Leave it to the stars to predict how your wedding will go! Our in-house astrology expert forecasts these wedding styles for each sign of the zodiac… Click here to read the rest of this post »
If you’re like most brides, you have a wedding budget. It may be a BIG wedding budget, or, especially if you’re footing the bill for your wedding yourselves, it may be somewhat more…modest. No matter the size of your wedding budget, you’ll want to figure out where to allocate bigger dollars, and where you can to hold back a bit. Because, after all, you get what you pay for, darlin.’ With that in mind, here are our top picks in wedding splurges that are truly worth the investment.
Professional lighting can completely transform the look of your venue or space. It’s also easier on your pocketbook than flowers and decor.
Engage your guests with interactive wedding reception activities such as a photo booth or video booth, a cigar roller, or even a live wedding painter. These interactive entertainment options add something extra special to the celebration, and provide you and/or your wedding guests with wonderful take-home tokens
While a wedding cake is essential for most couples, nothing will delight your guests more than a variety of delectable sweets such as a donut wall, a candy table or a color-themed wedding reception display of mini desserts.
Late Night Snacks
If your celebration goes well into the night, guests may start to feel hungry again even after dinner has been served. Satisfy their late night cravings, with sliders, a breakfast bar or street tacos. They will thank you for it!
When it comes to documenting your wedding day, you can not have one without the other. Wedding photos will be great for albums and online posts while wedding videos will capture the speeches, dances and other priceless moments, for generations to come
Shoes & Accessories
A major designer wedding gown not in the budget? Don’t worry. You can still get the designer look you crave, by splurging on beautiful bridal shoes and bridal accessories. Choose designer bridal pumps or wedding sandals with heel bling, crystal toe accents or bows, and an exquisite veil or bridal headpiece that amps up the wattage of your wedding-day ensemble…at a fraction of the cost of a lavish custom wedding dress!
You’re engaged…Congratulations!! As a recent newlywed, I share in your joy of marriage and… your potential miseries surrounding planning a wedding! What’s that, you say? Planning a wedding might not be 100% fun? For those superhumans out there who relish every second of planning your wedding, I commend you (and also would like some of whatever you’re drinking). For the rest of us mere Homo sapiens, I have compiled a list of surefire ways to stay sane while planning for the biggest day of your life, based on my own–completely biased–experience: Scroll down for the scoop!
1. Hire a wedding coordinator. I know, if you’re anything like me, you’re thinking, “I love planning and am so organized! Why would I waste money on this?” My venue required that I hire a day-of coordinator, and it ended up being my saving grace. My rockstar coordinator Michelle thought of tiny details I never would have thought of, allowed my family members to enjoy the day and not have to coordinate, and ran everything so seamlessly that if anything had gone wrong, I certainly had no idea (until our sendoff when the sparklers prematurely had burned out, which we actually found hilarious/made for fun pictures of cell phones lighting our path). If I could do it all over, I would have hired a full-time coordinator!
2. A friend gave me this piece of advice, which was such a stress/money-saver: “Choose three things you care the most about to spend money on, and see where you can save on everything else.” And I believe it’s possible to do this within any budget. You love flowers? Don’t skimp on those. Dream of a fabulous dress? Dream big! For us, our priorities were venue, booze, and photographer. We worked to save on everything else (we booked our flowers through a close family friend, and I got my dress second-hand), then towards the end when we found we had some wiggle room in our budget, we were able to add some fun extra things like a reasonably priced photo booth and cigars.
3. Have a destination wedding where everything is planned out for you ahead of time and you don’t have to worry about anything. You think I’m kidding…I’m not kidding.
4. If you’re not taking suggestion #3 above, give yourself time to plan. I had a seven-month engagement, which isn’t exactly short, but when planning a Hill Country wedding for 140 guests, having a few more months to plan would’ve been nice. Because we had to bring in most of our own vendors (which we wanted, to have our own personal touch), I felt like I had to make a decision every day. By the end, I didn’t want to make another decision ever again EVER.
5. Make time for wine and a close friend at least once a month week day (this is a safe space, y’all).
6. Lean on your hubby/wifey-to-be for support. In the midst of wedding planning, my then-fiancé and I decided to build a house because WHY NOT?! (protip: Don’t do this.) After several (hundred) mortgage and floorplan emails had been exchanged, I–shaking, on the brink of hysteria, wine bottle clutched in hand–calmly asked my fiancé if he’d handle all house stuff until after the wedding. He gladly did so without complaint. Hey, what’s a life partner for?
7. Take a deep breath, and remember what this is all about: you and your partner making a vow to love and support each other for the rest of your lives. And that’s the easiest part about all of this.
Photos: Laura Elizabeth Photography
We know they rock. And some of you, who’ve had the pleasure of working with these super-talented folks on your weddings, know they rock. And now, the event industry’s premier professional organization, NACE (National Association of Catering & Events), has confirmed it.
A Day To Remember took home two major honors at this past week’s NACE Experience conference:
- Best Team Event under $50,00, for the wedding of Jerry and Alex, featured in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Weddings in Houston, and right HERE.
- Best Table Presentation under $200, for “Waterfront Romance,” this gorgeous styled shoot featured in our Fall/Winter 2016 issue!
Photo: D. Jones Photography | Design, Styling, & Stationery: A Day To Remember | Venue: Waters Edge | Flowers, Decor & Rentals: Flora & Eventi | Hair & Makeup: Nyoka Gregory Beauty | Cake: Susie’s Cakes & Confections | Lighting & Dance Floor: DJU Entertainment
Kat Creech Events, meanwhile, received the following prestigious awards:
Best Wedding of the Year over $100,000 and Best Team Event over $100,000, both for the spectacular wedding of Allie and Kyle, featured in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Weddings in Houston (see a trend here??).
Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Planning & Coordination: Kat Creech Events | Venue: The Corinthian | Linens & Chairs: EB Inc. Event Rentals & Design | Lighting: GTX Productions | Catering: Jackson and Company | Rehearsal Dinner Location: Sambuca Catering
Make sure to check out our full coverage of these awesome events and styled shoot for more gorgeous pix, and a full list of superb Weddings in Houston clients involved in each!
And join us in wishing congrats to the Houston chapter of NACE, which also won big at this year’s conference, with honors for Chapter of the Year (over 100 members), and Program of the Year, for the NACE Houston Chapter’s awesome “Wedding Trends 2016” industry event!!
Writer: Natasha Garber
Photo: Caroline Tran
While a good connection might open the door, you need major talent to step through and succeed…especially in Hollywood. Just ask Los Angeles-based event expert Lisa Vorce, who, in the midst of a less-than-satisfying career as an IT consultant and programmer, began throwing parties for her husband’s talent-agent uncle. “My first party was for George Clooney’s mother,” she says. Not bad, we say. Here, the planner behind such high-profile nuptials as Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s gorgeous Italian villa “I do’s,” shares her experience and advice on her favorite of all events: the ultra-relaxing, totally indulgent, celebrity-style destination wedding.
Photo: Aaron Delesie | © John Legend
Weddings in Houston: You’re known for creating some of the most beautiful destination weddings on the planet. What are some of the toughest destinations you’ve had to work in, and how did you manage to pull off flawless weddings in these spots?
Lisa Vorce: Well you’re asking someone who doesn’t like to work in the same location more than once, and someone who is happiest in the most exotic of locales, so I tend to thrive on all things challenging. In fact, the more challenging, the better for me! Vietnam and Bali are two of the most difficult locales I’ve worked in, simply because they are non-Western cultures. My favorite part of working in these amazing destinations is the “reconnaissance mission” I typically do at the beginning of our process. Through lots of exploration—I get to know local artisans, experts from the area, local foliage and flowers, menu specialties etc.—I have been met with so much kindness and talent around the world, it’s amazing!
Photo: Jose Villa
WIH: How should a couple go about choosing their wedding locale?
LV: It’s a bit of a puzzle, and the stars need to align properly. There is a giant matrix that we use when vetting venues for my clients: distance, ease of travel, curfew, weather backups, venue capacities, accommodation capacities, food and beverage costs, etc. Some additional things couples should consider: How close is the wedding location to the airport? Do guests have to hop on a boat or rent a car? Do guests need visas or a Hep-C shot? Is there political unrest or another potentially tricky situation (e.g. Zika virus) that needs to be navigated?
Sourcing the perfect venue is a little bit like purchasing a home. It takes a lot of effort and time. Couples need to make sure they are taking into account all of the above and not just the aesthetics. Aesthetics are incredibly important, but everything else needs to be in the right place, too. And like buying a new home, couples need to prioritize their “must-haves” over their “nice-to-haves.”
Photo: Elizabeth Messina
WIH: What’s the most important factor a couple needs to consider when planning a destination wedding?
LV: Budget and personality are really important and non-negotiable. But guest experience is really my thing. This is so important to me for my clients. Ultimately, the best weddings are those where the guests can’t stop talking about how much fun they had. Guest experience has a great deal to do with hospitality—and Texan hospitality is legendary, so I am going to assume you are experts in this matter! Just as you would welcome a guest to your home with a beautiful meal, fresh linens and engaging activities, when guests travel to your wedding, you want to provide them with hospitality all along the way.
Once your guests arrive at the location, have someone available from the wedding party or planning team who can answer their questions, greet them and hold their hand along the way. Adding helpful info to your wedding website (if you opt to do one) is incredibly handy for guests as well. For me, some of the most amazing destinations are the hardest to get to, but it’s important to balance that with the guest experience. If they are going to travel a long way, what’s the “wow” factor when they get there? Provide them with some amazing activities and adventures: Think Mayan ruins in Tulum, or maybe a cooking class in Italy. It is important that you make your guests feel safe, happy and entertained, but also give them enough down time for relaxation and exploration.
Photo: Aaron Delesie
WIH: We like the sound of that! So tell us: What are some of the coolest local activities you’ve helped plan for destination wedding groups.
LV: Planning guest activities really depends on the location as well as the inclination of the couple. As soon as the couple determines their destination, my team goes to work to find out what’s special and fun to do at that destination. Golf and spa treatments are usually must-haves. One of my couples recently treated guests to a mobile cryogenic spa. It was very popular! Some of my favorite activities, however, have had to do with what the specific destination has to offer, from yacht parties in St. Barts, to cheese-making in Tuscany, to lace-making in Puglia…. I’ve also created activities based on couples’ family traditions. For example, we had a baseball field and custom scoreboard created for one couple. Each team had their signature baseball jerseys. It was amazing. We’ve done custom backyard and board games for other couples. It is very joyful to see the wedding couple and their guests take part in these activities!
Photo: Jose Villa
WIH: What are your favorite ways to incorporate a couple’s tastes and background, along with local customs and flavors, into the wedding menu—whether at a destination site, or at a wedding closer to home?
LV: I start by listening to and observing the couple. Sometimes it’s fun to imbue couples’ personalities into the tiniest unexpected details. For example, in one wedding, we incorporated tumbleweed. Now, that may not sound pretty, but tumbleweed actually makes incredible natural, multi-dimensional sculptures.
A Texas bride of mine had a connection to gemology, so we incorporated a malachite pattern into the invites, menus and tabletop. Oh—and one of my favorite things to do, if I’m doing a wedding indoors, is to replace the artwork of the venue with artwork that represents the clients’ aesthetic. So in the case of the malachite wedding, huge malachite prints were delicately overlayed onto venue artwork. It’s so much fun when guests notice those extra touches.
Photo: Elizabeth Messina
WIH: We love destination weddings, but we know that planning a wedding outside of one’s comfort zone is not without potential conflicts. How do you help your clients navigate these?
LV: For destination weddings especially, guest invites can be a big challenge. Each “constituent”—MOB, MOG, bride and groom—usually has a valid reason for adding a guest…or 10. But these numbers quickly add up. Sometimes it creates a cost issue, but it can also create a space issue, for example, if the venue holds 120 persons maximum. I usually play “wedding diplomat” in these situations, and remind everyone that at the end of the day, they all want the same thing: a beautiful wedding and an unforgettable celebration with their nearest and dearest.
As for keeping a limited guest count for your intimate, remote-location wedding…remember, Texas is a great place to do a big barbecue and party with ALL your favorite people once you return from your destination!
Photo: Aaron Delesie |© John Legend