Shelly couldn’t help but fall for Evan, her oh-so-charming office crush, after working many long weeks and late nights together. Shortly after the lovebirds started dating, their lives took an unexpected turn. Warning: grab your tissues now. “Evan was diagnosed with cancer after six months of us dating… needless to say we’ve been through many ups and downs together, and it’s only strengthened our commitment together,” Shelly says. “I’m so happy to share that Evan is now cancer-free!”
On the night of their four-year dating anniversary, Evan requested that Shelly meet him for a cocktail at the Hilton Americas – Houston before dinner. “When I arrived at the bar, Evan was nowhere to be found, but the bartender gave me the sweetest note from him, asking me to meet him in the elevator lobby of the 11th floor (where we had first spent all night talking at a work conference in 2010). I was escorted to the elevator and as soon as I stepped out, Evan was on one knee waiting for me,” she recounts. After lots of hugs, photos and a few glasses of bubbly, he took her to a surprise dinner where their friends and family were waiting to celebrate the good news!
“I wanted a timeless look for the wedding— black tuxedos, long charcoal gray bridesmaid dresses and lots of white and green decor,” adds Shelly.
The newlyweds and guests indulged in a fabulous donut station by Hugs & Donuts !
“Our wedding was the best day of my life. We danced all night long, and we didn’t want it any other way,” the bride recounts. We wouldn’t want it any other way either! Congrats Shelly and Evan, we wish you a lifetime of good health, happiness and LOVE. Thanks MD Turner Photography for the beautiful photos!
Photography & Videography: MD Turner Photography | Proposal Location: Hilton Americas – Houston | Donut Station: Hugs & Donuts
Of course, everyone wants to be in tiptop shape when walking down the aisle on their wedding day, but determining exactly how to achieve that look can sometimes be as challenging as the pre-wedding workouts themselves! Every body type is different and requires personalized attention in order to look simply ravishing in the wedding attire of your choice. Lucky for you, we’ve got a direct line to certified personal trainer and nutritionist Rebekah Bray, the body and brain behind Houston’s beloved BE a 10 Fitness, and we’re bringing you her individualized workout plans for a variety of different wedding dress styles. Read on, lovelies!
Photo: Courtesy of BE a 10 Fitness
A recent bride herself, Bray creates custom training regimens and nutrition plans for brides, grooms and the entire wedding party. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, or looking to up your game, Bray has a regimen to help you look your best.
Take a quick look at these exercises Bray recommends for three of our favorite bridal gown styles. And in case you missed our 4/20 Facebook Live broadcast, we’ve posted it below for demos of each workout!
Photo: Steve Lee Photography | Gown: Stephen Yearick from Weddings by Debbie
A-Line & Ballgown Wedding Dress: These exercises focus on toning your arms, core and chest to get rid of any unwanted flab or “batwings” before slipping into this classic wedding look!
- Elevated Pushup with a Shoulder Tap: 3 sets of 10 reps each
- Start in a plank position.
- Lift one leg at a time onto an elevated surface. Make sure the top half of your foot is secure on the surface and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are aligned.
- Slowly lower down into a pushup. Come back up.
- Stabilize yourself while pulling your core tight and lift one hand at a time off the ground to tap the opposite shoulder. Repeat.
- Front-Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps each
- Position dumbbells on the sides of your thighs, with palms facing inward and elbows straight or slightly bent.
- Raise dumbbells forward and upward until your arms are horizontal and parallel to the ground. Lower and repeat.
- Chest Fly with Elevated Legs: 3 sets of 20 reps each
- Lie down on a mat with a dumbbell in each hand with your arms up in the air and the palms of your hands facing each other.
- Either with bent knees or straight legs, lift your feet until you feel your lower abs tighten.
- With your elbows slightly bent, lower your arms out to the sides creating a T-shape until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles. Raise your arms and bring your hands back together. Repeat.
Photo: Serendipity Photography | Gown: Brickhouse Bridal
Trumpet/Mermaid/Drop Waist Wedding Dress: These exercises focus on your hips, thighs and butt, which will all be emphasized with this sexy wedding dress style. With a few arm exercises mixed in, brides will also look their best in strapless options.
- Kettlebell Swing: 3 sets of 20 reps each
- Start in a squatting position with your hips pushed back, chest upright and both hands on the kettlebell handle.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
- Slightly bend your knees and use power from your legs and biceps to jerk and then swing the kettlebell rapidly until your hands are about eye level and you have reached a standing position.
- Reverse Lunge: 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
- Take a big controlled step backward with your left foot.
- Lower your hips so that your right thigh becomes parallel to the floor, with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle.
- Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted.
- Switch legs and repeat.
- Squat Hammer Curl Press: 3 sets of 15 reps each
- Start in a standing position and squat down by pushing your hips back, as if you are sitting in a chair. Lower down as far as you can go and keep your chest up.
- At the same time, hold dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing toward your body. Perform a curl with palms still facing inward as you lower down in a squat position.
- Press up to return to a standing position and lower arms to return dumbbells to your side.
- Once in a standing position, press the dumbbells straight up in the air with the palms of your hands still facing inward. Note: Keep your elbows narrow and in line with your shoulders.
- Perform this exercise in one fluid motion. As you squat down, hammer curl up. Once returning to a standing position, perform a shoulder press and repeat.
Photo: Philip Thomas Photography | Gown: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon
Sheath Wedding Dress: These exercises crush your arms, core, legs, shoulders and more. The draping of a sheath dress may seem simple, but it requires a rocking bod underneath in order to look fabulous.
- Pushup Plank Alternating Front Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps (10 pushups/10 raises = 1 set)
- Start in a plank position.
- Perform 10 pushups.
- Immediately alternate lifting each arm out in front of you 10 times at head height.
- Crab V-touch: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Sit on the ground with your feet extended in front of you.
- Place your hands on the ground – fingers pointing toward your feet — and lift up into a crab position.
- With your body lifted up, reach your right hand toward your left foot and touch.
- Place opposite hands and feet back on the ground. Alternate and repeat. Do not lower down from crab position until you have completed all reps.
- Single Arm Row: 3 sets of 15 reps (each arm)
- Stand near a flat bench and place dumbbells on either side.
- Put your left knee up on the back end of a flat bench and then place your left hand toward the top of the bench. Your torso should be parallel to the bench with your arm, shoulder and wrist aligned.
- Your right leg will be on the ground stretched out (knee slightly bent), not directly beside the bench but a few inches away.
- Grab the dumbbell from the right side of the bench in your right hand and allow your arm to hang.
- Pull the dumbbell up with your palm facing your body, bending your elbow until the dumbbell is between your chest and right shoulder. Squeeze your shoulder blades while maintaining a flat back and stable body. Keep your elbow close to your body.
- Extend your arm back down and repeat.
Ready to achieve your wedding goals? Book your “FIT to BE a MRS,” “Bridal Bootcamp” or other wedding packages with BE a 10 Fitness today! And be sure to tell Rebekah you found her awesome exercises on the Houston Wedding Blog.
Houston bride, Elandrea, had her eye on Mark for a while in college. “Luckily we had a mutual friend that talked to Mark for me. We exchanged numbers, became friends and started dating a year later,” she explains. When Mark started to think up the most creative way possible to propose, he channeled his tech background and created a game app that he was going to convince Elandrea to play. “He asked me to get my nails done, which struck me as odd, since was really not in his nature to do so. When I came home he also said that he wanted to take me for dinner,” adds Elandrea. “Before we left, he told me he wanted me to test out the game he was working on. I began to play the game like normal, and all of a sudden the song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran came on, while images of us were popping up. Eventually a poem came on the screen, and then (here it comes!) a message that said, ‘Will you marry me,’” she recounts.
The lovebirds tied the knot in front of their nearest and dearest at Hotel Galvez & Spa. “My aim for the wedding was a tropical feel with beautiful, vibrant colors,” says Elandrea. Their color palette of orange, purple, fuchsia and gold set the tone for a bright, fun wedding atmosphere.
“My favorite moment was dancing with my dad. We always clown together, so our dance was definitely a show to watch and remember,” Elandrea adds.
We couldn’t be happier for these two. Congrats and best wishes from all of us at Weddings in Houston!
Photos: Point and Click Photography | Venue: Hotel Galvez & Spa | Mother-of-the-Bride Dress: MLD Limited
Having begun sewing at the age of 15, Minerva Wooldridge quickly moved on to creating custom wedding gowns from hand-selected materials and exquisite embellishments, eventually founding her own Houston atelier, MW Couture. She is known throughout Houston and the U.S. as an alterations expert and designer of heirloom-quality special-occasion garments, who follows a strict set of rules to ensure that every bride leaves her store with the perfect fit. “My goal is to put my quality on display all the time,” she says. “You don’t take your dress from here unless you are 100 percent happy and satisfied.” We talked with Wooldridge about her rigorous regimen, known to her and her staff as “The Eight Commandments.”
Gown Alterations: MW Couture | Wedding Gown: Brickhouse Bridal | Photography: Ever & Anon Photography
1. The First Fitting — Wooldridge and her team strive to create the most welcoming and comfortable environment possible for the clients who have entrusted MW Couture with their wedding-day look. One way she does this is by reminding brides from the very first phone call to bring their slip, bra and shoes to their first fitting, so she and her team can get the entire look right from the get-go.
2. Dress With Care — Wooldridge also dresses the bride herself, paying special attention to every detail of the dress. She says that this helps her client feel more confident, as she expertly sets the gown to each bride’s body.
3. Find the Vibe — “Sometimes having the bride describe her wedding is like looking into a crystal ball. It lets me know her personality,” Wooldridge says. By hearing more about the event, Wooldridge can determine if she should go more romantic, modern or elegant with the design and fitting.
4. Listen and Answer — “The first time the bride comes in she might be very emotional,” Wooldridge says. She and her team listen intently to make sure they don’t miss any key elements the bride might mention, and that they answer all questions and address all concerns with confidence and empathy.
Gown Alterations: MW Couture | Wedding Gown: Brickhouse Bridal | Photography: Ever & Anon Photography
5. Talk It Out — Once alterations are underway, Wooldridge and her team go into great detail to explain all changes that have been made to the dress and offer any further ideas they might have, leaving the floor open for the bride to ask questions of her own. “Everything has a solution,” Wooldridge says. “I am trying to find the best solution, so she can have a dress that is both personal and unique.”
6. Right On Time — The team at MW Couture is always conscious of brides’ timeframes and takes pride in making achievable alterations within acceptable pickup dates.
7. Quality, Quality, Quality — Wooldridge insists that all alterations at MW Couture are “equal to or better than the original construction of the dress.” We can vouch for that!
8. Conclude with Gratitude — Lastly, Wooldridge thanks the bride for trusting the family at MW Couture with the most important garment for the most important day of her life! She wishes all wedding couples luck and a lifetime of memories.
Alterations: MW Couture | Gown: Lillian West from Whittington Bridal | Photo: Brad Adcock Photography
There are few experts in the wedding business as professional and caring as Minerva Wooldridge and the team at MW Couture! Want to get your perfect fit? Schedule a consultation with MW Couture today!
It was love at first sight when Rikki saw Boris dressed up as a mustard bottle (yes, a mustard bottle) on Halloween at a college frat party. She asked their mutual friend to set them up, but unfortunately it didn’t work out…until the pair connected again during their first week of senior year.
On a perfectly ordinary afternoon, after Rikki returned from a friend’s bridal shower, a surprise proposal awaited her. “Boris and I had planned on going for a walk on the beach when I got home. Once I opened the door of our apartment, I knew something was up. There were flower petals on the ground, flowers from my favorite flower shop all over, candles, and pictures of us from the past four years all over the walls,” recounts Rikki. “I found Boris waiting for me on our balcony on one knee, and he asked for my hand in marriage with the most beautiful ring!”
“I felt like Cinderella in my Mira Zwillinger dress from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon,” says Rikki.
“Our wedding felt like a dream! So many of our closest friends traveled from all over the U.S. to celebrate with us,” adds Rikki.
The ballroom had a very romantic, elegant feel with white, blush and pink flowers accented with soft candlelight.
The night ended with ice cream sandwiches from Smoosh Cookies’ truck for everyone to enjoy.
“Our parents went above and beyond and gave us a wedding weekend we will never forget,” says Rikki. Thanks, Adam Nyholt, for the beautiful photos!
Photos: Adam Nyholt | Bridal Gown: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon | Registry: Bering’s, Kuhl-Linscomb | Baker: Susie’s Cakes & Confections