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Venues We Love: Houston Area’s Historic Dance Halls

Back in the day (by which we mean the 1890s), folks used to gather to kick up their heels at the local dance hall. These legendary meeting places typically featured large wood plank floors, a stage and saloon. They were the place to go for a good time. And they still are.

Texas Dance Hall Wedding

Schulenberg’s Sengelmann Hall (above), which opened its swingin’ doors way back in 1894, used to play host to town locals who would come for games, drinks, dancing…and the occasional brawl (the hall’s carved marble pillars still bear 19th-century bullet scars!). Sengelmann still has all its dance-hall charms, like pressed tin ceilings, a bucolic biergarten and mahogany bar, but it’s also got lovely ceremony and reception space, plus tons of experience hosting true Texas weddings. Keep it simple—barefoot ceremony, buffet, beer—or add lush floral arrangements, linens, lighting and rentals for a country-chic celebration. Just make sure to set out an extra chiavari or two for the ghosts

Texas Dance Hall Wedding

Over in Cypress, Tin Hall touts the fact that it’s been hosting special events for more than a century. We love this circa-1889 hall’s awesome 4,400-square-foot dance floor and ample party space (with two full floors, the site can accommodate 1,200 guests!). Of course, with 40 wooded acres surrounding it, Tin Hall also has plenty of fine outdoor ceremony space and photo ops. And even though it’s one of the oldest reception halls around, it offers newfangled wedding extras, like a computerized light show and high-tech sound system. Something old, something new…someplace wonderful! (Cheers to local Hazel West Photography for the Tin Hall kissing couple on the left, and to I Heart Photography of Austin for the Tin Hall smoochers on the right.)

 

 

Venues We Love: House of Blues

Houston Rock n Roll Wedding

Just the words “Foundation Room” are filled with hip, VIP mystique and a promise of exclusive, upscale, elegantly wicked fun. So of course the Foundation Room at House of Blues is a perfect spot for special wedding-related soirees. But there’s so much more to love about House of Blues than its Foundation.

For instance, did you know that HOB’s intimate Elwood Room is a great setting for an afternoon shower? “And guys don’t mind the couple’s shower when they can hang in The Jake Bar Lounge,” promises House of Blues special event sales manager Lauren MacQueen. How’d you like to “party like a rock star in our Big Mama Suite?” MacQueen wants to know. You can, you know, at your ultra-exclusive bachelor or bachelorette party, behind closed doors, with an overhead view of the legendary House of Blues stage. For an unforgettable engagement celebration, book the Bronze Peacock room, which features “playfully sophisticated decor and a dedicated stage for a band or DJ,” plus a cool outdoor terrace, perfect for setting up a cigar bar or hookah lounge. Or treat guests to a morning-after-the-wedding “Gospel Brunch”–there’s no more enjoyable penance for the previous evening’s celebratory hijinks. And that aforementioned Foundation Room? Inspired by the Near East and featuring Persian carpets, beautiful chandeliers and an eclectic display of art from HOB’s private collection, it’s a near perfect mixture of sophistication and peacefulness. Naturally, the food, drinks and service are fabulous, too. Rehearsal dinner, anyone?

Of course, for the ultimate rock ’n roll wedding, there’s no venue more fitting than HOB’s legendary Music Hall. “The bride and groom take center stage as guests view the ceremony from The Mezzanine,” then the entire entourage joins the stars of the show downstairs for a lavish reception on the main floor. For details on how you can hook up HOB for your wedding-related celebration, call 832.667.7757 or click.

 

Venues We Love: The Lancaster Hotel

Historic Houston Wedding Venue

The Lancaster Hotel isn’t just home to The Bistro—the upscale American cuisine hotspot where this month’s giveaway winner will be enjoying a romantic dinner with her hubby-to-be—it’s also Houston’s only member of the esteemed Historic Hotels of America. What that means for a discerning Houston bride like yourself who may decide to wed at this stately theater district property is magnificently preserved architecture and décor, inside and out.

How you choose to use the classically European-styled space for your wedding day is up to you, but catering manager Adrienne Dedeaux-Solomon often recommends the lobby’s sweeping staircase for bridal portraits, and a pairing of the lobby and the adjacent Bistro for a reception of up to 150. What’s more, the venue’s dedicated staff can “plan all of your festivities, from the rehearsal dinner to in-room massages for your bridal party,” Dedeaux-Solomon notes. Plus, your visiting guests can take advantage of any number of the 93 “tastefully appointed rooms and suites” at this gem of a property, which travel guide “Frommer’s” has designated one of its “Favorite Romantic Historic Hotels in the USA.” A little bit of Houston history, a whole lot of national prominence, and all the attentive, every-little-detail-counts service you’d expect from a boutique hotel experience—that’s what you’ll find at The Lancaster. For more info, call 713.228.9500.

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