ENGAGED and CONFUSED?

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

Register Today!

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!

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Gardens at Madeley Manor

2017-04-28_0001 Photo: Courtesy of The Garden’s at Madeley Manor

Tucked away behind a grove of sweeping oaks trees in central Conroe lies a wedding venue home to rich history and unforgettable views — The Garden’s at Madeley Manor. The majestic, plantation-style property has played host to some of the most elegant, lush and Southern-inspired ceremonies, receptions and bridal luncheons this side of the Texas border. We talked with the manor’s events manager, Marjorie Thai, to find out more about this picture-perfect spot! You might be surprised what you learn:

1. It’s 80+ Year’s Old! — Madeley Manor was first built by Daniel and Ruth Madeley in the 1930’s and quickly became the epicenter of society and sophistication in Conroe, hosting events for dignitaries and musicians, as well as the Madeley daughters’ weddings, according to Thai. The home has been updated since its heyday, but maintains its historic charm.

View More: http://michelleablephotography.pass.us/madeley-manor Photo: Cotton Weddings

2. It’s All-Inclusive — The Gardens at Madeley Manor offers all-inclusive pricing for all types of wedding events, from the assortment of sweets and flatware at a brunch buffet, to hor d’oeuvres and glassware for cocktail hours, scones and saucers for a bridesmaids’ tea, and multicourse meals and tables for a seated dinner. “Clients are able to relax and enjoy their wedding, knowing our dedicated team will take care of the details,” Thai says.

3. It Perfects Indoor-Outdoor Elegance — “Couples and their guests have the opportunity to revel among the grounds as well as the home,” Thai says. The venue’s lush green lawns and 100-year-old oaks create an idyllic atmosphere for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. Many couples choose to wed under the manor’s beautiful white gazebo, that can be adorned with a sparkling chandelier. Couples can then segue into a classic, tented reception or to the options indoors.

2017-04-28_0002  Photo: Courtesy of The Garden’s at Madeley Manor

4. There’s Space for Any Occasion — Once inside the historic former-residence, couples can wed within the charming white chapel, perfect for intimate ceremonies. On the first floor, the living room lends itself to dining or dancing, while the pine-paneled sunroom is an ideal gentleman’s quarters. Upstairs, the former bedrooms have been transformed to host small social gatherings with access to gorgeous photo opps on the columned balcony.

2017-04-28_0003  Photo: Archetype Photography | Photo is of the vintage Machin Conservatory at its former location, The Gardens of River Oaks.

5. They’re Adding More! —  The manor will soon boast yet another gorgeous indoor-outdoor feature to host truly one-of-a-kind weddings. In Spring 2018, the venue plans to unveil a vintage Machin Conservatory that will offer uninterrupted views of the Texas sunset or twinkling night sky. It will certainly provide another magical setting for weddings and related events, and add to the historical character of our venue,” Thai says.

Interested in a charm-filled, Southern-inspired or historic wedding space? Schedule a consultation with The Garden’s at Madeley Manor today to book the perfect location for your dream day! Be sure to mention you found them on the Houston Wedding Blog.

Bright Peacock-Inspired Sangeet & Garden-Themed South Asian Wedding

Houston couple Sadie and Aneel’s off-the-charts proposal story, to no surprise, culminated in a one-of-a-kind South Asian celebration. Their wedding story began when the high-school sweethearts planned a “spontaneous” trip to Napa Valley, where Aneel had reserved a private terrace overlooking breathtaking grounds. There he showed Sadie a video he (with the help of their family and friends) created and aptly titled, “How to Propose to Sadie,” which she says was “super creative, sweet, funny, and definitely tear-jerking.” After the video concluded, Sadie turned to find Aneel on one knee with a gorgeous pear-shaped diamond ring just for her. We aren’t surprised she said, “Yes!”

View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie

The couple celebrated their nuptials with six events over three days, where “we prepared to eat, dance, and celebrate the fusion of two families,” Sadie says, beginning with a mehndi ceremony, where Sadie and her gals adorned themselves in intricate henna tattoos. The next day, the couple celebrated with a lively sangeet among 750 friends and family members. The night was complete with a peacock-inspired, Moroccan theme featuring purple, royal blue, turquoise and chartreuse florals and decor by Haute Flowers & Events…and a whole lot of dancing.

View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie

The following day, Sadie and Aneel formally said, “I do,” in a romantic garden-themed ceremony with soft coral, peach, ivory and pink hues, in front of 250 of their nearest and dearest.

View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie

Sadie glided down the aisle in a gorgeous lace trumpet gown from Weddings by Debbie, while Aneel waited for the moment when they could offer each other their personally written vows. After dancing the night away, yet again, the couple jetted off to a mini-moon where it all began: Napa Valley.

View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie   View More: http://studiouma.pass.us/aneelsadie

We couldn’t be happier for the happy couple! We wish you a lifetime of happiness and many more opportunities to show off those amazing dance moves. Xoxo, The HWB Team.

Photos: Studio Uma | Flowers & Decor: Haute Flowers & Events | Wedding Gown: Weddings by Debbie

 

A Southern Fête

WIH_16_B_036

A classically elegant Southern fête at a gracious Houston home makes for a perfect spring reception.

0125-DSC_0925-SG

flowers & decor: todd events | ring: zadok jewelers

0287-000094190014-SG   0294-000094230014-SG 0307-DSC_1508-2-SG

champagne & navy metallic gowns: sorella vita | ermenegildo zegna suit, carrot & gibbs bow tie: m penner  | la petite robe di chiara: neiman marcus  flowers & decor: todd events

0130-DSC_0990-SG

jewelry: zadok jewelers | flowers & decor: todd events 

0336-000094280001-SG

romonoa keveza gown: neiman marcus 

0394-000094330009-SG

bouquet & hand painted parasol: todd events 

0068-000094220011-SG_6x8 0087-000094260016-SG 0107-000094250005-SG 0113-000094200001.tif--bird-edit-4-SG 0112-000094200003-SG

ines di santo “bloom” gown: neiman marcus |  jewelry: zadok jewelers | ermenegildo zegna suit, carrot & gibbs bow tie: m penner | dove release: white wing dove connection

0326-000094270001-SG 0322-000094330001-SG 0320-000094330003-SG 0314-000094270012-SG 0339-000094300009-SG NEWOPENER_0311-000094270016-SG

tablescape: todd events

0390-000094330014-SG

decor: todd events | cake: susie’s cakes & confections 

0362-000092240009-SG 0375-000094400016-SG

0382-DSC_1640-1-SG

oscar de la renta gown: joan pillow bridal salon  | suit &  loafers: festari | bouquet & hand painted parasol: todd events | jewelry: nazar’s fine jewelers

THE TALENTED TEAM: photography: sylvie gil | wardrobe stylist: summar salah | set concept, styling, decor & flowers: todd events  | cake: susie’s cakes & confections | hair: ceron for ceron salon | makeup: vci artist victoria callaway

Q&A With Award-Winning Wedding Stylist Kat Creech

Kat-Creech-Events

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema

“I think that, subconsciously, I knew the event industry was for me when I was young and prepared dinners for my parents,” says Kat Creech, owner of renowned Houston wedding-design and planning firm Kat Creech Events. “While the menu only consisted of hot dogs, peanut-butter sandwiches and hamburgers, with cookies for dessert, the table was set, the napkin was folded with a menu card placed on top, the candles were lit, and the lights were dimmed.” Now all grown up, and the recipient of multiple industry awards—plus countless accolades from the wedding couples whose spectacular celebrations she has styled—Creech is still setting those tables, placing those menu cards and lighting those candles…only now, on a MUCH grander scale.

Houston Wedding Blog: What was the official start of your journey to becoming a wedding stylist?

Kat Creech: I began the hospitality journey in 1989, at the young age of 16, and climbed the career ladder. In college, I received my first management position as the bar manager of a fine-dining establishment. Upon graduating with honors from the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College in 1999, I entered the catering and events industry full time, moving from an operations manager role to a special events role in 2005, and there was no looking back.

I found my place, and I have loved it ever since. I have never lost my thirst for this industry! I have a passion to do great things, to think differently, to execute events differently, leave a legacy, and ensure that lasting memories are made.

HWB: What is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding stylist?

KC: A wedding stylist and a wedding planner could have similar roles, but there are differences. A wedding stylist handles all the aesthetic items, such as theme, color, story, interests, vision and vibe. A wedding planner is much like a project manager, overseeing the event’s logistics.

Kat-Creech-Events-Real-Wedding

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Venue: The Corinthian | Consultant & Planning: Kat Creech Events | Linens & Chairs: EB Inc. Event Rentals & Design

At Kat Creech Events, we do both. As wedding stylist, we are about about creating a personal brand for your wedding day. Our firm focuses on the design storyboard…and that something special that you can’t quite put your finger on. We obsess about the little details. We look past the daunting checklists, the digital boards, the wedding color, and really get to know our clients—the foundation of what makes them who they are. We ask deeper question and get deeper answers, and then we bring in our creative partners to come play in the wedding playground.

The wedding planner side of the business provides us with a bird’s-eye view of the event as a whole. In the end, it is an intangible journey that results in an epic reality.

Kat-Creech-Styled-Shoot

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Design & Styling: Kat Creech Events | Rentals & Linens: EB Inc. Event Rentals & Design | Dinnerware, Stemware & Stationery: Bering’s | Flowers: Dream Bouquet | Lighting & Special Effects: Bright Star Productions

HWB: What’s your best advice to a couple who may be feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of the advice, inspiration and ideas they are encountering?

KC: 1. Hire a designer and planner. They are your true investment to create a day you will never forget. Many have different packages to fit into your needs, wants and budget. Our firm acts as the general contractor for your event and ensures that the perfect creative partners are brought in to accomplish all the various elements that are so important in your event: design, decor, venue, entertainment, food, lighting. Trust in the professionals to help you execute your vision.

2. Create a hierarchy of the items that are most important to you, and build your budget around those items.

3. Don’t always go for the discount. Be conscious of the investment you are making. I always break down the investment into man-hours and billable rates, to provide a better understanding of how a professional is getting paid to do their job for you. As they say, you get what you pay for.

4. Budget. My very best advice is to break the overall budget into a price per person. A true professional can guide you to determine if your budget is in line with your expectations.

5. Be kind. This is the most important day of your life and probably the biggest party you have ever thrown. Don’t let your stressful emotions get the best of you. There is life after your wedding. Be kind to your family, your wedding party, and your vendors. It costs nothing and it will get you a lot.

Like what you hear? Love what you see? Schedule your consultation with Kat Creech Events, and find out how this exceptional event stylist can bring your event vision to life! And don’t forget to mention that you found her on the Houston Wedding Blog!

Vanderbilt Styled Shoot

Photo: Ama Photography & Cinema | Coordination: Kat Creech Events | Venue: The Astorian | Flowers: Dream Bouquet | Gown: Ivory Bridal Atelier | Lighting: DJU Entertainment