The Essential Resource Guide to Planning a Wedding in Dallas

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. The passionate Team at CN Catering have organized thousands of weddings and events in Dallas, and have prepared this Wedding Resource Guide to help ensure that your special day 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, and 2021, The Room on Main offers stunning architecture and spacious amenities. It is arguably one of the best wedding venues in Dallas, Texas.

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 an open space for outdoor events and a spacious parking lot. 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 accommodates small events of 150 and large events of up to 350 guests.

Its distinctive location reflects the deep appreciation and respect toward artistic and design-oriented guests, fronting it as one of the top downtown wedding venues in Dallas. 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, a dance floor for celebrations, and a photo booth.

Furthermore, the Hall on Dragon has wireless internet, a dressing room, and an in-house catering team to take over 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, vow renewals, and has been recognized as one of the most versatile venues, as they also host many corporate events for Dallas-based companies.

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 available intimate 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 has a photo booth where you can capture moments of your big day, lighting fixtures to 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 hosts 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 for incredible memories for every guest in attendance.

The ballroom has an inbuilt mini-bar offering classic wines, cocktails, and beer and an in-house catering team, serving chef-prepared meals. So, you can organize the wedding ceremony, reception, and celebrations in one room — the ballroom.  Howell and Dragon is known to offer one of the most advantageous all-inclusive wedding packages in Dallas.

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. Admittedly, we are biased that CN Catering remains the premier catering service in Dallas. Accordingly, we try to accommodate all of our clients and partners, however we encourage everyone to book as early as possible, to help secure your event, and begin the process to plan for every detail. Also, a quick reminder – you may choose a cake from a different provider or pastry chef. And sometimes, some events would prefer to have a family member or a much-loved baker who specializes in a favorite cake recipe. CN Catering remains open to the client’s wishes, and we’re always happy to participate in the cake tasting as well.

TYPES OF MENUS

You can still find an appropriate company by considering two primary qualifications, the type of menu and the drink service they offer. As a rule of thumb, a good caterer provides an array of drinks and meals to choose from.

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, and the catering company prepares various types of meals and gives you options. The catering company will either provide a self-serve buffet or assign workers to serve made-to-order meals.

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. 

THEMED STATIONS

For larger guest lists, themed stations are a delightful way to provide outstanding service and a host of menu options. This option will also allow guests to chat while in line.

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, CN Catering also provides extras like a photo booth, lighting, linens, audio-visual equipment, and a valet.  We never miss a detail.

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

Once you know the location you want and depending on the venue’s open dates, choose the date for your big day. Don’t be fooled; selecting the date is complicated since you have to consider several things to come up with one that favors you, your guests, and all the companies you’re hiring. To settle on a suitable date:

CHOOSE THE DATE ACCORDING TO VENUE AVAILABILITY

Keep in mind that the most beautiful venue locations book quickly. So, be prepared to act flexibly if you want to have your wedding at a particular venue. Being flexible on your date will ensure that you have your ideal location.

Ideally, you should book the venue at least one month (even more in heavily populated cities) before your chosen date so that the venue managers can let you know when their space is most available. Schedule your wedding date according to venue availability.

PLAN YOUR WEDDING AROUND AN APPROPRIATE SEASON

You can hold your wedding in Texas during any season. Since each season brings a different atmosphere to your wedding. Schedule your big day during the most appropriate season for you.

Traditionally, Spring and Summer is the best season for weddings in Texas. Summer starts early in Texas, so you and your guests have more time for summer outfits and can take vacation days to travel to your special day. The summer season also has longer days, a factor that gives you more time to get everything done within the day.

Suppose the summer’s heat is not ideal for your big day; the fall season will not disappoint.

During Fall, the air is less humid, and the temperatures are friendly for outdoor and indoor weddings. What’s more? The autumn-colored leaves act as a magnificent backdrop for outdoor weddings.

Spring is the ideal season for lovebirds who want the best of both worlds. During this time, the outdoor and indoor weather is friendly, wedding gardens have pretty flowers, and guests are probably available.

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.

GUEST BOOK

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.

INVITATION SUITE

Arguably, invitations are the most critical pieces of stationary in a typical wedding. They convey essential information like ceremony/reception location, date, time, and welcome message to the guests.

PLACE AND ESCORT CARDS

Even though some planners use escort and place cards to mean the same thing, both cards are different. Escort cards guide guests to a table they will use during the reception. On the other hand, place cards guide guests to their reserved seats.

ORDER OF SERVICE

Just as its name suggests, an order of service outlines how your wedding ceremony will run from start to end. It eliminates the discomfort and impatience of having little knowledge of the wedding ceremony, and no one’s standing when they should be sitting.

MENU

Since catering is an integral part of a wedding, guests will want to know the meals and drinks offered. Menu order is what briefs the guests about the cuisines, wines, beers, cocktails, and everything else you have to offer. Guests will know whether it’s an hors d’oeuvres only, a sit-down meal, or a buffet and whether it’s an open bar (it’s economically best to have just soft drinks, wine, and beer at the open bar) or just punch bowls with alcohol and without.

ETIQUETTE

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.

CEREMONY

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:

PROCESSION

Typically, a wedding starts with a procession of the bridesmaids and groomsmen matching down the aisle in pairs, followed by the ring bearer who delivers the rings to the altar, and then the flower girl. Afterward, the parents walk the groom and bride down the aisle.

OPENING REMARKS

After walking down the aisle, the officiant welcomes attendees, gives a small anecdote of the love story or shares the significance of marriage. The officiant sets the mood for the wedding ceremony.

READINGS

After opening remarks, the officiant invites some key people to share religious, spiritual, or romantic readings. Then, the officiant addresses the couple, emphasizing the significance of vows and marital union.

EXCHANGE OF VOWS AND RINGS

Unlike traditional weddings where the officiant recites generic vows, today, couples can decide on the type of vows to take. After vows, the couple will help each other fit rings or bands, and the officiant will pronounce you as a married couple.

KISS, CLOSING REMARKS, AND RECESSIONAL

After exchanging vows and rings, the newlyweds kiss in a magical moment that deserves a good photo for memories. The officiant ends with closing remarks and everyone walks out to appropriate music.

THE RECEPTION

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

Word of mouth works extremely well to find the photographer to etch these happy moments forever. A couple can also use a search engine and read reviews online. Narrow down the choices, then look at their portfolios for the one that catches the eye.

CHOOSING MUSIC

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.

PARTNERING WITH CN CATERING

Hopefully, this resource guide is helpful in terms of planning considerations for your wedding in Dallas.  We’re genuinely passionate about weddings and fulfilling our promise to make every event incredibly memorable, and stress-free.  Please let us know if we can help answer questions about your big day, or if you have any questions regarding catering and/or wedding event venues in Dallas