How has it already been two months since Carly and Daniel were married? Their intimate backyard ceremony and dinner reception (thanks, Covid!) had us all remembering the most important part about getting married – head over to Kimberly’s special post to read all about it. We can’t wait for their big celebration next year with all of their family and friends!
It seems like just yesterday, and yet a lifetime ago, that we were celebrating Madison and John! If you’ll remember, Madison spent a summer interning for us here at Hitched Events, so we were so happy to play a part in her special day. These two high school sweethearts were married at St. Ann Parish in Coppell, and then had a beautiful reception at the NYLO Las Colinas. Let’s take a look back at their special day with some photos from Ben Q. Photography…
Tomorrow is their official anniversary, but we hope that they were able to celebrate this weekend as well! Cheers!
I love a big, beautiful wedding. I really do. Maybe it stems from my dance background or my love for musical theater, but the whole production of a wedding, the “show” of it all, is something that fuels me. All the details, all the moving pieces, all the planning that comes together for one perfectly orchestrated moment in time. And the more vendors to manage and complicated logistics to figure out, the better. Bring it on gigantic guest list with assigned seating, transportation shuttles running from point A to point B to point C and back to point A, and Aunt Sally with her gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free meal! (FYI, catering team… she’s sitting at Table 12 in the sage green dress). Weddings, and more specifically large weddings, are my jam!
Pre-Covid, almost all of our weddings had guest lists of at least 200. My largest wedding production, up to the point that Covid hit, was well over 600 guests. Even our “small” weddings typically had at least 100 guests. While comparing stories of how Covid has affected our businesses with two of my industry friends – Sara, who owns Bella Notte in Washington, DC, and Kelly, who owns Kelly McWilliams Celebrations, Weddings & Parties in Florida – they both agreed that small weddings were “magical.” Texas tends to live up to the saying, “everything is bigger in Texas,” and this includes our weddings. So while both of my friends have planned many weddings with guest lists under 100, I can probably count on one hand the number of weddings of that size in my portfolio since starting Hitched Events more than nine years ago.
When Covid began, many of our clients opted to postpone their weddings to 2021. One couple canceled their wedding altogether with the goal to start planning again once the pandemic was in the rearview mirror. But we had one couple, Carly and Daniel, who opted for a hybrid celebration. They decided to postpone their big reception until 2021, but still wanted to get married on their original wedding date, September 26th of this year. Instead of 150 guests at Nasher Sculpture Center as we originally planned, the wedding would be an intimate affair at the mother of the bride’s home – a ceremony in the backyard followed by dinner for a total of 11 people, including the bride and groom.
During one of our final planning calls, Carly’s mom asked me if this was the smallest wedding I had ever planned. Indeed it was! I had planned a 24-person wedding several years ago (shout out to Kitty and Oliver who celebrated five years of marriage this year and now have two adorable kids!), but a wedding for bride, groom, and nine guests was certainly the smallest wedding I have been a part of. And to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it! While there were lots of details for this intimate wedding – catering, photography, videography, music, rentals, florals, lighting, A/V, hair and makeup, and stationery – the complicated logistics that I love to figure out were certainly scaled back. Plus, at my larger weddings, I am typically in the background. Sure… if you’re a guest and you need to find someone in charge, you can usually spot me or someone on my team fairly easily, but there is enough action in the room that I’m not front and center. Ever. Instead, I’m working behind the scenes to make the guest experience run as smoothly as possible. With a total of 11 people, where was I really going to go? As my dance background taught me, it’s hard to fade into the background when there are less than a dozen people on the stage.
Although I was unsure how I would feel orchestrating a wedding for 11, it didn’t take long for me to text my friend Sara during the event and tell her that she was absolutely right. A wedding for 11 people was indeed magical! Here’s why:
The entire day was super relaxed. With the bride getting ready in her mother’s home and only her sister (the Maid of Honor) and one bridesmaid in attendance, the day was as relaxed and laid back as it possibly could have been. While I put out the ceremony chairs and steamed the two table linens (yep… just two tables for dinner seating!), and Kate Foley designed a beautiful floral backdrop on the fence that was the ceremony focal point, the bride and her mom occasionally popped into the backyard to see the progress. Normally, when the wedding party gets ready at the same location as the reception, this surprise check-in is not always my favorite. (Wait until it’s all put together! It’s not done yet…. you’re not getting the full effect!) But this felt different. It was like we were putting together something special for a dear friend and it was an honor to be included. C’mon over and take a look! Isn’t this tablecloth even more beautiful in person than it was in the photo? And remember those napkins that you weren’t sure about… don’t you LOVE them in person now that you see them?! The overall feel for the day was simply lovely.
The people in attendance were the most important people. There were no courtesy invites. No random plus-one of the week. No you-invited-me-to-yours-so-I-guess-I-have-to-invite-you-to-mine. Nope. Every single person in attendance was not just the A-list, they were the A+ list. We’re talking parents, siblings, a couple of very close friends, and an aunt and an uncle. While not all of the invited guests were able to attend, it was still planned as a very intimate celebration with the larger guest list invited to participate in the ceremony via Zoom. When you’re one of 11 people in attendance vs. one of 400, it certainly feels special to be included.
You can splurge on the details. An exquisite tablecloth is much more doable for two tables than it is for 20. And napkins that rent for $4 apiece are much easier to swallow for 11 guests than it is for 150 or 200. Even doing hand calligraphy for place cards or nicer flatware is more manageable from a cost perspective with a smaller guest list. If you love the details but don’t have an unlimited budget, a smaller guest list allows you to do it up without breaking the bank.
The toasts were interactive. Here’s one thing that I wasn’t expecting – when your guest list is small, the toasts become a conversation piece. When the Best Man gave a toast during dinner, telling a story about the groom, the Father of the Groom was able to follow it up with a comical, related story to offer even more color and context. And while the Best Man and Maid of Honor had prepared remarks, the aunt and uncle’s impromptu remarks were equally as lovely and heartfelt. It was the quintessential dinner party full of great conversation and genuine love and excitement for the newly-married couple.
The wedding was truly about the marriage. This one goes without saying, but the whole production aspect of the wedding was gone. It wasn’t about the size of the florals, the intricate place settings, bold lighting or entertainment. Don’t get me wrong… I love doing that! If you want to plan a big-budget soiree, I am your girl. But this evening was different – it was about Carly and Daniel getting married. Nothing else. And for someone who thrives in the world of big weddings and the “show” of it all, it was a refreshing change and a nice reminder about what the wedding day is truly all about. Thanks, Covid!
While most of my day-to-day work involves a computer and maybe a phone – contracting vendors, creating floor plans and design plans, making event timelines, and not to mention the actual running of the business (payroll, and website, and social media, oh my!) – that behind the scenes work isn’t what feeds my soul. All that work is just a means to an end. The real reward is seeing everything I’ve imagined in my head from a design perspective come together and all the logistics falling into place. Or, I should say, that has been the reward.
Now, in 2020, the reward is a little bit different. The reward is seeing people actually get married and starting their lives together. And whether I’m there facilitating a big production for 300 or an intimate wedding for 30 (or 11!), it’s truly an honor to be a part of it. Before Covid, I honestly took that for granted because… you know… weddings were happening in abundance! But with a 6-month hiatus from events (our last pre-Covid event was the end of February, and we picked back up again with a 50-person wedding in August), I’ve gotten a new perspective on what it is that I actually do. I create beautiful weddings. And beautiful weddings aren’t always a big production. But they definitely are magical.
Our very own Kimberly Rhodes has started a new business venture for brides – Almost to the Aisle!
While Hitched Events thrives in the world of full-service planning and event design, Kimberly knew that it was not a fit for every couple. And that’s where Almost to the Aisle began!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Almost to the Aisle provides luxury event day management, also known as “month-of” wedding coordination, through Dallas’ most experienced and well-respected wedding planners. No budgeting, no venue scouting, no vendor meetings throughout the entire process like we do with our full-service clients. Simply the highest quality event coordination services for couples who are planning a wedding on their own but know they need a seasoned pro to execute the big day.
Head on over to the feature on DWeddings.com to read all about it!
Carly and Daniel are our next couple to be married! They were originally scheduled for a big wedding, followed by a reception at the Nasher Sculpture Center, this weekend. Carly and Daniel opted instead to postpone the large celebration until next year due to COVID-19. That said, they still plan to have a small, intimate ceremony this weekend with a nice dinner at Carly’s mother’s home.
We first met back in 2011 during our college years in Worcester, Massachusetts. Daniel led a group of men from WPI sent to fill out the Clark University Choir’s men’s sections, while Carly was the choir’s teaching assistant. We hit it off right away and began dating a year later.
We stayed in Worcester for a few more years while Carly finished undergrad and entered the job market as a geriatric case manager. In the meantime, Daniel completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in robotics engineering.
In 2015, we hit the road driving cross country with our adorable cat, Shadow, to our new home in San Jose, California. Daniel found his dream job working for a self-driving car startup while Carly finished a master’s degree in social work and now works as the Lead Social Worker for an elder services agency.
Last summer during Carly’s family reunion, we decided to make it official. Daniel proposed in front of Carly’s dad’s side of the family and she said yes! We are so excited to begin this next chapter of our lives together and cannot wait to celebrate!
While it might not be the weekend they envisioned, we are so excited for them to become husband and wife, and that we get to play a part in this weekend as well as the big celebration for 2021!
We are gearing up for our next wedding this weekend! Emily and Jared are going to be married at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and then have their reception at Union Station. Emily shared their love story with us, and there’s no better way to post it then in her own words! Read below for the details on these two with some gorgeous engagement photos by Shannon Skloss Photography.
Jared and I met at Holy Trinity Church, the same church where we will be getting married. It’s funny to hear our friends tell their sides of “How Jared and Emily met” because it turns out, Jared and I were both trying to get the courage to speak to each other for a few weeks.
It was one Sunday evening mass and I looked over my right shoulder and see this very tall & handsome man few pews behind me wearing a bright pink polo. I kept trying to find reasons to turn around to catch another look at him. I was hoping he would come to mass the following week so I could try and sit next to him. Sure enough, he was there but the seats next to him were taken, so I sat a couple pews behind him. This time we caught eyes a few more times. After mass, Jared was walking directly behind me, and I was praying he would say something. But he just kept walking to his car.
The following week he finally spoke. He told me how hot it was outside. Being the end of July in Texas, it wasn’t the most creative pick up line, but it was a start. The next week it was my turn to give it a try, and since he was wearing a short sleeve polo, I made a joke about how he finally dressed weather appropriate. Jared laughed, and then asked if I had any plans that evening. He then asked me if I would like to go to dinner with him right then and there. Our first date was very spontaneous, but I loved it. After that Sunday night dinner, we never stopped dating.
A week before our 3 year anniversary of that first date, Jared asked me to marry him. He really wanted to surprised me, and that he did. I was sure he was going to do it on our actual anniversary and kept asking him “what are we doing next week?” Little did I know, my best friend, Hannah, who used to work in the alcohol sales business, asked if Jared and I would like to attend a Wine Event for her company at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Jared picked me up in an Uber (I don’t know how he was so calm) and we drove to the event. When we got there, there was no one in the lobby except for a security guard, photographer and 2 event ladies. They assured me that everyone for the event was all downstairs, so I didn’t think twice.
Then when the photographer said “before you head down, can I grab a photo of you two” I actually declined at first because I thought it was awkward to take a photo without saying hi to Hannah at her event. But Jared really wanted a photo, so we walked out to the courtyard and took a few photos. Jared then turns to me mid photo and starts saying really sweet things. My first reaction was “you’re so sweet, but you’re making the photographer uncomfortable haha” then I looked into Jared’s eyes and I knew this was the moment I was praying for.
In case you missed our big announcement on Instagram, Kimberly has started a new venture – Almost to the Aisle!
Almost to the Aisle provides luxury event day management, also known as “month-of” wedding coordination, through Dallas’ most experienced and well-respected wedding planners. No budgeting, no venue scouting, no vendor meetings throughout the entire process. Almost to the Aisle is simply the highest quality event coordination services for couples who are planning a wedding on their own but know they need a seasoned pro to execute the big day.⠀
Today is the wedding day of our first ATTA clients – Lindsay and Justin! It just so happens that Kimberly will also be coordinating today’s event. Head on over to the Almost to the Aisle blog to learn more about these two as they become #HappilyEverHalmon! You can also follow along on our Instagram to catch a glimpse of their wedding day at The Joule Hotel!
We always love to see all of the work from a wedding come together – and we especially love to relive it with a gorgeous wedding film, which is exactly what John Christopher Photographs + Films sent over to us this week! Little did we know that this would be our last event before the beginning of the Pandemic 2020!
Today marks one year since Erica and Austin’s wedding and, boy, was it a fun one! It’s quite possible we have never seen a bride break it down on the dance floor quite like Erica did – and the father-daughter dance, followed by a harmonica jam session on stage, only added even more to the evening!
What can we say about this one? Julianne is a special client to us – not only was this our second time to work with her family to plan a wedding, but she’s also become one of our amazing assistants on some wedding days!
I bet that none of us thought we’d be celebrating Luke and Joe‘s first wedding anniversary in a quarantine! Luke and Joe’s wedding is definitely a great one to reflect back on – from the dance floor that lit up, to the fun details and unique ceremony (everyone stood around the dance floor and watched these two say their vows – without a dry eye in the room)!