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QUIZ: What’s Your Wedding Gift Registry Style?

Writer: Laura Mericas

To help you avoid “random registry” regrets, we’ve identified four types of to-be-weds and we’ve hand-picked wedding gift registry items for each that you probably didn’t know you could register for…or live without! Not sure what type you are? Take our handy quiz! And for tons more details on hot registry picks from the experts at iconic Houston registry retailers Bering’s and Kuhl-Linscomb, click here!

What’s your wedding style?

1. Rustic and romantic with tons of personal elements

2. Chic and trendy with food and drinks galore

3. Dreamy destination with our closest family and friends

4. Classic and formal in one of Houston’s signature wedding venues

What are your honeymoon goals?

1. Nothing too crazy, we just want to relax with each other

2. To explore a new city and hit up all of the coolest spots

3. Something a little extreme, like backpacking through Bali or whitewater rafting

4. Lounging and indulging at an elegant beach resort

Which of these sounds like your ideal Saturday morning?

1. Sipping coffee with my fiancé at my side and our dog at our feet

2. Brunching in style with bae

3. Exploring a new city or hiking trail

4. Perusing an antiques market or visiting with family

What’s your favorite type of Houston restaurant?

1. A mom-and-pop Houston classic

2. The chic new eatery with locally sourced ingredients and craft cocktails

3. Authentic ethnic cuisine that only the neighborhood locals know about

4. Fine dining with romantic lighting and top-notch service

Which of these is a must-have item in your married home?

1. Cute and comfortable living room furniture

2. A modern kitchen and dining space

3. A place to rest our heads at night…that’s all we need

4. Family photos in beautiful frames

Answered Mostly 1: You’re a House Hunter! —  You and your partner love the staples in your life almost as much as you love each other. A new shared home tops your list of priorities, and you can’t wait to make it a warm, inviting environment.

House-Hunters

1. Quilted Velvet Lumbar Pillows: Pottery Barn 2. Halo Home Monogrammed Linens: Kuhl-Linscomb 3. Sierra Rug: The Citizenry 4. Large Mobile Chandelier: West Elm 5. Edmond Sofa: Z Gallerie 6. Palermo Chair: The Citizenry

Answered Mostly 2: You’re a Foodie! — Testing out the newest eateries and drinkeries in town is what you and your bae are all about. You two follow food blogs, are familiar with top local chefs and aren’t afraid to experiment. You and your wedding caterer are BFF’s and you can’t wait to dig in at your reception.

Foodie

1. All-Clad Brushed Stainless Sauce Pan: Bering’s 2. Instant Pot Pressure Cooker: Amazon 3. Sur La Table Copper Moscow Mule Mug Set: Sur La Table 4. “Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen: Amazon 5. Sertodo Copper Alicante Paella Pan: Kuhl-Linscomb 6. Big Green Egg Grill: Bering’s 7. Vitamix Ascent Series Blender: Kuhl-Linscomb

Answered Mostly 3: You’re an Adventurer! — The biggest challenge of planning your wedding was finding a date when you’re not traveling! Houston is home base, but you’re eager to explore every chance you get. You’ve either selected the perfect destination wedding spot, planned an exotic honeymoon, or both.

Adventurer

1. S’well Teakwood Water Bottle: Kuhl-Linscomb 2. Insulated Picnic Backpack: Mark & Graham 3. White Wing Duffle Bag: Bering’s 4. This is Ground Cordito Roll: Restoration Hardware 5. Audio Pro Portable Speaker: Kuhl-Linscomb 6. Yeti Tundra Cooler: Bering’s

Answered Mostly 4: You’re an Heirloom-er! — Family is everything to you. The keeping of traditions is paramount and you’ve already selected your future children’s names, which all pay homage to your closest relatives. You have a love for traditional, well-made goods, but you also know how to add in your own personal touch.

Heirloom

1. Juliska Country Estate Ginger Jar: Bering’s 2. Santorini Glass, Turks & Caicos Canape Plate: White Lilac Inc. 3. William Yeoward Corinne Cocktail Jug & Spoon: Kuhl-Linscomb 4. Vista Alegre Covered Dish: Alchemy Fine Home 5. Arte Italica Tuscan Oval Tray with Handles: Kuhl-Linscomb

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Celebrity Floral Designer Ariel Dearie Takes Us Behind Her Designs

Writer: Natasha Garber

While managing a Brooklyn restaurant in the early 2000’s, Ariel Dearie would put together the occasional flower arrangement for her employer—a hobby she came to adore. Though she had been planning to open her own café for years, her passion for floral design took over, and after arranging flowers for a few friends’ weddings one summer, she found herself on a new, and very successful, career path.  With the launch of Ariel Dearie Flowers in 2011, Dearie began making a major name for herself, attracting fashionable corporate clients including Dior, Prada and Bulgari, and working on photo shoots with notables including Isabella Rossellini, Jessica Chastain and Hillary Clinton. Her own “Vogue”-featured 2015 wedding, set at Brooklyn’s Boathouse at Prospect Park, and decked out with sprigs of fern, sinewy orchids and pomegranates, is emblematic of her design sensibility. And her sensible approach to wedding floral that is as evocative as it is unfussy is a style-minded bride’s dream-come-true. Check out or exclusive Q&A, and then find your own Houston wedding florist, and start growing your one-of-a-kind wedding design!

Ariel-Dearie-Refinery-Hotel Photo: Courtesy of Ariel Dearie

Weddings in Houston: What influence does your New Orleans background have on your floral design aesthetic?

Ariel Dearie: Growing up in a lush, verdant city definitely had an impact on my work. I think that going from New Orleans to New York really left me with a longing for more green and more nature. Some of my favorite Southern flowers are camellias, azaleas and smilax foliage.

Ariel-Dearie-Flower-Arrangement Photo: Courtesy of Ariel Dearie

WIH: What changes have you seen in couples’ floral preferences since you launched your business in 2011?

AD: Over the past years, having beautiful flowers at your wedding has become just as important as having a great venue or a great photographer. Our couples have started requesting flowers that are unexpected and out of the ordinary, and they also want to have non-floral elements included in their arrangements, like fruit, feathers and nuts. Instead of just standard roses, they want frilly garden roses blended with textural foliage and berries. Instead of a ball of hydrangeas, they want lace hydrangea as an accent with tree peonies and kumquats. Instead of simple clear glass vessels, our couples usually choose from our inventory of antique silver, brass and ceramic pieces.

WIH: What are some of your favorite bouquet ideas, and how do you collaborate with each bride to make sure she has a bouquet she’ll cherish?

AD: I love loose, flowing bouquets that feel as if you’ve just swept up the blooms from a garden. When coming up with a bouquet design for our clients, I usually ask what they want to carry and how they want to feel while carrying it. We also take their dress and the wedding setting into account. I love when brides want to include a family heirloom or sentimental item in their bouquet. I think it makes the bouquet extra special.

WIH: What floral trends or design “fallbacks” do you dislike most? 

AD: I don’t really like super-tight floral arrangements that cease to look like flowers. I don’t think flowers should be heavily manipulated to look like something they’re not.

Ariel-Dearie Photo: Courtesy of Ariel Dearie

WIH: What design trends are you seeing evolve for your 2018 weddings?

AD: For the past few years and continuing into the 2018 season, couples have been requesting larger-scale installations in addition to bouquets and table centerpieces. These have included hanging floral pieces suspended over the tables and lush arches for the entryways. To create these, we love to use vines such as smilax and pair those with garden roses, peonies and Dutch carnations.

WIH: What is your top wedding tip for couples tying the knot in Houston—where climate is an issue any time of year?

AD: For outdoor weddings, always have a good Plan B, in case the weather isn’t cooperating. And make sure to choose a venue where you’d be happy with either the indoor or outdoor options. It’s just one less (big) thing to stress about!

WIH: What do you love most about working on weddings?

AD: We have been so fortunate with the clients we have gotten to work with. I think there’s something about the natural, loose style of our flowers that just attracts really lovely people to our work!

Ariel-Dearie Photo: Courtesy of Ariel Dearie

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Show Us Your Selfie & You Could WIN A Polaroid Camera!

Weddings-In-Houston-Cover
Cover Photo: Sylvie Gil | Monique Lhuillier Gown: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon | Stylist: Summar Salah | Headpiece: Weddings by Debbie | Earrings & Ring: Neiman Marcus | Hair: Ceron Hair Studio| Makeup: VCI Artists | Assistant: Devin Harvey

Y’all. We are SO excited about our special anniversary issue that we’re doing a week long Instagram #selfie contest… to win a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Polaroid camera!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Follow us on Instagram

2. Take a selfie with the new mag (shown in pic, available at these locations)

3. Use the hashtag #wihandme **Profile must be public**

4. Deadline: Sun. 7/16. Winner will be announced next week. Good luck, and we can’t wait to see those selfies!

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Find Your Wedding Style With Your Zodiac Sign

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many wedding dresses and wedding styles to choose from, which is why homing in on your zodiac sign can be a great place to start narrowing down options. Each Zodiac sign has its own unique profile, just like each bride, and each wedding. Scroll down here to find your sign, and shop the looks that express it!

Earth: Driven and engaging all senses, your vision for a blissful wedding is emotional and sensual. You love earthy tones mixed with hints of gold, and adore the idea of mixing classic and modern touches. Earth
1. Marchesa Embellished Cape Gown: Saks Fifth Avenue 2. Jennifer Behr Earrings: NET-A-PORTER 3. Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color in Bloodroses: NET-A-PORTER 4. Gumuchian Rose Gold Diamond Ring: Lewis Jewelers 5. Charlotte Olympia Orchid Pandora Clutch: NET-A-PORTER 6. Bouquet: Keisha’s Kreations 7. Eternal Romance Invitation: Wedding Paper Divas 8. Gianvito Rossi Satin Sandals: NET-A-PORTER 9. Four-Tier Cake: Sweet Regards by Daniela

Air: Creative, quick-thinking and full of fancy, you’re a heady romantic with a flair for fun. Light-as-air fabrics and blush tones are the wedding textures and colors you have your eyes on.

Air 1. Marchesa Pre-Fall Couture 2017: Marchesa 2. Lele Sadoughi Straw Tassel Earrings: Lele Sadoughi 3. Tom Ford Skin Illuminator: Neiman Marcus 4. Ted Baker Oriental Blossom Clutch: Bloomingdale’s 5. Gilded Shore Coral Invitation: Minted 6. Bouquet: Darryl & Co. 7. Anna Sheffield Hazeline Suite: Anna Sheffield 8. Badgley Mischka ‘Blakely’ Mesh Evening Shoe: Badgley Mischka 9. Four-Tier Cake: Bobbette & Belle

Fire: Passionate, positive and powerful, you’re the life of the party—at the party of a lifetime! You want to stay true to yourself and show off your boldness with bright colors!

Fire 1. Sabyasachi Red Floral Lehenga: Sabyasachi 2. Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Bawse: Smashbox 3. Floral Arrangement: Dream Bouquet 4. Minza Khan Yasmin Clutch: Minza Khan 5. Centifolia Rose Invitation: Minted 6. Ruby & Diamond Ring: Nazar’s Fine Jewelry 7. Sergio Rossi Tresor Swarovski Crystal & Suede Sandal: Saks Fifth Avenue 8. Two-Tier Cake: Cake Ink

Water: Sensitive, thoughtful and imaginative, your wedding-day inspiration never stops flowing! You absolutely adore the idea of watercolor invitations, floral cakes and wedding dresses that make you feel like you’re floating as you walk down the aisle.

Water 1. Lazaro Gown: Ivory Bridal Atelier, Weddings by Debbie 2. Sutra Sapphire & Diamond Tassel Earrings: Zadok Jewelers 3. Rafe Sofia Straw Minaudiere: Neiman Marcus 4. Goshwara Gossip London Blue Topaz Bracelet: Zadok Jewelers 5. Indigo Sea Invitation: Minted 6. Bouquet: TnT Events, Flowers & Decorations  7. Imagine Vince Camuto Phoebe Embellished T-Strap Sandals: Bloomingdale’s 8. Three-Tier Floral & Metallic Cake: Cake Ink

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Wedding Menu Q&A with Atlanta’s Talk Of The Town Catering

Writer: Michelle Naik

What does a hungry 11-year-old boy do when his mom is studying for nursing school exams and his dad is a traveling salesman? Well, if he’s Andrew Brackner, he tunes into PBS and starts learning his way around a kitchen, with the help of charismatic TV chefs like Julia Child and Martin Yan. From these humble beginnings, Brackner eventually worked his way up through the culinary industry, putting in time as a dishwasher and waffle-house cook, before eventually landing at the Ritz Carlton, and getting his culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu (where he graduated top of his class, natch). An executive chef position at Atlanta’s renowned Talk Of The Town Catering & Special Events—clients include Missy Elliot, Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry, Usher, Shaquille O’Neal and more than a couple of NFL teams—eventually led to Brackner’s purchase of the company in 2010. In this exclusive Weddings in Houston interview we get the scoop on Brackner’s most in-demand menus, the wedding menu trends he’s tracking for 2018 (you can chat about these and plenty more reception food ideas with Houston’s own top wedding caterers) and his passion for bringing the taste of the South to events far and wide.

Andrew-Brackner Photo: Courtesy of Talk Of The Town Catering

WIH: Describe one of the most exciting wedding menus you’ve created recently—what makes it so fabulous?

AB: We have been selected to cater the wedding for the daughter of the president of the largest seafood distribution company in the Southeast. This is a unique wedding because they are providing all the proteins, including caviar (which we are serving on edible sushi-rice spoons with bluefin tuna and seaweed), diver scallops, lobster, king crab (which we are doing in Thai basil rolls), wagyu beef that’s being served as carved rib roast with maître d’ butter, and kumamoto oysters with mignonette ice, fresh chilies, chimichurri and pickled pears. The majority of the items will be produced at live action stations by our own chefs.

Talk-Of-The-Town-Catering Photo: Six Hearts Photography

WIH: What are some of your most in-demand menu items for wedding receptions?     

AB: I have learned that clients want their guests to be familiar with the food, but also want to include a unique twist. As an example, one of our top selling passed items is sliced quail breast with red-onion marmalade, served on a mini fried green tomato. House-made charcuterie and local cheeses are always a crowd pleaser, but we add a twist with our garnishes by including truffle honey, mango chutney, and pickled cauliflower and carrots, and we incorporate root-veggie chips alongside the traditional bread and crackers. One of our most popular stations is our carved serrano ham display, which includes crostini with a variety of spreads and toppings (goat cheese, small-batch mustard, arugula, pickled onions, shaved fennel and balsamic syrup). Our barbecue raspberry duck breast with butternut-squash polenta is also becoming a huge hit!

Talk-Of-The-Town-Catering Photo: Anna Shackleford

WIH: What culinary trends are you tracking for 2017-2018 weddings?

AB: The scenery! We are customizing more and more menus to reflect the location of the wedding. Whether it’s an informal crawfish boil next to the river, a small-plates tapas-style action station at a winery, or even a white-glove Russian-style service at a downtown location, our culinary services need to be reflective of the location to truly give the guests a cohesive experience.

Talk-Of-The-Town-Catering Photo: Farrah Brianna

WIH: What are some of your favorite display ideas for fun, unique, interactive food stations?

AB: Chafer-less food stations are a big hit. Instead of using a heat lamp for a carving station, we use a blowtorch to gently brush the roast and keep warm. We also have used marble tiles with sterno underneath to keep food hot. I am a big fan of large iron griddle plates—we use these to keep mini cast-iron skillets warm for our seafood-and-grits station, Cuban sandwich sliders, cornmeal-dusted trout, grilled asparagus and chicharones. The possibilities are endless! Another favorite is the vertical buffet station. We have used ladders with slates of wood, magnet walls with metal dishes, and stackable square blocks with glass shelves.

 Photo: Ben Vigil

WIH: Here in Texas, barbecue is BIG. How do you present barbecue in an upscale dining environment like a wedding reception?

AB: I like to give my clients approachable, familiar items with a slight twist. Some of my favorite ways to present traditional barbecue are grilled quail kabobs with peach barbecue sauce, raspberry barbecue duck with butternut-squash polenta. Or we might pass a mini barbecue-pork slider with mango jicama slaw, peppercorn-smoked shrimp, and scallops with spicy rosemary corn coulis. We even did a barbecue octopus station with smoked tomato, pickled radish, roasted garlic, bacon batons and a Worcestershire-balsamic glaze. I love thinking about ingredients and how they can be rearranged to fit the occasion.

Talk-Of-The-Town-Catering Photo: Anna Shackleford

Ready to dig in to your own menu planning adventure? Peruse our list of Houston’s hottest wedding caterers and culinary experts, and start dreaming up (and savoring samples of) a wedding menu you and your guests won’t forget!

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