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In the Know: The Latest Wedding Catering Food Trends

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Ready to hear what the up-and-coming wedding catering food trends are for 2020 and beyond? Beth Albright, chief development office at Blue Fire Catering, is giving us an inside look into the season’s wedding must-haves. Read on!

In the Know: The Latest Wedding Catering Food Trends

Photo // Stephanie Brazzle Photography

What type(s) of cuisine does Blue Fire Catering serve at weddings?

You name it, we do it!

What food trends are you most excited to try out this season?

I think we will see a nostalgic throwback to everyone’s favorite childhood foods, but with a twist – gourmet grilled cheese, pizza bites and creative nachos with a cute presentation, such as cast iron skillets.

What are your favorite sweet treats to serve on a dessert table?

Mini parfaits and trifles with tiny spoons or wooden spatulas, cookies & cream, banana pudding with Nilla wafers, orange dreamsicle, etc.

What’s your go-to cocktail to serve?

In Texas these days, Ranch Water for sure. Topo Chico, tequila, and fresh lime juice.

What are your suggested food + drink pairings?

Mini tacos with margaritas in tiny Patron bottles and 2-bite hot dogs with shots of craft beer.

How can a couple incorporate their favorite foods & flavors into their wedding menu?

Give grandma’s recipe to your caterer to incorporate into the menu.

Any final wedding catering tips?

Don’t let the coronavirus put a damper on your celebration! As your caterer, we adhere to all government safety and sanitization guidelines so you can celebrate without worry!

Thank you to the Blue Fire Catering team for sharing these need-to-know tips and trends! To connect with this caterer directly, visit their vendor profile here.

All your Wedding Planning Timeline Questions Answered

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You’ve made your wedding list and checked it twice, but there still may be something missing. In fact, there’s a few things many couples overlook when it comes to wedding planning. Thankfully, we have Hannah Heres, owner of MK Event Boutique and wedding planning expert, to help with your wedding planning timeline. Keep scrolling to read Hannah’s advice on vendors to hire, important dates and more!

All your Wedding Planning Timeline Questions Answered

Photo // Madalynn Young Photography

What are the first vendors a couple should hire?

The first vendor that you are going to want to hire is a wedding planner! That way you will have the guidance and support from your wedding planner throughout the entire planning process. After that, you will need to book your venue so that you can officially “set a date.” The next biggest things, after those two, are your photographer, videographer and florist.

How far in advance should a couple send out wedding invitations and save-the-dates?

For a local wedding, you will want to send your save-the-dates out about 6 to 8 months before your wedding and send your invitations out about 8 to 10 weeks before your wedding. If you are getting married around a big holiday or having a destination wedding, then you are going to want to send your save-the-dates out 10 to 12 months before your wedding and send your invitations out about 10 to 12 weeks before your wedding.

What final details do couples tend to forget in the planning process?

The most common final details that couples tend to forget during the planning process are transportation for the wedding party, guests and/or bride and groom at the end of the night, Plan B for bad weather, vendor tips and a photo shot list for formal portraits after the ceremony. However, if you are using MK for planning, we will make sure none of the details get forgotten during the planning process and on your special day.

Who develops the wedding day timeline? The planner? The officiant?

We create a very detailed master timeline, vendor roster and ceremony outline that we send out to all of the vendors. We coordinate all arrival times with the vendors to make sure that everyone is on the same page, for the wedding weekend. We also create a wedding party timeline for everyone that is involved in the wedding, so that they also have the schedule of events right at their fingertips.

What’s the easiest way or best tips to ensure the family stays on track during the day’s events?

We send out a Wedding Party Timeline to the parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers and anyone else that is involved in the wedding, about a week before the wedding, so that they know in advance, the entire schedule for the weekend. They are then able to reference this, at any point throughout the weekend. It is critical for the bride, groom, and family to trust your vendor team and know that they are going to do their best work for your wedding.

What is one piece of advice that you always give to your clients?

One piece of advice that I always give to our clients is to hire a solid vendor team and trust them. If you have a solid vendor team on your side, you can be confident that they are going to do their very best to make sure your day is executed with perfection. Additionally, you can expect them to work as a team on your wedding day, which will ensure that everything runs smoothly and every detail is covered. Trust your team of vendors and remember that they are specialized professionals!

A special thank you to Hannah Heres from MK Event Boutique for sharing these amazing wedding planning tips and insights! To learn more about having MK Event Boutique help you create the wedding of your dreams, visit their Brides of North Texas vendor profile to contact them directly.

Elopement 101: What You Should Know About Choosing to Elope

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With the landscape of weddings forever changed because of COVID-19, elopements in lieu of traditional weddings are gaining popularity. Even after this pandemic passes and its effects are mostly behind us, industry predictions point toward elopements remaining a viable, enticing option for couples ready to tie the knot. What is eloping all about, anyway? Why choose to elope rather than host a more traditional wedding? We’re covering all the elopement basics for you, below. Keep scrolling!

elopement elope

Photo: The Lockharts

How is an elopement different than a wedding?

Technically, the term “eloping” means to “run away” and originally was used in the context of running away together for a secret wedding – not telling anyone you’re getting married. As times have changed, eloping has evolved to cover things like getting married just the two of you, having a small, intimate ceremony that may or may not be followed by a larger reception later, getting married without any guests (or very few guests) whether in a destination locale or locally, like at the courthouse – elopements can cover a variety of scenarios! While eloping often saves money in comparison to a traditional wedding because you’re not covering expenses like a large venue, catering, favors, entertainment and other guest-centered costs, couples can still opt for a “luxury elopement” with nice formalwear, a professional photographer and even custom decor. Most often, a couple will choose to elope with the goal of getting married in a specific timeframe, not having to worry about the logistics of inviting guests, saving money or some combination of the three.

Elopements take significantly less time and resources to plan than weddings because again, the guest count factor is all but removed. These ceremonies typically include only the couple, officiant, witnesses if necessary and fewer than ten guests. But whether you’re inviting zero people or a few of your very closest loved ones, couples who choose to elope do still need a marriage license and officiant, and certain venues do still require a waiting period or advanced reservation to host the ceremony, however small. It’s important to note common elopement etiquette includes foregoing a wedding registry since you’re not hosting an all-out affair for guests.

Can we still have a reception after eloping?

Absolutely! Many couples still choose to host a celebration after eloping, whether that’s a small get-together after they’ve returned from a destination elopement, a dinner party the same night as a local elopement or a larger reception with lots of friends and family weeks or even months after a private ceremony. However you choose to celebrate is really up to you – when, where, how many guests – but you definitely don’t have to have any sort of reception, either.

Where should we elope?

The beauty of eloping is that you can do it just about anywhere, with a few considerations, of course. Las Vegas’s no-wait marriage licenses and plethora of “walk-in” venues makes it a popular destination for elopements, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Your local courthouse is always an option for a no-fuss affair, but consider places like a romantic resort, a park, the beach, a rooftop venue, a mountainside – if it can accommodate you, your fiancé and your officiant, it’s probably an option! Just be sure to do your research and make necessary reservations.

How do we get our families on board with an elopement?

Although not true for every family, many families, parents especially, may respond with shock or disagreement when you mention the idea of an elopement. It can be tough to please everyone, certainly when your plans don’t line up with family members’ assumptions or expectations (which may affirm your decision to elope and not deal with family drama at your wedding!). It’s important to reassure loved ones that your intention is not to hurt them by excluding guests – it’s simply to keep your focus on your fiancé and your marriage. Unless you are taking part in a true secret elopement for personal reasons, it’s best to give immediate and even extended family a heads up about your plans to elope and inform them of a celebration to follow or let them know a special way they can support you, despite not having a traditional wedding.

If a true elopement is just too extreme, consider hosting an intimate wedding, instead. With a slightly larger guest list but still a low-key approach in terms of vendors involved, costs and fanfare, this can be a great compromise between an elopement and a large wedding, and ensures the focus is kept on you and your love.

An elopement may be the perfect solution for you and your sweetheart, and no matter how you choose to go about it, we’re here to help! Check out our blog for inspiration and don’t forget about our catalog of wonderful local vendors.

Happy eloping!

6 Steps on How to Inform Your Guests Your Wedding is Being Postponed

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So, you’ve decided to postpone your wedding due to COVID-19. This is a big step, and we’re here to help! Wondering how to quickly and effectively inform your guests to let them know? Follow along as we share a few simple steps on how to make it happen!

6 Steps on How to Inform Your Guests Your Wedding is Being Postponed

Photo // Ben Q. Photography

First: Talk to your VIPs

Your very important people are VERY important to first get in contact with! This includes your bridesmaids and groomsmen, close family members, and people that had an influence in financing the wedding. These are going to be the main people to help you pick and choose a wedding date, and help you on the best plan going forward. Once this has been taken care of, you can move on to consulting your vendor team!

Second: Consult your vendor team

Moving your date can cause a lot of chaos, but your vendors are here to help you through it with the least bit of worry possible. First, check with your venue to see if they can accommodate to the new date decided among you and your VIPs! Then, move on to your other vendors to see if this new date works. Keep in mind, not everyone may be able to accommodate to your new wedding date. But, don’t fear, we have some of the best local vendors around here at the Brides of North Texas!

Third: Inform your guests

You can’t have a wedding without the guests! First, we suggest sending out an e-card. This is a faster way than snail mail, and your guests will have more time to plan the faster they get a new date! *Tip: invite people who previously declined to come to your wedding on your original date. This new date may be more suitable for them to attend!

Fourth: Check with your stationer

Some stationers are offering assistance with new save the date cards! Check with yours to see if they are doing anything to help couples who had to postpone their wedding.

Fifth: Mail out new invitations (optional)

If you did not send out invitations the first time, now would be a great time to! This gives a second reminder to your guests so they do not forget your new date. Plus, you get to make a pretty new invitation that you will cherish for years to come!

Sixth: Update your wedding website

Our final step: updating your wedding website! The internet is always accessible, and your guests will have an easy way to look at the details of your wedding. Having a website is always a good idea, but if you postpone your date, it will make such a difference to have one! *Tip: most websites offer a texting service that will send updates to your guests!

Now that you’ve let your guests know that your wedding has been postponed, here’s how to continue planning from home.

Take the Stress out of your Weekend with these Hotel Wedding Venues

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We are all for making the wedding weekend run as smoothly as possible. One of the major chaos-creators is easily the travel. You and your partner, family, bridal party, guests… everyone has to make it from point A to B on time. One of the simplest solutions to this problem is hosting your nuptials on the same site as your accommodations. And with that, we’ve put together a list of the best wedding venues that also double as luxe staycation locales. From modern sporty to historic boutique, each of these hotel wedding venues will have something for everyone. Take a peek!

Take the Stress out of your Weekend with these Hotel Wedding Venues

Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh – Located in the heart of Uptown Dallas, customization is The Stoneleigh’s expertise, from menu choices to setting selections. Terraces, courtyards, grand ballrooms and more intimate, elegant spaces promise to create an entirely unique look and feel, with the capability to accommodate up to 250 guests! The luxurious guest rooms at The Stoneleigh are both convenient and comfortable after a long night of celebrating and with their brand new Stoneleigh Court swimming pool, guests are sure to love their stay!

Photo // Emily Catherine Photo

Lorenzo hotel dallas room

Lorenzo Hotel – If eclectic art is your thing, look no further than the Lorenzo Hotel for your perfect Dallas accommodations. A funky fresh atmosphere with 600 pieces of art to admire along with elements of convenience and luxury make this a one-of-a-kind place for you and your guests to stay while in the area. Enjoy a central location, a friendly staff and design sure to spark your imagination.

The Joule dallas ballroom wedding

The Joule – Within the Arts District and next door to the iconic flagship Neiman Marcus, The Joule is a Dallas icon in its own right. Boasting incredible artwork throughout the revitalized 1920s building, The Joule is proud to be a cultural landmark in the city and offers the utmost in luxurious, comfortable rooms for your stay. Hang out on the lawn with the famous Eye or explore the city blocks nearby – either way, you won’t want to go home!

Photo // Courtney Hanson Ph0tography

warwick melrose ballroom wedding dallas

Warwick Melrose – A staple of Dallas’s posh Uptown neighborhood, the Warwick Melrose hotel blends grandeur and intimacy beautifully. Appreciating the history of the building but with the highest in today’s accommodations standards, Warwick Melrose values tradition, culture and heritage while embracing the fast-paced city lifestyle with plenty of dining options and fun attractions nearby.

Photo // The Tarnos

Delta Hotel Dallas Marriott

Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center – Looking for a gorgeous accommodation option on the north side of town? Delta Hotels Dallas Allen is a brand new, impeccably designed spacious hotel with a staff excited to host you and your wedding guests for however long you decide to stay! With impressive in-house dining options, a gigantic pool featuring al fresco movies on the big screen and a massive ballroom ready to host hundreds of your closest friends, Delta Hotel is a wonderful option for your North Texas wedding weekend.

Photo // Marriott

hilton dallas park cities ballroom wedding

Hilton Dallas Park Cities – If you’re looking for a venue that is fit for a black tie and ball gown wedding, this is it! Hilton Dallas/Park Cities is a hidden gem in Dallas that offers the ideal space for a classic ballroom wedding. Their gorgeous rooftop patio boasts the best views of the city and serves as the perfect place to end your big day. But the fun doesn’t stop there – have the perfect wedding weekend by staying in their beautiful rooms and adventuring around the surrounding city!

hilton granite park dallas ballroom

Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park – Three words to describe Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park: vibrant, elegant and lavish! Bring every moment of your fairytale wedding to life in their grand ballroom, or keep it simple but elegant in one of their smaller spaces. Either way, you’re sure to have the chic and luxurious wedding of your dreams!

Photo // Anna Smith Photography

westin stonebriar golf course wedding

The Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club – Nothing is more elegant than country club and ballroom weddings, so why not have both? The Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club combines country club vibes with the service and hospitality of a hotel to give the ultimate wedding venue. Choose between their three-tiered garden terrace or the dreamy ballroom space for your perfect elegant wedding ceremony. We can guarantee you will never want to leave this resort-style escape!

Photo // Forever Photography Studio

wildwood inn accommodations dallas

Wildwood Inn – This picturesque boutique hotel and venue brings the best of southern charm with a European twist all in one stunning property! Featuring stunning architecture and design details like cozy fireplaces, French doors and perfectly manicured gardens, this spot is ideal for small to medium sized weddings with accommodation options for up to 120 people. With 14 luxe guest suites, this venue is ideal for hosting your wedding party for the weekend and giving your out-of-town guests a real Texas treat!

Photo // Brandon Jones Photography

Cooper Hotel Dallas

Cooper Hotel – Take a trip to this DFW oasis and your whole group will feel relaxed and ready to celebrate! On the smaller side for large weddings, the 61 guest room Cooper Hotel can accommodate up to 250 guests for a seated reception, with a full-service catering menu chock-full of mouth-watering selections! For an added bonus, treat yourself and your bridal party to one of the delightful spa services offered on-site for a pre-wedding refresher!

live by loews room

Live! By Loews – Live! By Loews is located right in the heart of sport city: Arlington, Texas. This welcoming venue boasts expansive views of Globe Life Park,  the future Globe Life Field, AT&T Stadium and Texas Live! The brand new modern hotel offers both indoor and outdoor options for hosting up to 1,000 of your closest friends and family. Invite your guests to a cocktail hour on the private rooftop terrace while your wedding planner keeps the day running smoothly from their very own event planning office. This chic stay will be the perfect home away from home.

The Statler – The Statler is a historic hotel with mod charm. Located in downtown Dallas, this retro-chic hotel boasts a spacious ballroom for large weddings and indoor/outdoor spaces for pre-wedding events and receptions. Pick one of the fabulous in house restaurants for your rehearsal dinner or bride-to-be brunch. For the lucky couple, The Statler offers a complimentary stay in the honeymoon suite.   

Photo // Neville Wedding Stories

Peruse even more local hotel wedding venues on our Accommodations page, plus check out other wedding venue styles on our Venues page!