Rustic Elegant Wedding at The Venue at Waterstone

Amy met Ian on Match.com, after some friends encouraged her to sign up. They were both convinced it was a waste of time, until they found each other in January 2016. They were married two years later!

When Ian proposed, he took Amy to her best friend’s painting studio. Behind her blank canvas was a hand-painted sign that said “Will You Marry Me?” Amy said that even though she had a hunch he was going to propose, it was so special to her, especially to have her best friend there for such an important occasion.

Then the two were ready to start planning their dream wedding! Amy knew she wanted a rustic theme that would combine her love of horses and the outdoors with Ian’s work as a police officer. After meeting with vendors and finding her perfect Madison James dress, the theme evolved into “Rustic Elegance.” The Venue at Waterstone was the perfect location.

The color navy blue was a main theme throughout the wedding, complemented by stunning floral from Freesia in shades of purple, green, and blush. Sable and Gray created the perfect invitations to set the tone for the evening.

One of Amy’s favorite parts of the day was getting ready with her best friends, and the amazing hair and makeup artist, Anita Brown, from Elan Makeup. Amy loved having her two oldest friends as bridesmaids, and their daughters as flower girls.

Brown-Eyed Girls Acapella Quartet provided beautiful prelude music for the ceremony. Le Force Entertainment kept the party going with Amy and Ian’s favorite songs for the reception, as well as lighting to pinpoint their tables and accent the room.  Valentina Vladi Photography captured the night perfectly.


Tastefully Yours catered the dinner, and Amy and Ian had a beautiful cake from Delicious Cakes. Instead of a groom’s cake, they had a donut bar! (We love this idea!) 


Family is important to Amy and Ian, so having her Uncle Bob perform the wedding ceremony was meaningful to both of them. Another priceless family moment Amy recalled was her brother’s toast: “My brother’s toast made my day…maybe even my year…Everyone in the room that has been a part of my life since I was a child remembered the stories he told and was laughing hysterically.”

In reflecting on her wedding, Amy has some advice for future brides: “Everything will work out and it will be fine, don’t stress. It’s just one day!” After all, she said, “The best part of being married is being able to start a life with someone I love.” We wish Amy and Ian all the best in their life together!

Congratulations to the happy couple!

 

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!

 

Lush Garden Wedding at Omni Dallas

Sarah and Ethan met through mutual friends during their junior year of college while studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. The two quickly became friends and stayed friends for a couple years before officially dating. After dating for two and a half years, Ethan popped the question! Ethan set up such a beautiful and personal proposal. Sarah goes on to tell us, “He set up pictures of us in a heart shape on our living room floor with a scrapbook set in the center filled with more pictures of us. The last page of the scrapbook said, “Will You Marry Me?”, to which Sarah said YES!” Afterward, the two went to their favorite restaurant for dinner where both of their families were waiting to surprise Sarah with well wishes. Ethan also had friends waiting for the two at a nearby bar to surprise Sarah and continue the celebration.From there the planning process began. Sarah did not start off with having a theme for her wedding but, with our suggestion she started using Pinterest and pinning anything she liked. After a few pins, Sarah realized that she loved greenery, clean lines, various metals, and neutral colors. From there her inspiration morphed into a theme of natural elegance.After narrowing down likes, dislikes, and the color palette the happy couple were ready to invite their friends and family to their wedding. Stamped Paper Co. did an amazing job with the invitation suites that matched the couples vision so perfectly! Guests’ gathered at Congregation Sherith Israel to witness Sarah and Ethan join as one. Sarah made her way down the aisle to the soft sounds of Dallas String Quartet in the background. She looked absolutely stunning in a gorgeous gown designed by Augusta Jones, from Stardust Celebrations and custom hand-made bolero by Rylee Calvert of Altered for the Altar. Any beautiful bride would not be complete without hair and make-up; Erin Blair did a beautiful job of enhancing Sarah’s natural beauty for her special day. After witnessing a beautiful ceremony guests were chauffeured by Executive Car Services to The Omni Hotel Dallas for a night of great food and celebration. Emerald City Band kept the party going all night long with upbeat tunes for guests to dance the night away a top of the white and gold trimmed dance floor by DFW Dance Floors. Our sister company, Freesia did an amazing job at pulling together Sarah and Ethan’s vision for a lush garden wedding! Freesia used a soft floral color palette of white, blush and touches of lavender using a mix of large open blooms and a few delicate beauties. They also used an array of mixed metal votives and floating candles for a soft glow. The centerpieces looked gorgeous placed a top of fine linens by La Tavola. One of our favorite pieces from Freesia was the grand escort wall display with acrylic hexagon tags made by Artifacture with calligraphy by Jourdin Hendrix Calligraphy. Another favorite was the floral arch that framed the cakes so beautifully. Speaking of cake, these yummy beauties were designed by Panini Bakery.Beyond lit the room with amazing up-lighting and pin spots to highlight focal points throughout the reception. The lush look and experience would not have been complete without the help of a few rentals of cocktail reception bars and chairs from Bella Acento along with soft pillows, band backdrop, and reception bars from Fauxcades. The fabulous Shannon Skloss Photography always makes time stand still capturing intimate moments and amazing details. Thompson Pictures filmed the entire day for lasting memories that the happy couple will get to relive forever.

“My favorite moment of our wedding was our first look. Being able to spend time together alone before the ceremony was really special.” says Sarah.When looking back on their wedding, we asked, “What would you do differently about your wedding if you had to do it all over again?” Sarah said that she wouldn’t change a thing but, would absolutely still hire a wedding planner! “I was able to know that I had a plan B if it rained. She kept me calm and organized throughout the process and the entire day of…having a planner kept me from stressing and allowed me to really soak in the day.” We wish these lovebirds the best as they venture into life together as one.

Shalom!

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 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.

dallas_wedding_planner_0306Art House & Social Gallery: Max occupancy–reception style 200

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.

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:

dallas_wedding_planner_0178

*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.

 

perot

*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.

dallas_wedding_planner_0177

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:

dallas_wedding_planner_0174

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!

bucca

*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.

dallas_wedding_planner_0176

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:

dallas_wedding_planner_0175

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!

dallas_wedding_planner_0173

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.

The Meaning of Marriage

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What really is the meaning of marriage?

It is a question that is contemplated by so many and a question that breeds so many different answers. While finding the one whom your soul loves and getting engaged is so exciting, it is also so important to have a solid understanding of you and your partner’s views on marriage.

Future couples to wed, may have a solid idea but we thought it would be great to get input on the subject from our former sweet couples who have been living the married life. These couples come from all different backgrounds, each of their answers unique and definitely worth reading.

What were your views on marriage growing up?                                                    

:: The Guenther’s ::                                                                                            

Lynne – “My views were not on marriage as much as weddings and husbands and dresses and cakes and all the things young girls find dreamy. As I did well at school, I was conditioned that for a woman, marriage was a career killer and you meant less as a woman if married. I actually was a little anti-commitment in my late teens and early twenties… College is full of people telling you how to believe and I fell for it the way I think most young women do. Because, marriage is not weakness, it’s meekness, and there a difference.”

Shawn – “Growing up I didn’t have a lot of great examples of marriage. My parents fought rabidly, as did most of the neighborhood couples. I think ultimately my view of marriage was that it was a test of wills to see who could out-sacrifice the other person.”

Shawn and Lynne Guenther's Wedding Reception at Fairy Tale Manor

How did you decide you were ready for marriage? 

:: The Granda’s ::

Kelsey – “I don’t know if anyone’s every really ready for marriage.  Because there’s absolutely no way of knowing what you’re getting into until you’re in it!   However, I felt like Seth and I reached the point that we knew we were better together than apart.  We began to think about the other’s needs above our own.  We started picturing our life in 10, 20, 30 years and weren’t able to see it without each other.  We started asking God to shape our hearts for something only He could.  I think that’s when we knew we were “ready” because we started imagining the life God designed for each of us and just knew it had to include the other forever.”

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How has your view of marriage changed since saying ‘I Do’? 

:: The Siekierski’s ::

Hillary – “Scott is my best friend and that didn’t change when we said, ‘I do’. We also lived together before we got married so we already had the foundation set for a lot of things. If anything, I know that we will always have each-others backs. We were always a team before but we are more so now. I like hearing him call me his wife. That’s pretty cool.”

Scott – I think we were on the same page when we got married, and have remained on the same page since then.  The only thing that has changed is that we have had more life experiences together so our bond has grown deeper.”

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Advice for couples thinking about marriage from our sweet former brides & grooms

:: The Belknap’s :: “Get pre-marriage counseling! Haha! Having tools to navigate a new marriage is priceless, even if you’ve been together a long time. Learn to laugh about your differences, life is better with laughter.”

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:: The Granda’s :: “Pray about it. Pray alone about it. Pray together about it. Have the people that you love and trust the most pray about it. Marriage shouldn’t be something you go into and then leave because all of a sudden it’s harder than you thought.  It’s a covenant. Marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s also the hardest. To go to sleep everyday knowing you could’ve thought about yourself less and loved him more is hard. But it’s worth it because it’s grace incarnate and I think if someone’s thinking about marriage they should recognize that it’s a little bit of everything.”

:: The Guenther’s :: “To couples contemplating marriage I would say a few things. First: put away all that society, family, or friends have taught you about marriage. Your relationship is unique and requires that you both are able to soberly assess your heart from your body. Second: no prenuptial, no backup plan, and no side bets. If you walk down the aisle you are committing wholly and completely with no “plan B.” Lastly: Love is a proper noun. It is its own entity, the living Spirit of God, and He requires attention, loyalty, and respect. No fight, no distance, no pain can overshadow Love if you show proper reverence for it. Spend the remainder of your days trying to act solely from a place of Love. If you are at all squeamish about that commitment you likely have some growing left to do before considering such a permanent action.”

“My husband and I had been married a couple of years and together for 4 years when people started asking if there was some secret to why we rarely fought. I didn’t know what we were doing right until a little over a year ago when we started to break down the biblical doctrine of marriage. The bible states men desire respect and women love, even more important both find it hard to give the other what they need if they feel they aren’t getting the love and respect they want. Solution: as soon as you realize your hubby doesn’t feel respected, fix it with respect and you’ll get love. Likewise, if your wife feels unloved, love her first and you’ll get your respect.  Who goes first, it’s an honor, so rush to it. Choose happiness and let all the little stuff go. Just love and respect each other, it’s that simple.”

So whether you’re already married or just beginning to toss around the idea of getting married, we hope you find these words of advice useful in your relationship. Choosing the right person to marry can be the single most important thing you do in your life. And when you do decide to make the lifelong commitment to each other, we hope you’ll give us a call to help you create the first chapter in your happily ever after.

:: Photo Credits (from top to bottom) ::

Kelly Gesick Photography

June Bug Company

Apple Guy of Dallas

 Nicholas Leitzinger Photography