Trend Alert: Dad First Look

We think this is too darn sweet and a perfect wedding day special touch for a Daddy’s Girl.

He was there when you took your first steps and said your first words. He saw you off to kindergarten and your first date, sent you off to prom and watched proudly as you walked the stage after earning your diploma. Why not do a “first look” with your deal ol’ Dad for one last sweet father-daughter memory before you leave and cleave?!

Staged much like a bride-groom first look, this special encounter often happens in the rooms where the bride gets ready at the ceremony site (usually cleared of most other people for the beautiful and intimate moment) or sometimes in a picturesque spot on the ceremony site grounds. Just make sure to have a hanky ready – for you and your Daddy!

Here are a few more absolutely precious examples:

image credits: Jason MizeRay AnthonyDixie Pixel and Julie A. Whitlock via Southern WeddingsCory Ryan via Bridal Guide and Bend the Light viaGreen Wedding Shoes

Trends We Love: The Pre-Ceremony Beverage Station or Cocktail Hour

The Pre-Ceremony Beverage Station or Cocktail Hour

A wedding is a time of celebration and fun – and an opportunity to flex your hospitality muscles! All good hosts know it’s best to welcome guests into your home by offering them something to drink right away. We love extending this sentiment to weddings with the pre-ceremony beverage.

 

 

 

 

 

Think of this trend as the cocktail hour before the wedding. But, the beverages do not necessarily have to be alcoholic! The pre-ceremony cocktail hour is a fun way to have your guests mingle and get to know one another before the official festivities start.

This idea really works best when your ceremony is at a venue that’s not a church, temple or other place of worship because of time and space constraints or the facility’s policies. The pre-ceremony drink station is especially appreciated if your ceremony is outside. In the fall, a warm beverage station (think coffee, cider and hot cocoa – spiked or not) is a fantastic way to welcome your guests and help them ward off a chill while waiting for your walk down the aisle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, now that we’re enjoying warmer weather, something cool and refreshing would be the go-to for a pre-wedding drink!

It can be something simple, such as flavored or sparkling water to lemonade and tea (ooooohhh, Arnold Palmers!) to mimosas or maybe even a signature cocktail just for your special day. Just make sure if you decided to serve cocktails to keep the time relatively short and consider having the drinks passed so guests don’t consume too much alcohol before your ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consult with your caterer or ceremony venue contact to explore what your options are for a pre-ceremony beverage offering. Or brainstorm with your wedding planner on other fun and creative ways you can make your day special. Oh, you don’t have one of those? Our talented Weddings by StarDust planning team would love to chat with you about how they can help you have the beautiful, imaginative wedding you’ve dreamed of! Schedule your initial consultation with one of our expert wedding planners here now!

Having a Pie Bar at your Wedding

Sweet as (a) Pie bar

As Dallas-Fort Worth’s premier wedding planning team we are often asked to think outside the box. Sometimes, that means finding an alternative to the traditional wedding cake. If you couldn’t tell by the title- having a pie bar is one of favorite alternatives AND addition to the traditional wedding cake. They also are the perfect setup for an engagement party or bridal shower!

It’s such a delicious treat, true comfort food and comes in so many different varieties! Cream pies, fruit pies, custard pies…large pies, mini pies, pie pops…we think this all American little sweet is perfect for weddings! Here are several gorgeous presentations of the delectable treat that we hope will get you thinking “pie” as you start pondering your wedding desserts.

This photo features a pie bar with a variety of flavors on serving trays with different heights. The pie bar table is decorated with fun garland and a large sign that reads pie bar. Each individual pie has a sign in it to indicate flavor.

This festive pie bar is the perfect alternative to wedding cake. You’re able to choose a large variety of flavors! And how sweet is the presentation?!

Variety is the Spice of Life

Offering lots of varieties will insure you’ve got something for everyone! In our years as Dallas wedding planners we’ve learned a thing or two about the importance of variety.

This photo features a nine grid photo of different displays of mini pies. Each mini pie has a sign indication the flavor. L-R top row 1- Chocolate Cream. Cherry, Apple Pie, lemon pie, variety, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, marion pie, and cherry again.

 

Keep it Classy

Pro tip from our Dallas wedding planning team: Different heights to display pie add to the elegance of a table. It also allows you to add more variety to the table.
A buffet of pies displayed at various heights.

 

A Twist on Tradition

Presenting pies in a tiered fashion is a fun wink at traditional wedding cake. You can even use fun cake toppers like this fun couple chose to do! Choosing to have a “wedding pie” in lieu of cake allows you to still have the traditional cake cutting photos, without the cake!

4 pies stacked to resemble a traditional wedding cake.

Pie to go!

If you don’t want to dedicate a section of your reception to a pie bar- don’t fret! Another fun way to incorporate pie into your wedding day is fun pie pop favors! They are a super cute AND tasty way to thank your guests for taking part in your big day! This allows you to have your cake..and eat pie too!

 

If you’re planning to incorporate pie into your big day let us know! One of our Dallas wedding planners would love to help you create and execute a pie bar display for your big day!

 

image sources: Bridal GuideBridesElizabeth Anne DesignsThe Every Last DetailThe KnotStyle Me PrettySouthern Weddings 

Wedding Cakes Trends

Wedding Cakes Trends

Wedding guests often judge a wedding by whether the cake was good. TLC’s TV show titled “Four Weddings” follows four brides who are guests at each other’s wedding and judge the one that’s the best (with the prize of a dream honeymoon hanging in the balance). Imagine these brides at your own wedding. What would they say about the cake? Was it pleasing to the eye, and the taste buds? Did it add to the atmosphere? We’ve included some of our favorite wedding cakes from weddings that we’ve planned. Enjoy!

MONOGRAMMED CAKES

John & Courtney

In 2018, one of the trends is monogrammed wedding cakes. It can be the perfect way to put your personal stamp on the wedding day. For John and Courtney, it made the day all the more special. After all, C & J would be their new monogram as husband and wife. The delicious cakes in John and Courtney’s wedding are from Frosted Art Bakery & Studio.

 

F8 Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOODLAND CAKES

Alex & Taylor

Another trend in 2018 is woodland wedding cakes. It takes flowers to the next level, through decor involving lots of greenery. Alex and Taylor decided on a wedding inspired by the Shakespearean play titled A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The cake evolved along with the rest of the wedding details; it added to the wild forest setting. On a bed of moss, the cake reaches up to the ceiling with leaves and delicious frosting. The special cake creations in Alex and Taylor’s wedding are from Classic Cakes by Lori.

Amy Herfurth Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PASTEL CAKES

Rodrigue & Jacqueline

There’s nothing prettier than pastels. They complement a wedding with soft tones, and they contribute to a light, delicate atmosphere. Rodrigue and Jacqueline chose a multi-layered cake from Frosted Art Bakery & Studio. Pink and white flowers curl up the side of the cake, and elaborate designs circle around the sides. It’s a classic style that’s perfect for an elegant wedding.

Bellas Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to see more designs from real weddings, please take a look at our Weddings by StarDust Portfolios tab. You can book an appointment with our wedding planners online or by calling (972) 781-1619.

Vintage Glam Affair

Vintage Glam Affair

LaVeatrice and Demonta came to our Dallas wedding planner team wanting a romantic affair with a vintage glam twist. As you can see from the photos, this wedding was one for the books. The ceremony and reception were held at The Windsor at Hebron Park in Carollton, TX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Dallas wedding planner team was apart of the planning from the beginning. We were able to be with this couple from start to finish, and as wedding planners, we loved every moment! For the ceremony the couple wanted to keep it romantic and simple.  As you can see from the gorgeous images, the venue was beautiful on it’s own. We simply added some lush floral throughout the ceremony space, adding to the romantic feel of the entire wedding. The reception kept the same romantic feel, with a touch of vintage glam.  From the head table fit for a king and queen, to the suspended cake installation, our Dallas wedding planner team left no regal detail untouched. The beautiful thrones at the head table were a surprise from the bride to the groom, and he loved them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They danced the night away with their closest family and friends, while we worked our magic behind the scenes. At the end of the night they had their final dance, on a beautiful personalized dance floor, before their big exit in a sea of lace streamers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After months and months of planning with our Dallas wedding planner team, this beautiful couple had the wedding of their dreams, without the stress that typically comes with a wedding of this caliber. Congratulations LaVeatrice and Demonta!

 

Moody Wedding | Styled Shoot

The Moody Wedding

More and more we are seeing beautifully designed weddings with deeper hues and warmer tones. In the spirit of the seasons finally changing in Texas and our love of the moody wedding trend, we wanted to share some photos from this gorgeous styled shoot we recently were a part of.

 

Lead Planner Corinne setting up the tablescape for the styled shoot

One of our lead Dallas wedding planners, Corrine, was thrilled to tackle this project. “This whimsical, fall-inspired shoot captured the rustic beauty of a Texas autumn. Monroe Pearson’s masculine yet chic setting provided the perfect backdrop for the deep hues of the foraged floral, inspired by the cooler months. Stepping away from the lighter colors of Spring and Summer, the team looked to rich tones to create a garden-like framework around the bride.”, she said.

“When styling the table top, I really wanted to create a feeling of rustic elegance . I loved the worn table and the compliment of the copper flatware, so I wanted to bring attention to that juxtaposition.”- Corinne

Oftentimes, couples plan their weddings around softer color palettes showcasing whites, neutrals, and pastels. As much as we love these weddings, those are not the only tones available to choose from on your wedding day. Recently we’ve seen a rise in popularity for the moody wedding color palettes. With that being said, this styled shoot has made us even more excited about the trend!

 

Photography: Laning Photography

Venue: Monroe Pearson 

Hair and Makeup: Tease to Please 

Floral Design: Billie Ball 

Rentals: Top Tier 

Cake: Jenny Layne Bakery

 

 

Have you been considering a similar look for your wedding day? Our team of Dallas planners would love to help make your dream wedding come to life!

 

Click here to fill out a contact form and someone will be in touch with you shortly.

 

 

Lindsay + Brett

After meeting online, Brett and Lindsay began their beautiful love story. “On our first date, we realized we had both moved to Chicago from our home states of Texas (Lindsay) and Ohio (Brett), on a whim seeking change and a new adventure in life.  We shared in that passion for adventure, excitement and travel experiences and quickly began planning our lives and next adventure together,” said Lindsay.

 

The Perfect Place

Together, the couple chose Brake and Clutch Warehouse as the venue for their beautiful lush wedding.

“The venue was really where we drew our inspiration from.  Brake and Clutch is an old restored car service shop so we wanted to stay true to the industrial/warehouse vibe by using loose, organic floral in tones of burgundy, blush, ivory & sage green, greenery draping the columns, romantic string lighting and candlelight while still having that added masculinity of exposed brick and concrete floors.  We are a laid back couple and wanted that reflected in the entire day.”

Best Day Ever.

When asked her favorite part of her wedding day, Lindsay struggled to pick just one!

“I want to say the entire day was my favorite memory but to narrow it down the dancing was the best.  Our friends and family know how to get down, have a good time and are not likely to hold back. Our dance floor was overflowing all night long.  We even got an encore song from our DJ.”

Advice for Newly Engaged Couples

“It seems so cliche and I have so many friends that are married and have told me this time and time again that the day will go by so fast. And it is so true!!!  We held a get together the night before, after the rehearsal dinner, where we invited all our guests that wanted to join to meet at an area we reserved at the hotel bar/restaurant.  If this is something you could do I highly recommend it.  It allows you more time to have some quality conversations with guests and is nice for those that traveled for the wedding.”

 

Planning: Weddings by StarDust

Officiant: Rev. Todd Renner
Catering: CN Catering
DJ: Leforce, Brian Prescott
Photo: Two Pair Photography, Chad + Tressie
Floral: Southern Table
Transportation: Premier
Transportation: DFW Vintage Cars
Hair + Makeup: Erin Blair

The Unity Painting: Trending Now

Creating the Perfect Unity Painting

We love that Dallas- Fort Worth couples are continuing to search for ways to personalize their weddings. Our wedding planning team is regularly searching for the . One great way to do this is by putting a personal twist on an existing tradition- the unity painting.

We’ve seen this a lot with the unity ritual during the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, couples lit a unity candle. That soon that gave way to other unifying symbols, such as unity sand or unity flowers. One of our favorite takes on the unity ceremony that we’ve seen more and more of, the unity painting.

Couples pouring paint onto their unity paintings.

Getting Creative

There are many ways to execute this beautiful act of unity.  Many couples simply use two paints that are tied to their wedding color palette. We’ve seen couples pour and swirl the colors together, or paint the colors on with a brush. Both options create beautiful unity painting masterpieces!

This photo features two brides posing with their unity painting.

Some couples are incorporating an additional level of personalized flair to their unity painting to make the piece even more meaningful.  This couple added a large vinyl initial to the canvas before the paint was poured. Once the paint dried, they were able to peel the vinyl off to reveal their final masterpiece. This three photo grid features a couple pouring paint onto their unity painting. It also shows the mason jars hold the paint with their wedding photos.

We’ve also seen couples incorporate their wedding date into their unity painting. One of our favorite unity paintings we’ve seen incorporated the lyrics to the couples first dance song.

This photo features a canvas with the lyrics to a couples first dance song.

Another couple wanted to incorporate their wedding guests into their unity painting. Together they painted a heart on the canvas, then they requested their guests sign it. It made for an exceptionally personalized guest book!

This couple painted a heart together during the ceremony. During their reception their wedding guests signed the canvas in lieu of a guest book.

The Skies are the Limit! (Almost)

There are so many ways to create your unity painting! You’re truly limited only to your imagination! Well, almost.. you may also be limited to your wedding venue’s policies, so be sure to check with your facility contact! This does work best in an outdoor ceremony setting, but even if you’re marrying inside, just ask to see if it’s a possibility for your wedding day!

One word of caution: be mindful of your wedding attire. We highly encourage couples to forgo finger painting, no matter how much your inner child may plead! Happy planning, and unity painting creating!

image sources: Chris Diset PhotographyCloud Seven PhotographyEtsyGracenote Photography, Equally Wed

Dallas-Fort Worth Wedding Planning Team | Weddings by StarDust

Our Dallas-Fort Worth Wedding Planning Team Has Grown!

 

 

 Your favorite Dallas-Fort Worth wedding planning team is growing!

We couldn’t keep it a secret any longer! Refined Romance Events has officially merged with Weddings by StarDust, a division of StarDust Celebrations. This merger has created one of the largest Dallas-Fort Worth wedding planning companies!

What does this mean?

We can now better service Dallas-Fort Worth brides! With our combined experience, we are now able to make even more dream weddings a reality! Our Dallas wedding planning team is now able to serve a larger variety of clients. From a black-tie affair at a swanky hotel to a rustic barn wedding- Weddings by StarDust is equipped to handle it all!

Where will we be?

Effective October 3, 2018, the primary office for our newly combined Dallas wedding planning  teams will be located at StarDust’s headquarters. (6464 West Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093)  We will keep Refined Romance’s Uptown Dallas office located at 4144 N. Central Expressway, Suite 528, Dallas, TX 75204, but it will function as a satellite meeting office.

Why is this such huge news?

Together the two planning companies have planned over 500 weddings and have now become one of the largest wedding planning company in Dallas-Fort Worth. We are able to encompass all things weddings from wedding gowns, all bridal party apparel, wedding stationery, and even a concierge tuxedo service for its premier service clients. This merger has created a power house in the Dallas-Fort Worth wedding planning world and we couldn’t be more excited for this new chapter!

 

 

Photography by: Amy Herfurth Photography

After Parties: What, How, and Yes, Please

Who doesn’t love a party that keeps going? A wedding after party is the perfect solution for a night you’ll never want to end! Guests will love that you want to spend more time with them, and you’ll appreciate having a game plan for late-night revelers. Often it can be as simple as a nightcap in someone’s hotel room with just the wedding party. Of course, you can even make it a wedding-part-two!

Let’s take a look at the after-party trend and the must-know etiquette to make it happen. Then, we’ll give you a snapshot of two fabulous after parties we’ve planned. If your wedding is as spectacular as you’re dreaming up, then your guests will be excited to see what else you have in store for them as the night unfolds.

AFTER PARTIES: A NEW TREND

What happens if your guests don’t want to leave? Your wedding ends before midnight, but it’s too early to go to bed. Your guests are enjoying making memories with you and just having fun and celebrating. One solution is to have an after-party! It keeps the energy going, and it lets your guests continue to mingle.

Usually it’s a smaller group that attends the after-party, and it’s typically hosted by the groom’s family. Keep in mind: the most important elements are the food, drinks, and music! Of course, simple comfort foods are always a great go-to.

The trend first started because guests travel so far to come to weddings and they want to make the most of their time. How often do they really get to see all of their friends? They want the moments to last.

AFTER-PARTY ETIQUETTE

Peaked your interest? First, let’s consider a few logistics to follow in planning and attending your after-party.

Hint #1: Couples typically stay at the after-party for an hour. After that, you’re free to go! The festivities with guests don’t have to last all night. Your friends will definitely understand.

Hint #2: Change up the décor at your after-party. We suggest letting the groom or his family pick the theme, but still fits your personality. Some examples, we created an Alaskan Village because the groom was from Alaska.  We created a Hunting Lodge because the groom loved to hunt and we have even created a Man Cave complete with a whiskey tasting bar had a casino craps table and a cigar bar! How can you make it memorable? Have fun with it with a nod to the groom!

Hint#3: Let your guests know if there’s an attire change. You can go casual for the after-party, but make sure everyone is on the same page. Dressing to match the theme might be fun, too.

Hint #4: Have breakfast/comfort foods ready for the partiers. After parties general last 2 hours or so, your guests will most likely start to get hungry. Having food on hand is sure to improve people’s moods and maybe help sober the guests.

Hint #5: Costs are often paid by the groom’s family.  Your guests are already giving you gifts for the wedding (and possibly, pre-wedding events).  It’s just another thank you for sharing the couple’s day. Light on funds? Use the money for favors to help pay for the cost of this add-on. Costs can range from $500 to $5,000!

AFTER PARTIES DONE RIGHT

Want to get a sense for what an after-party looks like at a real wedding? We’ve helped with after parties for some of our recent weddings (below). We make sure that the party matches the style and personality of the couple. Guests love it when the couple has an after-party that’s just them. Get ready to hear about a couple of our recent smashes in planning an after-party that not only adds a personal touch, but also makes for good, old fun.

Austin & Jonna

Austin, a Major League Baseball star, married his bride, Jonna, at the Four Seasons. After an elegant wedding ceremony and reception, the guests discovered that there was even more planned for the evening. Our team arranged for a “sophisticated mancave” inspired after-party that extended the festivities on into the night.

The party was complete with casino games, whiskey tasting, and a cigar roller. The bride and groom took a photo beneath a sign that announced: “Action Jackson’s Whiskey & Cigar Lounge.” As you’re planning your after-party, you should brainstorm a few ideas that will just scream you and will surprise your guests. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

John & Courtney

After dancing at the reception, John and Courtney met up with their guests at an after-party with an Alaskan theme. As guests entered, a tall sign read: “Welcome to Kaplan, Alaska. Established 2017.” It all came about because the groom was from Alaska! Go for it on personalizing your after-party; guests will love that extra special touch.

Inside, guests found strings of lights, white walls for an icy feel, and mock campfires. There was even a Polar Bear handing out Klondlike Ice Cream bars! For your own after-party, you could match the theme to your hometown, adding in elements that remind you of home.

Thinking about making plans for an after-party? Let us talk through ideas with you! Look through our Weddings by StarDust offerings today. You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Austin & Jonna

Venue: Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas | Photographer: Amy Herfurth Photography | Floral, decor & rentals: Bella Flora | Bakery: Fancy Cakes by Lauren | Drapery: Dallas Drape & Lighting | Lighting: Beyond | Bridal Attire: Eve of Milady and Toni Federici from StarDust Celebrations | Bridal Party Attire: Monique Lhuillier from StarDust Celebrations | Beauty: Mo Bowers, Fairy Godmother Bridal | Entertainment: Jordan Kahn BandMarcus Rollins Entertainment

After-Party –
Furniture: Shag Carpet Prop Rentals | Florist: 21 Parc | Cigar Roller: Sabino Sotelo

John & Courtney

Venue: Four Seasons Resort and Club | Photographer: F8-Gary Donihoo | Lighting: Randy Ro Events & Entertainment | Bakery: Frosted Art | Florist: The Garden Gate | Linens: BBJ Linens | DJ/Emcee: Marcus Rollins | Band: In10City