HOW TO CREATE A “COUPLE BUBBLE”

HOW TO CREATE A “COUPLE BUBBLE”

We all want someone in our lives with whom we connect and “gets us” the way we want to be seen and heard. That’s a soulmate, and our Austin-based Resonance Repatternist, Mary Schneider, reveals what it means and how to find one as you begin or deepen your phase of coupledom.

WEDDED BLISS

Weddings and romance engender lots of tropes––and romantic ideas. And drama, of course. Everyone has their ‘crazy’ wedding stories. Issues abound–perfectionism reigns. Every detail is poured over and scrutinized. If one pays close attention, the energetic vibrations of a fairy tale are revealed. This is heady and transmissible. That’s why we love them.

I once shared an office with one of the premier wedding consultants of the 80s and 90s. The mothers of the brides would arrive. Pleasantries would be exchanged, and inevitably, she would inquire, “What had so and so’s wedding cost?” My friend would divulge the price, and the mother would reply, “Please make my budget $5K more.” The business end of a multi-billion-dollar industry, I thought at the time, was just a trifle cynical.

Later, after becoming an ordained minister and officiating several delightful, lovely wedding ceremonies, it became clear I was most interested in how this would work––over time. In the past, I have written a lot about parenting. Specifically, exploring the idea that our parents teach us how to be a mom or dad, and how to overcome the pitfalls they may have encountered.

Just as it is with parenting, coupledom depends to a large degree on how a couple’s parents manage their own marriages. As in parenting, if couples get help, marriage can be awesome and fulfilling. Unfortunately, people are not given much training in parenting or marriage skills. We are required to know more to get a driver’s license than we need to be a parent. If we do not receive any education about raising children, we will eventually fall back on and follow what our parents did––for good or bad. It is the very same with marriage.

What did the parents model in their coupledom? How did they solve problems; what roles were assumed; were the parents happy with those roles? Was divorce involved? Infidelity? Money issues? Substance abuse? How does one raise healthy, happy children? As a therapist working with potential marriage partners and veteran couples for the past 25 years, I have always known the questions hovering in the background of the Big Day would journey to the foreground soon enough. We ask ourselves, “How do we go about being in a successful marriage?” Sometimes, these weighty matters are discussed before the ceremony, but often they are not. As we all know, part of the fairy tale suggests it will work out after all–happily ever after.

Historically, tradition has suggested the fallacy that one must make their partner ‘happy.’ In truth, what works is when each partner brings their own happiness to the relationship, potentially creating a bond where happiness can be shared. This is the ideal but rarely accomplished easily. The writer I refer to below puts it this way, “The nitty gritty personal history always overtakes ideals.” What would make this kind of shared happiness attainable? Where can we start?

 

WIRED FOR LOVE

In his book, Wired for Love, author and psychologist Stan Tatkin proposes married couples create a “Couple Bubble.” Mutuality is the answer. He writes, “’Couple Bubble’ is a term I like to use to describe the mutually constructed membrane, cocoon, or womb that holds a couple together and protects each partner from outside elements.” He defines the “Couple Bubble” as “an intimate environment partners create and sustain together.” This environment is its own ecosystem, assuring a few inalienable rights.

He enumerates the rights: “I will never leave you. I will never frighten you purposely. When you are in distress, I will relieve you, even if I am the one who is causing the distress. Our relationship is more important than my need to be right, your performance, appearance, what other people think or want, or any other competing values. You will be the first to hear about anything and not the second, third, or fourth person I tell.”

When I think about it, this is the ideal treatment for a parent/child relationship, too. Tatkin goes on to explain how mutuality can be established in many different conditions. What do we do at a party to maintain the “Couple Bubble”? Safety and security are the hallmarks of this methodology. If this agreement between two people is kept intact, when the relationship is challenged, it can prove to be the only thing holding it together. We can move on from there in a positive direction.

The first time I encountered this concept, I was intrigued because I could immediately envision the ‘bubble’ in my mind. Decades ago, a therapist recommended I “bubble up” in stressful situations. I would imagine myself walking in a big, beautiful, impenetrable sphere, and it seemed to work. However, I never transferred that imagery to include people with whom I was in a romantic relationship. It would have been helpful.

Considering the incredible number of variables in the human psyche and condition, it is a wonder we effectively engage in intimate relationships at all. We are courageous and keep getting back ‘in the arena.’ This concept is one way to think about your marriage at any point in time, but it is highly recommended at the beginning––right along with the wedding plans.

 

EPIC ENCOUNTERS

EPIC ENCOUNTERS

Where to go, how to support, and whom to know this spring? Look no further than here for our recommendations of the latest and greatest that Texans will love, according to our cool arbiter Lance Avery Morgan, who is always on the scene looking out for our best interests.

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

MEET ME AT THE PALACE

Led by its new President, Alicia Bryan, a Houstonian-turned San Antonian, the American Friends of Versailles weekend at the fabled palace, as well as gatherings in nearby Paris, is the place to be to kick off your five-star summer… Le Gala des Fleurs d’Oranger. Founded by Amarillo-born Catharine Hamilton decades ago, the preservation ties between the OG Cultural Landmark and Texas remain strong. From May 31 – June 3. To support, visit AmericanFriendsOfVersailles.org.

A WOMAN’S VIEW

Houstonian Sir Mark Haukohl’s collection of 47 women artists who are challenging the notions of gender, nationhood, and the practice of photography itself are the focus of the upcoming must-see exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The prior success of In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe, Selections from the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection occurred at the Los Angeles County Museum in 2022. March 8–July 7. At BrooklynMuseum.org.

Courtesy of Haute Hostess
Courtesy of Virgin Dallas

NOW THAT TAKES THE CAKE

Most agree that the best wedding cakes in the state are made at Paige’s Bakehouse in the Austin area. The seventh-generation Texan Paige Morgan Perry is the fan favorite for creating artisanal, memorably creative, and festive cakes for any wedding or special occasion. “This is the most important day in a person’s life, and everything has to be perfect,” says Perry. “The cake is a sweet symbol of a couple’s love, and we make sure their vision is perfection.” At PaigesBakehouse.com.

FEATHERED & FABULOUS

This mini caftan is a part of the capsule collection for The SIL x The Beverly Hills Hotel. Dallas-based La Vie Style House’s combination of light pink silk mixed with pink feathers is an ode to Old Hollywood’s glamorous style. This classic caftan silhouette has a button placket front and boasts wide ostrich feathered sleeves. We love that The SIL’s native Texan-turned-Angeleno founder Natalie Bloomingdale is making the world more dazzling with each of her style collaboratives.  $950. At TheSILShop.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green
Courtesy of Restore 180

RETREAT & REFRESH

Long ranked as one of the preeminent rejuvenation destinations in the

world, Lake Austin Spa Resort continues to dazzle.

Open year-round, the resort offers total immersive wellness experiences with an emphasis on the naturally restorative power and healing effects of water.

We love that the 25,000-square-foot Lake House Spa Resort features an outdoor

Palm Pool, hot tub, cabanas, 30 treatment areas, including garden

tents and suites, indoor heated Junior Olympic-length lap pool in the

Pool Barn, and two acres of terraced foliage and aquatic

gardens. A few days here will seem like a month anywhere else.

At LakeAustin.com

ALL HAT, NO CATTLE

We’ve found your next custom hat purchase. With the Yellowstone T.V. series craze in full throttle, it’s affected runways and closets across the world. Enter Cassandra Everett, founder of Cenizo West and Cenizo Hatworks, and her companies that craft her designs in Texas. Born in San Antonio and raised in Corpus Christi and Kerrville, she currently enjoys rural life in Sabinal, Texas (approximately 60 miles west of San Antonio). There she creates her Western designs that are sweeping the world. At CenizoHatworks.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green

TASTE THE RAINBOW

TASTE THE RAINBOW

Glitz, meet glamour…as the most colorful jewels this season are about to become your new favorites. In every color of the spectrum, we advise mixing and matching to your heart’s wildest content. Too much is never enough, according to our jewelry admirer Lance Avery Morgan.

This Prisma necklace by Ruchi New York is a stunner with 53.44 carats of candy-hued sapphires and 0.58 carats of diamonds. Price Upon Request. At Kelly Wade Jewelers.

CANDLE
PAN

Get ready to turn heads with this sapphire and diamond necklace in a rainbow of colors. Perfect for any occasion. $95,000. At Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.

This High Jewelry necklace by BVLGARI in pink gold with three cushion sugarloaf cut rubellites, two cushion sugarloaf cut pink tourmalines, and pavé-set diamonds will have tongues wagging. Price Upon Request. At BVLGARI Houston Store or 713.622.7574 for more details.

French Oil
EYE MASK KEEP BOX IN

The High Jewelry Divas’ Dream necklace by BVLGARI in pink gold with on cabochon rubellite, six rubellite beads, 26 buff-top rubies, one round diamond, and pavé-set diamonds…should set the room ablaze when you enter. Price Upon Request. At BVLGARI Houston Store or 713.622.7574 for more details.

This beauty of a right-hand ring resembles a flower bouquet set in a dome ring style. Multi-colored jewels wrap all the way around. Price Upon Request. At Kelly Wade Jewelers.

BOOK
CHARGER

Be the toast of the event with a mixed gemstone ring, in a plethora of colors, with two layers of stones encircling the marvelous center stone. $12,500. At Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.

Add more joy every day by donning this darling multi-gem bracelet. The estate piece is a  rainbow square-cut bracelet set with amethyst, garnet, tourmaline, citrine, peridot, aquamarine, and tanzanite. $3250. At Tenenbaum Jewelry.

PJS NEW
your birthday can be any day

Up your hoop game and add a twist of playfulness to any look with these Desert Blooms Wildflower earrings that resemble flowering vines of springtime. They feature 16.52 carats of colorful sapphires at a length of 1.5 inches. Price Upon Request at Kelly Wade Jewelers.

Slip on this High Jewelry Serpenti bracelet by BVLGARI in pink gold with mother of pearl elements, one oval spinel, 28 fancy tourmalines, two fancy emeralds, and pavé-set diamonds. Price Upon Request. At BVLGARI Houston Store or 713.622.7574 for more details.

GLOSSIER
your birthday can be any day

This mesmerizing wrist wonder of rubies, tanzanite, and diamonds in two tone 18K Gold is sure to stop traffic, don’t you think? Price Upon request. At Tenenbaum Jewelers.

Create your own Bridgerton-esque drama and intrigue by wearing these antique Georgian-era amethyst 22K Gold cannetille drop earrings, circa 1830. At Tenenbaum Jewelers.

GLOSSIER
your birthday can be any day

These Desert Blooms Wildflower drop earrings feature 12.99 carats of sapphires in assorted hues. Price Upon Request. At Kelly Wade Jewelers.

This seven-inch-long Line bracelet features a variety of fancy colored emerald-cut sapphires in 18K yellow gold settings alternating with baguette diamonds with 18K white gold links. $45,000. At Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.

GLOSSIER

A GRAND AFFAIR

A GRAND AFFAIR

Sabrina Wyant and Saahil Pasha Exchange Vows

By Lance Avery Morgan Photography by Brianna Ghattas of Studio B Photography

It was the stunning view, and the feeling of being the only two people in the world was unforgettable when the groom popped the question to his intended on the top of the snowy mountain, Sapphire Point Overlook, during a ski trip with friends in Breckenridge. After a courtship of three years and an engagement of less than a year, Sabrina Wyant, daughter of Amy McRae and David Mark Wyant, Sr. of Dallas, married Saahil Pasha, son of Samantha and Saleem Pasha of Bangalore, India, in a gorgeous ceremony at the Grand Galvez Hotel in Galveston.

The couple, who met through mutual friends at Baylor University, were instantly drawn to each other. “The moment I met Saahil, I felt like I met my long-lost best friend,” said the bride. “His sense of humor and genuine kind-hearted soul were evident the day I met him and continue to brighten my life every single day.” The groom shared his bride’s sentiment: “Sabrina was extremely playful and kind with an air of mystery. Not to mention, absolutely stunning. Now that I have gotten to know her on a deeper level, I see how much care she has for the people she loves. She is extremely ambitious, protective, and hard-working.”

For the wedding and reception at the Grand Galvez Hotel, the bride looked beautiful, escorted by her father down the aisle while wearing a gown by Jane Hill of Alice and Ivory in Dallas. Sabrina was attended by her Maid of Honor Sloane Bond, as well as Maddie Dabbs, Madeline Maritato, Summer Michaels, Amber Mills, Reilly Offenbecher, Sanayah Pasha, Opal Prajapati, Torie Rivas, and Stefany Romero. Saahil was attended by his brother and Best Man, Zaman Pasha, and his Co-Best Man was Milad Abedi. His groomsmen were Jonathan Cicherski, Orlando Romero, Benjamin Ritter, Nathaniel Chu, Steven Dabbs, Harrison Maritato, Paul Le, David Wyant, and Skylar Rivas. The couple’s toy poodle puppy, Enzo, served as the ring bearer. “I was lining up to walk for the start of the ceremony with all the groomsmen, bridesmaids, and close family,” recalls the groom. “Seeing the number of people that made the effort to be there with us overwhelmed me with emotion.”

The seated black tie dinner for the 150 guests was a black and gold Great Gatsby theme, in keeping with the Grand Galvez’s storied provenance. Vera Taku of V’etta Creations created the floral design, while the wedding cake was made by Sinfully Sweet Cake Design. At the reception, Sabrina’s brother, David Wynant, did an impromptu speech inspired by a speech from the film The Hangover that charmed the crowd.

Both graduates of Baylor University, Sabrina is a hospitality professional and works as a Revenue Manager, while the groom is a Clinical Trial Associate. After a honeymoon in Honolulu, Hawaii, they reside in Dallas, where they enjoy skiing, traveling, and trying new cuisines.

A CHANCE ROMANCE

A CHANCE ROMANCE

Sarah Chase Webber And Doug Barber Exchange Vows

By Alexandra Del Lago Photography by Sarah AUSTIN, Chris Bailey Photography

It seemed like a perfect plot point for a romantic comedy film when Sarah Chase Webber, daughter of Mary and Temple Webber of Houston, met Doug Barber, son of Robert and Lois (now deceased) Barber of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sarah had just returned to Houston from living in Washington, D.C. when she got a puppy. While walking her new dog, Riley, she met Doug, the owner of his dog, Bear, who lived two doors down, as it would happen. During the pandemic, the puppies played together daily, and soon, Sarah and Doug were a couple. It was meant to be.

“Doug was so sweet, and I enjoyed getting to know him and going on walks with our dogs,” shared the bride, Sarah Barber. “I love Doug’s sense of humor and think he is the most fun to be around.” The groom, Doug Barber, said, “Sarah has this warmth that drew me to her when we first met. I love her lively spirit and that she deeply cares for the people in her life.”

After Doug proposed to Sarah at Doug’s family place in Ashville, North Carolina, the wedding preparations in Houston began. The bride had attended camp nearby for eight years as a child, so it was the perfect spot. The wedding and poolside reception were held at the Bayou Club. The bride wanted color and lots of flowers. The varying shades of light and bright pink, oranges, and greens were gorgeously implemented for the special day. Sarah wanted it to feel very springlike, as if stepping into a flower shop, which was masterfully achieved thanks to the floral décor created by Bergner & Johnson Design while Sarah Bett of Belle Events planned the wedding.

The bride wore a dress by Elizabeth Fillmore Bridal in New York as she was walked down the aisle by her father to the tune, Here Comes The Sun. There was no “first look,” so it was a perfect setting for Sarah and Doug to see each other for the first time that day. Sarah’s Matron of Honor was Elizabeth Rambin, while Maid of Honor Alexandra Reiss served her along with attendants Casey Roeling and Lindsay Tanenbaum. Doug selected Jim Barber as his Best Man, along with his groomsmen Charles Barber, Patrick Boyd, Elliot Dahl, Jonathan Jordan, Robert Seanet, John Webber, and Franklin Wolfe. In fact, Doug had given all his groomsmen cowboy hats, which were floating around the dance floor and enjoyed by many throughout the night.

After the ceremony, the cocktail reception featured a raw bar with oysters, crab, and shrimp, followed by a buffet dinner. During this time, the couple’s specialty cocktails were served that honored their dogs: the Riley Rita and the Bayou Bear (based on the Bayou Club’s Bayou Breeze drink). Party In The City provided the music for dancing before the couple hopped into a vintage Ford Bronco, a favorite of Doug’s, and kept the exuberant party going at the St. Regis Hotel.

Sarah graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina and works in marketing at Memorial Hermann Health System. Doug graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania before earning his graduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a geologist at Chevron. The happy couple honeymooned at Turtle Inn in Belize and reside in Houston.

IN THE STARS

IN THE STARS

Zöe Legate Dobson And Connor Eaton Howden Wed

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Jenny DeMarco

Sometimes, a couple is destined to be together. It’s written in the stars, one might say. That was the case for Zöe Dobson and Connor Howden. The two have known each other all their lives, growing up in the same neighborhood in Austin and frequently seeing one another due to the friendship between their parents. These childhood friends went to elementary and high school together before they gave romance a go in their junior year of high school. The duo was initially drawn together due to their similar interests and understanding of their unique sense of humor.

The two dated for two years when college beckoned. They parted ways as they went to separate universities in different states. After two years apart, “We both realized during our junior year of college that we were each other’s person,” mused Zöe. “We have been together ever since and are still best friends today.” Upon completing college, Zöe returned home to Austin to continue their romance. After dating for several more years, the bride-to-be was in for the happiest surprise of her life. “Connor had my friends organize a girl’s happy hour on the patio at The Four Seasons in Austin,” Zöe happily recalls. “They got me to walk down to Lady Bird Lake for pictures where Connor was waiting. He rented a boat for us and proposed at sunset, overlooking the city’s skyline where we both grew up just as stars started appearing in the evening sky..”

The couple was engaged for 13 months before their wedding at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. There, on a picture-perfect spring day, the couple exchanged their vows in an outdoor ceremony underneath The Star of Texas on the newly opened promenade outside the museum. The bride looked stunning in her Ramona Keveza wedding dress as her father escorted her down the aisle with an elegant mix of white, light blue, and peach flowers designed by Remi + Gold. Zöe’s brother, Jack, wedded the couple in front of 350 invited friends and family members.

The reception, held inside the atrium of The Bullock Museum, was beautifully executed by Lexie Perez of 787 Events. The duo opted for open seating where guests could sit and dine at their leisure in a fun mix of square, round, and high-top tables, all featuring Lucite chairs. During the reception, guests were treated to a custom margarita bar, a five-tier all-white wedding cake, and late-night chicken and biscuits. The couple departed with the help of family and friends who stood on either side of the couple, holding sparklers and cheering them on a clear, starry night.

As for their favorite part of the day, the bride and groom agreed it was being with their friends and family who had been with them through their entire 10-year journey. “To have all of our best friends from growing up together, college, and adulthood was so special,” they remarked. “It was so special and fun to connect all of our favorite people in one room.”

Zöe, the daughter of Diana and Casey Dobson of Austin, is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and an investment banker at Focus Strategies. Connor, the son of Jenna and Robert Howden, also of Austin, is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and works in commercial real estate for Kairoi Residential. The couple reside in Austin, where they enjoy exploring the city’s vibrant food scene, boating on Lake Austin, and attending University of Texas football games.