July 2010 Winner Marisa Melancon
By Laurette M. Veres Photography by Chris Wineinger
I have just arrived at the photo shoot for this summer’s Billboard Bride: Marisa Melancon. Her auburn hair and bright smile illuminate Chris Wineinger’s studio. Wineinger captures the perfect shot. “She’s a natural,” he says. “Every smile is right on.” The quintessential “cheese cake cutie,” Marisa shares her romance with the world.
Twice per year, the Bridal Extravaganza Show selects a new face to represent the largest bridal show in the country on billboards in the greater Houston area. All brides who attend the event are eligible. This coveted honor is a gift not available on any registry.
According to Taska Ventura, Billboard Bride sponsor and owner of Ventura’s Bridal, “We look for a new fresh face each show. We were impressed by the stylish and professional attitude of all the contestants.” Marisa selected her gowns for the photo shoot from the vast collection at Ventura’s Bridal.
Heather from Hues by Heather was in charge of hair and make-up. She created a timeless, natural look. She recommends natural and neutral so portraits are not dated. She always uses fake lashes for portraits and if the bride is comfortable, she recommends them for the big day.
Carmen’s Floral Designs provided a custom bouquet for the shoot. Although some brides opt for a traditional monochromatic bouquet, Carmen opted for color. “The bouquet will really pop on a billboard,” says Carmen.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Marisa says, “College Station is the city of love.” She met Kole Puckett through mutual friends their freshman year. Later they discovered, there were actually born in the same hospital six days apart.
You may be familiar with Texas A&M folklore (how many Aggies does it take to change a light bulb), but unless you are a former student, you may not know about the Century Tree. Tradition dictates if you walk under it with your significant other, you will marry someday.
Kole lured Marisa there a few days before graduation. When she arrived, he was standing in the center of a huge heart. A heart created with candles. This is where he got down on one knee and proposed. After dinner at Messina Hof Winery, they went on to a friend’s house – for a surprise engagement party. All of this happened just three weeks before the Bridal Extravaganza Show. Needless to say, Marisa and her mom were giddy as they attended the famed Houston event.
“I can’t believe I will appear on billboards all over town,” she says. “This has made my already wonderful experience even more meaningful.” Marisa and Kole are planning a fall wedding at Spring Chateau.
Get this look: Gown: Ventura’s Bridal, Hair and Make-up: Hues by Heather, Photography: Chris Wineinger, Bouquet: Carmen’s Floral Designs