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Designer Spotlight & Trunk Show: Simone Carvalli @ Mia Bridal Couture

Simone Carvalli
Simone Carvalli

Exquisite pure silk, fine French lace, curve-hugging silhouettes and pooling chapel trains—these are the hallmarks of Simone Carvalli. We simply melt away at the sight of those incredible Simone Carvalli bubble hems and blossoming bustles, those screen-siren ruched bodices and hourglass-figure-flattering mermaid skirts. And the fit—fabulous!

Simone Carvalli’s new collection features plenty of styles for the bride who wants to make a major statement on her wedding day. Our favorite details include sparkling Swarovski crystals, dazzling beadwork and handmade silk flowers. And we love that these gowns are made to make the most of our womanly curves. Oh—and did we mention that a Simone Carvalli couture gown WON’T set you back the price of a down-payment on your newlywed nest?

Get star treatment as you experience these Hollywood-worthy wedding gowns when Mia Bridal Couture hosts a Simone Carvalli trunk show July 31 – Aug 1. Simone Carvalli representatives will be on hand to meet with brides at Mia, one of Houston’s most exclusive bridal salons (think Kenneth Pool, Elie Saab, Reem Acra…). Take advantage of this very special occasion to select the wedding gown of your dreams, glamour girl!

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Style Alert: Birdcage Veils

Photo: Larry Fagala
Photo: Larry Fagala

Soft, sensual, romantic. Today’s most coveted bridal hairstyles are leaning toward a more natural look, with accents of pearl, crystal, flowers or feathers for added elegance. Some of the most flattering styles include half-up-half-down, the loose French braid, the over-the-shoulder side ponytail and flowing waves lifted gently from the face with jeweled barrettes. Of course natural doesn’t mean unkempt. You’ll want your bridal hairstylist to assure your soft ‘do stays done through the day and night by applying the right flexible-hold product and securing hair accessories well.

For those of you with shorter locks, or a passion for vintage glamour, you’ll be pleased to know that ANOTHER hot trend taking hold of brides’ heads across the country is the retro-chic birdcage veil.

The birdcage veil is a short, circular veil that is typically attached to the hair with a comb or with pins. Most commonly, a birdcage veil is worn with a blusher—a section of veil that usually covers the bride’s face almost to her chin during the processional, and is pulled back to reveal the bride’s face for the ceremony.

Birdcage veils are typically made from Russian or French netting, which has an open pattern that covers but does not really conceal the bride’s face. Often adorned with feathers or silk flowers, birdcage veils also can be accented with vintage brooches or other heirloom jewelry (something old, something borrowed, etc.).

These sweet, subtle veils evoke Old Hollywood glamour, but are perfectly suited to modern hairstyles from textured bobs to gamine cuts to low, blunt ponytails. They look lovely over nape-bound updos, too.

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl wore one over beautifully back-swept bangs for her wedding to musician Josh Kelley. Drew Barrymore sported a snazzy one over darling finger-waves at the “Grey Gardens” premiere (O.K., technically not an actual wedding, but brides aplenty took notice!). Reese Witherspoon’s character beamed from behind one during the wedding scene in “Sweet Home Alabama.” And you can get ’caged, too, Houston bride. For ideas, check out birdcage veil specialist  Emma’s Bridal Boutique or click on our bridal gown & accessory vendor listings and start the search for your perfect veil.

Photo courtesy Emma’s Bridal Boutique
Photo courtesy Emma’s Bridal Boutique
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Don’t Forget the Ladies’ Room (or Gents’ Either, for that Matter…)!

If you’ve ever attended a wedding, Houston bride, you know that the restroom is usually one of the most heavily trafficked areas in the venue. For starters, there’s the little matter of all that wedding-day weeping, which naturally drives makeup-wearers into the restroom for touch-ups. More than that, the restroom—particularly the ladies’ room—is typically the scene of lively conversations, sometimes even of happy reunions (there’s often so much going on at the wedding, that the ladies’ room ends up being where gals go to catch up on gossip and reconnect with old friends).

Unfortunately, the restroom is frequently one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to wedding decor and floral. If your wedding site’s restroom is going to be a central gathering point, doesn’t it deserve a proper dolling up? Don’t your guests deserve to be immersed in the beauty and grandeur of your wedding even when they step off the dance floor and into the loo?

So, please pardon our toilet talk, but here are a few fantastic ideas for giving your reception restroom(s) the attention to which they’re entitled:

Petal Project: Carry through your wedding’s floral look by placing small arrangements, even just a couple of blooms, on the restroom’s sink counter.

Wax Works: If your venue allows, place votive candles on the sink counter, or incorporate them into the mini floral arrangements. Restrooms are the perfect place to use scented candles, which should be avoided in dining areas so as not overwhelm sensitive sniffers and conflict with food scents.

Sound Scape: If it’s possible to conceal a small sound system and set up speakers discreetly, have songs from your wedding playlist playing in the restroom—at a soft, conversation-friendly volume, of course.

Touch Up Stuff: If your venue’s restroom doesn’t already provide them, you should purchase items like hair spray, hand lotion, Q-tips, breath mints and Band-Aid Blister Block, and have your planner or venue staff arrange them attractively on the restroom counter (decorative mirror trays and glass sundry jars work well for this purpose, and can be gussied up with glass stones, floral and candles). For the men’s room, set out handkerchiefs, toothpicks, breath mints and hard candies. Your guests will be grateful, we guarantee.

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Wedding Invitation Printing Techniques—What Do They Mean? Which Should I Choose?

invitation.blog
Invitation: Embossed Graphics of Texas Photo: Eason Photography

Invitation: Tad and Faboo
Invitation: Tad and Faboo

Your wedding invitation is much more than an informational packet instructing guests where and when you and your one and only will be tying the knot. It is the first opportunity you have to introduce guests to the style and tone of your wedding. Grand and elegant or cozy and whimsical? Celadon and coral or silver and sage? A well-chosen wedding invitation entices invitees and gives them a taste of the celebration to come.

Since there’s no second chance to make a first impression, it pays to know a bit about invitations, particularly the different printing techniques available to you. Houston’s finest stationers are experts in the latest—and most traditional—printing possibilities. Before you select the one who will create perhaps the most important invitations of your life, let our handy printing-technique guide give you the head start you need.

Engraving: Formal, elegant, timeless. Engraving typically utilizes copper plates to produce raised print, and works well with black ink on light paper. Engraving is time-consuming and expensive, but the cost goes down with the volume of invitations produced, making it a good choice for weddings with large guest lists.

Letterpress: This centuries-old technique is in vogue once again. With letterpress, words are stamped by machine, and letterpress print looks especially good with textured or handmade paper. Not as expensive as engraving usually, but still on the pricey side.

Lithography: Also known as offset, lithography uses plates, emulsion and light exposure to produce crisp, flat print. It allows for a vast range of colors and works well with almost any kind of print surface. Lithography is a versatile technique that costs less than engraving or letterpress.

Thermography: With thermography, ink is applied to paper then treated with a chemical and heated to produce a raised-print appearance. This technique can only be used with certain ink colors and paper types, so it has its design limitations. BUT, it is considerably less expensive than engraving, and produces a similar effect.

Digital: Fast, flexible, modern, inexpensive. Digital printing is a great option for contemporary invitations, short planning schedules and limited budgets.

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Five Essential Tips for Including Kids in Your Wedding

Editorial.Fall-06.0058.Nhan
Photo: Nhan Nguyen Photography

If you’ve always envisioned your wedding as a strictly adult affair, this probably isn’t a blog post you need to bother with. BUT, if like many brides, you are considering including one, two or a bunch of children at your wedding, you’ll want to read on.

Whether or not to have children at your wedding is almost always a difficult decision fraught with potential offenses and possible (but certainly avoidable) catastrophes. If you happen to either have children in your family with whom you are very close, or have children of your own, then there’s a good chance you’ll want to include these little ones on your guest list.

Of course, it helps hugely if your wedding is scheduled to take place fairly early in the day (tantrums are much more likely to occur late, when children are kept up past regular bedtimes).

And, naturally, you’re more likely to be comfortable with kids at your wedding if you welcome the whimsical spontaneity that children often bring, and are OK with some things not going exactly as you had planned (perhaps your little nephew simply refuses to wear anything but his beloved green dinosaur T-shirt, or your best friend’s young daughter decides to belt out the ABC song during your ceremony!).

If you do decide to have wee ones at your wedding, here are five top tips for maximizing their (and your) enjoyment, and minimizing meltdowns.

1. Keep Them Occupied: Nothing breeds crankiness and chaos more than boredom. If you plan to have children at your wedding, make sure you have plenty for them to do. This may mean hiring a professional children’s entertainer to tell stories, paint faces, etc., or a childcare provider (or two) to take the kids on a “discovery stroll” or lead a scavenger hunt. If your venue has space, you may want to set up a separate “screening room” where you can play kids’ TV programs or movies on DVD.

2. Feed Them: Kids tend to be finicky eaters, and they tend to behave better when well fed. Keep their bellies full and their attention occupied by providing kid-friendly meal items served at low, easy-to-reach tables. Good choices include finger foods like chicken strips, mini burgers, cheese pizza, veggies and dip, and fresh fruit, along with juice boxes or milk boxes to drink. Try to avoid serving them sweet treats, which inevitably lead to sugar-fueled hyperactivity and the inevitable post-mania crash.

3. Give Them a Role: If possible, include invited children in your ceremony by giving them tasks. Sure, there’s usually only one ring-bearer or flower girl, but who says you can’t have three darling little girls holding tiny nosegays beside your bridesmaids, or two handsome boys handing out programs to entering guests?

4. Let Parents Prep in Peace: Try to provide childcare during the hours prior to your wedding to allow guests, especially members of your wedding party, to get themselves ready. This is especially feasible if you are getting married at a hotel or club where a room can be set aside for kids to eat, nap or play while parents get gussied up elsewhere on site.

5. Don’t Force the Issue: A wedding can be an intimidating environment for a small child. Don’t try to force a resistant child to leave his parents’ side, or to participate in activities if he doesn’t seem inclined. Most children need a little time to warm up to the situation and will naturally gravitate toward other kids who are having fun when he is comfortable and feels safe and ready.

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