Neon lighting and decor created a vibrant backdrop for Bryn’s birthday party while custom pillows, signage, cups, napkins, and wristbands embellished with the party’s emblem brought the “House of Bryn” to life. And let’s not forget the live entertainment, flash tattoos, and loads of eats and sweets party-goers enjoyed throughout the evening!
Needless to say, we had the best time rockin’ and rollin’ at the House of Bryn. Here’s a closer look at all the details that made this party sing!
Happy New Year, friends! Tis the season for fresh starts and new beginnings, two ideas perfectly encompassed by Pantone’s 2017 color of the year: Greenery!
Here’s what Pantone has to say about the symbolism behind the selection: “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”
The perfect prescription for couples counting down the days until they say “I do,” don’t you agree? Pantone goes on to describe the verdant hue as “nature’s neutral,” and we love that this particular shade of green can be paired with everything from metallics, to bright pops of coral and turquoise, to 2016’s gorgeous color of the year combo, Rose Quartz and Serenity.
Convinced that Greenery should play a part in your color palette? Get inspired by these real weddings coordinated by our DFW Events planning team, each of which incorporates fresh tones to fabulous effect!
Destination weddings in Napa, Palmetto Bluff, Santa Fe, and Cabo. Site visits to ranches in the Texas Hill Country and private villas in Mexico. A tour of the Inside Weddings office in Los Angeles. An unforgettable FAM trip in Bali. Needless to say, 2016 has been one of our most travel-packed years yet!
As we all know, “travel” and “beauty” aren’t always words that go hand-in-hand—especially when a lengthy flight is involved. To help us pack our suitcases with as much ease as our emergency kits, we tasked Mayra Rams-Sanabria with rounding up the top products to have on hand (or rather, in bag) when en route to our next destination. Read on to discover the seven products that the founder of My Fabulous Faces never jet-sets without!
Mayra beautifying a recent DFW Events bride | photo: Carter Rose for F8 Studio
Monogrammed makeup bags, custom totes filled with swag, embroidered apparel…when it comes to purchasing bridesmaid gifts, the luxe-and-lovely options are seemingly endless! High-quality gifts for grooms and groomsmen, on the other hand, are often a bit more difficult to come by. That’s why we’re thrilled to have discovered Neat Pineappleand FLY Barbershop, two Dallas-based brands that produce products for men of style preparing to walk the aisle.
Perhaps you’re planning a destination wedding, or maybe you have a more traditional hometown “I do” in mind. Regardless, providing your guests with a welcome gift is the perfect way to kick off your wedding weekend! On that note, we are thrilled to share three inspirational welcome gift concepts developed in partnership with The Container Store!
Whether we’re restocking our emergency kits or searching for the perfect day planner, The Container Store is a go-to resource for our team. The store’s selection of organizational bins are just as pretty as they are practical, making them the perfect “base” for our three uniquely-themed welcome gifts!
Are you in need of a crash course in Wedding Invitations 101? If so, look no further than today’s blog post! Baileybegan her career at DFW Events as a Weekend Warrior, and went on to work her way up in the company from production assistant to lead planner. As a production assistant, Bailey learned (and frequently practiced!) the art of assembling and mailing invitations. She’s also extremely creative and has a strong eye for design, making her the perfect “coach” to guide you through the ins and outs of selecting, stuffing, and sending your wedding invitations! Read on for her top tips and suggestions, with a few etiquette and history notes included as an added bonus!
“Aesthetic and budget are the first two things every couple should consider when it’s time to select wedding invitations. A good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 10 percent of your total wedding budget to purchasing your invitations and paper goods. If that percentage sounds high, keep in mind that this figure will cover the cost of your save the dates, menus, escort cards, and any additional branded items – such as custom cocktail napkins, cups, or bar signage – in addition to your formal invitations. To hone in on your aesthetic, take a look at paper samples, ask to see some of your friends’ former invitation suites, and browse Pinterest. Once both your aesthetic and your budget have been established, you’ll be ready to select your paper provider. Create a custom design, order a traditional suite from Crane and William Arthur, or browse the options listed by online retailers such as Minted and Wedding Paper Divas!”
“If you’re going the custom route, your next step will be to decide if you would like to incorporate a motif or a monogram into your design. These personalized embellishments can be either hand-drawn or developed digitally. Select the option that best fits your style, and have fun carrying it through as many wedding details as possible!”
Assembly and Etiquette
“A few fun facts for you:
1. Tradition dictates that you should stuff an invitation as if the person pulling it out was right handed. (Sorry, left-handers!)
2. You may have noticed that tissue paper is sometimes included with an invitation – originally, this was to keep ink from smearing, although now the practice has become a tradition that accompanies very formal invitations.
3. Ever wondered why many wedding invitations include an inner and an outer envelope? This practice actually dates back to when mail was delivered by horseback! Since the outside envelope would inevitably get dirty in transit, a fresh envelope was always included inside to ensure a beautiful presentation upon arrival. Now, it’s just tradition!
4. Traditionally, a separate card denoting the reception venue should be included with your invitation if your reception will take place in a different location than your ceremony. However, etiquette has evolved to allow the option of including this information directly on your primary wedding invitation. If you would like to provide your guests with printed directions, the best place to include this information is on your program, or on a card that’s passed out at the end of your ceremony.
5. There is an art to addressing envelopes, and I’m not just talking about calligraphy! Utilize Crane’sBlue Wedding Book when compiling your guest list so that when you present it to your calligrapher, everything is already written per etiquette. This will ensure that each and every tricky situation (such as addressing an invitation to two doctors!) is handled with ease.”
“Once you’ve received each printed piece of your invitation suite, stuff your envelopes and take them to the post office to be weighed. Be sure to ask if it’s parcel – in other words, unable to be fed through machines automatically – as this will incur an additional postage fee. After you’ve finished weighing your fully-stuffed envelopes, you will know exactly how much postage you need. Either buy stamps at the post office or design your own – and don’t forget to purchase Forever stamps for your reply card!”
Stamping and Sending
“After determining how much postage you need, you’ll be ready to design a custom stamp if you so desire. Our team typically recommends utilizing the motif or monogram featured on your invitation to create a cohesive through line – the custom design will help your suite stand out in your guests’ mail pile, too! Picture It Postage is a great resource to use when creating a custom stamp.”
photo via DFW Events on Instagram | invitation by DFW Events in-house designer Melanie Frazier based on our client’s logo design + rose gold and blue color palette
“When you’re ready to mail your invitations, place them in boxes and cover them with a printed sign that says, ‘Wedding Invitations – Please Hand Cancel.’ (Hand canceling will protect your calligraphy from smearing, and will also prevent those ugly markings that you’ve probably noticed on your bills from appearing on your envelopes!) Upon arrival at the post office, re-weigh your invitations. Ask once more if your invitations qualify as parcel to ensure that there are no delivery hiccups. After confirming, hand your invitations over for delivery and count down the days until your first RSVPs start rolling in!”
PS: For any additional questions concerning etiquette, we highly recommend referring to Crane’s Wedding Blue Book. This classic book has been a must-have resource in our office for years, and is sure to be of assistance time and again throughout your planning process!
While you may have previously enjoyed perusing a gallery or two during business hours, it’s a completely different experience to get up close and personal with dinosaur fossils while attending an after-hours wedding reception (with a glass of Chardonnay in hand, no less). Since planner Emily Wickman formerly worked as the Event Services Manager at Dallas’ Perot Museum of Nature and Science, there’s no one we would trust more to share the ins and outs of hosting a wedding or event at a museum. Read on to learn more about the logistics from her perspective!
“Museums are open to the public during the day, which means set-up for a private event typically begins later than it would at a hotel ballroom or other event space—we’re talking a 5 o’clock start time at a museum versus an early morning start at most other venues. With a carefully planned timeline and strong vendor team in place, however, rest assured that set-up can go off without a hitch!”
“If you’ve chosen to host your wedding or event at a museum, then obviously there is something about that space or a particular exhibit within the museum that initially drew you toward the idea. Although you could try to mask the fact that your guests will be enjoying cocktail hour amid ancient fossils or spectacular art, why not play it up instead? This doesn’t mean you have to go super theme-y, but you can play off the color scheme already in place or incorporate a small nod to your favorite exhibit. In short, celebrating what’s unique and interesting about your event space is the way to go at a museum.”
wedding at The Perot with decorative details inspired by the museum’s geological exhibit | photos: Kelly Alexander | planning: DFW Events
“I’d be willing to bet that the majority of your wedding or event guests don’t have the opportunity to privately tour a museum (with a cocktail in hand!) on a regular basis. Although different rules apply at different museums, for the most part there is always a workable way to incorporate drinks, live music, dancing, and other must-have elements into your event. Depending on the museum you select, you might consider hosting a progressive event that spans multiple levels—it’s a great way to expose guests to as many exhibits as possible, which makes for a truly one-of-a-kind experience!”
“Read your contract, then read it again! Every hotel and event venue maintains a certain set of rules that are listed in the fine print, but museums tend to have more specific regulations in place to protect their exhibits. If you’re passionate about serving red wine or saying goodbye to your guests via a sparkler exit, for instance, then a museum wedding might not be for you.”
“Verify what the museum is able to provide in terms of furniture and rentals. In addition to checking out the look of the house tables and chairs, it’s important to ensure that the museum has enough of each available for your event.”
“Exhibits come and go. While the museum you selected might currently be housing works by your favorite artist, it could only be a temporary exhibit. Be sure to check the museum’s exhibition schedule against your wedding date!”
So, you’ve finally booked the live band or DJ of your dreams for your wedding. But now it’s time to select the song that could become your song. You know—the one you play on every anniversary because it never fails to remind you of the joy-filled day that the two of you said “I do.”
Sound familiar? If so, then ditch those song-selection jitters goodbye! We recently tasked one of our favorite entertainers, Jordan Kahn of Jordan Kahn Orchestra,with selecting the top 10 first dance songs of 2016. We love Jordan’s mantra—”Success to me has always been a full dance floor, and I believe that is a big reason why people hire me today”—and with that in mind, there’s no one we’d trust more with this job!
Just like in Grease, we told Jordan that “the rules are…there ain’t no rules” when it came to his selection process. In other words? A song didn’t necessarily have to be brand new in order to make the cut—the goal was simply to identify a few options that have yet to be overplayed on the dance floor. Without further ado, we’re thrilled to share Jordan’s picks with you today. Read on for the top 10 tunes that are sure to start your marriage on the right note. Literally!
Here’s the scenario: You’ve just gotten engaged, and you’ve been to wedding after wedding, and you’ve heard the same songs over and over again, and you want your own reception to be unique. I get it. Your first dance is also one of the first impressions your guests will have of you as a married couple. With that in mind, use these suggestions to ensure that your first dance is meaningful, memorable, and special.
“All The Way” by Frank Sinatra: Want a song that has a classic big band sound, with a ton of meaning, that’s easy to dance to, but not as overplayed as “At Last?” Coming in at number one, this is your song!
“Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor and John Legend: A great new duet about love. This song is relatively new, meaning you could be the first among your friends to use it as you and your hubby’s first dance song.
“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran: This song makes people say “awww” almost instantly. It’s like Ed knows exactly what your significant other is thinking in that moment.
“Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel: One of my favorite songs. Billy Joel is a master song writer and lyricist. Pick this for a meaningful song that’s easy to dance to.
“From This Moment On” by Shania Twain: Song writers of today could take a lesson from producer Mutt Lang and singer/songwriter Shania Twain. This song speaks directly to commitment and love, is accompanied by beautiful and moving music, and is easy to dance to.
“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz: Similar to Ed Sheeran at spot number three, this song makes people sigh as soon as they hear the guitar intro. It may have been played a lot in 2012, but at this point, it’s had enough rest to make a lasting impact for 2016.
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: This one is a classic, and features two distinct parts. You will get to slow dance with your significant other at first, but once the chorus hits, your entire wedding party will be singing along!
“We Are In Love” by Harry Connick Jr.: For the couple who knows how to dance, and might even choreograph their first dance, this is a fantastic song about love. When paired with the right dance moves, it’s sure to leave your guests talking about your first dance for years to come.
“Marry Me” by Train: This one speaks for itself. It’s romantic, it sends a clear message, and it’s easy to dance to. You can’t go wrong with this song.
“Sugar” by Maroon 5: Known as the wedding song of 2015, this song might be on its way out, but is still a good choice if you’re looking to have your guests share in your first dance. It’s guaranteed to fill your dance floor so that you can transition straight into a dance party!
Of course, if your song isn’t on this list, that’s okay. Sometimes, I recommend that the bride and groom think back on any special songs they might have shared while dating. I also recommend to my couples that, regardless of the song, the key to keeping your guests engaged during the special dances is to shorten them to around two to three minutes.
Happy song hunting!
All the best,
About Jordan Kahn: For over a decade, Jordan Kahn has been performing at high-profile luxury events all over the country. With a fully customizable Big Band Orchestra of up to 21 pieces that can seamlessly transition from dinner to dancing, matched with his experience as an event and performance expert, Jordan knows how to take your vision and execute it to the most professional, luxury standard. Would you like to experience the new standard in luxury entertainment? Would you like to bring a one-of-a-kind performance experience to your guests? Do you want your dance floor to stay full all night long? Get in touch with Jordan by visiting www.JordanKahnOrchestra.com.
Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, friends! We’re hoping to see you on Saturday, February 13th at Safe Conversations—this free event, which focuses on strengthening relationships through the power of conversation, is the perfect way to kick off a love-filled weekend. If you’re still scrambling to come up with a perfect plan for the following day, have no fear! We just so happen to know a team of professional event planners with fabulous taste, and they’ve pulled on their years of experience to design a perfect Valentine’s celebration just for you. Read on for outfit recommendations, gift suggestions, and a recipe for the sweetest finale to your dinner menu from our event planning team. Happy celebrating!
THE OUTFIT + ACCESSORIES
photo: DFW Events
Dining out in Dallas: Headed somewhere special like the Mansion or Fearing’s for a romantic dinner? With the Dallas “see and be seen culture,” you want to look your best while still feeling effortless. You can’t go wrong with your favorite LBD and a metallic heel that just says, “We’re celebrating!” Be bold and sport one with a cutout to make your date’s head turn!
Or maybe you’re feeling a classic…
Dinner and a movie: You don’t need to paint the town (or your outfit) red on Valentine’s Day to spend a great night with your honey! Throw on your favorite boyfriend jeans and a leather jacket, then pair with your favorite ankle boots and tousled hair for a relaxed and low-maintenance look.
Or perhaps you’re going out with the girls for a…
Galentine’s celebration: Who says you need a date to enjoy Valentine’s Day? Head out with your favorite girlfriends for drinks and dancing wearing a rockin’ jumpsuit! Up the “girly” factor with a pair of heels accented by bows.
For girls who appreciate a little extra pampering: Pick up a gift card to her favorite mani/pedi place. More of a hair girl? A gift card for a blowout with a deep conditioning treatment add-on will do the trick.
For girls inspired to decorate: Purchase a vase or jar from her favorite pottery line that she can use long-term at home. On Valentine’s Day, have your local florist arrange pink and red flowers in the vase or jar that you selected. Or better yet, run to Central Market, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s for peonies, roses, or hydrangeas to place on your own.
For handyman husbands that love projects: Snag a pocket-sized measuring tape he can take on trips to Home Depot, Lowes, and other design stores. We particularly love this leather version by Mark and Graham. Bonus: It can be monogrammed.
For guys who can’t wait for summer vacation: Sunglasses are a great way to go. Ray Ban Aviators are a classic your handsome guy is sure to love! You might also consider gifting him with a mini “staycation” filled with fun experiences, like a tour of a local brewery (with a tasting included of course)!
photo: DFW Events
Whether you have a dinner reservation or are planning a romantic evening in, remember a few things…
1. Keep it simple: If you’re so stressed about things going perfectly that you’re no longer acting like yourself, the whole point of sharing a meal with the person you love is in danger of being missed!
2. Be thoughtful: Does your honey love breakfast? How about fixing breakfast for dinner, then? You could also think about re-creating a dish at home that you had on your first date!
3. Plan ahead: As a professional planner, this is a given! But keep in mind that even the best laid plans don’t always turn out perfectly. The good news? Changed plans often make for the best memories.
DINNER IS SERVED!
Salad: Strawberry Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese
Tip: Prep your strawberries and spinach beforehand. On Valentine’s Day, create your vinaigrette purely because your home will smell like bacon!
Entree: Brown Sugar Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Tip: Marinate the pork in advance to ensure the best possible flavor! Use a digital thermometer to quickly check if pork is cooked without having to cut into it.
Sides: Chipotle Sweet Potato Grits and Sauteed Sweet Snow Peas with Garlic
Tip: Roast an extra sweet potato the day before and simply stir into your favorite grits with some pureed chipotle chiles. Voila! Showstopper side dish!
Dessert: Bourbon and Spice Molten Chocolate Cakes
Note: These cakes can easily be prepped in advance, and the fact that the recipe serves four means you’ll have the chance to enjoy leftovers…lucky you!
BOURBON AND SPICE MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKES Makes 4 servings
photo: DFW Events
4 oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Bourbon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
6 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour four individual ovenproof dishes, or four wells of a muffin tin.
2. Finely chop chocolate and set aside. Microwave butter until melted and bubbling hot. Pour hot butter over chocolate in medium mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 min. Stir chocolate and butter until chocolate is melted. Mix bourbon, vanilla and powdered sugar into chocolate until blended. Add in egg and egg yolks and stir to combine. Whisk together flour with cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt. Combine flour mixture into chocolate mixture and fold together with a spatula.
3. Pour batter into prepared dishes or muffin tin.
Note: At this point you can put these in the fridge until you’re ready for dessert! Once ready, place dishes or muffin tins into pre-heated oven for 13-15 minutes until sides of cakes are slightly puffed and firm, but centers are still soft and fudgey looking. Let stand for one minute before loosening edges with a thin knife and inverting onto serving plate.
Serve simply dusted with powdered sugar or garnish as you please! Vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream are fabulous additions as well as a dollop of bourbon and vanilla spiked whipped cream.
At the beginning of a brand new year, we can choose to focus on one of two things: everything that has already passed, or all of the new things to come. Then again…maybe we can do a little bit of both!
Now that we’ve recapped a few of the highlights of 2015, let’s dig into all things 2016! We’re filled with anticipation for the weddings and events to come this year, and all of the fresh takes on design, decor, and entertainment that are sure to follow. Here to share a few of the top trends on our radar is none other than Mary-Frances Hurt, our fearless + fabulous founder and CEO!
In 18 years of doing my business, I have seen things greatly change. When I started my company, there were only three wedding planners in Dallas and the majority of my clients got married at the local church and went on to the country club for the reception. Brides used house chairs, tables, and linens—no one would have thought about bringing in a band from out of town! As for groom’s cakes? They were chocolate with strawberries and chocolate curls. So, let’s start there. In 2016, groom’s cakes or stations will continue to include anything from 3-D models depicting the groom’s college stadium to his favorite doughnuts.
One of the biggest things I hear is, “I want my event to be different.” If you’ve ever said this, then what you’re basically asking for is event branding! While this was originally accomplished through a monogram or consistent color scheme, in 2016, we’ll see more brides and grooms branding every aspect of their events with custom logos and hashtags that encourage guests to interact on social media throughout the event. A few examples:
“FEMMES WHO FETE” EVENT
This London-meets-Dallas themed party for members of the wedding industry concluded with a surprise performance and cocktails on a rooftop in Downtown Dallas!
Weddings are a great opportunity for a couple to show off their own personal brand or style. In this case, the bride absolutely loved the Fourth of July, so she chose to have her wedding over the holiday weekend at her family’s vineyard in Paso Robles. From floor to ceiling, the decor at her welcome party was 100% Americana!
Next, let’s talk food and beverage. Over the years I have seen the formal sit-down dinner move toward a more interactive “foodie” experience. Food stations paired with crafted cocktails have been huge as of late. Think tacos with mini margaritas, homemade pretzels with a craft beer from Texas, a frozen treat from Steel City Popsicles served in a glass of Prosecco, or a branded to-go box of Chinese food paired with ANYTHING.
The late-night snack pass (also known as an “afterglow”) has become a staple. Gone are the days of sending guests home with a picture frame or candle as a favor. The current trend is giving away food at the end of the night. We’ve brought in everything from Whataburger Taquitos, to In-and-Out burgers, to doughnut holes served with chocolate milk or Starbucks.
Mixology has become just as important as food, and we expect this to continue in 2016. Bartenders have become a source of entertainment, and establishing a dress code for your mixologist has become the norm. On occasion, we’ve hired models just to pour drinks.
Speaking of entertainment, Fusion performances are the must-have musical element of the moment. From four-piece bands, to orchestras, to DJs, the combinations are endless—and endlessly entertaining. This is a whole new dimension of entertainment that I’m looking forward to seeing more of in 2016!
There you have it—a few of the top trends that are on our radar right now! We can’t wait to see how you incorporate these and other trends into your decor, entertainment, and even the look and feel of your wedding invitations!