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Sharon & Arthur

Click Here for Link to Magazine Writeup

 The wedding uniting Sharon Papa and Arthur Smith in marriage occurred on September 4, 2004, at half past five o’clock in the evening at the Fontenot Grand Mansion in Spring, Texas. 

In keeping with the bride’s wishes, the decor and theme of the wedding incorporated the colors white, platinum, lavender and chartreuse. The wedding paper trousseau, which consisted of invitations, respond cards, programs, matchbooks and napkins were all done in platinum and bright white. The tone was set for the wedding, and platinum and white detail was evident throughout many aspects of the wedding.

The colors lavender, chartreuse and white were seen in various flowers, such as roses, hydrangeas, larkspur and calla lilies, and were used throughout the event. The flowers were supplied by Plants N Petals.

Inside the ceremony room, the mantle was decorated with various sized white candles and three double containers filled with flowers. The sides of the altar were decorated with two pairs of five-stemmed candelabras covered with white chiffon and cascades of the wedding flowers. The venue’s banisters and obtrusive entertainment center were draped with white chiffon. A beautiful program outlining the ceremony’s traditions was placed in each chair, which also had a single lavender rose tied to the sash on the back. 

After the ceremony, the guests were escorted outside to enjoy the cocktail reception, during which a harpist entertained them. Six cocktails tables with white linens and platinum ties, and a silver bud vase with tiny roses were placed outside. As they entered the reception room, the guests were each given a place card and shown on a large blown-up poster their table assignment.

The room was quickly turned from the ceremony into a beautiful reception. The amazing transformation took place just as the sun was setting, allowing for a more candle-lit ambiance. Each of the eleven tables had one of two different centerpieces, five low crystal bowls filled with the wedding flowers, and six tall silver candelabras with spectacular crystal prisms and a generous floral arrangement of the wedding flowers. In addition to votive candles, each table had a wine bottle labeled with the names of each table guest, a silver chiffon sachet filled with almonds and a white table linen with an organza overlay adorned with platinum beads, forming a diamond pattern. 

The bride’s three-tiered cake from Susie’s Cakes, which was a present-style design and had a bow on the top layer, and the groom’s fountain of chocolate with strawberries were placed on the venue’s dining room table and surrounded by greenery and flowers. The bride’s gorgeous bouquet was placed next to the cake along with the couple’s unique Swarovski crystal-stemmed champagne toasting goblets.

At the evening’s conclusion, the guests were escorted outside and each given a sparkler and a monogrammed matchbook. The couple walked down the mansion steps surrounded by the glow from the sparklers. Then much to their delight, the guests were treated to a fantastic four-minute fireworks show. The couple kissed each other and waived goodbye to their guests before departing in an old-fashioned white 1940’s Rolls Royce limousine.

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Alex and Astley

The wedding uniting Alex and Astley in marriage occurred on November 5, 2006, at five o’clock in the evening at the Houstonian Hotel and Spa in Houston, Texas. The decor and theme of the wedding incorporated the colors cinnamon, chocolate and chartreuse.

The wedding paper trousseau, which consisted of invitations, respond cards, menu card, ceremony program, and napkins were all done in chocolate and ecru color.

The ceremony, which originally was supposed to be outside, took place in a ballroom decorated with accent lighting, and gorgeous candle and flower aisle arrangements. The ballroom foyer was decorated with plush banquettes and mahogany bar and fun ice sculptures. Upon signing the guest book, the guest viewed the large seating chart to find their seating assignment.

The seating chart was surrounded by cinnamon and off-white flowers and bordered by a large moss filled tray. The reception was decorated with an amazing rod iron candle wall adorned with flowers and hundreds of candles. In the middle of the wall, was the rolled fondant cake adorned with crystals.

In front of the wall and cake was the bride and groom’s table with sat 12 people.

The table was decorated with a long and low arrangement of flowers and varying heights of candles. The guest tables’ were square and had gorgeous candelabras as centerpieces and bronze, gold and brown linens.

Accent lighting around the room highlighted the cake, guest tables and created an amazing warm glow.

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Melissa & Nate

The wedding extravaganza for Melissa and Nate began with a romantic candlelit ceremony which led to a fanciful, modern reception. Elaborate centerpieces, glowing candles, and a color palate of bright orange, yellow and rich chocolate set the tone for an lavish reception.

After enjoying an elegant evening of delectable food and fancy libations, the couple danced well into the evening and were the last to leave the custom monogrammed dance floor. The couple desired the ceremony and reception to be in the same place with the only site stipulation being a modern location. Since very few sites fit the bill, the Hotel Derek was chosen as it is a very modern, clean space.

Upon arriving at the event, the guests first got a feel for the style of the event when they were photographed in front of the custom step-and-repeat wall for a red carpet experience, or in this case orange carpet, since the fabric was orange dupioni silk.

The Ceremony room was decorated by Darryl Co with lush chocolate and chiffon drape placed on every wall of the room. Hanging delicately from the drape were 10 gorgeous chandeliers. The altar was adorned with a candle wall, which had over 100 votives candles and several luscious flower groupings. Six aisle arrangements consisted of chiffon fabric-covered lighted pedestals with tall arrangements of flowers, oranges and lemons and candles. The gold chivari chairs had white linen fabric and every other seat had a program placed on it. Specialty lighting created a soft, warm romantic feel in the room.

The seating card table was a unique and innovative display of sliced lemons and oranges on a bed of coffee beans. Warm candles and the scent of the fruit created a very pleasing aromatic environment. The transformation into the reception space was challenging but the effect was phenomenal. 

The event flowers incorporated the orange and yellow colors and were accented lightly with chartreuse. The flowers were placed in groups in various shaped glass vases and accented with different shaped candles. If the table shape was round it received square vases and if the table was square or rectangle it received round vases. The head table was a long table consisting of 6 six foot tables, with the bride and groom seated on a high backed chair adorned with orange and yellow pillows. Behind the bride and groom, hanging slightly over their shoulders and sparkling was a grouping of handing votives.

Champagne and cream were the colors in the luscious rolled fondant cake fromSusie’s Cakes, which was accented with amazing Swavorski crystal cake jewelry in the tones of yellow, orange and chocolate. The cake was surrounded by sliced oranges and lemons and votive candles and placed in front of the candle wall. The effect created a glowing backdrop for the beautiful cake.

The custom dance floor was white with a chocolate monogram in the couple’s signature font, which was also used throughout the event and seen in the invitations, menu cards, ice sculpture and step-and-repeat wall.

The tables varied in heights were a combination of rectangle, square and round and were dispersed throughout the ballroom to frame the dance floor in a uniquely textured effect. The square tables were inexpensive, and were created by placing square plywood over the 60� round tables. On either side of the dance floor the table layout included a custom covered four-sided banquette, which was adorned with a large paved yellow rose arrangement.

The stage was backlit by hanging chandeliers, which reflected off the gorgeous chiffon and chocolate drape. On either side of the stage was placed furniture and drape to form a lounge feel. In each corner a plasma screen was placed. The screen showed highlights of the pictures taken throughout the day and through the ceremony. The entire room was romantically lit with hundreds of candles and had a pleasing aroma from the thousands of flowers.

The guests danced well into the evening and were entertained by a funky R & B band and a hip mixing DJ. Upon leaving, each was given a monogrammed champagne flute, which was delicately displayed on plexi-glass shelves surrounded by flowers, candles and of course oranges and lemons.

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Sara and Rob

The wedding of Sara and Rob took place at First Presbyterian Church on March 20, 2010. This tartan themed wedding began with custom invitation with the tartan ribbon and ended with a fun ride on a trolley.

Plants N’ Petals provided the gorgeous flowers, including one of a kind centerpieces on every table. The reception at the amazing Corinthian was enhanced by custom linens from Elegant Linens in yellow and black and hints of red were seen throughout the space including in the flowers, red glasses and gumpaste flowers in the cake by Susie’s Cakes. The menu cards and table tent cards were made out of paper with the tartan design.

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Clifford & John

As the first few notes of Etta James’ “At Last” played for John Dascoulias and Clifford Pugh’s first dance, knowing nods, hugs and smiles broke out among the wedding reception guests. It was a moment more than two decades in the making, perfectly encapsulating their love story in song.

The start of many “how we met” stories often involves mutual friends, a party and an immediate spark. Such was the case for Dascoulias & Pugh, who met at party in the mid-’90s and just clicked. At the time, Pugh was a features writer at the Houston Post and the relationship prompted Dascoulias to avoid a certain section of the paper.

“I knew I liked him, so I stopped reading his stories in the paper so I wouldn’t have a bias,” Dascoulias said. “It was important to me at the time.”

That sort of principled thinking guided the couple through the years. Fiercely committed, completely connected, they appreciated their backgrounds and cultures. Dascoulias is Greek and Pugh, who is editor-in-chief of CultureMap Houston, is part Lebanese and the two wove elements from each other’s heritage into their relationship.

Accident-al plans

It was Dascoulias who introduced the idea of the couple getting married, especially once the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2015, but still Pugh resisted. After all, they were committed to each other and no piece of paper would change that. But the decision became much more pragmatic after Pugh was in a serious motorcycle accident in April. The wedding license became more than a symbol — it was about security.

“There are some real concerns we were dealing with like health benefits and Social Security,” Dascoulias said. “There wouldn’t be a question if we were legally married.”

So, after a 22-year relationship, Dascoulias and Pugh decided to make it official in a no-frills courthouse ceremony at a Harris County Courthouse Annex on Chimney Rock in May. But, as natural-born dancers and all-around fun guys, they also wanted to celebrate their special moment with the people they loved, doing what they loved.

“We wanted to dance!,” Pugh said. “We wanted to dance with our family and friends and have a great time.” The one hitch? Pugh was still recovering from a broken leg suffered in the accident and was maneuvering around on a walker, so the couple pinpointed November 5 as the wedding reception date and started planning.

Change of venue

Gallery owner Deborah Colton graciously offered her spacious venue for the reception, and the couple planned to tent the elegant backyard for an outdoor reception. But when the couple discovered 10 days before the reception that the city of Houston would not issue a noise permit past 10 pm, they scrambled to find an indoor location and moved the celebration to the plush new luxury event space, LifeHTX.

The couple worked with event planner Deborah Elias of Elias Events to create an elegant homage to Dascoulias’ Greek heritage with tables decorated with blue-and-white tableclothes, evil eyes peeking out from floral sculptures, and a white wedding cake trimmed in blue. Meaningful details like homemade baklava by Dascoulias’ mother and Greek pastries made by his aunt from Ohio were additional nods to his Greek culture.

As promised, music and dancing took center stage at the reception. After the sweet first dance, Pugh and Dascoulias encouraged guests to join them on the dance floor. Houston’s favorite good-time singer Bubba McNeely of the Bubba and Greg Duo entertained party guests during dinner and then amped up the party atmosphere afterwards, followed by DJ Chris Thomas.

The LifeHTX walls served as vibrant digital backdrops to the dancing of the Kalamatianos, a traditional Greek wedding dance. Guests held hands and began creating concentric circles around the couple and showered Pugh and Dascoulias with money, another traditional way of blessing the couple with prosperity and good luck. They also honored Pugh’s heritage, incorporating traditional Lebanese dancing — know as the dabke —to the party, with his Alabama cousin leading the way and Elias, who is of Syrian descent, offering high-pitched trills in celebration.

It was the perfect ending to a new beginning, and one Pugh is thankful for. “I wanted to wait until I could dance to really celebrate our marriage,” Pugh said. “It was definitely worth the wait.”

• Reception Venue: LifeHTX
• Reception Planner: Elias Events
Food: Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine
• Florist: Rexberry Events
• Cake: For Heaven’s Cake
• Grooms’ Tuxes: Zegna from Neiman Marcus
• Band: Bubba and Greg Duo
• DJ:  Chris Thomas, Bradley David Entertainment
• Photographer: Daniel Ortiz Photography
• Invitations: Bering’s
 Rental: Aztec Events and Tents 

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Miya and Gene

Miya and Gene’s gorgeous wedding took place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the Villa Verano and Puerto Vallarta Beach Club.

The guests enjoyed a welcome dinner at the private estates villa, a daylong boat excursion at Las Caletas, rehearsal dinner and of course the beautiful wedding and reception under the beautiful blue skies.

Back in Houston, they had a Chinese inspired reception at the Hobby Center.  David Cordua provided the sumptuous food and Chinese Dragon dancers wowed the crowd.

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Anne Marie and Jamie

Anne Marie and Jamie’s Teaser video from Michael Klekamp on Vimeo.

Anne Marie and Jamie’s wedding was all about being unique and highlighting the groom’s Scottish heritage. From the coat of arms to the tartan woven into several aspects, the design of event was very special. Other elements such as the Bagpiper, stunning cake, late night poutine bar and parody marriage video all made for a spectacular night. The hotel and surrounding property made for an amazing background to the wedding party photos. But the piece de resistance was the bride and groom leaving the reception at ten o’clock and taking once-in- a-lifetime photos on a raft on a slightly raging river. These pictures are truly priceless!

Client Comments: “Deb is truly talented at what she does. I would recommend her for any event/conference/incentive planning.” Anne Marie, the bride

Sharon & Arthur
Alex and Astley
Melissa & Nate
Sara and Rob
Clifford & John
Miya and Gene
Anne Marie and Jamie