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Madera Estates Bride and Groom Shoot by Ama by Aisha Photography & Cinema

Picture this: You’ve found the perfect wedding venue and the perfect photographer…only to discover later—ack!—that you and your honey have to move out of state and won’t be able to wed where you’d planned, after all. Now enjoy these gorgeous pictures of Kristin and Scott, shot at Madera Estates by Aisha Khan of Ama by Aisha Photography & Cinema. When the pair realized they wouldn’t be celebrating their union at their selected venue, they decided to do a “Day Before the Wedding” shoot with their selected photographer. Notes Khan, “The session was scheduled so we’d have perfect outdoor lighting. Kristin chose a second location out in a field, perfect for her photos, though it wouldn’t have been so perfect had we been rushing between the ceremony and reception.” Sweet, right? “Kristin is planning on having a fun and stress-free wedding while spending precious time with her guests. In her words, ‘If it rains or things go wrong on my wedding day, or taking photos with guests and family takes too long, it won’t matter because I’ll already have great wedding photos of the two of us.’” Plus, Khan adds, “She’ll also be showcasing the photos and her album during her wedding.” Wins all around. Thanks so much, Aisha, Kristin and Scott. And happiest wishes to the bride and groom!

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Photos: Ama by Aisha Photography & Cinema ~ Bride’s Dress: Pronovias from Brickhouse Bridal ~ Makeup: Live Love Beauty by Lily ~ Flowers: DIY ~ Venue: Madera Estates

Get Your I Do! @ ZaZa Tix and You Could Win a $500 Steve Lee Weddings Bridal Boudoir Shoot to Boot

You KNOW you want to attend the sure-to-be-mind-blowing I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa (for which tix, darlin’, are going like hotcakes). But perhaps you’re a wee bit on the fence about baring a little bridal skin for a boudoir photography shoot. Here’s the deal: When you snag your I Do! @ ZaZa tickets by midnight Sunday, Sept. 1, you will be automatically entered to win a $500 editorial boudoir shoot with one of the best in the business: the outrageously talented and exceptionally professional Steve Lee. Lee’s reputation for making brides of all shapes, sizes and comfort levels feel secure, sexy and confident at their boudoir shoots is well earned. And his photos? Ahhh-mazing.

So what are you waiting for, honey? Purchase your tickets to the Oct. 6 I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa, our most sophisticated and stylish show of the year—and you could win what will ultimately amount to the best freakin’ gift your groom will ever get: you, at your most bridal beautiful, for his eyes only. Forever.

All brides who buy their tickets to Houston’s hottest bridal event by midnight Sunday are entered to win; winner announced Tuesday, Sept. 3 on Facebook. And remember, the I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa WILL SELL OUT. It always does.

Good luck…hot stuff.

Photos: Steve Lee Weddings

Champagne, Gold and Chocolate Villa Rinata Wedding

Ooo… another U.S.-Canada transcontinental love story. We love it! (Full disclosure: Our editor is married to a totally adorable Canuck, so she’s a little biased.) OK, so, Jessica and Mike’s tale actually starts with a series of phone calls they shared, at the urging of friends who thought they’d be perfect for each other. Eventually, they had to meet in person—and once they did, the sparks flew. One January day, Mike flew from Edmonton, Alberta, to Houston to surprise Jessica with a marriage proposal…and not only did she say, “Yes,” but she actually moved to Edmonton, where she and Mike now live. “It’s very cold here,” she tells us, “but he keeps me warm.” We’ll just bet he does. Oh—and about the couple’s Houston wedding? It was a beauty! Using a palette of champagne, gold, ivory and chocolate, Darryl & Co. filled the already-lovely Villa Rinata with creamy roses and hydrangeas, illuminated with amber uplighting. Jessica dazzled in her Allure Bridals gown from Weddings by Debbie, and perfect hair and makeup by—who else?—The Perfect Face. Feast your eyes on photos from Canadian photography team Shadowbox Studios, which capture all the glamour and sophistication of this wedding, with its feminine touches and metallic edge. And join us in wishing Jessica and Mike a lifetime of love and warmth!

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Photos: Shadow Box Studios ~ Bride’s Dress: Allure Bridals from Weddings by Debbie ~ Bride’s Hair & Makeup: The Perfect Face ~ Cake: Alphorn Bakery ~ Flowers & Decor: Darryl & Co. ~ Venue: Villa Rinata ~ Rehearsal Dinner: Maggiano’s Little Italy

Elegant Ivory, White and Black Persian-American Wedding at Hotel ZaZa

We admit it: We’ve got a soft spot for love stories that begin, “We met when we were 16 years old, at the mall.” Especially when they involve years of long-distance, on-again-off-again dating that culminates, finally, with the realization that you can’t and won’t live without your true love by your side. Such is the nature of Elly and Ryan’s relationship, sealed with heartfelt vows in a ceremony inside  Hotel ZaZa’s Phantom Ballroom that combined Persian and traditional Western rites and rituals. Following the ceremony, guests gathered in the ballroom’s foyer area where they enjoyed more than 10 different types of passed hors d’oeuvre while Hotel ZaZa’s expert staff, along with design pros from florist and decorator Plants N’ Petals, transformed the ceremony space for the reception. “Each of the 13 nooks in the Phantom ballroom was used differently,” bride Elly explains. “The center nook held the Persian sofreh while other nooks contained bars, couches and seats with cocktail tables, guest dinner tables, the six-piece band, and the two DJ’s.” Centerpieces of roses, peonies, hydrangeas and crystal candelabras topped the tables, where guests convened to rest and refuel when not dancing the night away. “Our wedding went even better than I could have imagined,” Elly says. “We had such a wonderful time!” And we’ve had a wonderful time sharing your day with you and Ryan. Thanks so much to John Ly Photography for the pretty pix—and congratulations to the lovely couple.

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Photos: John Ly Photography ~ Videography: A&A Video Productions ~ Bride’s Dress: Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston ~ Jewelry: Markle Luxury Jewelers & Zadok Jewelers ~ Shoes: Jimmy Choo ~ Hair & Makeup: Blush & Co. ~ Flowers & Decor: Plants N’ Petals ~ Persian Sofreh: Sofreh Chic ~ Coordinator: Belle of the Ball ~ Officiants: Minister Brian Engle (Weddings Performed); Lillie Taat~ Venue: Hotel ZaZa

Lovely Butler’s Courtyard Wedding with Overseas Proposal Story

“Kevin asked me to marry him in Norway, where I was born,” Houston bride Kristine tells us. “He was visiting me while I was doing an internship abroad. He already had a ring, had already asked my dad for my hand in marriage, and was just waiting for the right time to ask. The last day, which we spent at my family cottage, was the most gorgeous day. The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. We went for a long walk to a lighthouse located on the shore of the North Sea. As soon as we arrived, Kevin couldn’t wait, and got down on one knee.” Wondering what Kristine’s answer was? Yeah, you guessed it. The pair made it official this summer, in front of 125 beloved friends and family members, with a beautiful ceremony and fun, rustic-elegant reception at Butler’s Courtyard. “I wanted my wedding to be very laid-back and relaxed, which I achieved with having it mostly outdoors. The interior features of the venue were very rustic, with exposed brick, wooden beams, chandeliers and vintage candelabras, which achieved the look I wanted on their own. Outdoors we had light linens, mercury-glass vases, blush bridesmaid dresses, baby’s breath, string-bulb lights and an amazing piano man who played and sang all the classics…which made my wedding a dream come true!” Thank you so much, Kristine and Kevin, for sharing your dream day with all of us. Thanks, too, to Mustard Seed Photography, for some very lovely documentation of this beautiful Houston wedding.

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Photos: Mustard Seed Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Pronovias ~ Bride’s Hair & Makeup: DIY ~ Cake: Cakes by Jula ~ Flowers: DIY & NASA Flowers ~ Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Al’s Formal Wear ~ Venue: Butler’s Courtyard