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Buy I Do! Tix and WIN: Hotel Galvez & Spa Luxury Getaway

Photos: Hotel Galvez

It’s been the crown jewel of Galveston for more than a century, and today, the magnificent Hotel Galvez & Spa sparkles more brightly than ever. Maybe that’s why Texas brides book early to make sure they secure the Galvez for the destination wedding of their dreams, and a chance to say their sacred vows on the hotel’s historic Centennial Green, overlooking the shimmering blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Perfection.

Whatever you envision for your perfect wedding, we have the inspiration, ideas and expertise to make your wedding dreams come true–and we’re gathering them in one place, for one evening only, Thursday, Feb. 12, in downtown Houston. That’s when we unveil The I Do! Bridal Soiree, Houston’s one-of-a-kind luxury bridal experience. Top vendors and experts, stunning floral and design displays, 2015 bridal couture, gourmet food and cocktails from renowned Jackson and Company, live entertainment and $$$ swag bags for each and every bride. It’s not just a bridal show, it’s a spectacular cocktail party, created to indulge you, your friends…and yes, your groom, too (did we mention the exclusive Groom’s Lounge, with fine whiskey, prime steak and more?).

Purchase your all-inclusive I Do! Bridal Soiree tickets THIS WEEKEND and you are automatically entered to win an incredible Hotel Galvez & Spa romance + spa “Spring Fling” getaway, giveaway, including one weekend night luxury accommodations for two at the magnificent “Queen of the Gulf” plus a $200 spa credit you can use however you’d like (bridal-prep facial treatment? couple’s massage? a little bit of both?). Our winner will be announced live at the I Do! Bridal Soiree. Get your tickets now. And get ready for WOW!

A Wedding Castle Unlike Any Other: Chateau Cocomar

top Houston wedding venues

Photos (clockwise from top left): J. Cogliandro, J. Cogliandro, Jonathan Ivy, J. Cogliandro

From the moment it first opened its magnificent doors two years ago, Chateau Cocomar captivated brides, grooms, and, yes, us here at Weddings at Houston, with its romantic setting and regal elegance. The dramatic turrets and arches, the bubbling fountains and velvety lawns, the twinkling chandeliers, the acres of gleaming marble and intimate oak-paneled enclaves, the spectacular French and Italian antiques everywhere you looked—we were hooked. And the magic continues.

Along with the fairytale splendor Chateau Cocomar exudes, this Champions-area castle is a dream-come-true for busy Houston brides. Whether you’re looking for month-of coordination, or full-service flowers-to-food-to-royal-farewell planning and design, Chateau Cocomar has you covered.

With features like this, it’s no wonder Chateau Cocomar is among Houston’s most coveted wedding venues (and books up months, even years, in advance). Make your appointment today to view this one-of-a-kind location, and secure your storybook wedding—the one you’ve dreamed of, the one, like true love, you’d always known was out there, waiting for you to find it.

JW Marriott Getaway + Spa Giveaway: Buy I Do! Tix & Win

JWM_spa
It’s been a long time coming…but honey, it is worth the wait. The brand-new JW Marriott Houston Downtown opens its doors this week, and what you’ll find inside is, well, in word…GORGEOUS. See it for yourself on Thursday, Oct. 9, when we bring you the legendary I Do! Bridal Soiree, unveiling 2015 wedding trends LIVE at downtown Houston’s hottest new property–and most alluring new wedding venue. Stunning tablescapes, breathtaking floral displays, A-list wedding experts, fresh-off-the-runway couture bridal gowns, gourmet food, sparkling cocktails, live entertainment and VIP treatment from arrival to departure…along with $$$ swag bags for each and every bride in attendance. Oh–and lest we forget, buy your tickets by 11:59 pm this Friday, Sept. 19, and you are automatically entered to win a lavish weekend-night JW Marriott Houston Downtown getaway, complete with gourmet breakfast in bed AND a divine couple’s massage at the hotel’s extraordinary Spa by JW. All your wedding planning needs and desires, all in one ultra-relaxing VIP cocktail party, plus a chance to win the romantic escape of a lifetime. Buy your tickets now, and get ready for WOW!

Fitness Friday with Perfect Size Nutrition: The Busy Bride Workout

It’s Fitness Friday again, y’all, and this time we’re gonna make you sweat. Make that MARLA & SONNY are gonna make you sweat. The team from Houston’s Perfect Size Nutrition is back and it’s your back—and rear end and upper arms—that they’re targeting with this week’s workout video, geared toward getting you in shape for whichever strapless, backless, arm-baring, shoulder-showing wedding dress style you choose. Check it out…and work it out!

Happy Friday, brides…and welcome to part 2 of our Fitness Friday Series: The Busy Bride Workout—Sweating for the Wedding! Our newest video is all about getting a toned backside and sculpted arms that will look great in any style of dress you choose. We have featured our six favorite exercises that focus on getting you the results you are looking for in the shortest period of time. We recommend doing each of these exercises three times back-to-back, without stopping, and adding 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular activity like running, swimming or hitting the stair-climber to maximize results. For more tips, exercises and healthy recipes, visit our blog!

Busy Bride Series: Part 2

Guest Post: Master Bridal Consultant Karen Brown Debunks DIY Myths

Master Bridal Consultant Karen Brown Debunks DIY Myths

Photos: Top, courtesy Karen For Your Memories~Centerpiece, D. Jones Photography~Rings & Cake, Nhan Nguyen Photography

Today we’re really excited to feature a guest post from Houston-based Master Bridal Consultant (that’s the Association of Bridal Consultants’ highest ranking, btw), Karen Brown of Karen For Your Memories. Thinking of acting as your own wedding coordinator, florist, designer and decorator, to try and save money or put your unique imprint on every element of your big day? Don’t dive in until you read Karen’s post, which debunks many major DIY myths. We’d love your feedback, too! Do you plan DIY all or part of your wedding? Which parts do you plan to leave to a pro? Drop your comments and let us know!

Today’s brides are bombarded with ideas for décor, favors, desserts, flowers, etc., many of which encourage the DIY concept. For some reason the DIY idea is touted as something that is supposed to be 1) fun, 2) less expensive, and 3) a reflection of the bride’s unique personality. But is this really the case?

Fun? “Do-it-yourself” can be a misleading title, which implies that the bride herself is going to take on all or part of the tasks necessary for the production of her wedding. However, in most cases, it really means relying on the participation of the wedding party for tons of tasks, along with dutiful assistance from family members, with the bride directing. But can a group of amateurs with good intentions really replace the expertise and efficiency of a professional with years of experience? AND have fun while doing so? Not likely.

Sure, it can be great fun for family members or friends to get together to address, stuff and stamp invitations, or for “the girls” to gather, chat, eat, drink and laugh while assembling bags and tying ribbons around guest favors. But what if you happen to be the “volunteer” who was recruited for some element of the event that ends up in a YouTube video that never seems to go away (dreadful décor, cake catastrophes, flower fiascos, musical malfunctions…you get the picture)? Surely it can’t be much fun  to be ridiculed internationally when you were just trying to help.

Less Expensive? Yes, professional wedding services cost money. Just like professional medical services, professional auto repair services, professional legal services—or any professional service that is based on years of specialized education, training and experience. Let’s consider the service of wedding flowers as an example. Here are just a few of the things you’ll get for the money you pay a respected professional Houston florist:

  • Personnel who order the exact flowers you want from the part of the world where they are at the peak of their season at that time of year.
  • Staff who pick up and transport the shipped flowers in special vehicles at special temperatures to preserve their freshness and beauty.
  • Staff who put the flowers through a series of processing procedures to activate the opening and enhance the longevity of the blooms.
  • Experienced designers who use complex techniques to create exactly the look you have requested, ensuring that the designs will withstand handling and last beautifully through the day.
  • Specifically controlled refrigeration to store the completed floral arrangements until set-up time.
  • A team to deliver, set up, and, after the event, remove all props and arrangements, in the allotted venue time (while you’re getting primped, dressed and enjoying unforgettable pre-ceremony moments with friends and family).

On the other hand, DIY flowers often begin with inferior product that are not handled correctly and sometimes need to be replaced before the event, are not designed in the most flattering or stable way, are not stored or delivered in the proper temperatures, cannot be properly set up in the allotted time allowed, and most likely will not hold up through the entire event. And what about all those vases and containers and votives? What will you do with them once the reception is over?

A similar scenario can be applied to any professional wedding service. You get what you pay for if you use reputable, experienced professionals. And you’re likely to save money in the long run. Remember that cost is relative. What price do you put on being able to relax and enjoy your special day instead of working and worrying?

A reflection of the bride’s unique personality? I like reading and viewing wedding information on the internet—especially the Houston Wedding Blog—as much as (or maybe more than) the next person. But your wedding is your wedding. The best way to achieve an original look is to hire professionals with the talent to take your inspiration and create something fresh and exciting, someone who makes each wedding tell a different story, not the same story in a different color.

Maybe we should redefine what we mean by DIY.  Don’t Impel Your friends and family to participate in anything but the joy of the ceremony and the celebration of the day. Do Invest Your money on quality services provided by those who do things the right way. You will save time and avoid costly mistakes along the way. Definitely Interject Yourself into all aspects of your wedding and hire professionals who can interpret and bring to beautiful life your vision while you relax and enjoy the process.