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Houston Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

BRIDES Houston: 5 Breweries Perfect for Wedding Events

 Houston, Local, Showers & Parties, Showers and Parties, Texas  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: 5 Breweries Perfect for Wedding Events
Oct 142016
beer taps

Photo: Getty Images

If your love and passion for a cold one is more refined than throwing back cans of Bud Light — and you constantly find yourself seeking out well-crafted lagers, hosting your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or wedding at one of Houston's craft breweries is a perfect option. With artisanal, authentic, and flavorful beer, these beloved breweries are sure to craft all your needs for your special day (no pun intended!).

Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas' oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing Company provides the venue, the bartender, the beer, and the food from their in-house chef — ideal for the couple who doesn't want to do a lot of coordinating. A flourishing selection of year-round ales and seasonal brews will impress your beer aficionado guests. Rent The Investors Pub for a smaller event, with seating for 60 and a capacity of up to 100 or The Beer Hall for a larger event, with seating for 224 and a capacity of 300. Read real brides' reviews here!

Karbach Brewing Co.
Karbach Brewing Co. is a German-style brewery housing two private rooms which can each hold up to 120 guests. Both spaces come with a dance floor and a full dinner buffet created by Chef Herlen Galvez. The smaller of the two rooms can hold 40 guests while the larger of the two can hold 88 guests. Create the dinner rehearsal or wedding of your dreams with displays and stations for a reception-styled evening.

8th Wonder Brewery

The three-year-old Astrodome-inspired brewery was created by the same group behind the coveted food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Eatsie Boys. 8th Wonder Brewery has two private rooms which can hold 30 to 50 people, perfect for an engagement party or rehearsal dinner. It also boasts a beautiful one acre area in the back which is available for rental.

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Town In City Brewing Company
Located in The Greater Heights, Town In City Brewing Company is the newest brewery in Houston. Houston's first official suburb, The Heights, is known as the "small town in the big city," hence the brewery's namesake. Enjoy a completely private, cleared out space in the back (brewery) and beer garden. For a semi-private event, Town In The City operates like a restaurant, where you can call in advance to rent out the space or tables. For an intimate occasion, this brewery holds 60 to 100 people — with the outdoor capacity accommodating up to 150 people.

Southern Star Brewing Company
Choose from an open taproom table reservation during the regular Friday, Saturday and Sunday hours. A variety of beer services are offered at this locale including a cash bar, a keg, or a package per person. On the weekends, Russo's NY Pizzeria provides concessions in the taproom as well as pre-ordered catering, with outside catering or food vendors allowed at no additional cost. A private taproom rental includes use of the taproom outside of the brewery hours as well as tables and stools and of course several bartenders to serve beer during your event. Read real brides' reviews here!

Haven't found the perfect party location yet? Find the ideal spot for all your bridal celebrations on our Local Vendors page!

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One Bride Stayed True to Her Texas Roots When Planning This Rustic Ranch Wedding

 Houston, Real Weddings, Texas  Comments Off on One Bride Stayed True to Her Texas Roots When Planning This Rustic Ranch Wedding
Oct 132016

When Marina Lodato arrived home from work on October 24, 2014, she expected to see her boyfriend waiting for her in their apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Instead, she walked in and found a gorgeous bouquet of flowers with a card that told her to go straight to the roof of the building, where she found Patrick Paccione down on one knee.

The couple gave themselves about a year to plan for their September 7, 2015, wedding at Texas Ranch Life in Chappell Hill, Texas. "The landscape and setting was exactly what I had envisioned for our day," Marina says. With help from a day-of coordinator from Keaton Events, this couple pulled off a classic Texas celebration full of romantic details that honored the bride's Southern roots. You'll fall in love with this couple's charming day, as captured by Sharon Nicole Photography.

Marina works in fashion and knew she wanted to make an elegant, statement-making dress for her wedding day. After trying on around 30 gowns, the bride found her Vera Wang A-line wedding dress with lace trim detailing and ivory and nude tulle. "I know it sounds cheesy, but I truly felt like a princess," she says. Complete with an open-back and soft, flowing waves that were accented with fresh flowers, Marina's look was perfect for a romantic outdoor wedding.

In an effort to keep her accessories minimal, the bride wore crystal drop earrings, a vintage amethyst ring from her great grandmother, and Oscar de la Renta navy heels. Her all-white bouquet of anemones, ranunculus, peonies, and Queen Anne's lace was a beautiful finishing touch.

Patrick chose a classic navy suit for his wedding day attire. His boutonniere was made of white ranunculus and seeded eucalyptus wrapped in twine.

The old adage "Everything is bigger in Texas" rings true here. This couple had a huge bridal party, which clocked in at 20 attendants! The group was made up of the bride's matron of honor, eight bridesmaids, and one "bridesman," and the groom's two best men and eight groomsmen. The ladies wore chiffon J.Crew gowns paired, while Marina's male bridesmaid wore a Calvin Klein charcoal suit with a rose-colored bow tie. Each 'maid carried a romantic bouquet of blush peonies, ranunculus, and dusty miller.

Patrick's groomsmen all wore slim fit navy suits with a Calvin Klein gray linen tie.

The couple's outdoor ceremony was held on the ranch's lawn, where an aisle with galvanized buckets of baby's breath faced a 30-foot altar of trailing greenery. "I was very involved in picking every little detail," the bride says. "It was overwhelming at times, but I plan events for a living so it was also second nature."

In keeping with the charming vibe of their outdoor venue, Marina and Patrick chose wicker chairs for their guests to sit in. The pair also created a custom wedding logo with their initials around a star that was stamped on each ceremony program.

The flower girl, Evelyn, started the ceremony by walking down the aisle in a voluminous tulle dress and a baby's breath crown. Two of the couple's nephews served as ring bearers, dressed in navy pants and suspenders and adorable cowboy boots. They even carried a homemade wooden sign down the aisle that read "Uncle Patrick, here comes your girl!"

Marina's father walked her down the aisle covered in blush colored rose petals. Then, the couple shared personalized readings and exchanged traditional wedding vows. Once they were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds made their exit to music performed by two local guitarists.

The party started in the venue's main hall where guests took in a stunning 360-degree view of the ranch through floor to ceiling windows. Marina and Patrick made their grand entrance as husband and wife as Beyonce's "Love On Top" played to kick off the celebration. Then, everyone found their seats with help from a chalkboard sign designed with the couple's custom logo.

Despite having a clear vision of what they wanted their wedding would look like, Marina says planning from afar wasn't always easy for her and Patrick. The duo made six trips back and forth from their home in New York City to Houston to meet with vendors. During those visits, she and Patrick decided on a color scheme of midnight navy, charcoal gray, and dusty rose, along with accents of whites and creams.

Reception tables were topped with vintage embroidered linens and featured rustic wooden centerpieces made from an assortment of hydrangeas, ranunculus, dahlias, seeded eucalyptus, Queen Anne's lace, and dusty miller. Table settings were topped with cookies.

Signature cocktails were inspired by two locations that are incredibly meaningful to the newlyweds — Texas, where the bride grew up, and New York City, where they met and live together. Guests who chose "The Cowboy" enjoyed a spicy margarita, while those who chose "The Yankee" sipped on the couple's take on a Manhattan.

Marina and Patrick wanted to serve their favorite cuisine — Tex-Mex — for dinner. Cilantro lime shrimp, ceviche, and quesadillas pleases everyone during cocktail hour. Then, food stations like a guacamole and make-your-own fajita bar gave friends and family an interactive meal option.

For dessert, Texas-staple Blue Bell ice cream was served up alongside the couple's three-tiered almond cake with dulce de leche and strawberry filling.

Marina and Patrick shared their first dance to Keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us," and then joined their guests on the dance floor for a night full of entertainment. "My DJ was fantastic and there was never a dull moment on the dance floor," Marina remembers.

The newlyweds kicked off an incredible two-week honeymoon in Bankgkok, later traveling to the Thai cities of Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and Krabi.

Venue & Catering: Texas Ranch Life || Day-Of Coordinator: Kristi Varela of Keaton Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Makeup: Jentry Kelley || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Sea Wave Diamonds || Flowers: Flora Bella Designs || Invitations: Sincerely, Jackie || Other Paper Products: Rachel Nieman || Music: Downtown Events || Cake: Susie's Cake || Photographer: Sharon Nicole Photography

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Looking for more Texas wedding ideas? Then check out another couple's Dallas bash below.

BRIDES Houston: Wedding Accessories Created by Local Texas Designers

 Houston, Jewelry & Accessories, Local, Texas, Wedding Accessories  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: Wedding Accessories Created by Local Texas Designers
Oct 132016

Shopping for the perfect dress is just as important as hunting for the perfect accessories to top it all off. Whether you're a traditional bride or are opting for a more bohemian feel, the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" mantra can come into play with these accessories created by local designers. From tiaras to garters and veils, these treasures are meant to make your look more personal on your special day.

Jill Reno
Jewelry designer Jill Reno believes every story is romantic and unique which is why she designs her bridal jewelry to be beautiful and individually unique, just like the bride. Reno incorporates rare gemstones when designing to create pieces that have their own style and character.

Joyce Echols
From the red carpet of the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards to the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards, Joyce Echols' shoes have made several appearances — including being worn by country superstar Miranda Lambert and E! News' Alicia Quarles. The Italian-made shoe line sticks to Texas roots drawing inspiration from barbed wire, bullets and pistols.

See More: Don't Forget Your Bouquet! Find Houston's Best Wedding Florists Here

Megan LaCroix
Specializing in one-of-a-kind floral arrangements and art pieces (with a focus on preserved flowers and botanicals), Houston-based designer Megan LaCroix looks at every floral arrangement as a piece of art. From the bouquet to a custom crown, LaCroix incorporates paint, objects of nature, textiles and salvaged materials in her work.

Elegance by Kate
Timeless and modern accessories from vintage inspired headpieces to lace garters, this Texas-based Etsy shop creates pieces for every bridal style. The jewelry reflects the elegant and sophisticated bride with Swarovski elements, freshwater pearls, and precious metals.

Need more bridal bling? Browse our Houston Jewelry page to find even more local shops for wedding accessories

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Aug 272016
Best Southern Bridal Salons

Photo: Maddison Row Bridal Chic; Virgil Bunao Photography

Finding the right wedding dress may be trial-and-error, but finding a bridal salon shouldn't be. Our editors polled more than 1,500 brides to discover the places with the prettiest dresses (from the designers like Carolina Herrera, Mira Zwillinger, and Houghton, just to name a few!), nicest consultants, and chicest spaces from coast to coast. Every single shop on this list is a true standout in style, service, and atmosphere whether it's the white dress mecca in your state or a gem in the middle of nowhere (we didn't judge!). Get ready for our curated, tested, and fully endorsed list of The Best Bridal Salons in America. Here, our editors narrow down the best bridal salons in the South. Happy shopping!

Ivory & White Bridal Boutique, Birmingham, Ala.
The consultants at this Mountain Brook mainstay are "thoughtful, detail oriented, and stylish," reported one southern belle. "They were able to expertly tie my vision to the beautiful dresses available in the salon," raves another.

Hitched Bridal Couture, Washington, D.C.
The above-and-beyond staff at this Georgetown staple got perfect reviews. Take it from one same-sex couple: "They celebrated us and guided us to dresses that would complement each another. They even pulled my wife's pick from the rack so I wouldn't be tempted to try it."

Chernaya Bridal House, Miami
No need to hit Drybar before your appointment: Priscilla, whom one bride called "the sweetest person ever," is handy with a bobby pin and happy to give a quick updo before she guides you to your dream Elie Saab or Angel Sanchez.

Ever After Miami, Miami
International and local brides agree that this dress mecca is worth the trip because of its seriously chic owner, killer gown selection, and in-house alterations shop/atelier, where "there's no limit to what you can do to customize your dress."

The Collection Bridal, Winter Park, Florida
With some of the best couture gowns around (Vera Wang, Inbal Dror), this light-filled store on Park Avenue wowed reviewers and passersby alike. "When I stepped in the front window during my final fitting, people came in from the street to tell me how beautiful I looked," says a satisfied bride.

Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, Atlanta and Houston
In the South, this salon (with two locations) is the spot to score in-demand designers, like Oscar de la Renta, but don't mistake sophisticated for stuffy. "They didn't bat an eyelash when my young daughter and stepdaughter touched every dress in the store," says one bride.

The Sentimentalist, Atlanta
Down-to-earth brides heart this whimsical shop in Midtown's Berkeley Park, citing the cozy cottage location, two cool chicks who own it, and "unique inventory of modern and antique-feeling" gowns.

Blanc Bridal Couture, New Orleans
It may be the new kid on Magazine Street, but this glam salon is gaining traction, thanks to its bend-over-backward consultants, including one a reviewer was legit girl-crushing on.

Garnish Boutique, Baltimore
Self-proclaimed "Garnish girls" gushed about the "one-on-one experience" and gorge decor at this newly renovated shop a short drive from D.C. "It looks like it came right from my Pinterest board," says a fan.

Hayden Olivia Bridal, Charlotte, N.C.
If you like transparency, this is the place to visit. "Everything is laid out for you" — the dresses, the prices, and the alteration fees — so go ahead and let your squad take a seat while you twirl around in a Hayley Paige or Jim Hjelm gown.

Maddison Row Bridal Chic, Charleston
This salon's high marks come courtesy of the kick-ass seamstresses. "I lost 40 pounds after ordering my dress, and they made what could've been a stressful process seamless, pun intended," says a bride.

Maggie Louise, Collierville, Tenn.
Molly Farrell is the Memphis bride's BFF for good reason: She asks each client to fill out a questionnaire and chat on the phone before she even arrives in the shop. "I love that Molly was able to focus on my individual needs, taste, and style from the get-go," says a fan.

White Dresses, Nashville
It's all about the atmosphere at this year-old salon, which nails it on dressing-room lighting ("insanely flattering") and big-reveal moments. ("The vintage mirror is perfection.")

Warren Barrón Bridal, Dallas
The ladies here always deliver, but especially when a gown is designed by Dallas's own Lela Rose, whom nearly all of our reviewers chose. One says, "My consultant tracked down a dress I had seen at her runway show and had it shipped to the store for me to try on in person."

Subscribe to BRIDES now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.

See More: 50 Things to Know About Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

BRIDES Houston: Beautiful Wedding Venues Located Just Outside Houston

 Houston, Local, Planning Tips, Texas, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: Beautiful Wedding Venues Located Just Outside Houston
Aug 192016
agave estates

Photo: Courtesy of Agave Estates

A city wedding is beautiful and offers guests a unique celebration experience in an urban area. But, for Houston brides, there are so many options that it may become overwhelming. Consider the wedding you're envisioning: is it intimate and lowkeyor is it worthy of a theatre production? If you're thinking you may want to expand your search to outside of Houston to find the perfect fit, these five venues are worth visiting for their rustic, glamorous, and destination-style feel.

The Springs in Katy
Whether you're planning a rustic or more elegant wedding, The Springs in Katy offers two venues to fulfill all your big-day needs, regardless of your style. The quaint Stonecreek Hall will make any Texas bride happy with grand architectural elements, including white limestone and solid wood floors — while Tuscany Hall will make guests feel as if they're in the Italian countryside. With plenty of outdoor space and a romantic fountain, Tuscany Hall also offers a chance for picture-perfect photos. Read real brides' reviews here!

Agave Estates
Destination weddings may be hard to plan, but luckily for Texas brides, there's no need to travel too far from home. At Agave Estates, you and your guests will feel like you're in 'Old Mexico' — complete with luxe architectural elements and stunning landscapes. Choose from worldly menus from Cordua Catering (known for its Amazon Grill and Churrascos) or better yet, stick to your Texas roots with BBQ from Red River Catering. With three venues to choose from, each features beautiful embellishments for the wedding of your dreams. Agave Road is a romantic, tranquil retreat nestled in trees and sitting on 30-acres; Agave Real's outdoor water feature makes for a gorgeous backdrop; Agave Rio is the newest venue to Agave Estates and is extremely intimate and romantic. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Decorate Your Dream Houston Venue With One of Our Favorite Local Wedding Designers

Ashelynn Manor
Sitting on 25 beautiful acres, Ashelynn Manor was built in 1975 by master builder Johnny Lorino. He constructed the 6,200 square foot mansion for his wife, Edith. The large property includes a vintage chapel, a garden gazebo, and a carriage house. Guests will be welcomed by luxurious details, including marble floors and a circular staircase — complete with a stunning chandelier in the entry way. Although the vintage chapel was completed in 2008, it was designed with country-infused charm, and the 16-foot gazebo holds all garden weddings (with horses calmly grazing in the back pasture). The Manor's carriage house is a renovated barn with over 5,000 square feet of space, including new wood floors, stained wood walls and a bar for toasting to your newlywed bliss. Read real brides' reviews here!

Briscoe Manor
With both indoor and outdoor venues, Briscoe Manor sits on 50-acres in Richmond, TX, located just minutes outside the nation's fourth largest city. A chapel, outdoor courtyard, grand ballroom, and a private bar allow you to create the wedding of your dreams. After all the dancing, you'll want to step away and take it all in on the Texas-sized porch overlooking picturesque lakeside grounds. Read real brides' reviews here!

Cowboy Campout
Located about 70 miles northwest of Downtown Houston on the edge of the Sam Houston National Forest, Cowboy Campout is a working horse ranch with a lush garden, offering the perfect backdrop for an intimate wedding. With multiple packages to choose from and 15 acres of landscaped goodness, this is the ideal location if you're looking to tie the knot under the stars. To complete the intimate ambiance, the charming bed and breakfast on the property can accommodate up to 12 guests — ideal for bridal party accommodations! Read real brides' reviews here!

Still hunting for a venue near Houston? Take a look at our Local Vendors page!

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BRIDES Houston: These 5 Outdoor Spots in Houston are Ideal for Popping the Question

 Engagement, Houston, Local, Proposals, Texas  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: These 5 Outdoor Spots in Houston are Ideal for Popping the Question
Jul 152016
houston proposal spots

Photo: Courtesy of geneva.walker on Instagram

Choosing to propose to your partner is a big decision — let alone where to do it! For our Houston brides and grooms wanting to officially take your love off the market, these one-of-a-kind proposal spots are sure to be a totally gorgeous proposal backdrop. From gardens to reflection pools, you're sure to find the ideal outdoor spot to ask the biggest question of your life.

Houston Arboretum
What better place to ask your love to marry you than by some of Houston's most breathtaking blooms? With a flock of ornate gardens including "The Wildlife Garden" — featuring intimate benches for watching the unique setting's wild birds, animals, and butterflies, there's no limit to the amount of creativity allotted to your proposal moment. Wedding rentals infused with the arboretum's lush greens and natural foliage also makes this spot the perfect place to later tie the knot! Read real brides' reviews here!

Memorial Park
The natural elements of one of Houston's most popular parks create a magical wooded escape from the city's bustling metropolitan streets. Memorial Park is an ideal spot for a picturesque proposal, located next to Houston's thriving arboretum, and the botanical scents of this park will waft their way to wherever you are — creating a romantic aroma for the big moment. For anyone wanting to make an extra-special proposition, this Houston staple is the spot for a post-picnic proposal!

See More: Find The Best Wedding Planner for Your Big Day on Our Local Vendors Page

Discovery Green
Noted for providing Texans with some of the best panoramic views of the Houston skyline, this popular destination has been uniting couples in the heart of downtown Houston since 2008. Meant to completely redefine the natural landscape of its surrounding urban environment, the location is a beautiful site to kick-off a lifetime of memories with your partner. Covering 12-acres of extensive green landscape, there are an endless amount of hidden locations to get down on one knee.

The Reflection Pool at the Houston Zoo
Ranking as one of Houston's most whimsical and magical spots for an engagement, the serene setting of the reflection pool at the Houston Zoo provides romance and curiosity. Thanks to the cascading arch effect provided by its overgrown trees, the reflection pool is a serene and very unexpected location to pop the question to your sweetheart. Some of the zoo's most popular areas are also available to rent for wedding ceremonies, giving you and your other half a magical start to "happily ever after" at the spot of your proposal.

McGovern Centennial Gardens
What better way to get engaged to your fiancée than in the middle of one of Houston's most coveted proposal spots. Located in Hermann Park, the McGovern Centennial Gardens' ornate collection of flowers and plants is a stunning locale for this life-changing event. Whether your partner loves to stop and smell the roses in the rose garden or prefers more of a forest vibe in the one-of-a-kind woodland garden, this unique celebration of nature will provide the perfect backdrop to your special occasion. Read real brides' reviews here!

Need an expert photographer to capture your engagement? Check out our favorite Houston photographers here!

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BRIDES Dallas: 5 Beautiful Hotel Wedding Venues in Dallas

 Dallas-Forth Worth, Houston, Local, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Dallas: 5 Beautiful Hotel Wedding Venues in Dallas
Jul 112016
four seasons dallas

Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons

Couples dreaming of a classic hotel wedding will fall in love with these five Dallas venues. From lavish ballrooms to poolside scenes, these hotels will provide the dreamiest backdrops for nuptials of all sizes.

Four Seasons Dallas and Club Dallas at Las Colinas
The Four Seasons Dallas will make you and your guests feel like you're on an exotic vacation—without ever leaving Dallas. Ceremonies can be held outdoors in the resort's lush garden setting complete with a water feature, while receptions can unfold in a lavish ballroom. Read real brides' reviews here!

the ritz dallas

Photo: Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
From the bridal shower to the wedding to the morning-after brunch, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas can simplify your wedding planning process by hosting all of your wedding festivities in one place. The reception, of course, will especially shine in the hotel's luxe ballroom bathed in natural lighting and silk wall covers. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Need Wedding Night Hotel Accommodations? Check Out Our Local Venues Page

fairmont dallas

Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont

Fairmont Dallas
Whether you're having an intimate wedding with just your closets friends and family or a grand affair of 1,000, the Fairmont Dallas has you covered. We're partial to the Venetian room adorned with original Italian artwork and flickering candelabras. It's easy to see why celebrities like Sonny and Cher and Ike and Tina Turner have celebrated in this posh space. Read real brides' reviews here!

hotel zaza

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel ZaZa

Hotel ZaZa
Hotel Zaza's lush poolside event space sets the scene for a romantic celebration. The pool gets covered in Lucite and serves as the dance floor for the evening. The Metropolitan Ballroom is just as beautiful with its sparking circular chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Read real brides' reviews here!


Photo: Courtesy of Westin Dallas Park Central

Westin Dallas Park Central
The Grand Ballroom at the Westin Dallas Park Central is just that—grand accommodating up to 1,000 guests. Mirrors line the walls of the sumptuous space and icicle chandeliers light it up. Craving something with a view? The Elevate Ballroom is perfect for wowing your guests. Perched on the 20th floor and boasting expansive windows, the ballroom offers stunning views of the city. Read real brides' reviews here!

Not satisfied with your venue search just yet? Find even more wedding locales on our Dallas Venues page!

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BRIDES Houston: Where to Shop for a Rehearsal Dinner Outfit

 Houston, Local, Showers & Parties, Showers and Parties  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: Where to Shop for a Rehearsal Dinner Outfit
Jun 252016
houston boutiques for rehearsal dinner outfits

Photo: Getty Images

Like many brides, you may be so focused on your wedding day look that when it comes time to think about what to wear to your rehearsal dinner, it can feel, well, pretty overwhelming! Luckily, Houston-area brides have little to worry about, as the below boutiques offer fun and flattering pieces for a knockout rehearsal dinner ensemble.

When you walk into this River Oaks boutique, you'll be swept away by both the posh interior (think ornate chandeliers and overall grand décor) and unique selection of designers. Owner Maryam Afshari stocks her decadent store with event-perfect dresses from labels Keepsake, Flynn Skye, C/MEO Collective among others. If you're looking for something you've never seen before, Baanou is where you'll find it.

For a truly upscale experience, browse Tootsies flagship location in Houston. You'll have over 30,000 square feet of ultra chic designs to choose from in this vast space, including pieces from Alaia, McQueen and Oscar de la Renta. However, if your rehearsal dinner is on the casual side, you can also shop for fun jeans and top combos with a decidedly more relaxed feel. Tootsies is truly a one-stop shop, and thus ideal for brides who want to create their head-to-toe look in one fell swoop.

Willa was created with the mother-daughter shopping duo in mind, which is often the case when wedding shopping. With various locations around the Houston area, it's the perfect place to bring your mom to help you find a darling ensemble that's both cute and budget-friendly. Willa stocks dresses galore, but you may also find yourself warming up to their adorable separates that can be dressed up beautifully for all types of pre-wedding festivities, from an evening barbecue to a formal sit-down dinner.

See More: Don't Forget Those Thank-You Notes! These Houston Wedding Stationers Have Got You Covered

Chloe Dao
Project Runway fans will be thrilled to know that season 2 winner Chloe Dao has a thriving boutique in Houston that offers a fresh variety of her feminine designs. You'll discover a welcome mix of elegant, minimal gowns next to more whimsical prints and colors. Her eponymous stores also houses emerging designers, all of which emanate the soft yet sophisticated vibe Chloe is known for.

Elaine Turner
If pink is your power color, then Elaine Turner should be at the top of your list. Every one of their stores welcomes you in with vibrant fuchsia interiors that match the bold personality of Elaine's designs. She's particularly known for her handbags and shoes, which are made of unusual—yet totally tasteful—materials like raffia, cork, and python. It's the ideal place to find that exclamation point to punctuate your fabulous rehearsal dinner look.

Still haven't found your perfect rehearsal dinner frock? (Or maybe even your dream wedding dress?) Then check out our favorite bridal shops in Houston!

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BRIDES Houston: The Best Hotels for Out-of-Town Wedding Guests

 Houston, Local, Texas, Wedding Guests  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: The Best Hotels for Out-of-Town Wedding Guests
Jun 052016
Houston Wedding Guest Hotels

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Zaza

If you find that most of your guests are celebrating your big day coming from out of town, there's no better peace of mind than knowing that they feel at home in the comfort of their hotel. This list of premiere Houston getaways provides luxury, comfort, and endless entertainment that go hand-in-hand when finding the perfect space for your closest friends and family. Here are the best hotels for out-of-town wedding guests in Houston.

Hotel Zaza
Known as one of the Museum District's most distinctive hotels, this vibrantly furnished local getaway is perfect for out-of-town guests looking for luxury accommodations in an upscale retreat. Just steps away from the thriving streets of Houston's downtown central business district, this home-away-from-home is an opulent sanctuary filled with bold design and world-class comfort. Read real brides' reviews here!

Hotel Sorella
With a passion for providing guests with chic hotels in sophisticated cities, this unrivaled travel experience checks all boxes when it comes to dining, entertainment, and exceptional service. One of CityCentre's most modern hotels, this Italian-inspired oasis features a limitless variety of luxury amenities, Italian designed accents, and dramatic deep décor — all while engulfed in some of Houston's finest cuisine, shopping, and entertainment. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Four Seasons
Feeding off of some of Houston's most renowned cultural attractions, this downtown luxury hotel continues to seamlessly blend sophistication with authentic Texas charm. Offering a collection of more than 400-guest rooms and luxury suites, it's no surprise that the majority of lucky guests enjoy one of Houston's only resort-style pools and dedicated Clarins spa. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Impress Those Guests! These Houston-Based Favor Vendors are Sure to Please

Magnolia Hotel
Named by The Houston Press as the "Best Boutique Hotel in Houston," it's no doubt that all of your out-of-town guests will find themselves at home of this re-established historic landmark. Built in 1926, the hotel caters to the cocktail-loving crowd, with an added bonus of a nightly happy hour reception and sweet-tooth inducing bedtime cookie buffet, both amenities that perfectly complement the range of luxury offerings including one of Houston's most impressive views. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Westin, Memorial City
Panoramic views of the Houston city skyline, premium convenience to Memorial City Mall, and access to the ever-evolving Memorial City area are just a few of the factors that elevate this Houston hotel into the stratosphere of luxurious success. Offering the ultimate in comfort and relaxation, this West Houston landmark connects the vibrancy of Houston's eclectic streets with the refreshing comfort of unprecedented luxury. Read real brides' reviews here!

Club Quarters
Full-service accommodations offered in this exclusive club-like atmosphere transport guests into a trendy Texas retreat, minutes away from Houston's celebrated Theater District, and thriving nightlife. Thanks to the recent upscale changes in Houston's popular downtown district, this magnet for out-of-town tourists provides the perfect location for travelers looking for outstanding cuisine, culture, and historic waterfront walks.

Browse more Houston hotels to host your out-of-town guests — or even your wedding reception — on our Houston Venues page!

BRIDES Houston: How to Put a Modern Spin on Classic Traditions, According to Houston’s Wedding Experts

 Houston, Local, Texas, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on BRIDES Houston: How to Put a Modern Spin on Classic Traditions, According to Houston’s Wedding Experts
May 102016

You've secured your something blue and have chosen the sweetest, slowest love song for the big dance with your groom. Traditional wedding details like the first dance or cake-cutting rarely go out of style and for many savvy brides-to-be, are cherished customs that make for a memorable knot-tying experience. But what if you're craving a break from classic?

"Classic traditions are what we do in the south, but that doesn't mean you can't make [them] modern," says Michiel Perry, founder of Southern lifestyle and wedding brand, Black Southern Belle. For her wedding, Perry opted to wear a blush-colored ball gown instead of donning a traditional ivory or pure white wedding dress. "I kept the style traditional but with a modern twist."

Ready to shake things up? Below, a bevy of Houston-based bridal experts offer their advice on how to put a modern spin on classic traditions.

"We absolutely love a traditional invitation that stands the test of time," says Lily Lasuzzo, owner and creative director of Houston-based bespoke invitation design studio Lavender & Mint. (Read real brides' reviews here!) "But it can be fun to infuse a bit of today's style into the design to give it a more updated look." Lasuzzo notes that stationery trends are mimicking trends in fashion and interior design, meaning they're adopting not only popular colors, but also bold patterns and materials such as Lucite, brass and leather.

"Many of our brides want to have their invitations done in hand calligraphy but still want them to stand out," she says. "Pairing a formal script with a unique print surface or using a variety of materials is different but still very elegant." A recent L&M design project called for an oversized invitation done in hand calligraphy that was printed onto a ¼-inch piece of acrylic, rather than engraved on heavy stock. "We had a custom envelope made and letterpress-printed an illustration of a tree directly onto the interior of the envelope rather than use a solid or tissue liner that might normally be paired with such a formal invitation. The result was absolutely beautiful!"

When choosing flowers, it's less about the size and colors of your floral displays right now and more about the style and details of your décor, according to Sheli Hart, lead event designer at custom Houston event design company Flora & Eventi. (Read real brides' reviews here!) "We are noticing a lot of brides opting out of the traditional 'round' or 'mound' style floral and venturing onto designs and styles that show a more architectural, stylized approach. It's about creating personality and texture from within the designs and not just the floral itself."

Tempted to book the standard chairs and tables that come with the venue? Hart says skip them and instead rent different, visually interesting furniture pieces, tables and chairs to "give the space an elevated and modern look."

When choosing metals — silver, gold or rose gold — she advises to mix it up and let go of the concept of everything matching. "Balance is always the key when modernizing a seemingly traditional style."

See More: Get Your Bling On at These Local Wedding Jewelers

Groom Style
"Although [he] may wear a tuxedo for tradition it does not have to be boring," Black Southern Belle's Perry says. "My groom wore a blue velvet tuxedo jacket with a traditional black pants and mixed in some of his modern personality with fleur-de-lis cuff links."

Click here to find local wedding vendors who can make all of your big day dreams — whether classic, traditional, or anything in between — come true!

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