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Lavish La Colombe d’Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography

Yes, it is possible to have a grand, formal wedding in one of Houston’s most revered venues—the Grand Ballroom of La Colombe d’Or, with its circa-1715 carved oak panels and spectacular chandeliers—AND kick your heels up in true celebration style. Sonila and Matthew’s lovely, lavish spring wedding is a perfect example. Yes, it was utterly elegant, from the Monique Lhuillier invitations to the magnificent rose-and-hydrangea centerpieces. But just look at the newlyweds and their guests—those smiles, that laughter, the FUN of it all. We’re grateful to famed Houston photographer Joe Cogliandro, and the bride and groom, for sharing this beautiful wedding with us. And we’re so happy to share it with you.

Lavish La Colombe d'Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography Lavish La Colombe d'Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography Lavish La Colombe d'Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography Lavish La Colombe d'Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography Lavish La Colombe d'Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography Lavish La Colombe d'Or Wedding by J. Cogliandro Photography

Photography: J. Cogliandro Photography~Bride’s Dress: Jim Hjelm from Weddings by Debbie~Bride’s Hair & Makeup: Brittany of The Perfect Face~Rings: Blue Nile~Flowers: Floral Events~Decor & Rentals: Linens by Lisa~Cakes: World Cakes & Catering~Ceremony Venue: St. Michael Catholic Church~Reception Venue: La Colombe d’Or

Sweet Red, White & Blue Wedding by DC Stanley Photography

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: We love a bride who isn’t afraid of a little color. Take Lisa, for instance, who walked down the aisle carrying a bouquet of intense red roses to wed her beloved Ben. Beautiful, right? Even more beautiful is the combination of snow white, rich red and bright aqua blue—the palette of choice at this adorable couple’s ranch reception. We especially love those cylinder centerpieces by Clear Lake Flowers, so simple, so elegant, so WOW. Kudos to fine Houston photographer David Stanley of DC Stanley Photography, whose awesome shots are featured here.

Sweet Red, White & Blue Wedding by DC Stanley Photography Sweet Red, White & Blue Wedding by DC Stanley Photography Sweet Red, White & Blue Wedding by DC Stanley Photography Sweet Red, White & Blue Wedding by DC Stanley Photography

Photography: DC Stanley Photography~Bride’s Dress: Alfred Angelo~Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo~Mother of the Bride’s Dress: T Carolyn Fashions~Cake: Cakes & Culinary Creations~Flowers: Clear Lake Flowers~Reception Venue: White House Ranch~Wedding Consultant: Lisa Hendricks


Venues We Love: Messina Hof Winery

There was a time when a Houston gal would have to make her way to California wine country (fiancé, friends and family in tow) if she fancied a vineyard wedding. Not so anymore—not when she’s got 100 acres of wine country splendor right here in her own backyard.

We’re talking about Messina Hof—the toast of Bryan, Texas, and a wine- and food-loving couple’s dream location for the celebration of a lifetime. A little Italian, a little German, and very proudly Texan (the winery and its wines have won countless local and national honors, including “One of the USA’s Finest Winery Experiences” from “Bon Appetit” magazine), this combination working vineyard, restaurant, tasting bar and villa is a standout in a region of really amazing places to tie the knot.

Texas Vineyard Wedding

Picture this: saying your vows at sunset on a verdant private estate, beneath a flower-bedecked gazebo beside a sparkling spring-fed lake—then celebrating with sumptuous food and, of course, divine wines, overlooking 42 acres of vineyards aglow in the moonlight, whilst dancing the night away, surrounded by the people you love most.

And Messina Hof’s awesome for bachelor/bachelorette bashes, engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, too. What, we ask, is NOT to love? And if you haven’t yet entered out Messina Hof Private Wine Tasting for 20, well, what, we ask, is stopping you??


Venues We Love: Houston Area’s Historic Dance Halls

Back in the day (by which we mean the 1890s), folks used to gather to kick up their heels at the local dance hall. These legendary meeting places typically featured large wood plank floors, a stage and saloon. They were the place to go for a good time. And they still are.

Texas Dance Hall Wedding

Schulenberg’s Sengelmann Hall (above), which opened its swingin’ doors way back in 1894, used to play host to town locals who would come for games, drinks, dancing…and the occasional brawl (the hall’s carved marble pillars still bear 19th-century bullet scars!). Sengelmann still has all its dance-hall charms, like pressed tin ceilings, a bucolic biergarten and mahogany bar, but it’s also got lovely ceremony and reception space, plus tons of experience hosting true Texas weddings. Keep it simple—barefoot ceremony, buffet, beer—or add lush floral arrangements, linens, lighting and rentals for a country-chic celebration. Just make sure to set out an extra chiavari or two for the ghosts

Texas Dance Hall Wedding

Over in Cypress, Tin Hall touts the fact that it’s been hosting special events for more than a century. We love this circa-1889 hall’s awesome 4,400-square-foot dance floor and ample party space (with two full floors, the site can accommodate 1,200 guests!). Of course, with 40 wooded acres surrounding it, Tin Hall also has plenty of fine outdoor ceremony space and photo ops. And even though it’s one of the oldest reception halls around, it offers newfangled wedding extras, like a computerized light show and high-tech sound system. Something old, something new…someplace wonderful! (Cheers to local Hazel West Photography for the Tin Hall kissing couple on the left, and to I Heart Photography of Austin for the Tin Hall smoochers on the right.)



Coming Up: NACE Houston Wedding Trends 2011

Willow Branches Wedding Centerpiece Purple Signature Wedding Drink

Photos: D Jones Photography

You may remember when we blogged about the amazing National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) “Indian Weddings”-theme wedding trends luncheon awhile back. Well this year’s annual wedding trends event promises to be even more spectacular, if that’s possible. First of all, the Thurs., April 21 “Sky’s the Limit”-theme bash is not going to be a luncheon at all, but a seriously delish dinner, starting with cocktails and hors d’oeuvre at the wonderful 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Next, guests will jet over to the museum hangar, which will be totally transformed for the occasion by members of NACE Houston—the nation’s largest NACE chapter, which counts Houston’s top wedding experts among its members. It also counts our very own Radhika Day, publisher of Weddings in Houston as one of its longest-serving members. And proudly so.

Naturally, we’ll be there, checking out the latest, greatest trends in wedding design, décor, catering and production from Houston’s finest wedding pros. And we’d love for you to join us. While the NACE wedding trends event is typically geared toward wedding professionals, this year’s dinner is open to brides, too. Buy your tickets, register for this year’s giveaway and you may just win yourself a luxurious Dominican Republic honeymoon package (there’s a reason they call it Paradisus Resort).

For more details or to register for the April 21 “Sky’s the Limit” even, visit WT2011 or NACE Houston. We’re ready for takeoff. How ’bout you?