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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!

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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!

La Colombe d’Or, J’Adore…Now Even More!

La Colombe d’Or has always been one of Houston’s most magnificent wedding venues. But now the historic site—with its circa 1923 mansion and 18th-century French ballroom, Le Grand Salon—has even more to admire.

Let’s start with the restaurant, which recently underwent a complete renovation, including all furniture, carpet, drapery—“the works,” says owner Dan Zimmerman. Credit for the redo goes to Vision Designs, the company behind the look of such swank spots as The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and the Ocean Echo restaurant The Reefs in Bermuda. We especially love this opulent space for rehearsal dinners and intimate pre-wedding gatherings of good friends.

It’s not just the look of the restaurant that’s changed, either. Zimmerman tells us that the new menu, designed with input from consulting chef Francesco Casetta (formerly of Tony’s) is “more Italian and internationally influenced” than the French-leaning fare of La Colombe d’Or of yore.

Of course, La Colombe D’Or’s suites have also gotten facelifts—really good ones. As for Le Grand Salon, the hotel’s crown jewel (and many a Houston bride’s dream wedding venue), it’s been spiffed up with a fresh coat of wax on the circa-1715 wood paneling, new carpeting and other subtle updates. But Zimmerman assures us that the ballroom and banquet menu—which can incorporate just about any special dietary need or culturally specific food items—are not slated for any major changes. And that’s because “brides love them” just the way they are, Zimmerman says.

The hotel and restaurant’s recent renos are part of the lead-up to the property’s 30th anniversary celebration, which takes place at the end of the year. So happy 30th, La Colombe D’Or! May you enjoy another 30 in style.

Photos: Julie Soefer

High Fashion Fabrics Takes Wedding Style to New High

Photos: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

There’s a new name in Houston wedding rentals…that just happens to be a very familiar name in fabrics. You may know High Fashion Fabrics as Houston’s largest fabric store—the place to go if you’re in the market for a few yards of cool Calaveras skull-patterned cotton or a handful of sparkling crystal buttons.

serendipity_093b
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Well, now High Fashion is also the place to go if you’re looking for a totally unique table linen or, say, a few hundred sleek acrylic dining chairs. You see, about a year ago, a friend of High Fashion manager Dolley Levan’s was getting married and couldn’t seem to find the perfect cloths for her wedding tables. Levan and team came to her rescue, and shortly thereafter decided to start offering linen rental to customers. The service has been “very well received,” Levan tells the Houston Wedding Blog—so much so that High Fashion is now offering chic lounge furniture and unique table seating, along with the kind of fashion-forward table linen you just won’t find anywhere else in town.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Like Confetti a textured taffeta style that looks like it might have just walked off a Paris runway, and gives the impression of shimmering coins or rippled water. So chic! Or how about Eden Floral—a fabulous sheer overlay with appliquéd flowers and leaves, which “acts as floral itself,” Levan says. She recommends pairing it with contemporary centerpieces featuring branches and crystals, rather than an abundance of cut blooms. Then there’s the super-hip Ivory & Black Paris Flocked Damask Shantung. As linen names go, it’s a bit of a mouthful. As linen styles go, it’s utterly gorgeous.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Of course, this being Houston and all, High Fashion feeds the needs of traditional Southern brides, too. They’ve got regal ivory damask, luxurious bisque peau-de-soie satin and solid taffetas in a rainbow of shades, plus many other elegant styles.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

It’s official: Whether you’re looking for aluminum chairs and LED-lit coffee tables, or custom-made table linen, High Fashion’s got you, and your tables, covered.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Daytime Wedding Wow

If you’re of the mind that a daytime wedding is to an evening wedding what a flip-flop is to a Louboutin, get ready to have your thinking seriously altered, Houston bride.

The best thing about a daytime wedding? Well, beyond the fact that it’s a perfect lead-in to a let-your-hair-down, informal evening gathering, and that it allows weary revelers to get their beauty rest, having a daytime wedding, especially a Sunday daytime wedding, can save you a bundle on venue rental fees. Which means you’ve got that much more budget to allocate to things like floral, linen and décor. And trust us, you’re going to be grateful that you do. Because as far as elegance, artistry and luxury are concerned, the bright blue sky’s the limit for today’s daytime wedding.

We’ve collected a few breathtakingly beautiful examples to inspire the daytime bride in you!

How sweet is this Texas-style Southern California backyard wedding featured on 100 Layer Cake? The hand-lettered signs and bright, funky floral arrangements add so much warmth and whimsy to this joyful fête.

Photo: Michelle King
Photo: Michelle King

Also from 100 Layer Cake, here’s a showcase wedding design that was featured at a recent bridal show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We particularly love the “vintage concept” tabletop, with those antique vases and mix-n-match china. And the Hostess Sno Balls? Lordy, too cute!

100lc_eventbam2
Photo by Scott Clark Photo & Robert Wagner

This South African wedding, featured over at Junebug Weddings, is so simple and elegant. The pristine white-and-silver color scheme is lovely, especially with those small touches of green in the succulent and wildflower centerpieces.

JunebugWed
Photo by Christine Meintjes

And lastly, here’s a completely different take on the daytime white wedding, from the ever-stylish Style Me Pretty. We adore everything from the monochromatic box centerpieces (perfect for rectangular banquet tables), to the white chiavari chairs, to the sea-glass plates and personal apple pies. So homey, yet so chic.

SMPWed
Photo by Bello Photography