UPDATE: A Day to Remember 10th Anniversary Party @ Villa Rinata-Correct RSVP Address

We don’t mean to interrupt your well-deserved Labor Day lounging around, but you may want to take a sec to mark your calendar. This Thursday, Sept. 9, wedding-planning firm extraordinaire A Day To Remember –you know them for their glorious cakes, gorgeous flowers and impeccable event planning–celebrates its 10th anniversary in high style…and you’re invited!

Festivities start at 6 p.m. at the truly spectacular Villa Rinata, and last until the last guest leaves (now that’s OUR kinda party!). Houston brides and their entourages fortunate enough to attend will find themselves surrounded by fine food and drink, awesome entertainment, great door prizes and swag, swag, swag.

As you can imagine, space is limited. So if you’re a bride-to-be who’s looking for amazing wedding ideas, while simultaneously taking a break from the hard work of wedding planning, make sure to RSVP, PDQ!

Before You Say I Do… Definitely Do This!

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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!

Roula’s Real Wedding

Real Wedding: Roula Christie to Tasos Kostas
Real Wedding: Roula Christie to Tasos Kostas

If you’ve perused our fabulous new February issue—and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for, Houston bride?—you’ve likely checked out our story on the Oct. 24 wedding of 104.1 KRBE’s Roula Christie to Tasos Kostas. We are thrilled to feature Houston radio star Roula’s magnificent reception at the Omni Houston Hotel (and may we offer our mea culpa—we referred to Roula as co-host of the Roula & Ryan show, when, in fact, she’s one of the few women in radio to have her own show: You go, girl!). And we’re even more thrilled to have had a chance to speak with Roula recently about how planning and having a wedding—and BOY, what a wedding—has impacted her life as Radio Roula.

First off, let’s just get this out there in the open: Roula loves her job. No, we mean she REALLY loves it. Why? “I think it’s that people always surprise you,” she tells us. “It’s different in TV—you don’t know anything about the personality of the anchor. They’re just there to deliver the news. But for radio, especially for our show, we are the actual people on the air. You get emotionally attached.” With that kind of audience connection, it’s no surprise that when Roula got engaged to Tasos, she talked about it, LOTS, and her listeners weighed in.

But there were limits to Roula’s revelations. “I shared as much as I could…but I didn’t want to give away the farm before the wedding happened.” Plus, she admits, “I was a little worried about people who might try to crash the wedding—not that they’d mean any harm, but that was NOT the day I wanted to be a radio personality.” So how did keeping details under wraps work out for the ever honest and outspoken Roula? “It was SUPER hard to do!”

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In the end, Roula and Tasos had the wedding of their dreams, and the couple are loving their newlywed life. Roula credits her hubby big time for accommodating her morning-radio schedule, and the 4 a.m. alarm that goes with it—yikes! “Poor thing,” she says. “I try to say, ‘Go back to sleep,’ but…” Luckily, the happy Houston bride notes, “He’s totally 100 percent fine with it. And that’s why we work as a couple.”

With wedding planning behind her and married bliss ahead, Roula’s got a few things to say (shocking, huh?) to Houston brides-to-be: “Don’t let planning become your job. Don’t make it your life, or you’re going to be disappointed when it’s over.” As for weddings themselves, Roula’s a huge fan of showing off Houston’s best to guests (another shocker, right?). Her own event, for instance, featured Shipley’s Do-Nuts, delivered fresh to visiting guests’ hotel rooms on the morning of the wedding, and welcome bags that paid homage to her favorite Houston attractions. Whatever you choose to highlight at your own wedding, make it personal, Roula says. “Show them those fun little things you and your groom love to do—give them some insight to who you are as a couple.”

Words to wed by, Roula. Thanks, and congratulations to you and Tasos!

New Year’s Wedding Resolutions

New Year’s Wedding Resolutions

Here we go again! Another New Year, another chance for a fresh start. While you’re thinking about this year’s resolutions, Houston bride, here are our suggestions for wedding (planning) vows you’ll definitely want to keep:

I resolve to get organized. If you have been putting off getting all your ducks in a row for your 2010 wedding—whether because you’ve been too busy, or simply become mired in an overabundance of choices—now is the time to buckle down. Create that wedding web site; make a wedding binder that contains your wedding planning checklist, inspiration images, vendor information, contracts, etc.; hire a coordinator,  if you haven’t already; ditto booking your wedding site.

I resolve to get in shape. It’s a common New Year’s resolution—and one that many resolvers tend to forget about after a month or two. But not you, Houston bride. This year, you’re going to find a fitness routine that works for you and stick to it. You’re going to walk instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator, take money out of your budget for a personal trainer, take up yoga, maybe even take on the Marathon Oil Tower. You’re going to get fit, have fun doing it, and look absolutely spectacular in your wedding gown. No excuses.

I resolve to take good care of myself. While you’re working out, slimming down and buffing up, don’t forget that a beautiful bride is a healthy bride—in body, mind and spirit. Along with that weekly exercise regimen, you want to make sure you are getting the right nutrition, and nourishing yourself with periodic massages, facials, spa treatments, acupuncture—whatever it is that works best to reduce your stress level, raise your energy and sustain you through the demanding and exhilarating process of planning your perfect wedding.

I resolve NOT to go over budget. Sure, spring peonies would look divine at your December wedding. And wouldn’t it fabulous to have foie gras and French champagne for your cocktail reception? As for those custom crystal-encrusted tablecloths/hand-lettered invitations/Louboutin pumps—aren’t you worth them? Of course you are. But if you keep spending a few more bucks here and a few (hundred) more bucks there, just to make sure you have the latest, greatest, most luxurious, designer-est EVERYTHING for your wedding, or jumping at every little lovely that’s waved in front of your face, you’re soon going to find yourself (or your parents, as the case may be) stretched thin financially, or, at the very worst, driven into deep debt. So indulge, pamper, honor the magnitude of the day, even live out your fantasies—but do so within your means, so that happily ever after is within your reach.

I resolve to be a good bride-to-be. We’ve all encountered at least one sweet, kind, easygoing, reasonable girl who is transformed, Hulk-like, into a demanding, temperamental, impatient, totally unreasonable beast by the process of planning her wedding. Please, please promise, right here and now, Houston bride, to avoid this fate in 2010. Be thoughtful and generous with your bridesmaids, patient and empathetic with your parents (and your groom’s), reasonable with your vendors, and, most importantly, understanding with your fiancé—after all, he’s your partner not just in the journey toward marriage, but for life. Show him the woman you are, and the wife you will be: kind, strong, fair, wise and always, always full of love.

Happy New Year, Houston bride.

Make the Most of Your Wedding Budget

We had so much great advice we just couldn’t squeeze into our upcoming Weddings in Houston magazine story on maximizing the impact of your wedding budget, we decided a blog post was in order. Let’s face it: These are tough times. Now more than ever, Houston’s style-savvy brides are searching for ways to get the most bang—whether in decor, fashion, food, etc.—for their wedding budget buck.

Lucky for us, hometown wedding coordinator extraordinaire Karen Brown of Karen For Your Memories has these 7 essential tips for getting the most for your wedding money, however much you plan to spend. Don’t event THINK about planning your big day without reading this first!

1.    Cut back on the number of people invited. This gives you a chance to spend more on food, décor, entertainment, or whatever will make you happy.
2.    Order invitations from a reputable dealer…but create your own save-the-dates and programs.
3.    If you are searching for a location that is different, but generally less expensive, check out small art galleries. Just be sure that the art on display during your wedding/reception is something you want to be included in your décor. Another lower cost venue is a garden club where you have beautiful grounds to work with. Just make sure there is an indoor area for backup, in case of bad weather.
4.    Find magazine photos of things that you love and work with your consultant to try and adapt them to your wedding and budget. I had one bride who fell in love with a hand-painted aisle runner of black-and-white paisley. We started searching wallpaper stores and found a similar pattern that could be used, but for less cost. One double roll provided the runner all the way down the aisle. We taped it directly to the wooden floor with tape the color of her green accents.
5.    Add dummy layers to the bottom of your cake. We try to arrange to have the cake moved into the back before being cut and served to the guests, so sometimes all but one layer of the cake is a dummy, and sheet cakes are already cut and plated in the back and ready to be served. You still have a beautiful display cake that is a great focal point, but you spend less money. The guests won’t know unless you tell them!
6.    Never sacrifice memories for other areas that seem to be important to you at the moment.  Photography and videography are probably the most valuable things you will take with you from your wedding—besides your new mate, that is.
7.    Always go for quality, not quantity.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks, Karen!