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

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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!

9 Things You’ll Only See at Texas Weddings

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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!

Creative Ways to Propose to Your Bridesmaids + Maid of Honor

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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!

Trending: Bespoke Gift Ideas for the Groom + Groomsmen

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Monogrammed makeup bags, custom totes filled with swag, embroidered apparel…when it comes to purchasing bridesmaid gifts, the luxe-and-lovely options are seemingly endless! High-quality gifts for grooms and groomsmen, on the other hand, are often a bit more difficult to come by. That’s why we’re thrilled to have discovered Neat Pineapple and FLY Barbershop, two Dallas-based brands that produce products for men of style preparing to walk the aisle.

Marry at the Mulia_The Black Tux

Welcome Gift Inspiration for Metropolitan, Traditional, and Destination Weddings

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Perhaps you’re planning a destination wedding, or maybe you have a more traditional hometown “I do” in mind. Regardless, providing your guests with a welcome gift is the perfect way to kick off your wedding weekend! On that note, we are thrilled to share three inspirational welcome gift concepts developed in partnership with The Container Store!

Whether we’re restocking our emergency kits or searching for the perfect day planner, The Container Store is a go-to resource for our team. The store’s selection of organizational bins are just as pretty as they are practical, making them the perfect “base” for our three uniquely-themed welcome gifts!  

photos: John Cain Photography 

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Planner’s Perspective: Selecting, Stuffing, and Sending Your Wedding Invitations

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Are you in need of a crash course in Wedding Invitations 101? If so, look no further than today’s blog post! Read on for the ins and outs of selecting, stuffing, and sending your wedding invitations, with a few etiquette and history notes included as an added bonus! 

photo: Jess Barfield Photography

Selecting Your Invitations

Aesthetic and budget are the first two things every couple should consider when it’s time to select wedding invitations. A good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 10 percent of your total wedding budget to purchasing your invitations and paper goods. If that percentage sounds high, keep in mind that this figure will cover the cost of your save the dates, menus, escort cards, and any additional branded items – such as custom cocktail napkins, cups, or bar signage – in addition to your formal invitations. To hone in on your aesthetic, take a look at paper samples, ask to see some of your friends’ former invitation suites, and browse Pinterest. Once both your aesthetic and your budget have been established, you’ll be ready to select your paper provider. Create a custom design, order a traditional suite from Crane andWilliam Arthur, or browse the options listed by online retailers such as Minted and Wedding Paper Divas!

photo: Shaun Menary Photography

If you’re going the custom route, your next step will be to decide if you would like to incorporate a motif or a monogram into your design. These personalized embellishments can be either hand-drawn or developed digitally. Select the option that best fits your style, and have fun carrying it through as many wedding details as possible!

Assembly and Etiquette

A few fun facts for you:

1. Tradition dictates that you should stuff an invitation as if the person pulling it out was right handed. (Sorry, left-handers!)

2. You may have noticed that tissue paper is sometimes included with an invitation – originally, this was to keep ink from smearing, although now the practice has become a tradition that accompanies very formal invitations.

3. Ever wondered why many wedding invitations include an inner and an outer envelope? This practice actually dates back to when mail was delivered by horseback! Since the outside envelope would inevitably get dirty in transit, a fresh envelope was always included inside to ensure a beautiful presentation upon arrival. Now, it’s just tradition!

4. Traditionally, a separate card denoting the reception venue should be included with your invitation if your reception will take place in a different location than your ceremony. However, etiquette has evolved to allow the option of including this information directly on your primary wedding invitation. If you would like to provide your guests with printed directions, the best place to include this information is on your program, or on a card that’s passed out at the end of your ceremony.

5. There is an art to addressing envelopes, and I’m not just talking about calligraphy! Utilize Crane’s Blue Wedding Book when compiling your guest list so that when you present it to your calligrapher, everything is already written per etiquette. This will ensure that each and every tricky situation (such as addressing an invitation to two doctors!) is handled with ease.

photo: Thisbe Grace Photography 

Once you’ve received each printed piece of your invitation suite, stuff your envelopes and take them to the post office to be weighed. Be sure to ask if it’s parcel—in other words, unable to be fed through machines automatically—as this will incur an additional postage fee. After you’ve finished weighing your fully-stuffed envelopes, you will know exactly how much postage you need. Either buy stamps at the post office or design your own – and don’t forget to purchase Forever stamps for your reply card!

Stamping and Sending

After determining how much postage you need, you’ll be ready to design a custom stamp if you so desire. Our team typically recommends utilizing the motif or monogram featured on your invitation to create a cohesive through line – the custom design will help your suite stand out in your guests’ mail pile, too! Picture It Postage is a great resource to use when creating a custom stamp.

photo via DFW Events on Instagram | invitation by DFW Events in-house designer Melanie Frazier based on our client’s logo design + rose gold and blue color palette

When you’re ready to mail your invitations, place them in boxes and cover them with a printed sign that says, ‘Wedding Invitations – Please Hand Cancel.’ (Hand canceling will protect your calligraphy from smearing, and will also prevent those ugly markings that you’ve probably noticed on your bills from appearing on your envelopes!) Upon arrival at the post office, re-weigh your invitations. Ask once more if your invitations qualify as parcel to ensure that there are no delivery hiccups. After confirming, hand your invitations over for delivery and count down the days until your first RSVPs start rolling in!

photo: Sarah Kate, Photographer 

PS: For any additional questions concerning etiquette, we highly recommend referring to Crane’s Wedding Blue Book. This classic book has been a must-have resource in our office for years, and is sure to be of assistance time and again throughout your planning process!

Planner’s Perspective: 2016 Wedding and Event Trends

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At the beginning of a brand new year, we can choose to focus on one of two things: everything that has already passed, or all of the new things to come. Then again…maybe we can do a little bit of both!

photo: Stephen Karlisch | as featured by Inside Weddings

The year 2015—which we dubbed the “Year of Relationships”—was filled with fabulous fêtes (our Chat Outside the Chapel luncheon and this colorful 50th birthday celebration come to mind), featured weddings (like Meghan + Ryan’s multi-cultural “I do,” or Olivia + JW’s beachside reception in Playa del Carmen, both featured by Inside Weddings), and new destinations (from Hilton Head Island to Harbour Island in the Bahamas). We put together countless wedding welcome baskets, packed our bags to coordinate destination events from Aspen, Colorado to the Texas Hill Country (and beyond), and had the privilege of spotlighting some of the valued vendors who have partnered with us to produce countless events. It was a busy, beautiful year, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Now that we’ve recapped a few of the highlights of 2015, let’s dig into all things 2016! We’re filled with anticipation for the weddings and events to come this year, and all of the fresh takes on design, decor, and entertainment that are sure to follow. Here to share a few of the top trends on our radar is none other than Mary-Frances Hurt, our fearless + fabulous founder and CEO!


photo: Stephen Karlisch | click here to see this destination “I do” on Inside Weddings

In 18 years of doing my business, I have seen things greatly change. When I started my company, there were only three wedding planners in Dallas and the majority of my clients got married at the local church and went on to the country club for the reception. Brides used house chairs, tables, and linens—no one would have thought about bringing in a band from out of town! As for groom’s cakes? They were chocolate with strawberries and chocolate curls. So, let’s start there. In 2016, groom’s cakes or stations will continue to include anything from 3-D models depicting the groom’s college stadium to his favorite doughnuts.


photo: Stephen Karlisch | more of this wedding here


photo: Edmonson Weddings | see more details here

One of the biggest things I hear is, “I want my event to be different.” If you’ve ever said this, then what you’re basically asking for is event branding!  While this was originally accomplished through a monogram or consistent color scheme, in 2016, we’ll see more brides and grooms branding every aspect of their events with custom logos and hashtags that encourage guests to interact on social media throughout the event. A few examples:

“FEMMES WHO FETE” EVENT

This London-meets-Dallas themed party for members of the wedding industry concluded with a surprise performance and cocktails on a rooftop in Downtown Dallas!

DFW EVENTS Ladies Luncheon and Tea2015-12-211FemmeswhoFete-6
photos: John Cain Photography | full event here

CAPITAL FOR KIDS

We’ve been producing corporate celebrations for Capital for Kids for 11 years, and are constantly re-inventing the look and feel of this event while still incorporating the organization’s core brand.

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photos: Caroline Jurgensen | more from this event here

FOURTH OF JULY PARTY

Weddings are a great opportunity for a couple to show off their own personal brand or style. In this case, the bride absolutely loved the Fourth of July, so she chose to have her wedding over the holiday weekend at her family’s vineyard in Paso Robles. From floor to ceiling, the decor at her welcome party was 100% Americana!

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photos: Elisabeth Millay Photography | see the Inside Weddings recap here

Next, let’s talk food and beverage. Over the years I have seen the formal sit-down dinner move toward a more interactive “foodie” experience. Food stations paired with crafted cocktails have been huge as of late. Think tacos with mini margaritas, homemade pretzels with a craft beer from Texas, a frozen treat from Steel City Popsicles served in a glass of Prosecco, or a branded to-go box of Chinese food paired with ANYTHING.

The Brown Green 60th birthday party at Sixty Five Hundred in Dallas, Tx.
photo: Jason Kindig Photography | more birthday party details here

The late-night snack pass (also known as an “afterglow”) has become a staple. Gone are the days of sending guests home with a picture frame or candle as a favor. The current trend is giving away food at the end of the night. We’ve brought in everything from Whataburger Taquitos, to In-and-Out burgers, to doughnut holes served with chocolate milk or Starbucks.

photo: Jason Kindig Photography | see the party here

Mixology has become just as important as food, and we expect this to continue in 2016. Bartenders have become a source of entertainment, and establishing a dress code for your mixologist has become the norm. On occasion, we’ve hired models just to pour drinks.

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photo: Caroline Jurgensen | see more here


photo: Stephen Karlisch | Inside Weddings feature here

Speaking of entertainment, Fusion performances are the must-have musical element of the moment. From four-piece bands, to orchestras, to DJs, the combinations are endless—and endlessly entertaining. This is a whole new dimension of entertainment that I’m looking forward to seeing more of in 2016!

The Brown Green 60th birthday party at Sixty Five Hundred in Dallas, Tx.
photo: Jason Kindig Photography | click here for more from this event


photos: Caroline Jurgensen | full story here

There you have it—a few of the top trends that are on our radar right now! We can’t wait to see how you incorporate these and other trends into your decor, entertainment, and even the look and feel of your wedding invitations!

Winter White Wedding Inspiration

Winter DFW Details

There is something about a winter wedding that is absolutely magical; filled with a special “something” that can’t quite be defined. Part of the magic can be attributed to the proximity of the holidays and the lights, music, and warm memories the season holds. Another dash is due to the icy chill in the air—the one that inspires brides to set up custom coffee and cocoa bars at their receptions, set out baskets full of Pashmina scarves during cocktail hour, and wrap themselves in the most beautiful furs as they wave goodbye to guests amid the glow of festive sparklers. But the most enchanting element of all? The selection of a color palette that matches the landscape we all dream of waking up to each Christmas morning—white, white, and more white, as far as the eye can see.

photo: Perez Weddings | floral + decor: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Beyond

Contrast is not the name of this particular decorative game. Rather, drama unfolds from the repetition of a single shade in various textures and surfaces throughout the event. The result? Brilliant altars, aisles, and tablescapes that are understated and indescribably luxe, all at the same time. And so, we’re offering you this simple phrase: While others may be longing for “snow, snow, snow” a la White Christmas come December, you’ll find us dreaming of a “winter white” wedding this (and every) holiday season. Take a few cues from the alabaster hues of these DFW Events favorites, and your own “I do” is sure to be the crème of the crop.

THE DETAILS

From a boutonniere for him, to dainty lace shoes for her, and elegant invitation suites bearing the name of each, ivory is perfectly suited to every last detail of your wedding day. Longing for just the tiniest pop of color? Consider incorporating gold calligraphy on your invitations or a burst of rose on your envelope liners.

photo: John Cain Photography | floral: Kate Foley Designs | entire wedding here

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photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | see the entire wedding here

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photo: Jess Barfield Photography | more from this wedding here

THE BOUQUET

A soft cascade of roses is the perfect complement for the bride’s strapless lace gown, while wrapping tree trunks in twinkling lights lends a magical, “Secret Garden” -esque atmosphere to a ceremony at The Crescent.


photos: Stephen Karlisch | floral: Stems of Dallas

For a more structured look, consider wrapping a solitary selection of blooms—like these white lilies—in a thick layer of ribbon. Finish the bouquet with a line of pearl-tipped pins or an heirloom brooch.

photo: John Cain Photography | floral: Garden Gate | see the entire wedding here

The minty shade of these velvet-like leaves are the only element present to break up the white-on-white palette of the bride’s bouquet, a fact we couldn’t love more. A dainty lace handkerchief provides the finishing touch.


photos: Perez Weddings | floral: Bella Flora of Dallas

THE MINI MAIDS

Your littlest ‘maids (and biggest fans) will adore being dressed in the same shade you’re wearing down the aisle. Don’t forget to order a matching bunch of posies for them to carry—a sweet flower crown with trailing white ribbons is a lovely touch, too.

photo: John Cain Photography | more details here

photo: Blake Ryan Towsley, Harlow + Crue | floral: Bella Flora of Dallas | as featured by D Weddings

photos: Jess Barfield Photography | entire wedding here

THE CEREMONY

An aisle of white rose petals lined by wintry branches dripping in crystals gives the rooftop of The Joule Hotel a “winter wonderland” ambiance, while creamy blooms accent pews and altar space alike at a traditional ceremony at TCU’s Robert Carr Chapel.

photos: Perez Weddings | floral + decor: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Beyond


photos: Tracy Autem | floral: Garden Gate

THE RECEPTION

Cascading orchids, translucent vases, floating candles, mirrored surfaces, crystal accents, and cakes all tied up in bows—these are the things that winter weddings are made of. Incorporate one or more elements for instant elegance.

photos: Perez Weddings | decor: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Beyond

photos: Tracy Autem | floral: Garden Gate | lighting: Beyond

photo: Blake Ryan Towsley, Harlow + Crue | floral: Bella Flora of Dallas | lighting: Le Force | as featured by D Weddings

 THE EXIT

Depending on your destination, there may not be the slightest chance of snow at your winter wedding. No matter—white Flutter Fetti provides the same effect (minus the chill). Join hands, exchange a kiss, and make a wish as the flurries fly.

photo: John Cain Photography | full story here

Fall Décor for your Thanksgiving Table

Fall DFW Details

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of ours for so many reasons. It’s a day of celebration that’s linked to family, fellowship, food, and an occasional break for football. It’s marked by tables overflowing with the best home-crafted recipes and tasty dishes that have been passed down through generations. It’s gratitude, and warmth, and all the best feelings of the holiday season pressed into one. And yet it’s also sandwiched right between the jack-o-lanterns of Halloween and the glimmering garlands of Christmas, meaning that in a decorative sense, Thanksgiving can be easy to overlook.

And so this post is for those of us who may or may not still be snacking on the occasional piece of leftover Halloween candy while pinning every Christmas-themed craft in sight, but have yet to land on a decorative concept for our Thanksgiving tablescape. (Not that we’re speaking from experience or anything…ahem.)

While it might be tempting to skip straight to the twinkling lights and ornaments of December, we think it’s worth the extra effort this Thanksgiving to lay a table that’s completely and totally inspired by everything beautiful about fall. Rustic florals and earthy linens. Heirloom pumpkins and flickering candles. Pashmina blankets and calligraphy’d place cards. We could go on, but instead we thought we’d share a few mood boards inspired by some of our favorite fall events!

PUMPKIN SPICE
Pumpkin spice and everything nice – that’s what fall tablescapes are made of! Take a cue from this clever mix of warm autumn shades and cool blue tones when setting your Thanksgiving table…or staging a gorgeous outdoor seating area near the fire pit. This look pairs nicely with a warm mug of apple cider and a Pashmina wrap.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | decor: Jackson Durham | click here to see more from this event!

ROSE & RUST
Shades of red make for a regal presentation no matter the season. For fall, we love pairing the rich palette with earthy shades of chocolate and chestnut. Antlers add to the rustic appeal. A pecan pie wouldn’t hurt, either.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | floral design: Stems of Dallas | click here to see the entire wedding! 

WILDFLOWER WHIMSY
The perfect complement to the cheerful grins on the faces of your family and friends? Festive arrangements of wildflowers that manage to look homespun and haute couture, all at one time.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | decor: Jackson Durham | more from this festive birthday party here

SOFT & SWEET
Establish a serene mood at your Thanksgiving get-together by incorporating the softest shades of crème and blush. Add a hint of lantern light and a glimmer of gold, and your tablescape will easily transition from fall to winter post-celebration.

 photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | floral design: Bella Flora | click here to see this wedding on Style Me Pretty

THE CHICEST ANTIQUES
Heirloom blooms, pale pumpkins, rustic wooden slabs, and warm autumn leaves. Surrounded by scenery this beautiful, your guests won’t have any difficulty finding reasons to give thanks this holiday season.

photos: Sarah Kate, Photographer | decor: Jackson Durham | click here to see more event details!  

Cheers to celebrating in style at gatherings overflowing with gratitude this Thanksgiving!