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This Summery Texas Wedding Knew What Mattered Most

This couple, who have been friends since junior high, knew exactly what mattered most for their wedding weekend. First, they chose a special venue, Perkins Chapel, where the Bride’s parents married 27 years prior. Second, they asked one of their close childhood friend to officiate the ceremony. Finally, they wanted the reception to be enjoyable for their guests, many of whom had traveled all the way from Taiwan and Argentina for this weekend. Stephanie Brazzle Photography was behind the lens during this pretty and summery nuptials, so head on over to the Vault to see the rest of the photos!

From the Bride… Josh and I have been friends since junior high, and I always knew our wedding day would be special because we have shared so many experiences with our mutual friends and family members over the years. When planning our wedding, we weren’t too keen on sticking to a theme. However, we knew a few details would make the day truly memorable – getting married in Perkins Chapel like my parents did 27 years ago, having one of our close childhood friends officiate the ceremony, and making the reception one that would be worth the many hours our guests that had traveled from Taiwan and Argentina.

Since both of our venues (Perkins Chapel and The Room on Main) had a very classic and airy feel to them, I wanted our color scheme and decor to reflect the season and my love for all things summer. Shades of pink and peach popped in our vibrant green florals, and aqua and cobalt were picked up in our Jenny Yoo Bridesmaids’ gowns and the ginger jars that adorned our tables.

While our vendors did a wonderful job of making everything a total vision, I have to say our biggest joy was simply the experience. No detail went unnoticed, and we were able to breathe and enjoy every second of the day we had waited so long for! All of the moments I will forever remember are a perfect reflection of the things we enjoy as a couple. From my giddy grandmother sharing her wonderful jewelry collection with me as I got ready, to Josh being able to relax with his friends and uncles at the Hotel Lumen pool before the wedding, to being able to laugh with my friends as we were pampered by our amazing hair and makeup artists. It truly was the happiest day ever. Both Josh and I agree that there was no better feeling than watching all of our friends and family members break it down on the dance floor, many with silly glow in the dark accessories on their heads and Steel City Pops in hand.

Our summer celebration was everything I could have ever wished for – our favorite people together in one place, enjoying good music and laughing as we started our new life together.

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When You Say I Do in Front of the Dallas Skyline

While this architect-turned-bride admitted that wedding planning was one of the tallest tasks she’s ever taken on, I think we can all agree the payoff was pretty major. Luckily she brought on some of the best pros in the business, including Keestone Events to make sure the day went off without a hitch, and Bethany Erin captured the couple – not to mention the Dallas skyline and that Sugar Bee Sweets cake – to absolute perfection. Get your glam roof party wedding fix with even more in the gallery!

Words from the bride… Wedding planning was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I’m an architect — I’m used to working diligently to make intensely detailed projects come together as flawlessly as possible…so I thought planning a wedding would be a piece of cake. I was wrong. Planning and coordinating this one single day of events were quite possibly more complex and time-consuming than many of my past architecture projects! I was never that girl who knew since she was a kid what my wedding was going to look like, so I felt like I was pretty much starting with an empty canvas. However, when I got engaged, I did know I wanted an outdoor wedding with Southern charm in a historic architecture setting. Christopher and I originally planned to have our wedding in Charleston, SC. But a destination wedding in the second-most popular place to get married in America deemed near impossible within the coming year. Because we had been together for five years already, we were eager to seal the deal, and we soon decided to have the wedding in our hometown, Dallas, TX, instead.

At this point, four months into our engagement, I felt like I had to start all over with wedding planning. Which Dallas venue would provide that charming and historic southern feeling I envisioned? After lots of online searching, I stumbled across photos of the Venue at 400 North Ervay. It seemed to have everything I was looking for, and on top of that, the rooftop terrace had a bonus wow factor–I couldn’t wait to see the expressions on the guests’ faces when they walked off the elevator. This was it! Once we nailed down the Venue and wedding date, the rest of the planning seemed to fall into place. Planning a wedding is like running a marathon; you’ll become overwhelmed if you think about the 70,000 steps it’s going to take to complete it. Instead, you have to take it step by step knowing that, with time, you’ll eventually get to the finish line. I spent many nights staying up after work to find the right local vendors who, all together, would be able to help complete the look and ambiance I was going for. In the end, I lucked out with just about all of the vendors too, which, I hear, isn’t always the case.

Wedding planning seemed to be going well and time was flying; next thing I knew, I checked the calendar and noticed that we were just within the 15-day forecast window of April 1st. Little did I know, the next 15 days of my life would be the most stressful there ever were. Rain. Rain. Rain. For two weeks straight, the forecast for my wedding day was rain. I had always envisioned a beautiful outdoor wedding and now I was having to re-imagine it indoors. What about the party on the rooftop terrace? My biggest advice to any bride out there is to make sure that if you want an outdoor wedding, your Plan B will make you just as happy as your Plan An outdoor setting – otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a potentially huge disappointment.

It was the day before my wedding, and I woke up to check the weather like a kid on Christmas morning. I still had hope. At this point, we were in the 48-hour window which allowed me to check the forecast hourly through the weekend. I thought I must have been a good kid this year because Santa had brought me “partly cloudy with a lesser chance of rain,” and I can tell you that’s the best gift I’ve ever received from Santa. Now with hope in the forecast, I was able to enjoy what turned out to be a pretty flawless wedding weekend. All the hard work was done, and I could now sit back and enjoy the best weekend of my life. I didn’t sleep much the night before the wedding; I remember the sun coming up and being so excited to get the day started. I enjoyed every minute getting ready at the Stoneleigh with my bridesmaids and my mom. We moved over to the Venue, and the ceremony was to begin at 4 pm. I’ll never forget the feeling of waiting behind the door with my bridesmaids and my dad before walking in down aisle. I heard the music I selected to have to play before and during the ceremony, and immediately it hit me, “This is really happening! I’m finally going to get to marry the man I’ve wanted to marry for years!” When the door opened and all the people there to support us on our special day stood up as my dad and I walked down the aisle, I had the most amazing and overwhelming feeling of excitement and happiness run through me. At the end of the aisle stood Christopher with a big smile and a bit of shock on his face. All the joyful feelings at that moment made all the time and stress of planning the day worth every minute.

Our entrance at the reception was another unforgettable moment. I was finally going to be able to (and very lucky to be able to) see the reception as I had envisioned it for the past six months–and it was more beautiful than I had ever expected. When the elevator doors opened, Christopher and I got to experience the wow factor of the rooftop. We were greeted by all the guests and, most importantly, our parents. One of my favorite moments of my night was getting to see all four of them, hug them, and thank them for helping this dream of a day come true. The rest of the evening flew by, and I’m so glad I have amazing photos and video footage so I can continue to relive the day now and in the future. And…the rain held off until AFTER the party on the roof top was over. I guess the only ones who were April fooled that day were us – by the weather! April 1st, 2017, will surely be a day we never forget.

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Photography: Bethany Erin Photography | Videography: North Mark Films | Event Planning: Keestone Events | Florals: Forestwood Fine Florals | Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets | Stationery: Daphne Design | Hair + Makeup: Lashes And Lace Makeup and Hair | Lighting: Le Force Entertainment | DJ: DJ Davros | Venue: The Venue at 400 North Ervay | Butt Sketch Artist: Carol Marks Entertainment | Cocktail Hour Music: Eddie Healy | Getaway Car: Vintage Limos | Rentals: Top Tier | Shuttle : AJL International | Sweetheart Table Decor: Borrowed Treasures

The Perfect Mixture of Cultures + Stunning Style

Mixing anything – cultures, styles, colors – can be a tricky science but when it works, it’s pretty fabulous. And there’s no better proof than these perfect pics by Stephanie Brazzle. This stunning multi-cultural wedding in Dallas, complete with a beautiful Bride, handsome Groom and florals by Bows and Arrows are all making our hearts beat a bit faster this morning. But enough with the babbling… hop on over to our Vault and see it all for yourself!

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From the Bride… William and I are total opposites. We’re from different cultural, religious and political backgrounds. When we first started dating, we didn’t have much in common and there were lots of boundaries. It wouldn’t be until much later we’d realize that love has no boundaries and our love for one another would trump all of our differences. We wanted our wedding to be a juxtaposition of two different backgrounds fusing together to create something beautiful.

For the ceremony, instead of traditional vows, William and I wrote seven promises to each other representing the seven traditional vows Indian grooms and brides make to each other. Our officiant, my cousin, also wrote four earnest wishes for our future, modeled after the four circles couples make around a sacred fire. Though I walked down the aisle in a Gatsby style Justin Alexander white dress with a gorgeous detailed back, I danced the night away in a royal blue lehnga accented with a hot pink chunni, or scarf, and beautiful traditional Indian jewelry. My wrists were adorned with dozens of magenta, royal blue and gold choodies, or bangles. The palms of my hands were embellished with intricate henna and my late father’s name was written across my wrist in Hindi.

Our reception was beautiful. Our colors were blushes, mauves and gold. Indian weddings always have beautiful gold accents as well as a plethora of gold jewelry traditionally given to the bride on her wedding day. The tables were adorned with stunning garden-style centerpieces in terracotta vases from Bows and Arrows. My stunning bouquet of dahlia, hellebores, champagne roses, scabiosa, blushing bride, and memory lane roses were wrapped in Frou Frou Chic ribbon which was later displayed on our gold sequenced sweetheart table.

I did not think it was possible for two people from completely different upbringings, traditions and beliefs to forge a life together that somehow makes sense. To be able to get married exactly how we wanted was a dream come true.


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Photography: Stephanie Brazzle Photography | Cinematography: Tall Productions | Event Planning + Design: Ivory & Vine Event Co. | Floral Design: Bows And Arrows | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets | Stationery: Scribbles And Swirls | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Cn Catering | DJ: DJ William Ryan | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Wedding Venue: The Room On Main | Bridal Boutique: La Reve Couture | Hair + Makeup Artist: Shilpa Koshky | Mehndi: Uzma Mehndi | Photo Booth: Le Force Entertainment | Rentals: Propmaker Event Rentals

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Glittery Gold Engagement Session Set in Dallas

Everything about this engagement session is a recipe for perfection. From the bride’s glittering gold Badgley Mischka dress to the waterside setting, to the champagne flutes holding celebratory bubbly. It’s all our favorite things in one pretty shoot made even prettier through the lens of Alba Rose Photography.

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Photography: Alba Rose Photography | Wedding Planning: Kari Ellen Events | Floral Design: Details Dallas | Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka | Cake: The Butterfly Cake Factory | Jewelry: Diamond Exchange Dallas | Hair and Makeup : Beauty By Yari | Men's Attire: Nordstrom | Champagne Flutes: BHLDN | Paper Goods + Calligraphy: Seeds paperie

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Modern Art + Romantic Gardens Combine to Create Wedding Magic

A stylishly chic dress + gorgeous florals; really, what more does a girl want? With these pics by Kayla Barker we don’t need to venture far to find this and more. Designed and planned by Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design, with ridiculously beautiful blooms by Bows and Arrows, this shoot mixes modern art with pure romance and we’re 100% on board with every bit of it. See it all in our Vault right here!

From Anne-Claire Allen Planning & DesignIt all seemed to click when we came across the Nasher Sculpture Center in the Dallas Arts District. Our team envisioned an ‘art brought to life’ shoot that embodied a mix of the elements found in sculptures and more modern museum-like settings with soft, feminine touches of ethereal beauty; essentially a painter’s palette meshing with a sculptor’s completed work to create one overall piece of living art! When we discovered the Nasher Sculpture Center and their incredible collection of art (including Rodin, Picasso, Calder, Kooning and more) the overall vision came to life and the beautiful sculpture lawn was just the icing on the cake.

Together with our team of A-list vendors and real-life Dallas couple, Katy and Rocky Cherry, we chose unique details and textures to complete this true, life-like work of art to inspire weddings and events for years to come. We chose to combine the soft, modern concepts of a bride, her dress and decor and pair it with the richness and masculinity of her handsome groom! The structured Sarah Seven dresses from a&be bridal shop along with sleek hair and make-up by Meg B incorporated the modern details of the venue. The concrete, slate and marble textures used were inspired by the sculpture works of art around the lawn. Romantic florals by Bows and Arrows and soft calligraphy by Fig & Flourish softened the modern edges and incorporated the soft tones of vintage abstract art. There is something so mesmerizing about blending the stillness of artwork with real life celebrations and we feel we achieved that with this romantic and beautiful styled shoot.

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Photography: Kayla Barker Fine Art Photography | Event Planning + Design: Anne Claire Allen Planning & Design | Floral Design: Bows And Arrows | Wedding Dresses: Sarah Seven | Cake: Layered Bake Shop | Rings: William Noble Rare Jewels | Calligraphy: Fig Flourish | Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center | Bridal Boutique: a&be bridal shop | Calligraphy on Escort Cards: Script Merchant Calligraphy | Concrete Escort Cards: Paper Birch Designs | Hair + Make-Up: Meg B | Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Why I’m Doing Two Makeup Trials Before My Wedding

This might sound trivial but one of my biggest concerns about our wedding day is having to wear a face full of makeup that makes me feel like a totally different person. I think a lot of women have had terrible experiences having their makeup done! Maybe you have too? Today, I’ll be chatting about why I’m doing two trials and some tips I’ve learned along the way with Blushington! xo, Mackenzie of Design Darling

So, back to those terrible experiences… I remember having my makeup done before my high school prom and immediately running to the bathroom to scrub off layers of orange-y foundation before anyone could see me. Even as an adult I’ve had makeup artists tell me to trust them that purple eyeshadow will look great on me because it will complement my red hair (again only for me to scrub it off in the bathroom!).

So while I’m planning to do a proper hair and makeup trial at the salon on Nantucket the day of our wedding, I also wanted to do a more casual makeup trial locally so I could get more comfortable with the whole concept. A friend recommended Blushington, a makeup lounge with locations in California, New York, and Texas. They actually do on-location makeup services if you’re getting married in one of those states!

It might not be a traditional part of the planning process but I’m so glad I took a morning to do an additional makeup trial and address this little fear of mine. I followed advice from several Style Me Pretty posts to bring in pictures of makeup looks I like, which was definitely my biggest takeaway from the day. It was also so helpful to have Mason, my lovely makeup artist for the day, share the words she’d use to describe them — fresh-faced, natural, classic, understated — so I can repeat them to the makeup artist who will actually do my makeup the day of our wedding when I do my real trial on Nantucket this summer.

Another tip from Mason that resonated with me is that it’s easy to start light (whether with foundation, eye shadow, bronzer, you name it) and add another layer if you feel like it hasn’t covered every blemish or you don’t think you’re wearing enough to show up on camera. So I’ll definitely be asking my wedding salon to go easy on the first application and go from there if we agree it’s not quite enough.

My final tip is to have pictures taken after your makeup trial. I might not schedule your engagement photos immediately afterward because it might be too much pressure, but something a little more formal than an iPhone selfie is great because it will show you how your makeup will read on camera for your big day. Even if you can’t meet up with your wedding photographer like I did (thanks Cameron Kelly Studio!), asking a friend who has a nice camera is an easy and worthwhile alternative!

All in all, I’m happy with the choice to do two makeup trials, especially since Blushington offers full face makeup starting at $55. Now in addition to bringing inspiration photos from Pinterest and other bloggers to my real makeup trial, I can bring in a couple photos of myself wearing makeup I actually like! Anything else I should know before my hair and makeup trial this summer? I’m all ears!

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P.S. See Mackenzie’s Coastal Engagement Session Here!

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Photography: Cameron Clark Photography | Makeup: Blushington

Mackenzie Horan

Blogger Bride
This Couple Turned Their Backyard Into a Dream Venue

When Shyler and Trevor bought their first home together, they got it with the dream of a backyard wedding. Nearly 13 months later, they managed to completely transform the setting into a charming garden venue perfect for the occassion. Their labor of love paid off in a big way, and we have all the images from the lens of Becca Lea.

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From the Bride… Trevor and I met while I was working at a hotel in Dallas as a hostess in the restaurant. I had a friend that worked with me that asked if I could fill in for her one night at neighboring establishment, which was down the street. I walked in to fill in for her and met Trevor, who was the general manager. We went on our first date on New Year’s Day, about 2 months after I had begun working with him. During that first month of work, before the night got busy, I was telling a story to the cocktail waitresses in the hallway. Trevor was walking up behind me trying to pass through the group, and I accidentally backhanded him in the face, as I tend to talk with my hands. We had a good laugh and we like to say that the first time I slapped him in the face is the first time we both knew we might be meant for each other.

Trevor and I had been together 6 years when we got engaged so we have had a lot of time to think about our wedding and dream about different options. We had always talked about buying a house together with the intention of getting married in the backyard. We were fortunate enough to be able to make our wedding dream come true and buy a home in a wonderful Dallas neighborhood in July of 2015. We spent nearly 13 months tackling different projects in preparation for the big day – redoing the driveway, adding double doors to the backyard, building a backyard deck, removing and adding trees and plants, and re-sodding the front and back yard among other things. It was a lot of hard work but all very much worth it. Our families and friends and especially my father was able to help us out with much of the hard work. Trevor is the Beverage Director and cocktail creator where he works in Dallas. That being said, he had the food and beverage portion of our event covered. The wedding inspiration was a combination of the personality of a beverage director/cocktail creator and myself, a free-spirited holistic nutrition-trained clinical director of a wellness center and part-time yoga instructor.

Finding the right gown was very important to me. I dragged my sister Shane all over town trying on different wedding gowns. She was wonderful and very patient with me! I guess most women understand how important the gown can be on your wedding day. I had it in my head that I wanted a long sleeve dress with lace, but I kept trying on all different styles of dresses in case I fell in love with one that I wasn’t expecting. I went to Neiman Marcus with my future mother in law at the time. I have a great memory of us drinking champagne and trying on dresses. In the end, I fell in love with my Romona Kaveza long sleeve wedding dress. I am very happy with how my dress turned out. The associates at Neimans took wonderful care of me and added a little layer of lace to the bottom of my dress to make sure that it was long enough.

Our wedding was planned with Lindsey Zamora as my stylist and planner. She was so amazing! We became friends through the wedding planning process. It was wonderful to have her by my side for everything. She helped me create a clear vision for the garden inspired wedding that Trevor and I wanted to achieve, and then she executed everything just the way we had dreamed it up together. Becca Lea Photography was another huge part of the wedding planning process. She was so kind and gave me so many recommendations that helped get the planning process started. I feel very fortunate to have had the team around us that we did for the wedding, and we couldn’t have done it without our hospitality connections. It was great to feel like we were surrounded by people that really cared about us and our wedding day. We love them all and will always remember everything they did for us during our wedding.

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Photography: Becca Lea Photography | Cinematography: Adam Paul Stone Productions | Event Planning: Lindsey Zamora | Cake: Unrefined Bakery | Cake: Kozy Kitchen | Invitations: Crane Company From Needle In A Haystack | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Caterer: NL Group - Taylor Kerney | Band: Corey Breedlove | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Venue: Private Residence | Beauty : Maitee Miles | Bride's Dress: Romona Keveza | Escort Cards: Lindsey Zamora | Escort Chart Crest: Fig Flourish | Floral Design - Bouquets: Stems Of Dallas | Reception Floral Design: Lindsey Zamora | Rentals : Posh Couture Rentals

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A Black Tie Wedding with Latin Flair (Mariachi Band Included!)

What do you get when you blend the outdoor beauty of a garden wedding with the black-tie romance of a classic Dallas restaurant and a mariachi band that plays homage to the Bride and Groom’s latin roots? Pure perfection, a.k.a. this celebration planned by Keestone Events, along with florals by The Backyard Bouquet and the prettiest sweet ending courtesy of Sugar Bee Sweets. Follow all the gorgeous imagery captured by Stephanie Brazzle Photography with even more in the vault.

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From the Bride… I was once told “the best love story is when you fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time.” My love story began five years ago with a first date at Coal Vines in Downtown Dallas. We were set up through a mutual friend but due to bad relationship experiences in the past and being consumed with graduate school, I didn’t have very much interest or high expectations. Little did I know that that one date would change my life so much! Victor would propose three years later.

I had dreamed of purchasing my wedding dress with my mother at my side. Unfortunately, my mother had lost her battle to cancer. For months, I was holding off on buying the dress because I knew it would be an emotional day. When I did go, it was so discouraging since I had tried on several dresses and had not yet experienced that ‘aha moment”. I was down to one dress and when I put it on, tears instantly flowed. I had found my dress. I wanted to make my mother a part of my wedding day and wrapped her necklace around my bouquet. Holding it brought me a lot of peace, and made the day feel all the more meaningful. I felt her presence and I knew she was smiling and enjoying in the day with me.

We had a small wedding with our closest friends and family at Marie Gabrielle. To me, finding the venue is as important as finding the right wedding dress. I had envisioned a timeless and elegant, black tie garden wedding affair, and Marie Gabrielle was perfect with its beautiful grounds. My favorite moment of the wedding was reading our vows. In declaring our love to each other in front of all, I felt like a modern day princess marrying her prince charming.

As Victor and I are both Hispanic, we wanted to incorporate our Latin roots by having a mariachi band. Our DJ also made sure to play a blend of salsa, merengue, bachata and American dance music. We are blessed to have family and friends travel from around the world to be there for our wedding. It made an already wonderful day even more special. Thank you to all the amazing vendors for making our fairytale wedding come true!

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Photography: Stephanie Brazzle Photography | Planner: Keestone Events | Florals: The Backyard Bouquet | Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets | Stationery: Scribbles And Swirls | Hair and Makeup: Pixie Glam Studio | DJ: DJ Brandon | Ceremony + Reception: Marie Gabrielle | String Trio: European Ensemble Strings

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This Dallas Fete is the Kind Winter White Wedding Dreams are Made Of

I was thissss close to doing an all white wedding (paired with champagne hues) and this Dallas affair from Mint Photography is exactly why. It’s classic. It’s timeless. And oh, is that my favorite kind of wedding my friends. Just one look at The Vault and you’ll be ooh-ing and ahh-ing too, I assure you.

From Mint PhotographyKristi and Brent had an amazingly elegant winter wedding in Dallas. Kristi chose to keep the color scheme crisp with all white florals, and gorgeous white bridesmaids dresses. The outcome was stunning! We loved so much about this wedding, but what we especially love is that despite the rainy and chilly weather we were able to still capture beautiful naturally lit images! We always hope that our clients will trust us to capture cohesive images despite obstacles and we think this wedding shined even without a sunny day! P.S. How about those adorable pups and that custom hand painted bottle of Jo Malone! Obsessed.

From the Bride… In another life my twin sister and I would have been wedding planners. Instead, we are both dentists who throw a lot of parties for our friends and family. We’ve had a love for cake, parties, and design since we were little. I’ve always been extremely particular and detail oriented. White or as I say “cream” has been my favorite color since I was a little girl so much so that my furniture, car, and puppy are all white. White long stem roses are my favorite flowers and the winter holiday season is my most favorite time of year. The idea of all white roses and a winter wedding was a very easy decision for me. I did a play on the Christmas song “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year” in reference to both our marriage and the holiday season. It was all the little details that I spent countless hours planning with the help of my twin sister. It was incredibly important to me to have personal touches that made the day special for not only me. but my husband and all of my family and friends.

My husband is the president of Dallas Safari Club Conservation Society and is a passionate and avid water fowl hunter. I had our party favors made by a local Dallas chocolatier which was special in itself as we both met and have a love for Dallas. Our party favors served as both a place card and favor, but most importantly as a personal touch of my husband. The party favors were gold dusted chocolate mallard ducks and turned out beautifully! Additioanally, his groomcake had our bird dog, Duckie, made of icing with a duck and our wedding videographer was actually a dear friend who films for Safari Classics, a hunting show.

We included our grandparents who celebrated with us from above by having a table at the reception in honor of each of them. A table was named for each of them and included their picture as well as a number to help with the seating chart. It was a really special way to pay tribute to them. Also, my grandparents’ wedding cake topper from 1947 was on display at the wedding. Lastly, our welcome boxes for out of town guests included gingerbread men cookies that my twin and I made from my grandmother’s cookie cutter and recipe since that was something we always did with her during the holidays.

For my bridesmaids, I treated them to a bridesmaid lunch at a quaint French restaurant. I did a play on “Cheers to Buds” and gifted them with a beautiful ornament of each of their dogs and earrings (ear buds) for the wedding since our fur babies are like our children to us.

The detail that was truly so special to me was my gift to my maid-of-honor and twin. I gifted her with a “twin ring” that I designed and my husband’s close friend who is a diamond dealer created for both of us. I had the stone taken out of old rings that we both had when we were little girls, but no longer wear, set in an intertwined diamond rose gold band to represent our lives that have been completlely intertwined. The stone happened to be a blue topaz which made our matching rings more special as topaz is the state gemstone of Texas where we are from. When I got engaged, my twin wanted a diamond ring to wear too. Now, my twin has her own diamond ring and a something blue. The rings will become heirlooms that we are able to pass on to our children for their weddings. She loves her ring and lights up telling everyone about the story behind it.

Other small details included a custom monogram that we used everywhere from stamps, wax seals, welcome boxes, menu cards, and programs. Instead of a photo booth, we created a photo back drop with Christmas tree where my photographers took family holiday pictures of our guests. We gifted our guests with these pictures for them to use for their Christmas cards if they wished. I love receiving Christmas cards so this was special for us to do since it’s not often that you have professional photographers available to snap family pictures!

One really unique thing about our wedding is that our wedding vendors are not only Dallas vendors. Our vendors are from all over Texas! Being that my twin and I have a love for cake, we fell in love with The Cake Stand, a bakery in McKinney, Texas when we stumbled across the bakery while doing a rotation in dental school. We’ve been getting all our cakes from them for years now, and I can’t tell you how many people comment on their cakes! All of my invitations were created by Emmalie Welstead from Crop Paper Scissor in Waco, Texas where my twin and I are from. She is amazing. She executes everything perfectly, and is the nicest person to work with. Our photographer is from Austin, Texas. Kelly from Mint Photography is incredible, and so easy to work with. She helped in so many ways beyond photogarphy on my wedding day. I spent a lot of time selecting my vendors and making sure that their personality and style matched my vision.

For our wedding I envisioned an all white winter wedding that was classic, elegant, and grand yet simple and not over the top. All of the special details and personal touches that Lacy and I planned truly achieved that vision and made the day filled with love for everyone.

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Photography: Mint Photography | Videographer: Cameron Kuezner | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Cake: The Cake Stand | Invitations: Crop Paper Scissor | Ceremony Venue: Highland Park Presbyterian Church | Reception: The Room On Main | Rings: Davenport Diamonds | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Cn Catering | Makeup: Elan Makeup Studio | Hair: Osgood Oneil Salon | Band: Cover Down Band | Grooms Attire: J. Hillburn | Bridal Earrings: Gift from mother from London | Bridal Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Coordinating: The Avery Grace | Film Scans: Richard Photo Lab | Floral : Something Pretty Floral | Getting Ready + Details Location: Hotel Crescent Court | Photography - Assistance: Claire Casner

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Classic American-Mexican Affair with To-Die-For Bridal Portraits

I think you’ll agree that among all of the breathtaking captures of this day by Ben Q Photography, the bridal portraits shine through the brightest. See? Eliza and Dan, you are striking—from the first look and leaving the ceremony to the first dance and the cake cutting (oh hey, Sugar Bee Sweets!), their love glows. Pin-worthy gallery? To say the least.

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From the Bride… Dan and I met in New York City in the summer of 2013, while working together in the fashion industry. He proposed in January 2015 in Monterrey, Mexico, the city where I was born and raised. We decided to have a long engagement and take our time to plan our wedding since we could not decide on a location: beach or city in Mexico, New York City? We saw several options but none of them fully convinced us. A few months later, life took us to Dallas. We fell in love with the city and decided to have our wedding in our new hometown.

Since day one we knew we wanted to embrace both of our cultures and have a wedding with the best of Mexican and American traditions, resulting in a classic yet modern wedding. The traditional Mexican ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and our reception was held at Arlington Hall at Lee Park. We loved these locations because of their architecture, views and that elegant, timeless vibe they both exude. Working with our wedding planners, Elizabeth and Amanda at After Yes, Dan and I were solely involved in every aspect of the planning and decision making, which made it so much fun and made our wedding day truly ours. We decided on a day wedding and chose light colors: mostly white, ivory and shades of light peach, as well as lots of greenery and marble accents for floral and decor.

We both agree that our favorite moment of the day was when I walked down the aisle. It was an indescribable moment when so many emotions met. After so many months of waiting, I was nervous to see him and had butterflies in my stomach, just like I did on our first date.

Our advice for future brides and grooms: Make it a point and remind each other to enjoy each second of your wedding day. We will forever cherish and are so grateful for the moments we got to share with our families and closest loved ones, in what will always be one of the most special days of our lives.

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Photography: Ben Q Photography | Videography: Splendor Films | Floral Design: Max Owens Design | Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets | Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Arlington Hall At Lee Park | Catering: Food Glorious Food | Transportation: Blue Diamond Limousines | Tent: Mike Sandone Productions Inc | Beauty: Beauty And The Blush | Cocktail Music: Serenata Strings | DJ/Lighting: Absolute Entertainment | Linens: BBJ Linen | Lounge Furniture: Bella Acento | Paper Goods: Southern Fried Paper | Planning: After Yes

You’ll Want to Steal this Color Palette for Your Fall Wedding

Dusty pink, sweet peach and sunset orange… does that not sound like THE perfect fall wedding color palette? A charming combo any time of year, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of you lovebirds will recreate this slice of inspiration crafted by Lindsey Brunk for your 2017 weddings. Oh, and did I mention a french lace Galia Lahav number makes an appearance? Officially drooling. Charla Storey, I’ll be daydreaming over these images in The Vault for days.

From Lindsey Brunk… Inspired by the warm colors of Autumn paired with gilded accents, this creative collaboration with Charla Storey was the perfect blend of simplicity and decadence. A hidden garden in the middle of downtown Dallas, Nasher Sculpture Center, created the perfect backdrop for our vision. Pollen Events created lush and overflowing arrangements in delicate pinks and warm autumn hues.

Our bride wore an enchanting gown by Galia Lahav Haute Couture made of embroidered french lace and our bridesmaids perfectly complimented her look in dusty pink gowns from BHLDN. Staying away from tradition greys and navy, our groom was outfitted in a slim fit chocolate brown suite. Other details of the day included treats topped with edible flowers, a custom leather escort card display, and one-of-a-kind engagement ring by Susie Saltzman.

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Photography: Charla Storey Photography | Event Design: Lindsey Brunk | Floral Design: Pollen Events | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Jewelry: Susie Saltzman | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Hair and Makeup: Beauty And The Blush | Art Mueseum: Nasher Sculpture Center | Models: Campbell Agency | Paper Goods: Fig Flourish | Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals | Stylist/Design: Lindsey Brunk | Sweets: Whisk Until Sweet

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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A Classic Southern Affair Filled with Elegant Details

When it came time to plan their big day, (familiar faces) Ana and Tim had one goal in mind. That being? A glamorous winter wonderland that their guests would remember forever. And we’ve got to hand it to them because mission totally accomplished. From the candle-lit reception to the personalized slippers guests were given to dance the night away, Jacqui Cole Photography captured it all to share in The Vault!

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From Jacqui Cole PhotographyYou may remember Ana and Tim from their engagement session featured here on SMP. Ana met Tim, a professional tennis player, at the Four Seasons Resort while Tim was in town for a tennis tournament. The couple wed 2 years later at the exact spot which they had fell in love.

Ana and Tim wanted to capture a glamorous winter wonderland at the Four Seasons venue. They wanted to create an evening that all of their guests would remember. The many ‘wow’ factors certainly achieved that! From a surprise mariachi band, confetti bombs, fireworks show and a late night taco stand the couple created an incredibly fun night for their family and friends. Ana said that “it was a dream come true to see our vision of an elegant, romantic, candle-lit winter wonderland come to life with all our closest family and friends. The whole day is a memory of overwhelming love and happiness”. Guests were treated to little surprises such as personalized slippers to dance the night away and a Mexican candy bar which were a ‘sweet nod’ to Ana’s heritage.

The reception decor was extraordinary, There were no details that were overlooked. From draped columns, floral covered entryways, mirrored facades, flower halos and beautiful centerpieces. Flowers draped everywhere with the focal point being the floral chandelier which hovered over the dance floor. The guests entrance was covered in stunning white flowers. The white roses were suspended from the top of the windows to make it seem like they were floating.

Ana and Tim left hand in hand under an aisle of confetti. They jetted off to Napa to enjoy their honeymoon the very next day. We wish them all the love in the world! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Smyczek!

From the Bride… After the proposal, which you can read all about here, as we began the wedding planning, the first and most important thing for us was the location and venue for our big day. We wanted to get married somewhere that was special and meaningful for us so where better than where we very first met – The Four Seasons in Dallas, which also happens to be my home town and where we got engaged! I’ve always dreamed of having an elegant and romantic wedding with a candle-lit ambiance to create an intimate and cozy feel. The time of year we got married, a chilly November day, was the perfect way to turn my wedding dream into a timeless winter wonderland.

Looking back at our wedding day, my heart is overwhelmed with countless moments but there is one moment that will stay with me forever – my Father-Daughter dance. It started with a tearful slow song and towards the end of the song, much to my fathers surprise, we transitioned to a fun Spanish song with confetti showering the entire dance floor! The confetti was such a special moment, giving my dad and I another moment to celebrate together as we opened up the dance floor for the festivities to begin!

The best advice I can give any bride-to-be would be to enjoy and cherish every moment – from the moment you say “yes!” to the moment you say “I do”. A fun tip for the big day; as Mr. and Mrs., take a moment to look around at your reception, to embrace how the vision of your big day all came together and to see all of your loved ones together in one place celebrating you!

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Cinematography: SoulBox Productions | Event Planning: MK Event Boutique | Floral Design: Maritza Figy | Cake: Fancy Cakes By Lauren | Ceremony Venue: Saint Monica Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Hair + Makeup: Emily Mallory | Lighting: Ambiance Entertainment | DJ: Ambiance Entertainment | String Quartet: Serenata Strings | Fireworks + Confetti: Illumination Fireworks | Rentals: Bella Flora of Dallas

Steal a Fashion Blogger’s Modern Wedding Style

You might recognize her as the Texas fashion blogger behind Murphy’s Law, and today Lauren is stopping by to share her wedding day photographed by Lauren Peele. I’m deeming their rooftop affair “classic with a crisp, modern twist,” and it has everything to do with the lucite accents and white-on-white floral design by Branching Out. More to see right this way!

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From the bride, Lauren… Charles and I met eight years ago as Freshman in college. It wasn’t until I moved back to Dallas from Los Angeles that we began dating. We knew immediately that our connection was something special and we have been inseparable ever since! He proposed at a Dallas landmark, Reunion Tower, during dinner overlooking the city. He included my absolute favorite flowers on the proposal, pink peonies, that floated over to our table on the rotating exterior of the restaurant. It was an incredible moment and I blissfully said, “Yes!”. As if this wasn’t enough excitement for one night, he planned a surprise party after dinner with our closest family and friends.

Charles and I were both born and raised in Dallas so we knew we wanted to get married here. I had my eye on the Joule Hotel in downtown but really wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception. The Joule accommodated by letting us be the first and only wedding reception to ever be held across the street in the Eyeball Garden. We knew that getting married outside in Texas Was a risk but the weather could not have been more perfect for our rooftop ceremony and garden reception on April 30, 2016.

We’ve always loved a mix of classic and modern design which we created by using all white elements, lucite accents along with gorgeous, lush white floral. Detail is also very important to me so with the help of our exceptional planner, nothing was overlooked! Our dog, Bandit is very special to us and was actually the ring bearer in our ceremony. Additionally, we had an artist sketch his profile which was included in the reception paper goods like the coasters and bar menu. We were so happy that our guests loved the excitement of the black tie evening as much as we did and together, we all danced the night away under the stars. The juxtaposition of a white garden party in the middle of a Metropolitan city made for the most spectacular evening that we’ll never forget!

As a fashion blogger picking out my dress was a really fun but nerve-racking process. I ended up selecting a custom Mira Zwillinger blush dress with hand embroidered white flowers on the bodice, a layered tulle skirt, and the daintiest blush organza bow. When the seamstress added the bustle beneath the tulle, it was visible. I ended up forgoing the bustle in favor of having someone (a professional!) cut off the train of my dress after the ceremony and before I entered the reception. It was the best decision I could have made – I felt so free to dance the night away with all our family, friends, and now husband!

Charles wore a custom J. Hilburn Midnight Blue tuxedo stitched with our wedding date, 4.30, and his initials. The process of creating his tux together and picking out each design option made it such a fun experience for both of us. The team was amazing to work with and I couldn’t recommend them more.

As special as it was to create a vision for our wedding day and watch it come to life, marrying my soul mate was truly a gift. The amount of love and joy given to us by our family and friends is such a blessing and we couldn’t be more thankful!

Photography: Lauren Peele | Cinematography: When It Clicks | Event Planning: Katie Mccann Crow | Floral Design: Branching Out | Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger | Invitations: Paradise Design Co | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Makeup: Shannon Nicole | Hair: LARC salon | Calligraphy: amy dunlap | Lighting: stage 2 lighting | Band: Professor D | Ceremony Music: Gyros String Quartet | Transportation: Blue Diamond Limousines | Venue: The Joule | Bridal Boutique: Arte Latica | Bride + Bridesmaid Earrings: Kendra Scott Jewelry | Bride's Cake: La Duni | Ceremony Sound: Joule AV | Decor +Rentals: Branching Out | Groom's Cake: Fancy Cakes By Lauren | Groom's Tux: J. Hilburn | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Minister: Barron Bell | Photo Booth: Mir Mir | Stage: Top Tier Staffing And Events | Tables + Chargers: Posh Couture Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Art-Deco Wedding Inspo That Brings the Outdoors In!

Whoever said you can’t have it all cleary hasn’t met the visionary that is Rebecca of The Wildflowers. Because this mastermind of creativity has managed to bring the outdoors IN and it’s got us to a point where we’re ready to bid adieu to alfreso and hello to architecture. Kayla Barker Fine Art Photography has snapped it all to share and we’ve got every bit of beauty waiting for you (like those Bows and Arrows florals) in The Vault!

From The WildflowersWhen faced with the perplexing problem of outdoor vs indoor, the answer is: “why not both?” Bringing the outdoors in is one of my favorite ways to design with intention, leaving the worry of uncontrollable weather behind. Being surrounded by such lush greenery, the smell of just-bloomed florals, and the glow of romantic candlelight creates a sweet, magical setting. This shoot shows just that. Bows and Arrows communicate the idea of a lush, overflowing garden in their table garland, growing wall installation, and cake table flawlessly. The wildness of the florals is counterpointed by the design of the table, adding a structured, polished facet. Continuing the theme of wild and polished juxtapositions is the bride and groom. The bride’s Tara la Tour gown looks fit for a princess, but with a closer look, you see the detail of polka-dotted strokes of tulle. The groom’s ASOS suit is well-fitted and proper, though there is an unexpected, vibrant blue hue. A couple of rebellious, yet conscious details that make up a very fun and beautiful scene.

Photography: Kayla Barker Fine Art Photography | Floral Design: Bows And Arrows | Wedding Dress: Tara LaTour | Stationery: Arabella June Design Studio | Jewelry: Shapiro Diamonds | Hair + Makeup: Tracy Melton Artistry | Venue: Hotel Crescent Court | Cake + Desserts: Layered Bake Shop | Event Design + Event Planning + Styling: The Wildflowers | Female Model: The Dragonfly Agency | Gown Boutique: a&be bridal shop | Hair Accessories: Erica Elizabeth Design | Male Hair Styling: The Campbell Agency | Male Model: The Campbell Agency | Reception Dress: Gossamer | Reception Dress: Marchesa | Rentals: Bella Acento | Table Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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A Halloween Wedding Done Oh-Sooo-Right

These two cuties didn’t plan for a Halloween wedding, but when October 31st was the only date that worked, they embraced it whole-heartedly.  The results? Absolutely stunning. From the lush florals from TODD Events to the soft, romantic color palette, this is a day that proves Halloween celebrations don’t have to be even the least bit spooky.  Press play on the film by Marc Roberts below, then spend some time perusing the perfectly captured moments by Shaun Menary in THE VAULT.

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From The Bride…We didn’t mean for our wedding to be on Halloween night, but that was the only available day in October for all of our vendors, so we went for it. We’re so glad we did! Having our wedding on Halloween added so much fun and festivity to the whole event. Everyone changed into costumes for the reception, we had fake skeletons at the dinner tables, and we ended the night doing a waltz as Cinderella and Prince Charming, followed by a getaway where we got covered in silly string by our guests! It was definitely a night to remember.

For design, I really wanted my wedding to be organic, natural and timeless. I’ve always loved wild flowers and Todd Events did an incredible job incorporating that look into all of our florals. Gray pumpkins added a tasteful touch of fall, and soft neutrals (greens, whites, grays) with hints of blue and coral made everything classy but still fun.

Overall, we just wanted our wedding to show our personality. That’s my biggest advice to brides. Whatever your passions, quirks and gifts are as a couple, incorporate those into your special day. Don’t be afraid to be unique and think through all of the details. A few examples: my husband loves dinosaurs, so I surprised him by having our baker make bride and groom T-Rex’s for the groom’s cake topper. He loved it! We’re both very family-oriented, so instead of a Maid of Honor, I had my two brothers as Men of Honor. One of my brothers co-officiated the ceremony as well. Lastly, we’re both huge lovers of food and wine, so we created a wine pairing dinner menu for our reception. We just wanted everyone to share in our passions that night.

Photography: Shaun Menary Photography | Cinematography: Marc Roberts Videography | Floral Design: todd.event design.creative services | Wedding Dress: Nardos Design, Dallas Texas | Cake: Fancy Cakes By Lauren | Bride's Shoes: Stanley Korshak Bridal Salon | Rings: Lyles-DeGrazier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Catering: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Hair + Makeup: Beauty And The Blush | Band: Party Crashers | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Bridal Boutique - Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Cotton Candy: Make Your Life Sweeter | Event Design + Coordination: todd.event design.creative services | Invitations + Stationery: Socially Write | Reception Dress: Stanley Korshak Bridal Salon | Rentals: todd.event design.creative services

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College Sweethearts Say I Do with This Ultra Glam Clear Tented Wedding

When these two SMU grads met for the first time, little did they know that years later, after proclaiming “yes” on those same college fields, they’d be saying “I do” with this uber chic and stylish celebration. With never-ending florals by Bella Flora of Dallas and modern pieces from Bella Acento, it’s a Texas wedding taken up several glam notches. Sarah Kate captured it all for our Vault – see it this way!

From the Bride… I met Esteban at SMU in 2007. I was a Freshmen and he was a Sophomore. Esteban played for the SMU Men’s Soccer Team, and one of my very best friends that I met my Freshmen year (who was also one of my beautiful bridesmaids) played for the SMU Women’s Soccer Team. We were introduced by her in front of Dallas Hall on SMU’s campus in between classes one day – and we immediately had a special connection. He asked me out several times throughout that first year, but I continually said no. Whoops! Along came my Sophomore year, and Esteban and I were in several classes together. He made it a point to find a seat near me every single day. We didn’t end up dating or hanging out until the end of my Sophomore year at SMU (almost a year later) after I finally said YES to a library date. Little did I know seven years down the road, Esteban would be getting down on one knee to propose to me in front of Dallas Hall, the very place we first met. It was one of the most special days of my life. We always laugh because we had so many times in our lives where our paths could have crossed, ie. mutual friends, or both playing competitive soccer in Dallas…. But they never did. I guess Dallas Hall was the place where we were meant to meet and I’m so very happy we did!

Since Esteban and I were both Dallas born and raised it only seemed fitting that we get married at one of our most favorite places in Dallas, Arlington Hall. There is something so magical and classic about this venue. Our day was absolutely perfect – blue skies, not a cloud in the sky, and perfect temperature for a Dallas March wedding. Not sure how we got so lucky! But more importantly we had all of our loved ones there to celebrate with us – and lets just say all of our loved ones are a REALLY good time. Esteban and I both love the outdoors and had always envisioned getting married outside. I am also a lover for interior design and color so I wanted something that felt like you were at someone’s home. Everything from the clear dinner tent with the twinkly lights and chandelier above, to the amazing sit down dinner, to the gorgeous flowers covering the whole venue to the beautiful furniture and dining tables was out of this world. We felt like we were living in a Restoration Hardware ad/show room…. but better! Esteban and I are also big dance floor fanatics. We love getting down to awesome music. Jordan Kahn went above and beyond. It was honestly difficult to get everyone off the dance floor after the night had concluded. It was a dream come true. If I had to describe our day in one word it would be “MAGICAL”. It truly was one of the most amazing, breathtaking and beautiful days of our lives. It will be a day that we will cherish forever and always!

Photography: Sarah Kate, Photographer | Event Planning: DFW Events | Floral Design: Bella Flora of Dallas | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Makeup: My Fabulous Faces | Hair: Sonia Trevino | Wedding Venue: Arlington Hall At Lee Park | Tent: Mike Sandone Productions Inc | Bridal Boutique: Stanley Korshak Bridal Salon | Rentals: Bella Acento

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This Wedding Incorporated SMP’s Favorite Trends of the Year

We get asked almost daily about our favorite wedding trends, and sure enough, this celebration designed by Birds Of A Feather Events incorporates two of our current faves – agate geodes and jewel tone color palettes. They’re a couple of the hottest design trends sweeping the bridal scene and we’re so excited to see how Diana and Jared pulled them off. Of course, those incredible cakes by Sugar Bee Sweets didn’t hurt one bit, either. More from Apryl Ann in The Vault!

From the couple…

What inspired the design of your wedding day?

Diana loved the idea of having a more modern design with some vintage touches, and Jared was all about “Big Plays” – he wanted lots of details that their guests had never seen before and that would be showstoppers! Diana loved another wedding we had done that was all green and white, but we ultimately decided to punch up the palette a bit by adding pops of bright pink and plum. Her bouquet was primarily green and white with a tiny bit of plum in it to add more dimension. We used several lucite pieces to not only bring in a clean and modern element, but to mimic the large and beautiful windows at the venue.

Any DIYs or handmade details?

We custom built Diana and Jared’s altar as well as a smaller version which we suspended agate escort cards from. Those were a bit of a DIY project as we had to individually glue rings to the back of them so that they could hang. They were then calligraphed with each guest’s name and their table assignment. We also had table numbers written on agate to match. Additionally we had some centerpiece stands welded custom for some of the taller centerpieces. Luckily my husband has some welding experience!

Favorite moment of the wedding day?

As a designer, my favorite part of the day is being able to show my clients through the space and watch them discover all of the details that we have been talking about for months. I love having that moment with them before all of the wonderful chaos begins! Diana and Jared had choreographed dances with each other as well as their parents, and that was really fun and special to watch!

Photography: Apryl Ann Photography | Cinematography: Splendor Films | Event Planning + Design: Birds Of A Feather Events | Floral Design: Max Owens Design | Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets | Stationery: Minted | Catering: Wolfgang Puck Catering | Hair + Makeup: Beauty And The Blush | Calligraphy: Harts And Quills | Entertainment: Emerald City Band | Harpist: Lauren McConkey | Transportation: Blue Diamond Limousines | Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center | Acrylic Table + Stands: Propmaker Event Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Photo Booth: Flock Together Fotobooth | Stage Facade: Perch Event Decor Rental

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Big News from Lovely! (Hint: You’re going to love it!)

Listen up, all you brides-to-be: we’ve got big news.  Your fave bridal shop on the planet, Lovely, recently opened its doors in Dallas… with ones following in Phoenix and Houston in October. So that fab lineup of totally chic + totally unique designers? It’s right at your fingertips, plus even more pretty with the debut of Lovely’s Fall/Winter Bridesmaid + Bridal Party looks. Scroll for the details.

Whether you’re looking to step outside of the box and rock a design that will literally leave all of your guests talking on your Big Day OR simply want to look stunning at a holiday party, Lovely has you totally covered.  Their lineup of innovative designers and crazy cool customer service is truly what gown shopping is all about. Think gowns from Anna Campbell, Limor Rosen, Suzanne Harward, Rue De Seine, Odylyne The Ceremony… and so many more.  Not to mention Lovely’s very own Fall/Winter Bridesmaid and Bridal Party dresses, available at shoplovely.com AND their FIRST EVER ready to wear boutique in Houston. Say it with me, loves: awesome.

Visit one of Lovely’s amazing locales TODAY to begin your dress journey, and mark your calendars now for upcoming trunk shows in Dallas (Suzanne Harward, 9/30-9/31 + Alexandra Grecco, 10/21-10/23), Phoenix (Anna Campbell, 10/21-10/23) and Houston (Rue De Seine, 11/26-11/28 + Anna Campbell, 12/9-12/11).  It’s time to shop your hearts out.

Photography: Chaz Cruz Photographers | HMU: Miss Harlequin

A Modern Military Love Story That Requires Waterproof Mascara

Warning dear readers, you probably won’t want to read this bride’s write-up if you’re in a public place. Or if you happened to skip out on waterproof mascara this morning. Trust me on this one, because I’m living proof that being in public when you’re a crying blubbery mess is anything but mesmerizing, but this wedding? Well it totally is. Captured by Becca Lea it’s the story of Claire and Christopher and it’ll have you feeling all the feels. See it all in The Vault!

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Al Fresco

From the Bride…How do you capture pure magic? Is it even possible? Are there words in the English language with the ability to tell of something so majestic and purely lovely as May 15th, 2016? Alas, I am unsure… but between my words and our talented photographer’s skillful eye, I hope the magic of that day is brought to life in your heart.

The beauty of May 15th, 2016 will never fail to take my breath away. There was a moment, as I could feel the crochet hook buttoning up my dress and the sound of film clicking when all a sudden the to-do lists filled with seating arrangements, playlists, work projects put on hold…you know…the details… simply faded. I let go of the months of preparation and joyfully slipped into the bliss of wedding day.

The forecast had been for a classic Texas thunderstorm and yet, the overcast sky held the promise of lovely May sunshine. I emerged from the little room on the side of the stately DeGolyer home to be greeted by squeals and giggles of the dearest friends in the world. Standing there in my favorite dress, everything was green and real and bright. There were my nine rocks, my best girls… who have held me, prayed with me, and shaped me into the woman I am today. They were an enchanting sight, all dressed beautifully in blush looking like they could easily slip into an Anthropologie themed Waltz of the Flowers dance. Although I love my girls, I was ready to see Christopher. You see… I can get quite nervous being the center of attention, but when he’s there… I’m ok, I’m secure, I feel safe. He helps me be brave and strong amongst a million other things… I now know the meaning of “my better half” because he is my better half. As I read his note to me, it was a mixture of depth, heart, soul, and jokes… you see, Christopher has this way of making me laugh… he always keeps me laughing.

Turning the corner and seeing him there in his uniform… oh my soul… my heart still skips a beat merely thinking about it. Our first look was one of those moments, the kind that’ll be iconic in our memories forever, that at any point in our lives, we could close our eyes and relive it because it’s that vivid and strong. I’ll never forget walking towards him, ever so delicately calling his name and nervously wondering what he’d think when he turns around. We had been anticipating this moment for months because you see… Christopher and I had been long distance for over two years, joyfully walking through seasons apart including a deployment and Ranger school. This moment was not only the first time we saw each other on our wedding day, but it was also the beginning of our lives together! No more goodbyes or goodnights… we had made it. Two years of distance done, let’s begin our lives together!

As the last guest was seated and the music began to play, my dad and I were escorted through the DeGolyer mansion and out the majestic front door to ensure no one saw me. It was the most elegant and calming walk before the whirlwind and magical night began. As two of our dear friends began to sing an acoustic version of “Multiplied” by Needtobreathe, my dad and I walked down the aisle towards my best friend, and as we were about halfway there, the clouds parted and a beautiful Texas sunshine shown down on all of our best friends and family… it was as if our best guest had just taken His seat. The beautifully crafted garlands brought a royal yet organic realness to where we stood. As we were led through our vows, all I can remember is joy, the purest form of it. Proclaiming in front of all that I will be his and he will be mine. We laughed and had mist in our eyes, but everything from the music, to the sunshine, to the tiniest detail on our communion table reflected the beauty of our marriage beginning. I remember feeling the wind blow my veil as it elegantly draped down the steps and seeing the sun hit flecks of blue and gold in his eyes. Dreamiest moment of my life.

As we turned around, I was ready to have some fun! Before the social butterfly part of the night began, Christopher and I were ushered to a private dinner in the rose garden to collect our thoughts and exclaim things to each other like “we’re married!!!” acting like two kids as we sampled the incredible food we had meticulously chosen for our beloved guests.

Looking around at the enchanting place where we were going to have the greatest party of our lives was surreal. Everything from the blush and gold accents to the romantic bistro lights made us feel like we were at a European midsummer’s medieval feast in the middle of a mystical forest – which is exactly what we had envisioned. We wanted to get married surrounded by life. What a more perfect place than a garden bursting with flowers, deep green vines, and the chirping of happy creatures? It was perfection. Our florals captured the natural, organic, effortless grace that I had desired and the large number of guests felt like a small gathering of friends under the cozy canopy of the tent and lights. I felt like a princess and as I glanced over at Christopher, I felt like Cinderella – all night long. I know that may sound cliché or may even a bit silly to some, but truly, I felt …that night… a kind of magic that I’d never experienced before.

Running into the romantic tent and being cheered on was exhilarating, making me wonder if everyone could hear my heartbeat as our first dance began. We had practiced and had laughed, but honestly, in that moment, we were just us – twirling, laughing, and soaking in the lyrics of “By Two” by Dave Barnes. The rest of the evening was filled with the hearts of others, hugging every soul that had come to celebrate us. Everything from the music, the lights, the food, the cake (best cake I’ve ever had – the dark chocolate sea salt cake captured my foodiness perfectly!), and Bailey’s milkshakes cooling us down as Uptown Funk came to a close was more than we could have ever hoped for.

Our last dance… the guests had been ushered to the entrance and there were were alone on the dance floor, my dress had turned gray on the bottom from dancing hard to favorites from Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, my hair fallen, both of us… sweaty and messy from a night of celebration, his bowtie crooked from many hugs… and although the visual perfection of us had passed, the perfection was complete… we were married, we had celebrated with the best of people, and we were together… it had really happened… I got it all… all I’ll ever want… how did an imperfect, southern girl like me get so lucky? Perhaps it’s not luck, actually I know it’s not luck, but something infinitely greater. I’ve been given a precious gift…life with Christopher… a servant hearted, brave leader, humble explorer, thoughtful philosopher, American hero… I could go on, but as my soul sister Jane Austen would say, he is “everything a young man ought to be.” And he’s mine.

As we walked out into a sea of American flags waving, Christopher dipped me low and kissed me, making me feel more iconic than the girl dipped in New York City on V-Day. As we drove away, I began to cry in an overflow of emotion after all that had taken place. The only words I could muster to my husband, my dear Christopher was “I’m so happy… I’m just so happy.”

Photography: Becca Lea Photography | Event Planning: Lindsey Brunk | Styling: Lindsey Brunk | Floral Design: Shayda Craddick | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Cake: Layered Bake Shop | Invitations: Fig Flourish | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: Gil's Elegant Catering | Hair + Makeup: Beauty And The Blush | Calligraphy: Fig Flourish | DJ: Le Force Entertainment | Venue: Dallas Arboretum | Bridal Boutique: Circle Park Bridal Boutique | Bride's Ceremony Shoes: Fabio Rusconi | Bride's Reception Shoes: Keds | Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals

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The Sweetest Monogramed Bridesmaid Brunch

Hello, brides-to-be! It’s Ali from Love You, Mean It here to share one of the most fun days i’ve had with some of my very best friends! Besides the fact that I get to marry the man of my dreams, our wedding day is something I look forward to because it’s a day we get to spend with our closest friends and family. And there is one thing for sure, I couldn’t say “i do” without a few special ladies by my side!

I love giving gifts! I often find that giving a gift is far better than receiving one, so I wanted to find a memorable way to ask my friends to be bridesmaids! For those girls living in Dallas, I thought it would be fun to host a brunch to create an experience to show how much I appreciate them, beyond just the gift they would receive.

I wanted to create an intimate setting that would make my friends feel extra special! Our wedding colors will be white, green and gold, so i wanted to incorporate this color scheme as much as possible throughout the tablescape to really set the tone for what’s to come! Each place setting had the most gorgeous pretty little plates, accompanied by green and gold accents. I wrote each girl a special note and used the calligraphy by Alli K Designs on the envelope as their place cards! And no table is complete without a beautiful centerpiece of fresh flowers. R love floral created the most stunning white and green bouquet that made the entire look come together!

For bites, I wanted to recreate some of my favorite brunch items, this time only smaller! Silver-dollar pancakes, mini pastries and petite parfaits were on the menu. And of course, no party is complete without bubbly! For the actual gift, I wanted the girls to receive something that they could not only wear during the wedding, but also have as a reminder of this special time. Inside a monogrammed jewelry box from parker thatch, they would find matching crystal earrings that would be perfect for the big day! A little something for now, and a little something for the wedding day!

I am so grateful to have such wonderful women in my life and I couldn’t have asked for a better day to celebrate them. This is just the beginning of an exciting journey ahead and luckily for me, I have some of the most kind, caring, and intelligent women by my side! To see more of our day, check out this fun video by when it clicks! Thank you so much for following along on this exciting adventure! I hope you are enjoying it just as much as I am!

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Photography: Tarin Frantz | Calligraphy: Alli K Design | Floral Design: R Love Floral | Ali’s Top: Pleione | Ali’s Skirt: Topshop | Rentals: Pretty Little Plates | Jewelry Box: Parker Thatch | Cinematography: When It Clicks | Bridesmaid’s Earrings: J.Crew Factory |

Allison Hollins

Blogger Bride