Top Ten Wedding Food Trends

No matter what the occasion, people love to eat! Having something trendy or interactive always adds a little fun to a wedding or event. We dove into the top wedding food trends in 2018 and we were not disappointed. Some trends are new and some are older but trends are important to keep in mind when you are finding your personal style. Whether it’s trendy or not, don’t feel like you have to use or avoid something if you love it. Take a look at this year’s foodie finds!

  1. Donut Bars

Donut bars have been trending for a while now but are still incredibly popular. For the non-traditional bride and groom, a donut bar wall or tower is the perfect alternative to a wedding cake.

           www.bridalguide.com                                              www.weddingwire.com                                              www.partyslate.com 

2. S’mores Bars

These are something that is coming back and was essentially the first “bar” style dessert to have at a wedding. Having guests get up and create something during the wedding makes the day more fun and personal.

         weddingwire.com                                                       buzzfeed.com                                       www.deerpearlsflowers.com

3. Geode Cakes

Couples and humans alike are getting into more earthy materials like rocks, geodes and crystals, to incorporate in their weddings. Being closer to nature and spiritual aspects in life make couples feel more at ease. Weddings are starting to incorporate geodes in cakes in a multitude of ways. Cake designers are embedding rock candy geodes in the tiers of the cakes along with adding toppers and accents of geodes to give an edible earthy vibe to the special day. Bakers have also mastered the art of painting geodes onto cakes to not take away any space from the cake making the beautiful rock 3D.

        www.greenweddingshoes.com                             www.purewow.com                                           www.cakedecor.com 

4. Food Trucks

Food trucks are come and go with weddings. They can be very specific to the kind of wedding that you are having. Fortunately, there are a plethora of food truck options to choose from. You can also choose to have these for your your dinner, cocktail hour, or late-night snack! For instance, a barbecue food truck for dinner would be perfect for a more laid back wedding but not great for a black-tie affair, unless it is served as a late night snack. If you wanted a late-night snack however, any kind of food truck would work for any type of event because it is not the main source of food and at the end of the night people are looking for grab and go food before they go home.

     www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com                    www.rocknrollbride.com                       www.digitalmediamarketing.club

5. Midnight Snacks

As you can see, the late night snack choices are endless! Some couples are now choosing to have midnight snacks. Whether it’s an In-N-Out burger food truck or a build your own grilled cheese bar for those late-night munchies, guests really appreciate having that little extra bite before they go home.

         www.theinternetsmoh.com                                www.theweddingring.net                                    www.unitedwithlove.com

6. Naked/Semi-Naked Cakes

Naked cakes or semi-naked cakes are cakes with little to no frosting on the outside of it. Most of them are made with the frosting in between each tier of the cake and nothing more. These are becoming very popular in rustic and outdoor weddings because they do not have to worry about the cakes melting as much. Some are topped with fruit or powdered sugar.

           www.weddingwire.com                            www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com                 www.polkadotbride.com

7. Personalized cake toppers

Couples are all about personalizing their weddings to have a unique, one of a kind look. From look-alike figurines and hilarious characters to favorite quotes, couples are making statements with their custom cake toppers.

      www.weddingwindow.com                           www.theraggedwren.blogspot.com                       www.sugarcrushco.com              

8. Pies Instead of Cake

Not everyone loves cake and that’s okay! There are so many other options to have for dessert. Pies are the big trend now for a cake replacement because it gives the sweetness that guests are expecting from an after-dinner treat. Pies can be served in slices or in miniature pies, similar to the cake to cupcake serving standard.

              www.weddingchicks.com                         www.stylemepretty.com                                             www.bridalguide.com

9. Soft Pretzel Bar

Soft Pretzels are an up and coming trend in the wedding food world. Since pretzels are not sweets, some couples will choose to put this out during the cocktail hour instead of appetizers or as a midnight snack. With that in mind, if you know your guests aren’t the sweets crowd, pretzels may be the perfect way to end the meal before the party and to soak up the alcohol at the end of the night.

        www.theknot.com                        www.theknot.com                                                                    www.brides.com        

10. Floral Cocktails

Adding edible flowers to your signature cocktails is a super fun element during the spring and summer seasons. These cocktails can be infused with different floral and herbal flavors to bring a freshness to the drink. Having a light drink during hot days is very refreshing for your guests.

https://blog.anthropologie.com/112878807639/?crlt.pid=camp.WqojKm1EH0Fh         www.weddingchicks.com      www.sheerluxe.com

Food is something that brings people together no matter what the occasion. Being able to use food at your wedding to create a fun and different experience will help stand out from the rest. Being true to your style and at the same time choosing items that are palatable to your group creates a win-win in the tum-tum!

 

Winter Wedding Fashion Trends

Winter is an incredibly popular season for people to get married, but sometimes colors are hard to decide. What are winter colors? Can you use bright colors in winter or do they have to be dark? Winter is not always a snowy wonderland here in Texas, so winter wedding trends change each year. After looking through some current trends, we came across some style inspiration that is sure to make your wedding pop! For the men, visit The Black Tux for your suit and tuxedo needs. And for the ladies, check out Azazie for your bridesmaid dresses! They both have options for any color palette you might be looking for! Here are some of our favorites for this winter season.

 Navy and Marsala: 
Marsala was the Pantone color of the year in 2015 and has continued to be a favorite through the years. Marsala is a red/burgundy color that goes well with many colors as shown on Pantone’s website. This winter however, navy is the color that pairs with it perfectly. Red and blue are seen together frequently but these rich colors break the traditional combination. Marsala bridesmaids’ dresses and navy tuxedos are sure to be a showstopper.

Olive and Black:
Olive and black are a very natural combination. They have an organic vibe with an elegant presentation to mix trends. Olive is a medium toned grey-green that is subtle but impactful. Black has a distinct contrast to make the olive pop. The use of a dark neutral such as black, allows the accompanying colors to be the star. This color combination can be used throughout the year but has a wintery undertone. Your wedding will leave people wanting more with this gorgeous color combo!

Plum and Grey:
Plum and grey is a color combination that is not seen very often which makes it trendy. This color combination is a bit against the norm but, will really set you apart from other weddings this winter. Many people think that having a holiday color scheme is the only way to make a wedding seasonally appropriate, but we say break down those walls! Have the colors that you want at your wedding and make your winter wedding dreams come true.Don’t forget to like, comment, and share! We would love to hear your feedback on your favorite winter wedding trends for this year!

CTE Loves Thompson Pictures

“In high school, I was one of the coolest kids around, and was part of an exclusive group called media tech. There were two types of people in there, the kids that just wanted an easy class, and the other ones that enjoyed making things, creating short films, etc. Fortunately, I connected most with the people that liked making stuff and the rest is history”Being from Texas, Trey decided to go to UT Arlington for school. When he was deciding his major, he had already been working in film production for several years so you would think that would be easy to continue. To challenge himself further, he decided to go into advertising with a minor in business.

Trey has not always been a videographer but he has always been interested in video production throughout his life, which made him choose a career in videography. The “aha” moment of becoming a videographer was more of a process found while working in the industry. “I’ve always enjoyed making things, being creative and problem solving. Working in video production uses all those areas, so it was a natural progression for me.”

Thompson Pictures is a company with bright, cinematic, smooth work. While capturing weddings, they think about how to be creative which can be difficult when not having the ability to direct your shots. “The cool thing about capturing weddings is there’s no second takes, so it’s just that much more rewarding when everything lines up to be an awesome moment.”

Trey’s favorite thing about videography is the moment that everything comes together as a finished product. Being able to show someone one of the most memorable days of their lives is something that Thompson Pictures strives to be the best at.

Videography is such an important part of a wedding because it captures everything a bride and groom may have missed. Trey’s advice to a bride and groom is to hire a videographer “More than 90% of brides who didn’t hire a videographer regretted it and it was their number one regret.” He also said that finding a videographer who works well with the photographer, so they are not competing with each other for a shot, is crucial. Also, make sure that your videographer has a good backup system, “Our philosophy at Thompson Pictures is multiple copies, versions and locations.”

The most challenging aspect to deal with as a videographer is that most of the day is out of their control. They need to be able to “adapt and preform under strict timelines and circumstances.” Trey says Thompson Pictures is not really work for him because “Enjoying what you do, doesn’t feel like work at all.” Getting positive feedback from clients’ or moving a client to tears when they see their wedding on the screen, is what makes everything worth it.

Thompson Pictures is a growing business that continues to train and invest in their team to deliver the highest quality films to their clients.

It’s always a pleasure working with the Thompson Pictures team. From the booking process to the delivery of their feature film, we know our clients are in good hands when choosing them as a videographer. Thank you for all you do Thompson Pictures!

Elegant Wedding at Omni Dallas

Tracy and Sean met through mutual friends at a dinner nearly 5 years ago and immediately hit it off. They went their separate ways and did not reconnect until a year later via the dating app, Tinder. Of course, they were a match! The two went on an awesome first date where they closed-down the bar, and as Tracy tells us, “the rest is history.”

After dating for a while Sean proposed to Tracy on May 16, 2015 while watching the sunset at a special spot of theirs in the Pacific Palisades. From that moment, Tracy and Sean began planning a beautiful wedding.Tracy wanted a simple and elegant, yet clean and modern look for the wedding. The couple chose the perfect color palette of white, gold, and accents of lavender to match their style.Bella Accento and Fauxcades did an amazing job with their rentals and capturing the ambiance that these lovebirds were trying to create. “Everything from the mirrored tables and bars to the romantic candles and modern lucite accents. Our wedding décor was every bit of romantic.” says Tracy. And we all know a romantic ambience wouldn’t be possible without the perfect lighting provided by Beyond.Stamped Paper Co. did an amazing job designing sleek yet elegant invitations to invite all of Sean and Tracy’s friends and family to join them at Omni Dallas. Stamped Paper Co. also created all of Tracy and Sean’s other day of invitation suite elements. Tracy looked stunning in her Eugenia Couture gown from Patsy’s Bridal with hair and makeup by Maitee Miles. The Dallas String Quartet played in the background as Tracy made her down the aisle to Sean.Tracy shared her favorite moment of her wedding with us, “It was seeing Sean for the first time as my dad and I walked down the aisle. Sean and I decided not to do a first look, so that the first time we would see each other would be at the ceremony. It paid off, because we both started bawling instantly, and it made for a really special moment.” After a beautiful traditional Jewish ceremony, guests were invited to the ballroom for dinner and dancing. Jordan Kahn Orchestra kept the party going all night long with their energetic stage presence and upbeat tunes. Susan Cooper of Live Event Painting was there and captured the newlyweds first dance atop of the all-white dance floor by DFW Dance Floors. Bella Flora helped bring in the elegance with lush hydrangea, soft roses, and pops of delicate lavender sweet pea and phalaenopsis orchid blooms. Their arrangements looked stunning placed on the plush liens by La Tavola. Helm Productions was there to capture each and every precious moment on video while f8 Studios made time stand still capturing some great photos of details and happy smiles.Keeping with the couples simple and elegant style, Panini Bakery & Cakes designed a stunning wedding cake with soft details. They let their creativity shine with the groom’s cake that was inspired by Sean’s company, Pridebites LLC, and their beloved dog, Sadie. We asked Tracy to share another special moment with us as she had so many. She says, “Spending the day with my mom, mother-in-law and all of my bridesmaids as we got ready was so special to me. We had so much fun drinking champagne and dancing around the room singing, “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married…” there’s something about having all of your favorite people in one place at one time.”No blog would be complete without asking our couples to share a piece of advice to help our future clients. Tracy and Sean both agree that they would not do anything differently! Tracy goes on to tell us, “I am happy I listened to our wedding planner who insisted we eat something before going into the reception and joining the party. I wasn’t exactly sold on this detail at first, and now in hindsight, I’m so happy we did it! I was worried I would miss out on fun things happening inside the reception. But honestly, it was the best thing we could have done…Sean and I were taken into a private room to eat and drink before joining the party and we got to have a moment together just us and actually eat. With a full belly, we were both ready to dance the night away! The other bit of advice I would give is to drink a lot of water!”Tracy and Sean are doing well and tell us their favorite thing about being married is getting to refer to the other as husband or wife. We are so glad we could be a part of their day and help with the planning process. It was truly a pleasure!

 

CTE Loves Hotel ZaZa Dallas

Hotel ZaZa Dallas is one of our favorite venues to work with! Since opening in 2002 Hotel ZaZa Dallas has expanded, refreshed and updated their meeting and event spaces multiple times to stay up to date with the hottest trends. The venue offers unique, versatile, creative, inspiring and thought-provoking spaces.

dallas_wedding_planner_0309 dallas_wedding_planner_0311Metropolitan Ballroom: Max occupancy–reception style 200

Their spaces can transform from a formal ceremony setting and seamlessly into the perfect, higher-energy celebration that most guests’ envision for their reception!

dallas_wedding_planner_0308Dragon’s Den: Max occupancy–reception style 50

“Besides our dynamic function spaces, I would say that the hotel’s innovative style, location within the city, creative mix of warmth but chic ambiance and our extreme eye to detail/service is what truly sets us apart from other venues in the area.” says Riley Nail, Complex Director of PR, Marketing & Experience.

dallas_wedding_planner_0307Art House & Social Gallery: Max occupancy–reception style 200

Along with their unique spaces, ZaZa also offer complimentary access to their in-house inventory of black chivari chairs and lounge furniture. ZaZa is one of the only venues in the area to offer these items to clients free of charge! And not to mention they have some great options to choose from.

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What would a wedding be without amazing food? All of ZaZa’s catering comes directly from their in-house signature restaurant, Dragonfly. Their Complex Executive Chef, Dan Landsberg, oversees the culinary direction of the ZaZa brand and spares no lack of detail when it comes to our banquet and catering menus!

dallas_wedding_planner_0313Uptown Ballroom: Max occupancy–reception style 550; room can also break into 3 sections: A-195 B-275 C-80

Everything can be customized to meet the clients’ wants and needs. The culinary team at ZaZa is very involved in the planning process and always up for the challenge when it comes to being creative and stepping out of the box.

zaza-dal-museroom-4Muse Room: Max occupancy–reception style 60

While ZaZa does offer a preferred vendors list upon request. There are no limitations as far as vendors go, however there are some restrictions regarding outside catering.

dallas_wedding_planner_0310Metropolitan Ballroom: Max occupancy–reception style 200

Riley Nail goes on to say that when booking your wedding with Hotel ZaZa Dallas you can expect, “A completely tailored, custom and unique experience that the bride and groom, along with their guests will remember for years to come!”

dallas_wedding_planner_0315Poolside [November – March]: Max occupancy–reception style 200

Along with an amazing venue space and outstanding food bride and groom to be can still expect so much more. When booking Hotel ZaZa Dallas as your wedding venue you are offered a courtesy room block, along with a complimentary suite for the bride and her nearest and dearest to get ready in for the big day! And on the night of the wedding, they also offer a complimentary suite for the bride and groom along with a custom ZaZa Wedding amenity to help them remember the special evening.

 We just absolutely love to work with the amazing and attentive staff at Hotel ZaZa Dallas. To celebrate your happily-ever-after in true ZaZa Fashion, contact Catering Sales Manager, Aubrey Girard at 214.550.9476 or via email at agirard@hotelzaza.com

All photos courtesy of Hotel ZaZa Dallas.

CTE Loves Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design

“I had no aspirations whatsoever to be a makeup artist” shares Erin of Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design, as she tells us how she got started in the bridal artistry world. Pretty surprising for such a talented artist! We never would have thought this wasn’t her original passion.

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Erin is a Texas native, but grew up in Oklahoma were she became a “Boomer Sooner” as she attended the University of Oklahoma for her first three years of college. She then moved to Houston where she finished out her degree in advertising at the University of Houston. Erin teases, “I moved for a boy. No, not my husband…he came later.”

After graduating, Erin moved back to Dallas to start her marketing career. Five years later in 2004, while working as a manager and graphic artist, she became friends with an established bridal makeup artist who was getting very busy! She asked Erin if she wanted to help her out occasionally on the weekends and taught Erin a few things to get her started. “I took to makeup artistry very quickly. It really isn’t all that different from graphic design, just different tools!” says Erin

dallas_wedding_planner_0272Makeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design Photo Credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

After years of working as a makeup artist on the side of her full time corporate job, and two kids later life became busy. Erin realized she needed to make a change. After some self reflection she came to the conclusion that her passion was in her artistry, working with brides, and owning her own business. She left her full time job as a manager and graphic artist and made makeup artistry a full time gig. With a smile Erin states, “Nobody was more surprised than me at the direction my career took!”

dallas_wedding_planner_0274Makeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design Photo Credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

While Erin has never gone to a traditional “beauty school” she has consistently invested in her education and skills since she decided to make her bridal artistry business her full time career six years ago. Erin is proud to have received personal training from some of the best artists in the business.

dallas_wedding_planner_0269Makeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design Photo Credit: Ryan O’Dowd Photography

Erin loves helping brides discover their most beautiful version of themselves. She even boasts that, “The products I’m selling are self-esteem and confidence! Sometimes I can visibly see their shoulders straighten and their chin lift before they’ve even seen themselves in the mirror.” The happy tears when a bride sees herself in a way she’s never seen before are the moments Erin lives for and what make her job her passion.

Her proudest moment in her bridal makeup artistry career so far has been being nominated for an AACWP award (American Association of Certified Wedding Planners) 3 years running.

dallas_wedding_planner_0270Makeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design Photo Credit: Lightly Photography

When we asked Erin to describe her style this is what she had to say “See the girl, not the makeup! I like my brides to look youthful and classically beautiful, but still like themselves.” Erin’s trademark is flawlessly glowing skin and romantic, lifted eyes. She wants her bride to look their best and also timeless in their photos. That way they love the way they look for years to come.

truidentitydesignsMakeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design Photo Credit: Tru Identity Photography

Erin offers a bit of advice for brides when choosing their artist for their wedding day, “First and foremost, don’t just choose a makeup artist, choose a wedding beauty professional. There are a lot of other factors that go into your wedding makeup other than the actual wedding makeup. Artists with successful businesses that specialize in weddings will have a thorough understanding of how to coordinate with your planner and photographer, how to schedule your day so you get to your first look on time, and the high level of customer service needed for such an important event.”

dallas_wedding_planner_0275Makeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design

Erin also suggests looking at unedited before and after photos like the one above to get a more clear idea of the artist’s aesthetic and skills. Sometimes it can be hard to get an indication of skill level from professional edited photographs. You need to make sure your artist can make you look great without digital enhancement!

dallas_wedding_planner_0273Makeup/Hair by: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design Photo Credit: Amy Karp Photography

“As my business grows I find myself transitioning more into an educator and mentor for both my team and other aspiring artists which is really exciting! But don’t worry; first and foremost, I’ll always be an artist.” says Erin. Currently Erin’s team consists of six fantastic makeup artists and hair stylists all whom she has personally trained. Her business is expanding and looking bright! She is spending more and more time conducting makeup lessons for her clients after their weddings and promoting her retail line of professional cosmetics.

It is always a pleasure to work with Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design! Erin and her team are organized, easy to communicate with, and timely which is a big help to keep our brides on schedule for their wedding day. Along with being efficient Erin and her team are such a joy to be around, next time you see her make sure you tell her we said hello!

Organic Wedding at The Dallas Arboretum

Love wins again! Jeff and Joe met a little over seven years ago via the web on Yahoo Personals. After five years of dating, Joe realized he had found the one whom his soul loves and was ready to propose.

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dallas_wedding_planner_0230Joe was creative and planned a scavenger hunt to the different places the two like to frequent as a couple; which even included dinner at Dragonfly of Hotel ZaZa. The final clue led the two back to their home for the evening were Joe had champagne, cake, flowers, and the ring ready to ask for Jeff’s hand in marriage.

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Of course Jeff said ‘Yes!’ and from there they took time to enjoy their engagement for a bit and then started planning their amazing wedding. Guests’ were invited with beautiful invitations by The American Wedding to join Jeff and Joe for their ceremony in the Lay Family Garden and reception in The Alexander Camp House at The Dallas Arboretum.

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Jeff wore a handsome fitting suit from Suit Supply; while Joe complimented him in a Joseph Abboud suit from The Men’s Warehouse.

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The two looked absolutely dapper as they exchanged vows framed by a beautifully bright arch created by our sister company Freesia; whom was also in charge of all of the other floral decor that complimented the garden and reception area.

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These amazing details of floral added the color and texture of for the couple’s vision of bright, elegant, masculine, and organic along with the natural colored linens by BBJ Linen. They wanted their wedding day to be a complete representation of who they are by tying in their Hispanic cultures with fun textures of lotus pods, driftwood, succulents along with bright hues of reds, oranges, purples, greens and bronze-copper accents.

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The couple tells us that a special moment of the wedding was, “Walking down the aisle hand-in-hand with Joe’s son symbolized the family we’ve become. Also, having so many people there who loved and supported us was beyond touching…”

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The music never stopped from the ceremony where Simply Music played soft tunes, to the cocktail reception were festive music was being played by Ernestos Music-Mariachi Band, and to the reception where DJ Adante of Simply Music spun out some dancing tunes.

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All-the-while enjoying all of the fun guests’ also enjoyed amazing food and cocktails by Gil’s Catering.

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No wedding would be complete without cake! The couple chose a simple, yet amazing cake by Delicious Cakes! To keep with the organic and masculine feel of their wedding, the cake was displayed on a wood slate and adorned with succulents.

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Jeff and Joe both agree that their favorite moment of their wedding was that there was no rain! “Since we planned an outdoor ceremony and reception, we were quite nervous about the rain in the forecast. There was not a single raindrop, so we were able to celebrate as we had planned all along.”

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In preparation for the rain the couple had to make a split decision on implementing a tent. To keep the outdoor feel they chose a clear tent without sides by Ducky Bob’s. We are so glad that Shannon Skloss Photography was there to catch all the amazing details for lasting memories and great stories later on. Shannon even notes that the clear tent reflected a lot of light from the lights that were strung by Simply Music which made for amazing photos.

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Jeff and Joe say there favorite part about being married so far is, “The security of knowing that we’ll have someone with whom to share our lives and grow old.”

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Finding The Perfect Wedding Dress

It’s every girls dream to look absolutely breathtaking on their wedding day. Besides choosing the right person to marry, choosing the right wedding dress is the most important aspect. Most women feel overwhelmed with the task of finding the perfect dress. There are so many styles, colors, and designers to consider. You should choose a dress that showcases your beauty and feels “right” to you. Making the right choice takes time, planning, consideration, and most of all patience! Enjoy a few of our tips to make dress shopping easier:

dallas_wedding_planner_0221*Gown by Maggie Sottero from Lulu’s Bridal ; Photo by The Mamones Photography

  1. START EARLY-You should begin shopping for your dress anywhere from six months to a year in advance of your actual wedding day. Dresses take time to create! On average it takes about four to six months for a manufacturer/designer to make a dress. And let’s not forget about alterations; this could add another two months. Customizing your dress by adding beading, lace, modifying the neckline, or train can take even longer. While many shops do offer rush orders at an additional fee, your choices may be limited. So plan accordingly!

dallas_wedding_planner_0217*Photo by Ivey Photography

  1. BUDGET The perfect dress does not have to cost you a million bucks. Come up with a realistic budget. When creating your budget you should also factor in the cost for alterations; which can vary in price depending on how elaborate your alterations are and where you go to get them done. Don’t forget to add on shipping fees if your dress is not being purchased off the rack. Your dress budget can also include shoes, veil, headpiece and accessories or you can figure these cost separately. Once your dress arrives, it may require some additional care such as pressing or steaming, which can tack on an additional cost as well.                                                                                                                              dallas_wedding_planner_0264*Gown by Anjolique Bridal  from Bliss Bridal Boutique ; Photo by Shannon Skloss Photography

If you are looking to save on your wedding dress as you see it as a one-time wear; try shopping on the sales rack. You may be able to find one that needs minor alterations. There are also many salons that hold big annual sales to clear out their inventory as well as sample sales, where brides can get off-the-rack styles with major discounts.

  1. PLAN AHEAD- Decide where you want to shop for your dress. You can call stores in advance to find out their price range, if they carry the designer(s) you’re looking for, if they offer alterations, and even if they sell accessories. Most wedding dress stores require that you schedule an appointment. If possible, schedule your appointment or shop during non-peak hours. Normally a weekday when you are free; this will give your more time to shop and your consultant’s undivided attention. Carry a notebook to jot down store information with the descriptions of the dresses you like (most bridal stores forbid photos) in case you decide to return back to try on the dress you can’t stop thinking about.

dallas_wedding_planner_0263*Gown by Jenny Packham  from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon of Houston, Texas; Photo by Amy Herfurth Photography

  1. SHOPPING- First and foremost before you set out to go dress shopping, wear good undergarments! This will give you a better visual of how things will look and fit on you. And you’ll thank us later when your consultant see’s you in your undergarments when their helping you into the dresses you’ll be trying on. Before your consultant starts to pull dresses for you to try on, inform them of your budget! You don’t want your dreams crushed by a dress that is out of your price point.                                                                                                                    dallas_wedding_planner_0265*L-Photo by Shannon Skloss Photography ; R-Photo by Amy Karp Photography

To keep your dress shopping experience exciting, do not be afraid to speak up on what you do and do not like. We promise their feelings won’t be hurt; you’re actually making their job easier! Not sure of the perfect silhouette? Bridal dress silhouettes fall into six broad categories: ball gown, empire, A-line, sheath, fit-and-flare, and mermaid. Try on one of each style the first time you go shopping for your dress. Selecting the right silhouette will help narrow down your options. From here, you can decide on the details such as neckline, sleeves, embellishments, etc.

dallas_wedding_planner_0224*Photo by Tracy Autem

  1. NO ENTOURAGE- While it may sound like a good idea to bring all of your eight bridesmaids, your mom, your great grandma, and your aunts for this important purchase; it’s not! The more people you invite, the more opinions you have to consider. An overly opinionated entourage can be confusing and frustrating. Feeling overwhelmed can cloud your judgment on what you actually want. Bridal consultants advise selecting two or three loved ones to attend dress shopping with you. They should know your style, be honest, and have your best interest in mind. If you feel bad for not including everyone, just bring them along to your fitting.

dallas_wedding_planner_0220*Photo by Nicholas Leitzinger Photography

  1. IGNORE THE SIZE In most cases bridal wear runs about two to four sizes smaller than ready-to-wear items. Buy the dress that fits right now or that is closest to your size. Even if you plan on losing weight; don’t insist on a smaller size! A dress is easy to take in, but difficult and can be costly to let out.

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dallas_wedding_planner_0262*Gown by Tara Keely from De Ma Fille in Ft. Worth ; Photo by Amy Karp Photography

  1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND- Don’t be afraid to try on something that doesn’t seem like your style. Also, keep in mind some dresses look different on and off the hanger. A dress that seems average while on the hanger may be the dress of your dreams once on. The same thing goes for the dress you thought was “the one” from the pictures online; it may be a big fail in person. While it’s always great to have an open mind, do not let yourself be talked into purchasing a dress that you’re not absolutely in love with.
  1. FOLLOW YOUR GUT Don’t go with the dress that everyone else wants you to wear. This is your day and your dress! You should choose the one that makes you the most happy. You don’t want to fight with your dress instead of enjoying your day. In the end you must do what is best for you by choosing the dress that feels right to you. You should feel beautiful in your wedding dress! If you aren’t truly sure if it’s “the one”, try adding a veil or other accessories to help you envision yourself walking down the aisle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dallas_wedding_planner_0228*Photo by Sarah Kate Photography

Dallas Ft. Worth Rehearsal Dinner Favorites

As planners, we understand that there is more than one big event a couple needs to orchestrate for their wedding weekend. The rehearsal dinner is a very important occasion that sets the tone for the entire weekend. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite hot spots to have a rehearsal dinner in the DFW area. For couples that are looking a little farther than the Big D no worries; some of these locations have an extended market and can be found in other cities and/or states! We’ve also taken the time to break them down into three categories of what setting and feel you might be looking for… intimate, casual and fun!

When setting the mood for an intimate affair we recommend the following:

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*Photo Credit: Hotel ZaZa Press Release

Hotel ZaZa features several unique spaces for all types of events, your rehearsal dinner being one of them! With 6,000 square feet of function space, the options are endless! You’re sure to find a setting that your guests’ will not forget. And if you’re not already there, afterwards you can hang out by the pool, winter or summer.

 

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*Photo Credit: Perot Museum Website

Perot Museum Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall is such a beautiful space! The dimly lit area casts the perfect light off of the amazing gems from around the world featured in this hall. You can comfortably host a seated dinner for up to 120 guests’. As a bonus the gems create an amazing backdrop to your design and is so much fun for guests’ to peruse.

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Photo Credit: Truluck’s Website

Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse is a great option to have a seated dinner providing five-star service. The atmosphere is just wonderful for celebrating and creating lasting memories. Your event will be truly unforgettable.  The Dallas location offers a dividing party room that can accommodate as little as thirty and as many as one hundred guests’ or you can use the whole restaurant to host up to two hundred-fifty guests’. The Southlake location offers three private areas that can host a seated dinner for twenty-five to one hundred. The entire restaurant is available for two hundred-twenty guests’. Don’t forget to try the crab cakes and their famous carrot cake!

St. Martin’s Wine Bistro offers French cuisine and an excellent selection of wine pairings. The atmosphere is perfect for an intimate rehearsal dinner. The décor is traditionally elegant and helps give the restaurant a feeling of old-world class.  St. Martin’s is able to host twenty-five or fifty in one of their private rooms. You can also host one hundred-fifty in the entire restaurant. Their champagne-brie soup is a must have on your menu.

If you’re looking to host a more casual family oriented dinner we suggest:

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Photo Credit: El Fenix Website

El Fenix is a great casual place for a rehearsal dinner. One of our favorites! With their many locations and delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, everyone is sure to have a good time. We personally love the Downtown Dallas location with its rooftop patio. The private room and patio offers great views of the skyline and can seat one hundred-ten guests with free parking which is a great bonus for the downtown area!

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*Photo Credit: Buca Di Beppo Website

Buca Di Beppo serves up delicious Italian dishes family-style! These dishes are made for sharing and tasting a little bit of everything. Your guests’ will love the exciting décor and lively music. The red plaid table cloths create a classic pizzeria feel. Even with their divided areas the Frisco, Park Lane, and Southlake locations can seat 65-70 to keep all of your guests’ together.

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Photo Credit: Joe T Garcia’s Website

Joe T Garcia’s offers good food and great margaritas!!! We are just absolutely in love with the outdoor patio area with its spectacular water features, cabanas, and full foliage. The area creates a backyard oasis great for a casual family setting. Inside seating can host twenty-five to one hundred and as many as three hundred on their patio.

Want to have a blast the day before these are our top choices for fun:

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Photo Credit: Live Nation Website

House of Blues is a fabulous venue with an old school juke joint feel. The venue offers live music and an abundance of food options for your guests’. They create the perfect setting for dancing and dinning as well as have a fun patio to hang out on before or after dinner. Their house is your house whether you need seats for fifty or as many as nine hundred-fifty!

Top Golf is the place to be if your guests’ are excitable and competitive. The fun of the game paired with the great selection of food and options of a private bar for your guests’, your night is sure to be a success and memorable for such a unique venue option. Top Golf Dallas offers a roof top terrace, lower level lounge, and their signature room. Guest capacity varies by furniture layout. Available party sizes space varies by day and time!

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Photo Credit: Bowl & Barrel Website

Bowl & Barrel offers tons of fun and excitement. Bowling and Brews, is a great theme that focuses on the groom. With the tavern décor and exposed brick the place oozes a manly feeling. The setting is great for fun, drinks, family and food. Available party sizes space varies by day and time, call ahead to reserve your lanes!

Texas Rangers Ballpark will make your rehearsal dinner a big league celebration! The ballpark hosts’ six different locations to have your rehearsal dinner. Depending on the space you choose the ballpark is able to accommodate fifty to one thousand guests’! They have great views of the field and a fun atmosphere. You will surely make America’s favorite past time one of your own with lasting memories.

Romantic Wedding at Ashton Gardens

What says “romance” more than a garden themed wedding? We could not think of any. These love birds, Lori and Bryan, are college sweethearts who recently got married at the gorgeous Ashton Gardens. Their story starts when they met at Brookhaven College where Bryan was playing baseball and Lori was studying her basic courses. They dated for five years before they got engaged. At this point, Bryan had transferred to Northwood University and that is where he proposed to Lori. It was during his last home game as a senior. The announcer had called all the seniors out to the field and then Lori heard her name called as well. She went to the field to find him with a half cut baseball open with a ring in it. In front of everyone at the baseball game Bryan got down on one knee and asked Lori to be his wife.

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The theme for their wedding was “romantic garden” which they executed quite well. Lori wanted to use a lot of hydrangeas in honor of her late parents who had huge bushes of them in front of their house. Gro did a wonderful job with their arrangements and giving the room the garden feel that the couple was looking for.

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Lori wore a beautiful gown by Anjolique Bridal which she had received from Bliss Bridal Boutique. The use of pastel colors mint, blush and ivory gave the wedding a soft, romantic feel.

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In asking what their favorite moment from the wedding was, they said that it was a very short moment right after they walked back down the aisle together. Before the bridal party could catch up to them, Bryan picked Lori up and spun her around. When he sat her down they high-fived and said “OMG we’re married!”

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Another special moment for Lori was in the morning after she woke up to start her day. She sat in the window seat of her room at the Wildwood Inn staring out onto the beautiful grounds with her coffee to have some alone time before things got crazy. She knew she would be missing her parents deeply on this day so she wanted to have some time to reflect and talk to them. She said that she had asked them to give her strength and to walk with her that day. Once she felt their presence, she knew she was ready. She said, “I knew that they were with me all day and that my daddy was on my other arm helping my big brother walk me down the aisle.”

An awesome addition to their romantic wedding was the cigar bar created on Ashton Gardens patio. The cigars were provided by Cigar Frog’s.

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The simple yet elegant cake was baked by the delicious Sugar Bee Sweets. It fit well with the garden theme and really completed the look. To add a special touch that has Lori & Bryan all over it, the baker created silhouette cats & laid them on the cake.  To say that they LOVE cats is an understatement.

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These lovely pictures were taken by Shannon Skloss Photography and their videographer was Lynn Films. The entertainment and lighting for the evening was executed by ES Events. The reception was full of people dancing the night away and enjoying cigars. It was certainly a party!

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Lori and Bryan made this wedding such an awesome experience for us and everyone else who was apart of it. Their love can be felt for miles. A beautiful couple with beautiful hearts. Thank you have allowing us to join you both on this day to remember. We are happy to announce that they are expecting the arrival of baby girl, Haven, in May. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Kinard, we know you will make amazing parents!

See more of Lori & Bryan’s special day captured by Lynn Films ::

Bryan + Lori from Lynn Films on Vimeo.