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Weather the Weather in Style with Rental Umbrellas & Parasols

This being Houston and all, into at least a few brides’ weddings some rain must fall. If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour or reception, you’re going to want to check out Bella Umbrella, which carries awesome vintage and vintage-inspired rental umbrellas. We’ve used these ourselves for Weddings in Houston photo shoots, and we gotta say, they are utterly adorable.

For ultra-feminine, romantic types, there are ruffled-canopy designs in a variety of colors and patterns. We’re partial to the peach canopy with black polka dots and black ruffled edge but you may prefer the dusty rose canopy with multi ruffle tiers and bamboo handle, or one of the many other ruffled styles.

And imagine an outdoor fête festooned with a sea of green-and-silver striped pagodas or chic pink-and-black striped canopies? What a photo op!

Makes you feel a whole lot better about that iffy forecast, don’t it?

You don’t have to pray for rain to take advantage of Bella Umbrella. To keep guests shaded from the sun, or as an accessory to bridal party attire, we heart Bella Umbrella’s non-rainproof bridal parasols. There’s the classic ruffled ivory, the evocative lace canopy with wood post handle and a glamorous ostrich-feather trimmed style, plus tons of twirlable others.


Beautiful Bridal Nails By The Time You’re a Bride

We’ll go ahead and admit it right here: We’re not nearly as good to our nails as we should be. If you’re like us—prone to nibbling cuticles, peeling snags and generally neglecting, even abusing, our poor, defenseless nails—you’ll be pleased to know that there is still time to change your ways before your big day.

To get your hands in fighting shape for your debut as a bride, you should ideally start training a few months out. That means from here on out, NO washing dishes without wearing gloves; NO picking, peeling or otherwise harassing cuticles or hangnails; NO removing labels or untying knotted stuff or doing other utilitarian chores with your fingernails instead of the appropriate non-fingernail implement.

It also means ALWAYS applying lotion or hand cream after exposing hands to water (you can’t beat
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream for dry cracked hands, and we love the silky feel and pretty scent of L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream; ALWAYS treating any cracks or snags immediately with judicious clipping and moisturizing; and, whenever possible, getting a regular manicure—even if it’s just to groom and buff natural nails.

For at-home nail conditioning and maintenance, we highly recommend the Nailtiques line—especially the much-beloved Nailtiques Formula 2, with calcium and hydrolyzed keratin. This stuff is a godsend for weak, brittle nails like ours, and for nails damaged by years of acrylics. Apply it exactly according to instructions, and you can expect noticeably stronger nails in about a month.

Stick to a nail regimen like this, and by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ll be able to sport hot, new bridal nail looks like these:



Coming Up: April 9-11, 2010

Remember this mouthwatering post from a few weeks back on Houston foodie fave
Campbell’s Catering? Yummy, right? Well, sure, it’s fun to read about fabulous food—but it’s a whole lot more fun to EAT it. Take advantage of Campbell’s open house this Saturday, April 10 from noon to 2 p.m. and sample this in-demand Houston catering company’s hospitality and culinary know-how firsthand. We’ve tasted Courtney Campbell & crew’s divine specialties (Duck wontons? Shrimp cocktail shooters? Gourmet BBQ-filled potato boats? OMG. TDF.) and you will NOT want to miss this opportunity.

Campbell’s Catering
14775 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Sat. April 10

For more info call 281.589.5555 or e-mail campbellscatering@sbcglobal.net

Moving on from food to fashion, we recommend the Angel Sanchez trunk show at
Maison de Mode, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April. 9-11. Reps of the design house will be lavishing personalized attention on attending brides as they show off beautifully made gowns from the celebrated Venezuelan bridal designer. Expect plenty of lustrous silk, romantic tulle and delightful touches such as metallic thread, handkerchief hems and impeccable embroidery. Brides who purchase their gowns at this special event get a 15% discount…and the ability to say with pride that they’re getting married in Angel Sanchez. Très chic.

Maison de Mode
2431 Rice Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
Fri.-Sun. April 9-11

For additional details call 713.527.8285 or e-mail maisondemode@hotmail.com.

Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez

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.

Designer Spotlight: Joanna August


We here at the Houston Wedding Blog do NOT believe that ho-hum bridesmaids somehow elevate the beauty of the bride. And neither, thankfully, does Joanna August. We love that the newbie bridal designer’s line emerged directly out of her own dilemma over sending “her best friends down the aisle in dresses whose beauty ran a distant second to that of the table settings” at her 2008 wedding.

Know what we love even more? Her absolutely gorgeous bridesmaid dresses. And know who loves those dresses even more than we do? Uh, that’d be the lucky bridesmaids who get to wear them—over and over and over again.

Who wouldn’t love flouncing down the aisle (and then turning up at Skybar) in the ultra-chic Erica, with its one-shoulder bodice and flirty skirt? Then there’s the slightly more daring but equally romantic Dara Mini. Like the Erica, this one’s 100% silk, but instead of a solo shoulder it’s got a ruffled neckline, a higher scalloped hem and a figure-flattering wraparound style. Picture-perfect for spring weddings, right? But doll it up with some sparkly earrings and a pair of stilettos, and your maid is dressed for a sophisticated summer dinner date. Yum!


Planning a formal affair? You have got to check out Joanna August’s Jae Long, with shirred asymmetrical neckline and floor-grazing A-line skirt. You can get this Grecian-inspired bridesmaid dress in any number of vibrant colors, from aquamarine to scarlet, but we think it looks simply stunning in basic black. Wow.

Jae Long
Jae Long

Joanna August also makes lovely, unfussy, sophisticated wedding gowns, all of them 100% silk, all of them under $4,000 (with one, the ethereal Kelly, under a grand!), and each utterly unique in silhouette and style.

All of Joanna August’s dresses can be ordered online, but to see them in person, you’ll have to get yourself to Bella Bridesmaid in Dallas. For now. Joanna, whose hubby hails from Texas, and who says she “LOVES Houston,” is hoping to get her dresses in a local boutique soon. And guess who’ll let you know when she does? Uh, that’d be us.