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A Dreamy and Grandiose European-Inspired Inspiration Shoot at The Olana

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This dreamy European-inspired inspiration shoot artfully captured by Bertha Torres Photography is like a breath of fresh air, yet still feels like a scene out of a Renaissance painting at the same time! The Olana is the perfect place for this faux-destination shoot and for anyone wanting a wedding that looks foreign for brides planning a wedding within the convenience (and budget) of the Lone Star State. The mansion is built on an expansive 40-acre estate complemented by its own lake. Inspired by French baroque architecture, the venue was built as an homage to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Paris. In addition to its lush landscaping, The Olana estate also features a tea room modeled after New York’s Tavern on the Green, an indoor and outdoor pool, a tennis court, a bowling alley, expansive private suites and more. Talk about luxury! Classical bridal artistry by WZ Beauty Studio gives this model a dewy, timeless blushing look that is fit for runway, red carpet, and anywhere in between complete with a wispy, swept updo secured with an opulent headpiece. Interiors of this wedding scape would surely be lacking romance without this lush, over-the-top floral design comprised of big, beautiful bright white blooms. From its borrowed charm from baroque design to the breathtaking bridal hair and makeup artistry, there is so much beauty in these styled, European-inspired wedding scenes. Keep scrolling to see all the gorgeous details for yourself! Cheers!

Photos // Bertha Torres Photography


Still on the hunt for more gorgeous inspo? Check out all our styled shoots and curated wedding inspiration here.

Wedding Prep: Kick Start Your Fitness and Beauty Regimen

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Soon after getting engaged, you should sit down for a long, romantic evening with your agenda/journal and get to work on a wedding prep beauty schedule. What are some goals you have for yourself during this season? I mean, obviously, planning your wedding is goal #1, but the status of “engaged” doesn’t just end with “ – to be married.” Right now, you should focus on being engaged with every part of your LIFE! Prepare your body, heart, mind and soul for your greatest endeavor yet – marriage.

Why start now? Whether your engagement season is four months long or 24 months long, you’ll want to begin wedding day prep as soon as possible. And, in order to truly take advantage of every day, you need to have a plan from the get-go. Live out your engagement with intentionality so that you can look back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Wedding Prep: Kick Start Your Fitness and Beauty Regimen

Photo // Pharris Photos + Philms

Mind

Plan it out.

Despite being the most important part of your pre-wedding preparation, taking care of your mind during this time might require a lot of discipline. Our first suggestion – write everything down! Staying organized with a planner or agenda will play a huge part in your mental wellness during your engagement season, thus impacting your wedding beauty efforts. The important dates, the phone calls, the checklists, deadlines – it should all live on paper. And maybe even live on something cloud-based like Google Drive, just in case.

Journal your feelings.

Whether you love wedding planning or you feel like hiding in your room when your planner needs a decision from you, there are highs and lows throughout process. Documenting your experiences in a journal will help you get through the rough times and allow you to remember the really good days. You can even keep a diary in your wedding agenda alongside your other notes and appointments for a more comprehensive diary experience. If you’re a spiritual person, use a prayer journal daily! This could also serve as a wonderful, intimate gift to give your spouse on the day of the wedding, too.

Do you.

Be sure to do what you and your spouse want to do – it’s your wedding day! If the thought of having your entire family and friends in one place makes you anxious – and the actual planning process causes a breakdown – you should maybe consider altering courses. Listen to your “gut feeling” and don’t let ANYONE pressure you into a big party, excessive amounts of people or a far away destination if you aren’t comfortable!

 

Body

The basics.

There are a lot of articles out there detailing all the things you have to do to take care of yourself before you get married. We like to keep the wedding beauty routine pretty simple over here – just take care of yourself! Drink lots of water, get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, take your makeup off before bed, exercise and eat three meals a day. Everything listed here has been proven by science to improve the quality of your skin, body and brain functions! Get the basics down, and the other new habits you want to adopt will work for you!

Get moving.

If one of your goals was to improve your overall wellness, you must include physical activity! I used to be the girl that rolled my eyes at “gym people.” I still don’t really get them, but I can finally appreciate the feeling of accomplishment earned after a super hard workout or simply walking around the neighborhood. If you need help, reach out to a friend who knows what they’re doing or even book a session with a personal trainer! Getting familiar with gym equipment was all I really needed to build confidence in the gym AND working out on my own at home!

Skincare rules.

At Brides of Oklahoma, we like to think that we’re pretty savvy when it comes to skincare. The first piece of advice I will share with you is to see a *licensed professional* early on. They will be able to recommend products and a treatment plan after evaluating your skin type. They may suggest a series of facials, peels and other treatments in addition to a new and improved at-home regimen.


Journals, meditation, exercise and skincare – it sounds like a lot – and it is! Before going out and booking appointments, spending money and running around town, you should sit down and take the time to do some research. You certainly shouldn’t try and squeeze all of this into a schedule that’s already gasping for breath – that defeats the purpose. However, including a few of these self-care habits into your wedding beauty routine will definitely have you feeling your best on your big day. Let the planning begin!

Modern Romance Unfolds in this Fresh, Feminine Styled Shoot

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Bright, fresh and feminine with a little vintage flair wrapped in modern design, this styled shoot planned by Alexa Kay Events is full of stunning wedding scenes! Sweet pink petals paired with bohemian dried grass centerpieces from Alba Dahlia Floral make our modern romance dreams come true and we are living for the lush arbor installation with big blush and peach roses shrouded in so much greenery. This faux-bride radiates pure beauty with a bronzey makeup look as well as an elegant half-up style, both created by The Styling Stewardess that truly make this bridal beauty glow from within! A perfectly pink invitation suite hand-lettered by Bethany’s Letter Shop sets the feminine, dreamy mood, and we love the rustic touch of dried grass blades pressed into decorative wax seals as well as rustic pheasant feathers for a Texas touch. Seat your guests in style with a nontraditional seating chart – featuring calligraphy by Bethany’s Letter Shop as well, these colorful vases show your guests where to sit in fun, fancy font. A high-fashion, three-tiered cake design from Butterfly Cakery elevates this styled shoot even further with a cream-colored textured frosting and adorned with fresh florals. There is inspiration to be gained around every single corner in this modern romance styled shoot captured artfully by the talented Sami Kathryn Photography. Cheers!

Photo // Sami Kathryn Photography


Still on the hunt for more gorgeous inspo? Check out all our styled shoots and curated wedding inspiration here.

What Every Couple Should Know About Dallas Wedding Catering

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When you’re checking the big things off your wedding planning list, you’ll mark off venue, photographer, gown, rentals – and of course, CATERING! If thinking about Dallas wedding catering doesn’t sound as exciting as some of the other wedding plans, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. North Texas has so many incredible wedding caterers who can make the food you serve at your wedding something truly exciting to plan and even more exciting to eat!

The days of bland and boring are long gone. Today, the options for styles of fare are nearly endless, from food from around the world to elevated home cooking; sit-down dinners or stations. No matter your tastes, you can craft a menu that reflects YOU as a couple. Read on: we’ve got the 411 for everything you need to know about Dallas wedding catering.

food glorious food dallas wedding catering

Food Glorious Good Catering // Photo by Bethany Erin Weddings

When should you book catering for your wedding?

First things first: you’ll want to make sure the venue you choose allows you to bring the caterer of your choice. Many do not! If not, you’ll be expected to use either the venue’s catering service or one of their preferred vendors. If you are allowed to hire the caterer of your choice, you’ll want to book this vendor as early on as possible. Along with the venue rental cost and photography/videography, catering is often one of the biggest (if not the biggest) budget line items – i.e., not one you want to save for last. Booking the caterer right after your venue (ideally 10-12 months before your date) helps ensure the two can work together seamlessly, gives your caterer time to develop menu options and place necessary orders and ensures your budget stays on track.

How does a wedding menu tasting work?

Your caterer will usually meet with you and your fiancé for a menu tasting at least a few months before the big day. Occasionally, more people are allowed at tastings but you’ll certainly want to double check. Here, you’ll get to try the proposed menu items and finalize a plan for exactly what you’ll serve at your wedding. Your caterer will be on hand to describe each menu item and ask for feedback. This is the time to narrow down dishes if you’re still making decisions, or if you’ve chosen dishes already, this is the time to make any adjustments necessary. If you’re not loving something, let them know politely. If you have an idea for an alternative, don’t be afraid to propose it. Before your tasting, your caterer should ask a series of questions to get to know both of your tastes as well as the vibe of your wedding and guest list so they can come up with ideas for your custom menu.

Pro tip: don’t forget to tip the server who brings you your food at the tasting!

What are the different catering service options for weddings?

The four main styles of catering service for wedding receptions include plated, buffet, staffed stations and family-style.

Plated: The most formal of catering styles, a plated meal is ideal if you’re serving multiple courses. Serving a plated meal is also a great option if you’re needing the dinner hour to not drag on, as a wait staff will serve all of your guests simultaneously rather than having guests stand in line or be released by tables for a buffet, which takes much longer.

Buffet: a buffet may be a more budget-friendly way to go, especially if you have a very large guest list. A buffet also allows guests a little more freedom over what goes on their plate, whereas with a plated meal, their plates are prepared for them (remember, you can include a menu card in your invitation suite for guests to choose their plated meal preference).

Stations: stations are a fun option if you’re wanting to offer multiple styles of food or perhaps a more interactive experience!

Family-style: ideal for smaller, more intimate weddings, family-style catering involves large platters of food at each table where guests pass dishes around and serve themselves.

Check out our blog on catering styles to find what works best for you!

How does tipping work for wedding caterers?

Wondering if you’re supposed to tip the caterer at your wedding? The answer is usually yes, but best practices can vary.

Check your catering contract thoroughly, as a service charge or gratuity may already be built in to your fees and required to be paid with the final bill due before your wedding. If it isn’t built in, it’s customary to tip the catering manager like you would at a restaurant: 15-20% of the food/drink fee.

Don’t forget to tip the wait staff and bartenders, as well! Make sure you’re aware whether these staff members will be employed by your venue or by the catering/bartending company separately, and review those contracts to see if any gratuities are included on your bill.

For a more extensive explanation of who to tip on your wedding day and how much, check out our blog on the topic!

Now Trending in Catering

Food trucks at weddings: food trucks are making their way onto the wedding scene and we couldn’t love it more. If your favorite food truck can’t offer comprehensive wedding catering, consider having them make an appearance during cocktail hour to provide appetizers, or a late-night appearance for dessert! Just double-check with your caterer and make sure everyone’s on the same page!

Grazing boards: charcuterie boards have been taken to a whole new level with these massive grazing boards serving dozens upon dozens of delectable snacks. Your guests will love perusing the giant board and picking out their favorites for a custom snack plate!

Drink pairings: work with your caterer and bartender to develop a drink menu that pairs amazingly with your food menu. Consider offering signature drinks that reflect your individual styles!

Stations: as mentioned above, stations are a fun option for couples wanting to offer more unique dishes or more interactive food experiences. Guests might be able to see their food cooked right in front of them, or try a variety of foods from different stations – the options are endless!

Late night snacks: one fun trend we’re loving? Late-night snacks! Ask your caterer about options for surprising your guests with a late night snack to keep the party going even longer. Think outside the box – breakfast food, junk food, fun food – this is one way to really wow your guests and give them a fun experience they won’t forget!


Is your mouth watering yet? Ready to pick the perfect caterer for your big day and serve up the fare no one will forget? Head to our local vendors page to peruse the profiles of lots of talented local North Texas wedding caterers!

What to Consider When Booking Your Dallas Wedding Venue

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Are you ready to secure your spot at a captivating Dallas wedding venue? There is no such thing as booking a venue too early. This part of wedding planning is one of the most exciting for a happy couple to participate in, and we are here to help! Read on as we give you a set of steps you can follow to make this process simple and enjoyable.

What to Consider When Booking Your Dallas Wedding Venue

Photo // Nasher Sculpture Center, Stephanie Brazzle Photography

Set your Budget

The first thing to do, before getting your hearts set on any venue, is to establish a budget. This step can narrow down your search pool to practical choices as well as saving you from heart ache. Without a budget put in place, you can fall in love with a venue that is not within your financial plans. Save yourself from heart break and set a realistic budget from the start!

Pick the Whereabouts

Pick the location where you both picture yourself getting married. Is this love affair taking place at an exotic, faraway setting or a local, romantic site? While making this decision, take into consideration the different planning and arrangements processes that each require. Discover which process you are more comfortable with as a couple, once that is done the dream venue begins to become clearer.

Estimate a Head Count

Before selecting a venue, you need to lock in on a number of guests that you are expecting to host. This piece of information can give you an idea of how large of a site you will need to be looking for. You want to avoid any venue that is not big enough for your number, as well as any that are too large. This approximation of guests will hone in on the venues that will comfortably fit your family and friends, without a tight squeeze or empty feel.

Choose a Time of Year

Do you picture walking down the aisle in the golden autumn or the radiant summer? The time of year has multiple effect on your wedding’s theme. This can range from color scheme, type of flowers, wedding dress style, and an indoor or outdoor ceremony. With all of these factors, picking when you want your special day helps a couple find a venue with availability during the proper time of year.

Tour Venues in Person

This part is extremely important. Once you have your sights set on a venue, meet the staff and tour the place in person. By going to tour the venue in person, you are able to make multiple observations about the setting that can help you make your decision. This allows you to experience the energy and atmosphere of the venue, something that cannot be observed through merely a gallery of pictures. Most importantly, you need to be comfortable with not only the appeal and representation of the site, but also the staff. Pay attention to their friendliness, you don’t want a team that is pressuring you into booking their venue. Instead, you want people that simply want to assist you on creating your dream wedding. These are the people that are going to be with you on your special day, you need to like them and their communication process.

Consider a Guest’s Point of View

Part of your due diligence is to think about your guests’ convenience. Walking in their shoes while making your final decisions will give you a new perspective on the venue. Pay attention to the number of bathrooms provided, if it is handicap accessible, and if the directions to the venue are easy to follow. This perspective is something that all of your guests will encounter on the day of the event, so it is a great thing to examine.

Ask Ask Ask!

Our final piece of advice for you is to not be afraid to ask questions. Once you have fallen in love with a venue it is important to know what you are committing to, so ask away! We have provided you with some popular and essential questions to ask the venue so you can make sure that they can accomplish exactly what you are envisioning.

    1. How long is the space available for the day we have selected?
    2. Are there any décor or noise restrictions that we must comply to?
    3. Do you have a backup plan for unexpected weather?
    4. Do we have to use your approved vendors, or can we use any vendors we wish?
    5. Do different days of the week vary in rates?
    6. Are there any additional fees I am unaware of?
    7. Who will be my main point of contact?

Now that you know what to look for when selecting a venue, it’s time to book your pick! See our list of Dallas wedding venues to start your search!