American Airlines is rooted in high-quality customer service, reliability, and kindness, and it has been an honor for our team to work with such an all-star brand to produce a variety of events over the past year! No matter the occasion, the American Airlines personality and commitment to excellence is always evident. Our team adores working (and flying!) with American Airlines and we are proud to share a look at two recent events today: the company’s 2018 Service Anniversary and dynamic “Through the Decades” reception.
The 2018 American Airlines Service Anniversary honored the dedication and commitment of team members who have contributed more than 35 years of service to the company. Hundreds of pilots and team members joined in celebrating the American Airlines legacy at the beautiful Omni Dallas, where Chairman & CEO Doug Parker shared remarks with honorees as guests enjoyed a delicious dinner. Afterward, attendees hit the dance floor and enjoyed music from legendary performer Tony Orlando!
Such a special occasion called for equally extraordinary decor, and our vendors delivered. Floral arrangements in shades of red and pink created by David Kimmel Design lined sophisticated farm tables from Perch Event Decor, and libations were served behind a round bar that featured American Airlines logos on every panel. Programs embellished with a custom-designed motif were placed atop beautiful chargers fromPosh Couture Rentals, and the motif was also replicated on the custom Prashe dance floor for a cohesive look. Boxwood walls adorned with the American Airlines suite of logos provided a perfect backdrop for photo ops throughout the evening.
“Through the Decades” Reception
Groovy, baby! From rubix cube end tables to a vintage Volkswagen van, the decor for the American Airlines “Through the Decades” reception at the DFW Grand Hyatt was unlike any other. Every corner of the room was accented by a different color wash and furnished with decor that gave a nod to the featured decade. Whether they were sipping on handcrafted beverages or enjoying music from DJ Andy Austin, the atmosphere made it easy for guests to “fly” through the past!
No matter the occasion, DFW Events pays attention to the details to bring your vision to life. From large-scale award galas to meaningful celebrations of employees and clients, we aim to provide a five-star experience each and every time. To learn more about our Dallas-Fort Worth corporate event planning services for brands and businesses, click here.
2018 Service Anniversary Vendors:
Floral/Design: David Kimmel Design
Event Rentals: Perch Event Decor and Posh Couture Rentals
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Victoria’s Secret Bra Fit Tour embodied the sexy, iconic feel of the world-famous lingerie brand, and we were so honored to coordinate a soirée for the Dallas leg of the tour. Models and Bra Fit Experts alike descended on Hotel Crescent Court to help women find their best fit in the latest styles and silhouettes. Our goal? To make sure each guest truly felt like an Angel!
The Crescent’s luxe Presidential Suite perfectly showcased the new Body by Victoria collection, and the intimate setting proved ideal for mixing and mingling as well. Event attendees included Victoria’s Secret Angel Romee Strijd, Gisou Hair founder Negin Mirsalehi, Dallas-based bloggers and social media influencers, and the most pink-loving Real Housewives of Dallas cast member of them all: Kameron Westcott! While browsing for bras, pajamas, and lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, guests enjoyed light bites and signature “The Best Fit” cocktails comprised of grapefruit, tequila, and a lime wedge. There was something for everyone to enjoy!
A boudoir-esque atmosphere was created for the event with the help of some of our favorite Dallas vendors. Lush floral arrangements crafted by Garden Gate in vibrant shades of VS pink were scattered around the room. Rich red, pink, and navy balloons from A Little Party Co. lined a textured velvet backdrop from Big Bad Booth, where guests snapped photos and showcased their sassy sides. Perch Event Decor provided elegant pieces including jewel-toned pillows and a stunning gold bar-turned-DJ-booth, where DJ Sno White spun hits as everyone sipped and shopped. Absolute Lighting ensured that each and every woman had the opportunity to shine. At the end of the evening, attendees went home with a tote bag filled with the best kind of swag: custom-fitted bras, lingerie, robes, and a $100 gift card to Victoria’s Secret!
This event was such a treat for our team to coordinate—we absolutely loved the challenge of translating the Victoria’s Secret brand into a tangible experience for each guest! We would like to thank Victoria’s Secret for inviting us into their world and for making a tour stop in Dallas. Now…who’s ready to don a pair of wings?
No matter the occasion, DFW Events pays attention to the details to bring your vision to life. From major grand openings to intimate events geared toward generating brand awareness, we aim to provide a five-star experience each and every time. To learn more about our Dallas-Fort Worth corporate event planning services, click here.
Information for this article was provided by Chime.
When it’s your wedding day, it can be easy to want it all—and who can blame you? You’ve likely waited for this very moment your entire life. But once you venture into the exciting (and chaotic) world of wedding planning, you’ll see how quickly expenses add up. All of the sudden, your dazzling hopes and expectations might seem out of reach. But what if you could make all of your luxurious wedding dreams come true without going into debt? Well, it’s possible! Read on to learn how.
Understand Your Financial Situation
Before you start fantasizing about planning a wedding like the $40 million dollar affair portrayed inCrazy Rich Asians, it’s important to understand where your wedding budget is coming from. For the most part, it comes down to three different sources: how much you and your significant other can set aside each month until the wedding, how much you both have in your individual savings accounts, and any contributions from family members or loved ones.
Create (and stick to) the Budget
Okay, you have a basic understanding of where your wedding planning money is coming from. Now what?
First, determine you and your future spouse’s combined current savings, as well as any potential outside contributions from family members. Add both together to get the first two components of your budget. For the third component—how much you’ll set aside each month—consider allocating 10 percent of your earnings every month to a new wedding fund.Erin Lowry, a personal finance expert, elaborates, “Establish direct deposits into a separate account for wedding expenses so it isn’t just leftovers that get saved.” The easiest way to do this: put your savings on autopilot via an app that’s great for upping your savings in a pinch. This way, you’ll grow your wedding budget without needing to fuss with your bank account all the time.
Get the Look for Less
Hooray, your budget has been established! No more dealing with numbers, right? Not so fast. You’ll have to continue adding and subtracting numbers throughout the wedding planning process to ensure that you’re staying on target. But don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds—especially if you say “I do” toworking with your wedding planner to create a luxury look for less. Take flowers for example. You could shell out hundreds (or even thousands) to secure out-of-season peonies for your table arrangements, or you could save that much by sticking to flowers that are in season. Save even more by using candles in place of floral elements when designing your tablescapes!
Book the Best Venue for Your Budget
A little research into venue costs goes a long way. Barn and loft spaces might be trending as budget-friendly alternatives to typical wedding venues, but it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up spending just as much money retrofitting a space as you would on booking a more traditional venue. Keep in mind that if you decideto book or build an atypical event space, you’ll need to bring in chairs, tables, cutlery, catering equipment, restrooms, air conditioning/heat…the works.
On the other hand, some traditional wedding venues can run as high as $20,000+. So, what’s the best way to go aboutbooking a venue? Before you commit to anything, work with your wedding plannerto compare the estimated total price of a wedding that requires a custom build against the price of a venue that includes in-house rentals and facilities. Doing so just might save you thousands!
Our team recently wrapped an AMAZING site visit with Rocker B Ranch! We love this property for weddings, milestone anniversary parties, family reunions, corporate events, and more. Join us for a quick virtual tour and you’ll see why.
Where are our baseball lovers? You plus this field equals the baseball/softball/kickball filled corporate retreat or birthday bash of the decade. After hitting the fields, cool off in the coolest pool around. Don’t forget to take a turn down Rocker B’s 50-foot water slide!
Hello, bachelor party paradise! The “Dugout” is equipped with classic arcade games, ping pong, TVs, and authentic MLB memorabilia just to name a few. Accommodations at Rocker B reflect a gorgeous rustic-contemporary aesthetic and boast top-of-the-line amenities. Your guests won’t want for anything during their stay thanks to an on-site workout facility, massage room, hot tub, and more!
Rocker B can even accommodate large-scale entertainment productions. Check out this footage from the 2018 Backroads Music Fest for proof!
Take a closer look at the fall wedding reception our team coordinated at Rocker B below. Love what you see? Contact our team to learn more about planning your “I do” at one of our favorite new ranch venues in Texas!
It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year! To celebrate that fact, we’re thrilled to be sharing images from the classic winter “I do” that closed out last year’s wedding season for our team. Hattie and Joel exchanged vows just a few days after Christmas on December 30, 2017, and chose to showcase their proximity to the holiday via a variety of festive details. Let’s get started on unwrapping them, shall we?
A traditional palette of rich reds, gorgeous greens, and glittering gold was carried throughout the ceremony at First Christian Church in Plano, where a spectacular stained-glass window served as a backdrop. Our beautiful bride, Hattie, was a dream in her wedding gown which featured layer upon layer of voluminous white tulle. From the gown’s lace bodice, to the intricately beaded belt cinching her waist, to the stunning diamond and gold drop earrings that accented her bridal attire, every detail was perfection! Joel’s black-tie ensemble, which featured a boutonnière wrapped in a plaid ribbon with a sprig of evergreen, gave a classic nod to the season as well.
Sumptuous Christmas details also abounded at the Southfork Ranch reception. Candles, garland, and white settees from Perch Decor accented by lush red and green velvet throw pillows helped transform the iconic venue into a winter wonderland. Tables were adorned with vibrant red roses, berries, lavish greenery, and tartan cloth napkins while lanterns and rustic antler chandeliers provided ambiance from above.
Since Hattie and many of her bridesmaids are professional dancers, of course a fabulous choreographed dance routine was incorporated into the evening—it was such a hit with groom and guests alike. What better way to say Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
SEE THE VIDEO
GET INSPIRED BY MORE WINTER WEDDINGS + HOLIDAY POSTS!
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
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!
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, Zolaalso 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!
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Read our suggestions for bespoke gifts for grooms + groomsmen here.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 tohire 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!”
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!”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Legacy West Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting photos: Taylor Kiker for DFW Events