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volume 2 issue 4 | NovemBeR 2009 |
VOLUME 6 ISSUE 3 | January 2013 |
o f s o u t h e a s t t e x a s
Everything you
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Wedding Mavens: Johnnie
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Unique boutonnieres for
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Brooke Shimek of Beaumont was ravishing in a Mori Lee gown during
our Contemporary Color wedding photoshoot designed by wedding
planner Stephanie Do of La Belle Fleur and shot at Beaumonts new
Event Centre. See the complete shoot on page 22.
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c o n t e n t s
vip magazine
08 vip home
08 The dream that
became Beau Reve
14 vip style
14 A vintage wedding,
with a modern twist
20 Personalized wedding
bling for your nuptials
22 A contemporary and
colorful wedding
27 vipersonality
27 Wedding Mavens:
Johnnie Andrus &
Sarah Linscomb
31 vip worthy
31 Wedding music: Who
should your hire?
34 Second weddings
36 food&drink
36 Gigis Cupcakes
39 vip spotlight
39 SE Texas events
44 vip adviser
44 Boutonniere ideas
48 4 great dates in
48 Calendar
49 Crossword puzzle
50 vip voices
50 A love story that
began with a bad kiss
inside january
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b e a u r e v e
vip home
text by Cheryl rose
ufeted by life and
hurricane winds,
Becky Bellard took
a risk in 2008 on
a new dream a
6,400-square-foot mansion.
Born and raised in
Sabine Pass, Bellard made
cooking and restaurants
her career until a series of
events knocked the wind out
of her.
Recently widowed and
with an aging mother diag-
nosed with cancer, the next blow
for Bellard was Hurricane Ritas
destructive arrival in 2005. I
never experienced what the dev-
astation could be, she said. To
come back and see your whole
life before you in shambles
in the marsh, in the highway, in
someone elses yard. Its a very
strange feeling.
Bellards home was de-
stroyed, as was her current busi-
ness, Skeeters Bar and Grill.
(She had also owned The Olde
Time Diner for 19 years). For
in a tent, sleeping
on an air mattress and getting
clothes from Goodwill. Its a
very humbling experience, she
said. You realize how little you
need other than food, warmth
and shelter. When you work
so hard, you get wrapped up
in everyday life and acquiring
she lived
Becky Bellard and her Beau
reve have weathered many
of lifes ups and downs
8 January 2013 |
things. When its gone in one fell
swoop, it makes you appreciate
the things that are very dear to
you, which are your family and
She had fallen into negative
thinking when a friend in the
construction business, Gabby
Eldridge, encouraged her to
take a look at an abandoned but
promising property.
A love match
The once-splendid house
overlooking the marshes in
Port Arthur was a forlorn sight,
ravaged by the hurricane with
blown-out windows and doors,
signs of vandalism and a missing
roof. Bellards adult children ac-
companied her on the visit and
questioned whether shed lost
her mind to be seriously consid-
ering buying the 100-year-old
But the house called to her.
She felt an immediate afnity
for it. In a coincidence that felt
like fate, she noticed an envelope
addressed to Becky scattered
amid trash on the foor. She
turned to her kids and said,
Look at this Im already get-
ting mail here.
She began negotiations to
buy the house, which stut-
tered and stopped a few times,
but eventually went through
for $150,000. It would take 19
months of repair work, including
re-plumbing and re-wiring, and
triple her investment to bring
it back to a habitable condition
for Bellard to move in and call it
home. Its a labor of love, she
said. Its a huge old money pit.
My dad had a saying that even
an old woman looks good with
paint on her and this old girl
looks good, but she needs paint
she screams for money.
Quality survives
Bellard thought such a
grand house needed a name so
she christened it Beau Reve,
which means beautiful dream
in French. She learned that the
house had experienced quite a
dramatic life, too.
Built around 1900, the man-
sion sat on Sabine Pass Avenue
in Beaumont. The original own-
ers, the Roberts family, lived in
the home for the frst 50 years of
its existence, but then it began a
slow slide to dereliction.
By 1987, the City of Beau-
mont had tagged it for demoli-
tion. The man hired to do the
work, Dave Gisselberg, instead
chose to buy the relic and in
a radical step, to relocate it
Bridal Parties
Beau Reve is a romantic venue
for weddings, offering beautiful
backgrounds for bridal portraits.
There are two wedding packages
available. Earlene Wright said the
ideal event size is 100 to 150
guests. Ceremonies can be hosted
at the gazebo or in front of the
house. Receptions are held in the
carriage house, with views of the
river. Couples decide on dcor
and food selections with the Beau
Reve team. The food is the star of
everything, Wright said. And its
such a unique venue for this area.
photography by lee e. stinson
>> | January 2013 9
to property he owned along the Neches River in Port
Arthur. Moving a huge, three-storey house is no small
undertaking. Rolled, ramped, hauled and barged, the
house arrived at its current location, 4400 Atlantic Road
in Port Arthur.
Gisselberg stabilized its condition. It was in bad
shape when he moved it here, Bellard said. He put in
new windows, put siding on the outside and uncovered
the freplaces. They brought in replacement mantelpiec-
es for the six freplaces. Under her ownership, Bellard
has attempted to keep the original features of the home
as much as possible. She would love to take the siding
of, but the expense is prohibitive. She thinks the previ-
ous owner had the right idea with the relocation project.
There is a beautiful view of the marshes and ponds,
she said. We are only three-quarters of a mile from the
Neches, so you can see the ships coming down the chan-
nel. Its quite lovely.
Beau Reves American Foursquare architecture was
popular at the turn of the 19th century. There are four
large rooms downstairs mirrored on the second foor.
The third foor, Bellards living quarters, is an open
space, angled by the roof dormers.
Bellard fnally moved in just three summers ago. She
considered turning the house into a bed and breakfast
one day, but has put that idea aside for now. The house
became her business as well as her home when Hurri-
cane Ike ruined her eforts to rebuild Skeeters.
With nothing but the house left, she lobbied to have it
re-zoned so that she could begin a restaurant. With some
of her employees that have moved with her from busi-
ness to business over 28 years, she opened Beau Reves
frst foor as a venue and restaurant. She can seat about
40 people inside, serving seafood and steaks with Cajun
fair. Real butter and heavy creams, Bellard empha-
sizes. Cooking is in my blood.
For the opening in July 2010, local playwright Cody
Underwood wrote a play performed by the Port Arthur
Little Theatre called Familiar Spirits: The Legend
of Sara Jane, a ghost legend associated with the road
where Beau Reve sits. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but
ghost sightings have become part of Beau Reves charm.
Grand dames
Bellard appreciates the quality construction of Beau
Reve and the pretty architectural details. However, own-
ing such a large, old home is a lot of work. Whenever
anything breaks or needs repairs, its very expensive,
she said. To keep as close to period as possible can be
expensive. It always needs major repairs too, never in
$100 forms, always in $1,000 forms. Even if she sighs
over the work, shes proud of what shes accomplished
two grand ladies that saved each other.
10 January 2013 |
Paranormal Activity
When she owned The Olde Time Diner, the
ghost of a Confederate soldier was regularly
seen by Bellard and her customers in the
restaurants plate-glass window. Though she
was initially a bit frightened, the ghost just
became part of the restaurant to Bellard.
She wasnt surprised when the frst signs
of paranormal activity were noticed at Beau
Reve. These people feel comfortable with me
and they tend to follow me, she said.
Two teams of paranormal investigators
have studied the house with their technical
equipment to catch sounds and pictures. The
frst sighting was in a photo taken by Bellards
friend, Chris Hightower, who was taking her
son Lindons senior picture at the foot of Beau
Reves stairway. It looks like the silhouette of
a woman standing next to him, Bellard said.
Since then, Bellard has seen and photo-
graphed a childs face refected in a mirror,
and other guests and employees report
sounds and sightings of women and children.
Ive never felt threatened by anything here,
but I have felt a strong female presence in the
home, Bellard said.
The paranormal investigators confrmed
whispers and a feminine presence. What
I tell people is its a huge house and when
its still and quiet and youre here alone,
you could get yourself really worked up and
spooked, so I try not to go there, Bellard
said. I do know there are things around me.
Its hard to explain, but whatever is here, its
not scary.
New Life
Bellards friend and employee, Earline
Wright, has been researching the history of
Beau Reve for several years. She believes
that the house was built by Lt. Claude C.
Roberts, who moved to Beaumont in 1899. He
established an insurance and real estate frm
with his partner, Robert Corley. In 1903, he
married Vivian Jackson, the daughter of Judge
Hugh Jackson. Their magnifcent home was
built around this time, though the exact date
is unclear.
Claude died in 1924. City directories show
that Vivian continued living in the house until
1954. Based on city directories, the next owner
was James H. Crawley III, who was listed as
living in the house in 1956. By 1960, the house
had become Daherty Antiques. However, just
three years later, the house was left vacant.
From 1967 to 1973, the Salvation Army used
the property as a womens transit home. In
the years that followed, it was left vacant until
rescued by Dave Gisselberg in 1987.
According to The Beaumont Enterprise,
moving crews put the house on a wheeled
framework and hauled it down Sabine Pass Av-
enue to Buford Street to the Port of Beaumont.
City utility crews had to temporarily remove
power lines and traffc lights to let the house
pass. The movers rolled it down a ramp to a
barge, where it was foated to Port Arthur and
hauled back ashore. Though Gisselberg did
repair work to salvage the house, he used it as
a rental rather than a residence, according to
Wright. The house was vacant again at the time
Bellard purchased it. photo courtesy BeAumoNt eNterPrise Archives
VIP | January 2013 11
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w e d d i n g t r e n d s
vip style
14 January 2013 |
wedding design & flowers
wedding design and fowers by Tamara menges Designs photography by sarah e. evans hair and makeup by ashly black, someThing
beauTiful hair anD make-up stationery by leigh anne spencer, leigh makes Designs shot at The brown esTaTe cake by Therese
jorDan, T cakes creaTions groom attire by mens wearhouse modelled by lynDsay powers anD jeremy chapman
always start a concept by creating
a backstory and then I decide on
a color palette. For this shoot, I
wanted to portray an intimate set-
ting on the grounds of a debutantes
parents home, who is fnally mar-
rying her one true love.
My concept for the shoot was Modern
Vintage and I chose colors that are widely
popular in the wedding industry right
now, which are blush, mint and gold. I also
decided to add an unexpected touch of char-
coal for a modern pop of color. I compiled
a several page inspiration board to give to
the other vendors so that they could easily
visualize the story I wanted to tell. I then
hand-picked several of the elements that
were key to the overall design.
I chose The Brown Estate because it is
a former residence, and being a big white
mansion, it was the perfect setting for the
event. The bridal gown was picked due the
modern silhouette, but it also incorporated
vintage elements in the lace details. The
grooms suit is a beautiful charcoal Vera
Wang that ft perfect with the color palette.
I knew I wanted the table to be a vintage
farm table, paired with very modern ghost
chairs. The foral stayed true to my vintage
design aesthetic, but I created a modern
centerpiece by doing an ombre efect,
meaning the foral starts with whites and
transitions to very dark pinks.
For the bridal bouquet, I wanted to cre-
ate a new twist on the outdated cascading
bouquet, and I did this with a large amount
of greenery.
For the reception area, I kept the foral
low to the table to speak to the nature of
having an intimate home wedding. The
place settings include ornate vintage gold
dinner plates paired with modern white
glass salad plates, vintage depression glass
drinking glasses, vintage gold fatware and
bowtie-shaped napkins a subtle nod to
the groom and a graphic pop of our accent
I styled the dessert table with jade-
ite and glass cake pedestals topped with
cupcakes and macaroons in addition to the
cake. A blushing bride signature cocktail
and gold glassware complete the dessert
table. The gifts are wrapped in handmade
papers in complimenting colors, and beauti-
ful signage is paired and styled to portray
our story: Today a debutante marries her
beau. I also thought it would be fun to
create a unique way for a bride to ask her
friends to stand beside her on the most
important day of her life.
Tamara Menges Designs
was immediately inspired working
with the color palette of gold, pink,
mint and grey and was so excited
to sprinkle my little touches on
our vintage modern shoot. I began
my paper journey as soon as I saw
this beautiful gold dot on vellum paper. I
decided to continue the gold circular feel
tamara menges designs
leigh spencer

>> | January 2013 15
by using metallic labels and jute twine
to make a pretty and simple garland and
a circle tag to monogram the top of the
main invitation with a heart-shaped rub-
ber stamp and grey striped twine. I also
thought it would be fun to mimic the heart
shape by using blush heart-shaped table
Modern to me has a very simple sil-
houette and clean feel, and vintage gives
room to play with a lot of diferent textures
so I took the opportunity to mix them to
create something young and classic yet
fun and forward. Ive always wanted to try
hand lettering and this gave me the perfect
outlet to give it a go. I thought the pairing
of digital font and handwriting would bring
a fun fare to this suite. Hand embossing
the names and the numbers on the heart
shaped table numbers in gold gave it the
touch of elegance it needed. Hand emboss-
ing is also shown on the menu card.
My favorite part is the hand made paper
envelope liner. Vintage gold Lokta paper
with a modern Herring Bone design is the
exact mix of modern and vintage when
paired with a dark grey deep V envelope.
Leigh Makes Designs
twitter: @leighmakesd
he cake I did brought a mod-
ern touch to this shoot. This
style of cake is referred to as
a naked cake because it is
missing its outer coating of
icing. We see so much of the
same thing in this industry, and this cake is
a great way to venture away from the tradi-
tional and do something new and creative.
T Cakes Creations
or our Modern Vintage shoot
I allowed the story of our
couple to inspire me while
shooting. I felt that our couple
had strong personalities and
wanted to convey that from
my lens through posing and expressions.
With the wedding taking place at a
home-like setting I wanted to refect that in
my images, so rather than a simple image
on the lawn or by an old family tree in the
backyard I was wanting to signify meaning
to the resident family.
I also envisioned that our debutante
bride would have a bridal image that was
a little nontraditional and incorporated an
antique crown that was maybe passed down
from generations in her family.
I continued the feel from our shoot
into my editing style. I felt that the images
should be clean and fresh with a flm-like
feel for that perfect combination of Modern
Vintage. This shoot was a perfect match for
me because as I like
to say Modern Vin-
tage Photography
with a Southern
Twist is my style
of photography.
Sarah e. Evans
sarah e. evans
therese jordan
as I like
Modern Vin-

16 January 2013 |

he look I wanted to create
was elegance with a modern
touch. I pictured a young,
wealthy Texas bride who
was into high fashion but
also wanted a romantic look.
I gave the hair a lot of volume by teasing
it through the crown but since this is a
wedding I wanted to keep the romance and
elegance with soft curls pulled to the side
that will show from the front.
Her makeup is more subtle than her
hair. I airbrushed for a fawless look and
did a smoky eye with browns for a softer
romantic look instead of a black smoky eye.
The air-brush makeup is a growing trend in
weddings and is great because it gives the
fawless look that every bride wants. The
smoky eye is another trend, but I prefer
browns over blacks for weddings to me it
gives a softer more romantic look.
Something Beautiful Hair and Make-up
he Gilda gown is by En-
zoani. Enzoani gowns are
infuenced by European
style with a modern take
on traditional design. The
Enzoani designer loves to
explore the link between functionality and
beauty. Taiwanese Designer Kang Chun Lin
uses rouched organdy, making the strapless
gown ftted through the body and mixes
the organdy with pleated tulle, pearls and
crystals to make the fowers that blend
in to the skirt. Chantilly and alencon lace
are scattered throughout the layers of the
draped tulle skirt, giving a modern twist to
a traditional ballgown. Many think of foral
and lace as a traditional wedding gown, and
Enzoanis Gilda blends those ideas in to a
new and modern look for the 21st century
Brickhouse Bridal
200 Valleywood Dr., Suite A300, The Woodlands
he Brown Estate of Lamar
State College, Orange is a
spectacular backdrop for any
event. The plantation style
mansion rests on 88 acres
with splendid views and
creates a sense of elegance and tranquility.
The mansion is a full service venue which
ofers catering and all the amenities neces-
sary to create a truly memorable event.
The Brown Estate of Lamar State College Orange
Terrie Smith, Manager
BLACK by Vera Wang
Mens Wearhouse
4030 Dowlen Road, Beaumont
the brown estate
mens wearhouse
hair &
ashly black brickhouse bridal

>> | January 2013 17
18 January 2013 |
Mathews Jewelers
126 Strickland
Tuscany Park
Wedding Bling
Custom jewelry
for the bride and
bridesmaids adds
a personal touch
j e w e l r y
vip style
text by Cathleen Cole
photography by sCott eslinger
Right: Mandi Boyette and Marci Furlow with Melly at
Heartfeld Designs on Dowlen Road in Beaumont.
20 January 2013 |
hristy Minter of Neder-
land has been planning
her perfect wedding
for years. The dental-
school student will wed
her fnance, Cameron
Boudreaux, in March. And, like the other
brides in her family, shell be wearing
her great-grandmothers gold necklace
with its gold pendant. Every single bride
on our side of the family has worn that
lavaliere, Minter said. But this time, the
bride is changing things up just a bit.
Minter chose a brooch bouquet done
in silver for her special day, and she
didnt want the gold lavaliere to clash.
She sought out jewelry designer Marci
Furlow, co-manager of Heartfeld Designs
in Beaumont, for ideas. Minter said
she wanted pearls, so Furlow incorpo-
rated the pendant into a three-strand
Swarovski pearl bracelet. Minter loved it.
After the wedding, shell put the pendant
back on its gold chain and return it for
safekeeping until the next woman in the
family weds. And the new bride will still
have a lovely pearl bracelet as a memento
of her wedding day.
For many brides, custom fashion
jewelry is a way to make the occasion
even more personal and unique. Minter
had Furlow design bracelets and earrings
made from Swarovski purple pearls and
purple crystals for her bridesmaids. Shell
be wearing a pearl necklace with a crystal
drop pendant and dangle earrings made
of alternating crystals and pearls. For
Minter, it was important to use a local
designer who produced quality jewelry. I
wanted it to be my vision and to match,
she said.
Choosing custom fashion jewelry
instead of fne jewelry is also a way to
provide nice gifts to the wedding party
without going overboard on expenses.
Its a much more economical way to go,
Furlow said, adding that it gives sym-
metry to the wedding partys look. You
can tie everything together with matching
Brides who come to Heartfeld De-
signs are wary of buying jewelry online,
according to designer and co-manager
Mandi Boyette. They want to see what
theyre getting and have a hand in the
design. A bride might also have a piece
of jewelry that she wants to change just
a bit as Minter did with her great-grand-
mothers lavaliere. Clients are welcome to
bring in a favorite item and the designers
will add to it. You can bring in just about
anything and well bling it up, Boyette
said. (She does this with collars for her
little Chihuahua-mix dog, Melly, who
comes to the store with Boyette every
But some brides dont want too much
sparkle. Boyette recalls a client who
wanted to keep things simple. She was
a tomboy, the designer said. She didnt
want any bling. The bride-to-be chose a
single Swarovski pearl on a sterling silver
chain for herself and her bridesmaids.
Michelle Randall of MeShells Wed-
ding Bells Wedding Planning & Designs
says several of her clients have asked
about custom fashion jewelry. They want
to get unique pieces for themselves and
their bridesmaids. And they want to
make sure everything matches, she said.
Brooch bouquets are a favorite among
Randalls clients. Its one of the biggest
up-and-coming trends, she said of the
bejeweled bunches held by the bride in
lieu of fresh fowers. Brooches and other
jewelry newly bought items, family
heirlooms or just favorite pieces can be
incorporated into the bouquet for a one-
of-a-kind design. And these bouquets last
forever if you want them to.
Custom fashion jewelry contributes
to the event, in the wedding planners
opinion. I think it adds more of a per-
sonal touch, Randall said, explaining
that it shows unity between the bride and
her best girlfriends. Its also a wonderful
thank-you gift from the bride, she said,
and something they can cherish for years
to come.
About 90 percent of Heartfeld
Designs bridal clients are starting from
scratch, according to Furlow. Sometimes
theyll bring in a picture of something
they like, or theyll watch the designers
creating jewelry and give their input.
When they come up with a design for the
wedding party, Furlow suggests mak-
ing the brides piece a little diferent so
shell stand out. The designer noted, We
always tell them, Youre the focus. This
is your day. VIP | January 2013 21
w e d d i n g t r e n d s
vip style
wedding design, decoration and foral by Stephanie Do, La BeLLe FLeur
stationery by GLenDa LittLe, DreSSy DeSiGnS WeDDinG anD event Stationery
cake by DaWneen heBert, artiStic conFectionS
hair by Kati KiLLeBreW, SaLon eLLe
makeup by erica Strazz, SaLon StatuS
tuxedo from tuxeDo Junction
wedding dress from DreSSin up
photography by aLLen ayreS, BeLLaFotoGraFica
shot on location at the event centre
modeled by BrooKe ShimeK and hunter KiLGore oF Beaumont
22 January 2013 |
text by Grace Mathis
rom the moment
they open the
envelope to see
bold lettering
with glittery gold
accents, guests
know that they
have been invited
to witness a special celebration.
As many couples move away from
vintage-themed or strictly tradi-
tional nuptials, this wedding adds a
twist of modern design for a clean,
bold look.
With the recent grand opening
of the Event Centre in Downtown
Beaumont, Stephanie Do of La
Belle Fleur realized she had a great
opportunity to stage this years VIP
wedding shoot. Venue selection is
one of the toughest decisions many
of my clients have. They want a
facility that doesnt require much
decoration and has plenty of space
to accommodate their needs. At the
Event Centre, brides can choose
to have both their ceremony and
reception there, which makes it very
convenient for out of town guests.
The modern architecture of the
venue inspired the theme for the
shoot. Details such as the circular
steel chandelier over the dance foor
and foor-to-ceiling windows that
highlight Downtown Beaumont
reinforce the elements of clean lines,
as well as circular and geometric
shapes. Do explains, I used various
sizes of circular PVC couplings to
create the centerpiece for our dining
table. Glass globe candleholders
were used to anchor the taller cen-
terpieces, which were also designed
in a circular fashion. For the cere-
mony backdrop and the cake table, I
used pegboards that were painted in
a contemporary shade of turquoise
and accented with gold leaf.
To keep the feel from being
too industrial, Do incorporated
a variety of colorful details. We
selected orange as our main color
for its boldness. Set against the
white backdrop, chair linens and
white plate setting, the orange pops
out. Combining the orange with
the turquoise also made another
bold statement. To add a touch of
glamour, Do included a recent trend
in bridal design the use of gold
accents. This difers from the pewter
and silver that have been popular for
the past several years.
A perfect example of that ele-
ment is the staircase wedding cake
with textural print. As she planned
her cake design, Dawneen Hebert
of Artistic Confections decided to
go for the gold with this modern
creation. The contrast between
the matte and shiny gold is very con-
temporary. We used sparse fowers,
and its not adorned with piping. Its
a clean fondant cake, Hebert said.
If its a minimal cake, it has to be
perfectly clean-lined, or else any
>> | January 2013 23
little faw will show.
Clean, bold lettering plus gold
glitter combine in the printed ele-
ments to epitomize the modern glam
theme. Beginning with the invitation
and fnishing with the place cards,
Glenda Little of Dressy Designs Wed-
ding and Event Stationery proves
that the devil is in the details. One
of her favorite pieces to design is the
wedding program. I always recom-
mend to my clients that they list
every detail involving their wedding
ceremony. This is where everything
about their wedding is recorded,
Little said. I had one bride list her
something old, something new,
something borrowed, something
blue items.
When hairstylist Kati Killebrew
heard the theme of modern glam,
she had to frst peek at the dress
before deciding on a look. She knew
which way to go as soon as she saw
the strapless style. An updo is not
really in anymore; the more modern
thing is curls. I was trying to do
something a little diferent than the
typical curl your hair, wear it down,
since my favorite thing is the collar-
bone, Killebrew said.
So instead of just leaving it down
and curly, Killebrew curled the hair
and pinned it all to the side. To com-
plete the look, she added a feather
hairpiece. Hairpieces are really
in, too. Both the curl look and the
sleek look are in. We have both with
it slicked back on one side and the
other side curled. Then you can still
see shoulders.
To reduce stress and save time
on the big day, Killebrew advises all
brides, Dont wash your hair before
and have it a little dirty. It holds bet-
ter. Thats what I tell everybody.
A successful wedding is all about
the happy couple, and what is more
important than the face of the beauti-
ful bride? To create a modern glam
look, makeup artist Erica Strazz was
inspired by pin-up makeup, with the
cat-like eyeliner and bold lip. For a
modern twist, she incorporated a
little of the smoky eye. I didnt want
to do a full smoky eye, like Kim Kar-
dashian, Strazz explained. Smoky
on the outside and lighter on the
inner corner make her eyes look big.
According to Strazz, brides now
want makeup looks that are as varied
as their personalities. I have brides
who want super smoky, dark eyes
and a hot pink lip for a day wedding.
A year ago I wouldnt have seen that
I would have seen a natural eye
with a pink or nude lip. Nowadays,
its the bolder the better.
For brides that are hesitant about
booking a professional makeup art-
ist, Strazz reminds them that more
makeup is needed on the wedding
day than a regular day. Because it can
photograph two shades lighter, its
important that makeup looks good in
person and the photos. Strazz wanted
to make sure that the bride was as
bold and glamorous as the venue.
Lashes are very popular right now,
24 January 2013 |
and I used upper and lower lashes to
add drama, she said. I used gold
and copper on the eyes to add glam
and bright orange on the lips to add a
modern twist.
For a dress that is more modern,
Linda Moore of Dressin Up in Groves
advises to stick with rhinestones
instead of pearls and lace, and keep it
ftted. The ruching gives a glamorous
look, while the rhinestones grouped
together make a bold statement. This
silky satin Mori Lee dress in ivory
with silver accents will keep all the
attention on the bride.
When it comes to the groom, its
all about the tux. This year, focus
on the ft. According to Paula Ortiz,
manager of Tuxedo Junction, the cur-
rent trend is moving towards a more
ftted, tailored look for the men. This
is due to looks seen on celebrities
at awards shows and the red carpet.
Customize the grooms ensemble with
a vest color. The option used in this
shoot, the Imperial, is available in a
variety of colors. In the overall vest
selection at Tuxedo Junction, you will
fnd literally hundreds of diferent
vest colors amongst all the styles.
After spending hundreds of hours
and dollars on planning and prepara-
tion, its incredible how quickly the
big day itself fies by. Everybody and
everything looks amazing, so make
sure you have a photographer you
trust to document the special mo-
ments. And that means more than
posed family shots and cake cutting.
Allen Ayres of Bellafotografca has a
photojournalistic style he captures
real emotion and interaction between
family members.
We are seeing people more
interested in real moments with the
people who matter most, Ayres
says. Pinterest is playing a part in
this, being exposed to good photog-
raphy from around the world opens
their eyes to what is possible. Wed-
dings are fun and exciting and its
our job as photographers to capture
that honestly.
As far as photographing within
the parameters of The Event Centre,
he has some advice. The glass walls
can play havoc with refected light,
but its easy to work with if you
know what youre doing. They can
also add to the atmosphere, he said.
The entire space reminds me of
some of the nicer venues in Houston
very open, spacious, elegant and
stylish. It would be difcult to get a
bad image if the photographer is pay-
ing attention.
To make the most of the space,
Ayres advises covering up eyesores of
ofce windows with sheers to make
for a better background. As well,
he suggests using the fountain as a
backdrop when possible to enhance
the elegant feel.
For couples with a contemporary
sensibility that like to make their
own traditions, take inspiration from
these photos to showcase your bold
and glamorous style. VIP | January 2013 25
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j o h n n i e a n d r u s & s a r a h l i n s c o m b
A bridal couple (of friends) brings idea show to brides twice a year
ohnnie Andrus was
named for her father,
John Parker, a man
she describes as an
encourager who
insisted she could do anything
she wanted to do. Having a boyish
name diversifed her personality,
Andrus believes, and when her two
sons were young, she was out in
the woods hunting and biking with
However, in her professional
life, she is immersed in the most
girly-girl business there is a
bridal shop and show. For nearly
30 years Andrus has been help-
ing brides choose the right gowns,
deftly managing the delicate bal-
ance of emotions the experience
brings to every woman and her
Andrus is a business dynamo,
with a hand stirring many boiling
pots at once. As soon as I get one
thing completed, Ive got to start
something else, she said. Grow-
ing up in Beaumont, she got her
frst ofce job at 17. Her employers,
Phil and Willard Hall, took her
under their wings and gave her the
confdence that she could handle a
business, she recalled.
After marrying her high school
sweetheart, Malcolm, she moved
to Vidor and purchased a sewing
material shop, which she shifted
to bridal gowns once Wal-Mart
moved to town. She chose not to
change the shops name, but kept
it Cindys and added bridal. In
addition to Cindys, Andrus has
several other small businesses in-
cluding a travel agency and tuxedo
rentals. Owning a small business
is hard work and takes savvy and
dedication. Just having a cash
register and a storefront is not all
there is to a business, she said.
Youve got to know what to sell
and know that product. It doesnt
matter if you feel good or bad that
day, youre on stage when someone
walks through that door.
Once in the bridal business,
Andrus attended a couple of local
wedding shows and left unim-
pressed. A go-getter and an ideas
person, Andrus thought she could
do better. She pulled in her friend,
text by Cheryl rose photography by sIlVIA C. MCClAIN | January 2013 27
Sarah Linscomb, and together they organized
a bridal show at the Montagne Center in 1996.
Twice a year ever since, the two work on the
large-scale special event, dividing the responsi-
bilities and keeping a weather-eye on wedding
I enjoy the challenge, Andrus said. It
takes a lot of energy, takes a lot of dedication.
You never know all the answers. Just because
youve done it over the years doesnt mean
its going to be exactly the same. Youve got to
work at it.
With her social personality, Andrus is the
salesperson and face of the show. I like
being out front, she said. I love people.
Managing all the details of a special event can
be very stressful. Andrus said she tries to sur-
round herself with positive people and admits
to being a control person. Shes parlayed the
special event skills shes learned hosting the
bridal show to other major events now, includ-
ing the Hot Texas Nites Car Show and recently
organized an event for the City of Beaumont to
showcase its new Event Centre.
While juggling all these business ventures,
Andrus also puts her skills to work as the
president of the Vidor Chamber of Commerce
and a member of the board for the Foundation
for Southeast Texas. The Texas Star Music
Festival was her brainchild to celebrate Vidors
musical history. Shell be collaborating this
year with the Orange Chamber to host the bass
Im always working, she admitted. She
doesnt take long vacations and the closest she
has to hobby outside of creating new business-
es is antiquing with her husband. Bringing
people to our city is a feeling of accomplish-
ment and its rewarding, she said. Some-
times I push myself too hard, but I enjoy it or I
wouldnt keep doing more events.
arah Linscombs frst role
model for hard work was her
grandmother, who was a work-
ing mother at 19 years old dur-
ing a time when women didnt
work outside of the home. A legal secretary,
her grandmother was a career woman before
the term had been coined.
As a small business owner with her hus-
band of 40 years, Douglas, Linscomb knows
something about hard work. Owning a busi-
ness is the hardest thing Ive ever done, she
said. Instead of having outside infuences to
motivate you, you have to do it on your own.
Its not as rewarding as you think its going to
be, but the reward comes in diferent mea-
The Linscombs have owned their mono-
gramming business for 18 years. Overlapping
that time, Linscomb also worked for Hallmark
Cards for 22 years as a retail regional manger.
Working for an enormous business with deep
pockets gave her excellent training in innova-
tive techniques for retail and marketing. In
my business, you have to be very creative all
the time, she said.
Linscomb fnds it tricky to separate person-
al-life and work-life. Balance is really hard to
come by, she said. I bring stuf home with
me every night. Sometimes Im awake at night
making notes or drawing pictures. Finding bal-
Putting on the Show and Staying Friends
Andrus said the two friends were scared to death when they put on their frst show, but over the years some rhythm
has developed. We are complete opposites, Andrus said, talking of her partnership with Linscomb. We key off of
each other. Shes more settled. Im more fighty with lots of ideas. Shes more laid back.
Linscomb agrees with this description. If Johnnie was a balloon, I would be holding on to the string, she said.
Its a balancing act between wild ideas and the realities of what can be done. Im a realistic person while shes a big
dreamer. She needs someone to hold her down and be her base.
There may have been some clashes of ideas over the years, but thats healthy in a partnership, Andrus feels. Sarah
will be honest, Andrus said. We get along great though we disagree sometimes.
Bridal Traditions
Wedding Show
January 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Beaumont Civic Center
Admission fee $8 in advance,
$10 at the door. Advance tickets
available at Heartfelds Designs,
Cindys Bridal, J and J Monogram-
ming, Classy Peacock, The Garden
District and Occasions
28 January 2013 |
ance in your life is probably one of the most challeng-
ing things of owning a business.
Linscomb is an avid reader and enjoys crafting proj-
ects and sewing. She met her friend Johnnie Andrus
through her interest in sewing, patronizing Andrus
sewing shop as a customer. Ive always created my
own clothes though I dont do so much anymore,
Linscomb said. But when I did, she was my source for
fabric and we became friends.
The two friends paired up to host a bridal show
16 years ago that is still the premier one in Southeast
Texas. Its never been a piece of cake its very hard
work, Linscomb said. The bridal show can be stress-
ful, but fun and also a chance to stretch her skills and
interests in ways that her full-time business doesnt
I like being the planner, the Vidor-native said. A
natural organizer, Linscomb enjoys the behind-the-
scenes roles of research on trends, communications,
designing foorplans and other detail-oriented tasks.
I like seeing it bloom, she said. I like the day of the
event. Its one of the most exciting days because its fun
seeing the brides so excited.
Linscomb believes the reason the show has re-
mained successful over the years is because they are
willing to change things up, yet remain consistent in
meeting brides expectations. Linscomb said one of
her skills is listening, and shes always open to hearing
the ideas and comments of her customers, brides and
vendors. Last summer, she came up with a circular
foorplan for the bridal show, replacing the rows they
had used for years because of an idea generated from a
vendors roundtable. Listening to what brides are do-
ing has been a lot of fun for me, she said.
VIP | January 2013 29
Trends in Weddings
Observing brides and watching trends change over the decades, Andrus
and Linscomb are experts on weddings.
Twenty years ago, everyone
had basically the same
wedding, Linscomb said.
Today, anything goes and
usually does. She attended
a country wedding re-
cently that used burlap for
decorations and served ice
cream and cobbler. They
are fnding their own thing
themed weddings or
focusing on the bride and
grooms favorite things.
Andrus has seen styles
cycle around, and what
she sees returning in the
newest gowns is lace
coming back strong.
Strapless remains the
most popular, but shes
seeing the return of the
bolero jacket. Mermaid-
style is very hot as is
ruching on gowns.
Over the last decade,
Linscomb has noticed
an increase in the use of
silk fowers at weddings.
She recently attended a
family wedding that had
no fowers in the church.
The bride was on a budget
and chose photography
over fowers.
Linscomb notices big
growth in the hiring of
wedding planners. With
brides and mothers work-
ing, they dont have time
to also manage a wed-
ding. It fascinates me,
Linscomb said. They fnd
the money for the planner
so they can enjoy the day
and be part of the party
rather than worry about
the caterers.
Andrus sees a cultural
shift in our country away
from marriage, with young
couples choosing to live
together instead. Its good
when a girl wants to have
a wedding and not just
settle for later on, she
said. That commitment
means a lot.
Though there are still
many grand weddings,
both women are seeing
more brides on a budget.
Andrus tries to stock her
store with that in mind.
Its just as important to
the bride on the budget
as the one thats not,
she said.
30 January 2013 |
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do you want?
m u s i c
vip worthy
Music has power. It can get us on our feet,
send us off to sleep or instantly make us
happy or sentimental. As a bride and groom
consider their wedding personality, music
can be defnitive in setting the desired tone.
A live band, a DJ or a symphonic combo are all options to
consider using or even layering and combining, hiring more than
one music provider for diferent portions of the wedding and
reception. An ultimate music package might be a string quartet
for dinner, a live band for the reception and a DJ for the transi-
tions and lighting. In all cases, couples should personally preview
the music professionals performance and ask for references.
Considerations for which is the right option include budget,
venue space, ambiance goals and availability. Below, representa-
tive music professionals provide reasons and tips for choosing the
right performance option for each wedding.
Live Band
Southeast Texas band Still Cruisin, comprised of 11 stage
musicians/vocalists and two sound men, plays gigs year-round,
text by CheryL rose | photos by MCt and AssoCIAted press
>> | January 2013 31
averaging four or fve weddings a year.
Theres nothing like a live band, ac-
cording to Russell Fontana, the bands
bass player and keeper of the calendar.
Theres excitement and glamour with
a live band. Its more of a concert than
music flling a void. People will dance and
participate more with a live band.
Because they play so many public
gigs, the brides and grooms that hire
Still Cruisin are usually familiar with
their play mix and sound, Fontana said.
The band plays a range of music from
the 1930s to modern songs, Motown to
A live band drives the reception,
Fontana said, and keeps the schedule
under control while engaging everyone. A
typical reception has about 30 songs, he
estimated, including the various special
dances. An experienced band can make
these transitions skillfully, he said.
Band member Richard Cantus key
advice for wedding couples is to keep in
mind that not everyone at the reception
is their age. Remember the variety of
people at the reception, he said. Fon-
tana and Cantu cautioned that the wrong
music can ruin a wedding reception. A
miscue can be music that is too loud or
lacks variety, perhaps excluding some of
the guests. Thats the reason weve done
well at weddings, because we are not a one
dimensional band, said Cantu, who plays
tenor sax.
Venue size is important with a band.
A stage set-up or defned space for the
performers and room for the sound equip-
ment are needed, Fontana explained.
Still Cruisin charges between $2,000
to $5,000 for weddings. Factors in cost are
time, distance and special-request songs
outside their normal playlist. Fontana
said they usually play two hours for wed-
dings, but sometimes up to four hours
and more. They also need time to set-up
and do sound-checks in advance of the
performance. As an example of unusual
music requests, Fontana said the band was
recently asked to do 15 Spanish songs as
part of the reception music. To fulfll that
request, the band had to spend extra time
learning and rehearsing the music.
Disc Jockey
Jonathan Martin has been spinning
tunes since he was 13 years old. He per-
forms for 30 or more wedding receptions
a year, with all of his business coming to
him based on reputation and referral.
My gift is being able to relate
to diferent people from diferent
walks of life, he said. When I
sit down with a couple, I always
ask them for fve words of how they
want their guests to describe their
wedding so we have a clear picture
of what they are trying to achieve. The
frst word is usually fun and they almost
always say unique.
The DJ is the emcee of the reception,
Martin explained, so an awareness of the
fow of events and being articulate is cru-
cial. Knowing a DJs style and personality
in advance is also important. The evening
should be about the bride and groom, he
said, and not a DJ trying to be fashy and
attention-stealing. Entertainment has the
ability to make or break your evening, he
said. Hiring the DJ is often low on the list
before the wedding, but after the wedding,
they realize it should have been in the top
10 to-dos.
In addition to energy and personality,
DJs ofer versatility, Martin explained,
with all musical options available. He de-
scribed weddings where playlist requests
included Arabic, Irish, Cajun and Mexican
music. Most receptions hes hired for run
about four hours, so Martin said he starts
32 January 2013 |
with older, fun music and gradually shifts to newer
selections as the more mature guests leave.
Though a DJ doesnt need as much elbow-room as
a live band, a dedicated space for the equipment is still
necessary. The venue can also determine the type of
sound and lighting equipment the DJ can use. Martin
charges between $400 and $1,200 for a wedding recep-
tion, based on time, travel and lighting needs.
Martin recommends bridal couples ask for sample
playlists, references and a contract. They should also
ask what the DJ will wear. When you are planning
something that far out in the calendar, you need to be
sure you have someone reputable, not some kid who is
going to be gone with your deposit, he cautioned.
Over the years, Martin has participated in many
weddings. Its about making great memories for great
people, he said.
Classical music brings an elegance and solemnity to
a wedding ceremony, Kathleen Odom believes. A cellist
and coordinator for Keys and Strings, Odom brings to-
gether the symphonic instruments requested by brides
for their pre-ceremony and ceremony music, playing a
dozen or so weddings a year.
Odom said these professional musicians are typically
hired for 20 to 30 minutes of ambient music as guests
arrive and then the processional, ceremony and reces-
sional music. Combinations of instruments Odom has
worked with include string quartets, cello-violin duos,
cello with piano or organ and sometimes trumpets and
Odom and her colleagues have a standard repertoire.
Sometimes they are told to use their discretion and
sometimes the wedding families have every
piece determined. If they come with
something diferent, we try to fnd
an arrangement for it, Odom said.
She has noticed a shift in wed-
ding music to fewer traditional
pieces and more individualized
selections. Its rare to do
The Wedding March, she
said. Thats really changed
even in the last few years.
Classical musicians can
work in a very compact
space, Odom said, but there
are other infuential factors
in where these profession-
als can perform. Though they
often play outdoors, there are
times and places when they wont
because of the potential harm to their
instruments. Odom said they turned
down a beach wedding for this reason. Also,
damp, wind and competitive noise can be problems.
She described a recent wedding where the string quar-
tet playing outside on the church stairs were drowned
out by a public parade a few streets away.
Keys and Strings fee of $100 retainer and $150
per musician includes a representative attending the
rehearsal. Its vital for the musicians to know the
transitions to make the ceremony fow smoothly, Odom
explained. Also, making the music selections three
months or more in advance is helpful for the musi-
cians, particularly if there are contemporary choices
not in the repertoire. The musicians need time to locate
appropriate arrangements for the instruments involved
and the opportunity to practice these selections.
Odom notices that brides are getting ideas for their
ceremony music from YouTube videos and other pop
culture infuences, including Prince William and Kate
Middletons wedding. One popular request lately is A
Thousand Years by Christina Perri, featured in the
movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One. VIP | January 2013 33
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Taking the plunge
econd wed-
dings used to be
subdued, private
events where the
couples wore busi-
ness attire or per-
haps their Sunday
best for a courthouse ceremony
and celebrated with a small soiree.
Things have changed. Now mature
couples know that just because
the frst marriage didnt work out,
it doesnt mean they cant have
their happily ever after and a great
second wedding ceremony and
reception to start fresh.
A family gets married
When Adrian and Daron Etie of
Beaumont decided to get married
and set the date for March 19, 2011,
they knew they wanted Adrians
three boys to be a big part of the
ceremony. The children were get-
ting a new step-dad and Daron,
who had never been married and
had no kids, was gaining three new
sons. All three boys Scott, Eric
and Reid gave their mom away
and were her attendants in the
ceremony in the chapel at Trinity
United Methodist Church. It was
a you-and-us kind of thing not
just you and I, Adrian explained.
We were joining a family to-
For the ceremony, the couple
wanted an intimate, family-only
service. We wanted it to be a
unique experience, she said. We
wanted it to be a sacred, personal
Adrian also decided to go with
formal attire, choosing a cham-
pagne-colored strapless gown.
Daron and her sons wore tuxedos.
This is super special, she said,
explaining why she chose to go for-
mal. Daron is the love of my life.
The couples plan for the recep-
tion was to have an extravagant
party. We wanted the reception to
be a big celebration, Adrian said,
noting that they chose Julie Rogers
Theatre for the Performing Arts
as the venue. Again, to make her
Adrian and Daron Eties 2011 wedding
focused on the joining of families.
34 January 2013 |
The name game
Whats a bride to do when she
doesnt want to use her ex-husbands
last name on the wedding invitation
even though its still her legal last name?
Kathryn Bachelot of Beaumont-based K
& K designs says that often her clients
will use their maiden names rather than
their ex-husbands last names.
If her parents are inviting, she can
use her frst and middle name with no
last name, and he will use his full name,
Bachelot explained. If the couple is invit-
ing, she may choose to use her maiden
name and he will use his frst name.
Using only frst names will cause
some confusion about whom the
invitation is meant for, she noted. Quite
often, on return addresses, we use a
single name her parents name or his
last name, she said. We also use the
bride and grooms frst names. This will
depend on the address that corresponds
to the name used.
children feel included, the boys
friends and friends families were
invited to the reception.
This wedding ceremony was
much smaller and more intimate
than Adrians frst ceremony,
which had 500 guests in atten-
dance. Her reception this time
around was much more personal-
ized. Before, Adrians parents had
hosted the reception and called all
the shots. This time, the bride and
groom made all the decisions.
Adrian ofers some advice to
couples who are getting married
again. Have fun with it, but dont
let it consume you and what the
real meaning is of getting mar-
ried, she recommended. Just
really enjoy the excitement of
starting a new life with the person
you love.
Older and wiser
Kathryn Bachelot of Beaumont-
based K & K designs, an interior de-
sign and event planning company,
has plenty of second-time-around
clients who declined a ceremony
with a justice of the peace and a
low-key reception. It has been our
experience that the couple chooses
to have a detailed event with a com-
plete reception/celebration, she
said. This is especially true if it is
the frst marriage for one member
of the couple.
And business attire is not the
favored apparel. The bride, more
often than not, has worn a tradi-
tional wedding dress, Bachelot
noted, adding that more of her
clients are getting married at the
reception venue, but some do
marry in their churches.
Second weddings are often
much diferent than frst wed-
dings with couples having more
control over personal choices.
The ceremonies and receptions
are largely based on the personal
styles of the couple, Bachelot said.
The couples tend to be older and VIP
more self-assured in their style and
artistic fair, she observed, stating,
They are a little more confdent
in making decisions that are more
about the two of them.
And the second time around,
there tends to be fewer bridezillas.
The brides are open to diferent
concepts and encourage more
input from their future husbands.
The bride is very interested in
having the groom express his
ideas, Bachelot said.
Are second weddings typically
informal afairs? As an industry in
general, I fnd that weddings are a
little less formal, but still very el-
egant, Bachelot said. Interesting
venues with some outside details
are very popular as a trend. The
bride and grooms cultural inspira-
tions also play a big part in the
event, she said, adding, I notice
that second weddings are less
about the celebration and more
about the couple themselves.
Adrian Eties three sons gave their mom away at her 2011 wedding. | January 2013 35
7770 Gladys, Beaumont 409-860-3133
Integrity from the Ground Up
c u p c a k e s
food dining
Beaumonts newest
cupcake franchise
is cashing in on
Americas latest
obsession and
theyll even help with
your wedding
text by MArgAret gArdner
photography by Scott eSlinger
ofee makes it possible to get out
of bed. Cupcakes make it worth-
That quote foats around the
Internet, and no one seems to
know who actually said it. But no
matter, youd be hard-pressed to fnd someone
who disagrees. Certainly not Crystal Reed,
one of three partners in the Gigis Cupcakes
franchise that opened at 3050 Dowlen Road in
Beaumont in November.
I dont know anyone who walks into a Gigis
and isnt in a state of euphoria, Reed said. The
smell, the sights. Its beautiful, and everything
tastes wonderful.
Reed, who opened the Beaumont location
of the national cupcake bakery chain with her
husband, Marc Reed, and friend Angelique
Comeaux, is banking on locals sharing her
36 January 2013 |
enthusiasm. The trio got the idea
to open a cupcake bakery last year
when they attended the birthday
party of a friends child, and a guest
brought some cupcakes from a
Sprinkles store in Houston. They
did some research and settled on a
Gigis franchise.
We just got to thinking that
Beaumont could really use a cup-
cake place, Comeaux said back in
late November. We came home that
day and Googled cupcake franchis-
es, and Gigis popped up. It was the
website that attracted us. We flled
out the paperwork, and here we are
seven months later, about to open a
Crystal Reed said that the
Beaumont/Golden Triangle area has
enough people and sufcient lack of
options to support a store dedicated
to cupcakes. Its time had come, she
I love cupcakes; I just couldnt
fnd a place in Beaumont to get a
good one, she said. Grocery store
cupcakes dont taste good to me;
theyre dry and theres not a lot of
variety. Other bakeries in the area
ofer them but dont specialize in
them, so you dont get the variety or
the freshness or beautiful decora-
tions you do at a Gigis.
While Reed is certainly on fre
for cupcakes, none of the partners
You can still have the
cake-cutting ceremo-
ny, and you can still
shove it up in some-
bodys face, if you
want to. But with cup-
cakes instead of cake,
you have more variety;
everything is fresh and
beautiful and tastes
wonderful. Its not your
plain, old white cake.
Crystal Reed, Gigis Cupcakes
had a lifelong, burning desire to
bake and market the sweet little
treats. As a matter of fact, they
went into this project pretty cold.
But the good news is that the Gigis
parent company provided pretty
much everything they needed to
get started, grow the business and
keep it growing including a two-
week crash course at the companys
cupcake university.
I cant say enough about
Gigis, Comeaux said. Its a top-
notch team. They have everything
laid out for you. If you follow it step
by step and do what they train you
and teach you to do, you can put
out a really good product, no matter
what your background.
But thats not to say the trio has
no background whatsoever in the
culinary arts. Crystal Reed is an
accomplished cook, so it was no big
leap to transfer her love of cooking
and her experience in the kitchen to
a job as a Gigis owner and cupcake
Ive been cooking since I was 7;
I just enjoy being in the kitchen,
she said. I was in the legal feld for
20 years. When the chance came up
to be baking all day versus sitting at
a computer as an ofce manager in a
law ofce, it was a no-brainer.
The Gigis recipe for success is
very specifc, so franchisees have
everything spelled out for them, as
far as how to run the business and
bake the cupcakes. And while store
owners are welcome to submit new
cupcake ideas to the Gigis research
and development team, they cant
go rogue and start cooking up new
concoctions on their own.
But theres hardly need to.
Customers can fnd 12 varieties
available on any given day, and the
full menu changes twice a year.
It certainly seems like Beau-
monts cupcake connection is poised
for success. Cupcakes are hot right
now. Americas love afair with
them and the trend toward creat-
ing elaborately decorated, indulgent
and uniquely favored cupcakes
was ushered in in 2010 by The
Crystal Reed, left, and Angelique Comeaux
>> | January 2013 37
Food Network reality show, The Cup-
cake Wars.
Theyre so popular, in fact, theyre
making inroads into the wedding indus-
try. Cupcakes arent about to topple the
traditional wedding cake just yet, but
many brides looking for an alternative are
opting for elaborate displays of cupcakes
for their big day.
Gigis specializes in wedding cupcakes,
Comeaux and Reed said. They will work
closely with the bride to come up with
just the right colors, favors, decorations
and arrangements to suit her vision.
Bridal packages can even include a cake,
so the couple doesnt miss out on the be-
loved cutting and smashing tradition.
The main upside to wedding cupcakes,
of course, is variety. Plus theyre cute,
portable and novel. But theres a down-
side the cost.
Reed said Gigis can cater wedding
cupcakes, including tastings, customiza-
tion, delivery and set-up, for about the
same price as a quality wedding cake. But
other local bakers warn that the cost can
be surprising and prohibitive for both
the bride and the baker (especially for
smaller bakeries). It simply takes more
time and resources to bake and decorate
300 cupcakes than it does to do a single,
elaborate cake.
Before closing her shop, Denas
Sweetly Unique Cakes in Beaumont, re-
cently, Dena Bryngelson was seeing a lot
of interest in wedding cupcakes at least
until customers found out the price.
The cost and labor to make cup-
cakes is harder on the baker. If someone
wants 10 diferent cupcake favors, you
have to make so much more batter and
youre spending more time on cupcakes,
decorating each one as opposed to making
a large cake, Bryngelson said. Custom-
ers expect to pay more for a cake and
less for cupcakes, so when you add time,
labor and ingredients, the price paid for
cupcakes barely covered the ingredients
used. Theres no proft, and we need to
pay our bills, too.
While cupcakes-as-wedding-cake
might be trending elsewhere, here in
Southeast Texas not so much.
When people fnd out the cost of the
cupcakes, they realize that where they
thought they would save money, theyre
not because it costs so much more to
make them, said Betty Perrin, president
of the Southeast Texas Cake Club. (Bet
you didnt even know there was such a
thing. For info,
But for weddings or not, cupcakes are
on the rise, and the addition of the new
Gigis franchise will expand Beaumonts
baked-goods horizons.
Beaumont is ready for something
diferent. Beaumont is always ahead of
the curve and pretty much with the times.
Cupcakes are the big thing now, so we
fgured it would good match, Comeaux
Cupcakes just make you happy, Reed
adds. When a person sees a cupcake,
or even when cupcakes are mentioned,
people just feel good. Cupcakes are more
than just food; theyre a feeling. VIP
38 January 2013 |
s e t x e v e n t s
vip spotlight
Paint the Town Silver
scott eslinger
Albert Nolen, Karen Wortham Rob Clark, Mitch Smith
Brittney and Kelly Teakell Nathan Wright, Stephan Malick
Tom Kiehnhoff, Louise and Rush Wood and Don Kelly Gerald Farha, Lou Huber and Julie Hise
Tam Kiehnhoff, Sandra Hammerling
Bob Wortham, Barbara and Ray Courville
Beau and Karen Dumesnil
Carlo Busceme, Susan Oliver and Lynn Bencowitz
Cheryl Bertrand, Michael Manuel and Betty Greenberg
Sheila and Greg Busceme and Elizabeth French David Constantine, Jeff McManus and Frances Mijares | January 2013 39
Main St. Market Bark for Life
Heather Shoemaker, Annie Tyner and Molly Bennett Jaylene Carr, Pam Caldwell, Liza Waddell, Julia Dungan
Stephanie and Kiley Brown
and Diana Land Dessie Richard
Taryn George, Kristin Davis, Taryn Robinson
Cheryl Adams, Beth Wilis Tom and Nelda Jones
Niesy Bevilacqua and Denice Romero Vanessa and Derek Melancon
Jayla and Lisa Ardoin
Jerri and Reagan Wolford
Dawson and Cory Brown
John Stevens, Matteo and Tommaso Guerri, Kara Hawthorn Diane Hilyar, Brenda Coleman Devyn Mitchell, Julie Weldy Jenny Bechtel
scott eslinger
scott eslinger
40 January 2013 |
Health & Beauty
from the Inside out....
(409) 994-9323
Buna Skin Center
Botox/Collagen Fillers
Laser Skin Rejuvenation
Weight Management
Hormone/Age Intervention
Hair Salon/Massage Therapy | January 2013 41
Experience the resort feeling without the price!
Te Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
Beaumont Plaza
Te Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
Beaumont Plaza
Let us share in planning your next event!
Contact our professional sales department.
3950 I 10 South @Walden Road
Beaumont, TX77705
Phone: (409) 842-5995 Fax: (409) 842-7810
Classic Custom Homes...We Pay Attention to Detail.
Jimmy Rippeon
Airport Travel Agency
Call today: 722-5699
6000 Airline Dr., Suite 104, Beaumont
Let the friendly, experienced staf at Airport Travel help you to
plan the destination wedding or honeymoon of your dreams.
Voted Best Travel Agency by the Readers Choice Awards
can come
can come
Please Go Away
Harvest of Hope
Sue Hebert, Gerri Christopher and JoBeth Jenkins Peggy and Allan Ritter
Shelley and Joe Tortorice Coquese Williams, Karen Gilman
Paul and Denise Broussard and Carol Fernandez Sandy and Joseph Fertitta
Vaughan and Alice Brown and Marsha and James Steffek
Gina Winegar, Camille Mouton
Morline Guillory, Saul Avila and Tanya Soto
ren sheppard
42 January 2013 |
2290 IH-10 S
@ Washington
Beaumont, TX
Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-7pm

Tuesdays Special:
Mexican or American
$2.99 All Day
Beef or Chicken
(Tuesdays only)
Mon. Wed. Special:
Beaumonts Best
Frozen or On the Rocks
House Margarita only.
4414 Dowlen
Gift Certificates

3: 00

7: 00
p. m
Mexican Food
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Fresh & Hot Everyday!
Pour Les Enfants Beneft
Darryl Corley and Rette Browning
Brooke Hall and Dustin and Laci Albanese
Cynthia and Ralph Teran Deborah Mitchell and Broze Simien
Patrick Barton, Bubba Blitch and Mark Hogue
Frank and Cary Coffn Marianne Robertson, Fr. John Hughes, Susan Johnson
Greg and Sheila Gentry Cutter Brewer and Christi Grudier
ren sheppard | January 2013 43
Ladies, for that
most special day
when you need to
look your very best.
LUX Salon and Spa
1127 Boston Ave., Nederland
b o u t o n n i e r e
vip adviser
the boot
to boring
rides are branching out from traditional bouquets, so why not have
some creative fun with the grooms boutonniere. We asked local
artisans, forists and designers to make a one-of-a-kind boutonniere for
the special day. With materials ranging from sharks tooth to gemstones
and quilled paper, these creations are as unique as the groom.
Created by: Ashlie
Renee of Silsbee
Made with: Coke
cans, ribbon and
Inspiration: It is
not what or how bad
something breaks you
that is important, but
what you do with the
pieces that matters.
Floral Twist
Created by: Sandra
Hubbell of Beaumont,
master forist at Pet-
als Florist
Made with: Orange
spray roses, brown
coated wire and bear
Inspiration: I love
using fowers to cre-
ate something never
seen before.
Glass Lotus
Created by: Alyssa Danna of Beaumont
Made with: Florists wire and glass paint
Inspiration: Weddings suggest beauty
loyalty, and elegance to me, thus the
lotus fower was a ftting symbol.
text by LaRena head photos by Ren sheppaRd
Fishing for a song
Created by: Summer Sanderson,
student and sales associate at
Nederland Jewelers
Made with: Flies for freshwater
fshing, sheet music, beads, ribbon
and glitter
Inspiration: My father, who is an
accomplished musician, fy fsher-
man and likes the color green.
44 January 2013 |
Porcelain Orchid
Created by: Amanda Barry
Jones of Beaumont
Made with: Raku clay
Inspiration: I like the colors
you get with a raku glaze fr-
ing and thought it would look
good against a dark jacket.
Copulating Mice
Created by: Abigail McLaurin, artist at The Art Studio
Made with: Sculpey, acrylic, wire, and faux grass
Inspiration: I wanted to create a comical fertility symbol. In
western culture, the mouse is used to symbolize everything from
destruction to fertility (perfect for marriage). The mouse is also
regarded to be one of the most fertile mammals. This considered,
I designed a boutonniere of mice copulating to reinforcing the
notion be fruitful and multiply.
Love Note
Created by: Casey Ogden of China, Texas
Made with: Metal tag, chain, burlap and
Inspiration: Words can be power-
ful. I wanted to incorporate a
message in this piece.
My hope was to create
something dainty, yet
Stoned Flower
Created by: Molly Atkinson Hauk of Orange
Materials used: Red jasper, green aventurine,
checkered cloth, satin pine green ribbon, 20 and 26
gauge wire, card stock for the leaves.
Inspiration: I had been saving these stones for a
special project. My primary focus was to make this
a nice addition to the details of a traditional black
and white wedding theme. I thought that the beveled
leaves would give the formal look a nice fnish.
Copper Accents
Created by: Brenda Ramsey
of Winnie
Made with: Above: Leather
and copper fower, vintage but-
ton center, burlap backing. Left:
vintage key, copper wire heart
Inspiration: I like the thought
of using repurposed and
natural items together to create
an unusual look, the copper is
a perfect accent to set off the
natural look. | January 2013 45
Paper Quilling
Created by: Thomas
Tran of Beaumont,
cake decorator at Some-
thing Special Bakery
Made with: Quilling paper
Inspiration: I wanted to
keep the typical boutonniere
look of fowers and roses
but make it out of a differ-
ent material, that was both
simple and complex.
Tribal Talisman
Created by: Kim Williams of
Made with: A slice of geode mounted
in a sterling silver setting, sharks
tooth and spray of silver threads.
Inspiration: I have a rich collection
of antique and vintage jewelry. A dear
friend gave me the centerpiece of the
boutonniere I created. It is masculine
and all it needed was a little help to
send it over the top.
Beads & Buttons
Created by: Rachel Binagia of
Made with: Beads and but-
tons with wire and suede rope,
and a piece of chiffon.
Inspiration: I used the same
materials I use to make jewelry
and translated it into a bouton-
niere. Using a variety of beads
and buttons allows you to use
multiple colors and create a
unique look.
46 January 2013 |
3737 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, TX
Ellis offers
custom designer
for special
events or your
home and offce.
We also
carry a wide
variety of fowers
to create
your own look.
The Blind Factory
7396 College St.
Beaumont, TX 77707
Toll Free 877.281.9717
One-of-a-kind, custom window coverings
Symphony of SE
Texas Pops Concert
January 19
Symphony Pops Concert A
Gospel Celebration featuring
the Symphony of Southeast
Texas and the Antioch
Missionary Baptist Church
choir, 7:30 p.m., Julie Rogers
Theatre, Beaumont. Tickets
$15-$36. (409) 892-2257 or go
great dates in january
Shatners World, We
Just Live In It
January 7
William Shatners popular one-man
show comes to SE Texas. 7:30 p.m.,
Lutcher Theater for the Performing
Arts, Orange. Meet Shatner with a $40
VIP pass at a post show meet and
greet. Tickets $40-$70. (409) 886-
5535 or
La Soiree:
Texas on the Ritz
January 26
Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas
annual soiree and fundraiser. Upon
arriving, guests are treated to a
cocktail hour and a silent auction.
The highlight of the evening is a
fashion show, Entergy Lights Up
the Night, that features professional
and local models wearing high
end fashion from Southeast Texas
retailers. Also includes live auction,
gourmet meal and a live band
6:30 p.m., Beaumont Civic Center,
Beaumont. $175 per person. (409)
Bridal Traditions
Winter Bridal Show
January 22
Annual wedding show kicks
off the 2013 wedding season.
With dozens of vendors, fnd
everything you need to prepare
for your Big Day! 11 a.m. to
5 p.m. at the Beaumont Civic
Center. Tickets are available
in advance at Cindys Bridal in
Vidor and J & J Monogram in
Lumberton (409) 769-7599.
Event Submissions
Do you have an event you would like to promote? Do it with VIP for FREE! Please send us detailsdates, times,
location, contact phone, web address and a brief descriptionto Information
should arrive at least 60 days in advance of the event.
{ January }
Modern Impulses and Surreal
Reception 7 p.m., Dishman Art
Museum at Lamar University,
Beaumont. Free. (409) 880-8959 or
Beaumont Art League Group Show
Reception 7-9 p.m., Beaumont Art
League. Free. (409) 833-4179 or www.
Hotel California
Original tribute to the Eagles, Nutty
Jerrys, Winnie. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Tickets $25, $35. (877) 643-7508 or
Texas Country Music Show
7:30 p.m., Palace Theater, Kirbyville.
Adults $7, children 7-12 $3. (409)
40th Annual Hardin County Youth Fair
Livestock show, shopping and
entertainment. 9 a.m. , 3677 Hwy 32
Kountze. (409) 998-4105
Pairings: A Gourmet Fundraiser
Fundraiser for the Dishman Art
Museum, 6 p.m. at the Lamar
University Reception Center, Mary
and John Gray Library. Reservations or
information: (409) 880-8959
Edge of Mists: Photography by
David H. Gibson, Sarah Williams:
Remote America and San Angelo
Three exhibitions open with a
reception, 7 p.m., Art Museum of
Southeast Texas, Beaumont. Free.
Suggested donation $2. Hours: noon-5
p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-
Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. (409)
832-3432 or
Hay Fever
Comedy presented by the Beaumont
Community Players, 7:30 p.m., Betty
Greenberg Center for the Performing
Arts, Beaumont. (409) 833-4664 or
Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch
10 a.m., Robert A. Bob Bowers Civic
Center, Port Arthur. (409) 722-5314 or
48 January 2013 |
Port Arthur Chamber Banquet
113th Annual Banquet at the Robert
A. Bob Bowers Civic Center
in Port Arthur. 6-9 p.m. www., (409)-963-1107
Acrobatic performers who make
music from brooms, pipes, cigarette
lighters and garbage cans, 7:30 p.m.,
Lutcher Theater, Orange. Tickets
Willie Nelson
Special guests Folk Family Revival,
Nutty Jerrys, Winnie. Doors open at
7 p.m. Tickets $50, $75, $100. (877)
643-7508 or
Hot Hearts
Religious event for teens featuring
David Crowder, Skillet, Beautiful
Eulogy and Kacy Benson, 5:45-10:15
p.m. Jan. 25, and 8:30 a.m.-4:30
p.m. Jan. 26, Ford Park, Beaumont.
Tickets $30 until Dec. 31, $35 after
Jan. 1. (409) 792-1960 or email
Hay Fever
See previous listing.
The Harlem Globetrotters
7 p.m., Ford Arena, Beaumont.
Tickets start at $21. www.fordpark.
com, or (800)
Anayat House Lagniappe Fest
Gumbo, Zydeco tunes, games
and garage sale. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
at Knights of Columbus Hall,
Mental Health America of Southeast
Texas Meeting and Gala
6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn and Suites,
Beaumont. The Julie Rogers Special
Service Award and the Doris and Dr.
Harry Starr Award for Excellence
will be presented. Tickets $75 per
person. Sponsorship levels available.
(409) 833-9657.
Hay Fever
See previous listing. | January 2013 49
1 The Twilight Saga _____
5 Soulja ___
7 Supermans last name
9 Cowboys football team city
10 Clear ones throat (sound)
12 60s actress, Margaret
14 Southern Voice country singer,
Tim _____
17 Oakland baseball team, for short
18 Sound of merriment
20 ___ King- blues great
21 Indiana Jones actor, ____ Ford
23 Spanish word for yes
24 Laker who married Khloe
Kardashian, Lamar ___
25 He won an Academy Award for
best actor for his role in Color of
Money, Paul ____
26 ___ Sajak, Wheel of Fortune host
27 General Hospitals ___ Drake
28 Well be Together singer, formerly
with The Police
1 Cell phone brand
2 Bebe and Cece ____, who sang
3 Teen drama, set in California, The
4 Hoops grp.
5 Kristen Stewarts role in Twilight,
frst name
6 You betcha!
8 To the N__ degree
9 Run ___, top 80s hip hop group
11 She plays Hermione in the Harry
Potter series, _____ Watson
13 Catch
15 Celtics power forward Kevin ___
16 Legendary rock group who sang
Tommy, The ___
19 Unknown writer
20 His debut single was Run it, Chris
21 Not her
22 ____ and Garfunkel
23 Cubs big hitter, Sammy ____
25 His frst album was Illmatic
Find answers on page 4
c r o s s w o r d
vip magazine
g u e s t c o l u m n
vip voices
text by Holli Petersen
f all the love stories ever
recorded, mine is my
It began with a ter-
rible kiss, possibly the
worst ever. It was forced
and sloppy and uncomfortable.
I can admit that because I happened
to marry the guy and there is a certain
privacy you give up when you wed a
I met my future husband in the usual
way through the millions of invisible
threads that connect people. We had
friends in common. We belonged to the
same church group. We regularly ran
into each other at college parties and
activities. And, at some point, we even
double dated diferent people.
My frst hint should have been that
I was more interested in the other girls
date than in my own date. But, I was
blissfully oblivious. All I knew was that
this guy had a certain familiarity to
him, a welcome respite to my homesick
At a costume party, I ran into him
again. I was a pumpkin and he was a
nudist on strike. I thought he was witty.
He thought I was cute. We danced to a
song or two and he told me I was a bad
dancer. Yet, at the end of the night, I
hugged him with my whole heart and
eventually, he asked me out.
It was at the end of the second date
that he went in for the kiss.
The kiss, in case youre wondering,
is everything. The kiss is the litmus
test for chemistry. And, clearly, we had
Ahem. Id rather be a bad dancer
than a bad kisser. Or so I consoled
The next day, he announced that we
should just remain friends. Truer words
had never been spoken. And, that was
Except, we
really did remain
friends. Best
friends, to be ex-
act. That rotten
kiss eradicated
any possible
romantic ten-
sion, allowing
us to just be ourselves. We
were the type of friends that talked
about everything, watched movies in
PJs and told crass jokes. He appreciated
my bawdy sense of humor and I toler-
ated his bad habits.
And, so it came as some surprise
one night, after eating a pickle and
watching a movie, when he leaned over
and kissed me. Pickle breath notwith-
standing, it was the most amazing kiss
Id ever had! Toes curled, imaginary
freworks erupted, crowds cheered.
Did I mention that the kiss is every-
Listen, a kiss like that can begin
and end wars. Break your heart right
in half and then seal it back together
again. And, transform best friends into
companions in a mere second.
Many, many happy months later, I
went to watch my boyfriend perform in
a talent show. Hes very musically gifted
(hello, turn-on) and was performing
a song hed written to a large
he took the
stage, he
looked un-
cally nervous.
And, then he
sputtered into
the microphone
that I was to
come up to the
front. Surely, he
was playing some
prank on me.
With me sitting
directly in front of
him, he began to sing
a song hed written for
me. And, at the end of
it, he knelt down and
The crowd gasped
along with me and a few
shouted, Say yes.
I dont know if I ever squeaked the
words out. I think I might have nodded.
I might have called him a jerk. But, that
was the beginning of the end.
It has been almost nine years and I
still get to kiss my best friend goodnight
every night.
And, in case youre wondering, the
kiss is still everything.
My toes are still curled. VIP
Serenade to a Kiss
ves. We
friends that talked
tched vies in
a song hed written
was pla
him, he began
a song he
me. And,
it, he knelt
The crow
along with
50 January 2013 |
Altus Patient Navigator Program
Helping Patients Find their Way
Experience the Altus Difference
The possibility of a cancer diagnosis can be a frightening, confusing and overwhelming experience. But at Altus
Cancer Centers, we give our patients refuge from this uncertainty by offering personalized services that other
hospital-based cancer centers cant provide.
Our Patient Navigator can assist your patient through the complex and
often daunting health care system. Specifically, we can assist with:
Explaining abnormal test results and provide education about a diagnosis
Schedule diagnostic procedures (PET, CT, MRI), biopsy (stereolactic, needle guided or open)
Refer directly to our Board-Certified team of Medical Oncologists and Radiation Oncologists
at a location convenient for your patient
Conduct genetic testing and counseling and education
Additionally, our Patient Navigator will:
Serve as a liaison and facilitate communication between all members of the treatment team
Facilitate rapid turn-around time on scheduling of tests and diagnosis
Help patients and families set realistic expectations related to therapy
Identify valuable resources for transportation, lodging and prescription assistance
The Altus Patient Navigator Program redefines the patient experience to ensure quality outcomes by combining
knowledge and skills with the support, compassion and spirituality that our patients deserve.
To refer one of your patients to our Patient Navigator, please call us at 409.981.5517.
310 N. 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702
409.981.5510 Fax: 409.981.5511
Our Patient Navigator can assist you through the complex and often
daunting health care system. Specifcally, we can assist with:
Explaining abnormal test results and provide
education about a diagnosis
Schedule diagnostic procedures (PET, CT, MRI),
biopsy (stereolactic, needle guided or open)
Refer directly to our Board-Certifed team of
Medical Oncologists and Radiation Oncologists
at a location convenient for your patient
Conduct genetic testing and counseling
and education
The possibility of a cancer diagnosis can be a frightening, confusing and overwhelming
experience. But at Altus Cancer Centers, we provide refuge from this uncertainty by offering
personalized services that other hospital-based cancer centers cant provide.
Dr. Ernest Hymel is one of the Altus Cancer Centers team
of Board-Certifed Radiation Oncologists.
Experience the Altus Difference
310 N. 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702
409.981.5510 Fax: 409.981.5511
To learn more, please call us at 409.981.5517.
A Cancer Diagnosis Is Only
The Beginning of Your Journey.
But You Are Not Alone...