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

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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

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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

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!

In the Press: Bela + Chase’s Wedding at The Four Seasons Dallas

Glamorous BallroomOutdoor Press

It’s a toss-the-confetti and pop-the-champagne kind of day around the DFW Events office—Bela + Chase’s wedding is featured in the Winter 2018 issue of Inside Weddings! 

The couple wed in May of 2017, with both the ceremony and reception taking place at The Four Seasons Resort & Club, Dallas. After exchanging vows beneath a stunning floral archway set up on the lawn, Bela and Chase treated their guests to a special cocktail hour featuring his-and-hers areas—a rosé and champs bar for the bride and a succulent-covered scotch station for the groom. Up next: a breathtaking ballroom reception! Blush draping, mirrored surfaces, crystal accents, and sequin-covered textiles combined to create a luxurious ambiance, which was personalized thanks to the addition of custom neon signage and throw pillows bearing the couple’s duogram.

It was our absolute pleasure to help bring Bela and Chase’s wedding day vision to life, and we are honored by what Bela shared with Inside Weddings: “I had a superstar wedding planner who has been in the industry for 20 years. She called in so many favors, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish by planning on my own.”

That’s what we’re here for, and exactly the sort of thing that makes our hearts sing. Congratulations, Bela and Chase!

wedding photos: Karlisch Studio, Stephen Karlisch

Vendors:

Wedding Planning: Abby Simoneau and Mary-Frances Hurt for DFW Events

Photography: Karlisch Studio Weddings, Stephen Karlisch

Videography: Elle Films

Venue: Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Floral, Lighting, and Decor: Bella Flora of Dallas

Beauty: Alex Guzman

Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier

Bridal Salon: Warren Barron Bridal

Cake: Fancy Cakes by Lauren

Invitations: Southern Fried Paper

Paper Goods: Ellis Hill

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

The Latest Trends in Luxury Birthday Party Planning

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For 20 years, DFW Events has been known for coordinating luxury weddings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and across the globe. While our team remains truly passionate about every aspect of the wedding planning process (from vendor selections to the vow exchange), weddings certainly aren’t the only milestone celebrations that we coordinate. Grand openings, corporate galas and fundraisers, dignitary dinners, holiday parties, anniversaries, familiarity trips…we’re serious when we say that the “DFW” in our company name stands for Destinations, Fêtes, and Weddings. So today, we’re highlighting one particular type of event that never fails to make our hearts beat a little faster: the birthday party!

If you thought birthday parties were limited to the 10-and-under crowd, think again. We’re not just talking balloons, candles, and confetti here (although these party staples will never really go out of style). Think more along the lines of private museum tours, celebrity guest appearances, and itineraries that keep the party going all weekend long. This is the birthday party all grown up—a reimagined, sophisticated celebration worthy of your special occasion. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of our most recent fêtes as we explore the latest trends in luxury birthday party planning!

The Trend: Personalized Parties

Personalizing a party begins with selecting a theme that reflects your individual interests, passions, and experiences. We’ve custom-tailored birthdays based on inspirations ranging from classic cars, to a classic television series, to the ambience of a European club, which has resulted in a portfolio of parties that look completely different from one another in the best way possible!

photos: Jason Kindig | see more of this party here

photos: Jason Kindig | more from this Hawaii 5-0 themed 50th here

photos: Jason Kindig | see more of this 50th birthday party at The Joule here

Up next after selecting a theme? Custom branding everything (and we do mean everything). From bar fronts to cocktail napkins, embellishing as many details as possible with a custom personal logo is an excellent way to establish a consistent through-line and create a completely unique atmosphere. Brynn’s House of Blues themed Sweet 16 was a perfect example of birthday branding done right!

photos: Jason Kindig | more from this Sweet 16 here

The Trend: Colorful Celebrations

This just in: 40th, 50th, and 60th birthday parties are no longer synonymous with black-on-black decor and “Over the Hill” signs. Elegant jewel-toned dinners, festive fuchsia soirees, and multi-colored metropolitan bashes are the new indicators of a life well-lived (and sensationally celebrated).

photos: Jason Kindig | see more of this colorful 50th birthday party here

photos: Karlisch Studio | more luxe 40th birthday party ideas here

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | more details from this jewel-toned 60th birthday party here

The Trend: Double the Fun

Why celebrate one milestone birthday when you can raise a toast to two of them? Take a cue from Ike and Eric, best friends who joined forces to host a blow-out 60th birthday celebration at 6500 that featured a putting green, 3D Mapping show, models, international cuisine, and more!

photos: Jason Kindig | more of this joint 60th birthday celebration here

The Trend: Rustic Ranch Getaways

Birthdays have a way of reminding us that life moves quickly, but our clients have discovered a surefire way to slow time down—by hosting a laidback-yet-luxurious birthday celebration on a ranch in Texas! If sipping margaritas, enjoying roasted corn drenched in butter, line-dancing the night away, and ending the evening with a Hill Country sunset alongside friends and family won’t stop and make you smell the wildflowers, then really…what will?

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | see more from this 40th birthday party on a ranch in Texas here

photos: Jennifer Crenshaw Photography

The Trend: Element of Surprise

When you think of surprise parties, you might think of guests crowding together in a darkened room until the time comes to jump out and surprise the unsuspecting birthday girl or boy. Today’s version of the surprise party, however, has just as much to do with surprising and delighting guests as it does with catching the host unaware! Teresa’s recent 50th birthday party at The Perot Museum perfectly encompassed both concepts. Teresa’s husband contacted our team in order to surprise his wife with an unexpected celebration, and in turn, we surprised the couple’s guests by transporting them from Houston to Dallas by private jet to enjoy an intimate progressive dinner on a grand scale.

photos: Jason Kindig Photography

Preparing to celebrate a milestone birthday or special occasion of your own? Get connected with our team here to start planning an event that’s 100% unique to you! 

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!

Head West for the Legacy West Grand Opening June 2-4!

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Our team is thrilled to be producing the grand opening of Legacy West, a 3.2 billion dollar development that combines the crème de la crème of shopping, dining, and lifestyle brands in one incredible location! On that note, we recommend blocking off June 2-4 on your calendar now. Otherwise you might miss out on a celebration that includes performances by Emerald CityParty on the Moon, and Jordan Kahn, tastings from Plano’s most exciting new restaurants, specialty swag bags and amazingly-cool giveaway offers, and—seriously, we’re not just saying this—so much more. 

Emerald City Band, Legacy West fountains, Tesla | photos courtesy of Legacy West

Stop by in-store events hosted by retailers including Pockets and Fabletics, sip margaritas on the Mesero patio, take a spin in a Tesla, nosh on couture Sprinkles cupcakes, enter for a chance to win a Texas-themed trucker jacket from Levi’s, and raise a champagne toast at the Renaissance Hotel. Oh, and did we mention the sneak peek tours of forthcoming foodie paradise Legacy Hall that will be taking place? You’ll want to pencil that in, too!

Needless to say, there will be countless opportunities to discover why Mayor LaRosiliere recently dubbed Legacy West the “Center of the Universe!”

A few more details per the release:

The concert line-up will include the Jordan Kahn Music Company performing Friday, June 2 starting at 7:30 p.m., followed by Emerald City Band on Saturday, June 3 at 2 p.m. and Party on the Moon Band at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, June 4, Taylor Pace Band will take the main stage at 2 p.m.

Many Legacy West restaurants will offer food and drink tastings throughout the weekend including Bistro 31, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Earls Kitchen + Bar, Fogo de Chao, Haywire, Mesero, Shake Shack, Starbucks Reserve, Taverna, True Food Kitchen, and Toulouse. Legacy Hall, a 55,000-square-foot food hall, will offer tours to the public for the first time and will also have several of its food stall operators on site sampling their menu items. Sprinkles will serve an exclusive Legacy West Chocolate Caramel cupcake and True Food Kitchen will offer a special cocktail called the Plano Paloma, only available June 2-4.

Legacy West retailers including Bonobos, Coach, Fabletics, Filson, Johnny Was, Peter Millar, Pockets Menswear, Suitsupply, Tesla, Tommy Bahama, TUMI, and West Elm will host special in-store events, parties and exclusive discounts and promotions. Also participating, The Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel and Visit Plano.

Click here to peruse all of the parties and promotions taking place throughout the weekend, and don’t miss what D Magazine and Paper City had to say about the grand opening. In the meantime, enjoy this sampling of the entertainment taking place throughout the weekend!

JORDAN KAHN MUSIC COMPANY
Friday, June 2 | 7:30 PM

EMERALD CITY BAND
Saturday, June 3 | 2 PM

PARTY ON THE MOON
Saturday, June 3 | 7:30 PM

TAYLOR PACE ORCHESTRA
Sunday, June 4 | 2 PM

Creative Ways to Propose to Your Bridesmaids + Maid of Honor

DFW Details

In all likelihood your bridesmaids were the first to hear the news of your proposal, so why not surprise them with a little proposal of your own? Putting extra time and care into the way you ask your best friends to be your bridesmaids is such an incredible way to honor the women who will stand by your side as you exchange the title of fiancé for that of wife. From thoughtful gifts to meaningful moments, here are three creative ways to pop the question to your ‘maids!

IT’S A SIGN

photos: Sally Wang, Murphy & Grace

First up, an adorable proposal put together by DFW Events bride-to-be Canon that took place in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square! “My mom set up a brunch and told the girls it was a surprise luncheon for me. As it turns out, they were the ones getting surprised!” shares Canon. “My mom had them pose for a photo so they wouldn’t turn around. When they turned around, my future mother-in-law and I were holding up a sign made by Paper Planet! We had a mini photoshoot followed by a mother-daughter brunch at Bird Café filled with french toast, chicken and waffles, and mimosas.”

Another fun detail: Since one of Canon’s bridesmaids was out of state at the time of the proposal, Canon had a paper cut-out made so that she was still represented at the event. “We were able to FaceTime her in for the surprise,” says Canon. “It was a day filled with love and laughter!”

SO GIFTED

photos: Red October Photography

Every girl loves to be pampered, and we’re betting your future ‘maids are no exception! Artisanal gifting companies like Marigold & Grey make it easy (and so much fun) to present thoughtful, beautifully-curated gifts to anyone you’d like to bestow with an extra dose of love and appreciation. We love the selection of bridesmaid-specific boxes offered by Marigold & Grey, and are thrilled to be sharing a sneak peek of the newest version of their “Thank You For Being my Bridesmaid” gift today on the blog! Save the date for the debut on April 25—here’s where you’ll find the product listed when it’s available for purchase.

New “Thank You For Being My Bridesmaid” Gift Box | Marigold & Grey

“Will You Be My Bridesmaid” Gift Box | Marigold & Grey | Shop here

photos: Laura Metzler and Lisa Ziesing

I FLIP FOR YOU

photos: Matthew Visinsky and Scott Fischer for TCU Athletics

After receiving a resounding “YES” response from all of her bridesmaids, Canon had one last proposal up her sleeve—this time the target was her future matron of honor, Ashton! Since Canon and Ashton grew up together doing competitive cheer at Spirit of Texas, it made sense to incorporate cheerleading into the plan of action. Needless to say, we flip for the way Canon’s proposal turned out!

“TCU was playing OSU at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium, and the cheer team had a performance planned for the end of the first quarter,” says Canon. “The backs of our signs spelled out GO FROGS, and the plan was to flip the signs around at the end of the routine. During practice we told Ashton that the back of the signs had a marketing message on them so she wouldn’t be suspicious. We planned for Ashton and myself to be doing flips so that she would be upside down while the team set the signs up! When she landed the signs were all ready and our mascot, Super Frog, ran up and gave us a big hug!”

Any other creative gift collections or ideas you’d care to share? We’d love for you to comment below, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re looking for assistance in planning YOUR unique proposal + unforgettable wedding day!