Emerald: Color of the Year 2013

Pantone has named Emerald the color of the year. I'm going to show you the hottest ways to showcase this great color in your wedding! Green represents natural elements such as grass and greenery. It represents money and success as well. These are all great reasons why emerald green is a great wedding color!

Emerald is a bold color, but paired with black and white patterns, it is truly elegant. Damask, stripes, and chevron work well with this color. I feel emerald shows it's classy form when expressed with silk, such as for bridesmaids dresses or table linens. Don't get me wrong. Emerald doesn't always have to be paired with black. It works well with other natural textures such as wood, tons of candles, and whimsical white flowers.

Not to mention, emerald cut of ring is gorgeous!

The Reception Space:

The Bridal Party:

The Cake:

The Stationary:

Chalk It Up!

DPL Event Design has a 2' x 3' wood framed chalkboard for rent. Look at all the great ways you can use this affordable statement piece, which rents for $18/day and includes chalk.
Use our large chalkboard for:
The Dinner Menu
Add a Fun Phrase such as "Eat, Drink, and Be Married!"
To Display the Bride and Groom's Love Story!
A Seating Chart
Also, incorporate hanging "Mr." and "Mrs." chalkboard signs at the sweetheart table on the chairs of the bride and groom. They come with choice of ribbon!
Other great ideas:
Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right
Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith
Soft & Sweet, Strong & Steady
Glass of Wine, Shot of Whiskey
Honeysuckle, Honey Bee (Thank you Blake Shelton!)
and many more cute labels!
Call to reserve them for your big day! (817) 897-3035

Open Bar Dilemma Solved!

Here are some great tips for keeping your bar tab affordable on your big day from Bartender Mayur Subbarao via Martha Stewart Weddings.

Q: What's the cheapest way to have an open bar?
The secret is to avoid premium spirits (save the Johnny Walker Blue for the honeymoon), and pare down your selection. If you stick to the basics and offer just one or two midrange bottles of each type of liquor, you'll come in around $20 a head. Stock a red and a white wine and a couple of beers, plus Scotch, bourbon, gin, rum, and vodka. Then gather an array of mixers like sodas and tonic; bottled orange, grapefruit, and cranberry juices; and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juices.

Q: And what about specialty drinks?
I love them. To save time and money, make batches in advance. If the recipe calls for one or two liquors...leave them out until serving time. Then return unopened bottles.

For the Man who Swept you Off your Feet

What a fun expression by the groomsmen in these weddings, from the attire, the accessories, and the confections! Weddings aren't always the most exciting for the guys, so why not give them something they can really get into?
Dunt-dunt-dunt-dahh. They're here to save you!

The strong and silent types.
Action Photo! They've got skills.
A more subtle expression of your groom and his sidekick's strength and total awesomeness.
United brotherhood.

They had the same ones when they were little. ;) Sentimental, but unnoticed at the most elegant of affairs.

Epic groom's cake.
Do you have more superhero wedding ideas? Share them here!

You're Engaged?! Congratulations!...What Next?

So, he really liked it, and put a ring on it! What to do next?

Besides post a shining pic of the rock on your facebook and informing all your nearest and dearest, you can start by setting a date! Most well thought out weddings are planned 12 months or more in advance. Okay, so having a well rounded Pinterest board helps, but you also need to search out a venue and reserve your date. You'll need plenty of time to try on dresses, and taste cakes, and review all the details. Hiring a great wedding planner will help because they will be able to handle all of the daunting tasks. The point is, it can get overwhelming, so I'm offering you some baby steps and down-right truthful advice.

1. Set a Date and Location.

Consider the season, the weather, whether travel is involved, and potential conflicts. I included location because if you are like me and my husband, our families live across the US. We decided upon Las Vegas because it was mutual and we wanted both families to have the same opportunity to attend. We chose early January because most people have a holiday from work and school and would be more likely to attend. Some people want to marry on their anniversary, or others for the irony of the date, such as 7-7-7. You may have dreamed of being married on the beach, so you'll need to pick a time with warm weather. If you are set on having your favorite flower throughout, check to see if it's in season.

2. Set a Budget.

It's easy to ignore the budget and just wing it, but I promise you will want to do this from the jump. Maybe you'll find that you need more than 12 months to save up. Most venues and vendors require a deposit up front, so there will be expenses early on as well. Whether you revise your budget down the road or not is another story. Regardless, it will be a great tool to use in allocating expenses and to negotiate prices. So, be reasonable and honest, and use all the information available to set it. It will help you select your venue, your cake, your entertainment, your favors, your decor, and so much more. When you get to this step it's a great time to contact a wedding coordinator, such as DPL Event Design. Why? Because we offer a free consultation where you will sit down one on one with a coordinator to discuss your dream wedding. Your coordinator will put together a comprehensive package incorporating all feasible ideas within your budget for you to review. You can make changes to this package up to 3 weeks prior to your event. Your event planner will offer money saving options to you and take a huge load off of you by setting up your appointments and doing your research for you.

3. Announce your engagement.

Some people choose to skip the formal engagement party, but I find it a great way to round up the troops. I once attended one for a couple who rented out a dance hall and asked that each person bring a bottle of liquor as admission to be used at their BYOB wedding venue. You may have access to a pool, a beautiful backyard, a private room, etc. Make it personal to you and your fiance and within your budget. Again, a great wedding planner will deliver a bang for your buck and work to get as many of your "wants" incorporated within your budget.

4. Schedule Engagement Photos.

These are great to send out with your save the dates and invitations. These are also great to frame for showers and your wedding day. If you are local to DFW I would recommend the following: Fountain Designs, Teshorn Jackson Photography, Cinnamon Dreams Photography, Keith Evans Photography. These are vendors I know whom are professional and deliver good quality.

5. Select your Bridal Party.

These will be your go-to people. You want to pick those which are dependable and just as excited about your wedding as you are. Don't think just because your fiance has a huge family or has a ton of college frat brothers and will have 7 on their side, that you have to have as many. It's about quality, not quantity, in my opinion. Weddings are stressful enough. Planning is a journey, and the wedding day is when it comes to fruition. Make that experience a pleasant one by building a team of people who will be there for you.

6. Pick your Colors and Theme.

There are a ton of great ideas out there. Pick one that you and your fiance agree upon. Find a theme that you can do fun things with. One that reflects your personality. One where you can incorporate your best memories together. You can pick any theme out there, as long as you stick with it throughout. Again, a wedding designer has a trained eye and will help you as you plan. You may be tempted to incorporate feathers, diamonds, pearls, rustic, etc., but always revert back to your theme. Afterall, a theme is unifying idea, per

7. Start Planning.

What? You thought we already had? Well, kind of. You have a map now. Now that we've discussed the basics, it's time to understand the process of a wedding and all the details that go along with it: the etiquette and the tradition. If you're reading this, it's probably because you've never planned a wedding before, and that's okay. I will warn you, others may try to influence you. They will try to relive their day through you. They will be pushy at times or misinterpret your vision, but that's why a wedding coordinator is a wonderful idea. Have you heard of a scape goat? The Knot, Pinterest, and those other resources are wonderful, so use them accordingly. Too bad they can't plan it for you, and do it for free! That's exactly why you need a passionate event planner who will work for you.

So, that's it! I truly hope this gets you off to the right start! Don't hesitate to email me at  or call (817) 988-3096 to schedule your free consultation to get started. I am dedicated to my clients. I am even dedicated to helping you if you are out of town. How is this possible? Well I can send you an idea board for your theme, which I will put together just for you. I can coordinate your vendors, develop a timeline, develop a monogram, etc. and still build a package just right for you, including flower arrangements! Check out for my portfolio.

Best of luck in your planning endevour, and congratulations again!

Diamond and Jewels Inspired Bridal Shower

They say diamonds are a girls best friend. Well, why not host a stunning designer jewelry bridal shower, so you and your bridal party can try on fabulous Stella & Dot jewelry over food and drinks? Plus, the host will receive credit for free and discounted jewelry pieces, so you'll have the honeymoon jewelry covered also!

Fall 2012 Bridal Magazine

The Dream. Plan. Live. Fall Bridal Magazine just hit the world wide web! View the latest issue here to see glamorous Fall 2012 designer dresses, bouquet trends, and win some wedding day goodies! Don't forget to subscribe!

18+ Send Off Ideas to Complete your Happily Ever After...

You've got it all laid out, but your lacking a few details. Maybe your undecided over how to end the most perfect night, and leave a lasting impression. I've compiled a list of ideas, depending on your style, for your dream send off. So, find something that suits your style for a picture perfect happily ever after.

Eco-Friendly Options

Seeds - like lavender and rosemary in organza satchels. What a lovely smell they would give off!

Hang paper cones on guests chair containing flower petals - they do double duty as decor.
Candied sprinkles - a wonderful alternative to rice.

Night Time Options
Sparklers - These are all the rage as they make for great photos.
Lanterns - Becoming more common, this has been a tradition in other cultures for a long time.
Glow sticks, they aren't flammable, so they make a great alternative to sparklers and are available in a variety of colors.

Party People
Confetti - It comes in a variety of shapes and colors, dots, metallic, etc.
Party poppers release lots of rolls of streamers in the air.
Noisemakers - Let the orchestra play! Maracas, mini trumpets, recorders, and more, double as favors!
Flags - Personalize Flags with the bride and grooms names or initials, the date, hearts, and love words.
Silly string - it's fun and it dries hard, so it doesn't stain.
Dance away the night, literally! Create a conga line or bunny hop out the door!
Release balloons into the air in your wedding colors or if it's at night, try adding a glow stick.

Elegant Options
Ribbon wands - These can be custom made in your wedding colors and include lace or other details.
Bells - What a happy sound! They say that everytime a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.
Doves or butterflies are the perfect happily ever after ending to a beautiful ceremony. Fireflies may even be available in the summertime for an evening affair.
Bubbles are a traditional send-off and guests have fun trying to blow the biggest one!
Rice - A very traditional option.

Tipping Etiquette at Your Wedding

I met with a bride today and she asked about tipping the officiant. I found the perfect article to answer her question, and many others, about tipping vendors.

Source: A Paper Proposal via Pinterest

"Now that we're only a few days away from hopping a plane for Mexico, we're in the process of figuring out which vendors we need to tip once we get there, and how much each vendor should receive. This part is beyond confusing (and honestly, just a tad bit heartbreaking, given how expensive weddings already are), but definitely necessary, of course. However, I'm a big believer that tips are earned. My husband and I generally tip well, but if someone doesn't do their job, I don't feel obligated to tip. The tipping guidelines below are referring to vendors who provide all of the services that were promised, in the way that they were promised. Just as you would tip a vendor more if he/she goes above and beyond to make your day special, you can also tip a vendor less if you don't think that he/she did a good job. Don't ever feel like you have to tip a bad waiter!

First off, here are the wedding vendors that do not typically expect a tip:

  • Wedding stationer
  • Bridal shop
  • Seamstress for alterations
  • Tux shop
  • Jeweler
  • Cake baker
  • Florist
  • Travel agent for honeymoon

For each of the guidelines below, keep in mind that all tips should be given in cash. Vendors also love thank you cards! Be sure to take the time to write them, and plan on distributing them along with the gratuities.
You don't have to tip the owner of a business, unless he/she has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Be sure to slip at least a few bucks to anyone who delivers a product or item to your wedding venue.
Generally, tipping any one person anything over $250 is unnecessary, and even that is generous and typically left to larger, more grandeur weddings.
Tips should be given just before your vendor leaves. That way you can judge how much to give, according to the job they did for you.

Suggested Tips for Wedding Vendors

Bartenders - Oftentimes, services fees and tips are included in your contract, so be sure to check what you signed before tipping. You should also instruct your maitre d' that guests should not be solicited for tips during your event. If no fee is included in your contract already, consider tipping $20 to $25 per bartender, or 10 percent of the total liquor bill, and give it to the head bartender to be divided equally among his or her staff.  As I'm sure you know, tipping is a very subjective matter, but according to the reputable wedding source, The Knot, please consider tipping 15 to 20 percent of the food and drink fee (based on labor, not total cost), or between $200 and $300 to the maitre d' to divide among his/her staff.

Makeup Artist and/or Hair Stylists - Tip as you would your regular hair stylist or colorists. 15 to 25 percent of your total bill is standard, which should be distributed immediately following the service.

Ceremony or Reception Musicians - Tipping your musicians or DJ is preferred, but not required. The standard tip amount depends on the musician - a singer should receive between $25 and $75. Each member of a band should receive between $5 and $10 per hour, and a DJ can receive anything between $25 and $75.

Photographer and Videographer - If the photographer/videographer owns his own company, then you can assume that he/she will be keeping most, if not all of your total package fee, and the tip becomes optional. If he/she is an employee of a company, then plan on tipping between $50 and $100, depending on the amount of time spent.

Officiant - I've seen differing opinions on this one, so honestly, I would just use your best judgement. The "rules" are if your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you should plan on making a donation to that institution. This donation should be at least $100. If you're a member of the church, you'll want to give a larger amount than if you're not. If you have hired a nondenominational officiant, no tip is required because they will charge you for their time, however, if you so choose, $40 or $50 is usually appropriate. Plan on handing your officient a tip at the rehearsal dinner, if he/she attends, and if not, the Best Man should plan on tipping the officient immediately following the ceremony.
Florist - As mentioned above, you don't need to tip the florist for making your arrangements, but you can tip those who make any deliveries about $5 to $10 each, depending on how much work they do upon drop off.

Wedding Day Transportation - 20% of the total cost is customary for a tip, unless the bill is thousands of dollars, then just use your best judgement.

Catering Staff - First, check to see if your contract already includes a gratuity. If not, plan on tipping all of the staff members - remember that the wait staff is usually one of the most hard working of vendors on your wedding day! You may choose to give the banquet manager about 15-20% of your total bill, to be distributed to the rest of his/her staff. If you so choose, you can pay the tip in advance to the director of the catering company, or you can distribute it to the banquet manager toward the end of the evening in an envelope.

Your Wedding Coordinator - Again, if this vendor owns his/her own company, then the tip is optional. If he/she is an employee, such as a coordinator assigned to you by the venue, $50.00 to $100.00 is a safe bet. But remember, if your coordinator put in a lot of hours for your larger, more extravagant affair, the tip should be higher, depending on the total wedding budget. "

Free Favor Box Printables (5 Styles)

I'm always sharing free printables on the Dream. Plan. Live. Facebook Page, but they come and go. So, today, I'm archiving these striped favor envelopes, square spring colored and green favor boxes, and a couple candy style favor box printables for DPLers (Thanks Pizzazzerie!)

1. Who doesn’t love stripes? In 6 colors! It can’t get much better. Download yours here!
2. Sweet + simple.  Download away!
3. Love is sweet! We agree. Download this cute box template here.
4. Candy never looked so cute! Candy box download.
5. Customizable mini candy boxes. Download away, friends!

Martha Weddings Fall Highlights

If you want to "ooh" and "aahh" over advertisements of gorgeous dresses, I recommend buying this mag, but if you want to save your money, everything you need to know is posted at In a nutshell, the fall edition of MS Weddings included a handful of glam white cakes, wedding day heels and pumps, and a small mix of fall centerpiece ideas including fruit and offsetting chocolate accessories.

My favorites from the issue:

Elegant Fall Romance Bouquet

Romantic Fabric-Inspired Spread including table setting(above) with matching bouquet(below).

"Mad for Mod" Bouquet

Dreamy Coconut white cake

Fondant stenciled peacock feathers ( by Wendy Kromer

by Wendy Kromer

Scalloped macadamia nut cake by Wendy Kromer

My favorite featured heel, by Badgley Mischka 

...and I'm intrigued by the thought of a wrap dress which is a single dress that can be configured in a variety of wrap styles. (Jenny Yoo available at Nordstrom Wedding)

Stylish Women's Clothing & Accessories! Hot Deals!

There are some amazing deals going on over at including:

Toms Knockoffs for infants, toddlers and women, less than $10! - Very cute styles!
Blazers as low as $17.50!
Women's Dresses $18!
Women's Shirts $15.50 and up.
Cute animal print and neon handbags for $10!
Ipad stand/case - $12.50!

Plus, your first order on the site ships for free!!!