On Doing What Makes You Happy

Is there a correct amount to spend on your wedding?

IS THERE A CORRECT AMOUNT TO SPEND ON A WEDDING? The short answer is no. In planning this monumental, deeply personal event, all that truly matters is choosing a style that makes the two of you happy. Of course, you can opt for a truly grand splurge—something like the epic feasts that are a specialty of Dallas chef Stephan Pyles. Or if ultra-casual is more your vibe, you can stage an extremely affordable ceremony at fabulously offbeat Voodoo Doughnut in Austin. Either kind of wedding is sure to be magical.

Pyles—one of the pioneers of fine contemporary Southwestern cuisine—and his team will create what he describes as “the dinner of a lifetime” for couples who hold their weddings at his stunning Flora Street Cafe. The decidedly irreverent staff at Voodoo Doughnut will produce a funny yet touching, confection-laden ceremony that neither you nor your guests will ever forget. What the employees of these very different venues share is a passion for designing one-of-a-kind experiences for their clients. And it’s exactly this passion that we look for in choosing which wedding vendors to feature on the pages of this magazine.

We also love discovering unusual venues and outside-the-box wedding professionals. Sci-fi fans should land on our story about exchanging vows at the Space Center Houston’s new Independence Plaza—Star Wars costumes are optional. For an over-the-top overnight experience, check into one of the posh honeymoon suites we’ve profiled from throughout the state. In Reception Style, you’ll find tips on how to theme your wedding around either the signs of the zodiac, or a fairytale-inspired forest. And for the ultimate honeymoon wine adventure, we’ve created a 14-day itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime California wine country road trip. Cheers!

Finally, we’ve shared an interview with one of our favorite new women in the wedding fashion business, Polly Parsons, founder of The Bridal Gypsies boutique in Dripping Springs. Her alluring shop, which is stocked with treasures from around the world, is a study in warmth, whimsy, and positive energy. About the process of choosing wedding attire, she offers these sage words: “Don’t forget that bridal shopping should be a romantic, loving date. Go to a place that supports you as a couple, and that treats you like the brides you are, since this is all a part of a really beautiful moment in your life.”

This is advice you can apply to any step of the wedding preparation process, whatever your vision, and no matter how much you intend to spend on your big day.