ENGAGED and CONFUSED?

Register now as a Bride or Groom
and receive our E-newsletter
and planning tools FREE!

Register Today!

So You Think You Can Dance…At Your Wedding Reception?

Arthur Murray Dance Studio Houston

Used to be a time when a freshly wed bride and groom could shuffle sheepishly ’round the floor, flash a smile at the cameras and call it a first dance. Not so anymore. Thanks to the massive popularity of TV shows like ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” and FOX Broadcasting’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” even the average Joe knows his rumba from his cha-cha, and probably is a fan of both. Which means that your reception guests are going to come with expectations, if not score cards.

When you head out on that dance floor for your first foray as husband and wife, make it a moment for the memory books. In a good way. Here in Houston we are so lucky to have not one, not two, but three locations of the famed Arthur Murray Dance Studios—at nearly 100 years old, the nation’s most venerable dance-instruction organization. Arthur Murray instructors have taught Broadway dancers and Hollywood stars alike. And they can teach anyone–even your average Joe (or typical Tom or ordinary Ed or whatever dance-averse-but-otherwise-perfect dude you’re planning to marry).

Maria Johnson, who owns Arthur Murray Dance Studio Cypress–The Woodlands and Memorial are Houston’s other locations–reminds brides that the first dance is your first public moment as husband and wife. “Don’t overlook the importance of how a beautiful first dance can be a wonderful lifetime memory,” she advises. Uh, no pressure, right?

Right. Because you, smart bride, are going to sign up for dance lessons. You’re going to get some professional first-dance choreography for yourself and your hubby. Heck, you might even corral your bridesmaids and groomsmen for a group lesson or two—a great idea for a couple’s shower, particularly when followed by drinks, food and maybe even…dancing?? Good thing Arthur Murray Dance Studios of Houston offer all these instruction options and more. And not a single score card in sight.

Arthur Murray Dance Studios Houston

Venues We Love: The Phoenix Special Events Facility and B&B

Planning a wedding can be a stressful experience. Your wedding weekend shouldn’t be one. We love that The Phoenix Special Events Facility lets you buy out the entire site, including rustic-elegant event space, plus three charming bed-and-breakfast guest rooms, for an entire four days, at a very pretty price.

That means that you get from Thursday to Sunday to put the final touches on, fully enjoy, and even recover a little bit from your special day. And if you want to have all your wedding-weekend events in one place, you can do that, too. And what a place it is: 75 acres of picturesque countryside in Weimar, a mere 80 miles from Houston. You can enjoy a private pre-wedding celebration with your nearest and dearest, and the next day exchange your vows beneath a canopy of leafy oak boughs beside a sparkling lake, then dine and dance the night away, even treat your guests to a spectacular fireworks show, before retreating with your new hubby to the comfort of your private guest room. Without ever getting in a car.

The Phoenix is very accommodating to vendors, too—bring all your own, or use theirs. Owner and event coordinator Bruce Koehn is on hand to help you plan everything from start to finish, or simply help ensure that all runs smoothly on your big day. If you’re looking for comfort, relaxation and oodles of Southern hospitality for your Houston-area wedding, you really oughtta check out The Phoenix. Call Bruce at 979.733.0304 to schedule your visit—and tell him you found The Phoenix on the Houston Wedding Blog!

To Do This Week: Open Houses at Enchanted Cypress Ballroom and La Toretta Lake Resort

Enchanted Cypress

Sure, it’s got that dazzling fountain and those 18-foot-tall, filigree doors. Yeah, it’s got custom-made crystal chandeliers, a 26-by-26-foot dance floor, and room to seat 600 or so of your nearest and dearest. But what we really love about the Enchanted Cypress Ballroom are those 15 awesome “picture walls” that surround the entire ballroom and can be programmed to screen big, beautiful photos of you and your hubby for all to see! Come check it out for yourself on Saturday, when Enchanted Cypress opens its really big doors to discerning brides…like you.

Enchanted Cypress
Enchanted Cypress Ballroom

Bridal Open House
Saturday, August 7, 2010
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
12603 Louetta Rd.
Cypress, TX 77429
For more information call 281.826.0505 or e-mail

We blogged about our love for picturesque La Toretta Lake Resort a couple of weeks ago. Well, don’t take our word for it. Head to Montgomery on Sunday for a few hours of waterfront relaxation, a bit of gourmet refreshment and a chance to view the gorgeous indoor/outdoor ceremony and reception space at this Lake Conroe gem.

La Torretta Lake Resort Bridal Open House
Sunday, August 8, 2010
1 to 4 p.m.
600 La Torretta Blvd.
Montgomery, TX 77356
For more information call 936.448.3061 or e-mail

To make sure you don’t miss out on any of Houston’s many marvelous bridal events, subscribe now to the Houston Wedding Blog. We’ll let you know about them ALL!

What Can Be Learned From Chelsea’s Wedding?

Now that the guests (and throngs of reporters and camera crews) have all gone home, and Chelsea Clinton and new hubby Marc Mezvinsky are settling into what will hopefully be a long and loving married life, we’ve had a chance to think about what Houston brides can learn from the presidential daughter’s wedding.

First off: Go big, if you will, but don’t go over the top. Chelsea didn’t have much choice when it came to the size of her invite list (about 400 guests reportedly attended the Rhinebeck, N.Y. nuptial celebration), but she did have many choices when it came to the scale of her wedding’s design. With help from Boston-based wedding planner Bryan Rafanelli, Chelsea kept things simple and elegant, relying heavily on the inherent beauty of the Beaux-Arts-style Astor Courts, her wedding venue.

Also: Make it about YOU. Yes, Chelsea had a LOT of folks to please, from her president dad to her secretary-of-state mom to her fiance’s family, heads of state, dignitaries and Hollywood types, not to mention her own dear friends and colleagues, and Marc’s, too. But she still managed to have her wedding align with her personality and tastes. Case in point: Chelsea, a vegan, might not have expected EVERYONE to eat an entirely animal-product-free menu (heck, the girl served shortribs!), but she did insist on a gorgeous, and, we hear, absolutely delicious, gluten-free, vegan wedding cake, from La Tulipe Desserts. After all, what good is a wedding cake if the bride herself can’t eat it?

And finally: Have fun! Even while a no-fly zone was in effect overhead and security swarmed the Astor Courts grounds, Chelsea still managed to have a great time at her wedding—AND make it fun for guests. The bride, groom and family members (yup, including President Clinton) got hoisted in chairs for a traditional hora just like at every Jewish wedding everywhere (Marc and his family are Jewish), the 18-piece big-band ensemble had folks kicking up their heels on the dance floor, and the after-party on the tennis courts, which featured ’80s classics and top-40 hits, apparently had revelers raging until after 4 a.m.!

So we say, thank you, Chelsea, for showing us how it’s done. And congratulations!

For a great rundown on why Chelsea Clinton is such an inspiring bride, and a bit on Chelsea’s wedding in the annals of presidential-children’s-weddings history, click here. Enjoy!

RELATED POSTS:
https://www.weddingsinhouston.com/blog/2010/04/flower-powered-wedding-cakes/
https://www.weddingsinhouston.com/blog/2010/01/reception-decor-inspiration-taylor-creative-weddings/
https://www.weddingsinhouston.com/blog/2010/04/daytime-wedding-wow/

To Do This Week: Bridal Open Houses at Heather’s Glen and Sweetwater Country Club

Here’s what we love most about Heather’s Glen and Sweetwater Country Club: wedding packages without that dreaded “package feel.”

At Heather’s Glen, set on splendid grounds in Conroe, all-inclusive wedding packages range from casual cake-and-punch festivities to lavish affairs featuring ice bars, Champagne fountains and horse-drawn carriages. Sugar Land’s lakeside Sweetwater Country Club offers wedding packages that range in price based on selected menu, and all feature hosted valet parking, hosted bar and an expansive dance floor. While comprehensive wedding packages ensure that everything is in place on your wedding day, each venue allows wedding couples to customize their overall wedding environment to ensure that each wedding is completely unique, and each couple’s tastes and personalities shine through.

Of course, there’s plenty else to love about both wedding venues, including picturesque settings that beautifully blend natural ambiance with special-occasion elegance. We also love special features like Heather’s Glen’s lovely on-site country chapel with soaring ceilings, stained-glass windows and twinkling chandeliers—so sweet and perfect for storybook ceremonies. Sweetwater Country Club, meanwhile, wins major points for its awesome rehearsal dinners, which get guests in a celebratory mood with a choice of bountiful buffets (Texas BBQ, Mexican Fiesta, etc.) or the more formal, but still totally fun, sit-down dinner. Now that’s Houston-style hospitality!

But don’t take our word for it—check out these wedding venues for yourself!

Heather's Glen
Heather's Glen

This Friday, June 11, Heather’s Glen hosts a bridal open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Grab your sweetie, and maybe a bridesmaid or two, and make the short 20-minute drive north of the city to sample all this garden estate has to offer. Call 932.441.6611 or e-mail heathersbb@aol.com for info.

Sweetwater Country Club
Sweetwater Country Club

On Sunday, June 13, Sweetwater Country Club invites brides, grooms (and select family members and friends) to drop in between 1 and 3 p.m. to tour, taste and enjoy gracious service—and a stunning ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows! Call

281.980.4100, ext. 305 or e-mail lcarruth@sweetwatercc.com for details.

Happy venue hunting, Houston bride!