We have another awesome post from our guest blogger Stephanie with Texican Gifts.


Teresa Alvarez

Party planning is not a spectator sport.  It is full-on, full-contact, in your face action.  It is not for the weak of heart.  So many details go into planning a fantastic event. Done properly, your guests will leave feeling wowed and thinking you are the ultimate hostess who has thought of EVERYTHING.

One of the elements that can really bring your event proper closure is the party favor.  Party favors date back to as early as the 8th century- Italian nobility would often gift their guests with silver coins as favors for attending their nuptials.  Over time, the concept of the favor has trickled to the masses.

These days, not many folks are giving silver coins as gifts, but they have also moved well beyond the standard, pastel colored, pillow mints in a cute little box with ribbon. Favors either reflect the theme of the event or the personality of the hosts.  If you are having a ranch themed wedding or party, cute gifts can be personalized jars of barbeque sauce, frosted sugar cookies in the shape of a longhorn, or personalized beer bottle koozies.  For a fiesta themed event (very popular here in south centralTexas), cascarone favors of different sizes and shapes, mini piñatas, Mexican hot chocolate (for a winter event), Mexican candies or cookies, or Kahlua filled chocolates.

To reflect the personality of the hosts, if they are wine lovers,BeckerPortwine pecans are a unique hit.  If the hosts are scrabble hounds, mini Scrabble games are a different twist.  If it is a wedding and they met on a plane, mini airplanes with a tag saying,”Our love has us flying high”.  If the couple connected on Facebook, sugar cookies decorated with a thumbs up.  Think fun.  Think personal.  And think about what you would love to receive.  (A good barometer for whether or not a gift, treat, favor is great is if you wish you were receiving it- though on second thought, may not be a good barometer if you have poor taste.  But surely, you don’t.)  And lastly, think Texican Gifts!  We can help you out with all of your favor needs!





Why choose a Professional Photographer

Here is a great blog from guest blogger Raul Salazar. Enjoy!


How do you share your wedding memories?
Just upload them onto facebook or print them out with friends and family. Honestly, your wedding day will be a blur. It will be likely that you will want to try to remember details about that day or who went or what was your cousin wearing? This is one of the reasons that having a good photographer that can record those memories will be priceless.
Many couples skimp out on the budget for the photographer, some try to get it for free. Well, its like they say “You get what you paid for”. But how can you resist that low price from your cousin who loves to take pictures or from your fiancées friend who is starting out in photography and will do it for free, so he/she can get some experience shooting a wedding. Well, I did it.

As the hired photographer, we are there to work for you. You’re our boss that day. Professional photographers are not there to mingle and socialize with your guests. In my case, I am always looking for the action, for those moments that you DO NOT see, but that you will SEE them later when you view your pictures. Your photographer will need to be attentive to what is going on in the wedding. A friend or family member photographer, might not be able to look at what is going on since they might be socializing or not paying enough attention.

In choosing a photographer, a referral will help a lot. But what if nobody refers a photographer to you? Easy. Google it! You will find hundreds of photographers. How do you start? Many will start going to the photographers website.
Now keep in mind that now a days, anybody can become a “professional photographer”.

So who do you trust, how do you choose? A lot of them are out there to make a quick buck, then they crash and burn and then you see them on tv news because they did not held their end.








What to look for in a photographer:

1. A legit photographer will most likely have a website.

They will invest in having a nice and professional looking website and their own domain name. Like not

2. Facebook is not a wedding photography website.

Is that where they have their portfolio?

3. Can you communicate with them through email.

Awesome! Is their There are a lot of easy websites that can give them their own email address like for example: A legit photographer will want to invest and be a professional by having their own email address customized to their website address.

4. Ask a professional photographer about their first wedding.

Then ask him/her when that wedding was, most likely they will answer and give you details. If you just ask how long they have been doing photography, they will have an answer ready for you. I have been asked that question many many times. I can easily have said 10, 15 or 20 years. Anybody can. Several brides have interrogated me about my equipment, if I use film or not, what brand of camera do I have, again I could have said Nikon D23 or Nikon S100 (none of which exist) I have seen these questions in some Bridal Magazines. The question is: Can you deliver the final product? Is the camera an expensive camera? Who cares. A $5,000 camera will not give you better pictures if the monkey behind it does not know how to use it. Does driving a Lamborghini or Ferrari make you a better driver?

5. Go with your instinct.

If you feel comfortable with a photographer that you just met, go with him. I have several times, done contracts through email without ever meeting the bride in person until the day of the wedding. If you communicate with the photographer through email and you have good communication going and he/she is answering all your questions promptly, that is a good sign.

6. A good portfolio is nice. But is that all they can show you?

Ask your potential photographer for samples of their work from a certain place, like an engagement session in Gruene Tx. Or samples of a wedding in a certain venue, like the Granberry Hills so you can see how he /she handled that venue. If the potential photographer can give you access to those galleries, that is also a good sign. Have them show you a complete wedding gallery.

Remember, the music will end at midnight, the food will last for a day, the limo will leave you at your
hotel and you will not see it again, but the pictures that you get will outlast you. This means that wedding photography is best left to those who know how to do it…. well.

The Love of One Groom…Like A Love Song Baby

By Brogan Lozano

For those of you that do not know how we are situated here at the Wedding Guide, our offices are uniquely setup.  For the most part, half of our office space is for the Wedding Guide and the other half is for our sister venue business, Granberry Hills.

We, in the Wedding Guide offices are always prive to a multitude of eager couples as they plan their nuptials and take tours of our property. Eventually, the rehearsal for the wedding and then the wedding day follows for all of these couples and we get to witness some pretty amazing (and often funny) stories.  Such was the case last Friday when a slightly frazzled groom entered our offices.  Luckily, we were able to have a hand in making their day as special as possible.

Photo provided by My Wedding Shoppe

While sitting in the web department of Wedding Guide last week, finishing up some routine paperwork, a “Granberry Girl” walks in with what seemed to be a distressed groom at her side. She went on to explain that his wedding was to be held at Granberry that very night, and he needed a little help with the music. With one glance we knew that “overwhelmed” was an understatement. “I need help,” he remarked, “I’ve been trying to burn a CD for the wedding and everything keeps going wrong.”

Monica, the head of our web department, warmly extended her services and asked how she could help. “Well, I have the music on my phone, and I need to somehow transfer them to a CD…I can’t figure it out… can you please, just, help me?” The look of desperation on his face sent us into action. Monica grabbed the phone, and a few moments later she had it connected to the computer and the songs ready to download.

The rest of the “webbies” offered their congratulations, a Kit-Kat, and a cold drink of water to soothe the frantic groom. “I really hope this works out,” he joked, “because I have gone through so much today.” One by one the different tracks popped onto the computer screen. “Can we listen to them? Just to make sure they work?” He asked. Monica pressed play. For the next few minutes our web department listened to the soundtrack of this couple. In the midst of Train’s “Marry Me” the once anxiety-ridden groom softened and became lost within the song. With glassy eyes he uttered his sudden realization. “Wow, this just got real.”

As the music came to a close our groom explained lovingly, “I just wanted to keep all the drama away from her today. I know she’s gone through a lot to make me happy. I just want everything to be perfect for her. I want it to be special.”

And on that note the disc had finished burning. He grabbed the treasured tunes and held it to his heart with tears in his eyes. He thanked the entire web department for being so supportive and gave his closing words with the CD still glued to his heart, “I’m going to go have a moment now.”

Tips for an Outdoor Wedding

Welcome Summer! Here are some tips from us on how to beat the heat for your summer outdoor wedding.

Tip one: Water, lots of water

Bring a couple of cases of water for your guests to drink while they wait for your ceremony to start. We can ice them down for you and have them next to the sign in table. Also make sure to have water for your bar and drink station. Consult with your caterer and beverage company on this.

Tip Two: Fans

You can do lots of things with this tip. Online you will find lots of company’s that sell fans in your colors. Another idea is to incorporate you program on to your fans. You can have the ushers pass them out or put them in a basket at the sign in table. If you want them on the chairs, be mindful that if it is too windy they may blow away.

Tip 3: Ceremony Times

When you book at Granberry Hills. We really try to guide you and suggest the best time for an outdoor ceremony. The sun typically sets at about 8:45pm in the summer months. So we try to do them at around 6:45-7:00pm. This way you have shade on the Gardenside and it is much cooler.

Happy planning!

Teresa Alvarez-Granberry Hills Manager

St Pius Gala

We recently hosted the St Pius Gala at our Hillside Ballroom. The Fiesta theme that the Gala Commitee chose was very colorful from the linens to the centerpieces. They also transformed our Hillside Pavilion to the perfect location for the many silent auction items and they did a great job.

The staff at Heavenly Gourmet took care of all the food and beverages; from the passed hors’ dourves to the margaritas and delicious Mexican menu.

If you are looking for the perfect location for you corporate event give us a call. Maricela, our corporate events coordinator, can build a great custom package for you.

Teresa Alvarez-Granberry Hills Manager


Bartenders provided by Heavenly Gourmet

Our Hillside Ballroom was transformed into a colorful fiesta

More great decor form the St Pius Decorating Committee





Spurs Games and Weddings…What would you do??

For my first blog I decided to write about what is on everybody’s mind right now…The Spurs. I see many different ways in which brides incorperate their favorite basketball team into their weddings. From appearances by the Coyote to the Groom’s cake in silver and black.

Lately I’ve noticed a trend of brides trying to accommodate their guests when the Spurs are playing a game on the night of their wedding. Some ideas I’ve seen have been; IPADS around the room with the game on or having the DJ announce the score periodically throughout the night. While these are great ideas just keep in mind that this is your day and while you want to accommodate your guests, you want to make sure that it does not over shadow your day.