Real Weddings: A Colorful Morning Wedding

Michelle and Edwin planned their romantic, personalized wedding in just four short months.

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    Perfect Match

    About the Couple: Michelle and Edwin's whirlwind romance began on Aug. 5, 2007, when they met through mutual friends. After dating long distance for a few months, Michelle moved to Houston to be closer to her sweetheart. On March 1, Edwin planned a romantic evening and presented Michelle with three gifts to be opened throughout the night. The first gift was a book on marriage. The second was a little red Bible. And the third was an engagement ring. Michelle's new "married" name was engraved on the Bible and Edwin earmarked a special verse: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing." In the margin, he scrawled "Will you be mine?" To avoid the stress of a long engagement, the couple planned their wedding in only four months.

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    Stunning Gown

    Because the wedding was right around the corner, Michelle flew to Dallas to find her dress the next weekend. Because she was unsure of what she wanted, Michelle was anxious to try on many different gowns. She found this showstopper at Stardust Celebrations, the fourth store she visited. Michelle fell in love with the classic style, intricate beading, and champagne-colored sash. Plus, it fit Edwin's dream of a slim, simple dress for his bride-to-be.

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    Party Shoes

    When trying on dresses, Michelle slipped into these simple white shoes. The rhinestone buckle is a glitzy little detail that gives them some sparkle and the cushioned sole made them extra comfortable, perfect for a busy day.

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    The Perfect Setting

    Michelle and Edwin decided to wed on July 26 in an intimate morning ceremony at The Empire Room-a Dallas venue they fell in love with. The ceremony and reception were held at The Empire Room. The couple especially loved how choosing a morning wedding allowed them to spend plenty of time together relaxing after the festivities.

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    Girl Time

    On the big day, Michelle, her mother, and her five attendants got ready on location. Michelle chose a loose, half-up hairstyle that felt formal, yet untraditional. Her bridesmaids wore red dresses that the girls chose together. The dresses were shortened and a sash was removed to give the dresses a custom look and feel.

    Budget Saver: In-store alterations can be very expensive, so consider taking your dresses to an outside source or seamstress for more affordable tailoring.

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    Pretty Paper

    The bride's brother designed custom wedding invitations and programs for the couple, featuring their signature wedding color-red. Then a family friend helped out with the printing. The final result was one-of-a-kind wedding stationery.

    Bride's Tip: Let your friends and family help you. Someone in your life has a special talent, gift, or ability that can help you save money or add a unique element to your big day.

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    A Punchy Color Scheme

    Michelle loved the idea of a red-themed wedding, but was concerned it would look too Christmasy. Her wedding coordinator and florist recommended mixing orange, yellow, and pink into the palette to give it a summer vibe. Michelle gave her florist lots of creative freedom with the décor details so the final result on her wedding day was a big, happy surprise.

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    Creative Seating

    During the ceremony, 180 guests, including many out-of-town travelers, were seated on simple white chairs in a "U" formation. Delicate rose gatherings were used to reserve the first three rows of seating for the couple's families. Michelle loved how the seating arrangement gave the space a close and intimate feeling.

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    The Importance of Family

    The guestbook table was decorated with a small vase of flowers. A red feather pen added a bit of fun and a frou-frou touch. A photo of their new family was also included (Edwin had three children with his first wife, who passed away). During the ceremony, Michelle said special vows to her three new children, and they all took a moment to pray together.

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    Classy and Simple

    Because her bridesmaids carried bright bouquets, Michelle chose to stand out with a monochromatic bouquet of white and ivory flowers.

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    Time Management

    Michelle and Edwin's photographers, Cesar and Tanya Perez of Perez Photography, took pictures of the couple before the wedding in a private "big reveal" photo shoot. This allowed for the day to move smoothly without a lot of dead time. Guests enjoyed appetizers and beverages (including fruit punch, lemonade, tea) before the wedding party entered the reception space. Traditional dances, dinner, and cake-cutting were also cleverly timed.

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    The Centerpieces

    The couple's florist recommended a mix of tall and short floral arrangements throughout the room to create good balance and height.

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    Dripping with Flowers

    The tall arrangements included orange roses, eucalyptus, and lilies in simple glass cylinders.

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    Flowers for All

    Upon being seated, guests were delighted to find pretty peach napkins topped with individual red flowers. The blooms added a personal touch and pop of color to the tables.

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    Finishing Touches

    Peach sashes and cushions were also used to dress up the gold reception chairs. Little details like this can make all the difference in making a wedding space seem cohesive and complete.

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    Let Them Eat Cake!

    While searching the Internet for inspiration, Michelle fell in love with a cake she found. Edwin also loved it. Although some bakers were apprehensive to make a red velvet wedding cake (the color was intimidating), the couple finally found a baker that was happy to re-create it. In lieu of a traditional wedding cake topper, the five-layer creation was topped with roses. The base of the cake was also decorated with gorgeous blossoms.

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    For the Boys

    Edwin really wanted something fun for his groom's cake. His love for the Houston Astros made this baseball stadium cake a homerun. Their florist added grass around the outside of the cake for a fun, unexpected touch.

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    Symbols of Love

    After looking at diamonds together at a local jewelry store, Edwin surprised Michelle with a ring he custom-designed. She loved it! For his own band, he wanted something unique and very wide. After looking at many pictures online, he found his ring on titanium.com.

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    Sweet Tooth

    In addition to cake, guests could indulge at the candy buffet. A variety of treats in the wedding colors were available to enjoy during the reception or guests could packs their goodies to go in little bags with customized stickers on them.

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    Go with Your Colors

    Get the Look: For a dramatic impact, transfer colorful candies into clear containers. Glass jars, vases, bowls, or acrylic boxes are several great options. To add another splash of color, simply attach strands of ribbon (in your wedding colors) to the container with a bit of adhesive or double-sided tape. Miniature metal scoops can be found at many crafts stores, making scooping extra pretty.

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    Lots of Laughs

    Michelle's parents thought renting a photo booth would be a fun addition to the reception, but Michelle was skeptical at first. In the end, it turned out to be a big hit with guests and Michelle. The best part was the booth printed two copies of each silly photo-one for the guests to take as a souvenir, and one that was put into a black photo album that became an instant scrapbook of the day.

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    Fun Send-Off

    During the last dance, guests blew bubbles at the happy couple for a unique farewell and cute photo-op.

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    Vendor List

    Wedding Coordinator: Kay Watson; www.kaywatson.com

    Invitation / Programs: Jason Judy

    Bridal Gown & Bridesmaids & Mother of Bride Dress: Stardust Celebrations; www.stardustcelebrations.com

    Videographer: A Very Special Day; 214. 331. 3333

    Photographer: Cesar Perez www.perez-photography.com

    DJ / Sound: Simply Music; Harvey@practiceprofitsmedia.com

    Wedding Cakes: Fancy Cakes by Lauren; www.fancycakesbylauren.com

    Florist: Fete Des Fleurs; www.fetedesfleurs.com

    Mens Tux's: Men's Wearhouse; www.menswearhouse.com

    Bridal Hair & Make Up: Elan Make Up; Anita www.elanmakeup.com

    Guest & Bridal Party Hotel Accommodations: The Renaissance Hotel; www.renaissancehotel.com

    Transportation: 360 Limos; www.360limo.com

    Catering: Gil's Elegant Catering (provided by Empire room); www.gilselegantcatering.com

    Location of Ceremony and Reception: The Empire Room, Dallas Texas; www.empireroomdallas.com

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