Houston couple Marina and Frank were partying like it was 1999 (literally) when they first met at a nightclub their senior year of high school. Marina tells us, “Frank was dancing with my friend (who happened to be one of my bridesmaids) to get closer to me. He eventually made his way to me, and we exchanged numbers at the end of the night.” They kept in touch and went on a couple dates, but parted ways when Marina started college and Frank left town for boot camp—but that didn’t stop them from keeping in touch. After she graduated college and Frank came back from the military, they were inseparable.
Marina and Frank planned a trip to visit their friends in New York City…but little did she know this trip had something special in store for her. “Frank mentioned that he had never done any of the typical touristy things in the city, so I planned an entire day out of it. We went through Ellis Island Museum and walked around to take an imprint of Frank’s grandfather’s name—whose name is on The Wall of Honor—but Mark insisted that we should take a look at the skyline first. As we were walking over, his started breathing heavily and got down on one knee,” recounts Marina. She was so surprised that she couldn’t even remember most of what he said, but she does remember him saying, “My grandfather started his new life on Ellis Island, and I want us to start our new life together here.” Aww…pass the tissues, please!
Exactly one year later the pair tied the knot at the Crystal Ballroom at The Rice with their nearest and dearest to witness. “We wanted to go with something elegant, classic and timeless with pops of bold elements,” says Marina.
One of their favorite moments? When LG Entertainment played the last song, and all of the guests joined the bride and groom on the dance floor!
Congrats and best wishes to the newlyweds!
Photos: Ama Photography & Cinema | Rehearsal Dinner Location: Lawless Kitchen & Spirits | Reception Venue: Crystal Ballroom at The Rice | Catering: Sambuca Catering | Music, Lighting & Entertainment: LG Entertainment
Picture this: You’re wearing your gorgeous bridal gown with a dazzling diamond ring, and your hair and makeup is flawless. But what if you need to retouch your lipstick, or wipe away those happy tears with tissues? You’re going to need a fabulous clutch to have and to hold by your side to carry your necessities. We’ve picked out five of our fave wedding clutches at different price points, and we’re sure there’s one in the mix that you’re bound to be smitten with. Happy shopping, loves!
1. An ornate bridal clutch with princess-worthy appeal that goes with any color wedding dress, and is only $48? Yes, please!
2. Believe it or not—this Badgley Mischka clutch was seen on the Emmy’s Red Carpet. Make a subtle statement on your wedding day with this chic and ladylike blush clutch. It also comes in ivory and black!
3. This crystal floral minaudiere is for the bride who wants stand out and be seen shimmering from a mile away.
4. If you’re all about fun, quirky details, you’re going to love this Kate Spade Wedding Belles Clutch. Carry it on your bridal shower, wedding day or even during your honeymoon!
5. Last but not least…THE Oscar clutch goes to the bride who fancies intricate embroidery, baguette crystals and structured pieces. This neutral-tone clutch can be used on your wedding day and beyond.
There are so many ways to “spread the love” with your wedding. Charitable contributions in lieu of guest favors. Donating your centerpieces to a local hospital or assisted-living facility. Gifting your b’maids with fair-trade goodies made by women in economically struggling countries…who just may be brides-to-be themselves.
But did you know you could actually make a whole lot of lives truly better with your wedding venue choice?
The Brookwood Community, located in pretty Brookshire (a short 40-minute drive west of Houston), is not just a picture-perfect spot for a wedding—think acres of velvety lawn, charming buildings scattered along gently winding roads, a beautiful steepled chapel—but it’s also an amazing place where adults with disabilities can live, work, learn and become more fully independent. And weddings at Brookwood help pay for these programs.
Photo: Elisabeth Carol Photography
Here’s what else:
- The Brookwood Community has a backstory that will melt your heart. Founder Yvonne Streit started the community to honor her own daughter, Vicky, who suffered brain damage as a young child—and built the unique (and uniquely picturesque) enclave to give disabled adults the education, support and compassion they often lose once they leave school.
- You can have your whole wedding—from “I do” to “Let’s dance!”—on one lovely property. Couples love saying their vows in the Brookwood Community country-church-like chapel, where sunlight pours in through the gorgeous stained-glass window behind the pulpit…after which they and ALL their nearest and dearest can celebrate in the 275-guest-capacity Garden Ballroom, where vast windows blend with sophisticated earth-tone decor, sparkling chandeliers, and superb catering service, for an elegant country-club feel.
Photo: Flat 18 Photography
- You’ll get a real farm-to-table food & drink experience. A working community, Brookwood has beautifully tended gardens, a horticultural center and 47 commercial greenhouses tended by resident citizens, growing 300,000 plants a year—some of which end up in culinary fare and fresh, artisanal wedding cocktails!
Photo: Courtesy of Brookwood Community
- Your wedding fees will directly benefit the Brookwood Community’s more than 100 adult residents—many of whom arrive at Brookwood with very limited living skills, but learn, with guidance and compassion, to help and share with one another, maintain a schedule of daily chores, select clothes and dress themselves, plan the day’s activities, and if appropriate, manage personal finances.
Photo: Courtesy of Brookwood Community
- Spiritual life is at Brookwood’s soul. While you don’t need to be a member of any particular denomination to have your nuptial celebration at this one-of-a-kind venue, know that the venue is maintained, by the directive of its founder and directors, “through the grace of God.” Couples who wish faith to be a focus of their special day, will find themselves, and their guests, surrounded by a real sense of spirituality in action, and, we’re quite sure, will find their wedding memories sweetened by the knowledge that they’ve made empathy, compassion and charity cornerstones of their marriage celebration.
Photo: Thomas & Penelope Photography
For more info about the Brookwood Community, contact on-site wedding pro Katie L’Ecuyer, who’d love to show you around the grounds, and let you see for yourself what your Brookwood wedding might look and feel like! And don’t forget to tell her you found out about Brookwood right here on the Houston Wedding Blog. Happy planning, loves!