GIVEAWAY: Enter by Midnight to Win Dinner for 2 @ Masraff’s!

If you haven’t snapped up your I Do! Bridal Soiree tickets yet, today is the day to do it. That’s because we’re giving away a fabulous dinner for two at Masraff’s to one lucky bride who reserves her I Do! ticket(s) by midnight tonight.

First off, a bit more on the prize: One of Houston’s most acclaimed restaurants, Masraff’s serves contemporary American cuisine—think fresh seafood, succulent steaks, market-fresh produce, hints of Asian and French influence—in a modern, art-filled space. It’s a favorite setting for impressive rehearsal dinners, engagement parties and intimate weddings. It’s also the perfect spot for a romantic dinner with your hubby-to-be. And your odds of winning one are EXCELLENT.

How to win:

Step 1: Reserve your I Do! tickets and enter code word “MASRAFFS” in the comments section of the ticket order page. You MUST do this to be eligible to win.

Step. 2: Visit the Masraff’s dinner menu online. While your mouth inevitably waters profusely, choose the appetizer, entree and dessert that make up your idea of the perfect Masraff’s meal.

Step 2: Visit us on Facebook and tell us your choices by adding your comment to the Masraff’s I Do! Giveaway post.

That’s it! Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. We’ll announce the winner on Monday. Bon apetit!

I Do! @ The Houstonian Is Coming Up…Fast!

Weddings in Houston Winter Bride

Less than three weeks to go till the Jan. 23 I Do! Bridal Soiree takes over The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa: Got your tickets yet?

If not, here are FIVE reasons to snag them NOW:

1. I Do! is Houston’s ONLY luxury bridal show. Other bridal events may have vendors, snacks, even swag. But only I Do! features the absolute cream of the crop of Houston wedding talent and expertise, from floral and décor gurus, to purveyors of fine custom EVERYTHING for your wedding, to top celebrity and socialite wedding planners.

2. And speaking of luxury—how about the luxury of TIME? The I Do! Bridal Soiree is five full, fabulous hours of wedding ideas, inspiration and interaction. Which means you get to enjoy gazing at tablescapes, schmoozing with experts and indulging in fine food, drink and, yes, cake, at your leisure. No herding, no hustling, no rush.

3. Gowns, gowns, gowns. If you’re searching for the one, the exact perfect one, for your day of a lifetime, there is no place you’re more likely to find it than on the runway of the always-incredible I Do! fashion show. The most coveted designer bridal gowns, the most deliriously beautiful looks in wedding-day hair, makeup and accessories, all in one place, which just happens to be the place you’re in. How cool is that?

4. I Do! may be a luxury event, but the ticket price? Bargain-o-rama. If you find even one great vendor or product—one fantastic invitation designer, one perfect Lanvin-pink table linen, one extraordinary photographer—for your big day (and chances are you’ll find lots more than that), your $20 investment will have paid off lavishly. All that, and a killer goodie bag, too? Now that’s the kind of deal a girl could really fall in love with.

5. They’re gonna sell out. They always do.

So don’t get left out in the January cold, while your savvy sister brides are sipping and shopping and glowing and getting their socks totally knocked off inside The Houstonian on Sunday, Jan. 23. Get your I Do! tickets now…and we’ll see you there!

Bridal Fall Preview 2011: Reem Acra

Reem Acra Fall 2011 Bridal Collection Reem Acra Fall 2011 Bridal Collection

We can’t help but be captivated by Reem Acra’s fall 2011 “Picture Perfect” collection—another of our favorites from the recent New York bridal market. Inspired by “the leading ladies of iconic films … their strength of character stays with me,” as the designer told Weddings in Houston, speaking to us for an exclusive profile piece you’ll find in the upcoming January issue, Acra has created a filmography of bridal fashion with this collection.

Reem Acra Fall 2011 Bridal Collection Reem Acra Fall 2011 Bridal Collection

Gowns include the deliriously romantic “Breakfast at Tiffanys,” with its contemporary fitted bodice and softly layered skirt, and the modern-mermaid-silhouetted “Pretty Woman,” featuring an exquisite halter neck and equally exquisite embroidery—a signature of Acra’s. Check out both gowns, on left and right above. We love how the designer accessorized models with cropped lace veils, some featuring oddly whimsical (but somehow sexy) animal ears. Along with sheer gloves and the palest-of-pink ribbon belts, the overall effect was mysterious and magical, and very, very beautiful.

Bridal Preview Fall 2011: Rivini

Rivini Fall 2011 Collection Rivini Fall 2011 Collection

Whew. It’s been an exhilarating (read: kind of crazy) couple of months, what with working on soon-to-be-launched redesigns of the Weddings in Houston website and this here blog, not to mention putting together the big, beautiful, bursting-with-inspiration January print issue of Weddings in Houston.

Of course, in the midst of this delightful madness, the New York bridal market just wrapped, and we are so excited to treat you to a preview of our favorite fall 2011 collections, straight from the market runways.

So let’s just start with a bang shall we? Bridal couture darling Rivini staged its show at the Alvin Ailey Theater, home of the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Which would have been cool enough. But then there were the gowns—oh, what gowns. Inspired by the French impressionist Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny, designer Rita Vinieris created a magnificently textured collection featuring extraordinary pleating, layering, tufting and draping—in other words, lots of working of fabric that somehow never looked overworked.

Rivini Fall 2011 Collection Rivini Fall 2011 Collection

We checked in with Emily Sutton of Mia Bridal Couture for her take on the Rivini fall 2011 collection, and here’s what she told us: “Seeing these gowns on the runway whisks you away to [Monet’s gardens]. Rita manipulated the structural details to provide strong silhouettes with effortless movement.” Sutton says she loves how the collection’s bold lines “were softened by floral motifs and organic draping.”

Plus, we LOVE Rivini’s use of black and blingy belts, and chunky jewelry, as edgy counterpoints to these romantic gowns.

Check out our favorite designs from the Rivini collection—and check baclk over the next few weeks (or better yet subscribe to WIH and let US come to YOU) for more fall 2011 previews!

I Do! Bridal Soiree Is Coming To The Houstonian On Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011

Dream Bouquet Tablescape Lavishly Luxe Tablescape

We know that as a planning-mode bride with an overstuffed schedule, you appreciate a little advance notice. Especially about upcoming events with high sell-out potential. That’s why we’re letting you know NOW about the I Do! Bridal Soiree, coming to The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa on Sunday, Jan. 23.

If you only attend one bridal show before your wedding, make it I Do! @ The Houstonian. Seriously. This extraordinary showcase is our biggest, most bountiful wedding event, with nearly 100 of Houston’s absolute most in-demand wedding vendors—we’re talking invitations, cakes, floral, lighting, linens, jewelry, entertainment, the works—on hand to show off goods and share their expertise. With YOU.

I Do! @ The Houstonian also treats attendees to the season’s most spectacular designer runway show (so if you haven’t yet picked your gown, grab a front-row seat, honey). Plus we’re serving fine food and drinks, showing off gorgeous tablescapes and handing out a fabulous door prize or two.

This show WILL SELL OUT (it does every single year), so don’t miss your chance to experience Weddings in Houston’s one-of-a-kind resource for planning your once-in-a-lifetime wedding. Get your tickets now, and rest easy through the holiday season, knowing the year’s most luxurious, sophisticated, spectacular bridal showcase awaits you just around the corner.