Web Find: European Wedding Ideas at Classic Bride

Photo Courtesy of Classic Bride
Photo Courtesy of Classic Bride

Something about the long, warm, lazy days of summer always gets us thinking about vacation. And when we think about vacation, naturally we think about EUROPE. And when we think about Europe, we tend to get more than a little inspired about weddings with effortlessly chic continental flair (you see where this is going, right?). And when we get inspired—we just have to share our inspiration with you, dear Houston bride.

Our transatlantic daydreaming recently led us to a fabulous blogosphere find. Classic Bride, according to its own self-description, “strives to celebrate a balance between the traditions of yesterday and the modern trends of today.” Amen to that.

In striking this balance, Classic Bride has put together some simply delightful ideas for weddings with a sophisticated, yet completely down-to-Earth, European (mostly French) “je ne sais quoi.” From Paris to Provence (to England, a little bit), from fashion to favors, it’s all here. Peruse, muse, fantasize—then share your thoughts (and a link to this lovely blog) with your Houston coordinator, floral designer, stationer, caterer and/or bridal boutique. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the European wedding of your dreams right here at home.

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Bridal Makeup Shines

Photo: Larry Fagala
Photo: Larry Fagala

A little shimmer, a little sparkle, a little shine. It’s the most alluring look in bridal makeup, fresh off the runway and making its way down the aisle.

O.K., so when we say shine, we’re not talking greasy foreheads or oily noses, dear Houston bride. Heaven forbid! We’re talking subtle metallics and shimmering pastels that create the illusion of ethereal loveliness.

Our top picks in this hot trend?

Shimmering Eyes: Whether you go for subtly smoky or youthful and sweet, metallic eye shadow is all the rage. We especially love the current crop of purples, from lilac to amethyst, although we’re also fans of pewter and gold. Add drama to soft shimmer with long, dark, luscious lashes (a few, well-placed artificial ones work wonders) and strong, beautifully shaped brows.

Sweet Cheeks: Sheer shades of peach or pink are the perfect complement to shimmering lids. Cheeks should look flushed and fresh, not sculpted or severe. Depending on your overall makeup design, you might try a mineral bronzer for a subtly sun-kissed look.

Notice-me Nails: Sure, the classic French manicure never goes out of wedding style. But for something a little more of-the-moment, we love short, sweet nails in soft, sheer metallics. Our favorites? Lilac, snowflake and understated silver.

Pretty Lips: While sparkle dominates the eyes and nails, for the lips the look is understated with just a hint of shine. Pinks are popping up in just about every lip collection, and are beautiful on brides, but make sure to avoid too-bright hues, which can overwhelm your face and look dated in wedding photos.

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A Peek Inside: Upcoming Open Houses

Like a neighborhood open house, a venue open house is a great way to get inside an unfamiliar place, have a look around, meet and greet nice people and enjoy a bite or two. Unlike most neighborhood open houses, however, a venue open house is meant to attract you to the potential site of what just might be the most important occasion of your life.

Fortunately for Houston brides, the city is simply swimming in spectacular wedding venues. The toughest thing for most to-be-weds is deciding which of Houston’s lovely locales to book for their big day.

Many Houston venues routinely throw open their doors and invite brides in for an exclusive look. Here are three open houses to whet your wedding-venue appetite. These all fall on the same day, same time—Aug. 9, 1-3 p.m.—so either pick the one that sounds most enticing to you, or hopscotch to all three if you dare!

Either way, we suggest you make sure to ask plenty of questions (“What table options do you offer?” “How many people can this room accommodate for cocktails?” “Can I bring in my own décor vendor?”) and bring a digital camera to snap pix. Attend with your fiancé, if at all possible, or at the very least, make sure to bring your maid of honor, mother or a close friend—a second opinion is always a good idea when choosing your wedding location.

Photo Courtesy of Sweetwater Country Club

Sweetwater Country Club
4400 Palm Royale Blvd.
Sugar Land, TX 77479
Feast your eyes on crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking lush lawns and sparkling lakes at this Fort Bend County gem.

Photo Courtesy of Fontenot Grand Mansion

Fontenot Grand Mansion
5807 Spring Stuebner Road
Spring, TX 77389
Stately columns, bubbling fountains, sparkling chandeliers—all this and expert on-site wedding-planning assistance await you at the Fontenot.

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium
410 Bagby St
Houston, TX 77002
Imagine the thrill of a 50,000-foot cylindrical sea-life tank as the centerpiece of your reception. It’s at the Downtown Aquarium, which also features hand-painted ceilings and sumptuous surroundings.

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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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