LifestyleWedding Guide

Dream Weddings Can Be Close

Nearby venues offer airplanes, boats, vineyards, and more.

By Henry V. Thiel  

If you’ve dreamed of making an entrance to your wedding from a speeding race boat as if you were James Bond, or on a glamorous yacht channeling Grace Kelly, you can do so at Waters Edge in Seabrook, Texas.

Just 25 minutes south of Houston, Waters Edge sits on 2.5 acres of lush landscaping facing the scenic Clear Lake shores. Couples can even exchange vows barefoot on a palm tree-covered beach.

As an all-inclusive private-events venue, Waters Edge can accommodate up to 300 of your closest friends and family under a sky full of stars—complete with brightly colored fireworks synchronized to your favorite soundtrack.

“We host just one wedding a day, so the brides and grooms and their entire wedding party will have our undivided attention,” says events manager Savannah Baker.

“Our 5,000-square-foot indoor facility is easy to decorate to suit anyone’s tastes,” Baker adds. “And our certified wedding planners will be with you throughout the entire process, from planning to your sendoff after the bouquet toss.”

Haak Vineyards & Winery has an outdoor chapel and reception pavilion nestled among three acres of grapevines on a 12-acre estate.
Haak Vineyards & Winery has an outdoor chapel and reception pavilion nestled among three acres of grapevines on a 12-acre estate.

If you’ve dreamed of getting married in a vineyard in Napa, California, but want all your Houston-area friends and family to attend, Haak Vineyards & Winery is the next-best thing.

Established in 2001 and situated 30 miles south of Houston, the award-winning Haak Vineyards & Winery is family-owned and -operated. Its chic outdoor chapel and rustic reception pavilion are nestled among three acres of grapevines on a 12-acre estate. As an all-inclusive venue, they have trustworthy vendors who can create your dream wedding, or you can do it yourself with your own specialty vendors.

And who hasn’t dreamed of flying away to some exotic location in classic Mad Men style, with the perfect gimlet martini in hand? The 1940 Air Terminal Museum, Houston’s very first terminal on the grounds of what is now Hobby Airport, offers its classic Deco-style terminal building as a venue space.

The main terminal can hold up to 200 people for a seated dinner, while the 1929 Airmail Hangar can accommodate 450. These unique spaces let your whole wedding party connect with Houston’s rich aviation history. There’s even a vintage plane to taxi the newlyweds out of the reception to their happily-ever-after.

“We have hosted many same-sex weddings, both before and after it became legal,” says Melanie Knapp, events coordinator. “All of our preferred vendors are LGBT-friendly.”

For swingers like Peter Parker who love skyline views and rooftop terraces, The Sam Houston Hotel’s second-floor Veranda event space is the perfect place to tie the knot. The climate-controlled rooftop overlooking the downtown historic district has exposed brick, chandeliers, an ivy-covered wall, and a crystal curtain. The décor can go from blue-jeans casual to black-tie fanciful, depending on the couple’s tastes. An added plus is that all of the food and beverages are provided by the hotel’s Pearl Restaurant & Bar, where local superstar chef Chris Loftis is at the helm.

The Ballroom at Bayou Place is downtown’s largest private-events venue, with floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping balconies.
The Ballroom at Bayou Place is downtown’s largest private-events venue, with floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping balconies.

If your dream-wedding includes 1,000 guests, there is only one place for you: The Ballroom at Bayou Place. Located in the heart of Houston’s Theater District, it is downtown’s largest private-events venue. Its floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping balconies have some of the most romantic views of Houston’s skyline, with the ability to create an open-air environment. As a full-service events venue adorned in rich navy velvet drapery, The Ballroom lends itself to both elegant and contemporary atmospheres, and its suite of services makes the sometimes-daunting task of staging the perfect wedding as easy as possible.

And who hasn’t dreamed of having their very own fairy godmother to handle all the details of their wedding, especially if they want four white stallions drawing their carriage instead of mice?

“After all, we only get what we plan,” says Claudia DeVelasco, a luxury-wedding planner who owns A Day To Remember. She and her team take the time to get to know each couple and understand their style, personality, and tastes, so together they can design the couple’s perfect day.

“The best advice I could give any couple is to hire a planner,” says DeVelasco. “Many venues offer bundled services, and while at first the idea sounds enticing, oftentimes those added services may not be what the couple wants.”

DeVelasco also recommends that couples “flat-out ask” if the venue, staff, and vendors are LGBT-friendly, including bathrooms and changing suites. She also strongly encourages couples to read all contracts and not be afraid to ask for clarification on anything they don’t understand.

“That’s the only way to get what you want—and what you are paying for,” she adds.

• 1940 Air Terminal Museum
8325 Travelair St.
Houston, TX 77061

• The Ballroom at Bayou Place
560 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002

• A Day To Remember
926 Yale St.
Houston, TX 77008

• Haak Vineyards & Winery
6310 Avenue T
Santa Fe, TX 77510

• The Sam Houston Hotel
1117 Prairie St.
Houston, TX 77002

• Waters Edge
3901 NASA Road 1
Seabrook, TX 77586


Henry Thiel

Henry V. Thiel is a principal with The Epicurean Publicist, a boutique public relations company which works exclusively with chefs and restauranteurs. He loves weddings.
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