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The Best I Do! We’ve Ever Done, Thanks to You

I Do! Bridal Soiree 2011 I Do! Bridal Soiree Tablescapes

Susie’s Cakes & Confections (left); iCatching Events (right)

More than 1,000 attendees. Over 80 vendors. Five full hours of FAB-U-LOUS. We’ll be doing complete show coverage a little further down the road, with photos, video, the whole shebang. But for now, we wanted to take a sec to shine the spotlight on some of your (and our) favorite highlights of this past Sunday’s absolutely spectacular I Do! Bridal Soiree @ The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa.

First off, how about those tablescapes? Sparkle, shimmer & bling are the thing for 2011 wedding reception tables, as radiantly evidenced by our vendors’ magnificent wedding table displays, which featured tons of crystals, blow-glass orbs and jewel accents. And how about that high overhead? We’re talking beautiful suspended floral displays and centerpieces (which, incidentally, are great for letting guests talk to each other across the table without sight obstructions). We saw you practically swooning at the masses of roses (the one bloom that never goes out style), and the brilliant palettes of red, pink and oh-so-popular purple.

Kenneth Pool gown I Do! Bridal Soiree 2011

Mia Bridal Couture (left); Kuhl-Linscomb (right)

When you weren’t chatting with vendors, we spotted you sipping refreshing Pimms cocktails and nibbling sinfully delicious (and simply adorable) French macaroons. And how about those awesome sliders and savory-sweet chicken biscuits? So yummy! It’s no wonder The Houstonian’s fabulously talented catering department recommends serving diminutive comfort snacks like these as a late-night treat at your reception.

As for that fashion show…gorgeous, right? We’ll soon have a rundown of the runway’s most coveted looks, but for now, two words: convertible gown. As in, one amazing dress that goes from ceremony-elegant to celebration-sexy. As in, pretty much perfect.

Whether these highlights remind you of Sunday’s splendor…or make you wish you’d attended, we hope they’ll make you smile. Be sure to subscribe to the Houston Wedding Blog and the Weddings in Houston Wedding Buzz for complete I Do! coverage along with advice on how to incorporate the divine design ideas featured at the soiree into your own very, very special day.

Order I Do! Bridal Soiree Tickets By Midnight, Enter to Win Luxury Getaway for 2!

Brickhouse Bridal Gown Wedding Tabletop Designs By Jessie

Photos By Nhan Nguyen Photography

We know how busy you get, being a bride-to-be. The meetings, the tastings, the fittings, the hours of research and contemplation and tough decision-making.

So we know you’re gonna love this. Not only have we got the absolute crème de la crème of Houston wedding vendors and experts all gathered in one convenient location, where you can meet with them, one on one, while sipping fine wine and nibbling gourmet treats.

Not only do we have Houston’s ONLY couture bridal runway show (Amsale, Kenneth Pool, Christos, Badgley Mischka, etc., etc…I mean, come ON).

But we’re also giving away an amazing weekend-night getaway for two at the legendary Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa—which just happens to also be the home of this Sunday’s I Do! Bridal Soiree.

Convenient, top-of-the-line, one-stop shopping AND a chance to escape from it all with your hubby-to-be and just be in love, luxuriously, for a full 24 hours, on the weekend of your choice? Oh, yeah.

Just pre-order your I Do! tickets NO LATER THAN END OF DAY TODAY and you’re automatically entered in our giveaway contest. That’s a win (you’ve locked in your ticket so you won’t be left out when they inevitably sell out by Sunday), win (you’re attending Houston’s finest, most inspiring, and ONLY luxury bridal show), and quite possible WIN (our Houstonian getaway giveaway…we’ll announce the winner tomorrow!). #IDoHoustonian

Venues We Love: The Phoenix Special Events Facility and B&B

Planning a wedding can be a stressful experience. Your wedding weekend shouldn’t be one. We love that The Phoenix Special Events Facility lets you buy out the entire site, including rustic-elegant event space, plus three charming bed-and-breakfast guest rooms, for an entire four days, at a very pretty price.

That means that you get from Thursday to Sunday to put the final touches on, fully enjoy, and even recover a little bit from your special day. And if you want to have all your wedding-weekend events in one place, you can do that, too. And what a place it is: 75 acres of picturesque countryside in Weimar, a mere 80 miles from Houston. You can enjoy a private pre-wedding celebration with your nearest and dearest, and the next day exchange your vows beneath a canopy of leafy oak boughs beside a sparkling lake, then dine and dance the night away, even treat your guests to a spectacular fireworks show, before retreating with your new hubby to the comfort of your private guest room. Without ever getting in a car.

The Phoenix is very accommodating to vendors, too—bring all your own, or use theirs. Owner and event coordinator Bruce Koehn is on hand to help you plan everything from start to finish, or simply help ensure that all runs smoothly on your big day. If you’re looking for comfort, relaxation and oodles of Southern hospitality for your Houston-area wedding, you really oughtta check out The Phoenix. Call Bruce at 979.733.0304 to schedule your visit—and tell him you found The Phoenix on the Houston Wedding Blog!

What Can Be Learned From Chelsea’s Wedding?

Now that the guests (and throngs of reporters and camera crews) have all gone home, and Chelsea Clinton and new hubby Marc Mezvinsky are settling into what will hopefully be a long and loving married life, we’ve had a chance to think about what Houston brides can learn from the presidential daughter’s wedding.

First off: Go big, if you will, but don’t go over the top. Chelsea didn’t have much choice when it came to the size of her invite list (about 400 guests reportedly attended the Rhinebeck, N.Y. nuptial celebration), but she did have many choices when it came to the scale of her wedding’s design. With help from Boston-based wedding planner Bryan Rafanelli, Chelsea kept things simple and elegant, relying heavily on the inherent beauty of the Beaux-Arts-style Astor Courts, her wedding venue.

Also: Make it about YOU. Yes, Chelsea had a LOT of folks to please, from her president dad to her secretary-of-state mom to her fiance’s family, heads of state, dignitaries and Hollywood types, not to mention her own dear friends and colleagues, and Marc’s, too. But she still managed to have her wedding align with her personality and tastes. Case in point: Chelsea, a vegan, might not have expected EVERYONE to eat an entirely animal-product-free menu (heck, the girl served shortribs!), but she did insist on a gorgeous, and, we hear, absolutely delicious, gluten-free, vegan wedding cake, from La Tulipe Desserts. After all, what good is a wedding cake if the bride herself can’t eat it?

And finally: Have fun! Even while a no-fly zone was in effect overhead and security swarmed the Astor Courts grounds, Chelsea still managed to have a great time at her wedding—AND make it fun for guests. The bride, groom and family members (yup, including President Clinton) got hoisted in chairs for a traditional hora just like at every Jewish wedding everywhere (Marc and his family are Jewish), the 18-piece big-band ensemble had folks kicking up their heels on the dance floor, and the after-party on the tennis courts, which featured ’80s classics and top-40 hits, apparently had revelers raging until after 4 a.m.!

So we say, thank you, Chelsea, for showing us how it’s done. And congratulations!

For a great rundown on why Chelsea Clinton is such an inspiring bride, and a bit on Chelsea’s wedding in the annals of presidential-children’s-weddings history, click here. Enjoy!

RELATED POSTS:
https://www.weddingsinhouston.com/blog/2010/04/flower-powered-wedding-cakes/
https://www.weddingsinhouston.com/blog/2010/01/reception-decor-inspiration-taylor-creative-weddings/
https://www.weddingsinhouston.com/blog/2010/04/daytime-wedding-wow/

Runner Rules: The When, Where and Wow of Wedding Aisle Runners

rose-petals-aisle
Perfectoutdoorweddings.com

No matter where you plan to say, “I do,” an aisle runner makes the ceremony site look complete. Traditionally, ceremony ushers roll out the runner (which is secured near the altar) from altar to aisle entrance to signal the start of the processional. And if you’re a traditional bride getting married in a traditional church ceremony, this may be the path you choose.

La Bella Storia - Trey W
The Original Runner Co.

But don’t think you need to stick to conventional customs when it comes to runners. With so many brides tying the knot in unconventional settings—in hotel lobbies, on lawns, in museums, on rooftops, etc.—practicality often trumps tradition in the area of runner setup.

The Original Runner Co.
The Original Runner Co.

For outdoor ceremonies, especially those on grass or sand, you might choose to create a “runner” out of rose petals, or paper or fabric confetti—any scattered material, really, that allows you to walk safely and comfortably without snagging a heel and risking a ripped runner, or worse, a stumble or fall.

If you prefer a more traditional look, you can secure your fabric runner to wood flooring, creating a kind of runner boardwalk that allows bride, groom and wedding party to proceed (and recede) without incident. You won’t be able to do the traditional pre-processional rollout, but you will get the benefits of special-occasion grandeur and everyday safety in equal measure.

The Original Runner Co.
The Original Runner Co.

If you are investing in a custom runner—we especially love ones by The Original Runner Co., which makes non-slip fabric runners in a variety of extraordinary designs from romantic and classic to ultra-hip—you probably want to get the most for your money. It’s perfectly acceptable to have the runner fully rolled out prior to guest arrival, so that guests may enjoy its elegance from the moment they arrive. Just make sure the center aisle is roped off or otherwise blocked (with a floral arrangement or other removable pretty thing) so that arriving guests don’t use the aisle for locating their seats, and risk marring its pristine loveliness with footprints before the processional.

And remember, your aisle runner need not follow the straight and narrow—plenty of local florists and decorators can create winding, zig-zagging, swirling or otherwise non-linear aisle adornment. As for color, you’re not bound to tradition there, either. Yes, once upon a time, when evil spirits were thought to lurk beneath the earth’s surface, a white aisle was laid out to keep these baddies at bay and protect the bride’s purity. But this is 2010, and these days any color goes: tangerine, tourmaline, evergreen…pick your palette, and off you go, on your way to happily ever after.