The New Wedding Registry: Alternative Registry Options

Vendor Spotlight

Ready for a big-time understatement? It can be easy to get caught up in all the little details of the wedding planning process. Making decisions on a deadline is never easy, and when you add in the emotions and expectations associated with a wedding, those “fun” cake tastings and dress fittings can suddenly start to feel like appointments with a pressure cooker. When stress threatens to overshadow the joy of the wedding planning process, it’s helpful to remember that the purpose of all the planning is not just to pull off a fabulous event, but to begin a beautiful marriage.

On that note, today we’ll be focusing on using your registry to prepare for life together after the aisle. If the idea of roaming around Target with a price gun sounds anything BUT fun, hang with us. There are many new ways to create a modern, practical registry that fits your unique needs and goals as a couple—no price gun required. Let’s explore a few of them!

The New Wedding Wish List: Practical Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Registries

photos: Grant Daniels Photography | venue: Ocean View Club

HONEYFUND

If the two of you already have all of the pots, pans, and pretties needed to turn your house into a home, there’s no need to register for additional items just for the sake of tradition. Your guests will still want (and expect) to gift you with something as you begin your new life together, though, which is where online wedding registries like Honeyfund come into play. You can think of Honeyfund as a crowdfunding site for weddings—one that allows your guests to give cash in an intentional and thoughtful way. Contributions can be directed toward your honeymoon accommodations, unique activities and experiences, charitable donations, down payments for a future home…even a year of professional housecleaning! (Yes, please.) Love the idea, but not quite sure where you’ll be jet-setting after exchanging vows? Honeyfund also offers a variety of honeymoon packages and exclusive discounts that are sure to inspire your itinerary. Take a peek here!

THE GOOD BEGINNING

Perhaps you feel like you’ve collected all the “stuff” you’ll ever need. Or maybe you and your mate are minimalists, and have decided that fine china and crystal simply aren’t a fit for your lifestyle. Whatever the case, if you’re more motivated by altruism than accumulation, The Good Beginning might be a perfect fit for you. Founded by event planner Beth Helmstetter, who we had the pleasure of getting to know during our Marry at the Mulia familiarity trip, The Good Beginning is an online registry that helps couples donate to charitable causes throughout the world. While many charitable organizations are not set up to track multiple donations from small groups of people, The Good Beginning was created to do exactly that. Through this platform, couples can choose their preferred organizations and enjoy an interface that allows them to track gifts given in their honor. The Good Beginning even generates a list identifying who has given a gift, how much they have given, and which organization they have given to in order to make saying “thank you” as easy as possible. Explore a sample registry here!

ZOLA

This all-inclusive online site has streamlined and fine-tuned the wedding registry process with the goal of making life easier for couples. Thanks to their many partnerships, you’ll find it easy to register for staples from brands like KitchenAid and Le Creuset while also enjoying the ability to accept cash funds and honeymoon contributions. If you’ve already registered for items through another retailer, Zola also offers the ability to import registries so that all of your wishlists are collected in one place. Registries, by the way, are just the beginning. Need a wedding website? Zola provides hundreds of free templates. Looking to create save-the-dates and wedding invitations? You’ll find customizable options on Zola—some even coordinate with their website templates. The best news of all? It’s free!

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Have you discovered another fantastic online wedding registry tool? Tell us about it in the comments, and follow @dfwevents on Instagram for more wedding planning tips and inspiration!

Destination Wedding Gift Ideas for Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Destination

You’ve spent months and months (or maybe years and years) planning your wedding. But you aren’t a traditionalist. Oh, no. You don’t want an elaborate ceremony attended by your entire community. You want to travel, to see the world. So why wait until the honeymoon to pack your bags when you can have a destination wedding? We hear you. Warm, tropical beaches where the sun and sand kiss your skin and blue ocean waves lap gently at your feet…what’s not to like about that?

photo: Karlisch Studio as featured by Inside Weddings | see more here

You’ve got everything planned: the breezy dresses, the light suits, the plane tickets and hotel reservations. Everything except gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Most likely, your wedding party has been with you through thick and thin—maybe even helped you make decisions throughout the wedding planning process. Why not treat them with a gift that puts the “fun” in “functional” at your fabulous destination wedding?

Wedding Party Gift Ideas for Destination Weddings

Warby Parker Sunglasses

If you’re looking for something fashionable that’s also versatile (a.k.a., can be used after the wedding), consider Warby Parker sunglasses! Warby Parker carries a variety of chic styles ranging from modern, to aviators, to those super-cute, Audrey-Hepburn-style shades. Their prices range from $95-$195, and each pair of sunglasses comes in a signature case with its own microfiber lens cloth. The best news of all: Warby Parker is now offering bulk-orders. If you’re really feeling generous and thinking about treating your ENTIRE guest list to a fun souvenir, you’ll be happy to know that for orders of 50 or more pairs of sunglasses, a free custom lens cloth is included with each frame.

Chic pink frames from Warby Parker

Beach Totes

There’s nothing more “fun”-ctional than a colorful, adorable, customizable tote! With these options from Spartina 449 (a brand we discovered during the Wed at the Westin FAM trip we coordinated), you can even buy a matching towel! If you’re looking for something a little more subdued, these durable canvas totes from Lands’ End are perfect. They’re customizable (hello, monograms) and they come in a variety of sizes.

Spartina 449 Boho Beach Tote and Beach Retreat Towel

Personalized Drinkware

Half the fun of sailing or lounging on the beach is having a drink in hand! With a to-go drink, you can take the festivities anywhere. These customizable YETI Ramblers are perfect for the guys and girls in your wedding party. Pick your style, color, and design. The azure skies of Cabo are pretty much the limit!

Presentation is key! Choose packaging that coordinates with your color palette, and find a special moment to present your wedding party with their gifts—like at your bridal brunch! | Karlisch Studio

Custom Luggage Tags

Maybe your destination wedding isn’t at the beach, though. Maybe you’re getting married at a dreamy Tuscan villa or majestic Scottish castle. If that’s the case, one of the most practical bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts to consider might be a custom luggage tag. Neiman Marcus has a variety of styles, colors, and materials to choose from here. You can personalize the luggage tags with the names—and even addresses—of your wedding party.

Personalized luggage tags via Neiman Marcus (left) and Mark & Graham (right)

Clothing and Accessories

When it comes to destination weddings, there’s no gift with more potential than clothing. One item that many women forget to pack? A swimsuit coverup. Be the heroine for your bridesmaids with these options from Tommy Bahama. Speaking of Tommy Bahama, they also have a great selection of men’s swim trunks, ranging from more conservative colors and patterns to bold and bright statement makers. If those options are a bit too spendy, consider gifting guys and gals a waterproof bag for holding wet swimsuits on the plane ride home. We love this option from The Container Store! And for the glamorous maid of honor who loves to accessorize, why not a Panama hat or boater hat from Revolve?

Gifts for the bridesmaids | Karlisch Studio | See more from this destination wedding in Mexico here 

There are so many wonderful ways to make your wedding party feel the love at your destination wedding. Happy gifting!    

Want more?

Read our suggestions for bespoke gifts for grooms + groomsmen here.

Start rounding up bridesmaid proposal ideas here.

Discover welcome gift ideas for Destination, Metropolitan, and Traditional weddings here.

Cheers to 20 Years: 20 Ways Event Planning Has Changed Since DFW Events Was Founded

CelebrationDFW Details

The death of landlines and the omnipresence of iPhones. The rise, fall, and reinvention of the boy band. The exchange of Blockbuster rentals for Netflix binge-watching. The nearly universal adoption of athleisure. From technological advancements to fashion trends, the last 20 years have produced seismic-level shifts in every sphere, and the world of wedding and event planning is no exception (event hashtags, anyone?). In celebration of DFW Events’ twentieth year in business, let’s take a look back at some of the trends and transformations that helped shape the landscape of event planning into the industry it is today…no #throwbackthursday required!

20 WAYS EVENT PLANNING HAS CHANGED IN 20 YEARS
as told by Mary-Frances Hurt | Founder & CEO, DFW Events

1. YOU’RE INVITED. “Twenty years ago, it was exclusively Crane and William Arthur for invitations, and engraving and thermography were the only options for differentiating your typography. Today’s couples have the option of incorporating calligraphy, foiling, letterpress, and a variety of colors into their suites. Ecru paper with black ink is no longer a must-do—invitations have become wildly inventive and representative of each couple’s personality and style.”

Complete wedding invitation suite featuring matte gold foiling and inlaid lucite | produced by Melanie Frazier for DFW Events | photo: Katie Pinson Photography

2. SO GIFTED. “Couples registered exclusively at department stores. Now couples have the option to work with registry specialists like Consilium Lifestyle Collections, to register at stores like Anthropologie, to request honeymoon contributions, or even to sponsor charitable causes through services like The Good Beginning.”

3. SAY “I DO” TO SPECIALTY VENUES. “Churches, country clubs, and hotels used to be the only venue options. Now there are a wide array of specialty venues—in Dallas, Hickory Street Annex, Brake and Clutch, The White Sparrow, Empire Room, Marie Gabrielle, and Arlington Hall all come to mind.”

Wedding ceremony at The White Sparrow Barn | photo: Grant Daniels Photography

4. SPOTLIGHT ON ENTERTAINMENT. “Bands and ceremony musicians have always been around, but musical selections have definitely changed. Some church weddings are incorporating secular music in addition to traditional liturgical selections, and receptions are featuring vendors like tap dancers and live artists to keep guests entertained throughout the evening.”

5. HAVE A SEAT. “Chairs and table linens were always rented from your venue—white, cream, silver, or gold only. Today, a variety of specialty rental companies exist that provide truly unique linens and residential-style event furnishings in the entire Pantone spectrum.”

Lounge furniture from Perch Event Decor | photo: Sarah Kate, Photographer

6. DINNER IS SERVED. “Twenty years ago seated dinners were a must! Then came buffets, and then food stations. Now we’re seeing a hybrid—everyone takes a seat, the first course is served, and then guests go to serving stations. This provides the elegance of a seated dinner with greater menu variety and mobility.”

7. SECOND CHANCE FOR THE SECOND LOOK. “While second looks were really popular in the 40s and 50s—brides of that generation typically changed into a travel suit after the reception—the practice fell out of fashion in the 90s. Today the trend is in style again, with many brides wearing two or even three gowns over the course of the evening.”

Second look for a wedding reception at The Modern Fort Worth | photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer

8. NOW INTRODUCING. “The bride, groom, and the wedding party were announced, but there were no choreographed dances…unless you count the macarena and train dances.”

9. DRESSING DOWN. “Grooms almost exclusively wore black tuxedos with tails twenty years ago. We see a stronger preference for suits today. Grooms have a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from thanks to upscale online rental companies like The Black Tux.”

Left: Wedding fashion according to Beverly Hills, 90210 circa 2000; photo: Everett Collection via Us Weekly | Right: Styled Shoot at The Mulia Bali featuring The Black Tux; photo: Brian Leahy Photography

10. VENDOR SEARCH. “There was no social media or custom event hashtags…because there was no internet! Until wedding-centric magazines and blogs came along, you had to rely on a printed directory to find vendors.”

MF’s first ever Dallas wedding guide (circa 1996)! At the time, Arlington Hall could be rented for $85 from 6 p.m. to midnight.

11. CHOOSE YOUR SHOES. “In addition to matching their gowns, bridesmaids always wore matching shoes. Today we see bridal parties wearing complementary looks in a variety of styles for the wedding ceremony. The new trend is to gift your bridesmaids with matching Converse or Keds for the reception!”

photo: Haley Rynn Ringo | more from this wedding here

12. JUST DANCE. “Dance floor props and photo booths are reception staples today, but they weren’t around twenty years ago.”

13. SWEET SOMETHINGS. “In the Dallas area there used to be just three cake bakers. Today there are many more, and designs have gotten so creative. No more plastic pillars in between cake layers! Faux cakes were also unheard of when I first started planning weddings, but they’re common now—a great way to achieve visual ‘wow factor’ in a more cost-effective manner.”

Typical early 2000s cake with plastic pillars in between layers | photo via Delish

14. NEW DEVELOPMENTS. “Wedding photography was exclusively done in film; there was no digital photography. Videography equipment consisted of fifteen-pound cameras, whereas today drones are often brought in to capture a bird’s eye view of the ceremony and reception.”

15. LOVE IN BLOOM. “Floral was loose, then transitioned into tight, formal, ball-shaped bouquets and arrangements. Now we’re back to loose yet stylized floral arrangements that truly look like works of art.”

Loose and lovely ceremony floral by Bows and Arrows | photo: Grant Daniels Photography

16. LIGHT THE NIGHT. “Until ten or twelve years ago, there was no pin-spotting or uplighting at events. Now it’s a mainstay at every event we produce.”

17. HITCH A RIDE. “I used to hire seven limos on the day of a wedding for the wedding party, and the bride and groom always left in a limo or a vintage car. Now we see couples exiting in bicycles, side cars, pickup trucks, and more!”

Decorated pick-up truck used as a getaway car | photo: Karlisch Studio Weddings

18. DO ME A FAVOR. “Everyone gave guests take-home favors, like candles or picture frames. Now the trend is to surprise guests with after parties, food trucks, and late-night snack passes.”

19. GRAND(ER) EXIT. “Birdseed, rose petals, and bubbles were given to guests before the couple’s getaway. Today it’s confetti, streamers, and sparklers!”

Sparkler wedding exit | photo: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

20. WHAT WE OWE TO J.LO. “Last but not least, when I got married, there were only a handful of wedding planners and they all catered to exclusive zip codes. There were not many who worked with ‘regular brides,’ which is what motivated me to start my own business. That all changed after Jennifer Lopez starred in The Wedding Planner in 2001—there was a huge jump in interest after that!”

J. Lo in The Wedding Planner | photo via Harpers Bazaar

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How to Plan a Successful Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Celebration

Corporate

Congratulations! You’ve finally done it. You’ve dreamed about starting your own business, and now, after months—or even years—of all that planning and prep work, you’re finally ready to let the world know that you exist. What better way to do that than by planning a fabulous grand opening celebration?

Ribbon cutting for Interabang Books in Dallas, Texas

First Things First: Set the Date

The first big ticket items to consider when planning a successful grand opening are the date and time of your event. If you live in Texas, hosting an outdoor event in the middle of July is not a good idea. The same goes for Maine during the winter. Weekdays work best for groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Unless your business is located in a shopping center, you won’t get the attendance rate on a weekend that you would during business hours on a weekday. As far as time of day goes, mornings or lunchtime will usually be the most convenient for your attendees.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Windrose Tower

But wait! Before you start sending out those invitations, it’s important to make sure that no other major events are taking place on the day that you selected. Take a look at the social calendars produced by city magazines and blogs in your area. Visit your local chamber of commerce and visitors bureau to double-check that no other events are being held. You’ve put so much effort into making it this far; the last thing you want is to compete for attendance on the day of your grand opening.

The Food

Now that you’ve set the date for your grand opening celebration, it’s time to consider what you’re going to serve your guests. Will you hire a caterer, or are you providing the food and drinks? Mornings can be a lot easier to plan—especially if you’re handling the food yourself. Light pastries, coffee, and orange juice work perfectly. If you decide to host your event around lunchtime, a buffet is ideal. No need to worry about a plated, sit-down lunch.

Hosting your grand opening in the morning or at lunch also means that you don’t have to worry about buying alcohol. Generally, alcohol is only served at events that take place later in the afternoon or evening—in this case, a bit of champagne and a signature cocktail are all you need to toast the opening.

The Music

Live music is a nice touch for a grand opening, but it’s not mandatory. No matter what type of musicians you select, it’s key to have them play soft background music that allows for easy conversation. Think complementary, not overpowering.

Three Things to Remember When Planning a Successful Grand Opening:

1. First things first: business technicalities! Identify the zoning regulations for your area and the steps you need to take to secure a special event permit. If you plan to bring in outside food, be sure that all vendors have received the necessary permitting from the health department. Tackle these tasks as early in the planning process as possible to ensure that you and your team are worry-free on the day of your grand opening!

2. Inviting dignitaries, celebrities, or government officials can lend a certain amount of credibility to your business. If you have particular VIP attendees in mind, submit a request to their office as soon as possible, and be sure to follow up.

3. The last item may seem obvious, but it can easily be forgotten amid the plethora of other details. If you’re host a ribbon-cutting ceremony, remember to buy your ribbon and a pair of oversized scissors!

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Legacy West

Grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for La Moderna Pasta Factory in Cleburne, Texas attended by Governor Greg Abbott

Marketing is a key component of any successful event. It would be such a shame to put so much time, effort, and money into producing the most glorious grand opening anyone has ever seen, only to be faced with lackluster attendance on the day of your event. To avoid that scenario, send grand opening invitations one month in advance of your event. You can send out traditional invitations, but e-vites are even better. They’re easy to create, cost-effective to send, and they allow you to get an instant headcount while also keeping track of any last-minute cancellations.

Now, let’s talk branding! You want people in your area to become familiar with your brand, but even more importantly, you want them to interact with it, get excited about it, and then tell their friends about how amazing it is! For the grand opening of Interabang Books, we accomplished this by hosting different segments that engaged guests in a memorable way. A “make your own bookmark” station, a storytime reading for children, an author meet-and-greet, and other activities strongly promoted what they are all about: books and community!

Scenes from the Interabang Books grand opening

As a major shopping center, we took a different approach when working with the Legacy West team to produce their grand opening. Nationally-recognized bands, street entertainers, artists, free yoga sessions, giveaways, and other activations served to extend shoppers’ stay while making their time at the event more memorable and enjoyable.

Scenes from the Legacy West grand opening weekend of events

An entire weekend was devoted to the grand opening of La Moderna Pasta Factory in Cleburne, Texas! Guests first toasted the occasion at the kick-off cocktail party, which was followed by an inauguration ceremony featuring factory tours, mariachi music, and a ribbon cutting attended by Governor Greg Abbott. From signature cocktails, to logo-embellished menus, to lounge furniture and floral arrangements complementing the colors of La Moderna’s logo and packaging, branded touches abounded at every turn.

Featured lounge furniture: Perch Event Decor

For smaller-scale celebrations, something as simple as a takeaway item or free sample embellished with your logo can go a long way. Hot day? Why not give each of your guests a customized water bottle or fan? Bounce-back coupons are another easy way to get people to remember your brand and return for another visit.

Last but not least, alert the local media about your upcoming event and make sure the details of your grand opening are on all of the event calendars for your city. Consider hiring a photographer or videographer to document your grand opening. On the day of the event, encourage guests to post on social media by creating signs with your event hashtag, setting up a step and repeat featuring your logo, or hosting a unique activity that is just begging to be Instagrammed. You can even hold social media giveaway contests, like Levi’s did for the grand opening of Legacy West!

You’ve done the hard part of opening up a new business. Now, it’s time to focus on getting others as excited about your company and brand as you are. Use these tips to start laying the foundation for your event, and if you would like assistance in planning and orchestrating your grand opening in Dallas, Fort Worth, or beyond, we would love for you to get in touch with our team!

Image Credits:

Legacy West Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting photos: Taylor Kiker for DFW Events

Interabang Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting photos: Sprouse Neuhoff Photography

Windrose Tower Groundbreaking Event courtesy of Windrose Tower

La Moderna Grand Opening, Cocktail Celebration, and Ribbon Cutting Photos: Jeffrey Wooten courtesy of La Moderna

Golden 50th Anniversary Party at The Joule Hotel in Dallas

Elegant AnniversaryCelebration

Words truly cannot express how lovely, warm, and wonderful the Hustons are, and how much fun we had planning and executing their 50th anniversary celebration at The Joule last November! Allan and Jane’s joy about celebrating this milestone occasion alongside family and friends was infectious throughout the planning process.

photos: Jennifer Crenshaw Photography

In order to bring their vision of an elegant yet lively event to life, Jackson Durham created beautiful floral arrangements in a palette befitting the couple’s Golden Anniversary. Each guest also received a champagne-hued single stem rose at their seat before dinner began—a luxe and lovely touch that reflected the couple’s thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Above and beyond the look of the event, though, were the memories shared by the couple’s family members throughout the evening. One of our favorite tributes took the form of a video created by the Hustons’ daughters, which featured photos, highlights from Allan and Jane’s marriage, and special interview questions that allowed the Hustons to share their perspective on what makes a marriage great (namely, respect and friendship!). The couple’s daughters and grandchildren also spoke about the relationship the two share and the impact they have made on the lives of their loved ones.

Later in the evening after all happy tears had been dried, it was time to hit the dance floor! Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes brought the fire to this party and ensured that the dance floor stayed full—the perfect entertainment choice to reflect the Hustons’ fun-loving personalities!

The Hustons’ kindness and love for one another is evident in so many ways and was easy for our team to celebrate. It was truly an honor to coordinate this very special 50th anniversary party!

Vendors:

Photography: Jennifer Crenshaw Photography
Venue: The Joule Hotel
Floral and Décor: Jackson Durham
Harpist/Guitarist: Cindy Horstman
Band: Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes
Cake: Dallas Affaires
Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals
Event Planning: Brooke Nappier for DFW Events

In the Press: Canon + Tate’s Modern Glam Wedding in Fort Worth

GlamorousModern Church

Canon and Tate are the sweetest couple with a truly incredible love story that spans blind dates, debutante balls, and what could very well be the world’s most romantic European proposal. We couldn’t be more excited to share that their modern, glamorous wedding in Fort Worth was recently selected as a “Vows that Wow” feature in Brides of North Texas magazine!

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer

Before we dig into all of the details of their wedding day, let’s take a moment to swoon together over the way that Tate proposed. While in Italy during the summer of 2016, Tate arranged for a personal driver to chauffeur Canon to the Hotel Villa Cora in Florence. After escorting her through a trail of candles while a harpist played in the background, Tate dropped to one knee and presented Canon with a ring box inscribed with Sono Sicuro—”I’m sure” in Italian. Want more details? You can read the entire story of Tate’s proposal in the online version of BONT’s “Vows that Wow” feature!

Speaking of popping the question, you might remember Canon from a previous blog feature on creative ways to propose to your bridesmaids and maid of honor! These two put so much thought into every aspect of their wedding day and were intentional about honoring their friends, family members, and each other all along the way. From Canon’s decision to have Sono Sicuro engraved on Tate’s wedding band, to the priceless gift of a custom clutch purse made from a variety of heirloom fabrics that Tate gifted to Canon, both bride and groom seized every opportunity to express their love in meaningful, personal ways.

Following a moving ceremony featuring a backdrop of bloom-laden branches at Christ Chapel Bible Church, Canon and Tate celebrated their reception at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite detail, but we’ll do our best—mixed-metal decor, sky-high white floral arrangements, luxury event furniture from Perch Event Decor, a live painter, custom marquee light signage, a donut wall, and a surprise performance to “Dancing Queen” put on by Canon’s mother, her mother’s best friend, and her mother-in-law rank high on our list!

Canon and Tate, we were so honored to plan your wedding and wish you much continued joy as you build your life together as husband and wife!

THE WEDDING FILM
by Splendor Films

 

Vendors:

Photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer
Church: Christ Chapel Bible Church
Reception: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Floral: Garden Gate
Custom Decor: Stage Works
Donuts: Funky Town Donuts
Band: Jordan Kahn Orchestra
Live Artist: Susan Moss Cooper
Transportation: Premier Transportation
Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang, Warren Barron Bridal Salon
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid
Hair and Makeup: Grand Slam Glam
Cake: Creme de la Creme Cake Company
Luxury Event Rentals: Perch Event Decor
Paper: Paper Planet
Lighting: BEYOND
Wedding Planning: DFW Events

Anissa + Ramez: Glamorous Multi-Cultural Wedding in Dallas

Glamorous BallroomChurch

Put together one fun-loving couple, two different cultural backgrounds, a bevy of personalized leather jackets, and a dizzying variety of dance floor entertainers, and what do you have? Just a GLIMPSE of the excitement and glamour that surrounded every aspect of Anissa and Ramez’s wedding day!

photos: Paige Greener Photography

It was important to the bride and groom to incorporate traditions from both of their cultures throughout the wedding weekend. With this in mind, following the conclusion of the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening, Anissa changed into a red gown and veil to honor her Albanian heritage before hitting the dance floor. After saying “I do” at Perkins Chapel on Saturday, Anissa and Ramez entered their reception at The Joule as guests participated in a traditional Pakistani dance led by the groom’s family!

Anissa has impeccable taste (did you see those personalized Zara jackets she gifted to her bridesmaids?) and we had so much fun planning an ultra-modern black and white reception with her! Her adventurous decor choices resulted in a look that was both glamorous and fresh. The stunning floral arrangements crafted by Garden Gate, the globe the couple used as a guest sign-in book, and the acrylic seating chart created by DFW Dance Floors were among our favorite design details.

The bride and groom’s first dance to a soulful version of “Firestone” by Kygo was an emotional highlight of the night. It was the perfect song choice for Anissa and Ramez, and beautifully performed by local duo Hunter and Savannah! Last but not least, you’ll notice that the dance floor is consistently packed in all of these photos. Ramez and Anissa both love to dance and wanted to ensure that their guests had an unforgettable evening—a goal they MORE than accomplished by incorporating a variety of great entertainers at the reception! From the electronic violinist to the dancing robot, the dance floor was packed from start to finish.

It was such a privilege to help bring your wedding day to life, Anissa and Ramez! Wishing you two all the best…and plenty more opportunities to dance!

Vendor List:

Church: Perkins Chapel
Reception: The Joule Hotel, Dallas
Officiate: Boo Kay
Ceremony Strings: Dallas String Quartet
Ceremony Organist: Jordan Smith
Caterer: The Joule Hotel
Alcohol: The Joule Hotel
Valet: The Joule Hotel
Magician: David Gabriel
Robot: Reilly Robot
Electronic Violinist: Sarina
Reception Singers: Hunter and Savannah
Photographer: Paige Greener Photography
Videographer: Elle Films
Band/DJ: DJ Ehab
Florist: Garden Gate, Junior Villanueva
Dance Floor and Acrylic Seating Chart: DFW Dance Floors
Lighting: The Joule Hotel
Cakes: Fancy Cakes by Lauren
Wedding Planning: Brooke Nappier for DFW Events

Meghan + Jay’s Outdoor Wedding and Classic Reception at Arlington Hall

Classic BallroomOutdoor

We’ve been sharing sneak peeks of Meghan and Jay’s wedding on Instagram, and today we’re thrilled to be sharing their entire gallery from Tyler + Lindsey (or the vast majority of it, anyway!). From those beaming first look smiles to Jay’s victorious fist pump after being pronounced husband and wife, these two radiated absolute joy on their wedding day.

From Portico to Pavilion, Arlington Hall boasts a variety of beautiful event spaces. As Meghan and Jay’s wedding and reception made use of several on-property locations, Junior at Garden Gate designed a lovely lantern-lined walkway to guide guests from dinner in the Sunken Garden to the Ballroom for dancing. Another favorite detail: Meghan and Jay’s vintage cake topper! As a special nod to the Baumgardner family, the couple’s cake was topped with the same figurines that were featured on Jay’s grandparents’ and parents’ wedding cakes. A “sweet” tradition in every sense of the word, and the perfect Something Old, too.

Meghan and Jay’s “I do” date fell on Veteran’s Day weekend, and since they both have family and friends who have served in the military, they gave a special toast of thanks to honor veterans and soldiers during their reception. Other all-American touches included the distribution of flags for guests to wave as the bride and groom made their exit, and a surprise fireworks show gifted to the couple by Meghan’s parents—it began as they were cutting their wedding cake on the Arlington Hall porch!

Meghan and Jay, thank you so much for trusting our team to plan your wedding. It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of your day!

WEDDING FILM

Vendors:

Venue/Catering: Arlington Hall at Oak Lawn Park

Ceremony/Dinner Music and MC: LeForce Entertainment

Photographer: Tyler and Lindsey Photography

Videographer: Tyler and Lindsey Photography

Band: Inside Out

Florist: Garden Gate

Lighting: LeForce Entertainment 

Cakes: Panini Bakery

Linens: BBJ Linen

Lounge Furniture/Bar Front: Perch Décor

Chargers: Top Tier

Hair/Makeup: Erin Blair (makeup) and Melissa Holtzclay (hair)

Transportation: Premier Transportation

Get-away Car: Blue Diamond Limousines

Bridal Gown: Neiman Marcus Downtown

Coordination: Laura Arredondo and Brooke Nappier for DFW Events

Planner’s Perspective: Hosting a Wedding or Event at a Museum

DFW Details

There is something so special about a night at the museum—and no, we’re not talking about the Ben Stiller comedy that brought exhibits to life on the big screen. Rather, we’re thinking of artfully-imagined weddings and special events hosted at locales including the The Modern, the Dallas Museum of Art, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and The Nasher, just to name a few. 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). Let’s explore the logistics of hosting a wedding or event at a museum! 

THE SET-UP

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!

rehearsal dinner at the Dallas Museum of Art | photos: Rachel Ledbetter | planning, menu design, and menu photo: DFW Events | event design: Bella Flora

THE LOOK

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

THE EXPERIENCE

We’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! 

Progressive dinner and 50th birthday party at The Perot Museum—see more here
photos: Jason Kindig | planning: DFW Events | floral and design: David Kimmel

reception at The Modern | photos: Taylor Lord | planning: DFW Events | floral: Stems of Dallas

3 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING A MUSEUM WEDDING

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

reception at the Dallas Museum of Art | floral: Garden Gate | photos: f8 Studio | planning: DFW Events

Learn more about how to select the perfect wedding or event venue for you right here. Dreaming of your own museum wedding? Get in touch with our team here to start planning!

6 Ways to Incorporate the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year Into Your Wedding

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Have you heard? The Pantone 2018 color of the year is Ultra Violet! Here’s what Pantone says is behind the selection of the vibrant purple hue: “Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future. Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.”

Speaking of the cosmos, the 2018 color of the year feels like a natural—albeit more subdued—extension of last year’s explosion of out-of-this-world holographic design details. Not feeling quite adventurous enough to pair up these two trends? Ultra Violet also works beautifully with the 2017 color of the year, Greenery!  

Ultra Violet, lavender, eggplant—no matter the hue that’s used, purple is a distinct color with high impact. From subtle to completely saturated, keep reading for six ways to incorporate the 2018 color of the year into your wedding day!

6 WAYS (BIG AND SMALL) TO INCORPORATE ULTRA VIOLET INTO YOUR WEDDING DAY

1. Amp up your bridal eye makeup with Ultra Violet. Purple and green complement each other well, meaning a hint of Ultra Violet eyeshadow will look extraordinary on a bride with emerald eyes!

photo: Scott Hagar Photography

2. Gift your bridesmaids Pantone-inspired robes. No matter which color or pattern you choose, gifting your bridesmaids with matching robes on the morning of your wedding ensures a cohesive look for your getting-ready photos. Ready to start shopping? Our brides love the selection offered by Plum Pretty Sugar!

photo: Scott Hagar Photography

3. Infuse paper products with purple. Welcome bag tags, cocktail napkins, custom cups, and rehearsal dinner invitations are all perfect for giving a subtle nod to the 2018 color of the year. Feeling bold? Incorporate Ultra Violet into your wedding logo or duogram, and use it front and center on your wedding invitation and program!

photos: Scott Hagar Photography

4. Give floral arrangements a pop of purple. Anemones, hydrangeas, clematis, snapdragons, and orchids are all blooms that naturally come in a purple variety. Consult with your florist to identify flowers that will be a perfect match for your wedding season. If all purple everything is a bit too dramatic for your taste, consider intermixing purple stems with greenery and other flowers in complementary colors. Utilizing colorful vases and table decor to offset otherwise-neutral arrangements is another option!

photos: Scott Hagar Photography| Edmonson Weddings | Sarah Kate, Photographer

5. Use violet lighting to enhance your reception venue. We’ll let you in on a little secret: Violet lighting is universally flattering! In addition to giving your reception an added dose of warmth, depth, and richness, your guests will love the way Ultra Violet uplighting plays up their features—and your photographer’s camera will love it, too.

photos: John Cain Photography

6. Go all out. Table numbers, charger plates, seating cards, linens, bridesmaid gowns…and a firework-filled exit! If you’ve got a preference for purple, why not give it the primary spot on your color palette? Use luxe textiles and metallic accents to play up Ultra Violet’s elegance. This will ensure that your design scheme reads as both elevated and sophisticated (with absolutely zero relation to a certain purple dinosaur who shall not be named).

photos: Edmonson Weddings | Sarah Kate, Photographer | Scott Hagar Photography

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