It’s been a long time coming…but honey, it is worth the wait. The brand-new JW Marriott Houston Downtown opens its doors this week, and what you’ll find inside is, well, in word…GORGEOUS. See it for yourself on Thursday, Oct. 9, when we bring you the legendary I Do! Bridal Soiree, unveiling 2015 wedding trends LIVE at downtown Houston’s hottest new property–and most alluring new wedding venue. Stunning tablescapes, breathtaking floral displays, A-list wedding experts, fresh-off-the-runway couture bridal gowns, gourmet food, sparkling cocktails, live entertainment and VIP treatment from arrival to departure…along with $$$ swag bags for each and every bride in attendance. Oh–and lest we forget, buy your tickets by 11:59 pm this Friday, Sept. 19, and you are automatically entered to win a lavish weekend-night JW Marriott Houston Downtown getaway, complete with gourmet breakfast in bed AND a divine couple’s massage at the hotel’s extraordinary Spa by JW. All your wedding planning needs and desires, all in one ultra-relaxing VIP cocktail party, plus a chance to win the romantic escape of a lifetime. Buy your tickets now, and get ready for WOW!
Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category
It’s Fitness Friday again, y’all, and this time we’re gonna make you sweat. Make that MARLA & SONNY are gonna make you sweat. The team from Houston’s Perfect Size Nutrition is back and it’s your back—and rear end and upper arms—that they’re targeting with this week’s workout video, geared toward getting you in shape for whichever strapless, backless, arm-baring, shoulder-showing wedding dress style you choose. Check it out…and work it out!
Happy Friday, brides…and welcome to part 2 of our Fitness Friday Series: The Busy Bride Workout—Sweating for the Wedding! Our newest video is all about getting a toned backside and sculpted arms that will look great in any style of dress you choose. We have featured our six favorite exercises that focus on getting you the results you are looking for in the shortest period of time. We recommend doing each of these exercises three times back-to-back, without stopping, and adding 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular activity like running, swimming or hitting the stair-climber to maximize results. For more tips, exercises and healthy recipes, visit our blog!
Today we’re really excited to feature a guest post from Houston-based Master Bridal Consultant (that’s the Association of Bridal Consultants’ highest ranking, btw), Karen Brown of Karen For Your Memories. Thinking of acting as your own wedding coordinator, florist, designer and decorator, to try and save money or put your unique imprint on every element of your big day? Don’t dive in until you read Karen’s post, which debunks many major DIY myths. We’d love your feedback, too! Do you plan DIY all or part of your wedding? Which parts do you plan to leave to a pro? Drop your comments and let us know!
Today’s brides are bombarded with ideas for décor, favors, desserts, flowers, etc., many of which encourage the DIY concept. For some reason the DIY idea is touted as something that is supposed to be 1) fun, 2) less expensive, and 3) a reflection of the bride’s unique personality. But is this really the case?
Fun? “Do-it-yourself” can be a misleading title, which implies that the bride herself is going to take on all or part of the tasks necessary for the production of her wedding. However, in most cases, it really means relying on the participation of the wedding party for tons of tasks, along with dutiful assistance from family members, with the bride directing. But can a group of amateurs with good intentions really replace the expertise and efficiency of a professional with years of experience? AND have fun while doing so? Not likely.
Sure, it can be great fun for family members or friends to get together to address, stuff and stamp invitations, or for “the girls” to gather, chat, eat, drink and laugh while assembling bags and tying ribbons around guest favors. But what if you happen to be the “volunteer” who was recruited for some element of the event that ends up in a YouTube video that never seems to go away (dreadful décor, cake catastrophes, flower fiascos, musical malfunctions…you get the picture)? Surely it can’t be much fun to be ridiculed internationally when you were just trying to help.
Less Expensive? Yes, professional wedding services cost money. Just like professional medical services, professional auto repair services, professional legal services—or any professional service that is based on years of specialized education, training and experience. Let’s consider the service of wedding flowers as an example. Here are just a few of the things you’ll get for the money you pay a respected professional Houston florist:
- Personnel who order the exact flowers you want from the part of the world where they are at the peak of their season at that time of year.
- Staff who pick up and transport the shipped flowers in special vehicles at special temperatures to preserve their freshness and beauty.
- Staff who put the flowers through a series of processing procedures to activate the opening and enhance the longevity of the blooms.
- Experienced designers who use complex techniques to create exactly the look you have requested, ensuring that the designs will withstand handling and last beautifully through the day.
- Specifically controlled refrigeration to store the completed floral arrangements until set-up time.
- A team to deliver, set up, and, after the event, remove all props and arrangements, in the allotted venue time (while you’re getting primped, dressed and enjoying unforgettable pre-ceremony moments with friends and family).
On the other hand, DIY flowers often begin with inferior product that are not handled correctly and sometimes need to be replaced before the event, are not designed in the most flattering or stable way, are not stored or delivered in the proper temperatures, cannot be properly set up in the allotted time allowed, and most likely will not hold up through the entire event. And what about all those vases and containers and votives? What will you do with them once the reception is over?
A similar scenario can be applied to any professional wedding service. You get what you pay for if you use reputable, experienced professionals. And you’re likely to save money in the long run. Remember that cost is relative. What price do you put on being able to relax and enjoy your special day instead of working and worrying?
A reflection of the bride’s unique personality? I like reading and viewing wedding information on the internet—especially the Houston Wedding Blog—as much as (or maybe more than) the next person. But your wedding is your wedding. The best way to achieve an original look is to hire professionals with the talent to take your inspiration and create something fresh and exciting, someone who makes each wedding tell a different story, not the same story in a different color.
Maybe we should redefine what we mean by DIY. Don’t Impel Your friends and family to participate in anything but the joy of the ceremony and the celebration of the day. Do Invest Your money on quality services provided by those who do things the right way. You will save time and avoid costly mistakes along the way. Definitely Interject Yourself into all aspects of your wedding and hire professionals who can interpret and bring to beautiful life your vision while you relax and enjoy the process.
Brandis and Ronald’s 1940s-inspired wedding captivated us from the first moment we laid eyes on it. The bride, who planned this intimate 80-guest affair herself, put so much heart into every detail. Of course, she did get a lot of help from Etsy artisans, including FrenchKnotCouture, who created the custom bolero Brandis wore over her Maggie Sottero gown. Brandis, who told us, “I did not want real flowers that would perish and leave me with no memory,” instead had Etsy artist Croska create a bouquet of crystal brooches, pearls, satin and sheer fabric flowers in shades of white, off-white and cream, which she plans to preserve in a shadow box. While Brandis, who happened to be completing nursing school while planning her wedding (!!), created many of the wedding’s most alluring elements herself–including those magnificent table number cards and menu cards–she does caution other busy brides not go overboard on the DIY. “I recommend creating DIY items that you can keep as a keepsake.” Amen to that. Congratulations to Brandis and Ronald. And big thanks to Civic Photos, whose evocative images capture this wedding in all its swing-era splendor.
Photos: Civic Photos~Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero from Panache Bridal~Bride’s Shoes: Paris Hilton~Bridesmaids Dresses: Watters + Watters~Reception Flowers: Bride DIY~Decor: Hobby Lobby and Save-On-Crafts~Cake: Designer’s Cakes~Ceremony & Reception Venue: Trevisio Restaurant
You know it, we know it, every bride worth her 1930s peacock-feather fascinator knows it: Vintage-inspired weddings are all the rage. And we’re as mad about them as anyone else. Those nostalgic touches and historic throwbacks aren’t just romantic and evocative—they also make a wedding feel as if it’s part of the tradition of weddings, rather than simply a traditional wedding. Know what we mean?
Here’s someone who definitely does: Mai Dang. The owner of Houston’s Honeydew Events is an expert in vintage allure (along with cutting-edge contemporary style weddings…but that’s for another post). We picked Dang’s brain for her advice on incorporating vintage-style details into your big day in a truly personal way. So before you start tossing antique doilies and sepia-toned photos into your wedding all willy-nilly, make sure you check out her top tips:
Take inspiration from family heirlooms. “Honeydew Events makes sure to design according to a particular couple’s inspirational pieces and traditions,” Dang says. “If the bride is inspired by a vintage brooch from her great grandmother, we would decorate with faded jewel tones. If inspiration stems from the grandmother’s dress, we would design around cool tones with larger print laces and flowers that share the same patterns.” And, of course, actual heirlooms can be incorporated in countless ways, “such as on the bouquet stems, in the bride’s hair, or on her shoes.”
Appeal to all senses. “For vintage table design and décor, we recommend accenting warm colors with soft candlelight or lanterns. It’s best to stay away from any colored up-lighting in the room, such as blues, plum, and pinks,” Dang says. For floral, “We suggest using warm vases and less color-dyed hybrids of flowers.” And when it comes to furniture, “Look for rich-colored soft leather sofas or armchairs with high backs for the lounge area. Also include antique coffee tables with a lot of hand-carved design. An old, traditional leather-bound scrapbook or vintage novel with ivory pages would work well as a guestbook.”
Don’t forget the little things. “Keep it rich in texture. We suggest using small pieces of material, such as worn thread spools, that have the names of your guests embroidered on them, as place cards. Even personalized smoking pipes or cigars can add a little something extra. As for wedding favors, consider giving your guests dried flowers in a small picture frame or antique hair accessories.”
Do your research. “The Internet is a world of infinite knowledge,” says Dang, noting that brides can find tons of websites that provide details on the specific furnishings, fads and fashions of just about any historic era. She also recommends visiting museums that feature historic photos, paintings and jewelry, as well as “the good, old-fashioned library.” Well, what a vintage notion!