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The Majestic Metro: A Houston Wedding Venue with Historic Charm

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So you’re getting married. Congratulations! Now it’s time to make one of your first big wedding planning decisions: Where will you and your groom hold your reception?
Just like a perfect setting is essential to every great story, your reception venue will set the mood for the party. It’s one of the first things your guests will notice when they arrive to fete you and your guy. It’ll also provide the backdrop for your wedding photos, your first dance, and the cutting of the cake. Your reception venue may also dictate what kind of food and drinks you can serve. So you want to select a venue that embodies the sort of ambiance you want for the biggest party of your life.
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If you like the idea of a venue that’s both grand and intimate, check out The Majestic Metro. This one-of-a-kind wedding venue makes its home downtown in the old Ritz movie theater, which opened in 1926. With much of its original Art Deco architecture still intact, The Majestic Metro will make your wedding celebration one for the ages.
And no, The Majestic Metro’s age won’t spoil your wedding day fun. The venue has been updated to include a top-of-the-line 21st century sound and lighting system, so you can dance the night away on the Texas-sized dance floor. The Majestic Metro even has its own first-rate DJ to get your guests moving to more than 5,000 tunes by everyone from Beyonce to Alicia Keys to George Strait to the Righteous Brothers to Snoop Dogg.
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Having a huge wedding? The Majestic Metro can accommodate up to 400 guests with banquet-style seating. And you can serve whatever kind of food you want from any caterer you choose. That’s right, Houston bride, it’s your wedding, and you can eat what you want to. Your fave barbeque? Check. The dish you were eating when your guy proposed? Ditto.
Don’t stress if you don’t have an opinion on what kind of food to serve or which caterer to use, though. The Majestic Metro is happy to recommend caterers that it has worked with previously.
That’s because The Majestic Metro’s staff knows you and your groom are the stars of the show. They’ll even feature your name and personalized message on its outdoor marquee. Now there’s some A-list treatment every Houston bride deserves!

Wedding and Celebration Venue: Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE

January cover of Weddings in Houston magazine
January cover of Weddings in Houston magazine

If you’ve seen Weddings in Houston’s March issue (and if you haven’t—what are you waiting for??), you’ve no doubt been seduced by the swank, sophisticated Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE, featured on our cover (as backdrop to a beautiful bride holding a custom floral handbag by Darryl & Co.) and in our knockout “Urban Elegance” fashion spread. Recounts Weddings in Houston publisher Radhika Day, “The hip and chic hotel was the perfect setting for our fashion shoot, especially when the city was being pounded with rain.” And the “sexy bar and the cabanas by the pool actually inspired us to add to the story—it was a lot of fun!”

So here’s the scoop: Before you get too excited about having your wedding at the spectacular Sorella, we want to let you know: The property’s on-site meeting and event space will open in fall, 2010, and be able to accommodate wedding receptions for up to 300 guests. So all you super-stylish city brides who plan to wed in 2011 and beyond, make sure you check it out when it does. Word is, it’s going to be gorgeous. The rest of you glamour gals, take note:

Even if you can’t have your whole shebang at CITYCENTRE’s crown jewel (for now Hotel Sorella can accommodate very small ceremonies in its lobby lounge followed by festivities in its open-to-the-public bar and restaurant), you sure can take advantage of its European-influenced opulence in other ways.

For instance, how about getting your bridesmaids or BFFs together for a pre-wedding overnight escape? Sorella director of sales Jodi Doughty says that with its sleek “Italian designed-furnishings, hardwoods that transition to carpet in all right places [and] two- or three-seater sectional sofas,” the hotel is the perfect place to gather “a few girlfriends in your room for a great glass of wine,” followed by a divine dinner at culinary hotspot Bistro Alex, and perhaps a chick flick, with cocktails, natch, at CITYCENTRE’s Studio Movie Grill.

Speaking of escapes…there’s nothing like a little pre-wedding getaway with your future hubby to reconnect you two, and relieve the stress of constant planning. Hotel Sorella’s 520-square-foot are just the ticket, with their insanely luxurious beds, decadent walk-in showers and awesome views.

Of course, with its CITYCENTRE location, stylish design and gracious service, Hotel Sorella is also a great place for visiting guests to stay. Doughty says visitors love being able to “look down at the CITYCENTRE development from their windows, people-watch and get in on the action.” And CITYCENTRE offers much-needed “balance for the groom’s side,” she adds, in the form of dude-friendly gathering spots like the Yard House, with its burgers, big screens and 80-plus beers.

If you haven’t yet seen Hotel Sorella, we highly recommend a visit. You’ll be able to get a great sense of the space by checking out (or checking into) a room, sipping a cocktail beside the sleek fireplace at the seductive Monnalisa bar and gazing at stars, and into your fiance’s eyes, in the open-air courtyard. And if you want to star in your own on-property bridal fashion shoot? Hey, for a fee, and with a fabulous photographer on your side, you can do that, too.

Unique Wedding Reception Menu Ideas from Campbell’s Catering

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There’s nothing wrong with a nicely presented plate of meat and potatoes—for a fancy dinner out with your fiancé, that is. When it comes to your wedding reception, however, wouldn’t you like to serve up something with a little more pizzazz? Something that will get guests talking, moving, perhaps even salivating in anticipation a little? Something that says, “This here is a celebration, folks. Let’s have some fun!”

Courtney Campbell of Campbell’s Catering sure thinks so. And she and her culinary crew are catering to wedding couples who share her passion for food that looks elegant and exciting, and delivers fabulous flavor and fun in equal measure.

Sound good to you, Houston bride? Here are a couple of Campbell’s specialties, which are, she notes, “elegant and unique without breaking the bank”—what a concept!

“We have encouraged many of our recent brides whose receptions are taking place at 8:30 p.m. or later to go with some very upscale and unique passed hors d’oeuvre, such as our duck wontons served with a spicy mango chutney, our Italian chicken lollipops, and our Spanish shrimp cocktail shooters garnished with guacamole and blue corn chips.” Uh, yum. “These are all very hearty and elegant at the same time.”

To add a dynamic and delicious interactive element to the festivities, Campbell suggests her signature Gourmet Potato Boat Bar, featuring dressed-up potato skins filled with fun “theme” goodies. Our faves?

The New Yorker, topped with sliced Italian sausage, and sautéed peppers and onions, and topped with fresh mozzarella.

The Califonia Fresh, loaded with fresh sprouts, homemade guacamole and shredded Monterey jack cheese.

The Mojo, topped with rum-sautéed shrimp and zingy Cuban mojo sauce.

The BBQ, filled with barbecued pulled pork and topped with barbecue sauce and sliced scallions.

Campbell says the Gourmet Potato Boat Bar, with 25 themes to choose from, is especially “great for weddings that have two different nationalities being combined,” and a nice icebreaker for rehearsal dinners where guests are reconnecting or meeting for the first time.

And now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go dab the drool from our chin.

Before You Say I Do… Definitely Do This!

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Among the many wonderful things the New Year brings, our annual Before You Say… “I Do!” bridal soiree is one of the best. On Sunday, Jan. 24, Before You Say… “I Do!” comes to The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, and you won’t want to miss it. From 1 to 6 p.m., more than 70 of the city’s most in-demand wedding experts and vendors—florists, decorators, photographers, cake creators and much more—will take over the magnificent Houstonian for a day of wedding fantasies made real.

Bring you mother, sister, maid of honor, fiancé…or the whole crew, and enjoy cocktails, gourmet nibbles, spectacular tablescapes, gorgeous cakes, a stunning bridal fashion show, door prizes and special treats. And while you’re at it, take advantage of the chance to chat one-on-one with some of the best wedding talents in the business.

Tickets for this once-a-year luxury showcase of the best in Houston weddings are only $20—that’s less than the price of a single manicure!—for a full FIVE HOURS of wedding ideas, inspiration and goodies galore. And guess what? They sell out. Every year.

We’ll definitely be there. Make sure you are, too!

Reception Decor Inspiration: Taylor Creative Weddings

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Their client list—Colin Cowie Lifestyle, Versace, Bergdorf Goodman, Serena Bass, etc.—reads like a who’s who of arbiters of style and sophistication. They’ve provided spectacular props and furniture for everything from Hollywood film shoots to high-end social affairs. And now New York’s famed Taylor Creative Props has launched Taylor Creative Weddings—a special collection of furnishings, accessories and décor, along with design consultation services, tailored (if you’ll pardon the pun) just for weddings. Perhaps even YOUR wedding, Houston bride.

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Taylor Creative has a distinctly modern aesthetic, marked by architectural edge, mid-century modularity, plenty of glass and chrome, and lots of sleek, bright white. But when paired with beautiful lighting and floral, these edgy pieces soften gorgeously, and evoke an atmosphere of sophisticated femininity and romance that makes us swoon.

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Our favorite pieces include the Victoria Pattern Ghost Chair (especially when paired with the patterned Cube Table ), the tufted white Windsor Collection and the illuminated Plexi Bar. And how about those fabulous Glo Balls for an evening al fresco reception?

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Unfortunately, Taylor Creative does not warehouse items in Houston—BUT, they will send whatever you want via truck from New York (for the right price, of course). For the rest of us, the Taylor Creative Weddings’ site is a source of inspiration and ideas, and a GREAT resource to share with our phenomenally talented Houston wedding consultants, rental companies, florists or décor providers.