August 23rd, 2013
Pizza vs. Treadmill: A Bride’s False Dichotomy?
 

Pizza vs. Treadmill: A Bride’s False Dichotomy?

Photo: Holly Hoyt Photography via Culture Map

When we came upon Houston bride Monica’s tale of how becoming engaged put her on the path to fitness and better health, we knew we had to share it with y’all. She’s just so honest and funny and practical and—just, you know, freakin’ cool—we figured we’d let her inspire those of you who are determined to get in great wedding shape. Her take on the choices we make will make you want to get started on your pre-wedding shape-up, rather than waiting ’til Monday. Or Tuesday. Or next month. Check out her story on Culture Map, then lace up them kicks and GO!

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August 22nd, 2013
Bridal Preview: Kenneth Pool Spring 2014
 

If there’s one word we can associate with Kenneth Pool’s Spring 2014 bridal collection, it’s…glamour. These are no fun-and-flirty frocks or garden-nymph gowns. These wedding dresses are straight-up spotlight-stealers. Look for lots of lustrous satin, hip-hugging drop-waist and fit-and-flare silhouettes, plus a few queenly ballgowns for good measure. While, unlike in collections past, bling is at a minimum in this new Kenneth Pool showing, when beadwork does make an appearance in the collection, it is magnificently delicate and detailed, as in a gorgeous, shimmering cap-sleeve gown—the showstopper of the collection. See designer Amsale Aberra’s newest Kenneth Pool gowns when Belle Mariée Bridal hosts a September trunk show. Check the salon’s site for more details. Meanwhile, check out our favorite Kenneth Pool Spring 2014 gowns!

Bridal Preview: Kenneth Pool Spring 2014 Bridal Preview: Kenneth Pool Spring 2014 Bridal Preview: Kenneth Pool Spring 2014

Photos: Kenneth Pool

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August 20th, 2013
Champagne, Gold and Chocolate Villa Rinata Wedding
 

Ooo… another U.S.-Canada transcontinental love story. We love it! (Full disclosure: Our editor is married to a totally adorable Canuck, so she’s a little biased.) OK, so, Jessica and Mike’s tale actually starts with a series of phone calls they shared, at the urging of friends who thought they’d be perfect for each other. Eventually, they had to meet in person—and once they did, the sparks flew. One January day, Mike flew from Edmonton, Alberta, to Houston to surprise Jessica with a marriage proposal…and not only did she say, “Yes,” but she actually moved to Edmonton, where she and Mike now live. “It’s very cold here,” she tells us, “but he keeps me warm.” We’ll just bet he does. Oh—and about the couple’s Houston wedding? It was a beauty! Using a palette of champagne, gold, ivory and chocolate, Darryl & Co. filled the already-lovely Villa Rinata with creamy roses and hydrangeas, illuminated with amber uplighting. Jessica dazzled in her Allure Bridals gown from Weddings by Debbie, and perfect hair and makeup by—who else?—The Perfect Face. Feast your eyes on photos from Canadian photography team Shadowbox Studios, which capture all the glamour and sophistication of this wedding, with its feminine touches and metallic edge. And join us in wishing Jessica and Mike a lifetime of love and warmth!

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Photos: Shadow Box Studios ~ Bride’s Dress: Allure Bridals from Weddings by Debbie ~ Bride’s Hair & Makeup: The Perfect Face ~ Cake: Alphorn Bakery ~ Flowers & Decor: Darryl & Co. ~ Venue: Villa Rinata ~ Rehearsal Dinner: Maggiano’s Little Italy

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August 19th, 2013
GIVEAWAY: Buy I Do! @ ZaZa Pre-sale Tix and WIN a Fitbit Bridal Fitness Package
 

GIVEAWAY: Buy I Do! @ ZaZa Pre-sale Tix and WIN a FitBit Bridal Fitness Package

Photos: Fitbit

The sophisticated, super-chic, swag-filled I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa is coming up in a little over six weeks—which is the perfect amount of time to get a jump on your bridal fitness and health regimen. And we want to help!! Buy your limited-availability I Do! @ ZaZa pre-sale tickets by midnight Sunday, Aug. 25 and you could win a Fitbit One Wireless Activity Tracker and Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale—a fantastic bridal fitness technology package worth $230!

How much do we love Fitbit? A ton. Because that’s how much weight (and more) Fitbit’s activity-tracking devices have collectively helped brides, grooms and regular folks lose since their much-lauded launch. Clip your Fitbit One to your sports bra, tank, belt or pocket during the day, and track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned and stairs climbed. Wear your Fitbit on your wrist at night to measure your sleep quality and learn how to sleep better and wake healthier. Then use your Aria smart scale to track your weight, body fat and BMI, and sync your stats with a custom online graph, to help you stay motivated and on track toward “I do!”

All brides who buy their tickets to Houston’s hottest bridal event by midnight Sunday are entered to win; winner announced Tuesday, Aug. 27 on Facebook. And remember, the I Do! Bridal Soiree at Hotel ZaZa WILL SELL OUT. It always does. Snag your tickets now while you can—and score a super-cool pre-wedding fitness package too.

Good luck…and get moving!

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August 15th, 2013
Elegant Ivory, White and Black Persian-American Wedding at Hotel ZaZa
 

We admit it: We’ve got a soft spot for love stories that begin, “We met when we were 16 years old, at the mall.” Especially when they involve years of long-distance, on-again-off-again dating that culminates, finally, with the realization that you can’t and won’t live without your true love by your side. Such is the nature of Elly and Ryan’s relationship, sealed with heartfelt vows in a ceremony inside  Hotel ZaZa’s Phantom Ballroom that combined Persian and traditional Western rites and rituals. Following the ceremony, guests gathered in the ballroom’s foyer area where they enjoyed more than 10 different types of passed hors d’oeuvre while Hotel ZaZa’s expert staff, along with design pros from florist and decorator Plants N’ Petals, transformed the ceremony space for the reception. “Each of the 13 nooks in the Phantom ballroom was used differently,” bride Elly explains. “The center nook held the Persian sofreh while other nooks contained bars, couches and seats with cocktail tables, guest dinner tables, the six-piece band, and the two DJ’s.” Centerpieces of roses, peonies, hydrangeas and crystal candelabras topped the tables, where guests convened to rest and refuel when not dancing the night away. “Our wedding went even better than I could have imagined,” Elly says. “We had such a wonderful time!” And we’ve had a wonderful time sharing your day with you and Ryan. Thanks so much to John Ly Photography for the pretty pix—and congratulations to the lovely couple.

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Photos: John Ly Photography ~ Videography: A&A Video Productions ~ Bride’s Dress: Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston ~ Jewelry: Markle Luxury Jewelers & Zadok Jewelers ~ Shoes: Jimmy Choo ~ Hair & Makeup: Blush & Co. ~ Flowers & Decor: Plants N’ Petals ~ Persian Sofreh: Sofreh Chic ~ Coordinator: Belle of the Ball ~ Officiants: Minister Brian Engle (Weddings Performed); Lillie Taat~ Venue: Hotel ZaZa

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