My recently engaged sister (+ bestie) called me the other day to ask for advice on domestic destination locales, wanting to know where in the good ol’ US of A I thought would make a perfect vacation spot + wedding weekend for all of our friends and family.  My answer?  The Lone Star State.  Fabulous vendors, breathtaking venues and some major experience in throwing pretty, pretty weddings… it’s a no-brainer, really.  First on my list of examples?  This fab Houston day from Stefano Choi Photography, a modern meets classic stunner with beautiful blooms from Blooming Gallery: Wedding Flowers by Lisa, amazing DIY details and some crazy gorgeous pink and gray hues.  See it all right here.

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From the Bride….Our DIY projects included: 1. Save the Dates & Wedding Invitation — The heart and soul of our wedding started with our save the dates and invitations. I made the save the dates myself. I printed, cut, and designed it in its entirety. One of my bridesmaids also had a button maker and we attached a magnet with our logo and date. Our actual invitations was also designed by yours truly. The only thing that was professionally done was the letter pressed cover by Workhorse Printmakers. All of the inserts and assembly were done by Ryan and me.  2.  Place Cards — The idea of “take your seat” place cards actually came from Martha Stewart. We used good quality paper to ensure that the chairs would be able to stand on their own. 3. Party favors — We gave all of our guests mini bundt cakes. The box was wrapped with ribbon and placed with a thank you label that we designed ourselves. 4. Cake Topper — I purchased our cake topper from a vendor on etsy. We designed it to match our logo J hearts R. 5. Menu Cards — We designed the menu cards to match the style of our wedding invitations. Each guest was provided their own menu card. 6. Signs — All of the signs were designed by us and made to match the style of our wedding. 7. Wedding Programs. 
 
The day itself was just like every other bride describes their wedding day… a blur and a dream all at the same time. As you probably guessed, sleeping was really hard. I was too excited. That morning, all of my friends started to stagger in to get their hair done by the girls from the Kats Meow. They were really wonderful and were able to get us all done in record time. A good friend of mine, Jeannie Tran (happymakeupgirl), flew in from Los Angeles to do our make up and she was amazing. She airbrushed all of us to give us a more natural and bright look. Being that she was also a guest at our wedding, she was there to provide touch ups throughout the day.
 
After we finished getting ready, we arrived at the church which was the hardest part for me. I was so excited and anxious for us to get started that waiting felt like forever. Finally it was time and I was called to walk down the aisle. From that moment, all of the stress and anxiety brought on by the anticipation of our wedding day immediately left. I was walking down the aisle towards my groom and could see only him. Our ceremony turned out beautifully. We had a string trio (Avalon Music) that filled the church with the most beautiful music. It really set the mood. Being a Filipino Catholic, our ceremony was long… and we were kneeling throughout most of it. So you can imagine how hard it was on our backs and knees!!!  (Hahaha.)  It was all worth it at the end when we finally said “I Do.”
 
Next came the party. If I could describe what my dream wedding would look like, it would be exactly how our reception turned out. Lisa from Blooming Gallery did an amazing job decorating our reception. She was able to take what I had pictured in my head and make it into a reality. There were candles everywhere which gave the room a romantic glow. The flowers were lush and decadent.   The uplighting was the perfect shade of sheer pink.  It really was a “WOW” kind of room. The Alden (now called The Sam Houston Hotel) was the perfect venue. The food and service by 17* Restaurant did not fail. To top everything, we had the most amazing DJ and friend, DJ Elroy Boogie. We provided a few “must play” songs and from that he was able to decipher the mood and the type of music that we wanted played throughout the night. Another friend of ours also provided the photo booth, Flashbox. This photobooth not only had the best props, they were also the best quality photos I’ve seen of its kind. We are so blessed to have friends of many talents.
 
You know… every bride will tell you that you cannot go into your wedding thinking that everything is going to turn out perfect because something always goes wrong. In my case, I don’t think that’s true. I truly felt like everything turned out perfectly.  Actually I think it turned out even better than I could have ever hoped for. It was the most beautiful, emotional, amazing day of my life, one that I will never forget. Stefano, you were truly the backbone of our wedding day. Knowing that you were there to capture each emotion of every moment was a comfort to us. We can look back at our wedding pictures years from now and will be able to relive that day because of you. Thank you for everything!

Photography: Stefano Choi Photography | Church: Holy Rosary Catholic Church | Reception: The Alden Hotel | Floral Design: Blooming Gallery: Wedding Flowers by Lisa | Invitations: DIY by the Bride | Invitation Covers: Workhorse Printmakers | Ceremony String Trio: Avalon Music | Wedding Cake: Who Made the Cake | Party Favors: Nothing Bundt Cake | Cocktail Hour Entertainment: Gabriel Montoya | Photo Booth: Flashbox | DJ: Elroy Boogie | Hair: The Kats Meow | Makeup: Jeannie Tran | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal, Vera Wang Collection | Bridesmaids Dress: BHLDN | Junior Bridesmaid: J.Crew | Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic | Groomsmen Suits: Zara | Flower Girl Dress: Nordstrom | Ring Bearer Suit: Janie and Jack

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