Beth & Kimberley
An Intricate Art-The Details of Wedding Planning
You are engaged and are now ready to plan your wedding! It must be easy, right? Pick a place for the ceremony, pick a place for the reception, throw some flowers together, invite some family and friends and order a cake! What’s so difficult about wedding planning?
Then when you Google, DFW Wedding Venues, you realize there are over 1000 just in DFW...and there are so many details to think about...do you want a hotel ballroom venue with room blocks for guests in the heart of Downtown Dallas, so no one has to drive anywhere? Do you want that beautiful European style venue that is a really remote but has rooms on the property for 20 people to stay? Where are all your other guests going to stay? How do you get them to the venue and back to their hotel? Then it starts getting a little overwhelming with all the pieces you must think about and put together.
Wedding Planning is an intricate art of weaving vision and details together to make your wedding day the best version of what you want it to be.
The Joule Hotel, Dallas
There are some especially important factors to consider when looking at venues. Location is one of them, but another one to consider is date. There are 2 peak wedding seasons in Texas: Spring and Fall, with the most popular months being May, June, and the most popular month, October. If you plan on getting married in one of these months you should begin your search for a venue at least a year ahead of time if not 18 months. The second factor of date you need to consider is if you are doing a separate venue for your ceremony, especially a religious facility. What will be required of you to be married in that church, temple, mosque, or synagogue? If you already belong to one, it may just be a matter of making a call to your house of worship and discussing a date they have available. Sometimes these facilities only do wedding ceremonies on one day of the week depending on holy days, and there may be up to 3 time slots on that day to choose from. If you do not belong to a particular church, temple, mosque, or synagogue you may have to join before they will even discuss a date with you. You will usually be required to attend premarital counseling sessions regardless of whether you are a member or not. These sessions could take weeks or months. Only when you get the date nailed down at the ceremony venue should you begin to search for your reception venue. Finding a reception venue relatively close to your ceremony site should also be considered, as well as if you will be providing any group transportation to and from the ceremony to the reception.
What kind of venue do you want? There are so many different ones to choose from: Barn, Ballroom, French Farmhouse, Industrial Space, Historical Space, Museum, Art Gallery, Concert Hall, Theater, Garden? Do you want an indoor space or an outdoor space? How about a space that is indoor/outdoor in case it rains or starts to sleet (we call this Plan B)? It is most helpful to narrow down the search with the type of space that is most attractive to your personality and style.
The French Farmhouse, Collinsville
The Bowden, Keller
Do you plan on having a buffet over a plated dinner because you think it might be more cost effective? Think again! Sometimes buffets can cost as much, if not more, than a plated dinner. With rising food costs, it is something to really sit down and go over with your caterer. If it is a self-serve buffet, guests will be able to take as much food as they can fit on their plate. They may even go for seconds! This means your caterer must plan for up to twice as much food. If you are providing two entrée choices (such as a beef and chicken, fish and chicken, etc.) you will pay for equal amounts of both so there is enough for everyone who goes through the line. If you are having a full-service buffet, you will be paying just as much for the servers to put food on guest plates as you would if they were taking a plated meal to the table. If you are going to serve a plated meal, how many courses? Are you going to have a single entrée, two to three entrees to choose from or perhaps a duo plate? How many appetizers should you serve at cocktail hour? Stationary or passed? Are you having a cocktail hour?
What does the caterer provide? Sometimes caterers provide linens, dishware, cutlery, and glasses. Sometimes they do not. Is your caterer cutting your cake (if not who is?). Does the caterer charge a cake cutting fee? One fee or per slice? Will the caterer stay all night to complete clean-up? If not, you may be required to hire a separate clean-up service unless you plan on asking your family and friends to stay after your grand exit to complete the clearing of tables and taking out of trash. Is gratuity included in the contract or is it paid separately to servers the day of the wedding?
Does your caterer provide bartending services, or will you need to find a separate bartending company? Will they supply a bar package or are you responsible for bringing your own alcohol? Are you thinking of just wine and beer or a full bar? Standard, premium, or top shelf? If you are providing your own alcohol, how much should you get?
The London Baker, Lewisville
Just a bride’s cake or bride’s cake and groom’s cake? What about a different dessert in place of a groom’s cake such as cookies or specialty sweets? How much cake should you order? How much would it be to add a faux tier if you want your cake to be grand but not made of enough cake to feed 500 people? How do you possibly know who has the best cake? Is the taste or the design the most important to you or both equally?
Cake-aholics Bakery, Arlington
Botanica International, Tampa
Florals and Décor
What is the color palette? What flowers are available the month you want to have your wedding? What size bridal bouquet would you like? There are a myriad of shapes to choose from as well; pave, hand tied, cascading, posy, round, pomander, composite...and what greenery if any at all and how much would you like in your bouquet? Do you want all your guest tables to have the same types of centerpieces, or would you like a combination of 2 or 3 different types for interest? How many tall centerpieces, lows, candles only, greenery and candles, etc.? Would you like taper candles, votives, pillar, and/or floating? Does your venue allow real candles or LED only? Are candles allowed if enclosed in glass?
What type of greenery: smilax, eucalyptus, ruscus? What is your metal accent: gold, silver, rose gold, or mixed metals?
Would you like draping? What type of draping, fabric or floral?
When is the last day you need to have your final guest count to the florist so they can order an adequate amount of florals for everything and get them in time?
Other things to consider are whether you want special rentals such as seating areas, special bars, a dance floor, specialty linens or chairs? If you are having a band you will need a stage, so perhaps a stage facade? Would you like a greenery wall? The beautiful décor you can add to a wedding is almost limitless, these days, and adds a personal touch for a more bespoke wedding style.
Bella Acento Decor, Dallas
European String Ensemble
DJs are fun and can keep the party moving if you hire a good one. How do you find the one that fits your style? Bands add a different type of energy, and can personalize songs for you, play recorded music during dinner or breaks if there is a particular song you’d like to hear but don’t want it played by anyone but the original artist. If you want a band...what size (5, 8 or 10 piece)? Do you want a certain genre of band or one that can play any type of music? If you want a DJ for your reception but maybe not your ceremony or cocktail hour, would you like live acoustic guitar with a singer, a harp, a piano or perhaps a string quartet?
How do you find the perfect entertainment for the most important day of your life? Where do you go to preview a band or a string quartet to see if they are the ones you like?
Jordan Kahn Orchestra's Manhattan Band, Room on Main, Dallas
Michael Bush Photography
Let’s start with style. Do you see yourself wanting wedding photos that are natural, light and airy, dramatic, posed, traditional, dark and moody, candid, or editorial? How do you find the right photographer for your style? Another thing to consider is that this is the person you will be spending a lot of time with on wedding day and that your personalities should go well together. You don’t want to feel nervous or self-conscious with your photographer. You should be able to be yourself and let your personality shine through your photos. The other things to think of when considering a photographer are the different packages. How much coverage will you need (usually 6-10 hours), whether or not you will need a second shooter, if you would like an engagement session, bridals, and what type of tangible product you would like with your photos. Products to choose from can include canvasses, prints, albums and digital. Are you thinking of adding videography? Wedding videos are completely different than when they first came out, and are almost like beautiful music videos, sometimes with the sound of your vows or special moments during the day interwoven with music.
Luisa's Secret Photography
There are so many other elements that go into a successful and seamless wedding day. From the minute you arrive at the venue (what time can you and your vendors get in, how many hours do you have, what time does the wedding need to conclude, what time do your vendors need to be out) to your grand exit (sparklers, bubbles, confetti canons, glowsticks, Japanese lanterns) into your getaway vehicle (car service with a classic car, limo, party bus, Uber black...we’ve even had the ectoplasm car from Ghostbusters) and everything in between...there are so many details to cover and decisions to be made.
When do save the dates and invitations need to be sent out? Who is going to read all your contracts and make sure you are getting the services you paid for on wedding day? Who is going to help you create your floor plan and timeline?
Does this all seem overwhelming? It really doesn’t have to be! This is where a wedding planner can be the integral piece of your romantic puzzle. We can assist you in finding the perfect place for your special day. We can work out the juggling of dates, finding and negotiating with vendors, reading the contracts, making sure you get everything done and in budget. We can tell you when to send out “Save the Dates” and invitations. We are there to help you schedule vendor meetings, bridal sessions, fittings, and food and cake tastings (the best part of wedding planning). We can make sure your photographers, band or DJ, caterer and bridal party are all on the same page as to the order of and when things will happen on wedding day. We can make sure you have a stress-free wonderful time at your wedding with nothing but the fondest memories to look back on.
After all...wedding planning is an art; the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. “Art, in its broadest sense, is a form of communication. It means whatever the artist intends it to mean, and this meaning is shaped by the materials, techniques, and forms it makes use of, as well as the ideas and feelings it creates.” We can take the wonderful creative vision you have and through detailed communication mold it into the masterpiece you want it to be.
Oh, and do you want a photo booth?
Will you need Hair and Makeup?
Oh! When and where do you need to get your license...
Where do you find an officiant?