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E Johnston Designs Knows Southern Weddings Like Nobody’s Business

E Johnston Designs Houston Wedding Florist Flowers: E Johnston Designs | Styling: Tammy’s Table

In a town where lavish opulence rules and bling is king (ok, queen), we know that some of y’all are wondering just where a sweet Southern gal is supposed to turn for good old fashioned understated wedding elegance. We feel you, darlings. And it’s with you in mind that we’re singing the praises of E Johnston Designs today on the blog. Keep scrolling for more….

E Johnston Designs Tulips Roses Table Centerpiece Flowers: E Johnston Designs | Photo: C. Baron Photography

If fresh, sweet Southern pretty is what you’re after for your Houston-area wedding, you need to schedule an appointment with Elaine Johnston, and find out what this skilled and super intuitive Spring-based florist can come up with to flesh out your nascent floral fantasy.

E Johnston Designs Babys Breath Bridesmaid Bouquets Flowers: E Johnston Designs

We’re so delighted to have E Johnston Designs as a new member of the Weddings in Houston family, and we can’t wait to show off more of Elaine’s lovely work in the coming months! In the meantime, get your fill of soft, Southern floral-design favorites–from tulips and hyacinth to pastel cut crystal to baby’s breath bunches that look lighter than air–and then get yourself over to E Johnston Designs for your very own wedding floral consultation!

 

 

3 Reasons To Let Any Occasion Tents & Events Transform Your Wedding

Party Rental Houston Texas Wedding

1.) They’ve got TONS of experience. Yup, while Any Occasion Tents & Events is a mere 15+ years young, this top Houston event rental firm is the offspring of Aztec Rental Center, a longtime and very successful family-owned Houston construction rental company. While Aztec Tents & Events may deal in gorgeous tents, sleek furniture and sparkly tabletop items for fancy to-do’s (rather than, say, jackhammers and air compressors), it does so with the expert customer care and professionalism honed by their parent company during a half century (whelp!) in business.

2.) They can turn the great outdoors into an elegant, climate-controlled celebration space. Poof! Just like that, Any Occasion can transform a lawn, field, patio or other al fresco area into the extension of an indoor event space, or into a party space all its own! Whether you need a little protection from the sun for your Houston wedding, or a full-scale structure, complete with doors, windows and hallways, Any Occasion can provide the party tent you need, and the expertise to put it up and take it down when and where you please.

3.) They have extra love for military members and first responders! Are you an active service member or one of the many Houstonians who have lent their efforts to Hurricane Harvey relief or other local emergencies? Let Any Occasion know, and present your military or first-responder ID/badge for a 10% discount on your wedding or event rental order!

Ready to prep for your party? Get more info on Any Occasion Tents & Events here, and make sure to tell ’em you found them on the Houston Wedding Blog!

4 Tips for Easing First-Dance Performance Anxiety

photo: Cottonwood Weddings Photo: Cottonwood Road Photography | Venue: The Gallery

Remember when the newlywed “first dance” was just two crazy kids, swaying around on the dance floor to their fave sentimental tune? Yeah, neither do we. Probably because for at least the last 5 years or so, first dances have become major productions: the perfect song choice, the dramatic entrance, the fancy footwork, the…professional choreography?? If you’re feeling first-dance pressure, you’re in good company. And we’re here to help, with these tips for bringing the fun back to this much-loved wedding tradition.

  1. Include your soon-to-be spouse in the first-dance planning process. After all, he or she is the one you’ll be dancing with! Take a step back and try to remember if there were any songs you both liked while dating. Is there a song that has particular meaning to you? Is there an artist you both love? Is there a musical style you’re both more comfortable dancing to?
  2. To ease the pressure you may be feeling about dancing in the spotlight, consider taking a series of dance lessons together. These can be a great date-night activity, followed by dinner or a post-con cocktail and laugh sesh, looking back on his sweet attempts at salsa, or your dramatic “dip” recovery. Pre-wedding dance classes can also serve as a way to explore what music style fits both of you best.
  3. When selecting a wedding reception first-dance song, don’t forget about the “classics.” There’s a reason why you can never go wrong with a timeless standard for your first spin as spouses. Classic songs from the 40s and 50s are always in style, and any qualified Houston wedding band or wedding DJ will definitely be able to fulfill this request.
  4. Beware of pop music. Charting songs and Spotify hits typically are in for like…five minutes in the grand scheme of things…and then forgotten. You’ll want to pick a first-dance song you and your groom will love in the moment, be delighted to relive in your wedding photos and wedding video over and over again, and dance to, in intimate moments, for years to come.

6 Unique Wedding Guestbooks You’ll Display Long After the Big Day

Let’s face it, a regular ol’ guestbook at your wedding will only be useful for one night. After that, it likely will join other keepsakes in a closet somewhere to gather dust until you get a notion to haul it out for a look-see wayyyyy down the road. Instead of a dust-collector, we recommend you re-think your wedding guestbook as a collector-worthy work of personalized art that you’ll be proud to show off in your newlywed nest for years to come!

For travelers and adventure-seekers, a customized globe guestbook lets wedding guests feel like they’re going on this adventure with you!

unique-wedding-guest-book Custom Globe via Etsy shop: NewlyScripted

Family, friends and faith come together in a bible guestbook, where wedding attendees have the opportunity to circle, highlight or decorate around their favorite verse and sign their names, creating an heirloom that can be passed down for generations.

unique-wedding-guestbook Photo: Alisha Crossley Photography

Oh, winter weddings! Full of joy, twinkling lights, and seasonal tidings! What better way to add a personal touch to your Christmas tree than with personalized “guestbook” ornaments, signed by your guests on your wedding day, and enjoyed during the holiday season year after year after year?

 unique-wedding-guestbook Photo: Fidelio Photography

One of our current guestbook faves is the Polaroid photo guestbook! Guests will have loads of fun posing for selfie (with or without props), and you’ll have tons of fun for decades to come flipping through a guestbook full of their pix and sweet wedding messages.

TheSunshineGarden Photo Guestbook via Etsy shop: The Sunshine Garden

Trying to decorate your new “together” home is no easy task, but it’s way more fun when you get to fill it with meaningful personalized artwork like this adorable wedding guestbook, created with oodles of little hearts, each signed by a wedding guest and dropped into a clear frame that’s mantelpiece ready and really, really lovely.

unique-wedding-guestbook Photo:Kasey Lynn Photography

Planning a rustic-elegant wedding? Then this guestbook idea is for you! A personalized wood frame with your names and wedding date makes a great canvas for guests to add their own sign-in “brushstrokes,” creating a perfectly personalized painting you’ll display, with love, now and forever.

unique-wedding-guestbook Photo: Photography by Niki

 

10 Historic Houston Venues for Weddings with Timeless Style

Writer: Laura Mericas

With their modern tech, high-end amenities and lavish interiors, Houston’s historic venues might look vintage, but they definitely feel brand new. Scroll with us, as we uncover their storied pasts, and show you how you can make your own history with a wedding at one of the city’s landmark wedding venues.

The Crystal Ballroom at The Rice

Crystal-Ballroom-at-The-Rice

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

History buffs will love that their first dance, first kiss and first forays into married life take place in a century-old venue that was home to so many firsts for their city and state.

“Our history is one of the big draws of our venue,” says Paula Foreman, director of sales for the Crystal Ballroom at The Rice. “It was the first public room in Houston with air conditioning, it had the first escalator, it was the original site of the Texas capitol…anything and everything that has happened in Houston has happened at The Rice!”

The repeating arched windows, 35-foot-high ceilings, and beautifully restored murals from 1913 truly take guests back to the turn of the 20th century. One can immediately imagine an opulent Art Deco-themed celebration or a classically elegant ceremony at this one-of-a-kind venue.

The Corinthian

The-Corinthian

Photo: J. Cogliandro Photography

A few blocks away, on the corner of Main and Franklin streets in downtown Houston, sits yet another historic gem: The Corinthian. The venue has taken on quite a different role from when it was originally built more than 100 years ago, then serving as the home of First National Bank, and standing as one of the tallest buildings in the state—a skyscraper of its day!

Today the neoclassical venue is known for its original colonnade of 24 Corinthian columns, which have framed some of the most elaborate events the city has ever hosted. “The stunning and timeless architecture allows florists and decorators to suspend exquisite chandeliers, floral accents and draping to highlight the original plaster ceiling in the Grand Hall,” says general manager Boyd Bryan. “Set in the rear wall, a towering Palladian window, often-times flanked with oversized floral creations, makes for a breathtaking and dramatic backdrop to the wedding ceremony.” You can see The Corinthian’s glory on display in countless weddings we’ve featured over the years, including Allie and Kyle’s ultra-decadent bash, Asmita and Rishab’s vibrant Indian celebration, and Kailey and Michael’s classic affair.

The Astorian

The-Astorian

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

One of Houston’s newest takes on historic ambiance aims to take brides and grooms not only to another era, but to a different place entirely. The Astorian, inspired by New York City’s Grand Central Station, with domed ceilings, handcrafted black-and-gold mosaics, soaring arched windows and a massive gilded clock, transports wedding couples and guests to the artistic edginess of Manhattan in the roaring 20’s.

Art is part of the venue’s origins, as it first served as an enormous paint factory when built in the late 40’s and then was home to famous Texas artist David Adickes’ sculptures of The Beatles and the U.S. presidents. It was named a city landmark in 2012 and three years later was transformed into one of the most distinctive venues in Houston by partners Romain Kapadia, Joe Pachioli and Juan Chao.

In the two years since the space’s restoration, the team at The Astorian has hosted off-the-charts celebrations for the likes of the Houston Texans’ football team and to-be-weds who relish high-glam revelry, along with gorgeous photo shoots, like this fabulous Weddings in Houston exclusive. “Couples love how the place has a festive feel to it,” Pachioli says. “It’s not a blank space. It has a vibe to celebrate.”

Historic Magnolia Ballroom

Historic-Magnolia-Ballroom

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

Wedding couples who prefer color “pops” and the taste of hops, will appreciate all that is and was at the Historic Magnolia Ballroom. Built in the late 1800’s, and the site of elaborate weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal luncheons and more for the past 30 years, the Historic Magnolia Ballroom once served as the executive suites for Houston’s Magnolia Brewery, where Downtown workers would gather for five-cent beers and sandwiches, and where the elite would enjoy exclusive beer tastings.

“There are so many wonderful venues opening up everywhere all the time, but you can’t give a place history,” venue manager Renee Pool says of the venue, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The venue’s colorful cypress-and-leaded-glass windows, paired with its on-trend bright wallpaper, and vaulted mural ceilings, create a joyous yet elegant setting for the most timeless of nuptials.

The Lyceum of Galveston Island

The-Lyceum

Photo: Rising Tide New Media

Standing originally as one of Texas’ oldest Lutheran churches, The Lyceum of Galveston Island today captures the Old World charm and culture of its coastal surroundings.

The venue’s square tower with its steeple, hipped roof, arched openings and beautifully restored double doors, sets the stage for an intimate spiritual ceremony and/or a lively reception.

The original floor-to-ceiling stained-glass windows, which date back to the1850’s, leave guests and couples in awe, and create a colorful display of natural light throughout the space, which executive director Cynthia McEldowney says is a favorite element among wedding couples. “The Lyceum is adjacent to a present-day sanctuary, separated only by a beautifully landscaped courtyard featuring wrought-iron gates,” she adds.

Heather’s Glen

Heather's-Glen

Photo: Jessica Pledger Photography

Victorian elegance and Southern hospitality blend together beautifully at Heather’s Glen in Conroe. The venue, originally built in 1900, was formerly known as the Wahrenberger mansion, and was the center of Conroe’s social scene at the time.

That influence hasn’t changed much in the last century. Since the venue’s complete restoration in the early 90’s, wedding couples like Kaylin and Michael have sought out Heather’s Glen for their storybook nuptials.

The Antebellum-style-home-turned-wedding-venue now includes a cathedral-ceiling chapel complete with giant windows overlooking manicured gardens featuring two picturesque waterfalls, as well as hundreds of magenta and blush azalea bushes sprinkled across the venue’s grounds, notes owner Heather George.

Plantation-style columns and wraparound porches, and the option to wed under a moonlit gazebo, lend perfectly to weddings with a Southern-fairytale feel. “Some of the most memorable weddings at Heather’s Glen have focused on historical themes,” says George. “A New Orleans-style wedding complete with a second-line dance comes to mind.”

The Parador

The-Parador

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

The Parador, located in Houston’s posh Museum District, is a Texas Historical Landmark inspired by a bygone empire.

The immense estate, complete with dark wood beams, rustic three-tiered doors and winding gardens, “stands as a testament to the architectural artistry of a distant era, marrying Mediterranean style with Byzantine details,” says director Sheila Wells.

Originally built as a house of worship in 1928, the venue’s soaring 35-foot domed ceiling and stunning arched windows bathe wedding guests in a warm golden glow in the multi-leveled Duomo. Couples can wed within the glorious cathedral or outdoors among the tranquil gardens and sculpted fountains. Wells notes, “All of our events are lovely. However, when couples provide different settings with loveseats and couches, it adds a special warm touch.”

Majestic Metro

Majestic-Metro

Photo: Tara Star Photography

Want to see your name in lights on your wedding day, like Houston lovebirds Jennifer and Mitchell? Couples who book downtown’s Houston’s Majestic Metro will experience that special thrill during their night of glamour and grandeur at this restored movie palace.

“There’s eye candy everywhere in the building,” says managing partner Linda Warwick. “What you see is what you get here, and that’s huge for a lot of our couples.”

First constructed by legendary Houston architect William Ward Watkin in 1926, the stunning space was set to be torn down, but was saved and returned to its original glory in the 1990’s. Today, this remarkable site boasts one of the most advanced audiovisual systems in Houston, perfect for its all-inclusive, music-filled celebrations, all set within a vintage Art Nouveau interior. “Other venues stage spaces to look like this,” Warwick says. “Ours is the real deal.”

The Bryan Museum

Bryan Museum

Photo: Courtesy of The Bryan Museum

From its beginnings as an orphanage—one whose solid cypress beams protected its wards from the great storm of 1900 — to its brief stint as a private residence, to its status, today, as one of Galveston’s most beloved archives, The Bryan Museum stands out as a superb historic venue for a truly Texan wedding.

Depending on the season and weather, couples may opt to have their ceremony in the jasmine-covered gazebo on the museum’s grounds. Bryan Museum director of events Ann Urban notes that, due to Galveston’s fickle climate, most couples opt for an off-site ceremony, bringing their guests to The Bryan Museum afterwards, for a one-of-a-kind reception in the museum’s recently completed, and completely climate-controlled, conservatory. At just under 2,000 square feet, the Belgian-inspired structure features intricate ironwork and evocative emerald-color glass, along with a built-in green onyx bar. These features, combined with a dazzling floor that “really is like a mirror,” Urban says, make The Bryan Museum’s conservatory, itself, “a work of art.”

Butler’s Courtyard

Butlers Courtyard

Photo: Lindsay Elizabeth Photography

Commissioned by one of the first and most successful ranchers in the region and designed by a cowboy-turned-architect, Butler’s Courtyard allows guests to travel back to the times of dirt roads and horse-drawn carriages—but with modern conveniences aplenty.

The red-brick building in the heart of historic League City, now almost 110 years old, served as a center of commerce and trade along George Washington Butler’s sprawling property at the turn of the 20th century, and was home to a bank, grocery store, café and a spot for patrons to tie up their horses. Today, co-owners and best friends, Nancy Richards and Janice Gunnin-Wilson, have transformed the space into a vintage-inspired setting for rustic-elegant nuptials that blend historic surroundings with impeccable service: “The bride will have a team behind her at every point in the wedding,” says Gunnin-Wilson. “We treat each bride with white gloves and take care of her every need.”

The venue’s exposed-brick walls, weathered-wood beams, antique floor-to-ceiling mirrors and rows upon rows of sparkling chandeliers create what the owners describe as a feeling of “historic elegance,” ideal for intimate occasions, like the one imagined in this breathtaking shoot from florist Haute Flowers & Events, shot by Lindsay Elizabeth Photography. Those with a love for the outdoors can wed beneath the romantic archway in the courtyard, where hanging stained-glass artwork and a nearby barn-like structure make ideal backdrops for Texas-themed photo ops.

For at-a-glance details on size, capacity, disabled accessibility and much more, for any of the above venues, click here…and happy venue hunting, loves!