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Black and Plum Wedding at The Bell Tower on 34th Street by Akil Bennett Photography

“The whole wedding was a dream,” says Houston bride Jennifer. “One of my favorite details was the midnight calla lilies in my bridal bouquet. I loved the rich dark color of the flowers against my cream dress.” The dark, rich color palette of black and plum with accents of peacock feathers truly set the tone for Jennifer and Scott’s wedding at The Bell Tower on 34th Street. If you think that sounds beautiful, wait ’til you see the pics! Thanks Akil Bennett for the gorgeous photos, and congrats to the newlyweds!

Photos: Akil Bennett Photography ~ Venue: The Bell Tower on 34th Street ~ Bridal Gown: Pronovias from La Rêve Bridal Couture ~ Makeup: Thalio Beckham Makeup Artistry ~ Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal ~ Cake: Susie’s Cakes & Confections ~ Photo Booth, Music & Entertainment: DJU Entertainment ~ Registry: Macy’s Wedding Gift Registry

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Elegant Black, Gold & Pink Wedding at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa by D. Jones Photography

WEDDINGS IN HOUSTON FALL 2014 | REAL WEDDING FEATURE

Lisa and Donald ~ January 19, 2014

While their Match.com introduction might not be the essence of tradition, Don’s request to Lisa’s dad for permission to marry his daughter certainly was. “After getting my dad’s blessing, he dropped to one knee and I said, ‘Yes!’” recalls the bride—who also happens to be director of catering and conferences for one of Houston’s most revered wedding venues: The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. Naturally, the couple wed at Lisa’s longtime place of employment, aided in planning by the hotel’s social catering manager, Jim Gray. Highlights of the joyful occasion included a ceremony filled with poignant readings by the couple’s many family members. Avid foodies both, Don and Lisa incorporated wine pairings into their lavish menu, and treated guests to exquisite desserts, almond-and-raspberry wedding cake, and postprandial cigars. “My favorite part of the night was singing and dancing with my niece and goddaughter Caroline to—yes—‘Sweet Caroline,’ by Neil Diamond,” Lisa recalls happily. “The entire room joined in!”

{ Elegant Black, Gold & Pink Wedding at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa by D. Jones Photography } Elegant Black, Gold & Pink Wedding at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa by D. Jones Photography Elegant Black, Gold & Pink Wedding at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa by D. Jones Photography { Elegant Black, Gold & Pink Wedding at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa by D. Jones Photography } Elegant Black, Gold & Pink Wedding at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa by D. Jones Photography

Names: Lisa Hopkins & Donald Barry ~ Number of Guests 135 ~ Venue: The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa ~ Lighting Bright Star Productions ~ Cake: Susie’s Cakes & Confections ~ Officiant: Minister Lynn Turner, Weddings Performed ~ Photography: D. Jones Photography ~ Honeymoon: Hawaii

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Guest Post: Brides Tell All in Latest David’s Bridal “Whats on Brides’ Minds” Survey

Guest Post: Brides Tell All in Latest David's Bridal "Whats on Brides' Minds" Survey

Photo: Awake Photography

While June marks the most traditional time of year to be married, this survey proves that the modern bride is anything but traditional – saying “okay” to former pre-marital taboos like buying a home and starting a family, fitting in one last fling before the ring or choosing a more comedic emcee to deliver the Best Man speech.  And an important note for those who will be attending as guests – don’t fret if you’re flying solo the day of, as 52 percent of recently married brides had guests hook up at their weddings.

First comes real estate, then comes marriage?

Back in the day, there was a perceived order on how a couple should start their lives together.  A big white wedding, setting up a home together and THEN having a baby.  But times have changed.  Although it may make our grandparents cringe, the modern bride believes it is okay to do things a bit “out of order.”

When asked what they thought was acceptable before marriage, brides proved they were less than traditional with 93 percent saying things that were once thought of as being taboo are now okay.

  • Living Single: A whopping 82 percent said living together before saying “I do” was totally fine.
  • Real Estate Partners: If you are living together, what about buying a home? Not a problem before tying the knot according to 56 percent of women.
  • Banking Buddies: Having a joint checking account prior to marching down the aisle is supported by 45 percent of brides.
  • Consummation Appreciation: 72 percent said having sex before marriage is acceptable.
  • Newborn Before Nuptials: 38 percent of respondents supported the idea of baby carriages before marriage.

Name Recognition

But fear not – the modern bride has not abandoned all traditions; most brides are saying “I do” to taking their husbands’ names.

  • 71 percent of brides have or will be taking their partner’s last name after the wedding, and another 17 percent will hyphenate her name.

A girl may dream about her wedding, but it’s the fantasies that are more fun!  According to the David’s Bridal “What’s On Brides’ Minds” survey, brides and brides-to-be can have a bit of a scandalous side…

Final Rendezvous Before “I Do”

Before she walks down the aisle, would the bride have one last romantic fling before the ring? According to the survey, many would if they could!

  • So who would they want to canoodle with? 44 percent of survey respondents said they would love a chance to be with their celebrity crush, while 17 percent admitted to wanting one last fling with their ex! Even more shocking…5 percent of women (GASP!) would pick the best man for their last hurrah!

A Celeb Toast with the Most

Let’s be honest – the best man’s speech can make or break the wedding reception.  One bad toast can set the mood for the rest of the night, so why not ensure a speech that has everyone in stitches?  If they had their pick, brides would love a celebrity funny man to deliver the big toast, with the most requested best men as follows:

  • Comedy vet Will Ferrell got the most love with 34 percent of the vote!
  • Coming in a close second, seasoned award show host Neil Patrick Harris snagged 26 percent of the votes.
  • Rounding out the list were “sexiest man alive” Adam Levine* with 20 percent, “Tonight Show” leading man Jimmy Fallon with 15 percent and movie heartthrob Chris Pine with 5 percent.

(*remember, 5 percent of women would want their last fling with the Best Man.  Hmmm…)

Love on the Dance Floor

Okay single ladies – rumor has it that the best place to meet someone is at a wedding, so if you are still looking for “the one,” RSVP “yes” this summer.  Attending someone’s nuptials might be a more effective way to couple up than online dating.  Maybe the next invitation will be for you “plus guest!”

  • A majority of respondents (52%) said they had guests “hook up” at their wedding. Love is in the air!

For more information on David’s Bridal and the brand’s wedding resources, visit www.davidsbridal.com.

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Register to Win an Awesome Newlywed Name-Change Service

Register to Win an Awesome Newlywed Name-Change Service

Photo: MissNowMrs

If you think finding the love of your life and planning/putting on the wedding of a lifetime is a process fraught with obstacles and challenges…just try switching your life over to your new married surname. Figuring out which identification cards and accounts you need to switch to your married name and then doing so can take hours—hours that you could be spending kissing, canoodling, antiquing, watching “Real Housewives” together in your matching jammies…that kind of thing.

Fortunately for our lovely Houston brides, we discovered MissNowMrs’s unique name-change service, which guides brides through a series of questions and uses answers to auto-populate all of their state and U.S government name-change forms, as well as notification letters for all their creditors, and then supplies detailed filing instructions for each form/letter. A MissNowMrs gift card makes a great shower gift, so make sure your mom, his mom and all your ‘maids and BFFs know!

Even more fortunately for y’all, we’re giving away 10—count ’em, 10!—MissNowMrs service packages to 10 lucky Houston brides. To enter for your chance to win, simply:

1.)     Email us your name, fiancé’s name, wedding date and booked or hoped-for Houston wedding venue.
2.)    Sign up for WeddingsinHouston.com (you’ll qualify for this bridal giveaway & oodles of others worth thousands of dollars, plus you’ll get access to exclusive events, parties, trunk shows, vendor discounts and the most comprehensive wedding-planning tools and resources a Houston bride could wish for!)
3.)    Wait. We’ll notify our winners on MONDAY, JUNE 30, and provide each with an exclusive MissNowMrs promotional code to redeem your name-change service…when you’re good and ready, of course.

Good luck, loves!

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Sip With Style: Bridal Party Gift Ideas

Sip With Style: Bridal Party Gift Ideas

Photos: Straw Envy

Just in time for wedding season, a new beverage accessory company debuts a collection of sparkly sippers that are perfect for bridal party gifts or even bachelorette party. Straw Envy creates sparkly, reusable drinking straws that are not just straws but accessories for fashionable drinks! With a variety of dazzling colors and crystal embellishments, Straw Envy sippers are a classy way to stand out in a crowd during your bachelorette celebrations. At $29, they make a stylish gift that won’t break your budget!

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