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Green, Merlot and Bronze Bell Tower Wedding by Carlino’s Photography

It was the summer between 8th and 9th grade. She played bass clarinet, he played tuba. And after spending months at band camp having her feet stepped upon by Erick in marching-band practice, Erin “knew there was something special about him,” she tells us with a smile. The two made it official earlier this year with an elegant but high-energy celebration at The Bell Tower on 34th, a site the bride describes as “an absolutely gorgeous venue—it has so much to offer for a wedding.” She notes, “My ceremony was pretty traditional except for the music. I hired someone to sing and play an acoustic guitar for before and during the ceremony. My bridesmaids walked in to ‘Only Hope’ by Switchfoot, I walked in to ‘Angel’ by Casting Crowns, and our unity-candle song was ‘1,000 Years’ by Christina Perri.” More music—country, pop, classic standards and Spanish songs—filled the rustic-elegant reception, where guests dined on BBQ and buttercream-frosted cake, and danced the night away. We wish a lifetime of happiness to the newlyweds, and send a big thanks out to Alison Carlino of Carlino’s Photography for the evocative images of this classic Houston wedding.

Photos: Carlino’s Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Melissa Sweet ~ Rentals: Darryl & Co. ~ Tuxedos: Al’s Formal Wear ~ Venue: The Bell Tower on 34th

Middle Eastern and American Houston Wedding with NBA Twist

It’s a pretty good sign when your groom takes your cultural traditions and family expectations into consideration when popping the question: “Being Middle Eastern, where the proposal is normally an official, formal, family event, Jonathan wanted to make sure my family was included in the special night,” says bride Rema. A week before her 30th birthday, on Memorial Day weekend at her parents’ house, Jonathan gave his future wife a pair of shoes she’d been coveting. Little did she know that her real gift—a gorgeous diamond engagement ring—was taped to the bottom of the shoebox. “I was speechless. It took about 30 seconds to actually say, ‘Yes,’ after the ring was on my finger. It was very memorable, and very respectful for Jonathan to include my family in the moment.” For her wedding, Rema wore Rivini from Ivory Bridal Atelier, and the couple and their 250 guests dined on braised short rib and danced to a mix of Arabic and American music. Rema’s favorite moment? “We had the Rockets game announcer”—Jonathan is senior manager of game operations and events for the NBA team—“announce us and our wedding party at the beginning of the reception. It sounded like the beginning of a basketball game. Very fun!” We hope y’all will have fun checking out Austin Miller Photography’s photos of this lovely Houston wedding. Drop your comments below!

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Photos: Austin Miller Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Rivini from Ivory Bridal Atelier ~ Entertainment: Jonny Black Productions ~ Flowers: DIY ~ Rentals: Memorable Events ~ Venue: Renaissance Hotel Greenway Plaza

Coral and Ivory Garden Party Wedding at the Antique Rose Emporium

Both former high-school athletes, Brittany and Chad sat next to each other on the way to UIL regionals in San Antonio—and that, Brittany says, was pretty much all it took for her to fall in love. After dinner at their favorite hometown restaurant one evening in 2012, where, Brittany recounts, her future groom “ate a kid’s meal for dinner because he was so nervous” (how cute is that?), Chad proposed to her underneath a blanket of stars at Hempstead City Park. The couple’s Antique Rose Emporium wedding, with its “antique, sweet Southern vibe,” was sheer perfection, from the deeply touching chapel ceremony, to the gently tousled flower arrangements and rustic burlap table runners, to the down-home dinner of chicken-fried steak and homemade mashed potatoes, to the natural beauty of their chosen venue—which, with its acres of Texas pioneer roses “did not call for extreme amounts of decorations,” Brittany says. “Everyone had a blast including my grandparents who are 70 years old and were the life of the party,” the bride notes—a fact attested to beautifully by photos from Paige Budde of Awake Photography. Congratulations, Brittany and Chad—may your life together forever be a garden of roses.

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Photos: Awake Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero from Weddings by Debbie ~ Tuxedos: Al’s Formal Wear ~ Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal ~ Flowers: Dilorio Farms & Roadside Market, Hempstead ~ Venue: Antique Rose Emporium, Brenham

Downtown Aquarium Wedding by Kreative Angle Photography

Though they’d been friends since they were 10—best friends all through high school—Shannon was nevertheless “speechless” when, six years into their romantic relationship, Colin proposed while she was curled up with a hot chocolate, fumbling for the TV remote. Their spring wedding, which started with a church ceremony where Shannon’s beloved brother walked her down the aisle then high-fived her before dropping her off at the altar, gave way to an equally joyful reception at the Downtown Aquarium. Echoing the Nautilus Ballroom’s marine theme, Shannon and Colin went with a palette of cobalt blue and deep purple, and treated guests to seafood specialties including gumbo and crab-stuffed fillet of sole. As Shannon recounts, “The aquarium was decked out with lanterns and treasure chests filled with glow necklaces. The guests were asked to write date ideas on tongue depressors from the chests—we have some doozies. The DJ had everyone moving the entire night, guests sent us off with wedding wands through a tunnel out of the location. We then drove off in a cherry red Challenger and spent the evening enjoying the luxury of Hotel Icon.” Just how lovely does Shannon look in that Jasmine Couture gown from The Princess Bridal? Sigh. Congrats to the happy couple, and a high-five from us here at HWB to Kreative Angle Photography for the fine, fine photos.

Photos: Kreative Angle Photography ~ Bride’s Dress: Jasmine Couture from The Princess Bridal ~ Flowers: The Bloom Room ~ Venue & Catering: Downtown Aquarium

La Torretta Weekend Wedding with Football, Mad Libs, Bollywood and More

“Staying true to our Indian traditions and our Southern roots, Rushi and I wanted to include special touches that showed our personalities for our big weekend, so our first decision was to have our wedding outside of Houston, at the gorgeous La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa right off Lake Conroe in Texas,” says Houston bride Shilpa about her wedding to Rushi. “Our weekend-long celebration started with guests greeted with fresh-baked cookies, lemonade and handmade welcome bags upon check-in. Guests were then directed to an LSU viewing party Friday afternoon to enjoy the LSU vs. Arkansas game with fellow guests and Tiger fans. The colorful Friday night garba/raas festivities began with a live drum player and DJ, followed by an Italian pasta bar for dinner, king cakes fresh from Baton Rouge and homemade Indian sweets for dessert.” And that was just Friday’s fun. For Saturday’s wedding, perfect weather set the scene for a joyful celebration where guests sipped mango lassis alongside American-style cocktails, did custom wedding Mad Libs, and sat at floral-draped tables to dine on divine Indian specialties. As fine photos by New York photographer Trent Bailey show, “The reception continued with all-night dancing, personalized coozies and glow sticks, and all-around joy and happiness as two families became one, and two people became lifelong partners in this journey of life!” If there’s a better reason to celebrate, we sure don’t know what it is. Congrats, Shilpa and Rushi, and thank you so much for sharing your magnificent wedding with us, and all our brides.

Photos: Trent Bailey Photography ~ Bride’s Makeup: Makeup by Shazia Kazi ~ Cake: Sweets To Dream On ~ Decor & Rentals: Mandap Creations ~ DJ & Lighting: Indoraja Entertainment ~ Flowers: The Secret Floral Garden ~ Coordinator: Alana Padgett ~ Videography: T2 Productions ~ Venue: La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa