CTE Loves Branching Out Floral & Event Design

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There is almost nothing better than the sweet smell & look of gorgeous blooms and there is no one that creates floral arrangements better than Branching Out Floral & Event Design.

Debby Jewesson, a good ole’ East Texas girl from Longview, is the Principal of Branching Out, and let me tell you friends, she is such an amazing soul.

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After graduating from UT Austin, she had a coaching and teaching career. After doing that for a few short years, she quickly decided that she wanted to make a career change. She wanted to chase some dreams.

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Debby: “I picked up a copy of“What Color Is Your Parachute?…” by Richard Bolles. Although I didn’t read it cover to cover, I picked up some very useful tips. I composed a list of dream jobs, then analyzed my positive attributes. Taking a leap of faith, I started knocking on doors at floral design companies. Did I mention my Mom was a floral designer? She’s always been an influence on all things creative in my life.”

Soon she landed a job at a high end event company, sweeping floors and processing flowers. Debby soaked up all the knowledge she could and with that same company she was offered the head designer & manager at their boutique flower shop. After a year, she made the leap to join forces with 2 partners/friends to start a floral & event design company of their own. Fast forward 2 1/2 years later, her first precious baby was born and it was then that she decided she would sell her ownership. Although this was hard for her, she knew it was the right decision at the time for her family.

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Debby: “So, now here I am. 2 kids and 14 years later. I returned to the industry in January of 2009 as Principal of Branching Out. The name means multiple things to me. I am branching out from a previous career, previous ownership in a company and motherhood. I am more enthusiastic and ambitious than ever before, and most importantly, I feel alive and fulfilled!”

Branching Out has a gorgeous style of work that simply has a fresh approach to classic design. When you walk into her charming floral shop in the Design District in Dallas, you are instantly filled with joy & warmth. The walls are filled with a light gray and each room is scattered with accents of cream and yellow, representing the brand perfectly. Did we mention that every single person in that office is so fun & wonderful?

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To stay inspired for her sweet clients, Debby said, “I really appreciate a good display of color- walls of fabric rolls at Fabric Factory, designer office supplies on display at Target, a rack of colorful t-shirts at the Gap, paint swatches at Home Depot, buckets of color coded roses at my local wholesale supplier! For me, these types of colorful merchandising displays inspires new color palettes for our events. The inspiration is everywhere!”

When you meet Debby for the first time you instantly feel the fun & love she has for her job! So, it is no surprise what she had to say when we asked her what her favorite part of her job was.

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Debby: “Fun people: clients, vendors and my staff! And I love designing alone in my studio after everyone has gone home. I call it my “flower therapy”.  I also really love working with brides! I still tear up at engagement stories and get chills when I see pictures of their gown! I also sincerely enjoy getting to know each bride, which enables me to see a design in production and confidently say, “She will LOVE that!”

During the wedding planning process, we will tell you that choosing a floral designer is so crucial and there is no better person in our eyes to give future brides advice when knowing what to do during the floral planning process.

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Debby: “Share as many inspiration pictures as possible (pinterest, magazine pages). Respectfully critique the images you share and view so the designer will know what YOU want specifically. Sharing what you don’t like is just as important as sharing what you do like. Discuss budget with your designer. Talking budget with any wedding vendor benefits you both. For me personally, I know what I should and should not suggest. For the bride, she leaves the consult with a realistic idea of what’s available to her and confidence in knowing that I can marry creative concepts with her style, theme and budget.”

So, if you are looking for a floral designer for your wedding or event, we hope you find your way over in Debby’s neck of the woods. If you have fallen in love with her just by reading our blog, just wait ’til you meet her and her team in person in that gorgeous space of hers, and tell her we sent you! It’s easy to see why our clients love her and we know you will too.

:: Event Photo Credits from top to bottom ::

Tracy Autem Photography (top/ bottom left) and K & S Photography (top/bottom right)

Autumn Light Photography

Greg Blomberg Photography

Jennefer Wilson Photography

Tracy Autem Photography

 

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

Kick Post-Wedding Blues to the Curb

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Post-wedding blues is something that is found to be common amongst newlywed women and their mothers. These post wedding blues are said to last anywhere from several days to many months.

As wedding planners, we make it a priority to make sure that our bride’s are the happiest of brides on their big day and after researching the effects that post-wedding blues has on brides, we wanted to make it another priority to make sure that our bride’s and their happiness are taken care of after their big day is over.

Symptoms of post-wedding blues consist of:

  • Boredom & Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling Uncertain About Close Relationships
  • Struggling with Self-Identity
  • Feeling Purposeless
  • Extreme Exhaustion

We asked some of our past brides and their mothers if they had experienced any of these post-wedding blues symptoms and while a couple of them said they didn’t experience sadness after their wedding, a few others said they did.

Natalie who experienced 3 weeks up to a month of sadness said, “My thoughts were… ‘Uhhh what now?’ We had been planning for 13 months and then all of a sudden there were no more meetings, emails, planning or tastings. It was a bittersweet moment. The stress level went down, but the fun and excitement leading up to the wedding was gone.”

Mindy, a mother of one of our brides, said, “After Jourdin’s summer wedding, I was on summer break, so I found myself alone and lonely. I had planned everything except for post-wedding. It was so much fun to be surrounded by our daughter’s wonderful friends that we missed them all after the wedding. I felt sad and for a moment in time, purposeless; for months I had been busy with work and with planning, so every day was filled with purpose. When it was over and everyone had gone home, it was just me. I missed everyone and so many relationships are strengthened during those weeks, and in a moment, it is just over. That was one of the loneliest and quietest days I’ve known.”

While their post-wedding blues lasted for a period of time, other previous brides like, Tamra, felt an overwhelming sadness for a short time.

“I cried Sunday after the wedding. For 6 months of my life revolved around planning our wedding. The majority of my extended family and friends that I hardly see came in town from all over the US. And Sunday, after everyone went home, I sat down and cried my face off. I was so sad to see everyone leave because I hardly ever see them and now that the wedding was over, I was a little lost. So much planning. So much build up. And it was over just like that. It took a couple of days, but I got over it quickly,” said Tamra.

While it is totally normal & common to experience levels of post-wedding blues, there are also great & fun solutions to overcome them!

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Natalie suggested continuing to stay busy. She coped with her post-wedding blues by crafting a lot with her mom and decorating her new home. ElizaBeth said she experienced these feelings and knew of multiple other women who felt the same way, but she dealt with it by looking forward to other weddings to attend.

“It’s all over so suddenly and then you go through a mournful period where you almost cannot believe it’s really over! After planning my own wedding and realizing how much work goes into it, I actually really enjoy admiring other people’s weddings because it reminds me of my own. So, now I just look forward to the nest wedding invitation!” ElizaBeth said.

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In giving advice for mothers of brides coping, Mindy said, “I would say it’s important to have a definite plan for the days following the wedding. Make a plan with your girlfriends – a spa day or dinner and a movie; or best of all, go on a trip with your husband. It’s not a denial but rather a transition. Secondly, I would share an encouraging reminder that we have prayed for this day since that precious little girl/boy was born, so the days to follow are best spent remembering to be thankful. Acknowledge the bitter sweetness of the experience, but know that it is the beginning of a new and even deeper dimension of the relationship you have built over a lifetime.”

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Rachel, another recent bride of ours, said, “As it gets further from the wedding and life starts to get busy again with other things you think less and less about the wedding. To move on, I talked to my mom about the wedding (the one person who loved to talk about it as much as me) and now I tell my friends who are getting engaged that I want to help with their planning.”

Rachel’s sweet mother, Lisa, said it best when she said, “There is life after a wedding and it is a full one.”

If you are a past bride experiencing post-wedding blues or you’re a soon-to-be bride looking to avoid them, focus on activities such as these for after your big day! ::

  • Give you and your husband some time after your honeymoon to wind down before jumping straight back into work. Reflect on the great experience you just had together.
  • Plan an evening with a few close friends and family to look at your wedding photos and video together. Sip on some wine and reminisce about all that happened on your special weekend. 
  • Talk, talk, talk! Talk to your husband, close friends and family about what your feeling. Don’t keep it bottled up.
  • Plan a holiday party for your friends or co-workers!
  • Start a book club with girlfriends or just one day/night out of the week when you get together and catch up.
  • Plan some fun weekly date nights! They don’t have to be expensive. It could just be a night of your favorite show, pj’s, snuggles and pizza!
  • Journal your thoughts. Put it down on paper.
  • Encourage other newlywed women if they are experiencing post-wedding blues. Help a sister out and work through it together!
  • Get together with your wedding planner to talk about your wedding and all the behind the scenes things that took place that you didn’t even know about.  We don’t mind sharing after the big day and we want to see you again too. It’s a bittersweet day for us as well after spending so much time together and being apart of your lives. We want to see how good marriage looks on you. 🙂
  • Seek professional care :: If you are experiencing extreme depression and you feel these tips aren’t or haven’t worked, we encourage you to talk to a professional and get the help you need. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. You deserve to be happy!

We hoped this little blog post was helpful to all you sweet women. We wanted to bring awareness to the topic to let you know that you are not alone and that it is very common. If you have any questions, shoot us an email or comment below. We would love to talk and help you kick those post-wedding blues to the curb!

:: Photos Courtesy of (in order of their appearance) ::

Nossa Arte Photography

Jennefer Wilson Photography

Autumn Light Photography

Event Planning Tips for 2014

As I reflect back on 2013, I can’t help but think ‘What a year it has been’.  I smile and recall on my many blessings… my crazy, amazing family and friends, my incredible husband, my deepening relationship with God, becoming pregnant after years of trying, my wonderful housekeeper (yes, I am SO grateful she came into our lives this year), all of my awesome clients, and the lessons I’ve learned that have helped me become the woman, wife, friend, planner I am today.   Some of these lessons I’ve learned over the years, but they have continued to present themselves as sort of a reminder to either keep doing what I’m doing or make a change and move on.

With my job, I have the privilege to impart many lessons on those around me to help make their lives easier.  Especially when it comes to the planning and execution of their very special occasion.  Here are a few lessons I hope that you will take with you into 2014.  Whether you’re a bride/groom-to-be, a parent, a member of the wedding party, a family member or friend…this is for you.

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  • Hire the RIGHT vendors for your event.  Bringing in the right professionals will make your life and party so much better than you can even imagine.  Do your research and don’t just hire the first person you come across as you might regret it later.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to solidify plans or make your DIY projects.  Planning and projects take time to do correctly.  Understand that each vendor has their own communication format and turnaround time to get things on their end accomplished.
  • Trust that everything will work out how it is supposed to…especially if you have been doing your due diligence and you have the right vendor team in place.
  • Be flexible when you can.  The more you try to control every little aspect, the more stress and upset you will give yourself and the less you will actually enjoy your event.
  • Plan, plan, plan, but be open to things changing that are out of your control at the last minute.  It will probably end up better than you planned.
  • Know your role within the event….this has two parts to it.
    1. If you’re the host of an event or a couple to be married…this is YOUR soiree. If there are certain aspects to your event that are really important to you, but are giving you concern because family or friends have constantly expressed their dislike in your choice…guess what?   This is YOUR day and you should be able to have what you want.  Now, you may need to make a few tweaks and adjustments to make it comfortable for your guests.  My philosophy is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and you should have your way on your day.
    2. If you’re the parent, friend or family member who is disagreeing with certain elements of the hosts/couple’s decisions.  Sorry, but this is NOT your soiree. Your intentions may be only to help and it’s okay to make suggestions.  By all means, if you see something that’s not right, say something.  But then, back off.  Don’t take it personal if they don’t listen.  This is THEIR day and they deserve to have the love and support of their family and friends.  Not the stress of constant nagging, bullying, or “I told you so’s”.  It’s ok not to agree with their every move.  Just put it in perspective…in the grand scheme of things, is it really that important?  Chances are, it’s not.  They are the ones that have to live with their decisions.  You don’t want to be the one thing they feel regret, sadness or even anger toward when they look back on their day.  They need your support during this time more than anything else.  Be proactive and help come up with creative solutions in order to give them what they want.  Or respect their decision if they do not want any help.

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No one event or one client is the same as the next.  That’s one of the many things I love about what I do.  To help them achieve their dream wedding or event and ensure that the above tips are followed is so special.

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Hopefully, these are lessons you will carry with you when planning or helping to plan your next event.  Don’t be shy to share them with those around you for a much more seamless planning experience.  Have any more tips for successful planing, please feel free to leave a comment and share them!

Wishing you all the love, support, success and joy for 2014!

:: Photo Credits ::     Top Left :: Alex Ham Photography     Top Right :: Amy Karp Photography    Middle Left :: Sam Smead Photography                      Middle Right :: Wisner Photo     Bottom Left :: Autumn Light Photography     Bottom Left :: Nicholas Leitzinger Photography

Holiday Wedding Favors Ideas and Tips

The holidays are a great time for showing appreciation for all those who love you.  What easier way to do just that than at your wedding with thoughtful holiday wedding favors?!

As a planner, I am often asked what favors couples should give away at their wedding.  But the answer isn’t so simple.  Many factors need to be taken into consideration before just picking something and slapping your name on it.   You want your wedding favor to reflect your style, theme, and interests as well as be something a large group of people will enjoy.

At this time of year, there are so many fun things you can give your guests that’ll just put them right in the spirit.

Here are some other tips to think about when trying to find the perfect wedding favor for your special event.

1. Homemade favors are always a hit.  People love to taste the treats or keep the trinkets that you love to make.

2. Items that are easily used or consumed go over well.

3. Avoid keepsake items that only have your name and wedding date on them.  Unless, they are your immediate family, they likely won’t want to display things in their house that have your name on them.  If you want to put your name and date on them so they’ll always remember where it came from, put it on the back with a cute quote or saying in the front.

4. Unless you’re placing favors at each person’s table setting, you don’t need to buy or make favors for 100% of your guests.  Most guests will take 1 per couple.  *The item that breaks the rule of thumb on this is alcoholic favors.  You’ll definitely need 100% of your guest count for this type of favor as some guests will take more than their share.

5. If keeping guests honest with how many wedding favors they walk out the door with is a concern or you just want to make sure they take one, have staff members personally hand them out as guests leave.  It adds a personal touch of elegance and ensures everyone gets something special as they depart your event.

6. Displaying your wedding favors in a fun way will make them more enticing for the taking.

There are endless ideas and websites to look at for fun holiday favor ideasEtsy has so many vendors who can make exactly what you’re looking for to save you time and stress.  Here are several holiday wedding favor ideas that’ll hopefully inspire you and take your imagination to the next level.

Lollipops from Sweet Caroline Confections.  Create a box decorated with a mix of ornament balls and garland that compliment your wedding colors and pop in cute holiday sign to display these tasty favors.

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Hand painted wine glasses from The Toast Hostess set at each table setting with wine charms from Charlie Chalk Designs to create unique place cards keepsakes.  Guests will surely use their special glass all night no matter what they’re drinking.

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Snowflake ornaments from Mademoiselle Adriana Design or hand painted stone ornaments from My Little Chick (can be made as coasters too). Hang these onto a snow kissed christmas tree adorned with glimmery ribbon and lights for a beautiful ‘wow factor’ as guests enter & leave your event.

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Warm them up with hot chocolate mixes from Fete Sette

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Keep the holidays growing in their hearts (and their yard) all year long with baby pine trees from Nature Favors or succulents from The Tattered Cottage

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Heart shaped soaps from Julie’s Sugar Soaps or Esscents Soaps.  Who wouldn’t want to put these in their guest bath for everyone to enjoy?!

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Let them eat cake with a cupcake mix favor from Vintage Bake Shop or make your own special cake (pictured homemade pumpkin spice cake: photo by Absolute Photography)

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Keep the flame burning with soy candles by Candles by Nature.  Display with greenery, spiced pine cones and cranberries for pop of color and visual interest.

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The ideas are never ending and guests will be thankful that you thought of them.  Tell us what favors do you absolutely love getting or what you gave away at your wedding!

A Southern Vintage Wedding at The Room On Main

Natalie & Aaron’s southern vintage wedding at Perkins Chapel and The Room On Main was so much fun to plan.  Their quirky personalities and love for one another brought so much joy to this special occasion and Natalie’s mom was truly their cheerleader of support and encouragement every step of the way.

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The couple attended Oklahoma University where they had been friends for a while until one night Natalie asked Aaron to her annual date party.  They were inseparable from that moment on.

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Two years later, Aaron planned an engagement that Natalie would never forget.  After taking her to dinner, he walked her to her car & handed her an envelope, which would begin a scavenger hunt of clues that would eventually lead her to her ‘Happily Ever After‘.  Aaron had been a mascot for three different teams in Oklahoma and had each mascot waiting with four red balloons to give to Natalie when she arrived to three of the four locations. Her first location was the Library where they first met with Routie from the Tulsa 66ers. The second location was O’Connell’s where they had their “first spark” with Dozer from the OKC Yard Dawgs.  Natalie’s third location was the tree where Aaron first told her he loved her with Volt from the WNBA Tulsa Shock.  Finally, her final location was the OU Tack & Field where Aaron was anxiously awaiting her arrival with friends & family hiding in the stands.  Marry Me” by Train was playing in the background and when she arrived Aaron read the significance of what each grouping of the balloons meant.  He asked her to marry him on bended knee and right as she said “Yes!” their friends and family jumped out screaming & shouting.  The ring flew out of Natalie’s hand and everyone hurried to find it.  Aaron bent down on his knee & asked her again.  This time, making sure the ring was on her finger.

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Their wedding was just as creative and special.  Pops of blue, coral, green, lace, burlap and butterfly accents filled the room.  Handmade N’s & A’s were placed on each table with monogrammed birch vases.  Every table had its own unique vintage elements that added interest for guests’ eyes to view.

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To no surprise, everyone was full of bubbling energy.  As soon as the glow necklaces came out, the crowd filled the dance floor and never sat down.  Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without mascots, Boomer and Volt making a surprise appearance.

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As the night came to an end, guests lined the walkway waving ribbon wands adorned in their wedding colors.  In a sweet gesture of love, Natalie’s parents surprised them with a vintage Bentley for their departure.  They drove off into their new journey as husband and wife and have continued the fun and love ever since.

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Vendor Team ::

Photographer :: Nossa Arte Photography     DJ/Lighting :: Nexus Productions     Videographer :: Stationary Motion Weddings     Florist :: Teresa Renfro

Baker :: DiviniDee Cakes     Caterer :: CN Catering     Officiant :: Love Notes    Transportation :: Romantic Remembrances

Brilliance and Blush Wedding Showcase

Even though we’re still feelin’ the heat in Dallas-Fort Worth, fall is fast approaching; which means it’s time for you to start planning your wedding again.

What a better way to kick off your new start than by attending the fun yet relaxed Brilliance & Blush Wedding Showcase on Saturday, September 14th from 12:00p-4:00p at Fuller’s Jewelry Store in Addison, TX.

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Mix & mingle with top event professionals and chat with them one-on-one to talk more about your specific wedding details.  Be inspired by gorgeous design elements, get beautified with hair and makeup tips, get photography tips and tricks, start designing your stationary line, taste delicious bites and pick out your wedding bands or wedding party gifts.  Win fabulous prizes just for attending!

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Our brilliance will simply make you blush.  So RSVP today to https://brillianceandblush.eventbrite.com!  You owe it to yourself to make your your planning experience an enjoyable and seamless experience.

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Photos by ::  Amy Karp Photography

:: Spectacular vendors that’ll make your wedding experience the BEST ever ::

Magic Moments Parties & Events     Ducky Bob’s     Amy Karp Photography     TC Makeup        

 ES Events     The Bees Knees Custom Design     Panini Bakery     The Windsor

Fuller’s Jewelry     The Creative Touch, Events by Lauren

Wedding Party Responsibilities :: The Nitty Gritty

She’s your sister, your friend, your ‘girl’, and now she’s getting married. So when she comes to you and asks, ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ you blurt out an enthusiastic ‘YES!’ because it’s an honor and neither of you can imagine it any other way.  What you may not have realized yet is the work, the time, the details, the planning, and the cold hard cash that will go into that enthusiastic ‘YES!’.  The same goes for the groomsmen.

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If the couple has a wedding planner, s/he will definitely take a load of stress and responsibility off your plate, but you, as the wedding party, still have a distinct purpose – a job only a trusted bridesmaid or groomsman can fulfill. Your role is a huge compliment to your friendship, but first and foremost it’s a big commitment that should be taken seriously.  After all, wouldn’t you want the same when it’s time for you to get married?  Being a bridesmaid or groomsman is all about you for the first 30 seconds or so (sorry, that’s the hard truth).  After that it’s all about the bride & groom until after they waive good-bye and drive off into the night.

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times an in couple’s life.  Whether it’s family issues that come up, vendor complications, nerves and stress, money or just plain lack of time…they need your support.  That’s why they asked YOU to be in their wedding.

Here are some key pointers of what you can do to be the BEST Bridesmaid or Groomsman you can be ::

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:: The Time ::

  • Attend all wedding related events with the bride/groom (bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal showers, engagement parties, rehearsal, etc).  Let the bride/groom know well in advanced if you can’t make it.
  • Always be on time – Plan your day accordingly so the couple isn’t waiting on you to get things started.
  • Keep the wedding reception atmosphere upbeat – Be present & on the dance floor. Don’t leave early.
  • Be available to assist whenever the bride/groom needs you – Offer to run errands, make sure they eat or drink something, calm his/her pre-wedding jitters.
  • Plan a speech for either the rehearsal dinner or wedding day. 1 ½ -2 ½ minutes is perfect.  Remember that this is a celebration. After a several minutes of speeches, it’ll be snoozeville.  So keep it short.

:: The Planning ::

  • Girls :: Help assemble/address save-the-dates and invitations, organize the seating chart, attend dress fitting appointments, etc.
  • Girls :: Coordinate the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
  • Communicate with each other – Don’t make the bride or groom be the go-between.  Forge new friendships so that you all can easily stay on top of everything.
  • Guys :: Return the groom’s tux and your tux to the rental shop.
  • Be self-sufficient.  Don’t bring the bride or groom into your drama.  Take care of any issues that arise on your own.  For example, if your dress or tux doesn’t fit, take it to the store and get it fixed.

:: The Cash ::

  • Girls :: The bridesmaids split the cost of the bachelorette party and bridal shower – Plan something that won’t break the bank, but will be enjoyable and thoughtful for the bride and her guests.
  • Guys :: The groomsmen spilt the cost of the bachelor party – Plan a party on par with the groom’s expectations.
  • Go in on gifts for the couple together – This will save you money and time, and will allow you to get a larger gift from their registry.
  • The wedding party is generally responsible for paying for their own attire, shoes, hair and makeup, and travel expenses.
  • According to How Stuff Works, a popular show on the cable network TLC, the cost of being a bridesmaid is over $1,000. This may seem overwhelming, but remember that it will be spread over the course of the engagement.  So start saving right away.

Aside from all the lists and quantified expectations, the most important part of being in a wedding is your ability to be there for the bride and groom in their time of need.  They couldn’t imagine you not being by their side on their big day.  So have fun with it and relish what a privilege it is to be trusted with such an important job.  You can do this!

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:: Photo Credits ::  Top- The Mamones Photography,  Middle- Amy Karp Photography, Bottom- On Location Portraiture

Mixing Trends :: A Real Wedding at The Room On Main in Dallas

Fads and trends have been swirling around the wedding world for centuries.  From dresses to décor, trends are what help feed our creative minds to build upon what’s popular and thus create new trends.  What’s become fashionable, is combing trends together to create an exclusive look.  Brides love to put their own unique spin of mixing styles to create their distinctive theme.

This is exactly what Texas A&M couple, Julie and Bryan Sansone’s January 26th wedding embodied. Wooden elements, from the tables to the centerpieces, mixed with metallics, white floral and soft uplighting created an ambiance of natural brilliance.

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Mixing glam and nature together in a design may not be for everyone, but Julie and Bryan’s casual yet bold personalities made this combination a perfectly balanced infusion.  And their reception venue, The Room on Main in Dallas, helped to complete the look.

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When attempting to tie in your own style to a current wedding trend, it’s important to stay true to your taste, and slowly weave in the trend wherever you have the right opportunity.  Julie has very fun yet elegant taste and wanted to create an atmosphere that would exemplify this, but would be different from any other wedding out there.  So she chose to pair elegant tufted banquettes, shantung silk linen and custom runners with tablescapes containing rustic woods, soft floral, gold, platinum and bronze metallics, and glimmering candlelight designed by Expressions of Décor.

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The ambiance of this couple’s wedding reception is one that their guests won’t easily forget.  The father of the bride kicked the night off right with an awesome guitar solo during the father-daughter dance.  Blue Bell Ice Cream, from where the groom works, was passed out with the cake that was beautifully decorated by Frosted Art Bakery.  The couple’s alma mater fight song was sang by majority of guests’ as they swayed back n’ forth belting out the words as loud as they could.

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The dance floor stayed packed as guests’ danced the night away, thanks to DJ Jason Barnes with I-Entertainment, until it was time to say good-bye with a grand departure complete with heart shaped clappers.

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Julie and Bryan’s wedding was a perfect representation of who they are and we were honored to be apart of this special time in their lives.  Check out the video below artistically created by Soul Box Productions to see more of this rockin’ wedding.

Julie+Bryan – Sneak – Room On Main – Dallas Wedding Video from Soulbox Productions on Vimeo.

When planning your trendy yet unique wedding, consider who you are, what feelings you want to convey and what décor elements are most important to you.  Focus on mainly using those throughout your wedding.  Your wedding planner will be a huge help at making sure every detail of your theme flows seamlessly together no matter what trends and styles you’d like to combine.

Other amazing vendors who’s talent helped create this beautiful wedding:

Photographer: Cristina Wisner

Lighting: ES-Events

Linens: BBJ Linen

Catering: CN Catering

Wooden Tables and Furniture: Fauxcades Creative Event Design & Shag Carpet

Meaningful Wedding Details, Creating Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

In today’s wedding world, gone are the days of the bland guest book and the same centerpiece on every table.  Bride’s are taking an active role in adding their personal touch to just about every aspect of their wedding.  From what’s in her bouquet to the handmade wedding favors, brides today really want to place their personal stamp on their wedding, making it uniquely theirs.  Whether the wedding details are important to them, their families, their fiancé, or just simply for aesthetics, it seems that each are meticulously thought through, and together make their wedding a special experience.

As planners, we LOVE LOVE LOVE details!  But if this sounds a bit daunting or you don’t want your wedding to look like it threw up Pinterest (no offense, we love you, Pinterest)….don’t worry.  Your special elements don’t have to be everywhere your guests’ look.  If you’re not feeling particularly creative, this is where your wedding planner can step in and help tie everything together.  This is one of the many things that we do to help our clients achieve the look and feel that they want for their special day.  There are some simple ways to add your personal touch to the many aspects of your wedding, and more importantly, there are ways to turn these details into memories that will last a lifetime.

One of the most meaningful aspects of planning the personal touches of your special day are the memorable moments created from those details.  For Rebecca and Tommy’s August wedding, their homemade pecan pralines favors were much more than just a “detail”.  Spending the week leading up to her wedding making pecan pralines with her mom will always be dear to Rebecca, creating a special memory behind this delicious detail.

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For other sentimental facets, which perhaps might not be seen by each and every guest, consider a way to honor your loved ones that just you and your immediate family will cherish.  One of our bride’s adorned her bouquet with her grandmother’s brooch, a very meaningful and personal touch.  While another wore her mother’s veil for the ceremony.  The options are endless.  When it boils down to it, the details should be about what’s important to you and your fiancé.

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Sentimental details don’t always have to honor loved ones from your past, they can also be a symbol of your new future together as Mr. and Mrs.  Take this unique stepping stone guest book, for example.  While it does make for an exceptional guest book display, the true meaning behind this element will unfold when the stepping stone is planted in your new backyard, bringing you back to your wedding day every time you step outside.

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So as it can now be seen, the personal touches in your wedding go far beyond aesthetics and they don’t have to be around every corner.  The most meaningful details come from old memories paired with new memories for you and your guests’ for years to come.

Photos by (in order of appearance):

Top: The Mamones

Middle Left: Wisner Photo

Middle Right: K & S Photography

Bottom: Tracy Autem Photography