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The 8 Commandments of Perfect Bridal Fit by MW Couture

Having begun sewing at the age of 15, Minerva Wooldridge quickly moved on to creating custom wedding gowns from hand-selected materials and exquisite embellishments, eventually founding her own Houston atelier, MW Couture. She is known throughout Houston and the U.S. as an alterations expert and designer of heirloom-quality special-occasion garments, who follows a strict set of rules to ensure that every bride leaves her store with the perfect fit. “My goal is to put my quality on display all the time,” she says. “You don’t take your dress from here unless you are 100 percent happy and satisfied.” We talked with Wooldridge about her rigorous regimen, known to her and her staff as “The Eight Commandments.”

Black, White & Blue Wedding at Crystal Ballroom at The Rice by Ever & Anon Photography Gown Alterations: MW Couture | Wedding Gown: Brickhouse Bridal | Photography: Ever & Anon Photography

1. The First Fitting — Wooldridge and her team strive to create the most welcoming and comfortable environment possible for the clients who have entrusted MW Couture with their wedding-day look. One way she does this is by reminding brides from the very first phone call to bring their slip, bra and shoes to their first fitting, so she and her team can get the entire look right from the get-go.

2. Dress With Care — Wooldridge also dresses the bride herself, paying special attention to every detail of the dress. She says that this helps her client feel more confident, as she expertly sets the gown to each bride’s body.

3. Find the Vibe — “Sometimes having the bride describe her wedding is like looking into a crystal ball. It lets me know her personality,” Wooldridge says. By hearing more about the event, Wooldridge can determine if she should go more romantic, modern or elegant with the design and fitting.

4. Listen and Answer — “The first time the bride comes in she might be very emotional,” Wooldridge says. She and her team listen intently to make sure they don’t miss any key elements the bride might mention, and that they answer all questions and address all concerns with confidence and empathy.

Black, White & Blue Wedding at Crystal Ballroom at The Rice by Ever & Anon Photography Gown Alterations: MW Couture | Wedding Gown: Brickhouse Bridal | Photography: Ever & Anon Photography

5. Talk It Out — Once alterations are underway, Wooldridge and her team go into great detail to explain all changes that have been made to the dress and offer any further ideas they might have, leaving the floor open for the bride to ask questions of her own. “Everything has a solution,” Wooldridge says. “I am trying to find the best solution, so she can have a dress that is both personal and unique.”

6. Right On Time — The team at MW Couture is always conscious of brides’ timeframes and takes pride in making achievable alterations within acceptable pickup dates.

7. Quality, Quality, Quality — Wooldridge insists that all alterations at MW Couture are “equal to or better than the original construction of the dress.” We can vouch for that!

8. Conclude with Gratitude — Lastly, Wooldridge thanks the bride for trusting the family at MW Couture with the most important garment for the most important day of her life! She wishes all wedding couples luck and a lifetime of memories.

Ashleigh & Quinn-Brad Adcock Photography-Cadillac Bar-Isabella Invitations-Dream Bouquet-MW Couture-DJU-043 copy Alterations: MW Couture | Gown: Lillian West from Whittington Bridal | Photo: Brad Adcock Photography

There are few experts in the wedding business as professional and caring as Minerva Wooldridge and the team at MW Couture! Want to get your perfect fit? Schedule a consultation with MW Couture today!

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Elegant White, Blush & Pink Wedding by Adam Nyholt

It was love at first sight when Rikki saw Boris dressed up as a mustard bottle (yes, a mustard bottle) on Halloween at a college frat party. She asked their mutual friend to set them up, but unfortunately it didn’t work out…until the pair connected again during their first week of senior year.

On a perfectly ordinary afternoon, after Rikki returned from a friend’s bridal shower, a surprise proposal awaited her. “Boris and I had planned on going for a walk on the beach when I got home. Once I opened the door of our apartment, I knew something was up. There were flower petals on the ground, flowers from my favorite flower shop all over, candles, and pictures of us from the past four years all over the walls,” recounts Rikki. “I found Boris waiting for me on our balcony on one knee, and he asked for my hand in marriage with the most beautiful ring!”

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“I felt like Cinderella in my Mira Zwillinger dress from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon,” says Rikki.

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“Our wedding felt like a dream! So many of our closest friends traveled from all over the U.S. to celebrate with us,” adds Rikki.

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The ballroom had a very romantic, elegant feel with white, blush and pink flowers accented with soft candlelight.

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The night ended with ice cream sandwiches from Smoosh Cookies’ truck for everyone to enjoy.

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“Our parents went above and beyond and gave us a wedding weekend we will never forget,” says Rikki. Thanks, Adam Nyholt, for the beautiful photos!

Photos: Adam Nyholt | Bridal Gown: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon | Registry: Bering’s, Kuhl-Linscomb | Baker: Susie’s Cakes & Confections | Wedding-Day Stationery: Isabella Invitations

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3 Wedding Craft Cocktail Ideas from Capitol Beverage Service

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Every element of your wedding should reflect you and your boo down to the very last drop. The team at Capitol Beverage Service, Houston’s beverage and bar catering connoisseurs, are pros at doing just that. In addition to their stellar wine, beer, Champagne and liquor packages, owner Ceci Kammer and her team can create refreshing signature cocktails customized for each client’s unique wedding!

“We often serve very simple drinks,” Kammer, says. “Our clients want a lot of flavor and something special, but not anything too fussy with hard-to-find ingredients.” 

We asked Kammer to share a few of her favorite wedding cocktail recipes with us at the Houston Wedding Blog. We did you the favor of testing them out ourselves. Keep reading to get a taste of your own!  

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Brunch Sparkler – “This is a light, refreshing and super flavorful drink!”

  • Put several slices of fresh ginger in orange juice
  • Allow to sit for a few hours or overnight
  • Mix the orange juice with equal parts pineapple juice
  • Pour in sparkling wine (or sparkling water if you prefer a nonalcoholic drink)  
  • Serve chilled

2017-04-12_0006  Tray: Bering’s 

Paloma with a Twist! – “A twist on the old classic with a pretty spectacular taste!”

  • Start with silver tequila
  • Mix with blood orange soda (you can find this in most well-stocked grocery and specialty beverage stores)
  • To make this extra special, serve with a half–rim of salt and add fresh, finely chopped thyme leaves   

2017-04-12_0007  Tray: Kuhl-Linscomb | Utensil: Bering’s 

Simple Summer Cooler – “This is a summer staple in our arsenal. It is also one that you can play with to make it your own!”

  • Start with honey vodka (almost every brand of vodka makes a honey version)
  • Mix with club soda
  • Add a good squeeze of lemon
  • Stir and serve
  • *You can also pre-mix the vodka with fresh lemon juice and then add the club soda when serving a crowd.

Interested in creating a craft wedding cocktail of your own for your big day? Be sure to schedule a consultation with Capitol Beverage Service to fill your every wedding beverage need. And make sure to let them know you found their fabulous wedding cocktail ideas on the Houston Wedding Blog!

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White, Gray & Silver Wedding at The Bell Tower on 34th

Lauren and Steve truly believe that fate brought them together. “I met Steve on his first night in Houston after graduation. He was having a housewarming party, and I was invited through his roommates. As soon as I arrived, I noticed Steve and how attractive he was! He was the DJ for the night, and I told him how much I loved his music and how I wanted to add him on Facebook so I could add his Spotify music account,” says Lauren…admitting that she really just needed an excuse to continue talking to him.

After exchanging messages, Steve asked Lauren out on a date. “I was having a procedure the next day, but I was so excited that he asked me out, I couldn’t say no,” Lauren adds. “He took me out to dinner but I couldn’t eat, so he didn’t eat either. [Awww] We just had water and tea, and talked for hours! I knew right then that he was the kind of guy I wanted to end up with,” she says.
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For his marriage proposal, Steve made the occasion seem like a normal date night to Lauren. “He told me that he was taking me out for a nice dinner, which was not uncommon,” she recounts. The plan was to dine at the top of the highest building in downtown Houston. “I got all dressed up in my new dress that Steve bought for me a few days before. When we arrived at the top of the JP Morgan Chase Tower, it was then I noticed the candles that were surrounding us. Steve said so many sweet things, most of which I will never remember because I was so excited, and dropped to one knee,” she says. But that wasn’t the end of the surprise—Steve had arranged for Lauren’s family and friends to be at the actual dinner location to celebrate!
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“Our wedding day was everything I had dreamed of since I was a child. I got to marry the love of my life with my best friends by my side,” Lauren says. Favorite moment? “When all of my stress and craziness vanished as the doors of The Bell Tower on 34th chapel opened and I got to see my husband for the first time, wiping tears from his eyes,” she adds.
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We couldn’t help but fall in love with their love story and wedding photos. Congrats and best wishes to the newlyweds!
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Photos: Cotton Weddings | Venue: The Bell Tower on 34th | Bridal Luncheon: Brennan’s of Houston

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5 Ways to Plan a Socially Conscious Wedding by Cup of Charisma

Join us in welcoming Jillian Goltzman, the creator of Cup of Charisma, to the Houston Wedding Blog! Jillian founded her Houston-based blog, which just so happens to be a favorite among the HWB team, to help others learn how to give back to their community in style! Keep reading to see her five ideas on how to use the biggest day of your life to bring comfort, joy and love to those who need it most.

Cup of Charism_ Lipstick and Brunch© 9 (1) Photo: Lipstick and Brunch

Social consciousness may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a day that’s all about you and the one you love, but introducing a cause to your wedding ceremony can make you and your guests feel an even deeper sense of compassion and connection. Giving back actually can create a feeling known in scientific circles as the “giver’s glow,” where dopamine and endorphin levels rise, making you feel euphoric and tranquil.

Planning a wedding built on social good can give you a sense of purpose and gratification that last long after you leave the dance floor and say goodnight. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite ideas for introducing philanthropy into your big day.

1. Find Your Dress — We all dream of saying “yes to the dress,” but how great would it feel to find a dress that makes someone else feel as good as you will when you walk down the aisle? There’s an under-publicized market for fair trade, eco-friendly and charitable gowns that are as gorgeous and intricate as anything you’d find in a boutique.

Celia Grace, a nationally-acclaimed wedding dress designer, empowers dressmaking women in Cambodia and India with fair trade income that helps break the cycle of poverty. To make the deal even sweeter, Celia Grace will donate one school uniform to a Cambodian child in need for every dress sold.

Pure Magnolia Couture  Photo: Courtesy of Pure Magnolia Couture

Eco-friendly environmentalists will love Pure Magnolia Couture, an Etsy shop that creates sustainable dresses from recycled fibers. If you’re more of a fundraising gal, buy a dress or donate your own to Brides for a Cause, an organization that raises money for various women’s causes.

2. Pop the Question to Your Bridal Party — Give your bridal party a gift that gives back. When sending your bridal party announcements, throw in a token of appreciation that they can wear down the aisle in social good style.

Cup of Charisma 5_Jillian Goltzman  Photo: Jillian Goltzman | Earrings: Sasa Designs | Paper Products: Cause Box

Support physically challenged women and men in impoverished countries with understated and elegant earrings from Sasa Designs. To help fund college tuition for inner-city students in the United States, pop the question with the bridesmaid collection from The Shine Project.

3. Get Ready in Style — Pamper yourself and your maids with socially conscious staples when getting ready for your big day. Define Me Fragrance, a cruelty-free perfume company, donates $1 from every bottle sold to She’s The First, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries with the goal of creating first-generation graduates.

Cup of Charisma 8_Jillian Goltzman  Photo: Jillian Goltzman | Perfume: Define Me Fragrance | Hair ties: Banded | Necklace: The Giving Keys

When your girl gang decides to let loose on the dance floor, Banded hair ties will sweep up their locks into the perfect top knot while providing three meals to a child in Uganda, Latin America or the Caribbean.

4. The Centerpieces and Bouquets — Incorporate positive prints and philanthropic accents within your table decor at your “feel good” festivities. DEW Collection bouquets make thoughtful centerpieces, since the company plants a tree for every arrangement purchased, in partnership with the organization One Tree Planted. After all is said and done, donate your wedding flowers to Floranthropy, an organization that will deliver your event blooms to assisted living homes, hospitals and nonprofit organizations throughout Houston.

Cup of Charisma 4_ Jillian Goltzman  Photo: Jillian Goltzman | Bouquet: DEW Collection

5. Cater with Care — When working with a catering service, ask if they have a food rescue program in place. If not, have a volunteer from your bridal party bring the feast’s leftovers to a local shelter. Check out this list of Houston homeless shelters to get your giving juices flowing.

See?? The shift from “I do,” to “I donate,” is easier than you thought! Happy giving, xoxo, Jillian Goltzman from  Cup of Charisma,

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