Guest Blogger Radhika Day, Publisher of Weddings in Houston Magazine, Recaps the Houston Wish Upon a Wedding Launch

All Photos: Monkey Tree Photography

Thursday, June 30, the Houston chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding had its official launch. I am one of the board members of this fabulous organization, and so proud to be involved.

If you’re not familiar with it, Wish Upon a Wedding is the nation’s very first nonprofit charitable organization set up to produce weddings, at destinations across the United States, for couples facing a life-threatening illness. Its unique mission makes Wish Upon a Wedding the world’s first nonprofit wedding-wish-granting organization. It’s also quickly becoming the wedding industry’s charity of choice.

Attended by more than 150 Houston wedding industry professionals and brides, the launch reception, generously underwritten by the Westin Galleria and overseen by catering director Adam Rineer took place in the hotel’s Monarch Ballroom, with its beautiful views of the city. The talented Rob Smith and staff of Events in Bloom decorated the space stunningly with stylish lounge furniture. Guests enjoyed the impressive buffet and desserts prepared by the Westin chefs, along with sinfully delicious miniature wedding-cake truffles from Cakes by Gina. Both,  I personally and everyone on the board of Wish Upon A Wedding are so grateful to the wonderful Houston wedding professionals who donated their time and services to make the evening a success.

Houston chapter president Heather Hamilton-Sims of Simply Jubilee Events shared the vision and objective of Wish Upon a Wedding, and the accompanying video clips left not a dry eye in the room.

By the end of the evening attendees could not wait to volunteer their services and time as wish grantors for this most worthy cause, which provides weddings for couples in need regardless of sexual orientation. Houston brides, here is an opportunity to share your good fortune with someone a lot less fortunate who wants nothing more than to be married….just like you. As President Hamilton-Sims put it, most of us are planning weddings and events one, or maybe two or three years from now, but for these couples facing a life-threatening illness that time line does not exist.

So how can you help?

Watch this short video clip to see just what Wish Upon a Wedding has done and visit Wish Upon a Wedding. To donate your services, please sign on as a Wish Grantor. Blog about it. Talk about it. Become a Facebook fan and follow Wish Upon a Wedding on Twitter. In lieu of favors at your wedding, please consider making a donation to Wish Upon a Wedding and spread the joy. 
But most of all, just GIVE.

WUW:: Rehanna + Christian from bliss productions on Vimeo.

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.