top society stories of 2021

Wondrous weddings and fabulous fêtes lead 2021's top society stories in Houston

Wondrous weddings + fabulous fêtes lead Houston's top society stories

David Cordua Sara Cordua wedding
Readers swooned over this couple's wedding story. Photo by Sebastian Anaya

Well well, didn't Houston look smashing in its big return to society gatherings.

After a year holed up at home in robes, shorts, and less formal attire, locals were eager to dust off the tuxedos and go gown shopping for fabulous fetes in 2021. One reason to dress up is a wedding, and our Real Wedding series proved most popular in the section, with readers swooning over nuptials featuring power couples and local-ebrities. 

In all, a triumphant return to parties and soirees — all for a good cause, no doubt — as Houston, the most philanthropic city in the U.S., made a grand comeback to events. Here are the stories local scenesters strutted to most.

1. Houston power couple jets off to St. Croix for luxurious island wedding. Readers just loved the love story between Jacquie Baly, a former Greater Houston Partnership vice president who now works in public and media relations, and James Craig, who owns a booming oil business.

2. Houston celebrity chef and fiancée steal away to New Orleans for intimate wedding. Chris Shepherd surprised the city when he stole away to NOLA to marry his longtime sweetheart, power publicist Lindsey Brown.

3. Houston chef weds longtime friend in elegant Mexican getaway. In another local celeb wedding story, David Cordúa, who is Houston restaurant royalty, wed his longtime friend and love, Sara Padua Cordúa.

4. Handsome Houston hunks and celebs rock the runway in raucous, record-breaking gala. Always one of the most popular society stories of the year, the annual Una Notte gala boasts rugged local men of sports and influence rollin' on the runway to adoring crowds. A Simone Biles appearance made this year's event one for the books.

5. Beloved Houston jewelry dynasty dazzles in posh Post Oak party. A Houston institution for decades, the Zadok family wowed crowds with their shimmering, two-story boutique and a grand opening party featuring Gary P. Nunn.

6. Cyndi Lauper and Houston A-listers love the '80s at $2.8 million totally rad children's charity gala. Laura Ward could be officially known as Houston's children's benefactor. Her record-breaking gala starring Cyndi Lauper proved that time after again, no one does it like Laura.

7. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston draws an elegant A-list crowd for $1.7M Grand Gala Ball. Always putting on a grand affair, the MFAH didn't disappoint with it's nearly $2 million spring gala.

8. 11 Houston power women go Old Hollywood glam for cherished children's cause. Some Houston's most leading ladies and doers were honored in an Old-World Hollywood fashion show in this year’s St. Jude Gold Soiree, which raised $153,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

9. High-profile Houstonians shine in Operation Smile's life-changing gala. Prominent Houstonians Kent Schaffer and Shara Kuy, Keith and Shawntell McWilliams, and Dr. Daryl and Amy Dichoso were honored for their work with the benevolent charity that provides life-changing surgeries to children in need.

10. Hip Houston young professionals work up a sweat at swanky new River Oaks fitness studio. Hot young locals worked it as SWEAT (formerly SWEAT 1000), welcomed stylish Houstonians for the grand opening and the company’s rebranding at the Kirby Collection (3300 Kirby Dr.).