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June 16, 2010

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A Fairytale Ending From the “Venue Disaster”

June 10, 2010

The morning began with a sweet email from the bride’s father asking me for some information. He didn’t want to bother his daughter on her wedding day. After all she had been through with moving her venue just a couple weeks before he wanted her day to be perfect. I assured him everyone was in place to make that happened. I told him not to worry and that I personally promise to see to it that her day is wonderful!

Soon the chapel bells chimed at Highland Park United Methodist Church and the heavy wooden doors opened to reveal a gorgeous bride and her proud father. I have seen lots of weddings but something about this one brought me to tears at that moment. Maybe it was because in this day and age when you see a couple embrace the elements of a traditional wedding complete with the organ playing the wedding march, it just tugs at your heartstrings. Or maybe it was because all three of us have fallen in love with this sweet bride and her adoring husband. They come from good stock and everyone was there with nothing but the best of wishes for this couple.

The sanctuary is gorgeous and didn’t need much help but the stunning flowers created by Darrell Ward Designs added the perfect finishing touch. Everything went off fine except for a cute little flower girl dropping her basket at the beginning of her descent down the aisle. It took a little prodding from her mom to abandon the fallen petals but everyone loves a precious flower girl!

Other than that everything was wonderful and the catch in the bride’s voice as she recited her vows touched me as it reiterated what a sensitive thoughtful girl our client is. Jessica and David were glowing as they went down the aisle. They truly looked like the topper on a wedding cake!

The reception took place at The Crescent Hotel Gallery Ballroom. On the terrace, the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with mini beef wellingtons, crabcakes, and grape salad on crostinis while they waited for the arrival of the bride and groom. Pink lemonade was passed to help with those who were parched but not ready to belly up to the bar just yet.

After the first dance, all the guests were seated and served a delicious dinner of a duet of beef tenderloin and chicken. I just love a plated dinner because everyone finishes at the same time and so we can get the party started sooner. However, it was another hour before we could cut the cake as the Gacke and Teed men failed to tell us they were putting on the comedy hour…we only had them down for a toast…but the room was filled with laughter as many stories of their youths were shared. You can tell this is a couple that places great emphasis on family and I love it!

Finally, it was time for cake and eyeballs. Wait …what? Yes, David is an eye doctor and they had Panini Bakery make truffles that looked like eyeballs instead of a groom’s cake. The really funny part happened when you bit into them as they were actually cherries on the inside! This is just a small example of David’s great sense of humor.

Thanks to our friend Brian Prescott of  Simply Music, the dance floor was packed. He really knows how to get a party going! Kathy and I loved seeing how much fun this whole group was having on the dance floor! Then all too soon it was time for them to depart. In a shower of bubbles, they ran off for a well deserved honeymoon. Jessica’s dad came up and whispered in my ear…”You were right.” I turned and looked at him with a quizzical look and he said “It WAS Wonderful!!” That just made my night!!

We wish them a lifetime of bliss. ~Beth

Green Wedding Registry

June 1, 2010

The Green Bride Guide is the place to go for all things eco-friendly. Learn more about planning a green wedding, find vendors who have an earth-friendly philosophy in the  Green Vendor Directory, and shop for eco-chic products.

Green products are made from environmentally friendly materials or use production processes that reduce the impact on the environment.

Enjoy shopping!

Wildflower Wedding Album and Guest Book

Twisted Bead Napkin Rings from Indonesia

Martini Glasses made from 91% post-consumer glass

Plush Organic Cotton Towels

Reclaimed Wood Bench

Five-Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set

Perfection Replaces Disastrous Venue

May 22, 2010

First of all, can I just say, we love working with the Rosewood Crescent Hotel. This is the second time they have come to the rescue when a venue disaster has occurred for one of our brides. The first time we worked with Julian who was absolutely awesome and a knight in shining armor…or in his case a really dapper suit! For our May 29th wedding, we will be working with Alison.  She is the angel who brought calm, order and a lot of class to a sweet bride who has experienced seven stressful days. Alison had wonderful creative ideas and yet was practical about achieving the best bang for the buck.

In a previous post, Venue Disaster, we had written about a venue that is under construction and who failed to tell the bride and groom about the situation…with the wedding only 2 1/2 weeks away.  After a meeting that I can only describe as shock and horror, new plans began….just what every bride wants to do 2 1/2 weeks out, right?!

Let me insert lessons learned here:

1. Add a clause to your contract that states:
This agreement is based on the space as is, with no active construction or remodeling during agreed upon date. In the event that the venue has construction/remodeling during the agreed date, the venue will refund 100% of the monies paid, including the non-refundable deposit.

Seriously consider wedding insurance: this not only covers your venue going bankrupt, but it even covers things such as the bride or groom getting cold feet and changing their mind! (your heart may be broke but at least you will not be). One of our brides had wedding insurance due to the fact that her fiancé was out of the country and you never know what is going to happen with trying to fly whole families over for a wedding. Luckily she didn’t need it, but it was nice to know it was there. If you need insurance, we recommend contacting Tom Sowell.

So let’s talk about the good things
At Wedding Day Bliss, we make an effort to focus on the positive. So let’s move on from the negative and talk about the fabulous aspects of this upcoming wedding. This is definitely a happy accident!  The Crescent Hotel once again has stepped in and stepped up!  As Jessica revisited her original plans, new ideas began to bloom and everything just got better….enhanced lighting, cocktail hour on the magnificent Terrace, improved linen ideas, superior menu,  signature drinks and on and on!

Elizabeth, one of our interns, accompanied us to the meeting at the Crescent Hotel. She is my daughter and was born more Southern than me if that is possible. She loves all things about hospitality and elegance so she was soaking up every detail. Alison’s intern, Callen was also present at the meeting. She is a beautiful sweet young woman from Alabama. For both interns it was their first day on the job and what a way to get your feet wet…addressing all the venue details in one meeting and ten days before the wedding! I know that Elizabeth was AMAZED at how many details are involved in planning a reception, but she was lucky to have the Crescent as her first example of how a trustworthy and professional venue practices business. We enjoyed hearing the comments from these interns since they are in the same age group as many of our brides. At Wedding Day Bliss, we have 5 daughters in their twenties so we discuss new trends with them and we appreciate their input. We love the fresh new ideas that they bring to our company.

What a difference a week makes. Let me just say the smile on Jessica’s face was a balm to my soul! I am looking forward to one amazing wedding!!

Blissfully, Beth

Brides Against Breast Cancer-Dallas

May 19, 2010

The Brides Against Breast Cancer program provides an opportunity for a bride-to-be to find a beautiful wedding gown while helping women who are losing their fight against breast cancer.

Previous brides  have an ecofriendly opportunity to donate their wedding gown to the organization. The BABC program has received more than 50,000 wedding gown donations. BABC currently has an extensive inventory of vintage, antique and retro gowns, and are looking for wedding gowns, veils, or slips made since 2005.

Mark your calendars! BABC will host a wedding gown sale in Dallas on July 23 and July 24.

Power Hour Preview Shopping Spree – $20 Admission per Attendee

Friday, July 23 from 10 a.m. – Noon
Click Here to Purchase Tickets!

General Sale – Free Admission
Friday, July 23 from Noon – 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Click Here to Pre-Register!

If you want to shop earlier, BABC will have a wedding gown sale in Houston on June 25-27 and Austin on July 2-3.

Interested in being a Volunteer? Click HERE to fill out the volunteer registration form.

Happy shopping!

Wedding with Bling – Sneak Peek

May 18, 2010

Jen & Jarrod’s wedding celebration took place at Brookhaven Country Club. Jen added many beautiful, creative,  sparkly touches to her Hollywood theme wedding. Here is a sneak peek of the wedding day preparations.

Floral Design – Chelle’s Belles
Venue – Brookhaven Country Club

Venue Disaster

May 13, 2010

Yesterday, we met our May 29th bride and groom at their reception venue to go over the room layout and the final details for their wedding. Kathy and I reviewed our notes and relaxed knowing that we had everything in place and this was just a quick meeting.

What is that saying about counting your chickens before they are hatched? Well it is true because we found a rotten egg.

As we traveled to the top floor, we noticed construction in the atrium where the cocktail hour and the food buffet will be located. This is an important part of their plan and essential to the flow for the evening reception. Our darling couple (who we are crazy about!!) had selected this venue exactly one year ago and they are paying top dollar for this site. Yet, the once lovely brass railings were now pieces of plywood, and the columns were drywall and spackle, and in the center stood 4 paint splattered scaffolds.

Shock does not begin to describe everyone’s feelings at that moment. The manager was looking through his file and said “Oh I don’t have much information here, have you selected anything?” The bride, still stunned from the construction, turned and said “Yes, I did all that months ago with the previous manager.” I know how sick I felt at that moment and I can only imagine how our sweet couple felt. As they looked through his minimal paperwork and waited while he called the leasing agent, Kathy and I were already going over the options of how to make the one ballroom work. We checked into using an adjoining room. We considered the many options of draping to try to hide the mess and we talked through possible room layouts if we needed to combine the cocktail hour and food buffet into this one space.

The vice president of operations was called in (he has the ability to change the financial arrangements) and I must say that his demeanor was not comforting. He spent most of his time telling us what a headache the construction was creating for him and implying….what do you want from me? We would rather have had a call earlier telling us what was going on and offering solutions or financial reimbursements…but he arrived with a “hey I have no control –  I just lease the space” attitude. He told the bride and groom that he had a prom with 500 kids the previous weekend and no one noticed the construction (prom….seriously?) He did finally agree to refund their money…but since the wedding is 2 1/2 weeks away, that is adding another headache that neither one of these busy professionals have the time for. At this point, the bride and groom decided to sleep on it and discuss their options over the next few days.

The only high point in the day for us was when the bride turned to us and said “I am so glad y’all were here. Both our mothers are out-of-town and it was so wonderful to have the support.” She told us two more times that our presence was very comforting. When we got in the car, Kathy and I turned to each other and we had bittersweet tears in our eyes and we said…”THAT is why we do this.” At this important time in your life, you need someone who has life experience, wedding experience and a motherly touch to handle a crisis.

Stay tuned for further news on how this plays out! ~ Beth