THE ESSENTIAL RESOURCE GUIDE TO
PLANNING A WEDDING IN DALLAS
Weddings are a special day for people to show their love for one another in front of family and friends and create joyful memories to last a lifetime. Then again, planning a successful wedding can also be a complicated process.
That is because putting together this special event entails a seemingly endless list of important details. To find the ideal location for this rare occasion, you must choose from top wedding venues in Dallas, make a guest list of treasured people, and choose a good caterer, among other activities.
Our CN Catering experts prepared this wedding guide to help you plan a special day that goes smoothly and brings joyful memories.
THE FIRST STEPS TO PLANNING A WEDDING IN DALLAS
From choosing an appropriate venue to inviting guests, there are many things to focus on when planning a successful wedding. Nonetheless, in the initial planning stages, you need to focus on four pillars to build a smooth wedding: budget, wedding date, venue, and the number of guests.
With the four pillars in place, you have a blueprint showing how the extras needed to complete your wedding plan fit together. For instance, with a suitable wedding venue in mind, you can visualize the decorations, lighting fixtures, and catering services needed to complete the wedding project.
DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET
Planning a successful wedding starts with having a reasonable budget in place. It determines the kind of venue to book, the number of guests to invite, the honeymoon destination to choose from, and catering services to use.
A budget sets all other wedding plans in motion. Lack of it would mean you are not ready to find your top wedding venue in Dallas, Texas, and host it. So, how do you make a reasonable wedding budget? The following tips will walk you through these initial stages.
IDENTIFY THE PRIORITIES THAT NEED A BUDGET ALLOCATION
To begin with, identify all the critical products and services that require a budget allocation. The products and services could include venues, wedding outfits, decorations, photographers, wedding stationery, catering, and entertainment vendors.
ALLOCATE A BUDGET ESTIMATE FOR THE PRIORITIES
After identifying the essential services and products for the upcoming wedding, allocate a budget estimate for each. For instance, check into your chosen venue, and inquire about the available dates and the cost for holding a wedding.
To simplify the process, check the costs online or call vendors instead of making in-person visits. After finding the budget estimates of essential products and services, sum up the prices to get a rough budget for the wedding.
RAISE THE WEDDING BUDGET
Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding. Now, however, the bride and groom often pay for the wedding with help from all the parents. Sometimes the couple has saved quite a bit toward the nuptials. However, the savings can fall short of the budget estimate, an understandable issue. Then, the couple may request support from friends, family, crowdfunding, or any other accessible source or cut the budget.
PREPARE YOUR GUEST LIST AND HEADCOUNT
Preparing the guest list early in the planning stages is as important as making the budget. Why? The list helps determine essential things like the venue’s size, catering budget, number of chairs, and more. Use the following ideas as a benchmark to make a guest list featuring everyone who matters in the couple’s lives.
IDENTIFY ALL THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO INVITE
Sit down with your partner and list friends, relatives, colleagues, and everyone you want to invite. Start with immediate family, move to close friends, and end with distant relatives, colleagues, and community members.
CONSIDER THE PARENTS’ INPUT
The brides’ parents are central in planning weddings, especially in making the guest list. Therefore, before you finalize the list of invitees, let parents from both sides recommend some crucial people they want to invite. Also, let them know the total number of guests you can afford.
REFINE THE LIST
If you end up with a long list of invitees, narrow it down by excluding children under 18, +1 invites, forced invites, and distant friends. Again, you want to involve your parents and partner in excluding less critical guests.
CHOOSE YOUR VENUE FROM TOP WEDDING VENUES DALLAS
When choosing top wedding venues in Dallas, you are likely to be spoiled for choice. The city has plenty of wedding venues, each designed for various wedding styles, budgets, and sizes. All in all, you should always go for those that are spacious enough to accommodate your guests.
If you find it hard to pick the best, go with the top-rated options below. They have spacious ballrooms for small or large events, ample parking, magnificent landscapes, upscale decor, and onsite catering. The majority of weddings in Dallas happen here.
THE ROOM ON MAIN
Recognized for its grandeur by The Knot as the “Best of Weddings” in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, The Room on Main offers stunning architecture, spacious amenities, and 6th floor views of Dallas. It is arguably one of the best wedding venues in Dallas.
The Room on Main boasts a historic ballroom that can hold up to 320 guests. You can use it as a venue for the wedding ceremony and reception or a dance floor for your visitors to dance the night away. Its location in downtown Dallas enables convenient access from any part of the city.
The venue’s ballroom has tasteful decorations that bring a warm ambiance to your event. Thanks to the luxuriously decorated interior, which blends with most themes, 15-foot-tall windows that offer stunning views, and a 30-foot high ceiling that adds an elegant statement to the occasion.
Apart from the ballroom, the Room on Main has newly updated its lobby area, groom’s room and bridal suite and offers spacious parking. This venue’s in-house team of caterers prepares and serves guests with favorite dishes, drinks, and desserts.
THE HALL ON DRAGON
The Hall on Dragon is a modern masterpiece exemplifying a contemporary atmosphere and stylish elegance. This luxurious space is highly-configurable and can host events from as few as 100 to as many as 500 guests.
Its distinctive location reflects the deep appreciation and respect toward artistic and design-oriented guests, fronting it as one of Dallas’ top wedding venues. This Hall on Dragon’s 15,000-square-foot area can be subdivided to hold a ceremony and reception so there’s no need to book various venues for an upcoming wedding.
Besides the spacious venue, the Hall on Dragon has several add-ons to give you a wholesome experience. For instance, it has an outside terrace for cocktails, and all types of photo lounges any celebration.
Furthermore, the Hall on Dragon has a spacious bridal suite and groom’s room perfect for all of your instagrammable moments. The in-house catering team at The Hall on Dragon is ready to assist you with all of your catering needs. Besides weddings, you can organize birthday parties, religious ceremonies, and civil unions here.
THE WINDSOR AT HEBRON PARK
A charming chapel adorned with soaring ceilings and stunning wooden accents, the Windsor at Hebron Park lends a unique, romantic charm that you can hardly find in ordinary wedding venues in Texas.
Nestled in suburban Dallas, this venue features a spacious ballroom that holds up to 300 guests. It can be resized for smaller weddings and other celebrations like birthday parties, bachelorette, vow renewals, and commitment ceremonies.
Its ballroom features stylistic details to professionally complement your wedding themes, alongside wowing your guests. The stylistic elements include a vaulted ceiling with vintage chandeliers, french windows, and a spacious outdoor patio with included string lighting.
On top of the gorgeous embellishments that furnish the ballroom space, the Windsor at Hebron Park has several other amenities that add to its appeal. It is easily accessible and has ample parking and outdoor event space.
Furthermore, the Windsor at Hebron Park offers many photo lounge options as well as dance floors, and band staging where you can capture moments of your big day. Lighting fixtures provide the exact amount of light needed at your venue, and in-house linens to decorate chairs and tables.
HOWELL AND DRAGON
“Let us take care of the details” is Howell and Dragon’s promise to event planners who book the venue. The slogan seals the deal for hosts already feeling the weight of planning for their big day. You can let this vendor take over stressful duties like catering and venue decoration upon booking.
Howell and Dragon has a guest capacity of 300, which makes it an ideal venue for small to large events. The space boasts a gorgeous white brick ballroom with modern furnishings with exposed beams and polished accent lighting. Its ambiance makes for not only a beautiful photograph but also incredible memories for every guest in attendance.
The ballroom has an inbuilt bar offering classic wines, cocktails, and beer and an in-house catering team, serving chef-prepared meals. There is also an extensive main bar and lounge area for your guests to enjoy. So, you can organize the wedding ceremony, reception, and celebrations in one room — the ballroom.
Other great add-ons in this venue include a spacious outdoor event space, a dressing room, a big parking lot, and a wireless network. This vendor can provide chairs, band staging, monograms, champagne towers, and silverware.
CHOOSE YOUR CATERER EARLY
A wedding is never complete without professional catering. The service ensures guests are full and happy as they celebrate your union. Without it, your valued guests are likely to leave the venue hungry and disgruntled.
For this reason, when making wedding plans, make sure you budget for a professional caterer who can really make an impact. Remember to book the best catering company months before the big day.
Why? Top-rated catering service providers like CN Catering are always fully booked. Therefore, if you prefer their premier services, you need to book early so they secure your event on their calendar.
Otherwise, you may have to settle on another catering service provider. Then again, if you miss a slot in your favorite catering company, do press the panic mode.
You may choose a cake from a different provider, especially a custom cake. CN Catering has an outstanding team with a premiere list of cake options, as well, and is available for private tastings. Keep in mind that finalizing menu choices is one of the more pleasurable parts of wedding planning.
TYPES OF MENUS
THEMED HORS D’OEUVRES, AND COCKTAIL SERVICE
Besides and in addition to a buffet or sit-down meals, a professional catering company should offer varied drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The caterer will provide classic cocktails, wines, beers, and soft beverages like tea or coffee to guests who do not use alcoholic beverages.
THEMED BUFFET, PLATED, AND FAMILY-STYLE MENU
Your catering company can probably offer a variety of buffet and wedding breakfasts. For those who choose from one of the top wedding venues in Dallas, the choices and variety can be unparalleled.
For a buffet menu, you pay a fixed price. CN Catering offers elegant service buffets where the catering staff serves guests.
For plated or family-style meals, guests enjoy a sit-down meal. A popular choice is the wedding breakfast menu. The breakfast meal is enjoyed immediately after the ceremony.
OTHER VENUE-RELATED SERVICES TO PLAN FOR
Catering is not the only venue-related service to plan for. But, there are several other services needed to make your wedding experience complete. For instance, our catering company, CN Catering, provides extras like a photo booth, lighting, linens, audio-visual equipment, and a valet.
The extras save the time and resources you could have spent searching for appropriate vendors and making orders. The amenities also reduce your costs since some catering companies don’t mind giving a discount to clients acquiring their meal and extra services.
CHOOSING YOUR DATE
CHOOSE THE DATE ACCORDING TO VENUE AVAILABILITY
PLAN YOUR WEDDING AROUND AN APPROPRIATE SEASON
STYLE AND DESIGN
Though they might seem trivial initially, details like color theme, design of chairs, interior decor, the color of utensils, and texture of flowers can make or break your wedding. How? The style and design details set the mood and feel of this memorable day.
So, how do you ensure you get the design and style right? The trick is to apply maximum creativity, boldness, and attention to detail. Many couples start a Pinterest board to find and track unique ideas and thoughts.
Besides creativity, you can use the following pointers as a benchmark to get started.
- Choose a color palette.
- Design a mood board.
- Use a motif.
- Choose a venue that complements your color palette.
- Make sure every detail matches your wedding theme.
INVITATIONS, STATIONERY, AND SIGNAGE
Getting your wedding stationery is another crucial part of planning a successful wedding. The stationery helps you invite guests in style, keep records, thank guests for attending, and guide guests to their seats, among other things.
While there are several wedding paper products to buy, there are a few important ones to prioritize: guest book, orders of service, menus, invitations, and place cards. Each piece of wedding stationery has a unique role to play during the wedding.
A wedding guest book allows the attendees to document their best wishes to the couple, alongside giving advice that would add some value to your union. The guest book will preserve good memories.
PLACE AND ESCORT CARDS
ORDER OF SERVICE
From engagements to the reception, weddings have their dos and don’ts that must be followed. That’s what wedding planners call etiquette. Since there are many protocols to observe, working with an experienced event planner matters.
Unlike you, the event planners have handled several weddings in Texas. So, they understand the etiquette for critical wedding processes like engagement, reception, invitation, attire selection, the wedding day, and the wedding.
Though wedding ceremonies follow a generic order, you can always customize yours as you please. For instance, you can hold your wedding and reception in separate venues or in the same location. Many couples opt for the latter choice because it simplifies the event planning process and can make guests more comfortable on the wedding day. All in all, you will have to stick to the standard order of wedding ceremonies which includes:
EXCHANGE OF VOWS AND RINGS
KISS, CLOSING REMARKS, AND RECESSIONAL
While weddings are different, they all have one thing in common, a reception. This is the time when all attendees meet and join the celebration with delicious cuisines and drinks as they enjoy entertainment.
Since the reception is as essential as the ceremony, consider making it memorable. We suggest you go with the most memorable location and experienced catering companies. Collaborate with your chosen venue’s management, one that has vetted catering experts who can provide the best services for your guests.
Depending on your needs, your caterer can offer various receptions, including brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, champagne, cocktail, or cake receptions. With the vast choice of reception types, you are at liberty to select a reception that gives your guests the best experience ever. They can also offer ideas for music and a list of other services to make your day all the more memorable.
CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER
If the ceremony is in a place of worship, that organization may have guidelines about what is appropriate. There’s often an organ, and there’s a broad selection of classical music to help the attendees settle down before the ceremony, which a small ensemble can play. They may also choose a soloist to sing music special to the couple. Also, some Christian churches require that all music be religious so the Wedding March is out. Every religion usually has music after the ceremony.
For other religions such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, there are elaborate ceremonies with music already chosen. Hindu marriages are extremely elaborate and can take days to complete.
If the ceremony is at a venue, then the couple can choose whatever music suits them during the ceremony and after. Many couples now choose a DJ to play music at the reception for all the generations present. So, it’s possible to hear Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lizzo at the same reception. And, of course, there’s always the all-American Chicken Dance.
LET CN CATERING HANDLE YOUR CATERING NEEDS
Catering is an essential service of a successful wedding as it ensures guests get the best cuisines and drinks at the reception. CN Catering stands as the best caterer in Texas. We are Dallas’ premiere catering company providing fresh, high-quality meals and beverages to hosts organizing small to large events. Call us at (214) 821-2514 to learn how we can help simplify catering for your upcoming wedding at one of the top wedding venues in Dallas.