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There’s debate in the office over whether Lisa knew we were throwing her a bridal shower. I maintain she was totally surprised (see photos below for evidence!), while Kristin insists she must have known – we are a wedding magazine, after all! Either way, there was no doubt we were going to celebrate our special girl, and our team retreat, just a few weeks before her wedding, was the perfect time to do it. Blue Ribbon Vendor Rebecca Rose Events did an impeccable job pulling together a bridal shower full of Lisa’s favorite things (she admits there was some Pinterest and Instagram sleuthing involved to get everything just so!), and another BRV member, Julia Wade, was on hand to capture the festivities! Let’s take a peek…

Lisa knew afternoon tea at the Carolina Inn was on the retreat schedule, but until we handed her a box with a special invitation inside (designed by Rebecca!), she didn’t know it was in her honor. I think she might have been a little surprised :)

There may have been a few tears when we rounded the corner and saw the tea room all set up.

And with good reason – everything looked gorgeous! Rebecca and Betsy chose a palette based around Lisa’s favorite black and white stripes, with a little pop of red for fun. The beautiful linens were from Nuage Designs!

In addition to the main table, Becca and Betsy also set up the sweetest “Garden of Wisdom” – beautiful white ranunculus, stock, and peonies, all with quotes, verses, and advice for cultivating a growing marriage!

After we finished oohing and ahhing over everything (it took awhile), we settled down for the Carolina Inn tea service – such a treat!

There were freshly baked scones with lemon curd and clotted cream, egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, petit fours, and so much more! And, of course, more than ten varieties of tea to sample, like ginger peach, wild berry plum, and black raspberry.

There were also gifts! Instead of choosing something off Lisa and Dave’s registry, we opted to each gift them a favorite date night to help their first year of marriage be full of fun and adventure! For example, I wrapped up the schedule for my favorite outdoor (free!) summer concert series and a gift card to the restaurant on the premises. Kristen went low-key, with gift cards to Publix (for cooking together dates) and Starbucks (for coffee dates). Morgan chose two tickets to a favorite local winery.

We were so glad to have this time together to celebrate just a few weeks before the big day! Lisa experienced her fair share of stress in the last month (yes, it happens to magazine editors, too!), so it was sweet to set that aside for a few hours and look forward to all the good things that were to come.

Big hugs to Rebecca Rose Events, Julia Wade, and the Carolina Inn for all they did to bring this day to life!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh my stars! This look so wonderful! I”m sure this was such a treat for Lisa as you ladies are absolutely wonderful. :)

  2. avatar Liz reply

    What a sweet idea for gifts!!! I absolutely love it!!!

  3. avatar Julie reply

    I just love the gifts you gave. What a perfect way to honor your mission of cultivating strong marriages more beautiful than the wedding day!

  4. avatar mary reply

    The date night idea is awesome!

  5. avatar Dana reply

    Y’all are the sweetest! The Essies are the perfect touch!

  6. avatar Michelle reply

    So beautiful , so much love in those pics !

  7. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #191 – Floridian Social reply

    […] ultra sweet black and white bridal shower kind of makes me […]

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Emily and I are on our way back to the South after four days of admiring hundreds of beautiful wedding gowns at Bridal Market (check out #SWBridalMarket on Instagram for pictures from our trip!). Throughout it all, it was surprisingly easy to identify dresses that you, our lovely readers, would love as much as we did. Like us at Southern Weddings, we know that you value tradition and love all things classic, but you’re also not afraid to be yourself and do things your own way, both in your dress and in your wedding. Brooke and Carlos are a perfect example of this balance–they honored tradition through elements like their ceremony music and having their first look while Brooke was walking down the aisle, but they also embraced a unique, super fun “swingin’ Sixties” theme through their black and white decor.

We’re so grateful to Akil Bennett for sharing this fabulous wedding with us!

I was looking for a dress that was unique and modern, but still romantic and sweet. When I found the Contessa dress from BHLDN, I knew I had found my dress! I was immediately drawn to the innovative screen-printed lace and the fit and flaire silhouette that was that perfect mixture of traditional and mod.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We were both enchanted with the idea of having that moment when the church doors opened, our eyes locked, and we lost our breath for a moment. We thought it too good to not share with our friends and family!

For the ceremony, we chose All Saints Catholic Church, not only because of it’s 100+ year old history in the Houston Heights, but also for its simply stunning interior. Its Byzantine-style ceiling and images whisk you away to another time. For the reception, we knew that using a standard ballroom would simply not work for our vision, so we set out to find the perfect raw venue. After countless tours, calls, and drive-bys, we stumbled upon Silver Street Studios, the oversized warehouse of our dreams!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We fashioned some of our own custom linens. We decided on family-style tables with long black and white striped runners (all made by my mom with fabric from Ikea). For each place setting, I folded 200 black napkins that we purchased online into bow ties.

Once we had our larger than life venue, we knew we needed a few details that could hold their own in such a big space. That’s where the marquee letters came in! I passed along my oversized marquee letter idea to my uncle, a talented carpenter, to see if he would be willing to create a 5-foot “B+C.” The finished product was beyond my expectations! This project was a labor of love–Carlos and I painted the letters with a total of six coats of metallic paint in order to get that golden finish, popped in several strands of outdoor lights from Target, and voila!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Classic/cool was the name of the game, so I went with a retro four-tiered cake from Alphorn Bakery, complete with a vintage bride and groom figurine on top that I found on Etsy. Finding a couple that looked like us was tricky, so I was over the moon when I found a gent with a dashing stache! Carlos loves the Rollings Stones, so there was no better groom’s cake than one modeled after the cover of Let it Bleed, flawlessly executed by Jodi Fernandez of Silver Cake Studios. We were blown away by the amount of attention she paid to the details!

Music has always connected Carlos and I, from the first time we had a conversation to when we carefully curated a soundtrack to our wedding. During the reception, we chose music that not only had meaning to us, but that fit the theme of the swinging sixties–music that people of all generations could boogie to! Our first dance was a combination of Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell,” where we did our own version of the Pulp Fiction dance, and the Lou Reed love song “Perfect Day,” which has been a song of significance throughout our relationship. Music was such a big factor at our wedding that our favor for our guests was a soundtrack to commemorate the evening.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through a mutual friend in high school in 2002. We made an instant connection through our sense of humor and kept each other laughing until Carlos went off to college later that summer. The distance could not keep our friendship from blossoming. Of course, every tale has two sides, and this love story is no exception–I knew Carlos was the one shortly after meeting him! It took Carlos a bit longer to realize I was the perfect girl for him. As the universe brought us both to Austin, Carlos realized I was the one for him.
Tell us all about the proposal! On November 1, we took a trip to Marfa, a small town in West Texas, 10 hours away from Houston where we reside. I surprised Carlos with the trip in honor of his 30th birthday in June, but little did I know, I would soon receive a surprise of my own. We ended the first day of our trip with a sunset tour of the Chinati Foundation, 330 acres of land. The tour consisted of just Carlos and I and one other couple. It began with Donald Judd’s 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum. As we approached the end, I saw a miniature version of the aluminum boxes. I said, “Aw, look! A little one!” Carolos said, “Oh, that’s cool! It looks like it has a lid. You think I can touch it?” “NO! Don’t touch it!! You cannot touch the art! You’re going to get in trouble!!!” In total disregard of my warnings, he bent down on one knee and proceeded to carefully pull the lid off the perfectly polished box. Nestled inside was a dainty ring box. He pulled it out and turned around to reveal a glistening diamond ring, and I watched as my one and only love asked, “Brooke Joanna Manning, will you marry me?” Fighting back tears, I said, “YES!” I soon found out that EVERYONE was in on it! The “other couple” turned out to be photographers Carlos had hired to capture this wonderful moment. The docent, who had placed the box, brought out wine and gave a toast to our engagement. It was truly a perfect day.
When did y’all get married? November 9, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 185
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We went traditional, as we wanted vows that could truly withstand the test of time.
Describe your wedding flowers. I decided to alternate succulents in white tulip vases, gold candles, and gold vases with exotic flowers like mink protea (a flower that looks like it doubles as a man eater). For the bouquets, I wanted something fun and a little funky, but still soft. My lovely best friend, owner of Sweet Sunday Events and Rentals, chose mink protea, white ranunculus, white dahlias, and eucalyptus.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was ending the night next to my husband on the dance floor while “Buddy Holly” by Weezer was playing in the background, everyone was dancing around us, and a confetti cannon went off, letting metallic confetti/streamers slowly drift down onto the people we care about most in the world!

Photographer: Akil Bennett / Planner: Two Be Wed / Ceremony Venue: All Saints Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Silver Street Studios / Florist: Flowers for Olivia, Sweet Sunday Events & Rentals / Cake Baker: Alphorn Bakery / Catering: A La Carte / Rentals: Aztec, Swift & Co. / Lighting: Bright Star Productions / DJ: Jose Diaz from LG Entertainment / Floor Decal: Sign Guys Houston / Paper Products: The Stationery Bakery / Favors: Night Owls Print / Bride’s Gown: “Contessa” by BHLDN / Bride’s Hair Accessories: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Southern & Adorn / Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nordstrom / Groom’s Attire: J.Crew / Photobooth: PhotoMoto

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments

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We have a special place in our hearts for the Kentucky Derby, but all horse races/excuses to wear seersucker and fabulous hats are okay by us! With the Belmont Stakes, and the possibility of the first horse to win a Triple Crown since 1978, coming up this weekend, we jumped at the chance to share one more piece of horse race inspiration. This dinner was actually a supper club party, but so many of the elements (hello, navy striped linens and playfully named tables!) could translate easily at a wedding, or even a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower.

Thanks so much to our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendor, Michelle Boyd, for sharing these lovely photos with us!

Photographer: Michelle Boyd / Coordinator: Christina Lewis of The Wedding Warriors / Venue: Sacred Oaks at Camp Lucy / Chef: Rob McMahon / Florals: Whim Studio of Camp Lucy / Tent: Sperry Tents

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar We’re on Southern Weddings! | Sperry Tents by Whim reply

    […] excited to see our Sperry Tents on Southern Weddings today for a Kentucky Derby-inspired supper club event we did in Dripping Springs in May with Whim […]

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So fun! Love the blue and white stripes with the red flowers! And of course, the hats are fabulous!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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