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.
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??
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.
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…
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.)
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?
Just the words “Foundation Room” are filled with hip, VIP mystique and a promise of exclusive, upscale, elegantly wicked fun. So of course the Foundation Room at House of Blues is a perfect spot for special wedding-related soirees. But there’s so much more to love about House of Blues than its Foundation.
For instance, did you know that HOB’s intimate Elwood Room is a great setting for an afternoon shower? “And guys don’t mind the couple’s shower when they can hang in The Jake Bar Lounge,” promises House of Blues special event sales manager Lauren MacQueen. How’d you like to “party like a rock star in our Big Mama Suite?” MacQueen wants to know. You can, you know, at your ultra-exclusive bachelor or bachelorette party, behind closed doors, with an overhead view of the legendary House of Blues stage. For an unforgettable engagement celebration, book the Bronze Peacock room, which features “playfully sophisticated decor and a dedicated stage for a band or DJ,” plus a cool outdoor terrace, perfect for setting up a cigar bar or hookah lounge. Or treat guests to a morning-after-the-wedding “Gospel Brunch”–there’s no more enjoyable penance for the previous evening’s celebratory hijinks. And that aforementioned Foundation Room? Inspired by the Near East and featuring Persian carpets, beautiful chandeliers and an eclectic display of art from HOB’s private collection, it’s a near perfect mixture of sophistication and peacefulness. Naturally, the food, drinks and service are fabulous, too. Rehearsal dinner, anyone?
Of course, for the ultimate rock ’n roll wedding, there’s no venue more fitting than HOB’s legendary Music Hall. “The bride and groom take center stage as guests view the ceremony from The Mezzanine,” then the entire entourage joins the stars of the show downstairs for a lavish reception on the main floor. For details on how you can hook up HOB for your wedding-related celebration, call 832.667.7757 or click.
The Lancaster Hotel isn’t just home to The Bistro—the upscale American cuisine hotspot where this month’s giveaway winner will be enjoying a romantic dinner with her hubby-to-be—it’s also Houston’s only member of the esteemed Historic Hotels of America. What that means for a discerning Houston bride like yourself who may decide to wed at this stately theater district property is magnificently preserved architecture and décor, inside and out.
How you choose to use the classically European-styled space for your wedding day is up to you, but catering manager Adrienne Dedeaux-Solomon often recommends the lobby’s sweeping staircase for bridal portraits, and a pairing of the lobby and the adjacent Bistro for a reception of up to 150. What’s more, the venue’s dedicated staff can “plan all of your festivities, from the rehearsal dinner to in-room massages for your bridal party,” Dedeaux-Solomon notes. Plus, your visiting guests can take advantage of any number of the 93 “tastefully appointed rooms and suites” at this gem of a property, which travel guide “Frommer’s” has designated one of its “Favorite Romantic Historic Hotels in the USA.” A little bit of Houston history, a whole lot of national prominence, and all the attentive, every-little-detail-counts service you’d expect from a boutique hotel experience—that’s what you’ll find at The Lancaster. For more info, call 713.228.9500.