and entertaining? Consider a white bone china, or banded china in white or ivory, perhaps with a gold or platinum rim for a touch of elegance. You can add accessories and table linens with pops of color to dress up or down your table settings. At Blue Leaf Houston, British tableware brand Royal Crown Derby, known for its highly decorative china and exquisite collectables, is a top choice with registering brides. The brand “has come up with some new china patterns that the brides are eating up,” notes Bolivar. “Brides come in to register for ‘everyday’ patterns, and they end up going crazy for Royal Crown Derby because they’re so special and cool.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  337


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gift registry And don’t forget to accessorize, she adds: “L’Objet has absolutely gorgeous salt and pepper shakers and napkin holders,” for example. “They’re so beautiful that brides think they’re little pieces of sculpture or art instead of salt and pepper shakers!” China can also be used as a foundation for layering trends or seasonal decor. Shuford says, “All of our classically beautiful fine china lines and patterns lend themselves to whatever might be trending at the moment. We generally suggest mixing in seasonalcolor placemats, glassware, napkin rings or chargers to achieve ‘inspiration’ looks our brides might find on Pinterest, Instagram or in magazines. These simple updates also make it easy for couples to bring in the inherited place settings they may already possess. Mixing and matching is always in style.” Another option is a durable, classic set of dinnerware. Hernandez recommends her White Rose contemporary china pattern to brides and grooms looking for solid, stylish china that can easily be dressed up, as needed, for more elaborate entertaining. Like a wellmade suit or go-to “little white dress,” White Rose place-settings “are easy to dress up with table accessories and interesting linens, but are perfect for casual dining and relaxed entertaining,” Hernandez says. And with Celebrity’s lifetime warranty behind them, these dishes can always be replaced if damaged, and you can rest assured the pattern will never be discontinued. JUST FOR FUN

While it’s important to register for dining and living staples, it’s equally important to register for items that fit your interests and hobbies. Shuford notes, “Wedding registries are a reflection of each couple’s likes as well as 338  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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needs. Invited guests who are shopping registries often find grilling equipment, gardening gear or other less traditional registry items endearing, because these items remind them of the bride’s or groom’s interests.” One way to add fun and flair to your registry is with a cool kitchen gadget. Love fried goodies, but don’t want to blow the great bridal body you’ve worked so hard to achieve? Register for an air fryer, which turns out favorites including French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, with a fraction of the fat. If you and your hubby just can’t resist dessert, stock your registry with a few items that will allow you to prepare sweet treats together. Favorite items include devices for making miniature pies, homemade ice cream, decadent milkshakes and whimsical cake pops. If you anticipate an abundance of parties in your future, consider a nifty Breville Pizza Maker, which makes brick-oven-style pizzas in a matter of minutes, or a Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker (yes, that really is the name), for whipping up delicious drinks to beat Houston’s perpetual heat. For couples with artful ambitions and a taste for the unique and statement-making, iconic Houston retailer Kuhl-Linscomb is a must-visit registry destination. Whimsical and intriguing pieces abound in the store’s sprawling yet intimate showroom compound, and include everything from jeweled napkin rings to hammered metal charger plates to signature pieces from designers including Jonathan Adler, Simon Pearce and Michael Aram.

comfortable, select items in a wide range of price points, so all of your guests can choose gifts they can afford. You don’t want your college friend feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he can’t find a single gift he can afford; and on the opposite side, you don’t want your parents’ closest friends to have to buy you a multitude of smaller items to give you a generous gift. In Shuford’s words: “Just like no two couples are the same, guests have various gifting preferences. The best registries include a mix of prices and types of items, which help to ensure that guests feel comfortable finding something they will be excited purchasing.” Since you want your guests to have a few gifts to choose from, it is important to have two to three items on your

gift registry

list for each wedding invitation you send out. Some people recommend basing your gift-selection number on the number of guests, but couples and families usually send one gift, so going off of invitation count is your best bet. If you’re having a shower, add one additional gift for each shower guest. When a guest buys a gift for you, your registry should automatically update, allowing other guests to see what’s been purchased. As products are purchased, make sure to revisit your registry often to update it with additional selections, so that guests always have a variety of things to choose from. online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

REGISTRY RULES

Selecting gifts for your registry is a pleasure—and buying those gifts should be equally pleasurable for your guests. To make gift-buying easier and more W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  339


Plug and Play

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Hot appliances and cool gadgets. 1. KENWOOD BLEND-X PRO BLENDER kenwoodworld.com 2. OMEGA VSJ843 JUICER omegajuicers.com 3. WEST ELM MARKET TOASTER westelm.com 4. ALL-CLAD SLOW COOKER williams-sonoma.com 5. KITCHENAID 600 DESIGN SERIES BOWL-LIFT STAND MIXER kitchenaid.com  6. EXCALIBUR CLEAR-DOOR DEHYDRATOR excaliburdehydrator.com W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  341


O REAL WEDDINGS

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photos: nancy aidee photography


Maribeth & Wes writer NATASHA GARBER

11.15.14

Wes chose Waco’s Carleen Bright Arboretum as the site to stage a surprise proposal to his girlfriend, and fellow

Baylor University student, Maribeth. “It was my birthday, he had brought a picnic, and I thought, ‘What a fun way to celebrate on such a beautiful afternoon,’” Maribeth recounts. “After we finished eating, it was time to open presents. I opened my first gift and loved it. Then Wes asked if I would close my eyes because he didn't have a chance to wrap the next gift. Not surprised, I covered my eyes. Then, it all hit me! I was about to be proposed to,” Maribeth recounts. The couple’s romantic country-club wedding, done up in shades of blush and gold, treated 300 guests to an evening of dining, dancing and plenty of bubbly: “One of my favorite parts of the wedding—that was also enjoyed immensely by our guests—was our Champagne bar,” which featured Champagne glasses suspended on ribbon strands from tall floral arrangements and sparkling gold sign that read, “Cheers.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  343


REAL WEDDINGS

couple maribeth drake

wesley pruitt    number of guests 300  wedding colors blush, champagne & gold  flowers the senterpiece  cake susie’s cakes & confections  wedding &

dress alvina valenta from ivory bridal atelier  bridal accessories mia bridal couture 

  jewelry zadok jewelers    registry kuhl-linscomb    honeymoon mauritius

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dubai


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finer details | music

& entertainment

All Night FUN

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

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

writer CHERISE LUTER ~ photo J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

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music & entertainment

C E R E M O N Y S TA G I N G

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

Once the ceremony is done, the cocktail hour is the time to get guests into a celebratory mood. Mixing and matching live music with a DJ is an updated way to entertain during this transition, suggests Jason Fajkus, vice president of DJU Productions. “A string quartet (three violins and one cello) and a DJ play music together. The DJ plays the beats, and the strings play the lyrics. It’s amazing entertainment for guests, as it is cocktail music, but like they’ve never heard cocktail music before.” Adds Lewis Grell of LG Enteratinment: “It’s always nice to add some spice with a saxophonist to play over 348  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

music during your cocktail hour, or an electric violin or percussionst.” Graham agrees that playing familiar tunes is the best choice to keep guests entertained while those hors d’oeuvre are being passed. “People enjoy it when they can recognize a song; they tend to sing along to it, which I’ve noticed is contagious. If the bride and groom give me free reign, I’ll get some ideas from the guests. ‘Linus and Lucy’ (the ‘Peanuts’ theme) and the ‘Rocky’ theme are always big crowd favorites.” Making the transition from cocktails to the main bash is important, too. “If the cocktail hour is in the foyer, and the ballroom doors suddenly open, this is our opportunity to really set the mood,” notes DJ, emcee and entertainer extraordinaire Jonny Black, of Jonny Black Productions. At this point, it’s time to up the volume, but not too much—“We don’t want to blast them, this is not a club,” Black says—“but we do want to get on the mike and take charge, tell them what’s going to happen, so they can enjoy themselves without worrying about it.” Speaking of that mike, Grell notes: “Your MC is one of the most important parts of your entertainment. He’s going to be the one who’s making the guests feel welcome, give that special touch to the evening’s atmosphere.” And remember, for a more formal black-tie setting, “Your MC should be separate from your DJ, with more of a spotlight effect going on.” For the ultimate in personalization, couples can have a song written just for them, for their first dance. When creating an original composition, Graham goes out of his way to learn as much as possible about the couple, so the piece reflects them. “When I compose a song for a couple, I like to tell their story. I start with asking questions about how

they met, their likes and dislikes, their favorite places to visit, and what they enjoy together as a couple, adding elements from their individual personalities to create a melody and turn it into a beautiful song to celebrate their union.” DINNER & DANCING

Dinner entertainment is sometimes overlooked, but couples should never opt for dead air, even while their guests are enjoying their meals. “Some parents and older guests might not want to stick around through the wilder late-night partying part of the evening. During dinner is a great time to appeal to their tastes,” Black says. “Go for slower classics, from the time when they got married. It’s a great way to make that connection with everyone in the room.” Because, if the celebrating is going strong later on, “and all of a sudden Mom comes and says to the DJ, ‘Play Sinatra,’ you’ve just lost the party atmosphere.” Once the dining is done, it’s time to let loose and pump up the volume, and have your DJ or band play songs that you love, along with high-energy music from your backgrounds and cultures (Indian bhangra, Latin salsa, a Jewish hora, etc.). For a fun club vibe, turn the lights down and let guests help themselves to glow sticks and cocktails illuminated with LED ice cubes. So cool! GETTING INTERACTIVE

Props, games and interactive entertainment have become ubiquitous elements at wedding receptions. Couples have even incorporated them into their cocktail hour for a little pre-game warmup. They add another layer to the merriment and give guests who may not be keen on dancing a chance to get in on the fun. One of the newest trends in


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interactive entertainment has been the incorporation of social media. Photo booths are now “fully connected social-media photo stations,” says Fajkus. “Guests can upload to Facebook, or text or email themselves their photo. Also, by using Instagram, they can take a picture anywhere,

hashtag the photo, and it will print out at our photo station printer. It’s a great way to take pictures anywhere at the event and have them print on site.” Interactive entertainment is not just a sideline to dance-floor action. Couples can opt to have a dance floor that reads and responds to dance

movements, Fajkus says. “So a bed of roses can be displayed on the floor, but as guests dance across, the roses will push out of the way and a monogram or any image or video can be displayed underneath. The floor has over 175 different applications, so no matter the theme or layout, the interactive projection will wow guests as it moves when they move.” THE GRAND FINALE

Once the last glass of bubbly has been poured, it is time for a fond farewell— but not a low-key one. A well-chosen song and a little production magic are the perfect recipe for a memorable sendoff. When choosing a final song, make sure it is consistent with the rest of the day’s mood. “Glad You Came” by The Wanted is terrific for couples with a passion for pop, “Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes—also known as the “Dirty Dancing” song— works well for a nostalgic feel, and for couples looking for a bona-fide classic, “Save the Last Dance For Me,” sung by Michael Bublé, is a surefire hit. And while Bublé is a fabulous choice, bubbles are…not so much. “It’s really hard for a photographer to shoot bubbles—not to mention the fact that they’re very slippery,” Grell says. “Do your send-off with ribbon wands instead. They look great in photos and they won’t break any venue rules.” Black’s last bit of advice: “You want to end on a high note, with a big bang. We discourage couples from having parties that last longer than five hours, so that everyone stays until the end. Whether it’s a slow or fast song, we are always going to get guests on the floor for one last hoorah, then send them off for the evening. That way, the majority of guests are present, and the sendoff pictures are awesome.” 350  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


O REAL WEDDINGS

photos: a&a photo and video

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Jamie & Jason1 writer NATASHA GARBER

11.22.14

“He is my first love, and my only love,” says bride Jamie of her groom Jason, whom she met at a friend’s sweet-16 party,

became good friends with in college, and finally started dating during senior year. After a proposal-that-almost-wasn’t—the groom had to coax the bride rather forcefully to open the cupcake box that actually contained her ring, when she begged off of dessert, having just gotten home from a celebratory 30th birthday meal with co-workers—the couple got to work planning their 315-guest celebration. At the Omni Hotel, celebrants gathered for a softly lit ceremony, the bride turning heads in her Hayley Paige ballgown. “The reception continued our ceremony theme of elegance with a splash of fun,” Jamie says, “including color-changing uplighting, glow sticks and light-up batons, to keep the party going all night long!” The bride’s favorite moment? The bridal party’s dance to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” of course!

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REAL WEDDINGS

couple jamie lim

jason shing  number of guests 315  venue  omni hotel riverway  wedding colors  navy, cream & gold  cake susie’s cakes & confections  wedding dress hayley paige from now & forever bridal boutique &

 bridesmaid dresses weddings by debbie  entertainment scott graham piano

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photo: larry fagala flowers, decor & rentals: aj’s urban petals location: the astorian


PHOTOGRAPHY 358 VIDEOGRAPHY 386

Documenting

THE DAY

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

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

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documenting the day | photography

Picture

THIS

GREAT WEDDING PHOTOS ARE A MATTER OF SHARED VISION.

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

writer CARRIE SKUPINSKY ~ photo LARRY FAGALA

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flowers & decor: todd events gown: ivory bridal atelier headpiece: brickhouse bridal ring: zadok jewelers

location CHATEAU COCOMAR decor PLANTS N’ PETALS


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photography

S I M PAT I C O , S Y N C E D , P S Y C H E D

You and your fiancé have been learning a lot about your preferences and personal tastes as you plan your wedding. For photos that will please you both, as long as you both shall live, you’ll want to hire a person who “gets” you—your life, your love, and your distinct personality as a couple. Barett Henry of Civic Photos says, “Deciding what type of photography impresses you will give you a great head start in selecting the photographer for your special day. Do you want traditional or fine art photography? Do you like vibrant colors or a vintage look? By sharing this crucial information, you can get insight as to how the photographer you’re communicating with can help fulfill that vision.” It may take some time to find the right person.

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“Don’t give up on what you want for your photographer,” says photographer Steve Lee. “Keep looking until you find the perfect match.” As an experienced professional, and a photographic artist, the photographer may have ideas to take your vision one step further, or suggest great shots you’d never even considered. “I personally love shooting in fields with tall and faded grass, since the couple really stands out in those settings,” says Henry. Adds photographer Akil Bennett: “I usually try to shoot in locations with lots of greenery. This makes for a beautiful background.” Just as important as your appreciation for your photographer’s artistic style is your comfort level with your photographer as a person—one who will be at your side, documenting every moment,

on the most important occasion of your life. “Booking an engagement session is a great way to get comfortable with your photographer before the wedding,” notes photographer Layla Hillail, owner of Le Zu Photography. “You’ll reassure yourself that they are comfortable with you, and you are with them, and you’ll get to see their process before your wedding day.” No time, budget or desire for an engagement session or bridal portrait session? “Do something with your photographer to get to know them on a personal level,” Hillail adds. “It doesn’t have to be with them behind the camera, it can be dinner or coffee—but definitely get to know the person you’re going to be working with.” Adds photographer Jessica Sowyrda of Ever & Anon Photography, “My best


documenting the day |

photography

piece of advice on finding the right wedding photographer is to make sure you pick the one you have the best connection with, and can completely trust on your wedding day. You’ll have enough things to worry about that day; your photographer should not be one of them.” She also advises: “Ask to view full wedding galleries to get a sense of what their complete style is. Communicate exactly what your expectations are up front and don’t be afraid to ask questions to make things clear.” GET THE BIG PICTURE

Once you’ve homed in on your style and have your top photographer choices in mind, decide together what add-ons are most important for you, and work them into your budget. For starters, don’t make any assumptions

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about what’s included in the photography fee, referred to as the “investment” by most wedding photographers. “Some photographers include prints in their wedding collections, but this should be one of the items you ask about during your consultation with the photographer prior to booking,” says Henry. For most wedding couples, the wedding album is the most memorable item one can have from their wedding day. You want to be able to go back and feel like you were there; and others should be able to pick up the album and understand the story of your wedding day. While you’re talking wedding packages with your potential photographers, make sure to inquire about what they have to offer as far as types of albums,

turnaround time and cost of prints, and unique products they might specialize in, such as reproductions on canvas. P R E PA R E F O R T H E S P O T L I G H T

On one of the most exciting and emotional days of your life, being followed by the paparazzi can be more than a little nerve-wracking, especially for the shy bride. As Lee says, “Having hundreds of photos taken of you can be an awkward experience. The good news is that as the shoot goes on, you will naturally become more comfortable.” “Just try your best to ignore us,” Bennett advises. “I know it can be difficult at times, but we generally like to keep our distance to help with this. This way we can capture beautiful moments and interactions throughout the day. When


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photography posing, I like to give minimal instructions to my clients. I let them do whatever comes naturally. If the portraits are too staged, then the expressions I get aren’t authentic.” Throwing a little touch-up kit into your bridal clutch will keep your big-day beauty going strong. Make sure it includes lipstick or lip gloss, blotting papers and pressed powder, along with a fluffy brush, for a fresh look throughout the day and night. SET A SCHEDULE

When it comes to scheduling your couples’ shots and wrangling your (tipsy and exuberant) bridal party and family for formal photos, communication with your photographer and all those photo subjects beforehand is key. A shot list given to the photographer prior to the wedding, as well as to your consultant or coordinator, will help things run more smoothly. “A suggested timeline is great—it doesn’t have to be followed to a ‘T,’” Hillail says. But make sure to get everyone on the same page. The bridal party, for instance, “should be ready 30 minutes before the wedding, for photos and last-minute things.” “I highly recommend doing a first look—it’s my favorite part of the wedding day,” says Bennett. “Try your best to minimize the number of people present. I know family and the wedding party are just as excited, but it makes for a really nice moment if the couple can have some privacy.” “You might do a first-look shot alone, and then do all your family photos before the ceremony,” says Lee. “Be sure to let your wedding party and family know where to be and when.” “While the wedding party is walking from the ceremony to the cocktail hour or between shot locations, you get great spontaneous moments to 364  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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photography capture,” notes Henry. He also suggests, “Take time during the reception for individual family shots with the bride and groom.” Don’t forget to consider the time of day when plotting your photography timeline. The experts all agree that the hour of the day during which images are shot have a major effect on the mood of the lighting, especially for outdoor shots. “I like to start shooting either two hours before sunset, or 30 minutes after sunrise (for engagement or bridal shoots). The lighting is really soft and beautiful which allows for more flattering portraits,” says Bennett. THE FINISHING TOUCH

After the party, some couples want a total mental break from the wedding, while others obsess over Facebook from their honeymoon hotel, looking for candid wedding snapshots. Either way, you’ll want to know what to expect when you’re expecting your professional photos. Henry suggests asking the following: “How many images should I expect from the wedding day? How long will it take before I see the images in an online gallery?” Photo editing, too, is something you should discuss in depth to best manage expectations. Determining which images you may want edited more heavily (such as your bridal or couple portraits) and what your photographer provides, is important. “You should ask which images taken on the wedding day will be edited. The image style you love will determine what type of photo editing you will require of your wedding photographer,” says Henry. “We edit our photos for color, exposure and cropping, and release digital negatives with personal printing rights 366  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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photography from the wedding,” says Lee. And speaking of usage rights, that’s another point to bring up with your photographer as well, to make sure that you are all in agreement regarding printing, posting and displaying your wedding images. When booking your photographer, “Don’t forget to read their contract so you know exactly what their terms are and what they offer,” Sowyrda adds. “And last but not least, enjoy the experience as much as possible!”

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The key to great images is the connection between the photographer and bride. It’s a vulnerable moment for most brides, so it is really important that the bride feels safe and adored while in front of the camera.

—Jessica Sowyrda, Ever & Anon Photography


Beauty, Undercover BRIDAL BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWS ITS EDITORIAL EDGE. A little skin…or a lot. An abandoned barn in a field of high summer grass, or a rumpled bed in a professionally lit urban studio. Facing the camera, or in profile. However and wherever brides are choosing to pose for bridal boudoir photography, they are choosing to do boudoir in greater and greater numbers. Thinking about taking a walk on the wild side—or even just showing off a bit of shoulder—but not quite sure you’re ready for the camera? Famed Houston photographer Joe Cogliandro tells clients who are considering boudoir, “Remember, you only have this body once.” Wouldn’t it be lovely to document it, in all its sexy splendor, for your one and only? EXPERIENCE COUNTS

As an award-winning portrait and veteran fine-art photographer, Cogliandro knows getting beautiful images relies on making his client comfortable. He eases his boudoir clients’ anxieties, and brings out their best, by making the boudoir experience just that—an experience, from planning to posing. “Jessi, our stylist, meets with the bride to begin creating parameters and a framework for the shoot,” he explains. “She will find out how the bride sees herself, the things she thinks are attractive,

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo EVER & ANON PHOTOGRAPHY

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the way she thinks her fiancé would like to see her.” Next comes an inspiration board, followed by selection of outfits and accessories—even lingerie-shopping accompanied by Jessi as consultant and stylist. “It’s really the whole experience,” Cogliandro says. “We want to create something that feels like you. We want it to feel like a high-end fashion shoot or an editorial campaign, with lots of thought and intent behind it.” SITE SELECTION

Cogliandro, who has shot bridal boudoir in Hawaii, California, Las Vegas and right here at home in Houston, to name just a few locations, says choosing a sentimental spot for your shoot works wonders to set the mood. “Say the couple had a sexy, romantic weekend at the beach a year ago, and maybe that weekend really set their relationship off—we might go back to the hotel where they stayed,” the photographer notes. “The groom, when he sees the photos, is really going to be connected to that place because of the time they had there.” Photographer Jessica Sowyrda, of bride favorite Ever & Anon Photography, confesses, “As much as I love shooting

photo: j cogliandro photography

boudoir outdoors, my favorite location for boudoir photography is inside a studio, to give a very feminine and intimate feel.” Her favorite studio spaces have “beautiful natural light filtering in through the windows, and lots of different textures to work with”—the perfect setting for her soft, breezy style. GETTING PREPPED

photo: steve lee photography

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For Sowyrda, looking beautiful for your bridal shoot depends as much on inner peace as outer accoutrements. “Go shopping and find outfits you will feel not only stunning in, but comfortable, too,” she advises. “The key to great images is the connection between the photographer and bride. It’s a vulnerable moment for most brides, so it is really important that the bride feels safe and adored while in front of the camera.” Also, she notes, “Let your photographer know if there are specific areas of your body you are insecure about. That way the photographer can make sure he or she accentuates the areas you love and not those you aren’t as crazy about.” As for the shoot day itself, “I definitely suggest booking hair and makeup with a professional makeup artist,” she adds. “This will give you that added boost of confidence,


photo: ever & anon photography

knowing that you look your absolute best and feel completely beautiful.” And of course, a good boudoir photographer always has Champagne on hand, to quell any last-minute jitters. “Champagne helps everything,” Cogliandro laughs. GLAMOUR GIRL

For the bride who wants to show her sexier side—just not too much of it—top Houston photographer Steve Lee offers “glamour” photography with a portraiture feel. “The bride comes in, we do hair and makeup, we serve Champagne, the whole experience,” Lee explains. “Then we do a portrait session, with head shots to mid-body shots. We really go for a contemporary, Hollywood, ‘Vanity Fair’ feel, so it’s geared not just toward boudoir.” Lee says these glamour sessions are popular with more conservative brides, who may want to show off the great skin, hair and figures they’ve been giving so much attention to in advance of their big day—but “not full body. It’s really more portrait-like…with a sexy twist.”

P R I VAT E A F FA I R

Once your boudoir photos are shot and edited, favorite images can be saved in a bound book for you to share with the love of your life. Some brides who opt for boudoir give their private photos to their fiancé after a romantic dinner for two—a moment of intimacy in the midst of the wedding-planning frenzy. Other brides choose to share their boudoir images with their new husband during their honeymoon, or save their boudoir photos as a first-year anniversary gift. No matter what you choose to do with your boudoir photos, you can rest assured that your professional boudoir photographer—like the ones featured in this story—will treat your shoot and your images with complete discretion, and take every measure to protect your privacy. And, most importantly, they’ll capture your special bridal glow—the essence of your femininity. “Boudoir is one of my favorite styles to photograph,” Sowyrda says, “because these woman usually don’t know how beautiful they are—and I am there to show them just that.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  373


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if you miss ’em

22 SHOTS YOU’LL MISS MAKE SURE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES THESE ESSENTIAL WEDDING MOMENTS FOR POSTERITY. writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo J. COGLIANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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

One of the most memorable moments of an already momentous occasion, this emotion-packed photo is one no bride and groom should be without. HAIR & MAKEUP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GROOM & MOM

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

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

BRIDE’S PROCESSIONAL

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

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

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

B R I D E /G R O O M W I T H E X T E N D E D FA M I LY

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

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

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

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

B R I D A L PA R T Y

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

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

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

performance, “I can capture truly candid and sweet moments between the bride and groom,” says photographer Steve Lee. “At this time, they tend to really show their emotions.”

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

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

this

A great way to open or close an album, attention-grabbing signage sets the tone for a book of beautiful photos. F O U R - L E G G E D FA M I LY M E M B E R S

FIRST KISS

During

RECEPTION SIGNAGE

heartfelt,

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unpracticed

FAT H E R / D A U G H T E R & MOTHER/SON DANCE

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

Often, marriage means officially ‘adopting’ your beloved’s pet(s). If you plan to have your four-legged companion included in your nuptials, make sure to pose with your pup. N E W LY W E D S S E N D O F F

THE CAKE

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

The couple’s reception departure (often flanked by guests waving ribbon wands or tossing rose petals), followed by the newlyweds nuzzling in the backseat of the getaway car are two shots which capture the exuberant festivity of the day and the profound intimacy of marriage. Get ’em both!


O REAL WEDDINGS

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Olivia & Jeff

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography JOSEPH WEST PHOTOGRAPHY

11.08.14

Olivia and Jeff first met as high-school at Lamar, where, Olivia admits, “I knew he’d had a crush on me, but

nothing ever came of it.” A few years later, though, when both returned to Houston after finishing college, it was a different story: “Jeff says he wasn’t going to let me go that time!” The couple said their vows in front of 150 guests at the bride’s parents’ home, Olivia outfitted in a ruffled Monique Lhuillier gown accessorized with family jewelry. For their celebration, the couple chose a Mardi Gras theme, paying homage to the bride’s New Orleans roots. Bridesmaids dressed in jewel-tone dresses of their own choosing, Creole favorites filled the menu, and elaborate masks “allowed friends and family to come in, let loose and enjoy themselves fully,” in true Mardi Gras tradition. Three words Olivia uses to sum up the festivities? “So. Much. Fun!” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  381


REAL WEDDINGS

couple olivia hall

jeff simmons  number of guests 150  wedding colors jewel tones  invitations isabella invitations  wedding dress monique lhuillier  registry bering’s  photography joseph west photography  honeymoon puerto rico

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JUST

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KIRK AND LAURA KNIGHT, STARS OF BRAVO’S HIT REALITY SERIES “NEWLYWEDS THE FIRST YEAR,” DISH ON THEIR COURTSHIP, BIG DC WEDDING AND CRINGE-WORTHY MOMENTS ON NATIONAL TV. writer MICHELLE NAIK ~ photos RODNEY BAILEY PHOTOGRAPHY

All marriages are based on compromise—a balancing of tastes and ambitions. That includes the marriage of Kirk and Laura Knight, who met, fell in love and married in the nation’s capital after both moving there for a “fresh start.” The difference for Laura, a high-achieving, super-stylish insurance-brokerageowner and Pilates instructor, and Kirk, an excitement-seeking entrepreneur and self-confessed “overgrown kid,” is that they are living out that balancing act in front of millions of viewers, on Bravo’s “Newlyweds The First Year.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  383


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Weddings in Houston: How did you meet? Laura: We were set up on a true blind date. Neither of us were on social media and we were both nervous to meet one another for the first time without having any way to gauge what the other would look like or any idea of their personality. After deciding on a casual meeting at Starbucks, the two of us hit it off right away and spent two and a half hours chatting and getting to know one another. The instant chemistry was undeniable! WIH: After the first date, how did you know he/she was the one? Laura: I had a few travel plans shortly after our first date and we ended up spending a lot of time talking on the phone, sometimes for as long as three or four hours. Everything between us felt more authentic than I had ever felt with anyone before. I learned quickly that we had the same values and zest for life. 384  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

Kirk: Laura and I connected from the beginning. We share so many similar interests, morals and values, and a sense of humor. I knew she was the one very quickly. But we were patient and really let our love grow. WIH: How did Kirk pop the question? Laura: Kirk completely surprised me with his proposal. He took me to CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in D.C., where we were seated in the center of the restaurant. Little did I know it would be center stage for his proposal. After several amazing courses, Kirk excused himself to the restroom, returning with an armful of roses. He was standing in front of me, declaring his unfaltering love, then dropped down to one knee and opened that little square box that every girl dreams of. Tears of joy were streaming down my face, the entire restaurant was applauding and I said, “Yes!” Kirk asked if he could take me

to the top floor of the Mandarin for a celebratory drink. Walking down the hall, he pulled out a key and opened a set of double doors leading to the palatial presidential suite where our friends were all anxiously awaiting with Champagne. From there we piled into a limo and headed to a nightclub, where we danced the night away. The whole evening was truly surreal. WIH: Describe your wedding. Laura: We envisioned a quintessential downtown D.C. wedding. It took place at The Carnegie Institute for Science on a beautiful fall evening. The Carnegie is a gorgeous historic building with a grand multi-columned entryway, three-story rotunda, marble floors and sweeping staircases. Our wedding colors—champagne, silver, ivory and touches of blush—complemented the ornate style of the venue. A string trio performed throughout the length of the ceremony, cocktail hour and


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dinner. I walked down the aisle with my father to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” in a breathtaking fitted mermaid gown. The ceremony was so touching, Kirk choked up a little and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It felt like the greatest moment of my life. We added personal touches wherever we could. Custom table linens with satin swirls to match the tulle swirls of my gown adorned the dining tables. We wanted the tablescape to feel romantic, so we added lots of mercury votive candles and larger blooming flowers. The bourbon bar with chocolate truffles was a big hit. We also hand-picked each song to ensure the dance floor would be packed until the end of the night. The event was stunning, the food delicious, the drinks flowed and everyone had the time of their lives.

WIH: What were you looking forward to most as newlyweds? Laura: After all of the wedding planning, we were thrilled to spend two weeks honeymooning in Hawaii! After that, being able to spend our lives together and planning our future. WIH: We all know that the first year or marriage is the most important— and sometimes the hardest. How has it been, being on “Newlyweds The First Year,” and sharing that experience with the public? Laura: We certainly faced some very difficult times during our first year, and throughout it all we showed one another how solid we are in our union. The show sort of fades into the background and the focus is on our own lives. We have been fortunate in how we have been received by the public,

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which, for the most part, has been very supportive. WIH: What has been your favorite— and least favorite—part about being on national television? Laura: Our favorite part of being on national television would be the adventure of the experience. Our least favorite would be those cringe-worthy moments when you put your foot in your mouth. WIH: What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding…and their marriage? Kirk: Don’t rush into anything, take time getting to know and love one another. The planning process can be a lot of fun, so don’t stress, and just enjoy it. Keep reminding yourself that the most important part of your big day is celebrating your marriage.

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The Voice

OF VIDEO

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

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

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo LARRY FAGALA

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

“Sometimes trends are worth following, and other times, they’re not,” notes Emmy-winning filmmaker and in-demand Houston wedding videographer Alex Douglas of Sculpting With Time Productions. “We approach filmmaking with the intention that we want our film to be as powerful and moving when you see it 20 years from now, as it was the first time you saw it.” For Sculpting With Time clients, that means “having a film that really captures and personifies who the bride and groom are as people,” Douglas explains. “The novelty of having a trendy wedding film that looks like a music video is wearing off. Regardless of who our client is, we want their personality, their passions and their love to really shine through.” Joey Mathews of 31 Films, notes, “Our couples are really interested in story-based editing—not just flashy camera moves, but telling the story of the day in a beautiful and meaningful way.” Not only does the client appreciate this type of wedding film more, but the filmmaker is more appreciative, too: “It’s an exciting trend for us because we feel that what we are creating for them has a timeless reach—something that they will love sharing for generations to come.” Skilled in technique, and stocked with the latest in technology, Daniel Salazar of Seventh Ray Films says the key to capturing unforgettable wedding footage is knowing his clients, and their priorities: “We care deeply about the films we do and the stories we help create. We try to go out of our way to really pay attention to what each couple wants us to focus on. Do they want to see a room full of friends and family? Do they want to really capture the flowers they spent thousands of 388  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM


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dollars on? We find out what they care about most and we focus on that.” As for equipment, Salazar says, “We have it all—steadycams, drone technology, everything. But we don’t focus on one piece of equipment. We really let the couple’s story dictate which equipment is right for the moment.” EDITS & EXTRAS

Eddie Hafiz, of Pixel Studio Productions, a Houston film studio known for its cinematic and documentary film styles, focuses as much on film editing as on the shooting itself. “We’re offering our clients custom edits, with a two-week turnaround,” he notes. “The client has the option to sit with the editor to make custom tweaks.” Pixel Studio also offers same-day edits of ceremony footage that can be

screened at the reception, as well as behind-the-scenes “love story” videos with intimate interviews, and effects like 3D animation. Mathews likes to screen the couple’s love story film, usually shot about a month before the wedding, just before the newlyweds are introduced at the reception. “We’ve even started mixing the love story film with a same-day edit that includes portions of the day mixed with their story,” he adds. “It has a huge impact, while also sharing with your guests the story of how you met. People are blown away by it.” Douglas also likes to shoot short videos as save-the-dates—a thrilling alternative to the typical sent-by-post announcements. And, “For guests that can’t be in attendance,” he says, “we stream a live simulcast of your wedding

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online so that they can be there in spirit. The options are as endless as your creativity!” SHORT & SWEET

While wedding films mimic feature films in many ways, when it comes to run times—which seem to grow ever longer for features—wedding films are moving in the opposite direction. Videographers throughout the nation are finding that when it comes to wedding films, couples want to keep it short and sweet. That’s a marked change from five or 10 years ago, when the standard was an hour-long video. Today’s couples typically want to relive their entire wedding day in five to 10 minutes, more in the style of popular YouTube clips. Shorter wedding films allow no down time in the video for

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videography people to look away, making them a great choice for sharing video with wedding guests and far-flung friends or family who may not have been able to attend. To make sure that couples don’t miss out on important moments, videographers will also supply an extended cut, for keepsake purposes. This cut may include the entire ceremony, shot from different angles, so the couple can experience that moment exactly as it was, with nothing edited out; ditto for the first dance and reception speeches. SHARE & SHOW OFF

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

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and edited, it’s time for the sharing to begin. Experiencing your wedding film with friends and family, whether virtually, or gathered around the big screen, is always a thrill. So ensure that your videographer is prepared to provide you with your film in a format you can share and share...and share again. Many videographers are turning to popular video-viewing website Vimeo, which charges a monthly fee to the videographer, but allows for private, password-protected videos, and forgoes advertisements. Filmmakers will post a one-minute Vimeo film trailer within 10 days of the wedding, or provide the trailer to the client on a USB drive, from which they can drag and drop it on their computer. It makes it very easy to share with their family

members, colleagues and friends on Facebook and other social media sites. It’s important to note that expert film editing takes time, and is worth the wait. Salazar explains that the editing process is as important, if not more important, than the filming itself. Seventh Ray Films’ couples can expect to receive their three- to five-minute highlight reel within about four to five weeks after the wedding. The longer, more complete edit usually is available to the couple about six to eight weeks after the big day. To add even more star-power to the film experience, some videographers will create a custom movie poster for the couple, with “credits” listing everyone involved—the wedding party, flower girl, etc.—and a custom title for the movie.

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Hafiz, meanwhile, notes that his clients get either a DVD or Blu Ray disc, or both if they prefer. “We’ll also post their video on a blog,” he adds. For 31 Films’ clients, “Facebook is probably the most widely used site for sharing wedding videos,” Mathews says, “but there are other creative platforms like Instagram to share a short teaser film with friends and family.” Douglas suggests “brides and grooms break out the Champagne and popcorn, and have a viewing party with all their VIPs before sharing their films online.” By watching the film together with your nearest and dearest, “You’ll all laugh and cry together, and they’ll feel special to have been shown the film before the world of social media sees it.”

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location: st. regis aspen


DESTINATION WEDDING & HONEYMOON 394 YOUR NEW HOME 408

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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Punta Cana

PARADISE

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

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

writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photo EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA

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SANCTUARY CAP CANA BY ALSOL www.sanctuarycapcana.com

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

ACTION & ADVENTURE

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

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

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

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

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


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EDEN ROC

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destination wedding & honeymoon

AT CAP CANA

www.edenroccapcana.com

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

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

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

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

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

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

ACTION & ADVENTURE Like Sanctuary Cap Cana, Eden Roc offers guests access to all of Cap Cana’s exhilarating activities, on both land and sea. Off property, there’s the par-72 Punta Espada golf course, of course, along with cave expeditions, deep-sea fishing and cigar-factory tours. On site, meanwhile, indulge in your choice of W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  397


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destination wedding & honeymoon

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

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

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

ROMANCE & RELAXATION The resort’s signature Yhi Spa is a must-try experience for wedding-weary honeymooners. Slip into the spa’s Oriental Garden for a decadent foot massage, tropical wrap and tea ritual, or sit back in the aromatic steam of the spa’s Finnish sauna. Sip tropical drinks side by side at one of the resort’s 398  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

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

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

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


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just married |

destination wedding & honeymoon

GET AWAY

from it al�

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

The wedding, as ritual and celebration, has plenty of social, logistical and family etiquette associated with it—most of which you’ll encounter for the very first time when planning your big day. For destination-wedding couples, the rules of etiquette (who’s invited, who pays for what, how do we find time to be together alone, etc.) are somewhat different, and often difficult to navigate. Q: What are the hosts—whether the bride and groom, or one or the other’s or both sets of parents—supposed to pay for? A: “Typically, the bride and groom pay for the rehearsal dinner for everyone attending the wedding, and, of course, for the wedding ceremony and reception food and drinks,” notes Houston-based planner Deborah Elias, whose company, Elias Events, specializes in destination weddings. She 400  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

adds that some clients like to spring for extras like golf, or day trips for their guests—though these add-ons are by no means a requirement. Guests are expected to pay for their own travel expenses and accommodations, unless you are planning a very small destination wedding, or renting out an entire property for your wedding weekend. Q: Who should absolutely be invited to the destination wedding, and how should save-the-dates and invitations be handled? A: While it’s a fabulous getaway for all invited, this is still your wedding. Unless you’re plotting an elopement, you should plan to invite your immediate families and closest friends. Most destination wedding couples do not invite acquaintances or work colleagues—though some do. Since time off work


just married |

and travel planning are involved, it is thoughtful to send save-the-dates anywhere from six months to a full year out from the planned wedding date. Invitations should follow two to three months ahead of the wedding date. If you’re concerned about hurting the feelings of those you simply are unable to invite, due to the travel logistics and financial commitment of the typical destination wedding, plan to host a celebratory “newlywed” bash some time soon after you return home. It doesn’t have to be wedding-fancy, but should be full of friends, family, food, drink, music, laughter and…fun. Q: We’re thrilled to have our nearest and dearest attending our destination wedding—but we’d like to get some “alone time,” too. What should we do? A: Most destination wedding weekends last only two to four days, max. That’s not a lot of time, once you factor in staggered arrivals and departures, travel time, etc. You probably won’t have this unique opportunity again, so take advantage of it. Be with your friends and family, even if it’s just lounging casually on the beach, or breakfasting together on the terrace of your Tuscan villa. Elias advises enlisting a good destination-wedding planner or a local destination management company (DMC), either of which will know all of the area’s best attractions, tours and diversions, and can help you arrange activities for your guests, so that you and your new spouse can grab an hour together for a couple’s massage, or a quiet stroll on the beach. And don’t forget, the best thing about a destination wedding is that once guests depart for home, you two get to stay on. Plan your honeymoon to follow directly on the heels of your wedding weekend, and

island-hop to another luxury destination in that Caribbean archipelago, tour a few fabulous European cities after your French Riviera nuptials, or simply stay put at your wedding site, reliving all the glorious memories of your oncein-a-lifetime celebration—and creating many, many more. Q: What should I wear for my destination wedding—and what should I expect my bridal party to wear? A: A destination wedding is not the same as a cathedral wedding or luxury cosmopolitan hotel ballroom wedding. It is meant to be a vacation, and should be enjoyed as one. While you are within your rights to wear anything you wish (this is your wedding, after all), a beach bride might want to think twice about wearing a very formal fitted gown with a long, complicated train, or a delicate

destination wedding & honeymoon mantilla veil that might get twisted about by the brisk ocean breeze. Dressing for your destination is best, whether that means a silk-charmeuse sheath, boho-chic goddess gown or a simple silk A-line. Doing your “I do’s” on the sand? Consider subbing sparkling “foot jewelry” for standard bridal heels, or forgoing a delicate cut-flower bouquet for a hand-tied bunch of beach succulents and grasses. For bridesmaids, destination weddings are the perfect settings for mixand-match dresses, perhaps in different styles (of each bridesmaid’s choice), unified by color (like coral, blush, cerulean blue or sandy taupe). online>> for more resources visit weddingsinhouston.com

W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  401


z just married |

destination wedding & honeymoon

DESERT DELIGHT

MOUNTAIN SPLENDOR

FOUR SEASONS RANCHO ENCANTADO

ST. REGIS ASPEN RESORT

THE LOCATION

THE LOCATION

Set on 57 acres in New Mexico’s high, dry, sublimely beautiful Sangre de Cristo foothills, this remarkable resort is a 10-minute drive from Santa Fe and a short 65-minute drive from Albuquerque’s international airport.

The luxurious St. Regis sits at the base of picturesque Aspen Mountain, walking distance from Aspen’s fine-art galleries, designer boutiques and renowned restaurants.

WHITE WEDDING FUN IN THE SUN With summer temps averaging 75 to 85 degrees, and not a trace of humidity in the fresh mountain air, Rancho Encantado is a perfect summer wedding destination. Hold your rehearsal dinner al fresco, under romantic bistro lighting, then say your “I do’s” against a spectacular sunset backdrop. Round out your wedding weekend with hiking, biking, horseback riding and a much-deserved massage.

ALL TO YOURSELF “The wonderful thing for wedding couples is that since we are just 65 rooms—the smallest Four Seasons’ property—you have the option of buying out the whole property for your weekend,” says director of catering Nicole Vazquez Benvenutti. 402  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

If winter is your wedding season, and winter sports are your passion, enjoy a double-dose of Colorado fun, with a chic-and-cozy wedding set against the stunning sight of snow-blanketed mountains, along with a day of skiing or snowboarding at one of the area’s world-class ski hills. Regroup with guests for après-ski tea, cocktails or “Champagne sabering” (a time-honored St. Regis tradition) at the property’s beautifully appointed Shadow Mountain Lounge.

HOME AWAY Looking for more flexible digs for your guests? Your Aspen destination wedding offers a perfect opportunity to rent out a magnificent local home with “spectacular mountain views, and plenty of privacy,” says director of catering Tobias Rimkus.


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Luxuriate in bohemian bliss. 1. BOYS + ARROWS ‘GIN & TONIC’ ROBE boysandarrows.com 2. ETTIKA ‘HEART & SOUL’ BRACELET ettika.com 3. ZIMMERMANN ‘CERAMIC’ BALCONY BIKINI zimmermannwear.com 4. KATE SPADE ‘WEDDING BELLES’ PASSPORT HOLDER katespade.com 5. KENDRA SCOTT ‘ANDY’ BRACELET kendrascott.com 6. HENRI BENDEL ‘FLORAL STRIPE’ WEST 57 TH SATCHEL henri bendel houston galleria W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  403


O REAL WEDDINGS

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A1nne Marie & Jamie4 writer NATASHA GARBER ~ photography STEVE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

07.05.14

Both Houston residents with Western Canadian roots, Anne Marie and Jamie met by chance at a backyard

barbecue in Spring, Texas. “Toward the end of the barbecue, he got my number and told me he’d ‘call me tomorrow.’ At exactly 12:00 am the next morning, I received a phone call from an unknown number. When I answered, it was Jamie. His words exactly: ‘It's tomorrow.’” From then on, the couple was inseparable, returning, eventually, to Western Canada, to wed at the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, joined by 165 of their closest friends and family. With its bagpipe serenade (the bride surprised her Scottish groom for the ceremony), late-night poutine bar (a beloved Canadian comfort food), and Texas touches (the couple flew in their favorite Texas guitarists to play for the ceremony and cocktail hour), the couple’s wedding was the perfect reflection of their backgrounds and a true “wedding to remember,” says the bride. W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  405


REAL WEDDINGS

couple anne marie henick

jamie bénard    number of guests 165    wedding location banff, alberta  wedding colors  navy, gold & cream  consultant  elias events    photography steve lee photography    honeymoon grand cayman

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Jet-set in haute style. 1. L*SPACE 'KAELLA BIJOUX' TOP & 'ITSY' BOTTOM lspace.com 2. ANN TAYLOR 'SKYSCRAPER' SUNGLASSES anntaylor.com 3. ELIE SAAB PRINT DRESS eliesaab.com 4. ZIMMERMANN PANAMA HAT zimmermannwear.com 5. LIZZIE FORTUNATO 'CASA AZUL' NECKLACE shoplesnouvelles.com 6. BOBBI BROWN SUNLESS TANNING GEL bobbibrown.com 7. ALDO 'FREETOWN' CLUTCH aldoshoes.com W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  407


just married | your

new home

The Balanced NEST

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

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

writer JULIE LEMEROND

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location CHATEAU COCOMAR decor PLANTS N' PETALS


just married |

your new home

1. DOWN TIME

How you like to spend your leisure hours might not seem like the most pressing concern when talking real estate. But this question is important, because it can play a big role in whether you choose to live in a townhome, condo or house together. A single-family home will require yard work, which many couples enjoy doing together. Other couples simply want to travel during their weekends and free time. If you fall into the latter category, you are probably better suited to a townhome or condo, which has little or no landscaping to maintain, and where you are likely to be less responsible for building maintenance. You also may want to consider your ability and desire to do “handyman” work around the house, and how much responsibility you as a couple want to take on in maintaining your residence. And don’t forget to factor in whether you’ll need a yard for a dog, or, looking toward the future, for children. 2 . M O N E Y M AT T E R S

Although your dream home may be just within financial reach, what is the point of having it, if you are doomed to spend Saturday nights confined to its walls because you can’t afford to go anywhere? In some cases, it is best to wait a couple of years to save up funds so you can purchase not just what you can afford, but what makes sense for your budget. At the same time, you want to always leave yourself enough financial freedom to allow both of you to enjoy your leisure time together. In-depth discussions about finances prior to tying the knot are not just beneficial, they’re essential. Every couple should determine what their total debt-to-income ratio will be once they 410  • W ED D ING S INH OUS TO N.COM

have combined their living expenses. This will include credit card debt, outstanding student loans, car payments, estimated utility bills, etc. All of your existing debt as individuals will determine what you will be able to afford when you are making plans to purchase a home. In some instances, one or both individuals own a home prior to getting married, but the space may not work as well for a couple as it did when living solo. In this case, you will want to speak with a realtor about what your current resale value is. With that information, you will be able to determine if it is the right time to sell and/ or purchase.

eclectic living space that reflects both of you. Mixing styles creates a “livedin” feel and an environment where both you and your spouse will feel as though you have made a contribution. This creates harmony, and a unique sense of style that becomes yours together, instead of “his” or “hers.” 5. SO M E T H I N G O L D, SOMETHING NEW

Check out all of the costs associated with your home-buying purchase. For example, choosing a townhome or condo over a single-family home will inevitably tack on a homeownersassociation monthly fee (which may be well worth it, depending on your lifestyle). Some association fees can be significant—as much as half of your mortgage payment on top of the mortgage payment itself. Be sure to work these additional fees into your budget so that there are no surprises at the end of the month.

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

4. HIS AND HERS

6 . S A C R E D S PA C E

Balancing out personal style can be a true test of your love for one another (does he really need that basketball hoop on the wall in the spare bedroom?). But compromise is indeed a virtue, and one that will need to be cultivated throughout your lives together. You can begin the lifelong process of balancing out your conflicting, or at least contrasting, styles, by creating an

Above all, remember that you are building not just a home, but your lives together. And just as you want to come home to your spouse every evening, you should look forward to being at home in the living space you have created together. Remember, marriage is a give-andtake relationship that will remain ongoing throughout your life together.

3. HIDDEN COSTS


O REAL WEDDINGS

photos: a&a photo and video

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Sophia & A1lim4 writer NATASHA GARBER

08.10.14

She lived in Houston. He was based in Kenya. They met at a family wedding in London. He

thought she was “stunning” the first time he saw her. She moved to Kenya. They got engaged on the plains of the African Masai Mara. With so much international travel in the narrative of their love story, it’s only natural that Sophia and Alim celebrated their marriage with a destination wedding. While planning their Dominican Republic wedding was, at times, stressful, due to the couple’s distance from their wedding location, the end result was everything they wished for. “Our breathtaking beach ceremony at sunset is by far our favorite moment,” he says, “as the waves crashed behind us while we said our vows in front of our friends and family.” W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  413


REAL WEDDINGS

couple sophia asaria & alim bhanji  number of guests 150  wedding destination punta cana, dominican republic wedding colors  blue, purple & silver  honeymoon maldives

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A LTERATIO N S

Wedding

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

Downtown Aquarium 72

Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston 31

Kristin Johnston Bridal Tailoring 204

Dukessa 135

The San Luis Resort,

MW Couture 219

Enchanted Cypress Ballroom 77

BEAUTY & H E A LTH Adara Medical Spa 245

Spa & Conference Center 94

Four Seasons Hotel Houston 7

Sans Souci Ballroom 147

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado

Serenity Cove Lodge 38

Santa Fe 401

Shepard Hill Estates 109

Aishah El-Akkari Makeup Artistry 236

The Gallery 113

Sheraton North Houston 70

Cleopatra’s Secret 238

Granduca Hotels 35

Shirley Acres 108

Hayley & Co. 236

The Grove 63

St. Regis Aspen Resort 45

Hilda Kershman Makeup Artist 241

Heather’s Glen 142-143

Star Fleet Yachts 72

Lip Boss 236

HESS Club 131

Station 3 13

My Wraps Are Better Than Yours 241

Hilton Americas Houston 67

Sweetwater Country Club 107

Naturally Glam by Rae Michele 236

Hilton Garden Inn Pearland 130

Sylvan Beach Pavilion 123

Salons On The Go 238

Hilton Houston North 34

Table on Post Oak 87

Shrink Studios 242

Hilton Houston Post Oak 65

Texas Renaissance Festival 148

Texas Center for Cosmetic & Implant

Hilton Houston Westchase 68

The Tremont House 59

Hotel Derek 71

Veranda by *17 at

Dentistry 237

Hotel Galvez & Spa 58 BACHELO R/BAC HE LO R E TTE

The Sam Houston Hotel 33

Hotel ZaZa Houston 4-5

The Villagio 127

The Houston Club 68

Walden on Lake Houston

Houston Marriott North 76

Golf & Country Club 107

Houston Racquet Club 75

Waterpoint Premier Lakeside Venue 103

BRIDAL SHOWS

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 10-11

Waters Edge 136

I Do! Bridal Soiree - Four Seasons Hotel

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 24-25

The Westin Galleria 85

I Do! Bridal Soiree - The Corinthian

Kemah Gardens 129

The Westin Oaks 85

La Colombe d’Or 39

Weston Lakes Country Club 96

La Fontaine Reception Hall 126

Willow Fork Country Club 107

CEREMO NY & R EC E PTI O N

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 23

The Woodlands Resort

Agave Estates 101

Las Velas 43

& Conference Center 137

Ashelynn Manor 97

Los Candiles Reception Hall 74

Ashton Gardens 14-15

The Lyceum 90

CU LIN ARY S ERVICES

The Astorian 16-17

Madera Estates 69

Café Natalie 303

The Bell Tower on 34th 21

Magnolia Hotel Houston 105

Capitol Beverage Service 304

Boardwalk FantaSea Yacht Charters 138

Maison Baie 41

DGZ Weddings 319

The Bougainvilleas 145

Moffitt Oaks 83

Hannah Joy’s Cakes 300

Brennan’s Houston 140

Northgate Country Club 140

Jackson and Company 2-3

The Briar Club 118-119

Northwest Forest 73

Nothing Bundt Cakes 298

Butler’s Courtyard 79

Old Glory Ranch 32

Rosemary’s Catering BC

Cadillac Bar 130

Omni Houston Hotel 37

Supreme Kakes & More 301

Chateau Cocomar - IFC-1

The Overlook 139

Susie’s Cakes & Confections 297

Chateau Polonez 80-81

The Parador 30

Tasty Image Chocolates 302

Citadel On Kirby 93

Pecan Grove Plantation Country Club 107

Trifles Gourmet Desserts 302

The Corinthian 2-3

Petroleum Club of Houston 61

Who Made the Cake! 299

Cross Key Acres 141

Pine Forest Country Club 91

Crowne Plaza Houston -

The Power Center 78

PA RTIES Athena Gun Club 138

Bind-In

Brookhollow 36

Prohibition Supperclub & Bar 104

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

Crystal Ballroom at the Rice 89

Quail Valley City Centre 108

Elias Events 165

Cullen’s 141

Rainbow Lodge 106

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado

DoubleTree by Hilton Houston

Raveneaux Country Club 95

Downtown 126 DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway Plaza 92

Santa Fe 401

Rockin’ Star Ranch 128

Hotel Galvez & Spa 58

Rosemary’s Garden 125

Kemah Gardens 129

Royal Oaks Country Club 117

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 23 W ED DI NGS I NHO US T O N. C O M   •  415


The Lyceum 90

DJU Productions 351

Maison Baie 41

Jonny Black Productions 349

The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center 153

Old Glory Ranch 32

LG Entertainment 355

Seasons 52 153

Pompano Beach Club 399 Rockin’ Star Ranch 128 The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center 94 Serenity Cove Lodge 38 Shepard Hill Estates 109 St. Regis Aspen Resort 45 The Tremont House 59

MUS I C & EN T ERTAIN M EN T DJU Productions 351 Jonny Black Productions 349

VID EOG RAP H Y 31 Films 389

P HOTOG RAP H Y Akil Bennett Photography 360

Balushka Paper Floral Artistry 259 Darryl & Co. 254-255 Dream Bouquet 257 EB Inc Event Rentals & Design 277 Flora & Eventi 265 Flowers of Kingwood 264 H Team Design Group 267 HEB Blooms 271 Johanna Terry Events 266 Lary’s Florist & Designs 263 Love and Cherish Vintage Rentals 268 LBL Event Rentals 275 Plants N’ Petals 260-261 River Oaks Plant House 279 The Senterpiece 262 Todd Events 8-9 GIF T REG ISTRY Bering’s 339 Blue Leaf Houston 336 Celebrity China & Cookware 338 Kuhl-Linscomb 337

The Sam Houston Hotel 153

Wyn Hudson - Vocalist & Entertainer 350

A Memorable Event 269

Arteflora 270

Veranda by *17 at

Scott Graham - Pianist & Composer 350

Adam Nyholt Photographer 363

Any Occasion Party Rental 258

Table on Post Oak 153

LG Entertainment 355

FLOWERS, DECOR & R E NTA LS AJ’s Urban Petals 256

Star Fleet Yachts 153

Aventography Photo & Video 369

Aventography Photo & Video 369 Pixel Studio Productions 388 Sculpting With Time Productions 391 Seventh Ray Films 390

Chris Curry Wedding Photography 368

WED D IN G AT T IRE

Christa Elyce Photographer 364

Brickhouse Bridal 209

Civic Photos 375

Houston Bridal Gallery 221

D. Jones Photography 361

Ivory Bridal Atelier 207

Ever & Anon Photography 376

Kristin Johnston Bridal Tailoring 204

Genovese Ashford Studios 385

Mia Bridal Couture 205

J. Cogliandro Photography 367

MW Couture 219

Joseph West Photography 366

Nima Bridal 217

Le Zu Photography 377

Now & Forever Bridal Boutique 203

MD Turner Photography 362

Parvani Vida Bridal & Formal 211

M. Wang Photography 367

The Princess Bridal 202

Ron Dillon Photography 378

T. Carolyn Fashions 204

Steve Lee Photography 365

Twin Oaks Cleaners 229

WhiteMoose Photography 379

Weddings by Debbie 213

P HOTO BOOT H DJU Productions 351 Jonny Black Productions 349 LG Entertainment 355 P R E-W ED D IN G C ELEB RAT ION S Athena Gun Club 138 Boardwalk FantaSea Yacht Charters 150 Brennan’s Houston 150 Cadillac Bar 151

INVITATIO NS

Downtown Aquarium 151

Bering’s 320

The Grove 151

Bluebonnet Press 320

Hilton Americas Houston 151

DGZ Weddings 319

The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa 151

Isabella Invitations 321

JW Marriott Houston Downtown 151

Katie & Co. 318

La Colombe d’Or 151

Ten Four Paper 319

La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa 151 Magnolia Hotel Houston 152

Winnie Couture Flagship Bridal Salon 215 WED D IN G M IN IST ERS Weddings Performed 164 WED D IN G S ERVIC ES A Day To Remember 160 Calberts Weddings & Events 164 Cocomar Ladies 163 Doyin Fash 165 Elias Events 165 Events by Disa 166 Gray & Associates Events 171 Kat Creech Events 162 Lauren Ehly Weddings & Events 162 Lavish Affairs 167 MAM Planning & Design 160 Schwartz & Woodward 161 Top Event Planners 166

J EWEL RY

Maison Baie 152

Donoho’s Jewellers 19

Mr. Peeples Seafood and Steaks 152

Nazar’s Fine Jewelry 199

The Overlook 152

Peran & Scannell Jewelers 190

Petroleum Club of Houston 152

Wolf Diamonds 191

The Power Center 152

Zadok Jewelers 195

Quail Valley at City Centre 152

WEBS IT ES

Rainbow Lodge 152

HoustonBridalShows.com

Royal Oaks Country Club 153

HoustonWeddingBlog.com

Sambuca - Crystal Ballroom at the Rice 153

WeddingsInHouston.com

LI GHTING & SOU ND Bright Star Productions 281

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YOU R N EW H OM E Michelle Ray Properties 411


Weddings in Houston July 2015 Issue  

Weddings in Houston publishes twice a year and prints with a different cover each month. Find wedding inspiration, access Houston’s A-list...

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