Professional Wedding Officiants

Do you know the difference between a Minister and a Professional Wedding Officiant? Your Professional Wedding Officiant will be a Minister but being a Minister does not mean that they are a Professional Wedding Officiant!  We get a lot of calls from Brides whose Minister backed out at the last minute or never showed up.  Make sure you are use a Professional Wedding Officiant so you will not have to worry if someone is going to show to perform your ceremony.  A Professional Wedding Officiant will cost more but the peace of mind you will have is Priceless!

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Wonderful Testimonial from the Elfstroms

Minister Lynn Turner married Carrie Chonoski and Ryne Elfstrom in February 2014 and as the couple approaches their year anniversary, they shared this wonderful picture and testimonial:

photoThis picture was from Lynn’s February 28, 2014 wedding she did at Brazos Springs in Angleton, TX. We were so happy with Lynn marrying us and we wanted her to have this picture. She helped make our wedding day perfect and put on a very special ceremony for us. We will forever be grateful for her. We hope all is well.

Carrie & Ryne Elfstrom

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We Have a Mobile App!

Hello Brides and Grooms! We hope you are enjoying the start of 2015. We are pleased to announce that we now have a free mobile app that will put all the details you need at your fingertips. The App is available at: It is compatible with iPhone (requires 7.0.1 or later) and Android (4.1.1 or later) and requires an xHTML mobile browser. It’s really neat so check it out!


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Lauren & Sky Brown’s Wedding Video

Thanks so much to Whitney at Sculpting With Time Video Production for providing us with this awesome video of Lauren and Sky’s wedding in October 2013.

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Wedding Vows for Joining Families

The idea of incorporating your newly combined family into the wedding vows alone is creative and unique.  And what better way for the bride to make a vow to the groom and his children and vice versa; than to add this moment to the wedding!  Talk about a moment to remember.  Not to mention, you’re making the kids apart of a very special and life changing event, many children have difficulty adjusting too.

Another benefit of blending family vows with your wedding vows is the friendliness of the gesture towards the kids.  This makes both set of children more at ease with their position in the family unit as opposed to it just being them and their single parent like before.  Plus it offers reassurance to the non-custodian and custodian parents their child is in the couples’s best interest and accepted equally among the kids.


How to Blend Family Wedding Vows

1. Don’t address the vows as questions that require the children to respond. You’re more likely to create an embarrassing moment than a treasured one this way! This is especially true, if the kids are having trouble adjusting to the marriage. There’s no telling what they may say, so don’t give them the opportunity to prove a point or divert the attention from the wedding.

2. Never refer to yourself in your vows as the “New” or “Another” mother or father. This can generate animosity among the children not to mention an affront to their other parents. Instead refer to yourself as another parent or guardian. This is a more flexible title that’s less offensive.

3. Keep the wedding vows basic and genuine. Plainly put! Don’t try to overdo it, stay sincere and eliminate all the melodrama. For example: ” To (list the children’s name), I vow to be the best parent possible and treat you all with the same kindness, love and protection I give my own, no less and no more!”

4. For older children try including them into the wedding precession as well! For example; have the soon to be son-n-law give the bride away and have the soon to be daughter-n-law escort the groom.

404419_295021320534711_1189718425_n5. Giving gifts to the children is an ideal way to show your devotion to the newly extended family. Try offering the child (ren) a family unity ring made from silver with their name and the wedding date engraved. For example; the bride presents the rings to the grooms children while reciting her blended family vows and vice versa.

6. Offering the children the opportunity to light the unity candle during the wedding vows is an especially touching token! Having special candles engraved with their names and the wedding date can be a great way to get the children involved in the ceremony.


The wedding is obviously a special time for you both, as a couple, but by incorporating elements to include your families and children into the ceremony, you will add to the special memories begun on your wedding day.

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Wedding Wish Trees

Many brides and grooms search for alternative wedding ideas that add a touch of their personality and uniqueness to their ceremonies and receptions.

WishTree1One unique alternative to the traditional wedding guest book is the wedding wish tree. The wish tree is a custom of The Netherlands where guests are given leaf shaped pieces of card stock to write their wishes to the happy couple.

These wishes are then placed on the tree and can be assembled into a scrapbook that the couple may keep after the reception is finished, possibly with a corresponding photo of the wish giver next to each individual wish.

You can have tons of fun anchoring the tree’s design on the theme, motif, or color palette of your wedding celebration.


The Wow factor of these wish trees at your reception, especially if placed near the entrance of your venue, can be quite impressive, and the assembly of the trees can be a little time consuming, though worth it in the end for the wonderful memories the trees will make.

Here’s “wishing” you a wonderful wedding and a happy life to come.

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Modern Alternatives to Giving Away the Bride

061Giving away the bride is an olden tradition from the days when women were their father’s property until they got married and became their husband’s possession.

Fortunately, times have changes and people don’t regard women as property, honoring the beautiful, independent, creative and respectful beings we are!

Nowadays, “giving away the bride” can still be an important opportunity to give thanks to your parents and honor tradition.  Here are some alternative ideas for wording you might use to customize this part of your ceremony when you work with your wedding officiant in crafting your ceremony.

Most traditional: 

  • Officiant: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” or “Who presents this woman to be married to this man?”

    Answer: “I do” or “Her mother and I do” or “Her family and I do” or (in unison) “We do.

Both sets of parents:

  • Officiant: “Who presents this woman and this man to be married to each other?

    Answer: (All parents in unison): “We do.”


  • When they reach the end of the aisle, the father or parents of the bride hug her, and then hug her intended. No words are said.
  • If a couple walks up the aisle unaccompanied, they can walk first to their families, giving them each a flower and embracing, before meeting at the altar.


  • Officiant: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

    Answer: “She gives herself, but with her family’s blessing.”

Blessing only

  • Officiant: “Does (name) have (his/her) family’s blessing to marry (name)?

    Answer: “(He/she) does”

A Longer Blessing

  • Officiant: “(Parents’ names), do you support your child’s decision to join together in holy matrimony with (name), and do you vow to receive (him/her) as a member of your family from this day on?

    Answer: “With love in our hearts for both (name) and (name), we joyfully do.”

When a Parent is No Longer Alive

  • Officiant: “Who presents this woman to be married to this man?”

    Answer: “On behalf of all that have gathered here, and of all those not able to be with us today, I do.”

  • Officiant: “Does this couple have the blessings of their family for this marriage?”

    Answer: “With the knowledge that (deceased parent) loved and supported this union as much as I do, I freely give my blessing.”


    Answer: “On behalf of those who are with us, and those who have gone before, I give my blessing to this union.”

More about honoring a deceased parent or grandparent in your wedding ceremony

Honoring the Love of Your Family

  • Officiant: “Today, as we join (name) and (name) in marriage, we celebrate them as they begin a new family together. Yet we also know that this new branch of the family tree will be strengthened and enriched by the love, traditions, and knowledge of their family roots.

    Will you (parents’ names) bless (couple’s names) in their marriage? Will you celebrate them in their times of joy, and bolster them and their marriage in times of hardship? ”

    Answer: “We will.”

  • Officiant: “This beautiful couple didn’t get here all by themselves. They have been loved and cared for by you, their families, depending on you for sustenance, knowledge, guidance, and love. Without you, this day would not be possible. From this day forward, they will likely need your support in different ways, but they will still depend on that support.

    “With this in mind, I ask (parent’s names), as representatives of your family: will you take this (man/woman), (name), into your family and into your hearts?

    Answer: “We will”

    (Officiant repeats question to other parents, who also answer “We will.”)

    Officiant: “May the blessing of their marriage extend throughout your families forever.”

Presenting is an Honor

  • Officiant: “Marriage is in itself a blessing. But doubly blessed is the couple who comes to the marriage altar with the approval and love of their families and friends. Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man?

    Answer: “On behalf of her loving family and friends, I do.”

Using one of these example wordings, the tradition of giving away the bride can instead be a moment to include and honor your family of origin, as you begin a new family.

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Oakwind Bed & Breakfast Open House

Join our friends at Oakwind Bed & Breakfast in Alvin this Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for their January Bridal Open House.


Since 1999 Oakwind Bed and Breakfast has been recognized as one of the premier venues on the Gulf Coast for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and receptions. Situated on twenty beautiful acres just south of Houston, this six thousand square foot estate is lushly landscaped with 200-year-old oak trees shading an enchanting gazebo, pergola, and veranda.

The Open House will feature wonderful food samples, wedding cake samples, and ice cream from the venue’s antique fountain. Mock weddings will be set at the various wedding sites at the facility so you may see and feel how your wedding at Oakwind would be! A variety of Houston wedding vendors will be on hand to assist you in planning your special day.

Oakwind Bed & Breakfast is located at 4601 County Road 156 in Alvin. Please call the staff at Oakwind by January 24 (tomorrow) to RSVP: 281-585-0060. You may also RSVP by e-mailing

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Real Wedding: Ganesa & Ian

A chance encounter at a JFK International Airport restaurant in New York led Ganesa & Ian to meet.

Ian, then a Chicago native, and Ganesa, a Houstonian, battled weather woes that delayed their respective flights but the added time together led to the start of a friendship. This friendship led to months of online dating until Ian transferred to Houston so he could be with his love.

During Ganesa’s birthday party at Hotel ZaZa, Ian proposed and on October 21, 2012, the couple returned to the hotel to be married before 120 guests and their tuxedo adorned poodle!

To see all the wonderful pictures from Ganesa & Ian’s special day, check out this link or pick up your copy of Weddings in Houston Magazine®.

And be sure to come out to the Royal Sonesta Hotel for this Sunday’s I Do! Bridal Soiree, presented by Weddings in Houston! January 26, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.! Click the banner below for tickets!  We hope we’ll see you there!


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Finding the Right Wedding Gown



Every Bride wants to look and feel like a princess on their big wedding day.  That is why finding the right bridal gown is so important.  There are many beautiful wedding dress styles available; however a wedding dress that looks good on you, may not flatter another’s body type. There are all different types of body shapes: some are tall and slender, while others have large bust and wide hips. Other combination body types can be common.

Before purchasing a wedding dress, it is wise to know what style best suits you. This way finding that perfect wedding dress becomes easier and you will be ensured a fit that is made for you.  It is a good idea before you go shopping to buy some wedding magazines and cut out the wedding dresses you would like to wear for your wedding day.

Finding a Style that Fits

Problem areas are found in all parts of the body. Everyone has a problem area somewhere, may it be located in the buttocks, breast, hips, tummy, or arms.  Many times, there may be more than one problem area.

Being really tall and slender or petite and full-figured can be considered a problem when trying to find a prefect wedding dress fit.

The key to finding a perfect wedding dress fit is to know the problem areas, and know how to hide them while enhancing other body features. No one has a perfect body, but that does not mean that one cannot look radiant in a perfect fitting wedding dress.

Covering Problem Areas


  • Tall and Slender: Many tall and slender brides have a small bust area. To hide small bust choose a wedding dress that has beadwork or other details in the bodice.
  • Full Figured: Find an a-line wedding dress. This will draw away from problem areas in the stomach, hips, and thighs. Avoid sleeveless, shiny, and velvet wedding dresses.  All these type of wedding dresses can create the illusion of being heavier.
  • Petite: Wedding dresses that have a princess or empire shape design makes one look taller, which is needed in this case.
  • Large Bust: Avoid sleeveless wedding dresses; these only draw more attention to the bust. Consider styles that have thick shoulder straps, and wear with a full support bra to reduce the look of being top-heavy. Styles with a bow, or tie just below the bust are also flattering on large busted woman.
  • Wide Hips: Try on wedding dresses that focus on the upper body in design or style, while covering the hips. An empire waist wedding dress with embroidery and beadwork is popular on wedding dresses.  It can be used to draw attention to the upper body, while hiding the hip area.
  • Thick Arms: There are many ways to cover up thick arms. Choose between wearing a light waist-high coat, a dress scarf (lay it over shoulders), or a long sleeved wedding dress.
  • Tummy Troubles: Hide this problem area in a wedding dress that has a design across the stomach area, or choose one that has a bow or tie that is placed just below the bust line to draw off attention from the area.

Quick Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Gown

Size matters when you are looking at buying a wedding gown. Always buy a wedding gown bigger than your normal clothing size. Wedding dresses always run small and need to be ordered about 6 months or more before the wedding day, so make sure you buy a bigger size than you would normally wear. The wedding dress can ways be altered in a few inches, but if you gain weight or order a smaller size with the hopes of losing weight you may be out of a wedding dress by the day of your wedding.

Purchase a wedding dress you are going to feel comfortable in because you do not want to feel uncomfortable on your wedding day! There is no point in purchasing a wedding dress that you feel is too revealing, too formal or just plain uncomfortable. You need a wedding dress that you will be proud to show off to your family, guests and of course, your new husband!

Find a wedding dress that fits your occasion, whether your wedding will be indoors or outdoors, formal or semi-formal, have a certain theme or color. Your wedding dress should compliment your other wedding choices.

Flatter you figure by purchasing a wedding dress that brings out your best figure features while covering up the not-so-good ones. For example, if you have large bust then you will want extra support in the bustle and may what to stay always from a sleeveless wedding dress.

Shopping for a wedding dress at a bridal store is much different then shopping for any other products or clothing. Unlike with other types of shops, bridal stores take on a more formal approach to your shopping experience. Some bridal shops may require you to set up an appointment to discuss wedding dress options. It is best to call to see the times and dates they are open and ask if you first need to set up an appointment.

Tell your wedding dress consultant the formality of your wedding, your price range, wedding theme or colors, and what types of wedding dresses you are interested in trying.

Finding the right wedding gown for your special day can be a fun and rewarding experience. Make a day of it with your Mom and bridesmaids and enjoy the start of a lifetime of happy memories!


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