Get Ready for a Food-tastic Fall with Dallas 24 Hour Club and the World Food Championships!

Industry Event

We’re gearing up for a food-tastic fall! Our event planning team is honored to be a part of both the Dallas All Star Chef Classic and World Food Championships this October. The coolest news? There’s synergy between the two events. The World Food Championships recently announced that proceeds from the signature Grand Tasting event will benefit the Dallas 24 Hour Club!

As part of WFC’s new relationship with the 24 Hour Club, two World Food Champions will also participate in the 2019 Dallas All Star Chef Classic. Terry Kranz, owner of TK Culinary, created the Dallas All Star Chef Classic alongside Marsha Williamson to assist with fundraising efforts and further awareness about addiction within the restaurant community.

“24 Hour Club has given me everything I have,” shared Terry, who lived at the Dallas 24 Hour Club twice during the height of his own addiction. “Today I own a catering company, I do the best events in the world, and I’m respected. What really drives me now is to show another alcoholic that it’s possible to make it out.”

So what are you waiting for, DFW foodies? Good food, great fun, and a worthy cause await. Fire up those tastebuds and catch all the details for both events below!

SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE FABULOUS FOOD EVENTS

October 13, 2019 | Join us at the 6th Annual Dallas All Star Chef Classic benefitting Dallas 24 Hour Club! The event will be held at Sixty Five Hundred from 5:30-8 pm. Dallas’ top chefs will be on the scene to prepare delicious tastings, and guests will also enjoy live music from the Georgia Bridgwater Band along with silent + live auctions.

Reserve your spot: https://www.dallas24hourclub.org/chef

photo: Holt Haynsworth

October 16-20, 2019 | We hope to see you at the World Food Championships in Dallas! Presented by Walmart, this 5-day outdoor cooking competition will take place on the Reunion Tower Lawn. Top chefs and home cooks from across the globe will battle for a Category Champion title and $10,000. In the following months, Category Champs will reconvene for a shot at the World Food Champion title and an additional $100,000!

Get your tickets: https://worldfoodchampionships.com/tickets

photo: Jason Kindig Photography

Seated Dinner, Buffet, or Serving Stations: Which is Right for Your Reception?

Celebration

This blog originally appeared on Honeyfund.com

So, you’re working on selecting menu items for your wedding reception. You’ve already decided on passed hors d’oeuvres—crab cakes, stuffed button mushrooms, and fried mac and cheese balls just for a fun twist—and you’re thinking of serving a light garden salad and lobster bisque combo as an appetizer. But how do you deliver the main course to your guests? When it comes to the question of a seated dinner, a buffet, or a serving station is the best option for the main course, let’s just put it this way: you have yet to determine which food service option to say “I do” to at your wedding reception.

photo: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

The size of your guest list, formality of your wedding, selected venue and catering company, and the time of day your wedding and reception will take place are all things to consider when choosing a food service style.

THE BUFFET

Let’s start at what is traditionally known as the most informal end of the spectrum: the buffet. Many couples who opt for a buffet lean toward this option due to their desire to see movement in the room throughout the evening, rather than a stagnant seated dinner that unfolds at a slower pace. If cost is a factor, buffets can also prove to be a more economical option as they do not require every guest to be seated at the same time.

photo: Scott Hagar Photography

THE SEATED DINNER

For those who prefer more formal dining experience, or who plan to host 200 or fewer guests, seated dinners are an appropriate selection. Most frequently selected for black and white tie receptions, seated dinners are a full-service dining experience marked by pauses between courses. Generally speaking, seated dinners are more expensive because they require a chair for every single guest, along with chargers, stemware, flatware, individual menus, table numbers, additional centerpieces, a server for the table, plus a server for beverages.

photo: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

THE SERVING STATION

Stations are another option, and fall right in the middle of the food service spectrum on a scale ranging from informal to formal. Ideal for weddings with a large guest count, food stations are also an excellent option for those who wish to accommodate a variety of menu needs or preferences.

photos: Scott Hagar Photography and Jo Johnson Photography

For example, an Indian family following a vegetarian diet can showcase the bride or groom’s heritage by serving traditional dishes while also offering more universal fare at other stations. Alternately, a couple hailing from New York and Texas can treat guests to his-and-hers stations bearing Manhattan clam chowder and cheesecake to represent his Brooklyn background, and barbecue and pecan pie as a nod to her Houston roots.

For both buffet dinners and food stations, signage helps to reinforce the theme and further acquaint guests with the couple’s background. You can accomplish this via large chalkboard menus at the head of each station or by putting individual menus on each place setting.

custom acrylic menu | photo: Karlisch Studio

THE HYBRID APPROACH

The newest trend is doing a hybrid of food stations and seated dinners—ideal for the couple who wants the formality of assigned guest seating without limiting mobility throughout the evening. Just like at a traditional seated reception, each guest is directed to his or her assigned dinner seat via a place card. Following a welcome toast or prayer, wines are poured at the table and the first course is served by attendants. Afterward, guests are then dismissed to various food stations at their own pace. Another mix-and-match option is the family-style seated dinner, in which entrees are plated and guests help themselves to sides served on large platters. Although everyone has a seat at the table like at a traditional seated dinner, this casual style of dinner service is the furthest thing from stuffy—perfect for a ranch wedding or more casual reception environment.

photo: Sarah Kate, Photographer | see more from this ranch wedding here

Now that you have an understanding of the various food service options, all that’s left to do is finish up those menu selections. Enjoy your tasting appointments—and bon appetit!

Are you looking for a Dallas or destination event planner? We would be honored to speak with you about your “I do”—drop a note to our team right here.

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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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!

Planner’s Perspective: 5 Questions to Help You Select the Perfect Wedding Venue

BallroomChurchCountry ClubDestinationPrivate Residence

If you’ve been dreaming about your wedding for your entire life (or even just for the last year or so), chances are that at least a few of those dreams have included a very specific setting. But whether you’re instinctively drawn to the rustic ambiance of a ranch wedding or have a more traditional ballroom affair in mind, there are a few essential questions every couple should consider before booking a venue for the Big Day. Ask yourself these five questions to ensure that your wedding venue is a perfect fit, then prepare to ink those final contracts with confidence!

Planner's Perspective | Wedding Venues

Question One: “Indoor or outdoor?”

Consider this basic question your starting point when identifying potential wedding and reception venues. Answering it from the get-go will automatically simplify your search!

Outdoor ceremony at The Four Seasons Dallas | more from this wedding here | Karlisch Photography

Indoor ceremony at The Four Seasons Santa Fe | see more here | Cameron & Kelly Studio

Question Two: “How would you describe your style?”

When it’s time to start narrowing down your options, think about your personal style. Are you drawn to modern and contemporary looks with a preference for clean lines? Consider booking a museum for your ceremony or reception—The Modern in Fort Worth, The Nasher, and the Dallas Museum of Art are all beautiful options that don’t necessarily require a lot of extra table décor.

Reception at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth | Sarah Kate, Photographer

Reception at the Dallas Museum of Art | F8 Studio

On the other hand, if your tastes are very traditional, a church ceremony and a reception at a hotel ballroom or country club might appeal to you. The Crescent, The Ritz, Arlington Hall, Brook Hollow Country Club, and Dallas Country Club are just a few examples of venues with a very classic feel!

Highland Park Presbyterian Church | more from this wedding here | Sarah Kate, Photographer

Rosewood Mansion | DFW Events | Jess Barfield Photography

Rosewood Mansion | DFW Events | Jess Barfield Photography

Rosewood Mansion, Dallas | Jess Barfield Photography

Question Three: “What are my décor and rental needs?”

If questions one and two have helped you determine that an outdoor wedding in a setting that is not typically used as an event space—this includes a ranch, field, or even your own backyard—is for you, keep in mind that you will most likely need to bring in absolutely everything from the ground up. We’re talking tables, chairs, linens, and back-of-house catering rentals, plus a trucking service, a generator, a dance floor, and a valet company just to name a few. You will also need to secure an air-conditioned tent in case of rain or extreme temperatures on your wedding day. Don’t let that scare you, though. If you’re open to the idea of managing these additional details or have hired an event planner to help manage them for you, this can be an extremely rewarding way to build a completely unique event space!

Tented reception at a private residence | see more wedding details here | Sarah Kate, Photographer

Backyard Wedding | Photography by Jason Kindig

Backyard reception at private residence | Jason Kindig Photography

By contrast, country clubs, ballrooms, and other traditional event venues maintain a supply of house linens, house chairs, tables, and in-house catering rentals, and will also provide your catering services. While this option will probably save you some time, it won’t always save you money—especially if you’re planning to outfit the space with custom décor, which will require sourcing outside vendors.

Reception at the Dallas Country Club | Kiss Me For Eternity, Thisbe Grace & Co.

Question Four: “What are my power and sound needs?”

If you’re planning to have a live band at your ceremony or reception, ensure that your venue has the necessary power and circuits. A back-up generator will be required if your power needs exceed your venue’s capability or if you’re planning an outdoor wedding. And don’t forget to inquire about lighting! Some venues keep their lighting on dimmers, which provides a built-in transition from dinner to the dance floor, whereas other spaces might benefit from an additional lighting package.

Southern Hills | DFW Events | Stephen Karlisch Photography

Custom build-out at Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa | Karlisch Photography

Question Five: “How much time do I need for set-up?”

Load-in and strike times are of major importance for your vendors, so make sure to ask your potential venue what time set-up can begin on the day of your wedding. Dedicated event spaces will typically allow set-up to begin early in the day, but locations that primarily function as public spaces—think art galleries and restaurants—might restrict set-up to after the five o’clock hour. If you choose a venue with this kind of time constraint, be prepared to pay an additional fee to cover the cost of the extra laborers it will take to prep your event space in a shortened time frame.

Reception at The Four Seasons Dallas | more details here | Karlisch Studio

The bottom line? Spend some time thinking about the look and feel of your wedding as a whole, and then choose the venue and vendors that are best equipped to bring that vision to life!

In need of even more inspiration? Stop by our “Venues” board on Pinterest, and don’t miss our  feature “From the Ground Up: How to Create an Event Space for Your Wedding Day” in the Winter 2018 issue of Inside Weddings.

 

Classic Christmas Wedding Inspiration

Classic Winter Holiday

‘Tis the season for decking the halls and spreading Christmas cheer, and as event planners, nothing makes our spirits brighter than reflecting on the details of a festively-arrayed wedding day! In anticipation of holidays past, we’ve featured a round-up of our favorite white wedding details and we’ve also shone the spotlight on colorful winter soirees. What we haven’t celebrated yet? A classic Christmas wedding—one that’s rich in velvet textiles, potted poinsettias, gingerbread bars, magnolia garlands, and a traditional palette of red, green, and gold. Until now, that is! From altar to after party, these wedding details are wishlist-worthy for any bride dreaming of a Noel nuptial.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | see more here and here

photos: Hampton Morrow Photography | more of this wedding here

photos: Edmonson Weddings | more details from this holiday wedding here

photo: John Cain Photography | more of this wedding here

9 Things You’ll Only See at Texas Weddings

DFW Details

While it’s true that we plan weddings and events all over the world, we have to admit that we’re pretty proud to call Dallas, Texas our home base! Everything really is bigger in Texas—including the kinds of parties we throw—so if you receive an invitation to a wedding in the Lone Star State, we recommend saddling up and sending in your RSVP in the affirmative as soon as possible. In addition to southern sensibilities and a healthy dose of hospitality, you’re bound to encounter a detail or two that you’d be hard-pressed to find at any other “I do.” Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites now!

photo: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

First up, an event featuring a VIB—that’s a Very Important Bovine! Bevo, the official mascot of the University of Texas, made a special guest appearance at our bride and groom’s rehearsal dinner in the Texas Hill Country. Needless to say, he received a warm welcome from the Longhorn-lovin’ crowd. Hook ’em! 

photos: Rebecca Ellison Photography

If you’re lucky enough to be on-hand for an entire Texas wedding weekend, you’re bound to be bestowed with a whole passel of local products upon arrival. This is called a welcome gift, and believe us, it’s always met with a smile. A Texas welcome gift will likely feature a box or bag emblazoned with the shape of the state, pecans (the official state nut), and chips and salsa (a Texan’s favorite snack), just to name a few.

photo: Karlisch Studio Weddings

photo: Haley Rynn Ringo Photography

Late night snack passes have been trending for a while now, and at a Texas wedding, there’s no finer fare to dish out than Whataburger! Equally appetizing after a Friday night football game or a night spent on the dance floor, a couple’s most difficult decision is typically which best-selling menu item to serve (Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits, Whataburgers, or both?). As for washing down that Whataburger, every Texas groom knows that a bartender just isn’t worth his stock unless he’s serving Shiner Bock. The renowned dark lager is produced by the oldest independent brewery in Texas and is always a hit with hometown guests.

photo: Ace Cuervo Photography

photo: Karlisch Studio Weddings

We’ve all heard of coat checks, right? Well, welcome to Texas soirees where boot checks give guests the option to leave their Luccheses behind while they hit the dance floor and unwind! 

photos: Rebecca Ellison Photography

photo: John Cain Photography

Who says there’s no horseplay allowed at a formal event? At this ranch wedding near Waco, the bride and groom provided horse treats for guests to feed to their favorite four-legged friends.

photos: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

Our couples have spirit, yes they do—and they frequently order custom cakes to prove it, too. If the bride or groom attended a university in Texas—and that goes double for The University of Texas—you just might enjoy a buttercream-covered ode to their alma mater during the dessert course.

Fun fact: Unbeknownst to the groom, our bride—a proud graduate of Texas Christian University—requested that the inside of his University of Texas themed groom’s cake be dyed purple as a sneaky tribute to her Horned Frogs! | photos: John Cain Photography

photo: Edmonson Weddings

photo: Rebecca Ellison Photography

That’s not to say that other local icons are off the (dessert) table, though. One of our couples took the concept of an “ice cream cake” to a whole new level by commissioning a replica of a Blue Bell Ice Cream container. Based in Brenham, Texas, the creamery has been in business since 1907—and Texans have had a sweet spot for it ever since.

photo: Joseph Mark Photography

Finally, when it comes to transportation, not just any stretch limo will do. But a bus emblazoned with the Dallas Cowboys star? That’s a touchdown, y’all!

photo: Gary Donihoo, F8 Studio

What are some of your other favorite Texas wedding traditions? Comment below and we’ll keep adding to our list!

Red, White, and Beautiful: Fourth of July Event Inspirations!

Celebration

As event planners, we can’t help but love the Fourth of July. After all, the entire nation is gearing up for one big red, white, and blue hued celebration! Whether you’re escaping to the beach for the occasion or planning to enjoy a little BBQ in your own backyard, we hope that these details from patriotic parties of the past will help you transition from work mode to seeing fireworks explode. Let freedom ring, and let the festivities begin!

FIREWORK FINALES

How do you end your wedding day with a bang? By lighting the night with a private fireworks show for your guests, of course! With that said, there are certain best-practices and regulations you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to (fire)work with this type of entertainment at your next event. Click here to read our Founder + CEO’s top five tips for orchestrating a fireworks display, as shared with Inside Weddings magazine!

Emily Shuford

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photos: f8 StudioEdmonson Weddings | Scott Hagar Photography

SPARKLING SENDOFFS

Sparklers aren’t just for the Fourth of July. They’re also the perfect way to say “goodbye” before stepping into your getaway car!

photos: Caroline Jurgensen Photography

Playing with fire not really your thing? Distribute flags instead! Bonus points if you gift your guests with fun dance floor props. We promise they’ll be into it, and you’ll get some amazing reception photos out of it, too!

photos: Tyler + Lindsey | f8 Studio

A WELCOME PARTY THAT WOWS

Lindsey and Ryan love the Fourth of July so much that they selected the date for their wedding welcome party! Read all about it and see every last dynamic detail by clicking over to Inside Weddings for a full recap.

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photos: Elisabeth Millay Photography and Jerry Hayes Photography