When your wedding day is near, even the coolest of cucumbers begin to stress. A less-than-stellar weather forecast, a budget-busting floral bill, or even bickering in-laws are enough to send brides-to-be into an anxiety-fueled tailspin. For those moments when deep breaths just won't cut it, we've found five relaxing places in Houston where the frantic and frazzled can sit back, unwind, and take ten.
1. Restore Energy at Equinox River Oaks
This high-end New York-based health and wellness club opened in Houston's River Oaks district last December, marking its first location in Houston and third overall in Texas. Expect 33,000 square feet of fitness bliss, including barre and yoga studios, a juice bar and an incredibly swanky spa (open to non-members) where stressed out brides-to-be can book a number of skin and body treatments. Consider the calm-inducing reflexology massage, a pressure point-focused rubdown for hands and feet that restores the body's flow of energy, or opt for Reiki, a healing therapy that releases negative energy and revives mental, physical and emotional balance.
2. Relax with Wine at Tasting Room Wine Café at Uptown Park
This decades-old wine bar in Houston's Uptown Park bills itself as "a comfortable place to get serious about wine." Vino lovers will find more than 150 wines on the menu, including varieties from South Africa, France, Germany, California, and Spain — and ample space in which to imbibe them. We suggest gathering a few girlfriends and adjourning — flute of prime bubbly in hand — to its lush outdoor patio. Check the events calendar for the monthly live music lineup. Read real brides' reviews here!
3. Find your Zen with a Black Swan Yoga Class
Austin-based yoga studio Black Swan Yoga opened its doors in January along White Oak Drive in the Houston Heights neighborhood. Classes are donation-based, meaning you can decide to pay a suggested $10 to $20 donation for one of three hour-long offerings: Beginner, Flow, or the more energizing and advanced Power. What's more: the yoga room is heated to 90 degrees to help you sweat out any and all stress-causing thoughts.
4. Indulge your Creative Side at Maxit Flower Design Workshop
Beleaguered brides take note: a workshop where you can get your hands (slightly) dirty and learn a few creative floral industry tricks might just be your cup of tea. Lead designer and owner of Houston's Maxit Flower Design, Maria Elisa Maxit, hosts two-hour beginner floral design workshops at her studio — where you'll learn the basics to create fresh flower arrangements from seasonal blooms. For those needing a full day of flower-related zone-out time, Maxit offers private sessions, too. Read real brides' reviews here!
5. Take in Views and Live Music at The Raven Tower
What was once a boxy bachelor pad elevated above the owner's metal fabrication company headquarters, is now a freshly opened sky-high bar and intimate music venue north of downtown Houston. The Raven Tower, part of the larger White Oak Music Hall complex that's slated to open in spring/summer 2016, features an 1,800-square-foot outdoor patio with another 1,000 square feet of space inside — not to mention plenty of kooky architectural charm. Relax with a local brew or sway to the sounds of one of its many scheduled musical acts.