ENGAGED and CONFUSED?

Register now as a Bride or Groom
and receive our E-newsletter
and planning tools FREE!

Register Today!

Dig In: Delicious, Guest-Friendly Cocktail Reception Hors D’oeuvre

Photo: DW Photography
Photo: DW Photography

Nothing stokes the appetite like a wedding ceremony. All that pre-wedding preparation and gussying-up, all that pomp and circumstance, all that love being pledged and promised and celebrated. After sighing and smiling their way through your ceremony, you can bet your guests will be hungry. So give them what they need, Houston bride: sustenance, served up with special-occasion flair.

Remember, your cocktail reception hors d’oeuvre will be the first taste guests get of your wedding, and they need to set the right impression. Where presentation is concerned, elegance and artistry are de rigueur, but don’t overdo it—nobody wants to confront food they can’t identify or figure out how to insert into their mouths.

We suggest keeping things simple and delicious, with a focus on quality and handle-ability. As for cocktail reception hors d’oeuvre no-nos? They include messy items (save the Buffalo wings for a post-wedding poker night), bad-breath and heartburn inducers (raw onions do NOT make for pleasant close-quarters mingling), and a lack of choices for vegetarians or guests who observe religious food restrictions (maybe rethink that all-pork smorgasbord your fiancé fancies, Houston bride).

Here are some of our all-time favorite hors d’oeuvre items, any one of which your caterer is likely to be able to provide, along with unique signature specialties of their very own. Can’t decide just by browsing? That’s what tastings are for, Houston bride! Isn’t wedding-planning yummy?

•    Goat cheese tart with fig jam
•    Smoked salmon tartare on potato slices
•    Tuna tartare on crispy wontons
•    Tandoori or satay chicken skewers
•    Scallops wrapped in smoked bacon
•    Coconut shrimp
•    Stuffed mushroom caps
•    Crispy spring rolls
•    Baby lamb chops
•    Mini Beef Wellington
•    Mini crab cakes
•    Mini gourmet pizzas
•    Gourmet sliders
•    Assorted crostini (savory toasted crackers topped with cheese, vegetables or meat—make sure they’re not too crunchy or they’ll shatter when guests try to bite them!)

Share this post

Signature Cocktails By Color

A couple of weeks ago, the Wedding Buzz, our must-have weekly e-newsletter, featured a recipe for a fabulous, bright red Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail. Well, seeing as how you brides went ga-ga for this refreshing “ruby sipper,” we thought we’d offer up some more fun ideas for yummy cocktails that can be color-coordinated with your reception palette.

Matching a signature cocktail to your wedding reception color scheme isn’t just a cool design touch, it’s also a smart choice for brides on a budget. At your cocktail reception, instead of offering a full premium bar (at a premium price to you—or whoever is footing your wedding bill), have waiters tray-pass one of these eye-catching drink choices, or a custom-designed, color-matched mix of your own invention. Give your signature cocktail a cute name—the “Mike and Lisa Love-tini” or the “Together Forever,” for instance—and dress up trays with hand-lettered signs letting guests know what they’re sipping.

Photo Courtesy of White on Rice Couple
Photo Courtesy of White on Rice Couple

Green Scene
We love the tropical look of the Green Flash Cocktail, which we found on this happy couple’s great blog, along with the recipe. Concocted by a bartender at Club Med Columbus Isle in the Bahamas, the drink gets its pretty green color and sweet-citrusy flavor from a combo of Blue Curacao, Peach Schnapps and orange juice.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Cocktails Blog
Photo Courtesy of Blue Cocktails Blog

True Blue
For a veritable library of blue-hued libations, you can’t do much better than the Blue Cocktails blog. Our favorite? The Blue Sapphire Martini, a tart, stylish blend of Bombay Sapphire, Cointreau, Blue Curacao and sour mix.

Photo Courtesy of Deep Glamour Blog
Photo Courtesy of Deep Glamour Blog

Purple Passion
We couldn’t believe our luck when we stumbled upon the oh-so-sophisticated Deep Glamour Cosmotini at the blog for which this jewel-toned gem of a cocktail is named. Check out the recipe, which includes purple-dyed tapioca pearls—a fabulous look for a wedding with a high-style, lounge-y vibe.

Photo Courtesy of Laylita.com
Photo Courtesy of Laylita.com

Well Red
More and more wedding palettes seem to feature the color red, whether it’s teamed with celadon or violet, tangerine or watermelon, black-and-white or gold. This lovely Valentine’s-Day-inspired fizzy cocktail from Laylita makes a gorgeous day or evening reception drink, and those blood orange garnishes? Perfection!

Share this post

Amsale Trunk Show @ Mia Bridal Couture

Photo Courtesy of Amsale
Photo Courtesy of Amsale

Fashionable brides, this is one Houston trunk show you WON’T want to miss. This Friday through Sunday, Sept. 18 – 20, representatives of bridal gown goddess Amsale bring the Ethiopian-born designer’s prized collection to Houston’s beloved Mia Bridal Couture.

Spectacular silk radzimir, silk faille and silk taffeta, sumptuous satins and ethereal organzas, crystal beading and vintage brooches—these are signature Amsale touches certain to be on breathtaking display at this much-anticipated September show.

Follow in the footsteps of Amsale’s celebrity fans—the self-made, FIT-trained designer has outfitted such stars as Salma Hayek, Vanessa Williams and Julia Roberts, and her bridal gowns have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and in the blockbuster film “27 Dresses”—and make one of these magnificently constructed creations your very own.

Call 713.622-2022 today for an appointment, or simply pop in and soak up the glamour, girl.

And while you’re at it, how about a 15% discount for trunk-show purchases? Now that’s VIP treatment, indeed.

Photo Courtesy of Amsale
Photo Courtesy of Amsale
Share this post

Wedding Shoes that Wow II

Boring kitten heels? Dull dyeable pumps? Too-pointy T-straps that look like they’ll have you cringing in pain after the first dance? Even bona-fide shoeaholics can find themselves at their wits’ end when it comes to bridal footwear. If this sounds like your personal plight, Houston bride, you’re going to love this post.

We’ve been scanning the bridal fashion scene for knockout wedding shoes, and we’ve found some amazing beauties. For the sake of brevity, we’ve narrowed our picks down to closed-toe styles, in a nod to upcoming fall and winter weddings.

We invite you to try these darlings on for size:

Photo Courtesy of Zappos.com
Photo Courtesy of Zappos.com

Pretty, and so’s the price: That’s what we think about the Xion from longtime special-occasion favorite Nina. Along with a sassy “vamp band” and sweet rosette detail, this 3 ½-inch-heel pump has luxe features including leather lining and a leather sole. Nice!

Photo Courtesy of bellissimabridalshoes.com
Photo Courtesy of bellissimabridalshoes.com

From Paradox London, the Benjamin Adams Collection’s lovely Liza is handcrafted from duchesse silk and Swarovski crystals, with kid-leather lining. We adore the sweet pleats and itty-bitty bow.

Photo courtesy of myglassslipper.com
Photo Courtesy of myglassslipper.com

Tall brides take note: The lower-heel (1 ¾ inches) Lilla by Grace features a lightly elasticized slingback for fit and comfort, and delicate embroidery for refined bridal elegance.

Photo Courtesy of endless.com
Photo Courtesy of endless.com

For a whisper-soft touch of color, we are mad about Badgley Mischka’s pale pink Carlo. With its fashion-forward raw-edged rosette and divine mesh-covered satin upper, this willowy 4 ¼-inch-heel pump will remain a dress-up favorite long after your special day.

Photo Courtesy of NeimanMarcus.com
Photo Courtesy of NeimanMarcus.com

O.K., so the Ceci Air Rose from Cole Haan is technically a peep-toe, not closed, but we’re going to let it slide. I mean, how can we not jump up and down for an Italian silk-satin, rose-covered wedding shoe that pairs a sexy 4-inch-heel with sporty NIKE AIR® technology? Score!

Share this post

Luscious Lashes: Latisse v. RevitaLash

Dramatic, beautiful eyes make for dramatic, beautiful wedding photos. And nothing makes for wow-worthy eyes like an enviable fringe of lashes. So just how do you get these aforementioned picture-perfect peepers, Houston bride? Your best bet is to enlist the expert assistance of a professional makeup artist. A talented makeup pro will know how to enhance your natural assets to best effect so that your bridal eyes look as gorgeous in person as they do in photos—with nary a mascara-streak in sight!

That’s the artist part of the picture. Here’s a tip on the canvas: To give your chosen makeup pro the best possible material to work with, you may want to consider revving up your lashes beforehand.

Latisse
Latisse

By now you’ve probably encountered Latisse. Print ads for this FDA-approved “treatment” for hypotrichosis (a medical term for the, um, condition, of “inadequate” eyelashes) feature the lovely Brooke Shields lowering her long-lashed lids and singing the praises of this prescription-only solution. We’re not sure how Brooke’s lashes looked pre-Latisse, but we’ve gotta say, they sure do look full, feathery and pretty darn fabulous in those pix.

If you choose to fill out your sparse lashes with Latisse, you’ll need to start four months pre-wedding, and apply the solution every night, as directed, to get the full results in time for your big day. Of course, as with any medical treatment, there are a few potential side effects: These may include red or itchy eyes, possible eyelid-skin darkening and—gulp!—hair growth occurring in spots where Latisse comes in repeated contact with skin surface (steady hand, Houston bride, steady hand).

All that said, Web chatter among eye docs and Latisse users alike, and Latisse’s own before-and-after clinical trial gallery, seem to indicate that the stuff does work to boost lash growth.

Revitalash
Revitalash

Looking for a little lash oomph, but not quite ready to go the medical route? RevitaLash may be the beauty secret you seek. This eyelash “conditioner,” developed by an ophthalmologist as a gift for his wife, who had lost eyelashes as a side effect of breast-cancer chemotherapy, purports to thicken existing eyelashes while “encouraging” new eyelash growth. Like Latisse, RevitaLash requires that you start well ahead of your wedding—three months or so—to get the best results. And like Latisse, RevitaLash has some potential side effects like eye irritation and discoloration. Users report mixed results, but those who love the stuff REALLY love it AND their newly lush lashes. Might you, too?

Share this post