Editor’s note: While Houston's society fans flock to our stories of fêtes, galas, and soirees, this year, readers fell in love with tales of glamorous weddings starring lovely locals — namely a former TV reporter and his handsome fiance. Young professional parties heated up the scene in 2019, as did old-guard staples such as the annual Junior League, Asia Society, and Kentucky Derby parties. And speaking of heat, few events raised temperatures like a fashion show starring handsome Houston hunks. What a lovely year, indeed.
1. Former Channel 2 TV reporter stars in a Houston love story with charming wedding. In our most-read society story of the year, Ryan Korsgard, former TV reporter for KPRC Channel 2, his fiance, Marshall Eudy, a media attorney, in a gorgeous outdoor wedding in November. The Austin ceremony included their friends' children, their dog, and a host of TV personalities. Korsgard and Eudy now live in Austin.
2. Fit and fab Houstonians party like rock stars at glam LA-based gym's River Oaks reveal. More than 500 fit and fab Houstonians packed the glam news digs of Barry’s Bootcamp to toast the gym’s grand opening in the River Oaks Shopping Center. As the night heated up, a shirtless male model handed out booze-infused popsicles to cool things down as people waited for a perfect selfie and photo opp in front of the iconic Barry’s Houston light-up sign.
3. Houston young professionals stir up a rockin' party for a hearty cause. A photogenic crowd of Houston YPs gathered for Homemade Hope’s third annual "Home Is Where the Heart Is Gala" honoring Marcia and Brig Smart. The spirited event raised more than $170,000 to support Homemade Hope’s efforts to serve homeless and at-risk children in Houston.
4. Fab and fashionable Houstonians race to Derby soiree at Tilman Fertitta's estate. Houston’s fab and fashionable crowd donned their Derby Day finest for the third annual Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes benefiting Bo’s Place. The sold-out event for the running of the Kentucky Derby saw more than 400 supporters at the home of Paige and Tilman Fertitta. The event, chaired by Hallie Vanderhider and honorary chairs, Megan and Luke Hotze and Hannah and Cal McNair, raised more than $350,000.
5. Houstonian makes dazzling debut at International Debutante Ball. Young Catherine Fields Coselli made her Texas-sized entrance at the 64th International Debutante Ball, which took place at in the Grand Ballroom of the tony Pierre Hotel in New York. The event gathers the daughters of some of the world's wealthiest and most prestigious families. Young women don extravagant white gowns, some of which cost six figures, and are received by dapper young gentlemen in tuxedos. The event is a who's-who of future social stars.
6. Houston's A-listers glow at lavish and exotic $1.4 million Tiger Ball. From the roaring tiger and glowing red lanterns that greeted guests to the poignant candle-lighting ceremony for former first lady Barbara Bush, the 2019 Tiger Ball was an all-out stunner. The lavish gala, celebrating Asia Society’s 40th anniversary in Houston, paid homage to the memory of founding member Barbara Bush, who was crucial to the beloved organization’s early growth. Few society events celebrate Houston's diversity like Tiger Ball.
7. Young Houston couple brings first-date charm to elegant downtown wedding. When Nathalie Drew, a marketing representative for a hospital, and Justin Makris, a wealth management adviser, decided to get married, they knew they wanted the kind of party where everyone felt welcome. They also wanted something romantic that reflected their first date. From the floral themes in the dazzling Corinthian to the couple speeding off in Justin's Ferrari, the ceremony did just that.
8. Junior League of Houston scorches the party scene with cool annual gala. The Junior League of Houston hosted its 71st annual Charity Ball, "Fire & Ice," raising $750,000 to fund the Junior League’s Community Program and volunteer initiatives. The women of the Junior League represent a spectrum of backgrounds, personalities, and talents and have an intense passion for building a better community, leaving behind an evident brilliance on the lives that they touch. From this, the gala theme "Fire & Ice" was born.
9. Hollywood legend hits Houston to honor former first lady Barbara Bush's legacy. The hills (ha!) of Houston were alive with the sound of glee when it was announced that Hollywood icon Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, would headline the fourth annual Power of Literacy Luncheon. Andrews and Hamilton participated in a moderated conversation as part of the program. Since its inception, the Ladies for Literacy Guild has raised nearly $1 million through the Power of Literacy Luncheons to fund local literacy initiatives.
10. Handsome Houston hunks rock the runway for a noble women's cause. With a respectful nod to all other social events in town, there may not be one soiree that's more raucous than the annual Una Notte in Italia, benefitting Houston Area Women's Center. The fashion show night, put on by stylish and charitable couple Debbie and Rudy Festari, stars some of Houston's hottest gentlemen from the worlds of sports, business, and beyond. This year's event featured the likes of Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, Astros ace Lance McCullers, Jr., several Houston Texans, and a host of stylish H-Town movers and shakers. No event in town turns well-heeled society ladies into screaming fans like this one.