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New Wedding Hairstyles

A little Greek goddess, a little Midsummer Night’s Dream, a dash of vintage elegance, a smidge of Cinderella and a LOT of detail, detail, detail. That’s the word on this season’s new crop of wedding frocks, Houston bride.

Whether you decide on a flouncy ballgown or an ethereal empire-waist column—both are big for 2010 weddings—the season’s best wedding dresses offer a bounty of truly extraordinary accents from handmade fabric flowers (Augusta Jones) to bodacious bows (Vera Wang) to zillions of organza pleats (Oscar de la Renta) to oceans of tulle (Jim Hjelm). And more.

These dresses are a lot of things…but slick and sleek they’re not. Neither is the new look in wedding-day hair.

Our favorite new wedding hairstyles are very feminine and very elegant but never ever fussy or stiff. Allow us to show you:

This year’s Golden Globes gals had the right idea about updos. Check out these sensational styles—formal and refined, but with a natural touch. Perfection.

Golden Globe Updos

Golden Globe Updos

Oh, Carrie, we’d love your hair even if you yanked it back and tied it with a sweat sock. Fortunately, you’ve got way more style than that. And this half-updo with side-combed straight bangs and rivers of soft curls is one we want to steal for our big day!

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood

Feast your eyes on this fabulous down-low updo with bangs. So graceful, so pretty, so perfect for showing off our lovely shoulders in our strapless ballgown… Gorgeous!

Black Hair Wedding Updo
Black Hair Wedding Updo

Here’s another nape-level updo we love. Soft, pretty and special-occasion fancy when accented with seed-pearl, Swarovski crystal or other sparkly hair jewelry or accessories.

Nape Updo
Nape Updo

As for braid styles, we can’t get enough of them. There’s an obvious wow-factor to these complicated-looking creations, but also an earthy, sensual sweetness that is a perfect complement to the season’s dreamy, fairytale gowns.

Braids
Braids

Like these looks? Got a lead on more examples? Let your sister brides-to-be know. Post your comments here!

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Valentine’s Day Sparkle from Whiteflash and Thomas Markle Jewelers

We here at the Houston Wedding Blog love diamonds. Know what we love even more? FREE diamonds! That’s why we’re so excited about Whiteflash.com’s Valentine’s Day giveaway contest, which you can enter to win at celebrity style site
Stylit.TV.

Here’s the scoop: Whiteflash is giving away two gorgeous diamond pendants, both created with “A Cut Above” conflict-free diamonds. These brilliant diamonds are cut so precisely that their facet reflections overlap, creating distinct heart-and-arrow patterns when seen through a special viewer. One lucky entrant will win the stunning “One Heart for Two” platinum-diamond pendant (worth $1,100!), and another will score the dazzling “Essence II” diamond pendant (worth $395!).

Check out this video for more details…and don’t forget to email a link to your fiancé!

Thomas Markle Jewelers may not be giving away bling, but your groom-to-be sure can pick up a little some’n some’n sparkly from TMJ—if you point the way. So drop a subtle hint that you wouldn’t mind, say, a Diamond Key Pendant from TMJ’s Thomas Markle Couture collection. Or casually mention that you’re a fan of the lovely Lagos Key Pendant (both come with a complimentary box of Godiva chocolates to sweeten an already yummy deal). He gets help figuring out what to give you on this all-important Valentine’s-Day-before-the-wedding, you get, you know, GORGEOUS JEWELRY, and we get to say we told you so! Smiles all around…

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Three Brothers Bakery: Where Wedding Cake Dreams Come True

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we totally understand if you’ve got just one dessert on your mind right now, Houston bride—all that chocolate you’ll be eating on February 14, of course!

But we don’t blame you if you’re fantasizing about gorgeous towering cakes and debating fondant and buttercream. After all, what Houston bride (or wedding guest, for that matter) doesn’t love a great wedding cake?

We haven’t met any.

We have, however, met quite a few Houston brides—and wedding guests—who can’t get enough of the wedding cakes and other goodies at Three Brothers Bakery.

We can see why: For five generations, this family-run bakery has been whipping up some of Houston’s finest baked goods for bar and bat mitzvahs, family and corporate events, and oh yes, weddings. Though Three Brothers suffered some pretty serious damage during Hurricane Ike, they’ve rebuilt and are better than ever, giving brides a touch of personal attention you won’t find at many other places. Give them a picture of your wedding dress, your china pattern, or even the ballroom where you’re getting married, and Three Brothers will design your cake to match. Check out some of the cakes in the slideshow below:

Tell Three Brothers all about your fiancé’s most serious obsessions—oil, Houston Rockets basketball, Vegas—and they’ll create a groom’s cake so over-the-top that you might not want to eat it.

But you should! Every cake at Three Brothers is made-from-scratch and, oh, are they tasty! And if you or your guests keep kosher or need a dairy cake, this is the place to go.

The cakes aren’t the only reason we love Three Brothers, though. We also love this hometown bakery’s charitable ways. After Hurricane Katrina, Three Brothers’ owner Janice Jucker worked to get telecommunications equipment donated so that evacuees could track down their friends and family. And Jucker—herself a breast cancer survivor—is a big supporter of the Susan G Komen Foundation’s Houston affiliate. The bakery even sells pink ribbon cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

So when Jucker—who runs the bakery with her husband Robert and his Aunt Estelle—was named Woman Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners in October, we weren’t the slightest bit surprised. But we were very happy to see someone who’s helped give so much to Houston brides get a little something in return. You go, girl!

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Hot Wedding Apps

If you’re one of those lucky gals who just got a cool new iPhone this holiday season, take note: Your phone can do more than call, text, e-mail, shoot, guide, play, look up, add up, alert, inform and entertain. Why, that ingenious little handful of technology can help you plan your wedding, too!

Wedding-related iPhone apps abound—some made specifically for wedding planning, some just natural fits for the planning-mode bride—and, as with all apps, some are simply better than others. To help you decide which app is best for you, we’ve noted a few of our favorites:

iWedding Deluxe
iWeddingDeluxe
This turnkey planning app (it replaces the earlier iWedding app) includes such handy features as a fully customizable to-do list, scheduler, auto or manual budget tracker, guest detail section, invitation status tracker, gift tracker and inspiration/ideas section. We’re big fans of the home screen Quickview Binder, which provides fast access to to-dos, notes, budget and photos.

iBridalGown
ibridalgown
So many gowns, such a useful app! When you shop at a local bridal salon, enter detailed info on the gowns you’re considering—style, silhouette, fabric, price, etc.—along with notes on any special features or thoughts you might have about each gown (“very Audrey Hepburn a la ‘My Fair Lady,’” “better w/no straps?” “Brad’s gonna LOVE it,” etc.). Also lets you take and organize gown pix (first make sure the salon allows pre-purchase photos—many don’t).

Etsy Addict
EtsyAddict
The vintage craze is in full swing for 2010 weddings, and there’s no better place to find unique, handmade, vintage-inspired wedding fashion, accessories and décor than at that haven of all things handmade, Etsy. A mere buck buys you this awesome app, which lets you browse Etsy listings by category, view listing details including materials and price, and instantly grab limited-edition listings before another buyer beats you to it. A recent visit to Etsy turned up such fantastic finds as handmade wedding bands, gorgeous Art Deco jewelry and—so cool—wedding gowns from Project Runway Season 6 finalist Carol Hannah. If these sorts of handmade treasures appeal to you, get your hands on this app, pronto!

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Keeping Your New Year’s Weight-Loss Resolution: A Bride’s Guide

(A post from guest blogger Tom Jackobs, CPT, RFS, renowned Houston fitness expert, Wedding Workout creator and owner of
Body3 Fitness Center)

WeddingWorkoutPix

There’s a running joke in the fitness industry (and many bets) as to how long trainers will be busy in January before all the “resolutioners” fizzle out.

I think I figured out what the problem is. In my observation, when new brides-to-be come to the gym with the resolution of “getting into shape,” they don’t have a clear goal or action plan.

If you are determined to get fit, but don’t know quite how to go about it, let me help you refine that goal and create an action plan to get you there so you don’t quit after three weeks (which is the average time it takes to give up on a resolution).

1. Establish a clear goal: For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds of fat in 5 weeks.” Be specific, have a time frame AND make it realistic (1-2 pounds per week is a realistic and sustainable weight loss expectation.)

2. Create an action plan:

Day 1: Cardio 25 minutes at moderate intensity, or group fitness class.
Day 2: Resistance training, such as a machine circuit, a boot camp or a full-body dumbbell workout.
Day 3: Cardio 25 minutes of interval work (30 seconds fast run followed by 1 minute of recovery walk).
Day 4: Hit the weights again.
Day 5: Light cardio 30 minutes.
Day 6: Cardio or weights…your choice.

3. Implement the plan and reward yourself for weekly milestones.

4. Celebrate success with a massage!

Got questions, comments or a pre-wedding weight-loss success story that will inspire other brides in the same boat? Post as comments here. All questions will be answered!

For more detailed and personalized help including personal training and boot camps, email tom@body3fit.com or call 281.667.3648. And while you’re at it, sign up for a free Wedding Dress Workout at www.weddingworkouthouston.com.

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