Venues We Love: Messina Hof Winery

There was a time when a Houston gal would have to make her way to California wine country (fiancé, friends and family in tow) if she fancied a vineyard wedding. Not so anymore—not when she’s got 100 acres of wine country splendor right here in her own backyard.

We’re talking about Messina Hof—the toast of Bryan, Texas, and a wine- and food-loving couple’s dream location for the celebration of a lifetime. A little Italian, a little German, and very proudly Texan (the winery and its wines have won countless local and national honors, including “One of the USA’s Finest Winery Experiences” from “Bon Appetit” magazine), this combination working vineyard, restaurant, tasting bar and villa is a standout in a region of really amazing places to tie the knot.

Texas Vineyard Wedding

Picture this: saying your vows at sunset on a verdant private estate, beneath a flower-bedecked gazebo beside a sparkling spring-fed lake—then celebrating with sumptuous food and, of course, divine wines, overlooking 42 acres of vineyards aglow in the moonlight, whilst dancing the night away, surrounded by the people you love most.

And Messina Hof’s awesome for bachelor/bachelorette bashes, engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, too. What, we ask, is NOT to love? And if you haven’t yet entered out Messina Hof Private Wine Tasting for 20, well, what, we ask, is stopping you??


Wedding Venues We Love: La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa

La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa ~ Pool and Tower
La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa ~ Wedding
La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa ~ Chez-Roux Tableside Presentation
La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa ~ Lakefront Event La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa ~ Lake Villa Bedroom
La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa ~ Versailles Ballroom at dusk

It’s only one hour north of downtown Houston, but with those pristine Lake Conroe views and that marina sparkling like a 1.5-carat, brilliant-cut engagement diamond, La Toretta Lake Resort & Spa feels like a million miles away. Which is why this resort is pretty much perfect for the bride who loves the idea of a destination wedding, but without the hassles and costs of destination travel.

Here’s an idea: Book your long-weekend wedding at La Toretta. Have your rehearsal dinner at Chez Roux, the first-ever American restaurant from internationally renowned, Michelin-starred French chef Albert Roux. Schedule a couple of hours of bridal-party indulgence at Spa Terre, and, say, a round of golf, for the sporting types, at the resort’s 18-hole, par-72 course. On the big day, say your vows (beachside, sunset, perhaps?), and then celebrate in style in the spectacular Versailles Ballroom, with panoramic views of the aforementioned marina, and room for all your nearest and dearest to eat, drink and kick up their heels. After the festivities, retreat with your new hubby to a sumptuous suite, while your guests nestle down in their own comfy rooms or lavish lakeside villas. On Sunday morning, give guests the option of heading out on the water for a refreshing sail on a professionally captained boat, then let revelers gather at their own sleepy pace for mimosas and brunch, before heading back from whence they came.

See? Destination wedding at a destination oh so very close to home. Call 936.448.4400 and talk to Christine O’Hagan or Alana Padgett—they’re your La Toretta go-to gals.

More Wedding Shoes—This Time in Color!

We love the idea of adding a splash of unexpected color to our wedding ensemble, and this coming season there’s no better way to do so than with a pair of brilliant-hued bridal shoes.

Choose shoes to match other accessories/details (sash, embroidery or beading, jewelry, etc), or set your colorful shoes against a backdrop of pure white or ivory. Either way, you’ll make a stunning statement as you make your way down the aisle.

And now, some of our favorite finds in colorful wedding footwear:

Joan David Demille
Joan David Demille (Previously available on

Like a burst of sunshine, the brilliant yellow suede Demille by Joan & David makes for a beautiful springtime surprise, especially with that sweet little flower accent at the vamp.

Max Studio Scent
Max Studio Scent

How about this lilac lovely from Max Studio? That shimmery satin, that romantic rosette, that sturdy slingback strap with built-in elastic (dancers, take note!)—perfect to pair with an ivory or champagne gown.

Valentino Pump
Valentino Pump

Nobody does red like Valentino. And there’s no red Valentino wedding shoe like the Bow Couture Pump. In rouge suede with covered platform, peep-toe and sculptural bow. Chic, bold, brilliant.

RSVP Lovely
RSVP Lovely

This one from RSVP is called the Lovely, and we can see why. That crystal-encrusted heel? Fabulous. Comes in hot pink, too.

Rene Caovilla
Rene Caovilla

Last but not least, the Floral Ruffle Sandal from Rene Caovilla is a destination bride’s dream. What could be more celebratory, more sophisticated, than the combination of gold leather, fuchsia/orange floral and crystal detail? What could be handier than the extra set of heel tips that come included with your pair?