June 12, 2010 at 1:12 a.m.
A dinner with family and friends in January 2007 offered more than good food and conversation for Megan McNeill of Victoria.
The gathering was the first time she met her future husband, Herbert Coy.
"It sounds kind of cheesy but it's like we just knew it was meant to be," McNeill, 25, said. Just 10 months later, the couple became engaged.
With many other summer weddings approaching, brides and grooms are planning and dreaming for that perfect wedding day. The trends of summer weddings are unique and different from any other season. From the dress to the flowers, this summer's weddings are all about being simple yet fun.
The trend was not lost on McNeill's father.
After searching and booking a venue, McNeill found herself wanting something even more special for her wedding day. To add to the couple's fairytale courtship, the father shared a surprise.
McNeill's father, Mark McNeill said he determined Victoria lacks ample venues. He decided to create something special for the people of Victoria and his daughter. In January 2009, Mark McNeill and his brother Dr. John McNeill broke ground on Spring Creek Place Event Center, a venue located on U.S. Highway 87 near Nursery Drive.
"My dad called me at the beginning of the year and asked if I could push my wedding date back," McNeill explained.
She soon learned her father was building Spring Creek Place Event Center in her honor, and her wedding would be featured as the grand opening.
"The venue is unlike anything Victoria has and can be described as simple elegance," Mark McNeill said.
Megan McNeill walked down the aisle on June 5 in a strapless Mori Lee gown and bouquet full of roses and stargazer lilies. The ceremony displayed creative elements, such as a sand mixing instead of a candle lighting. A black-and-white damask print covered the table, which, during the reception, was decorated with red rose petals and candle centerpieces.
The couple completed their celebration by flying to Cancun for the honeymoon.
The venue is the first important factor in planning any wedding.
"Brides should plan ahead so they can get the venue they want," Amy Erdelt, co-owner of Everlasting Wedding, said.
Some of the most popular venues used in Victoria are ones that are versatile - such as Raisin L. Ranch and Spring Creek Place Event Center.
"Our venue can be used for the ceremony and the reception," Lynette Migl, owner of Raisin L Ranch, said. These venues also offer outdoor and indoor space, which makes the popular option of an outdoor wedding possible.
To find the perfect dress, brides should not just look for things that are in style - such as designers Mori Lee, Casablanca and Maggie Sottero - but rather the dress that makes them feel perfect on their wedding day.
"Look for a gown that when you put it on, you feel beautiful and special. You have to know you will have fun in your dress," Melissa Helweg, owner of K&K Bridal, said.
Bridal store owners also recommend a lighter material for summer, such as chiffon or organza because it won't be as hot in the heat.
The bride is not the only one wearing a dress. Bridesmaids in summer weddings also get to walk down the isle in fun summer colors.
Purples, pinks and turquoise are very popular colors for this season," Rosanna Alvarado, Owner of Jade and Madalynn Quinceanera Boutique, explained. Short dresses are always more popular during the summer heat, but some brides are picking a color and letting the bridesmaids pick the style they like.
And, although it may seem like no one remembers them, the groom and groomsmen have to look sharp on the wedding day, too. For summer weddings, men are dressing more casual with fewer layers.
"Groomsmen are just wearing the tux without the vests since it's hotter during the summer. Usually, the groom is the only one who is wearing the vest to make it more formal," Carol Martinez, assistant manager at Al's Formal Wear, explained.
Because it is hot outside, men are leaning toward lighter colored tuxes, such as latte.
When it comes to flowers, which any girl loves, roses are a no brainer for weddings. However for summer weddings, flower trends are going for a garden feel.
"Women like the garden look this year, they do this by having lots of different kinds of flowers but with the same colors," Ginger Patterson from McAdams Floral said. Common flowers this season are hydrangeas and roses in green, ivory, white and pink colors.
Along with beautiful flowers, weddings also need beautiful centerpieces. This area of the wedding gives brides an opportunity to show off a little. "Brides want something that no one else will be able to think of or have," Annette Franco, Owner of Accent Designs by Annette said. Centerpieces with unique things like, peacock feathers and hanging crystal, allow brides to make their wedding stand out among others.
While these trends may be popular for the current season, as long as your day is special, you have truly created the perfect summer wedding.
"We wanted to do something unique and different," McNeill said.