When planning a destination wedding or event, one of the most important things to establish is a sense of place. This can be accomplished by creating welcome gifts filled with local goods and products, developing a custom map that highlights your favorite area attractions, and—perhaps most importantly—incorporating event details that uniquely represent your chosen destination. Jaclyn and Blake’s wedding at The Four Seasons Santa Fe perfectly embodied this idea in every way as you’ll see in the images below!
Between the incredible display of cactus escort cards, minimalist geometric dance floor, bridesmaid gowns in varying shades of teal, and one-of-a-kind “love rock” cross that made an appearance at both the rehearsal dinner and ceremony, it’s impossible for us to choose a favorite detail. And can you believe that the flower and candle filled “chapel” where these two exchanged vows was actually the Four Seasons’ completely transformed Terra restaurant? Keep scrolling to see all of the southwestern touches, and be sure to stop by the couple’s full-length feature on Wedding Chicks!
Although they began their relationship in Dallas and got engaged in Charleston, there was only one location in the world Jourdan and Logan could imagine getting married: Harbour Island in the Bahamas, where Jourdan’s family had been boating for over 30 years!
“Many years now we’ve been coming to this special island and we’ve made a lot of friends that feel like family. There’s a little pink church on the island, and every time we used to pass it in the golf cart Jourdan would say, ‘One of these days that’s where I’d like to get married,'” shares Ed Pratt, father of the bride. “That’s how the family came to choose Harbour Island for the wedding, and Jourdan and Logan did indeed end up getting married in that little pink church!”
A color scheme of navy and rose gold was selected as a reference to Harbour Island’s iconic pink sand beaches and beautiful blue water, and was incorporated in details ranging from the invitation suite to the navy welcome tent on the dock where guests arrived by water taxi from nearby Eleuthera. Upon arrival guests were given branded welcome bags that included a golf cart key chain with a matching valet sticker—Jourdan and Logan’s wedding logo was on one side, while the other side featured a unique color and number combination to help guests find their golf cart throughout the weekend!
Pre-wedding events included a Thursday night welcome party at Romora Bay with an appearance by a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo band, a lovely beachside brunch for the bridal party, and a toast-filled rehearsal dinner at Coral Sands Hotel.
After exchanging vows, the newlyweds joined their guests for a tented beach reception at the Ocean View Club. As a personal touch, the couple’s logo was again featured on details ranging from a navy and rose gold menu to luxe custom throw pillows. Inspired by the family’s love for the Bahamian crest, the logo was designed by the mother of the bride and featured Jourdan and Logan’s initials along with three iconic Harbour Island motifs: conch shells, a rooster, and a palm tree. Jourdan, who is an interior designer, also custom-designed stunning orb chandeliers for the reception tent that were paired with flowers and candles. We love that the couple plans to hang them in their backyard when hosting parties!
From the vibrant welcome party to the couple’s one-of-a-kind send-off, we loved every minute of planning this destination wedding weekend in the Bahamas! For even more “I do” details, be sure to take a look at the couple’s Inside Weddings feature!
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
We are thrilled today to shine the spotlight on our go-to resource for all things travel, Strong Travel Services!Whether we’re booking guests’ flights for a destination wedding or helping a couple plan the perfect honeymoon, we constantly refer our clients to Strong Travel due to the company’s unmatched expertise and five-star level of service.
Strong Travel is also an integral part of our company’s newest brand, Destination EnSite, which introduces top event professionals to premier properties all over the world through familiarity trips—last summer took us to Hilton Head Island for “Wed at the Westin,” and this August we’ll be heading to Indonesia to exploreThe Mulia Balialongside leading event professionals from across the globe!
exterior of The Mulia Bali’s Eternity Chapel | photo courtesy of The Mulia Bali
Without further ado, meet Scott Stout, a 30-year travel industry veteran who’s given us the scoop on more than a few exciting travel opportunities…we recommend getting your passport ready before reading!
In the fall of 2015, multiple members of our team jet-set to the pink sands of Harbour Island in the Bahamas to coordinate a destination wedding weekend that you’ll be hearing more about in the very near future! While on-location, we were reminded of another favorite Bahamas event from the not-so-distant past: Susan and Josh’s wedding at The One and Only Ocean Club. If you’re in a“spring break” state of mind today, get ready for a mini (virtual) vacation—we’re finally sharing all of the details from their intimate destination “I do!”
Susan and Josh’s guests were invited to set their watches to “island time” from the moment they stepped off the plane for this Bahamian wedding weekend. From sipping cocktails poolside to enjoying a stunning open-air welcome party accented by the music of steel drums, each moment was packed with a tropical punch of relaxation and renewal!
Following a lovely ceremony set against the backdrop of palm trees and ocean breezes, guests enjoyed light bites and sips of bubbly during a cocktail hour by the resort’s lily pond.
The couple’s reception featured a simple yet refined decorative atmosphere—think soft candlelight, modern light fixtures, and watercolor-washed signage—that complemented the natural beauty of the surroundings. A buffet dinner under the pool terrace followed the cocktail hour, as did dancing, cake-cutting, and an after party that kept the celebration going into the early hours of the morning. Susan changed from her wedding gown into a stunning sheath dress just for the occasion, and guests jumped on the opportunity to toast the newlyweds one more time before heading back to the pool for a late-night swim.
We are always thrilled when we get the chance to return to The Bahamas to coordinate an event, as we consider the group of islands to be a top destination for a laid-back yet luxury affair guests won’t soon forget! On that note, if you’ve decided that a Bahamian wedding sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. In the Bahamas you must be married between sunrise and sunset. Unusual but true, so be sure to schedule your ceremony accordingly!
2.ABahamian minister must officiate your ceremony. While your own pastor is allowed to assist in conducting the ceremony, a local minister must sign all legal documents and make the official “husband and wife” pronouncement. If you do plan on asking an ordained minister to join you from home, be sure to notify your wedding planner well in advance so that the two of you can coordinate every last detail to perfection.
3. When building your wedding welcome gifts,we recommend sourcing as many items as possible from your destination – it’s a great way to add local flavor to your gifts and save on shipping costs, too. Susan and Josh provided beach totes loaded with local island favorites including plantain chips and Bahamian beer, a huge hit with their guests!
For more tips and tricks about planning a wedding in the Bahamas (or anywhere else, for that matter), be sure to read Mary-Frances’ article for Inside Weddings:16 Secrets to an Effortless Destination Wedding. Looking for more information about bringing DFW Events aboard to making your destination wedding vision a reality? Stop by our Destinationsgallery for a little location inspiration, and then be sure to Get in Touch.We’d love nothing more than to pack up our bags and travel with you to make dreams come true!
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!”
With fall temperatures finally dipping below seventy degrees, we’re breaking out our cozy sweaters and stocking up on Starbucks seasonal lattes around the DFW Events office! While we’re loving the cooler weather, we’re also missing the bronzy glow of the tans we all had when Mary-Frances, Sarah, and Karley jetted off to Hilton Head Island to host the “Wed at the Westin” Fam trip this August! So for the sake of today’s recap, let’s pretend we’re all laying out at a private cabana and enjoying delicious sips from the Westin’s poolside bar just like the Fam attendees did this summer!
The goal of Wed at the Westin was twofold: to introduce wedding planners and designers from across the nation to the premier venues and service offerings available at The Westin, and to highlight Hilton Head Islandas a leading destination wedding locale. Hilton Head uniquely combines a traditional “island vibe” with true southern style and it’s extremely easy to access. A two-hour direct flight from DFW Airport lands you in historic Savannah, and following a scenic 40-minute car ride from the airport, you’ll find yourself looking at the Atlantic and enjoying one of the most naturally beautiful destinations on the East Coast! As soon as Mary-Frances had the opportunity to visit the island with her family, she knew it would be the perfect place to showcase to brides, grooms, and her friends and colleagues in the industry.
Speaking of those much-loved industry friends, MF was thrilled to welcome attendees from all over the country to the unique Wed at the Westin networking experience. From the founders of Inside Weddingswho joined us from Los Angeles to a fabulous crew of Dallas-based friends, here’s a look at where everyone came from!
design by Melanie Frazier for DFW Events
GEORGIA ON MY MIND
Our guests arrived at the charming Savannah International Airport (SAV) on the morning of Sunday, August 9. Since all of the Wed at the Westin attendees are members of the wedding industry, you know what that means…most of them had produced an event the night beforehand! The perfect remedy for any lingering tiredness? Mimosas, delicious brunch, and a delightful tour of The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa property. After digging into Lowcountry bites crafted by the Westin’s culinary team and enjoying jazz music by Jeremy Davis, our attendees were treated to a surprise stop by the famous Leopold’s Ice Cream cart stationed beneath a tent overlooking The Westin Savannah’s immaculate golf course. A trolley tour of Historic Downtown Savannah followed, and from there, Palmetto Transportationshuttled the group to our host resort for the rest of the weekend: The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa!
Upon arrival at The Westin Hilton Head Island, guests picked up welcome gifts – patterned Spartina 449 totes and Patagonia messenger bags stuffed with goodies curated by Carol Kavanaugh at Destinations by Outside– from one of The Westin’s five lovely venue spaces, Mitchelville Room.
The al-fresco evening welcome party featured a custom cocktail bar, a mix of salads presented in mason jars, and a sweets bar, plus a surprise “invitation only” mock wedding ceremony featuring a gospel serenade by The Voices of El Shaddai choir. After the sun set, attendees lounged on cowhide chairs set up on the Oceanfront Deck to enjoy conversation and bluegrass tunes from Lowcountry Boil Band.
WORK WELL, PLAY WELL
On the second day of the event guests enjoyed activities ranging from beachfront yoga, to appointments at the Heavenly Spa, to outdoor activities including zip lining and stand-up paddle boarding provided by Outside Hilton Head.
The evening’s fine food and wine dinner featured a “City Meets the Lowcountry” theme expertly designed by Kelli Corn Weddings & Events, and was held in The Westin’s Grand Ballroom!A candlelit table surrounded by dramatic black and white draping stood at the center of the ballroom and was filled with luxe details – gold seating-card holders in familiar Lowcountry motifs hand crafted by Kelli Corn, lavish laser cut menus created by DFW Events in-house graphic artist Melanie Frazier, stunning florals, and incredible big band music fromJeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra!
DINE COASTAL CHIC
On their last full day in Hilton Head before departing on August 12, our guests enjoyed an island tour that included a dolphin cruise captained by representatives of Outside Hilton Head, lunch at the private South Carolina Yacht Club, a self-guided walking (and shopping!) tour of historic Old Town Bluffton, and a photo-op in front of the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. That evening attendees enjoyed southern menu items crafted by The Westin team – shrimp and grits, watermelon and feta salad, crab dip, and more – before dancing the night away as Deas Guyz delighted all in attendance with soulful jazz favorites. Oyster shell centerpieces, candles, custom leather cuffs turned napkin rings, and miniature cacti were just a few of the details that contributed to the Oceanfront Pavilion’sfabulous coastal-chic atmosphere designed once again by the talented Kelli Corn!
photos: Khoi Pham and Donna Von Bruening
Now that we’ve shared every last detail of the Wed at the Westin event, it’s time to experience each moment for yourself via this incredible highlight video by Khoi Pham!
We cannot thank The Westin Hilton Head Island and The Westin Savannah enough for partnering with us to make Wed at the Westin such an unforgettable experience for each and every attendee (ourselves included!). The staff at both resorts are clearly dedicated to not only meeting, but exceeding clients’ expectations for their wedding or event. From a planner’s point of view, this makes them a dream to work with! Last but not least, if you’re interested in seeing more behind-the-scenes shots of the event from our guests’ perspective, be sure to look up the hashtag #WedAtTheWestin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
PS: Hilton Head Island is just the first of many up-and-coming destinations we hope to introduce to our clients and friends in the future, so stay tuned for more information about the next location on our radar!
This incredible weekend celebration (which was featured by Style Me Pretty Living) began with one simple request from the birthday girl: to bring all of her favorite people to her favorite place, her family’s ranch!
The weekend began with a welcome on the front porch, after which guests were escorted to our very own (and super chic) “RV Village” adorned Texas-style with a handmade wooden sign naming each accommodation after a tiny Texan town.
Guests put on their boots and headed to a welcome fiesta complete with margaritas and fajitas by Perini Ranch, not to mention Mexican roasted corn drenched in butter, all served on colorful Fiesta ware. Mexican inspired linens boasted bright colors and complemented the gorgeous wildflower centerpieces. Classic country tunes played as the night continued, and the evening was topped off by a Hill Country sunset.
After a barbecue lunch and a day of enjoying longhorns, skeet shooting, and fishing, guests cleaned up and got ready for the birthday celebration.
A lattice-lined tent was positioned in the middle of the property to take advantage of the sunset. The goal was to create a sense of “Southern Elegance” while not losing the feeling of being at the ranch.
Jackson Durham created incredible balance with elegant floral and place settings combined with the birthday girl’s favorite pumpkins and antlers that were found on the property. The windmill, a treasured find by the event’s hostess, created a focal point, as well as the Edison bulb light fixture that ran the entire length of the tent. Shelves stocked with found china and milk glass pieces added a cozy feel.
To close the evening, guests two-stepped the night away to the sounds ofThree Fools on Three Stools and got a lesson in country western dancing under glowing stringer lights – a perfect ending to an unforgettable birthday celebration!
Caterer: Perini Ranch
Photographer: Sarah Kate, Photographer, Sarah Kate Barger
Florist/ Linens: Jackson Durham
Lighting & Audio: Beyond Lighting
Build: Stageworks, Nelson Robinson
Tent: Sandone Productions
Restrooms/Event Power: United Rentals Power & HVAC
RV Rentals/Generator: DFW Camper Rentals
Saturday Night Band: Three Fools on Three Stools
Saturday Night Caller: David Callahan
Birthday Cake: Dallas Affaires
Rentals: Ducky Bob’s, Bella Acento (chargers)
Flights: Strong Travel
Paper Products: Paradise Design Co.
Calligrapher: Laurie Harper
Transportation: Premier Transportation
Mules: Metro Golf Cars
Coordination: Eden Harkins and Sarah Kane for DFW Events
Right before the launch of our new website, Mary-Frances and Alison had the opportunity to visit The Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa in beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico. We’re still raving about the incredible sights they encountered on their Fam trip, so we’re thrilled to finally share their top takeaways with you!
photo courtesy of the Belmond Maroma
Situated on the fabulous Yucatán peninsula, the Belmond Maroma packs all of the amenities one could hope for in a potential destination event location—think bleached sand, warm turquoise water, chartered yachts and sailboats, ecological discovery tours, and more. The best news? It’s all just a 30-minute drive away from Cancún International Airport and just as convenient to the ancient Mayan historical sites and captivating cenotes that make the region so unique. Thanks to the fact that the resort is surrounded by 25 acres of protected jungle, a stay at the Belmond Maroma gives guests the sense of discovering a tucked-away jewel—the perfect environment for a wedding or special event!
photos courtesy of the Belmond Maroma
During their stay at the Belmond Maroma, MF and Ali enjoyed activities ranging from ceviche and tequila tastings on the beach to stopping by a traditional Temazcal, or sweat lodge, with an ocean view. Meeting new friends including the resort’s Executive Chef and tortilla maker was another highlight of the experience! MF and Ali loved having the option to add fresh cocoa, guacamole, or cheese to their homemade tortillas each day. Finally, Freddie’s Tequila and Ceviche Bar—and the Maroma Margarita made with top secret ingredients—is not to be missed. “I’ve never been to a beachfront as beautiful as Maroma!” said MF. “The entire experience is over the top in the best way possible. You won’t find a more well-appointed resort!”
see more of DFW Events around the globe: @dfwevents on Instagram, #DFWDestination
At DFW Events we’re doing more weddings in Mexico than ever before, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it! Engaged couples are continuing to rediscover all that the Caribbean has to offer for a destination wedding, which is great news for their guests. Travel to and from Mexico is easy to book and coordinate—one of our many secrets to planning an effortless destination wedding!The Belmond Maroma is also perfect for a milestone occasion—say, an unforgettable fiftieth birthday partyor honeymoon—so keep your options open!
If you’re interested in exploring the Belmond Maroma or other venues in Mexico for your wedding or special event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love nothing more than to put our heads together and dream about every last detail of your destination “I do.”