ENGAGED and CONFUSED?

Register now as a Bride or Groom
and receive our E-newsletter
and planning tools FREE!

Register Today!

Alternative Altars

Planning an outdoor ceremony, Houston bride? An al fresco vow exchange is a great opportunity to get creative and show off your personal style with an altar that goes beyond the basic flower-twined arch or filmy canopy.

Don’t overlook interestingly textured materials like bamboo, wrought iron and driftwood, which make sturdy foundations and offer interesting contrast to softer textiles and floral. Maybe you want to add internal illumination to stretched-fabric posts, or forgo floral in favor of hanging crystals, seashells or sculpted branches. Perhaps your ceremony setting has the good fortune of a natural feature—say, a massive willow tree or sparkling lake—that can serve as a special focal point for your nuptials with little or no added decoration.

While you’re considering these altar alternatives, have a look at a handful of intriguing, unexpected, and altogether wonderful altar examples we’ve pulled together for you:

How cool is this “stage” altar, crafted by Oakland, Calif.-based Because We Can for the wedding of stationery company Hello!Lucky’s creative director?

Photos by Gia Canali with Sara Remington
Photos by Gia Canali with Sara Remington

This contemporary, elegant black wrought-iron chuppah, on the Fountain Terrace of The Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, doubled as a canopy for the reception’s sweetheart table. Stylish and practical.

Wrought Iron Altar
Wrought Iron Altar
Photos by altF Photography
Photos by altF Photography

We love the glowing, ethereal “posts” on this simple but spectacular outdoor canopy. And the bright, willowy-stemmed flowers? What a magical effect.

Illuminated Altar
Illuminated Altar

There’s not much to this understated bamboo canopy—but what is there is refined and lovely, and draws attention to the wedding couple, rather than to itself. You could always add tropical foliage or accent the aisle with floral for a lusher, more feminine look.

Bamboo Altar
Bamboo Altar

And, finally, we are totally in love with this hand-hewn altar, made by the bride’s younger brother to resemble an old-time country church. Check out the “windows,” the yellow dresser, the black iron chandelier and antique candle-holders—amazing, totally original, absolutely beautiful.

Photos by Stephanie Fay
Photos by Stephanie Fay

Buy for Your Wedding, Help Haiti in the Process

It’s no secret that the Houston Wedding Blog has some serious love for haven-of-all-things-handmade, Etsy. And now we have yet another reason to love the ubiquitous online artisans’ marketplace. You see, the Etsy Wedding Team Shop has launched a team event to raise money for Haiti, which, as we all know, was devastated by a massive earthquake, and subsequent aftershocks, on Jan. 10.

Here’s how it works:

Members of the Wedding Team—these are artisans who make wedding-related items, from jewelry to favors to décor, and more—have donated a selection of their wares to the event. Purchase a donated item and the proceeds (minus Etsy and PayPal fees) will go directly to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund. It’s that simple.

The items themselves, on the other hand, are intricate, elegant, fanciful, fun and unique. Check out, for instance, this delightful floral headband—perfect for your most fashionable flower girl.

Flower Headband
Flower Headband

Or how about these filigree and glass-pearl earrings? We think they’re a very pretty pairing for an ivory bridal gown, and also great for a bridesmaid gift.

Filigree and glass-pearl earrings
Filigree and glass-pearl earrings

And weren’t we delighted to find this clay-flower accent arrangement from DK Designs (remember when we blogged about Martha Stewart discovery Diane Phillips way back in November?). Those peach-hued English roses and creamy magnolia blossoms? Hard to believe they’re not real flowers!

Clay Flowers
Clay Flowers

You’ll also find cupcake pick tags (cute!), wedding signs (handy!), coffee cup corsets (darling!) and other wonderful wedding extras. So check it out and pass the word along. Haiti needs our help, and Etsy’s got a terrific opportunity to give it.

Before You Say … “I Do?” Woo-hoo!

Events in Bloom - Photo: D. Jones

If you’re one of the more than 1,000 lucky brides and assorted family and friends who attended the Jan. 24 Before You Say … “I Do!” soiree, you’re probably still reeling from the thrill of the experience. We know we are.

This year’s show featured nearly 80 in-demand Houston wedding experts and purveyors of wedding beauty and bounty (thank goodness for that
Java Pura coffee bar…with so much to see and such divine cuisine and drink from the ever hospitable Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, we needed a caffeine kick or two!)

We want to thank the wonderful Lisa Hopkins, director of catering for The Houstonian, and her amazing staff, without whom the soiree would not have been possible. And this year’s show wasn’t just possible, it was “fabulous,” notes Weddings in Houston publisher Radhika Day. “Gorgeous weather, great turnout and incredible displays” were all on hand, she says. As for those designer tablescapes and cake displays? “They were show stopping! And the cocktail reception was a big hit with the brides.” Shocker, huh? But it was the Houston BoyChoir, which performed on stage just before the spectacular soiree fashion show, that really wowed the crowd. As Day says, “Their angelic faces and beautiful voices stole the show!”

Houston Boychoir - Photo: Nhan

We’ll have more Before You Say … “I Do!” wrap coverage coming up, but take a look at these photos for a little taste of our sweetest soiree yet!

Mia Bridal Couture - Photo: Nhan

Before You Say I Do… Definitely Do This!

blue
Among the many wonderful things the New Year brings, our annual Before You Say… “I Do!” bridal soiree is one of the best. On Sunday, Jan. 24, Before You Say… “I Do!” comes to The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, and you won’t want to miss it. From 1 to 6 p.m., more than 70 of the city’s most in-demand wedding experts and vendors—florists, decorators, photographers, cake creators and much more—will take over the magnificent Houstonian for a day of wedding fantasies made real.

Bring you mother, sister, maid of honor, fiancé…or the whole crew, and enjoy cocktails, gourmet nibbles, spectacular tablescapes, gorgeous cakes, a stunning bridal fashion show, door prizes and special treats. And while you’re at it, take advantage of the chance to chat one-on-one with some of the best wedding talents in the business.

Tickets for this once-a-year luxury showcase of the best in Houston weddings are only $20—that’s less than the price of a single manicure!—for a full FIVE HOURS of wedding ideas, inspiration and goodies galore. And guess what? They sell out. Every year.

We’ll definitely be there. Make sure you are, too!

Reception Decor Inspiration: Taylor Creative Weddings

TaylorDinner
Their client list—Colin Cowie Lifestyle, Versace, Bergdorf Goodman, Serena Bass, etc.—reads like a who’s who of arbiters of style and sophistication. They’ve provided spectacular props and furniture for everything from Hollywood film shoots to high-end social affairs. And now New York’s famed Taylor Creative Props has launched Taylor Creative Weddings—a special collection of furnishings, accessories and décor, along with design consultation services, tailored (if you’ll pardon the pun) just for weddings. Perhaps even YOUR wedding, Houston bride.

TaylorSuite

Taylor Creative has a distinctly modern aesthetic, marked by architectural edge, mid-century modularity, plenty of glass and chrome, and lots of sleek, bright white. But when paired with beautiful lighting and floral, these edgy pieces soften gorgeously, and evoke an atmosphere of sophisticated femininity and romance that makes us swoon.

TaylorBar

Our favorite pieces include the Victoria Pattern Ghost Chair (especially when paired with the patterned Cube Table ), the tufted white Windsor Collection and the illuminated Plexi Bar. And how about those fabulous Glo Balls for an evening al fresco reception?

TaylorCocktails

Unfortunately, Taylor Creative does not warehouse items in Houston—BUT, they will send whatever you want via truck from New York (for the right price, of course). For the rest of us, the Taylor Creative Weddings’ site is a source of inspiration and ideas, and a GREAT resource to share with our phenomenally talented Houston wedding consultants, rental companies, florists or décor providers.