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Jewel-Tone Art Deco Wedding by Civic Photos

Faye and Oussama were connected before they ever met—their families were long-time friends and the pair knew of each other but never spoke until the summer of 2013 when they both happened to be in Lebanon visiting family. “We ran into each other at the beach and instantly felt a connection. We spent the entire week together, and hit it off! Oussama and I ended up dating each other long distance for almost two years,” says Faye.

Faye gave us all the deets on how Oussama popped the question: “It was our two-year anniversary. After dinner, we went home, and once I walked in I noticed one of the rooms had lights strung all over the walls and candles everywhere. Oussama then handed me a Starbucks cup with my favorite coffee cup that said, ‘Will you marry me?’”

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She wore a gorgeous strapless Maggie Sottero wedding dress from Weddings by Debbie, and her bridal party wore rose gold sequined dresses.

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For their wedding reception, a jewel-tone color palette with gold accents brought depth and glamour to their chosen Art Deco wedding theme.

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Favorite moments? “Our traditional Arab grand entrance to the reception. It was so special,” recounts Faye.

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Congrats to the newlyweds, and thanks Civic Photos for the beautiful pics!

Faye & Oussama-Civic Photos-Raveneaux Country Club-WhoMadeTheCake-Weddings by Debbie-HI-RES-172 Photos: Civic Photos | Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress: Weddings by Debbie

Pink, White & Silver Wedding by Dream Photo & Video

Life hack: If you step out of your comfort zone, you might just find your future soulmate! We know Houston bride, Kristen, agrees. She tells us how she happened to meet her future husband when she least expected it: “We met at a crawfish boil in 2015—I didn’t want to attend. I don’t even like crawfish! When I was about to leave, I saw some of his family members whom I knew, so I went by them to say hello, and was introduced to Tarek. We hit it off instantly and started dating… the rest is history!”

When it came time for Tarek to propose, he knew he was going to have to catch Kristen off guard. “I had to attend a work conference in Corpus Christi, and Tarek tagged along. After a long day of being in workshops, he suggested that we go for a nice dinner and get some Champagne. I thought it was peculiar that he wanted to order Champagne…he kept repeating it. I had a feeling he was going to propose after dinner—but it didn’t happen! We went for a stroll on the beach after dinner, and Tarek kneeled down declaring that he found a pearl. I bent down to look for the pearl and saw that he was holding a diamond ring,” says Kristen.

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Kristen and Tarek wanted a subtle, yet elegant atmosphere for their wedding. To bring movement to the room, and allow for conversation, they chose mixed-height centerpieces that were not overwhelmingly large. “Our goal was to make the wedding fun, and make sure the guests enjoy themselves,” Kristen says.

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Dream Photo & Video captured all of the sweet moments from start to finish.

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Congrats and best wishes to the newlyweds! (Want more? Watch the video!)

Kristen & Tarek-Dream Photo & Video-JW Marriott-Nazars Fine Jewelry-HI-RES-051 Photos & Videography: Dream Photo & Video | Rings & Jewelry: Nazar’s Fine Jewelry

5 Steps For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

Of all the wedding decisions you make, this one’s a biggie, you guys. Your wedding photographer won’t just snap pix of smiles, pretty dresses, “I do’s” and first dances. He or she will tell the narrative of your day, and the love story behind it, with wedding photos you’ll cherish forever. Here’s our advice for finding a photographer that will do all this and, quite possibly, become a good friend in the process!

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Kelli Durham Photography

1. Get A Reference

Once you’ve settled into the bliss of engagement, it’s time to plan. And that planning includes selecting the photographer who will document your wedding, as well as possibly your announcements and Save the Date photos!

You want someone who is reliable and trustworthy, with a positive attitude (even in the most stressful situations), and who truly gets you. Photographer  Adam Nyholt says it’s a good idea to ask for referrals. “This could be a friend who was recently married or your wedding planner,” or a trusted resource such as Weddings in Houston.

Engagement-Shoot Photo: Civic Photos

2. Compare Portfolios

Most professional photographers have their own website and blog, which makes it easy for curious couples to peruse photos, read testimonials, and get a feel for their artistic style.

Aisha Khan of Ama Photography & Cinema recommends asking a prospective photographer for more than one sample wedding to view: “If you ask for one, they might send only their favorite one—it’s important to see what varies from wedding to wedding.”

Adds photographer Kory Fontenot of Addison J Weddings: “Ask to see the full portfolio of a wedding from beginning to end. What you see on a website or in an album is a photographer’s top choices from a wedding. Looking at a full portfolio will give you a better idea of your photographer’s style, creativity and consistency.” After all, “It’s always good to see the good the bad and the ugly before you make such a huge investment.”

Lindsay Elizabeth Strode of Lindsay Elizabeth Photography says that the easiest way to determine your favorite photography style is by “picking images you’re drawn to. If a couple would love to see bright, clean and airy photos of themselves, they should look for a photographer who specializes in shooting natural light.”

Eric Yeh, who co-owns Serendipity Photography with wife Alice Lin, agrees that the lighting question is critical. “Experience with different lighting is really important,” he notes. “Some photographers excel in outdoor lighting, but don’t have much experience with indoor lighting, which can be really tricky to shoot in.”

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Lindsay Elizabeth Photography

3. Spend Some Face Time

When you’re ready to reach out, it can be tempting simply rely on email. This is fine for introductory inquiries, but David Jones of D. Jones Photography encourages couples to “interview or meet with the photographer” in person ASAP. Aside from being confident in their photo-taking abilities, you also want see if “you truly feel comfortable, since there are a lot of emotions on the big day.”

Christine Wright, of C. Wright Photography advises couples “ask them what their favorite part of the wedding is—you can get a feel for their work through what they deem to be most important.”

“Ask your photographer how they would react to family and friends who may want to take pictures on your wedding day,” advises Barett Henry, of Civic Photos. “We are very easygoing, and I don’t mind if people who have known you your entire life want to take photos—as long as they don’t get in the way of our professional shots!”

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Taylor Golden

4. Have a Pregame Session

If time (and budget) allows, consider scheduling an engagement session or a Save the Date session. This is an opportunity to really get to know your photographer, see their work, and for them to get to know you. “I recommend that they get their hair and makeup done professionally, and chose two to three outfits that show off their personality and their relationship,” says photographer Shiva Saadi of Dream Photo & Video. She adds, “Maybe also have a couple of drinks before. Trust me, it helps.”

“The engagement session is a great time to get to know your photographer better, and to get used to their style of shooting, so that the wedding day flows more smoothly, and you are comfortable throughout the day,” adds wedding photographer Taylor Golden. “Something I like to do for my couples is shoot their session in another city, such as where they got engaged, or where they vacation.”

Bride-and-Groom Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

5. Perfect Portraits

Golden reminds couples to ensure your photographer is committed to shooting the wedding day in its entirety, including, perhaps most importantly, those classic family portraits that will become heirlooms. “Remember, your wedding is likely to be an activity-filled day, and you may not be around your family members all that much,” she says.

To ensure excellent portraits, prior to your wedding, “It helps to create a list of the different family groupings you want to document. Your planner can assist by calling out names for each picture and crossing them off your list to ensure you don’t miss anyone.”

Adds Strode: “Years from now when you’re looking back at your wedding photos, you won’t remember the tiny details, but you will be reminded of the beauty and fun of your big day,” two things that the right wedding photographer will capture completely.

Bride-and-Groom-First-Dance Photo: Kelly Hornberger Photography

Writer: Natasha Garber

Enchanted Forest-Inspired Wedding at Chateau Cocomar by Civic Photos

Jessica met Oscar at the Aerodome ice skating rink when she was 9 years old and he was 15. “Our families introduced us to each other, but he was too cool to hang out with me. Sparks didn’t fly until ten years later,” tells Jessica. Lo and behold Oscar wasn’t too cool for Jessica anymore, they hit it off and he was ready to make her his wife.

When it came time to propose, Oscar found the perfect moment during their trip to Disney World to get down on one knee in front of Cinderella’s castle. Jessica said, “Yes,” to her Prince Charming, and they began planning their enchanted wedding—inspired by their Disney World proposal—at Chateau Cocomar.

Chateau-Cocomar Floral-Bridal-Party-Robes Floral-Bridesmaid-Robes Bride-Getting-Ready Bridesmaids-Outside-of-Chateau-Cocomar Bridesmaid-Bouquets Navy-Groomsmen-Suits Floral-Wedding-Sign Chateau-Cocomar-Wedding-Ceremony Bride-Walking-Down-Aisle Indoor-Ceremony-at-Chateau-Cocomar Chateau-Cocomar-Wedding Bride-and-Groom-Kissing Bride-and-Groom-Portraits Chateau-Cocomar-Wedding Bride-and-Groom-Kissing “I made sure our engagement photos, wedding decor, photo booth and dessert table incorporated hints of popular fairytale romance stories,” says Jessica.

Chateau-Cocomar Forest-Inspired-Wedding-Decor Fairytale-Wedding-Decor Forest-Inspired-Wedding-at-Chateau-Cocomar Forest-Inspired-Wedding-Decor Dessert-Table Dessert-Table Macarons Berry-Blush-and-Wedding-Cake Fairytale-Wedding-Decor “One of my favorite moments was the surprise fog and confetti on the dance floor,” she adds.

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Photos: Civic Photos | Venue: Chateau Cocomar | Catering: Cafe Natalie | Flowers, Decor & Rentals: AJ’s Urban Petals | Dessert Table & Favors: Wink by Erica | Lighting, Music & Entertainment: LG Entertainment

Navy & Gold Wedding at Agave Estates by Civic Photos

Finding love was simple for Rosa and Chris, who met on the field while they were playing co-ed softball. Chris tells us how it all went down: “She was standing on 2nd base and I was walking towards left center. Rosa asked what my name was, then asked me out on a date and the rest was history.” Let’s hear it for making the first move, gals!!

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Rosa got the right mix of vintage and modern, with a refined palette of navy and gold, complementing the stone, wrought-iron and wood accents of Agave Estates. Ditto her personal bridal style, which combined loose, sideswept hair with a figure-contouring Enzoani gown and pretty peep-toe Loubs!

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After feasting on slow-roasted pork, and dancing the night away, the couple exited the reception surrounded by love and LOTS of bubbles, making their newlywed getaway in a Rolls-Royce Phantom!

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Photos: Civic Photos | Venue: Agave Estates | Bridesmaid Dresses: Houston Bridal Gallery