Katherine and Corey's wedding was one of our favorite weddings to plan and coordinate to date! This day was filled with so many sweet details and a whole lot of love! Katherine and Corey were married on October 28, 2016 at Chandler's Gardens in Celina, Texas. The property of the venue is truly magical. The ceremony site is a "secret garden" surrounded by towering trees. A 200 year old oak tree is at the center where they exchanged their wedding vows. Corey's uncle officiated the wedding for them making it even more special. The reception was held outdoors under the stars. Their color scheme of burgundy, soft pinks, champagne, and navy was perfectly romantic for this fall wedding. Every piece of this wedding was personalized. The table numbers were the names of pets each of them had growing up. Their guestbook was a gorgeous piece of metal art in the shape of a tree where guests were asked to "leaf their mark". Katherine's dad wanted to surprise her with a very special father/daughter dance and asked their family friend, Ray Johnston of the Ray Johnston Band, to play an acoustic version of his new single "Beautiful You". We couldn't be happier for the new Mr. and Mrs. Hogan! Please enjoy these photos courtesy of TRU Identity Photography + Designs.
Last fall, when I was asked to stand up with one of my best friends as she married another one of my best friends (the groom and I have been friends since middle school) - I was elated. First time being a bridesmaid was exciting and felt like such an honor. I figured from all the TV shows and movies I’d seen that I had this role in the bag. Buy a matching dress, celebrate my friend with a few parties, and become famous with my name printed under ‘Bridesmaids’ on the ceremony programs – bada bing, bada boom. No problem.
Photos by TRU Identity Photography & Designs
Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly to many of you) my naivety proved that I had a lot to learn along the way. Here are a few of my key takeaways from this incomparable experience.
1. It’s not all fun and games – it’s actually a lot of work
Wow. Was I in for a rude awakening on this one. When you think about the wording of the title, brides"maid", it shouldn’t have been such a shock. But then again, the work behind the scenes never gets shown or mentioned amidst the glamour of being asked. And because this wedding was almost completely DIY every step of the way, there were crafting nights and weekends, spray painting centerpieces and cooking up giant batches of caramel for caramel apple wedding favors. Did I mind in the end? Of course not. Was I happy to be of some help for my friend? Of course. But for the future, I will know that by saying ‘yes’ I am giving both hours of my life and some feeling in my right thumb from using the spray paint bottle too long.
2. The wedding night is not YOUR night to be with the bride
You may think that because you have been hand-picked by the bride to accompany her that day, that you’ll get to hang around her all night. Not true. You get to see or at least talk with her regularly, and on the night where long-lost family members and old friends show up to offer their congratulations, they have visitation priority. Not to mention, you will most likely be running around trying to put out whichever newest fire just popped up. “What do you mean you can’t find the cake topper?” “No, the best man HAS been cut off!”
3. It IS expensive – but you don’t mind the cost
Incurring a substantial loss from your bank account was something I had already expected – but what I learned is that when it comes to supporting and celebrating such a good friend, you are happy to spend it on such a cause. Plus, if it’s in the case of a bachelorette weekend or party, it’s not like you’re getting nothing out of it on your end. And keep in mind, if she is getting married first and a wedding is in the cards for you down the line, she’ll be paying back the favor in the end anyway.
4. There’s a fine line between caring enough and too much wedding talk
Your friend doesn’t want to feel like she can’t hang out with you for the next year just as friends, without any wedding talk. She may just want a regular girls’ night like you had pre-engagement, but shies away from planning such things because she is sick of even thinking about the wedding and knows it will be the only topic of conversation all night. By the same coin, if you never bring it up or ask if her she needs any help, she may think you’ve forgotten about your duties altogether and feel like she is alone in planning without help from her good friends.
5. Whether or not it’s true, you will love the other bridesmaids through ‘til the end
Along with you, these other girls are girls your friend loves. So even if you don’t, try to love them too for the next several months. You don’t want to be the one causing any drama for the bride, and you will most likely have to work together on party planning and coordination with these other ‘maids. So play besties until the bride is safely on her honeymoon. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
6. You will be ridiculously proud of and happy for your friend
The level of emotional I became while standing up at the altar was the most shocking and unexpected part of the whole experience for me. I am not normally a crier or even a mushy friend, but I was unable to hold back tears and was moved enough by some unknown force in my body to stand up and make a completely unplanned toast in the middle of the reception. I was genuinely overjoyed for my friends and knew I would always remember being a part of their day.
All in all, the experience is something I will always treasure – and I now consider myself a more skilled, trained bridesmaid – ready for future summons (ahem, friends.) I can only hope my bridesmaids received some semblance of gratification from my November wedding as I did with this one.
Special thank you to our guest blogger, Kaylee Nelson! Photos from her November wedding coming soon!
Claire and Steven are the sweetest couple, and we're so excited to get to share their wedding on the blog today! These two met in college while they were at Texas Tech, but they didn't start dating until after college in the summer of 2014. Steven proposed to Claire on a trip to Kansas in June of 2016, and they immediately knew they did not want a long engagement. Claire has a lot of family in Indiana and Steven's grandmother lives in Kansas. The rest of their friends and loved ones live in the DFW area, so they thought why not have everyone meet in the middle in Kansas? They held their ceremony and reception at Lyons Twin Mansions B&B in Fort Scott, Kansas on October 8, 2016. We loved the eclectic decor that Claire picked out - gold lanterns, succulent filled terrariums, and all of the other sweet details made this day truly representative of them as a couple. Steven's dad even officiated the ceremony! Best wishes to the happy couple as they begin their life together as husband and wife.
Month Of Coordination: Southern Charm Weddings & Events
Venue: Lyons Twin Mansions
Catering: The Butcher's Block
Cake: Sweet Designs Cakery
Floral: Designer's Florist by Sekan
Photography: Danny Burgess - friend
Rentals: All Seasons Event Rental
Linens: BBJ Linen
Ceremony Harpist: Connie Wollenhaupt, Angel with a Harp
Reception Band: Retrosonix
Hair & Makeup: Spoiled Brat
Lindsey and Ashley tied the knot on October 14, 2016 at Big Sky Event Hall in Royse City, Texas. The color scheme for this gorgeous fall wedding included tones of purple, burgundy, navy blue and gold. The pond and waterfall made for a serene background for their ceremony. In lieu of a unity candle, the two painted a heart on a canvas during the ceremony. After the ceremony, all of the guests signed the canvas instead of signing a traditional guest book! The reception was held in the event hall, which had doors that raised so that all the guests could enjoy the perfect fall weather from their tables. The food and drinks were plenty, and the DJ had the dance floor rockin' all night long. Take a look at some of our favorite photos of the evening! We wish Ashley and Lindsey a lifetime of happiness as wife and wife!
A very special thank you to all the vendors who helped make this day possible!
Wedding Planning, Day-of Coordination: Southern Charm Weddings & Events
Venue: Big Sky Event Hall
Catering & Bartending: Blue Mesa
Bakery: Casa Linda Bakery
Florist: Rockwall Flower and Design
Photography & DJ: The Pros
You just got engaged. Or maybe you've been engaged for several months. You’re hearing from everyone around you how stressful this whole process is going to be and you’re thinking, "what a cliché." All of this Pinteresting and free cake tasting has been just fine so far – I am going to be the chill bride who goes with the flow.
And then, just like that, all of the big tasks are done – you’ve got when, you’ve got where and you’ve got all your major vendors. Then the real planning start, and you realize, "Oh, this is the anxiety and pressure they all said would come."
Let these ten tips help you make it to the finish line in one piece:
1. Learn to delegate
Granted this is easier said than done, but it is an imperative step. Each bride and groom has different pieces of the wedding that are most important to them, so start by figuring out your priorities and what you would be most upset about if it either didn’t get done, or didn’t get done in the way you imagined it. Tackle those yourself, but make a list of every task that remains. Then take a look at your bridal party, family, and other friends to see who would be good at or enjoy certain tasks. Ask nicely… then start handing things over!
2. Accept that you can’t please everyone
The sooner the better on swallowing this one – really. If you and your fiance want to keep the reception casual with open seating and a buffet, but your grandmother insists that formal is what it should be, you need to let her down, but gently. Asking for opinions or advice can be helpful, but you and your fiance should make all decisions together – just you two. At the end of the day, most of your family and friends just want to see you happy and will enjoy partaking in your event because it is a reflection of you as a couple.
3. Lists are your best friend
Organization is key, and the key to staying organized is lists. Google docs and other online text-editing systems are great because you can access them anywhere, as well as easily share it with others. Make one mega-document with multiple tabs for budget, guest list, to-do items, vendor information, etc. so that everything is in one place. Nothing beats the feeling of physically (or digitally) crossing something off your to-do list.
4. Stick to your budget – just do it
Instead of going through the song and dance of setting a budget in the first stages of planning, then slowly creeping that number up after figuring out how expensive everything is, make two budgets from the get-go. The first can be what you would like your overall cost to be under, ideally, if everything all goes according to plan (which it won’t). Then, make a second budget of a hard number – a this-is-absolutely-what-we-can-afford-or-else-we-won’t-eat number. You will eliminate a lot of stress if you’re not constantly wondering how you two are going to pay for everything as you’re planning.
5. Take advantage of technology
Create a website so your guests can log on from anywhere at any time to get the wedding details. You can also have them RSVP through the site to save money on printing and postage. Create a new, joint email for the two of you and use it for everything wedding-related so that it is all in one inbox. Create online registries for those who would rather cyber shop or don’t live near a physical location of your store. Also, don’t forget about utilizing social media to gather everyone’s photos of the big day.
6. To DIY or not to DIY – that is the question
Being crafty and able to DIY things like centerpieces, signs, invitations, other décor, etc. is a great way to save money. However, realize that some pieces are not logical for you to DIY… especially the ones that cannot be done more than a week or two ahead of time. “I can bake cupcakes, why should I pay someone to do it?” “I can put together floral arrangements.” Things like that may push a bride over the edge if she’s taking on too much.
7. Don’t lose your ‘normal life’ routine
Even though you’ll be taking on a lot of exceptional projects, many you may never have done before, try not to let it take over your life. Keep your head clear by maintaining as much of your normal routine as possible. If you run, or read, or have TV time, or play with your dog, etc., but now feel like you don’t have the time – reverse that thinking. Keep up with your daily activites, and carve time out elsewhere for wedding work.
8. Stagger your wedding work days
Give yourself days where you don’t work on anything wedding or even think about anything wedding. Maybe one weekend you work on seating charts and décor projects, but the following weekend you temporarily put the wedding out of your mind. Don’t burn yourself out.
9. Leave the day-of coordination to someone else
Taking on everything yourself up until the wedding is one thing, but having someone else appointed to actually run the day (instead of you) is so worth it. Some brides may look at this as a luxury to cut out of their budget, but think about it – hiring someone who has gone through many more wedding days than you have will not only help your day run more smoothly, but also save you from countless headaches. Let us know if we can help you - we offer a variety of planning packages in all budgets.
10. Don’t lose sight of the goal
In the end, you are doing this for the marriage, not the wedding. Keep your mind focused on the real reason you are putting in all of this work for this event, and it will keep your spirits high.
Special thank you to our guest blogger, Kaylee Nelson!
Cheers and happy planning!
We are super excited to be in Royse City this Friday for Ashley and Lindsey's wedding at the beautiful Big Sky Event Hall!
Ashley and Lindsey initially met through mutual friends in 2007 and spent about three years as acquaintances. In the spring of 2010, both gals ended up back in Dallas for school and work and reconnected (thanks, Facebook!). Their shared interests of playing collegiate sports, various TV shows, and excessive sarcasm (among other things) allowed the two to build a strong connection from day one. Ashley knew she would marry Lindsey from day one. Thanks to Ashley's patience and perseverance, Lindsey finally came around in 2012 and the two started dating.
One weekend while Lindsey was out of town, Ashley decided to go ring shopping and actually ended up purchasing a ring that same day. Once the ring was ready, Ashley was so fearful of getting caught in a lie by Lindsey that she knew she couldn't hold on to it for very long. In less than 48 hours, Ashley set up the engagement. She drew a picture of their new house that they had just closed on with the two of them out front (plus their cats), and put it in Lindsey's scrapbook. She set the scrapbook, a bottle of champagne, and rose petals out on the kitchen counter with a GoPro in the corner to capture the moment. After making up a reason to go check on the new house (they had just closed on it the day before), she ushered Lindsey into the kitchen, got down on one knee asked, "Will you marry me?"
Little did she know, Lindsey had been planning on proposing as well! Lindsey pulled out her $3 Amazon placeholder ring, got down on one knee right after, and asked Ashley to marry her. They both said yes!
We can't wait to celebrate the love that these two share!
Thank you to their friend, Chad Harris, for the lovely engagement photos!
Food, music, flowers, even location, all seem to fade away when you finally stand up to recite your vows to each other. No other decision that has been made along the way in the wedding planning process feels quite as important as what you’re about to say to each other – and after all, shouldn’t it be that way? This is what the whole wedding is actually about – what you’re going to promise each other in the marriage that comes after the wedding. So it’s no surprise that the task of writing your own, ‘custom’ vows is a significant task that holds a lot of weight… but where do you begin?
First, take a deep breath and remember your future spouse
It can be too easy in the wedding planning process to lose sight of the true meaning of the day. We get caught up in making the whole ‘show’ beautiful and impressive for our guests. But when it comes down to the promises you’re going to make to your fiancé, you should only be thinking of them. It’s not, what do my guests want to hear, but what do I want to make sure my person hears on this day to start the rest of our lives together as one.
Together, decide on a length or time limit
You don’t want to be standing in front of all your family and friends, wiping away your tears after just listening to your fiancé’s exquisite 5-minutes full of promises only to look down at the mere 30 seconds you’ve prepared in return. Discuss a length or time limit beforehand to make sure your vows match at least somewhat closely in length.
Together, decide on a vow ‘style’
It may sound silly to have to categorize your words of love and commitment into a certain style, but deciding beforehand on how you’re going to organize your verbiage will make it that much easier to write and will sound cohesive when read one after the other on the wedding day. Are you both going to say “I promise” before each promise? Are you going to make it read as a poem, be more conversational or even humorous? These are good precedents to set so that one set of vows isn’t casual and clever while the other is mushy or formal.
Have a mutual friend read over both sets of vows prior to the day
This way, you won’t ruin the surprise of hearing your fiancé’s special words prior to the altar, but a friend that knows the both of you well can assure you that what you have prepared matches well enough in tone and length that there won’t be any awkwardness. He/she can then give you constructive criticism based on your fiancé’s comparison, like “maybe add a couple more personal touches” or “that anecdote may not be the most appropriate...”
Stay true to yourselves
Don’t lose sight of who you are as a couple. If you aren’t ‘serious’ together and are always joking around instead, don’t force somber or soppy vows just because it seems that’s what is commonly expected from weddings. If your relationship was founded on a strong, shared faith, don’t shy away from adding those words because you’re afraid some of your guests may not share that same faith. The two of you know you as a couple better than anyone else, so more than anything, focus on writing words which reflect who you are and who you strive to become in the future of your marriage.
While writing your own vows can be a lot of pressure, keeping these tips in mind can also make it immeasurably rewarding and memorable for both you and your fiancé.
Special thanks to our guest blogger, Kaylee Nelson!
The fall wedding season is almost upon us, and we have SIX weddings we are coordinating between now and Thanksgiving! Kaley and I decided we needed a little vacation before all the madness began. Last week we traveled to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for some rest and relaxation with our significant others. Little did Kaley know, I was in on a BIG secret her boyfriend Lane told me before we left. He was planning on proposing to her on the trip!
Lane and my husband, Tony, were fraternity brothers at the University of North Texas and have only become better friends since their college days. Kaley and Lane met at their workplace and started dating three and a half years ago. Lane is actually the one who introduced me to Kaley all those years ago, and now we're business partners!
This engagement definitely felt like a long time coming and I'm so thrilled Tony and I were able to be a part of it! Here are a few photos from our trip! Please excuse my poor photos - Tony got me a Canon Rebel last year for my birthday and I still haven't quite figured it out. If anyone knows of any basic DSLR camera classes - let a girl know!
We're so excited for Lane and Kaley! Let the planning begin!
Shelbi and Doug were married on July 2, 2016, in Ennis, TX, at the beautifully restored, The Telico Gin. The unique characteristics of the historic cotton gin provided the perfect setting for Shelbi and Doug’s gorgeous, rustic wedding. The burlap, lace, barbecue and cowboy boots seemed to perfectly match the charm of The Telico Gin and the personalities of both Shelbi and Doug.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Shelbi since she was a baby and was honored to be able to share this day with her, her new husband, and their wonderful family and friends. On the big day, Shelbi looked absolutely breathtaking and Doug beamed with excitement as he awaited the arrival of his new bride! A special thank you to the always amazing TRU Identity Photography + Designs for capturing this special day. We are so excited to share these pictures with y'all! We wish Shelbi and Doug a lifetime of happiness together!
The amazing vendors that made this day possible:
Wedding Coordination: Southern Charm Weddings & Events
Photography: TRU Identity Photography + Designs
Venue: The Telico Gin
Catering: Pit Stop BBQ
Florist: Ennis Flower Shop
Bridal Hair & Makeup: Taylor Hatcher
Bakery: Renaissance Cake Company
Entertainment: DJ Fast Lane - Lane Martin
Some of the first questions you’ll hear after getting engaged are, “Do you know when yet?” “Do you know where yet?” and "What will your colors be?” And you’re thinking, sure, I expected when and where, but I already have to decide on colors?
It can be a daunting task to choose only two or three shades out of the whole color wheel, so here are some tips to help get you started.
Evaluate your venue location
Your choice of venue will really help dictate the overall feeling of your wedding day and in turn will lend itself to certain hues. For instance, a summer beach wedding is going to carry a different ambiance than a black-tie night spent in a ballroom. When we imagine the beach, we see blues, greens, tans and maybe yellows in our mind – a ‘cool’ palette. Whereas we picture a more formal night in black, gold, silver or red – ‘statement’ colors. Even if you’ve had a certain color scheme in mind since your childhood fantasies, hold off on making any concrete decisions until after you’ve chosen a venue. Waiting to finalize your colors will ensure that you enhance your setting instead of detracting from it.
Photos by: TRU Identity Photography & Designs
Consider your season
Just like your venue setting, the time of year you have your wedding can help dictate the mood. There is a concept known as ‘Seasonal Color Theory,’ in which colors are perceived through nature and the outdoors during the different times of the year. Summer is often associated with bright, striking colors, winter with cool, dramatic colors, spring with warm and fresh colors and fall with bold, earthy tones. Choosing a bright pink for your cozy, cabin-in-the-woods winter wedding may give off a confusing vibe.
Take trends into account
Similar to clothing and home décor, wedding color fads come and go. It is smart to know what the most popular color trends are going into your planning so you can either be consistent with them, or actively avoid them if trendsetting your own style is what you’re going for. Something to keep in mind is that if you do fall in line with the trends, pieces of décor, bridesmaid dresses and paper goods may all be easier to find in your color(s) of choice since they are in higher demand. If you choose abnormal wedding colors, you may have to DIY more pieces, but you will also end up with a very unique final product.
Photos by: Lahra Bryant Photography
Refer to the color wheel
With everything you’re trying to keep in mind, try not to overcomplicate things. At the end of the day, just revert back to that old kindergarten rule of colors opposite each other on the color wheel complement each other. There are also various color choosing websites to consult, like Adobe Color, where you can explore endless color palette combinations or even begin with one color you like to see the secondary colors that will complement it. There is also The Perfect Palette, where you can choose your hue and then see photos from real weddings that featured that specific color.
Personal preference outweighs it all
All of the above are just helpful parameters if you’re feeling stuck, but by no means are they hard and fast rules. At the end of the day, it is YOUR wedding and you can choose any combination of colors that makes your heart happy. It doesn’t matter if they typically go together, or if your venue only had open dates for the summer but you really love muted, fall tones. If you prioritize your preferences over traditional rules, your day will be uniquely you and your smile will outshine any other color around!
Photos by: Trisha Kay Photography
Special thanks to our guest blogger, Kaylee Nelson!