Archive for the ‘Venues’ Category

Venues We Love: Messina Hof Winery

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

There was a time when a Houston gal would have to make her way to California wine country (fiancé, friends and family in tow) if she fancied a vineyard wedding. Not so anymore—not when she’s got 100 acres of wine country splendor right here in her own backyard.

We’re talking about Messina Hof—the toast of Bryan, Texas, and a wine- and food-loving couple’s dream location for the celebration of a lifetime. A little Italian, a little German, and very proudly Texan (the winery and its wines have won countless local and national honors, including “One of the USA’s Finest Winery Experiences” from “Bon Appetit” magazine), this combination working vineyard, restaurant, tasting bar and villa is a standout in a region of really amazing places to tie the knot.

Texas Vineyard Wedding

Picture this: saying your vows at sunset on a verdant private estate, beneath a flower-bedecked gazebo beside a sparkling spring-fed lake—then celebrating with sumptuous food and, of course, divine wines, overlooking 42 acres of vineyards aglow in the moonlight, whilst dancing the night away, surrounded by the people you love most.

And Messina Hof’s awesome for bachelor/bachelorette bashes, engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, too. What, we ask, is NOT to love? And if you haven’t yet entered out Messina Hof Private Wine Tasting for 20, well, what, we ask, is stopping you??


Venues We Love: Houston Area’s Historic Dance Halls

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Back in the day (by which we mean the 1890s), folks used to gather to kick up their heels at the local dance hall. These legendary meeting places typically featured large wood plank floors, a stage and saloon. They were the place to go for a good time. And they still are.

Texas Dance Hall Wedding

Schulenberg’s Sengelmann Hall (above), which opened its swingin’ doors way back in 1894, used to play host to town locals who would come for games, drinks, dancing…and the occasional brawl (the hall’s carved marble pillars still bear 19th-century bullet scars!). Sengelmann still has all its dance-hall charms, like pressed tin ceilings, a bucolic biergarten and mahogany bar, but it’s also got lovely ceremony and reception space, plus tons of experience hosting true Texas weddings. Keep it simple—barefoot ceremony, buffet, beer—or add lush floral arrangements, linens, lighting and rentals for a country-chic celebration. Just make sure to set out an extra chiavari or two for the ghosts

Texas Dance Hall Wedding

Over in Cypress, Tin Hall touts the fact that it’s been hosting special events for more than a century. We love this circa-1889 hall’s awesome 4,400-square-foot dance floor and ample party space (with two full floors, the site can accommodate 1,200 guests!). Of course, with 40 wooded acres surrounding it, Tin Hall also has plenty of fine outdoor ceremony space and photo ops. And even though it’s one of the oldest reception halls around, it offers newfangled wedding extras, like a computerized light show and high-tech sound system. Something old, something new…someplace wonderful! (Cheers to local Hazel West Photography for the Tin Hall kissing couple on the left, and to I Heart Photography of Austin for the Tin Hall smoochers on the right.)



Venues We Love: Magnolia Hotel Houston

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Downtown Houston Wedding

Modern, urban, chic. But also relaxed, gracious, welcoming. With qualities like these, it’s no wonder “Condé Nast Traveler” magazine named the Magnolia Hotel Houston one of the top new 100 hotels in the world. International accolades are nice, sure, but what’s even nicer for brides are the Magnolia’s two distinct wedding locations, “each with a uniquely different feel,” says social catering manager Natalie Monk. First there’s the refined and sophisticated ballroom, which can accommodate 180 guests for dinner. Then there’s the Magnolia Club, which has a “lounge feel and relaxing vibe,” and walls filled with inspiring artwork. Monk says the space, with room for 250 celebrants, “is perfect for the couple looking to entertain their guests in a one-of-a-kind setting.” Top that off with a wedding-night stay in the hotel’s 22nd-floor, 1,500-square-foot Ross Sterling Presidential Suite (below)—sweeping city views, separate private bedroom, living room with fireplace, marble bathroom and full-size kitchen and bar included—and you’ve got, perhaps, the perfect wedding weekend. For more info call 281.657.2664 or visit the Magnolia at Weddings in Houston.

Presidential Suite

Houston Real Wedding: Sheila & Bilal

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Well, it’s finally happened. The highly anticipated Westin Houston Memorial City has opened for business…and welcomed its first wedding. OK, so remember when we told you about Deborah and Joe, the adorable Houston couple who was slated to be the first couple to hold their wedding celebration at the new Westin, and, as such, got the chance to sign the walls and floor of the hotel? Well, it looks like another couple actually ended up being the FIRST first Westin Memorial wedding couple. Deborah and Joe will still wed at the Westin. But first-wedding honors go to lovely bride Sheila and her handsome groom Bilal, who signed on after Deborah and Joe but tied the knot before them. Got it?

The important thing is that Sheila and Bilal celebrated their wedding, rich with Pakistani tradition, and a whole lot of Houston pizzazz, along with nearly 500 of their friends and family. The bride wore five different outfits during the course of the ceremony and reception—a lavish event that closed a weekend-long wedding which began in Dallas and worked its way south. Check out the photos from NICO Photographers—gorgeous, no? Congratulations, Sheila and Bilal. And welcome, Westin Houston Memorial City!

NICO Photographers

NICO Photographers Wedding

Venues We Love: The Majestic Metro

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Historic Houston Wedding Venues

The bride is always the star of the show, no matter where she weds. But at The Majestic Metro, she can actually see her name up in lights. That’s because this historic Houston gem retains all of the theatrical grandeur of its former days as the Ritz theater, which opened in 1926 as a vaudeville/movie house. The alluring Downtown site no longer screens talkies, but it does feature the plush decor and ornate interior flourishes one associates with old-time cinemas (along with the state-of-the-art sound and lighting one typically does not–bonus!). We love that couples can bring in the caterer of their choice, we love the vast dance floor, and we LOVE that aforementioned marquee, where a bride and groom can enjoy top billing on the day they premiere as Mr. and Mrs.

Movie Theater Wedding Venues

All photos: J Cogliandro Photography (except top image, bottom right)

Like the idea of a spotlight wedding–but fancy yourself more rock star than film siren? Check out this recent post on another of our favorite Houston wedding hot spots!