Sweet 16 Celebration Inspired by House of Blues

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When the birthday girl has a passion for music and performing, there’s only one way to celebrate her Sweet 16—by transforming eM the Venue into her very own concert hall à la House of Blues!

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

photos: Jason Kindig Photography

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!

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

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! 

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Bryn's Sweet 16 Party at eM the Venue in Dallas, Texas.

Vendors:

Venue and Lighting: eM the Venue
Floral, Design, and Invitations: Dr. Delphinium
Band: Taylor Pace Orchestra
DJ: Andy Austin
Caterer: Farm to Market Catering, Savor Gastropub
Photos: Jason Kindig
Hair and Makeup: Maitee Miles
Ice Cream Treats: Frost 321
Cake: Pink Apron Pastry
Piano Rental: Piano Gallery Dallas
Cups and Napkins: Paper Place
Coordination: Mary-Frances Hurt and Tayler Simoneau for DFW Events

An ESPN Engagement: Mackenzie Moore + Dan Skipper’s Proposal Story

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We LOVE a good love story around here, so when we heard about the way DFW Events bride Mackenzie Moore’s beau proposed, we knew we had to share it on the blog!

photos: Justin Palmer Weddings

Mackenzie Moore and Dan Skipper met at The University of Arkansas through a mutual friend, and right from the beginning sports played a role in their love story. Although it took three attempts to schedule a date following their first meeting at a sports bar on campus, finally Mackenzie said “yes” to the Arkansas offensive lineman’s invitation to spend time together one-on-one.

Fast forward to August 26, 2016. After a long day at work, Mackenzie was looking forward to exchanging her work attire for pajamas and going straight to bed. Dan, however, had other ideas in mind. “As I was laying there I got a call from Dan being very persistent that we go to dinner somewhere fun. When I told him I was in my pajamas I am pretty sure I could hear his heart drop,” says Mackenzie. Finally, she gave in to the idea of going out for a “fun dinner” and changed into a casual ensemble…momentarily, at least. “As I was walking out of my bedroom I had this crazy feeling that I was getting engaged, so I ran back into my room and threw on some jeans and a cuter shirt,” Mackenzie shares.

Her instinct proved to be right on target. Dan arrived at her home clean-shaven and dressed to impress—no Arkansas football sweats in sight. “I knew right then and there that it was happening,” says Mackenzie, who had been anticipating a pre football season proposal. “We got in the car and we drove to the football stadium, where we had our first date. We went to the very top of the stadium and were walking around looking down at the football field on one side and the beautiful Fayetteville landscape on the other.” As they were standing there and taking in the scenery, Dan grabbed Mackenzie’s hand, got down on one knee, and shared sweet sentiments that Mackenzie admittedly doesn’t fully remember due to the excitement of the moment. What she does remember clearly, however? “It all ended with ‘Will you marry me?’, and of course I said yes…at least I think I did!” she shares.

Press features soon followed as news of Mackenzie and Dan’s engagement spread. “Our story was first featured on air during the game at TCU. I was actually trying on wedding dresses when I got the call from Dan telling me that they were going to talk about our engagement on TV that night,” says Mackenzie. “Little did I know that it was going to be right after he blocked a field goal to force the game to overtime, in a game the Razorbacks eventually won.” Watch the video below to see Dan’s game-changing play and hear more details about his proposal!

video footage courtesy of ESPN

The next feature on ESPN came as a surprise during a home game against Texas State. “It was such an honor that they talked about such a special time in our lives on ESPN, even if Dan did look like a 43-year-old lumberjack,” Mackenzie jokes. Click below to watch the clip!

As you can probably tell, this couple is SO fun-loving and their wedding day is going to be completely reflective of that. While dancing and delicious food will be staples of the event, Mackenzie and Dan are also looking forward to customizing their day with details and surprises that speak to their “fun and crazy” personalities. Needless to say, we are counting down the days until these two say “I do” in March!

Capital for Kids 2015

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With Capital for Kids 2016 right around the corner, we thought it was only fitting to take a look back at last November’s eleventh annual fundraising event! As always, it was such an honor for us to coordinate this purpose-driven celebration for Capital for Kids, an incredible organization we’ve been working with for nine years.

photos: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

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Event Preview: The 24 All Star Chef Classic Benefiting Dallas 24 Hour Club

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Now’s the time to save the date (and work up an appetite) for October 16, the date of The 24 All Star Chef Classic! We are thrilled to be producing the event, which will feature fabulous bites and sips from 24 of Dallas’ top chefs and culinary stars (Sean Frye, John Tesar, Richard Blankenship, John Coleman, and Mico Rodriguez just to name a few), world class entertainment from Jordan Kahn, and more!

2015 Chef Classic photos: Holt Haynsworth

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Jewel Toned 60th Birthday Party at Brook Hollow Golf Club

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With a color palette as rich as a ruby and a birthday girl capable of outshining any diamond, our vote for flat-out-fabulous party of the year goes to Robyn Conlon’s January celebration at Brook Hollow!

Colorful 60th Birthday Party at Brook HollowColorful 60th Birthday Party at Brook Hollow

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer

The Garden Gate and Bella Acento perfectly captured Robyn’s vision for a jewel toned soiree saturated by color. “Junior knew how much I loved my Crystal Charity Ball theme, Jewels of the Garden,” says Robyn, who was the 2014 CCB chair, “and used a lot of things from that.” The result? A fantastic fête with equal parts color and class!

Colorful 60th Birthday PartyColorful 60th Birthday PartyColorful 60th Birthday Party

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Luxe 40th Birthday Party at Dec on Dragon

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…there’s no need to go with dark decor for milestone birthdays unless black just so happens to be your favorite color. For Adriana’s 40th fête, hot pink was the primary color of the evening and we couldn’t have been happier about her selection!

From the sunset-hued arrangement of 500 roses created by Jackson Durham Events, to the incandescent bars and signage, to the take-home recovery kits provided for guests, all of the decorative details combined to create a bright, fun party atmosphere at Dec on Dragon  (no rose-colored glasses required).

photos: Stephen Karlisch, Karlisch Studio

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Surprise 90’s Prom Themed Anniversary Party!

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Can you imagine missing out on your high school prom? As if! Since Niti wasn’t able to attend the most anticipated dance of her senior year, Brad jumped on the opportunity to surprise his wife by recreating a 90s prom scene in celebration of their wedding anniversary. As you can tell from these photos by Jason Kindig, the colorful throwback party turned out to be all that and a bag of chips!

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Classic Car Themed 50th Birthday Party at Chicken Scratch

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Classic cars, backyard games, southern cooking, and a surprise celebrity guest. This 50th birthday bash at Chicken Scratch had all the ingredients needed to create a perfect party atmosphere…and then some!

photos: Jason Kindig Photography

We had so much fun working with Lisa to plan a special event that her husband, Cary, would never forget. Cary’s enthusiasm for classic cars—especially his replica 1966 AC Cobra—served as the starting point for the party’s design and details. The look of the vehicle was specifically reflected via Cary’s custom party logo. Just like the AC Cobra, the logo was red with two stripes down the middle, and was showcased in various ways throughout the evening!

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Planner’s Perspective: Everything You Need for a Perfect Valentine’s Day

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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

If you’re…

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.

photo: Perez Weddings

THE GIFT EXCHANGE

Gifts for Her:

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.

floral: Bows and Arrows | photo: Sarah Kate, Photographer

Gifts for Him:

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)!


THE MENU

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

 Ingredients:

4 oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate

1 Stick Unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons Bourbon

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar

1 Egg

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

Directions:

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. 

Serving suggestions: 

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.