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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes…Facebook!

First up, we’d like to remind you that Weddings in Houston has a fab-u-lous new Facebook page that’s already racked up more than 2,000 devoted fans. Aww… we love you too, ladies (and gents)! As for the rest of you—we really encourage you to check it out. It’s a great way to connect with other Houston brides, share tips, sympathize, support, offer opinions, seek advice and, of course, view awesome WIH fashion-show vids, get updates on new Weddings in Houston content and find out about upcoming, not-to-be-missed events.

We at the Houston Wedding Blog also heart Facebook’s handy Daisypath wedding and anniversary ticker app, which lets you, and all your Facebook friends, count down to your wedding date. Customize your Daisypath ticker with your own personal text, add it to your profile, and voila! Your FBFs will always know just how many days they have to wait until your big day.

Facebook is also fantastic for learning more about top Houston wedding vendors and experts, like Events in Bloom, Edible Designs by Jessie, Schwartz & Woodward, and many, many others.

And speaking of Facebook…while our fave social media site may be a vital part of a bride and groom’s life in SO many ways, this just may be taking a tiny step too far (or not, you be the judge!):

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Before You Say … “I Do?” Woo-hoo!

Events in Bloom - Photo: D. Jones

If you’re one of the more than 1,000 lucky brides and assorted family and friends who attended the Jan. 24 Before You Say … “I Do!” soiree, you’re probably still reeling from the thrill of the experience. We know we are.

This year’s show featured nearly 80 in-demand Houston wedding experts and purveyors of wedding beauty and bounty (thank goodness for that
Java Pura coffee bar…with so much to see and such divine cuisine and drink from the ever hospitable Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, we needed a caffeine kick or two!)

We want to thank the wonderful Lisa Hopkins, director of catering for The Houstonian, and her amazing staff, without whom the soiree would not have been possible. And this year’s show wasn’t just possible, it was “fabulous,” notes Weddings in Houston publisher Radhika Day. “Gorgeous weather, great turnout and incredible displays” were all on hand, she says. As for those designer tablescapes and cake displays? “They were show stopping! And the cocktail reception was a big hit with the brides.” Shocker, huh? But it was the Houston BoyChoir, which performed on stage just before the spectacular soiree fashion show, that really wowed the crowd. As Day says, “Their angelic faces and beautiful voices stole the show!”

Houston Boychoir - Photo: Nhan

We’ll have more Before You Say … “I Do!” wrap coverage coming up, but take a look at these photos for a little taste of our sweetest soiree yet!

Mia Bridal Couture - Photo: Nhan
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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.

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Unique Wedding Reception Menu Ideas from Campbell’s Catering

campbells.blog1
There’s nothing wrong with a nicely presented plate of meat and potatoes—for a fancy dinner out with your fiancé, that is. When it comes to your wedding reception, however, wouldn’t you like to serve up something with a little more pizzazz? Something that will get guests talking, moving, perhaps even salivating in anticipation a little? Something that says, “This here is a celebration, folks. Let’s have some fun!”

Courtney Campbell of Campbell’s Catering sure thinks so. And she and her culinary crew are catering to wedding couples who share her passion for food that looks elegant and exciting, and delivers fabulous flavor and fun in equal measure.

Sound good to you, Houston bride? Here are a couple of Campbell’s specialties, which are, she notes, “elegant and unique without breaking the bank”—what a concept!

“We have encouraged many of our recent brides whose receptions are taking place at 8:30 p.m. or later to go with some very upscale and unique passed hors d’oeuvre, such as our duck wontons served with a spicy mango chutney, our Italian chicken lollipops, and our Spanish shrimp cocktail shooters garnished with guacamole and blue corn chips.” Uh, yum. “These are all very hearty and elegant at the same time.”

To add a dynamic and delicious interactive element to the festivities, Campbell suggests her signature Gourmet Potato Boat Bar, featuring dressed-up potato skins filled with fun “theme” goodies. Our faves?

The New Yorker, topped with sliced Italian sausage, and sautéed peppers and onions, and topped with fresh mozzarella.

The Califonia Fresh, loaded with fresh sprouts, homemade guacamole and shredded Monterey jack cheese.

The Mojo, topped with rum-sautéed shrimp and zingy Cuban mojo sauce.

The BBQ, filled with barbecued pulled pork and topped with barbecue sauce and sliced scallions.

Campbell says the Gourmet Potato Boat Bar, with 25 themes to choose from, is especially “great for weddings that have two different nationalities being combined,” and a nice icebreaker for rehearsal dinners where guests are reconnecting or meeting for the first time.

And now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go dab the drool from our chin.

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Candy Centerpieces and Favors from Harvard Sweet Boutique

HSBCitrus
Sure, flower arrangements are a splendid choice for your bridesmaid luncheon or bridal shower. But you can’t eat roses.
HSBGardenParty
Harvard Sweet Boutique’s centerpieces, on the other hand, are not just lovely to look at, but ridiculously delicious too. We absolutely adore the pink-and-green Garden Party centerpiece, with its fancifully tied, modern striped boxes. For a case of the blues you won’t want to kick, the Ocean centerpiece combines tranquil blue hues with rich chocolate brown for a look that’s both hip and classic. Any centerpiece you select can be filled with mouthwatering Harvard Sweet confections of your choice, from toffees to fudge brownies to peppermint bark and more.
HSBTruffles
We also have a hunger for Harvard Sweet Boutique’s wedding favor boxes. How pretty these babies will look on your tabletop, and how pleased your guests will be to open them and find decadent chocolate truffles or diminutive gourmet cookies inside.

Rachel Ray’s a big fan of Harvard Sweet Boutique—she featured their sinful chocolate chip cookies on her show as the “snack of the day,” much to gobbling guests delight. Your guests, too, are sure to cobble. Um, can you add us to the invite list—please?

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