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Make it Personal: Marry Monograms

Marry Monograms Rose
Marry Monograms Rose

We go to a LOT of weddings. And the ones that we love most, the ones that linger longest in our memories, are those weddings where the wedding couple’s personal touch is on everything from flowers to food to favors.

One of the most elegant ways to personalize your wedding, Houston bride, is with a sophisticated monogram logo bearing the initials or names of you and your new spouse. Monogram logos can be used to put your imprint on wedding items including:

–save-the-date cards and invitations
–aisles
–dance floors
–cakes
–wine bottles
–water bottles
–favors

Marry Monograms Wine
Marry Monograms Wine

For versatile, memorable monogram logos, we adore Marry Monograms. For a very reasonable price, MM will create a downloadable JPEG-format logo that you can provide to your invitation designer, cake baker, favor-maker, dance-floor provider—pretty much any vendor whose product can be imprinted. Monogram style categories—MM has more than 200 standard designs available, and can do custom work as well—include Classic, Contemporary, Simple and Romantic, and many logo styles can include your wedding date or wedding locale.

Marry Monograms Dance
Marry Monograms Dance

HWB tip: In the market for fun bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts or bachelor/bachelorette party favors? Use your MM monogram to customize clutches for the ladies and caps or T’s for the gents!

Caffeinate with Care with a Coffee Bar

Java Pura Coffee Bar
Java Pura Coffee Bar

Your fave coffee has been the unsung hero in planning your wedding, keeping you going as you’ve stuffed envelopes, freaked out over the seating chart and flipped through bridal magazine after magazine in search of the perfect up-do. So, why not give your liquid sidekick a special part at your reception by offering a full-service coffee bar?

Our vote for the honor goes to Java Pura, a local coffee roasting and catering company that does events for heavy-hitters like Neiman Marcus, The Houstonian Hotel Club & Spa and Tootsies, and is quickly becoming a must-have vendor among Houston brides.

Hire Java Pura for your big day, and they’ll send their professional barista—commercial grade espresso machine and grinder in tow—to your reception to serve up made-to-order specialty coffee drinks, like crème brulé (latté with caramel), almond joy (latté with dark chocolate and almond syrup) and espresso. Your guests can even opt for frozen cappuccinos, Italian sodas, hot chocolate and an assortment of teas.

Summer brides-to-be, worry not: Java Pura can put any drink over ice, so you can justify the coffee bar as a way to keep your guests cool and caffeinated for plenty of dancing.

And yes, we’re sure your guests will use the coffee bar, no matter the season. Even if you’ve somehow made it to your big day without several dozen carmel macchiatas, at least half of your guests like coffee, says Java Pura co-owner Richard Colt.

And they’ll like it no matter when you serve it during your big day. Java Pura’s first brides just wanted to serve coffee with the wedding cake, but now lots of Houston brides are opting to offer a coffee bar throughout the reception. (Some guests even forego cocktails for a cup—or three—of java!) Speaking of which, a coffee bar makes a fun drink alternative if you’re having an alcohol-free wedding.

If you want to really wow your guests, try this idea from an event held at River Oaks Country Club: Java Pura set up two coffee bars—one in the main area, the other near the exit, so guests could grab a to-go cup for the road. You could even sweeten the send-off gift with a personalized coffee sleeve or mug that reminds guests of how you caffeinated them with care. Your guests will thank you for it. We know we would.

How to Pick Your Wedding Date

He’s popped the question, you’ve said, “Yes,” the ring sparkles oh-so-fetchingly on your finger, all is well in the land of true love. Now all you need to do is pick a wedding date, Houston bride-to-be. And with 365 days to choose from in any given year, that should be easy, right? Not exactly.

Even if you’re not one of those sentimental or superstitious sorts who has to have all the stars precisely aligned on her wedding date, many days are simply not feasible for reasons of his or your work or school schedule. Factor in other potential schedule conflicts, plus factors like weather and venue availability, and that yearlong calendar looks a whole lot shorter.

Here are some common-sense guidelines to follow in picking the best date for your big day.

Season

This is Houston, which means seasons can play a big part in the type of wedding you have, and also in its cost. Because of extreme temperatures and humidity, and a general desire among Houstonians to NOT subject out-of-towners to our fair city’s summer swelter, July and August typically are not top choices for Houston weddings. On the other hand, you just may be able to negotiate a great deal on your event venue if you choose an off-season date.

Fall, on the other hand, tends to be a lovely season for weddings in Houston, with its milder temps and plethora of great activities for visiting guests to enjoy. But fall also overlaps with storm season. We’re all well aware of September, 2008’s, Hurricane Ike, which blasted across Houston leaving destruction—and devastated brides-to-be—in its wake. Sure, Ike is an extreme example, but even milder storms can affect wedding plans, including guest travel, tenting and, of course, anything scheduled to take place outdoors. If you do opt for an autumn wedding, make sure you have contingency plans in place, especially for events with outdoor elements.

Spring is an ideal season for a Houston wedding when it comes to weather, floral choices, etc.—but the popularity of the season comes with the challenge of venue and vendor availability, so start planning early. And avoid the week before April 15! As for winter, it’s a favorite for nuptials here in Houston and offers a great opportunity to plan a “winter wonderland” wedding. But if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to choose your florals wisely—many blooms are not in season in winter months, and imported exotic flowers can be exorbitant.

Holidays/Special Events

Sure, it might seem like a totally neat-o idea to get married on Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve. But think about it—if your anniversary were NOT on Valentine’s Day, you’d get TWO romance-fests a year rather than a mere one. And do you really want to run the risk of having your wedding guests treat your celebration like an all-you-can drink blowout? Probably not. Guests also may have their own family commitments during major holidays, while flights often are hard to come by and airfares are at a premium, making it difficult for some to attend. When it comes to picking your wedding date it’s best to avoid major holidays, and the weeks immediately before or after. (Though a holiday theme wedding can be fun any weekend of the year!)

Also important to avoid are special events or annual events. Planning a June wedding? Better find out if anyone on your guest list is planning to graduate that month. A winter wedding? Not on Super Bowl weekend, especially if you, your fiancé or anyone whose attendance you can’t live without is a major football fan (and imagine the Super Bowl/anniversary conflicts for years to come!). Got a pregnant bridesmaid or other important guest? Make sure your wedding doesn’t fall on her due date or in the three months (at least) after she delivers.

Day of the Week

Saturday is the most popular day for weddings—except for Jewish weddings, which are often scheduled for Sundays to avoid taking place on the Jewish Sabbath, and some Indian weddings as well. If you, like the majority of brides, are planning to have a Saturday wedding, make sure you start your planning early, especially if you are determined to have your reception at one of Houston’s most popular wedding sites. These venues often book up a year or two in advance, especially for prime-season Saturdays. Allowing yourself ample flexibility in selecting a venue will go far toward helping you find the right site on the right date for your marriage to Mr. Right.

Walk—Or Dance—On Water

Liquid Fusion
Liquid Fusion

If you’re planning the kind of reception where let-your-hair-down, kick-your-heels-up dancing is certain to take center stage, you must check out this unique and incredibly cool dance floor from Holo-Walls.

Liquid Fusion Floor Tile
Liquid Fusion Floor Tile

Liquid Fusion flooring tiles—a favorite of celebrity wedding planners like L.A.’s Mindy Weiss, who recently used them for a stunning all-blue reception—are each filled with two opposing bichromatic liquids. When dancers step on the tiles, the pressure causes the liquids to swirl into each other, creating a thrilling visual effect. Liquid Fusion tiles, which are available in Red/Orange, Blue/Sky Blue, Orange/Purple and other vibrant color combos, can be snapped together to form dance floors of varying sizes. They’re also great for creating impressive entry walkways and stage surfaces.

We think a Liquid Fusion floor would be perfect framed by modular banquettes and low cocktail tables at a reception with a sophisticated lounge feel, or surrounded on three sides by long, rectangular dining tables done up with chic, sleek linens. And how about a luminous liquid dance floor in the middle of a white-on-white reception room? Fabulous!

Liquid Fusion Tabletops
Liquid Fusion Tabletops

Like the idea of liquid, but not sure if you want a whole floor full of it? Holo-Walls also has Liquid Fusion tabletops, which look amazing on cocktail tables. Picture your guests sipping drinks and nibbling hors d’oeuvre at tables topped with liquid color that undulates at the touch of martini glasses. They’ll be talking about it for months to come, Houston bride.

Hotel ZaZa Hosts an Indian Engagement Party with Panache

Likhari Engagement
Likhari Engagement

Known for its edgy, elegant decor and chic, cosmopolitan vibe, Houston’s Hotel ZaZa seems like the perfect place for a party. And on Sept. 6 it hosted one heck of a great party, indeed.

Likhari Engagement
Likhari Engagement

The 300-guest engagement celebration for a lovestruck Indian couple took full advantage of ZaZa’s incredibly cool semicircular ballroom—not to mention sleek, sophisticated black chiavari chairs (the hotel has them in house…no need to go outside for rentals).

Ballroom at Hotel ZaZa
Ballroom at Hotel ZaZa

Sure there were gorgeous flowers from John Freidman and amazing linens from Touch of Elegance. Yes there was that sensational candy bar created by Darryl & Co.   Houston Photographer, Steve Lee, was on hand to capture the festivities.

Candy Buffet
Candy Buffet

But ZaZa senior catering manager Lisa Hudson says the luncheon event’s food might have been the most enticing element of all. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that the ever-accommodating ZaZa, unlike some properties, allows clients to bring in culturally specific or traditional hors d’oeuvre and desserts, which it serves alongside its own divine contemporary American offerings (exactly what the couple did).

To bring even more zing, ZaZa created a “spice table”—a delicious nod to the couple’s South Asian heritage, which featured tantalizing spices and sauces, and added color and excitement to the festivities.

Hudson says the hotel is working on a whole new catering package that will include plenty of South Asian specialties and vegetarian options for clients who want to add a taste of tradition to their weddings, engagement fetes and other events.

Looking to add a little spice to your own event? Give Lisa a call at 713.639.4505—she’d love to help you out!