Destination weddings in Napa, Palmetto Bluff, Santa Fe, and Cabo. Site visits to ranches in the Texas Hill Country and private villas in Mexico. A tour of the Inside Weddings office in Los Angeles. An unforgettable FAM trip in Bali. Needless to say, 2016 has been one of our most travel-packed years yet!
As we all know, “travel” and “beauty” aren’t always words that go hand-in-hand—especially when a lengthy flight is involved. To help us pack our suitcases with as much ease as our emergency kits, we tasked Mayra Rams-Sanabria with rounding up the top products to have on hand (or rather, in bag) when en route to our next destination. Read on to discover the seven products that the founder of My Fabulous Faces never jet-sets without!
Mayra beautifying a recent DFW Events bride | photo: Carter Rose for F8 Studio
Mary-Frances, Karley, and Abby spent months dreaming about every detail of Marry at the Mulia, and yet nothing compared to the real-life experiences that The Mulia Balihad in store for our Destination EnSite team and the 40+ guests from around the globe who attended this unforgettable familiarity trip!
From enjoying fabulous cuisine, to relaxing poolside in private cabanas, to experiencing a Royal Balinese wedding ceremony, our itinerary was jam-packed with moments and activities meant to introduce leading event professionals to the heartbeat of Bali and the superior services offered by our host resort. Oh, and by the way…our attendees hailed from So Cal to Singapore, meaning no matter where you’re based it’s now easier than ever to find a fully-accredited expert on planning a destination wedding, honeymoon, or vacation in Bali!
Happy Travel Tuesday! We are less than one month away from beginning our #MarryAtTheMulia experience with Inside Weddings, Jackson Durham, and over 40 of the world’s leading event professionals, a FAM trip we’ve been anticipating since the very start of 2016! In celebration of the fact that it’s almost time to pack our bags for Bali, today we’re recapping Mary-Frances’ initial site visit to The Mulia Bali + sharing more about what the newest branch of our company, Destination EnSite, is all about!
Mary-Frances had the opportunity to visit not one, but two Mulia properties during her trip to Indonesia this April. At The Mulia Senayan, Jakarta Mary-Frances attended a ladies luncheon featuring a fashion show, incredible cuisine, and the most spectacular decor from Jackson Durham’s Heath Alan Ray.
entrance to the Jakarta luncheon | photo: Samuel Granado | floral: Jackson Durham
While Allison and Mark both attended Southern Methodist University, they didn’t meet until after graduating in 2005. And although the two remained friends and saw each other at a mutual friend’s wedding in 2011, a few years went by before they serendipitously reconnected over drinks in New York in 2014.
Since the duo’s reunion took place in New York, it’s only fitting that Mark chose to propose to Allison in a quiet, secluded area of Central Park on a chilly Saturday morning. After she said “yes,” the hunt was on for a mountain venue perfectly suited to a summer wedding!
Drawn to The Little Nell’sprofessionalism and scenic surroundings, the bride and groom allowed the look and feel of their venue to inspire the details of the day. “It was an outdoor wedding on a mountain top, so we planned around its majesty,” said the couple. “We wanted something elegant and classic.”
For the outdoor ceremony on top of Aspen Mountain,Aspen Branch created a breathtaking floral arch of creamy white blooms and rich greenery that framed the lavender peaks in the distance. Additional flowers tucked into glass bud vases were tied to moss-covered hangers lining the aisle.
Allison’s elegantCarolina Herrera gown featured a lace peplum overlay, and Mark was handsomely attired in a Ralph Lauren tuxedo. Both the bridesmaids and groomsmen were given the freedom to select their own ensembles in shades of classic black. Personal touches included the incorporation of monogrammed vintage hankies from The Loveliest Company—the design featured the couple’s wedding date and an Aspen leaf—that were placed on the ceremony seat of the mother and grandmother of both bride and groom. Mark’s best friend, Dr. Blake Williamson, performed the ceremony.
After exchanging vows, the couple joined their 120 guests for dinner and dancing in the Aspen Mountain Club. Much to our team’s surprise, we did have a wedding crasher that attempted to join the celebration. Perhaps it was due to the delicious southwestern-inspired menu prepared by The Little Nell’s culinary team, or maybe it was the sound of guests enjoying The Socialband’s performance that drew him to the celebration. Either way, The Little Nell’s resident party-loving fox was pretty hard to resist when he showed up at the escort card table!
“Our touch was seen throughout the weekend, but we mostly relied on our very capable planner and vendors,” Allison and Mark said of the planning process. As for their favorite wedding day memories? “The whole weekend was incredible! Riding down on the gondola as Mr. and Mrs. Turner after the ceremony was a very moving few minutes. It was a crystal clear evening and the moon was so bright it lit Allison’s face perfectly. Mark also got to eat several slices of cake!”
The sweetest of sentiments in every possible way—we’ll toast to that! Cheers to a beautiful beginning, Allison and Mark. It was such a privilege to be a part of your Aspen “I do!”
In need of a little island time? Consider today’s post a mini vacation—we’re recapping Mary-Frances’ recent research trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!
A little background for you: Mary-Frances and The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa have partnered to host a familiarity trip for members of the wedding industry. The event will take place August 9-12 and will be attended by expert designers and planners from New York City, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, and everywhere in between.
Just wait until you see the invitation inside! Design by Melanie Frazier for DFW Events | Calligraphy by Tara Jones
While we can’t reveal all of the exciting details surrounding the Fam just yet, we can give you a little sneak peek into Mary-Frances’ top takeaways from her initial visit and share a few Instagram-worthy moments as well!
TOP TAKEAWAYS: The Westin’s Well-Being Movement photos: @maryfranceshurt and @dfwevents on Instagram
Mary-Frances valued learning about the Westin brand’s six pillars of well-being during her stay on Hilton Head Island. This global initiative was designed to inspire guests to discover new approaches to well-being—here’s how that played out during Mary-Frances’ visit to the Lowcountry!
Sleep Well: “Two words: Heavenly Bed. As much as I looked forward to all of my activities and meetings, it was hard to convince myself to leave the comfort of my room each morning!”
Eat Well: “As a yoga-lover who’s passionate about health and wellness, I was so impressed by the SuperFoodsRx™ offerings on The Westin’s menu. They strike a balance of great food that you feel good about eating—think egg white omelets, whole-wheat blueberry pancakes, a delicious juice bar, and more. The cookies and milk my family received in our room upon arrival weren’t bad, either!”
Move Well: “Bike rides on the beach and kayaking with my daughter courtesy of Outside Hilton Head were definite trip highlights.”
Feel Well: “Who couldn’t feel well at the beach? Aside from the ocean breezes, I loved the Pluff Mud Love mask I received in my welcome bag and the signature White Tea scent lingering in the lobby. So relaxing!”
Work Well: “My Wi-Fi extended all the way to the beach—perfect for checking emails with a view.”
Play Well: “While my kids loved playing ping pong in the resort courtyard, I had the time of my life on shark fishing expedition!”
We are so excited to introduce our friends and industry partners to the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island next month, and to celebrate the exciting things unfolding at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa as well! Want to stay up-to-date with the latest news? Say “I do” to following #WedAtTheWestin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
From a golf club in Oklahoma to the pink beaches of the Bahamas, we love packing our bags to coordinate events in unique locales. Thanks to a 2014 familiarity trip in Aspen, we’re excited to add a new venue to our list of must-recommend destinations: The Little Nell, one of only two five-star and five-diamond properties in Colorado.
You know that saying about “shouting love from the mountaintops?” We think it must have originated in Aspen, because adventure-loving couples who choose to say “I do” at The Little Nell can literally do just that. Owned by Aspen Skiing Company, The Little Nell has exclusive rights to hosting events on the top of Aspen Mountain, and the sky-high ceremony site is just a 14-minute gondola ride away from the luxury hotel grounds.
Location, Location. The Little Nell is nestled right in the heart of downtown Aspen, meaning it’s perfectly positioned for guests who’d like to extend their stay and relax after attending a weekend of wedding events.
Culinary Excellence. Locally-sourced ingredients, restaurant-style production, detailed plating and presentation…perhaps the Aspen altitude is the reason The Little Nell’s chefs have risen so far above the standard chicken-or-steak wedding fare. “Something our couples always hear after the wedding is how incredible the food was,” says event sales manager Melina Glavas. “The fact that we really can present an extraordinary culinary experience for 200 people is very memorable for many guests.” During her FAM trip, Mary-Frances enjoyed a summer dinner menu that included a chilled asparagus soup, spring vegetable salad, smoked Idaho trout, and New York strip steak. Feeling hungry, or is it just us?
World Class Wine. Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy was listed as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for a reason. “The wine program is fun and young, and it doesn’t have to be expensive!” says Melina, although the property boasts a two million dollar cellar. Expect un-fussy wine tours set to the beat of rap music and an extensive collection of flavor profiles from around the world—The Little Nell sources more wine than any other property in Colorado.
Mobile Bubbly Bar. Where else in the world can you ski-in to sips of Veuve Clicquot than at The Little Nell’s portable Champagne bar? Aptly named The Oasis, we have a feeling that this mobile bubbly bar will guarantee fun no matter how successful (or unsuccessful) the ski run.
“The Little Nell is a true jewel in Aspen. Visiting this property was one of the highlights of 2014!” —Mary-Frances
Our deepest thanks to Melina Glavas and Pete Hayda for giving us the opportunity to experience the The Little Nell in person—we can’t wait to come back for a stunning destination wedding or event! If you’d like more information about all things TLN, take a peek at the video below. So cool to see The Oasis bubbly bar in action!
Whether we’re packing our bags for a destination wedding (The Bahamas!), an industry event (Engage Bachelor Gulch!) or a FAM trip (The Little Nell!), it seems like we are constantly on the road. Consider this category your passport to traveling with DFW in 2015 and beyond!
While Alison was on her FAM trip to Rosewood’s Jumby Bay last April, she took advantage of her surroundings and made the 1 1/2 flight from Antigua to visit Rosewood’s Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gordan, BVI. Alison and her husband, Brent, actually honeymooned at Little Dix Bay a little over 3 years ago!
Rosewood’s Little Dix Bay is a truly authentic destination, tamed for sophisticated tastes. The timeless boutique resort on Virgin Gorda offers tranquility found nowhere else in the Caribbean. Little Dix rewards its discerning guests with an instantaneous retreat from their fast-paced lives – an unmatched Caribbean vacation getaway offering fine dining, an award-winning spa, luxury villas and beachfront rooms and suites. It is an island of rolling hills, beautiful isolated beaches and spectacular geological formations surrounded by astonishing clear waters of the historic Sir Francis Drake Channel. The world-famous Baths of Virgin Gorda, unsurpassed sailing and numerous unpopulated islands nearby to explore and snorkel by combine to make Virgin Gorda a Caribbean vacation destination like no other. Little Dix Bay will provide you with an unforgettable destination wedding experience while you and your guests lie back and enjoy the many splendors of this most legendary Caribbean resort!
In April of last year, Alison Baker was invited to a FAM (FAMiliarize) trip at Rosewood’s Jumby Bay. Set on a 300-acre private Caribbean Island, Jumby Bay is nestled 2 miles off the coast of Antiqua in the West Indies. The exclusive resort is a naturalist’s haven noted for it’s lush landscape, stately palm trees, white sand beaches and plays host to a variety of wildlife, including a nesting site of the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle. A secluded hideaway accessible only by boat from Antigua, the luxury resort is known worldwide for providing discerning travelers with world-class service and distinguished amenities and activities. Jumby Bay caters to destination weddings, social gatherings, executive meetings and incentive trips and offers the unique opportunity to reserve the entire island for an exclusive buy-out, creating a rare chance for guests to truly rejuvenate and refocus. In addition to the resort, villas and estate homes are also available for rent on the island. These very private retreats offer the most gracious of amenities and are designed for relaxed island living. Guests enjoy resort services including housekeeping along with full access to the resort’s restaurants, bars, pools, fitness facilities and spa. They are perfect venues for hosting welcome parties, rehearsal dinners and farewell brunches. The possibilities really are endless at Jumby Bay…you can truly make it your own!
In July, Mary-Frances and Alison traveled to beautiful Grand Cayman for a FAM (FAMiliarize) trip of the island. They were hosted by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Airways and Rebecca Grinnals with Engaging Concepts. Cayman Airways offers direct flights from DFW to Grand Cayman during June – September making it super easy and convenient for your guests to arrive in paradise! The island offers endless options of wedding venues from spectacular hotels and restaurants to exquisite beaches. The crystal clear water will take your breath away, the food is phenomenal and the island has the cream of the crop to choose from when it comes to wedding vendors. Mary-Frances and Alison were both blown away by the caliber of talent there, which makes the wedding planning process even easier because all you have to do is show up and enjoy your wedding! The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman and the Caribbean Club located on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach were both amazing…absolutely perfect places to sink your toes in the sand, sit back, relax and be married!