Michelle Leo Events Takes Texas


Last week, Team MLE headed to San Antonio, Texas to execute a Monet-inspired, water-color dream of a wedding! We had so much fun and wanted to share a bit of our behind-the-scenes experience with you today. MLE Planner Mackenzie recaps below:

The Texas heat, humidity, and hospitality welcomed Team MLE to San Antonio this past weekend for one incredible out-of-state wedding. Kate had gushed about the grandeur of the wedding’s location, Hotel Emma, but it was not until I saw if for myself that I realized she was in no way exaggerating; it radiated personality and I was instantly charmed by its subtle, southwestern/industrial style. Originally a brewery built in 1894, the hotel embraced its history through the inclusion of old brew tanks and distillery machinery in its decor, and as I would come to discover, just like the bride (Adva) and groom (Bart), it was bursting with unique, yet classic, character.

Upon arrival on Wednesday, the MLE team took a moment to briefly settle in, exploring the Pearl District and getting some good ole’ Texas BBQ before hitting the ground running the next morning. Thursday was spent setting up and placing the event’s structural elements. A large, white tile dance floor was installed and framed by two 24-foot tables on each side. (using six 8-foot buffet tables) A mix of round tables filled the remaining space including a sweetheart table for the bride and groom, and some cocktail tables.

The bride loves art. Specifically, Monet’s water color series and thus, this artistic style became the main design influence. To incorporate a splash of watery color, soft purple uplighting was placed in front of the refurbished, white brew tanks along the walls of the space including the exposed brick wall at the furthest end of the room.

Silvery bengaline linens were laid on the dining tables, while rose quartz, dove, and arctic blue velvet linens were placed on the bistro tables. Even though Texas is humid, our linens still required steaming in order to create the look of effortless draping (Brooke and the steamer quickly became BFFs). Finally, pin lighting was installed on three of the room’s chandeliers and focused on the center of each table in order to illuminate the floral that would adorn them the next day.

The ceremony took place outdoors in Hotel Emma's beautiful courtyard. A tiled fountain with lush greenery flanked the backdrop of the beautiful wood chuppa and additional greenery was added to the beams running across the top of the open ceiling to create a natural and organic enclosure.

It was a welcome change to be able to do a significant amount of setup the day BEFORE the event, and I knew our feet, backs, and minds would be appreciative the following day - wedding day. That night we even had the time to enjoy a river cruise, saw the Almo, and really enjoyed the River Walk in general.

Friday – the big day – was devoted to decor and details (our favorite part). Paper green leaves, adorned with each guest’s name and table number in hand-done calligraphy served as part one of the escort card table. Meanwhile, part two of the escort card display was constructed by carefully placing hand-made paper flowers in shades of light blue, blush pink, and midnight blue paper flowers in a custom white frame, to recreate an artistic piece inspired by Monet.

Also inspired by Monet were the stunning floral arrangements, which consisted of tall and short displays, and were placed at the center of each round table and down the length of the banquet tables. The colors within each purposefully-selected bloom were a water-color dream and merged perfectly with the lighting and beautiful shades of the table linens.

More greenery was hung above and down either side of the sweetheart table to create a framing effect around the bride and groom. The ceremony and reception seating was finalized and placecards were situated, ensuring that each guest in attendance would receive a seat. The amazing ghost chairs (used for both the ceremony and reception) were wiped down (for the up-teenth time), front-to-back, down-and-up, to ensure a clear, translucent effect, and natural, tan sandalwood fans were placed on each seat to keep guests semi-cool during the evening ceremony.

As the event design was inspired by art, it only seemed fitting that a live artist was at the reception to capture every beautiful detail in a custom canvas that the bride and groom will have to cherish forever. In addition to this amazing detail, the bride’s friend painted a lovely portrait of the couple and turned the image it into a poster for guests to sign. This amazing element took place of the traditional sign in book and MLE is a total fan.

During the ceremony, the MLE team lit candles along the corridor and inside the reception area, and even expanded our “usual duties” by assembling a child’s play tent in the kid’s space. Cocktail hour began immediately following the ceremony, and was followed by toasts, dinner, dancing, and lots of smiling faces. At midnight, Adva and Bart were sent off with a shower of bubbles and hopped in a Rolls Royce to make their way to The Alamo for midnight pictures.

Can you believe these stunning bridals shot by Heather Nan? Adva was a breathtaking bride. 


After dissembling the event space, Michelle talked the team in to going out for some celebratory nachos and amazingly, we still had energy at 2AM. So when the boss lady wants nachos after a successful event, you go out for some nachos. When in Texas, right?!

Overall, the wedding was a dream and upon reflection, I feel so blessed to have been a part of it. Like every event, I learned something new, but this time I felt more depended upon, and I relished it. I learned more about the “whys” and the “hows” of event design, planning, and execution, and I found a new appreciation for all that goes into a successful event. I believe we all left San Antonio a little wiser, a little closer, and definitely more tired than we did when we arrived. However, it was the good kind of tired that comes from working your butt off and reaping the benefits. I think we all agree that we love a good destination wedding and we are definitely ready to book more!