June 28th, 2017
{We’re Down With Downtown: 2 DTHTX Wedding Venues We Love (OK…3)!}
 

Crystal-Ballroom-at-The-Rce

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Venue: The Crystal Ballroom at The Rice

Sure, the bars are hopping. And yeah, there’s a hot, new eatery opening its doors just about every 19 seconds. But one of our favorite things about downtown Houston’s business-to-pleasure evolution is the growing popularity of our thriving urban center as a super-chic location for wedding celebrations.

Ballroom-at-Bayou-Place

Photo: Courtesy of The Ballroom at Bayou Place

One of the coolest kids on the Downtown block is The Ballroom at Bayou Place. Located right in the heart of Downtown’s lively Theater District, The Ballroom has 15,000 square feet (!!) of flexible party space, which can be configured for everything from an intimate engagement-party gathering to an all-out-epic wedding bash for 500 or more of your nearest and dearest. If sleek balconies, sweeping skyline views, swank chandeliers and velvet drapery sound like your idea of the ideal wedding setting, you’ll definitely want to check out this Downtown dazzler, where manager Craig Howard (formerly of Ritz Carlton hotels and Cirque du Soleil—you may have heard of ’em) and his team of pros will help you with everything you need to plan a very pretty city wedding.

Ballroom-at-Bayou-Place

Photo: Courtesy of The Ballroom at Bayou Place

Jumping from a modern ballroom to classic one, let’s take a little stroll across Downtown, and treat you to a glimpse at The Crystal Ballroom at The Rice, located, just like the name says, in the historic Rice Hotel. Built in 1913, The Crystal Ballroom is 5,600 square feet of…gorgeous. Picture 35-foot-high ceilings, hand-painted murals, arched windows, and, of course, the lavish chandeliers you’d expect from a place with “crystal” in its name. Plus, the venue is catered by Sambuca, a name synonymous with renowned American fare—making The Crystal Ballroom a great spot not just for opulent Downtown weddings, but impress-your-guests pre-wedding parties and rehearsal dinners.

Crystal-Ballroom-at-The-Rice

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Venue: The Crystal Ballroom at The Rice

Oh—and don’t forget Lawless Spirits, also located in The Rice. This artisanal-cocktail hotspot, with its industrial-glam ambiance and equally chic terrace offers additional pre- and post-wedding celebration space, along with a taste of Texas history.

lawless-spirits

Photo: Courtesy of Lawless Spirits

Find these two Downtown gems, and tons more Houston-area wedding venues, right here, and schedule your tours early, loves…the best spots in town book up fast!

Crystal-Ballroom-Detail-Ama-Photography

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Venue: The Crystal Ballroom at The Rice

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June 27th, 2017
{Childhood Best Friends Wed at Northgate Country Club}
 

When we say Houston couple Jessica and Trung go way back—we mean it. They met in 8th grade on Halloween night when a big group of friends went trick-or-treating together, and later became the best of friends in 11th grade. “I told Trung I had a crush on him and he asked me out shortly after,” recounts Jessica.

Years later he found the right moment to pop the question during a romantic vacay in Hawaii. “We were en route driving from Maui to Hana, and we stopped by a no-trespassing mile marker in search of a waterfall. Once we reached the waterfall, he got down on one knee,” says Jessica. She said, “Yes,” to spending the rest of her life with her best friend (aww).

Northgate-Country-Club Ring-Bearers-and-Flower-Girls Father-Walking-Bride-Down-Aisle Outdoor-Wedding-Ceremony Outdoor-Wedding-Ceremony Jessica tells us, “We aimed for a simple, yet elegant wedding,” and Northgate Country Club gave them the Houston wedding of their dreams.

Bride-and-Groom Lavender-Bridesmaid-Dresses Lavender-Bridesmaid-Dresses Groomsmen Bride-and-Groom Bride-and-Groom Diamond-Engagement-Rings Chalkboard-Wedding-Hashtags Simple-Wedding-Decor Wedding-Cake Pink-Gold-and-Green-Dessert-Table Some of their favorite moments included the Vietnamese tradition of visiting each table and toasting. “We also had so much fun dancing our hearts out on the dance floor,” says Jessica.

Bride-and-Groom-First-Dance Bride-and-Groom-First-Dance We are so happy for the adorable newlyweds, and sending best wishes!

Bride-and-Groom

Photos: Stephen Huynh Photography | Venue: Northgate Country Club | Baker: Cakes by Gina

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June 23rd, 2017
{Ivory, Gold & Green Vineyard-Inspired Wedding}
 

You know how sometimes you’re sitting in your car, debating whether you should drag yourself over to happy hour with your squad…or head home for a lil’ Netflix and chill like you kinda want to? Yeah, you should prob pick door number 1. This is pretty much the decision Ryan was facing when he made the not-entirely-enthusiastic decision to attend a law-school happy hour social…and ended up changing his life forever.

“We talked and danced the night away, and even shared chocolate-chip pancakes at iHop,” says Kylie, who fell for her future hubs that fateful night, and eventually married him, in a multi-part wedding celebration that embraced Kylie’s Vietnamese background, and Ryan’s Mexican and American ones. “We wanted to fuse all of our cultures together to make our wedding day unique, and fun for our guests.” And we want to share this awesome Houston couple’s lovely and lively wedding with y’all. So go ahead, enjoy, and join us in wishing the newlyweds love!

Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-003 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-002 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-004 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-005 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-006 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-007 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-008 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-009 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-010 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-015 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-016 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-017 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-019 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-022 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-023 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-031 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-030 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-027

“I also loved the idea of a California vineyard wedding, so I incorporated wine corks in the décor along with fresh garlands and lush white flowers,” says Kylie.

Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-026 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-029 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-028 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-032 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-033 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-035 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-036 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-037 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-038

Kylie tells us her favorite moment was during their first dance to “Face The Sun” by Miguel.

Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-039 Kylie & Joseph-Kitty Sanchez Photography-Now & Forever-LBL-Dream Bouquet-Zadok-HI-RES-040

Photos: Kitty Sanchez Photography | Hayley Paige Wedding Dress: Now & Forever Bridal Boutique | Rings: Zadok Jewelers | Flowers & Decor: Dream Bouquet | Linens: LBL Event Rentals

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June 22nd, 2017
{Bridal Beauty Secrets Unlocked: 5 Experts Reveal Their Top Tips}
 

Wondering how Houston brides manage to look so freakin’ fabulous on this here blog, in the pages of Weddings in Houston, and IRL? How ’bout we let a handful of leading Houston bridal beauty professionals explain what it takes to get from fine-for-everyday to…OMG, yassss. Take it away, ladies!

Your-Fab-Fairy

Photo: Courtesy of Your Fab Fairy

 1. Get serious about your skin.

“Great skin is the foundation for a glowing and radiant bride,” says talented beauty expert Margaret Fahnbulleh of Your Fab Fairy (the wedding-services offshoot of Fab The Salon). “A great place to start is by partnering with a dermatologist who can help you identify the right products and skincare regimen that are best for your skin type.”

Meanwhile, traveling makeup artist Andrea Benson of Makeup by Andrea, recommends: “Get monthly facials in the months leading up to your wedding,” while Cheryl Sorrels, owner of KAX Salon, which prides itself on a total VIP experience for brides, bridesmaids, and everyone who seeks out its skin, hair and makeup services, admonishes: “No face picking! If you get a pimple, compress with a very warm towel for five minutes every hour until the pimple has shrunk.” Bam!

2. Banish unwanted hair with care.

While a bit of fuzz may be fine for everyday, professional wedding makeup is best applied to a smooth canvas. But don’t wait until the last minute to depilate. “Make sure you have done all hair removal 10 days before your wedding date,” cautions beauty expert and lash wiz Donyale Jones of Donyale MUA. “We don’t want any peach fuzz on that upper lip to show!”

Sorrels of KAX Salon agrees that it’s crucial to give yourself a good window of time before your wedding to get eyebrows, upper lip and other facial areas in shape. “Do NOT thread or wax the day before the wedding,” but DO make hair removal part of your bridal beauty regimen. “This way your makeup will go on smooth and even,” she explains.

Kax-Salon

Photo: Sharon Nicole Photography | Hair & Makeup: KAX Salon | Tanning: KAX Tanning Souffle

3. Tackle major “issues” well in advance of your wedding.

Even the most confident among us have things we’d like to change about our bodies—especially when we know we’re going to be in the spotlight.

If you’ve been as devoted to your workout routine as you are to your future spouse, but still can’t manage to achieve the sleekness you seek, Wendy Gentile has the solution. The spa manager for Radiance Advanced Skin & Body Care in The Woodlands advises: “CoolSculpt away unwanted fat four months before the big day for your best wedding-dress look.” The fat-freezing process involves no knife, no suction hoses, no needles…not even a laser, and you’ll be back at work (or play) right after your treatment.

Worried about wedding-day waterworks…and not the tear-duct kind? “Schedule your MiraDry treatment for one month before your wedding. It eliminates the sweat glands under your arms for a clean, perspiration-free result,” Gentile says. “Raise a wedding-toast glass with confidence!”

Donyale-Makeup-Artist

Photo: Courtesy of Donyale MUA

4. Be extra kind to your eyes.

As a bride, you’re going to want big, beautiful, dramatic, expressive eyes in person and in photos. Which means professional makeup, designed to emphasize and enhance this most beautiful feature of every bridal face. Which can be tricky if those peepers of yours are not in tip-top shape.

“Dehyrated and puffy eyes can be challenging for a makeup artist,” Sorrels says. “Invest in a good eye cream and apply it every night. Then apply a cold towel compress in the morning.” Cutting back on salt and alcohol can help, too. And getting plenty of sleep is absolutely key!

Plus, Jones adds: “Drink a lot of water during the entire month before your wedding. This will have your skin”—including the delicate skin around your eyes—“at its very best.”

Radiance-Spa

Photo: Courtesy of Radiance Advanced Skin & Body Care

5. Be good to yourself, and it will show.

“Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. She is making all these fabulous plans for her big day,” Your Fab Fairy’s Fahnbulleh says. “But it can also be very stressful.” As a bridal beauty expert, she sees herself as not just an applier of makeup, but a counselor and guide to her bridal clients, helping them to achieve radiance on the biggest day of their life. And this is her advice: “Bride-to-be, do not neglect your self-care during your wedding planning journey. It is so easy to get stressed and overwhelmed during the planning phase. Sometimes you have appointments all day. However, you cannot put your best face forward on your big day if you haven’t slept well in months and you are dehydrated. Great self-care months before the wedding will definitely create that effortless and classic glow from the inside out that every bride wants!”

We couldn’t agree more.

Find out more about these and other top Houston bridal beauty, fitness and health experts here. And get ready for your close-up, darling. xo

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June 19th, 2017
{Celebrity Style: Q&A With Floral Designer Jeff Leatham}
 

JEFF-LEATHAM

Photo: 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 artistic director for the Four Seasons George V in Paris, Leatham’s bold, vibrant floral installations and event 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 book, “Visionary Art and Floral Design” (Rizzoli, 2014), is a must-have. He turned Kris Jenner’s Gatsby-theme 60th-birthday bash into an instant Instagram darling…and he just designed one of the most lavish weddings in wedding history. Leatham’s thoughts on flowers, color and weddings with inimitable personality are the subjects of this exclusive Weddings in Houston Q&A.

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.

Jeff-Leatham

Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Leatham

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 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.

Jeff-leatham

Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Leatham

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 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: 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 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.

Jeff-leatham-Eva-Longoria-Wedding

Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Leatham

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: 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 you 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.

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