Dallas Outdoor Vintage Engagement Session | Christina and Johnny |

We are so excited whenever we get the chance to photograph a wedding for a friend. We met Christina in college and when we heard from her about her engagement and upcoming wedding, we were so thrilled for her and Johnny! Here’s a sneak peek at their beautiful sunset engagement session. I’m a huge fan of tulle skirts and Christina was gorgeous in all her styles. Check back later this year for the wedding!

 

Beautiful, Christina!

Love!

How romantic is this?!

Congratulations to our happy couple! Can’t wait for the big day. <3

Cheers,

Matt and Ivy


Meet a Wedding Planner: Top 10 Questions Brides Ask with Swank Soiree

Happy Friday! One of the first things we tell each of our brides when they are planning their weddings is how great a planner can be at helping the process run smoothly. We love how it lets our brides just enjoy their engagement and wedding day! On the plus side, the best coordinators also work with your photographer to set aside adequate photo time, so you get more images that capture your day! We are excited today to be bringing you a special treat - a chat we just had with one of Dallas' best wedding planners. Christy is the founder and lead planner at Swank Soiree, and she really knows her way around a wedding day. We hope you enjoy!
When should I begin planning my wedding?
 
Christy: We suggest you begin the planning process at least 10-12 months prior to your planned wedding date. There are many reasons behind this, but date availability is number one. The majority of weddings in the Dallas Fort Worth area happen in two of four seasons of the year, Spring and Fall. The most popular wedding month in Dallas is October, so if you’re planning an October wedding you would want to begin securing your date with a venue at least 12 months out because the popular places tend to book up fast. 
 
What should I book first?
 
Christy: When planning your wedding you would typically want to be sure to secure these vendors first and in this order; venue, catering, and photographer. Ultimately planning a wedding is a personal experience so when I work with brides I ask about deal breakers: what are the most important elements of your wedding? Let’s book those vendors first. As an example, if you are dead set on a certain photographer and you already have a date set, let’s move forward with that contract. Certain wedding vendors are limited to one wedding per day, where others like florist often times can service multiple weddings depending on the scope. Photographers, DJ’s, planners and smaller catering companies will likely have one wedding or event per day so once they are booked they can’t accept any other events.
 
Why should I hire a wedding planner? What can a wedding planner do for me that I can’t do myself?
 
Christy: The biggest benefit of hiring a wedding planner is that we are professionals. In most cases the planner does this every day, day in and day out; it’s not just a hobby or something to do for fun. Wedding planners have the knowledge most brides lack when it comes to selecting qualified vendors. As a planner I tend to know when someone isn’t using good business practices, I know which vendors to steer you away or protect you from. I know which florist arrive on time and have impeccable attention to detail. I know who will serve you dry cake and who will have your guest asking for a second slice. The knowledge we possess is priceless.

Wedding planners (uhm it’s only in our name), plan for the unexpected and there are almost sure to be some unexpected twist and turns. We always have a plan b for weather, we monitor the bar so your guest don’t over indulge, have glue on hand for the rented shoes that come (apart) with the Tuxedo.

Dallas Wedding Planner Coordinator Swank Soiree Copyright Ivy Weddings by Matt and Ivy

Christy, Founder of Swank Soiree 

(photo by Ivy Weddings)

Can I afford a wedding planner?
 
Christy: Often times brides think they can’t afford a planner and don’t even give it a second thought. In most cases a consultation with a planner is free; you can’t beat free so why wouldn’t you at least have a consultation before deciding? Did you know that you shouldn’t order one slice of cake for every person attending your wedding? Did you know that you shouldn’t book your venue for the same number of guest that you are sending an invitation to? Did you know that you can always go up in numbers at a venue but once contracted that you can’t go down? There are tons of facts that we could share with you that would save you money or totally cover our fees.
 
Wedding planners see the entire process, we develop a relationship with you learning your likes, dislikes, and acting as a sounding board when mom totally thinks this is her day! We offer personalized budgets and timeline planning. We know what things cost and what they shouldn’t cost.
 
When do I need to send out my wedding invitations? 
 
Christy: You should mail your invitations 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding allowing your guest ample time to submit their response.
 
What does a wedding planner do for me on the wedding day? 
 
Christy: A wedding planner on your wedding day is like a musical director: she carefully orchestrates the details of your wedding day keeping your day moving on time. She oversees the other vendors ensuring the delivery of exactly what you’ve contracted them for, she swaps out your vodka tonic for sprite when you look a little wobbly, she carries the bridesmaids' “personal items” so she has them immediately following the ceremony, she is pretty much your fairy Godmother if even just for that one night.
 
Do I need to have wedding favors? 
 
Christy: The history of a wedding favor comes from European aristocrats, who believed weddings are a lucky occasion and so to pass on that luck to the wedding guest they would give out small boxes of a delicate sugar confection. Favors have become a time honored tradition but with the times ever evolving you don’t HAVE to give out favors and if you feel like you should do a little something extra consider a special treat at the end of the night, maybe a food truck or milk and cookies as the guest leave.
Should I get wedding insurance? 
 
Christy: Yes, wedding insurance is so inexpensive when you consider all that it covers and the unpredictability of the weather in Texas! WedSafe is who we recommend using and they cover wedding cancellations and postponements due to weather, vendor no-show, and illness.
 
Do I need to feed my vendors? 
 
Christy: Most vendors will state in their contract if they require that you feed them. But what if they don't? Let’s consider their work day. Vendors like your photographers, Entertainment, Planners and video peeps are working your wedding anywhere from 6-12 hours with no time to leave for dinner. I always suggest feeding your vendors keeping them healthy and happy! You may want to also note that venues often have a separate menu option, so feeding the vendors doesn’t cost you the same as feeding additional guest.
 
How can I stay stress free preparing for the big day /what are your tips to be less stressed on the wedding day? 
 
Christy: Hire a planner! Seriously though, if you don’t have a planner you’ll want to stay very organized through the planning process. Ensure you hit or exceed the planning deadlines for each task to be completed so as you approach your wedding day you know everything is done. Appoint someone to collect and load all of your personal items the night of the wedding so that you don’t have to stay behind or be concerned with it.
 
Thank you to Christy and Paula from Swank Soiree for taking the time to join us today! We hope you've enjoyed this question and answer time with one of our favorite wedding experts. We'll be featuring more tips from other wedding experts in the coming weeks, so check back soon for more inside secrets to planning and enjoying your wedding day!

Cheers,

Matt and Ivy

Dallas Wedding Planner Coordinator Swank Soiree Copyright Ivy Weddings by Matt and Ivy

Paula and Christy, Swank Soiree

(photo by Ivy Weddings)

Dallas Wedding Photographer: Thanksgiving Tower Club | Amanda + Colby |

There is something special about big cities. Sometimes they are the magical mixers that bring people from opposite ends of the earth together to meet each other. Other times, the sprawling metropolis will let a guy and a girl grow up just miles apart, but they’ll graduate from school and move off without ever meeting. That was the story for these two – only, they moved on with their lives, went off to college in another state… and ended up in the same state, at the same college, in the same school at that college. This time their paths did cross. Time would prove their bond stronger than they might have guessed, and after both graduated and moved back to Dallas to start their careers, their relationship began to get more serious. Fast forward a couple years to a cruise ship heading to Cozumel, a surprise proposal, a happy “yes…!” and a wedding to rock all Dallas weddings was in the works.

Meet Amanda and Colby.

When we first met Amanda and Colby we knew that their wedding would lie somewhere along the crossroads between romantic and upscale, a hybrid of modern and traditional. They started off with one of the most epic engagement sessions of all time, centering their love story with the backdrop of the city where they’ve built their life together – Dallas. Their wedding would play out in the same way, weaving their love story into the city that nurtured it – from their getting ready at the elegant Adolphus Hotel, to the wedding on the 48th floor Tower Club Dallas atop Thanksgiving Tower in downtown, to the celebrity wedding crasher, the night was unforgettable.

The day started with Amanda’s lovely Justin Alexander gown..

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Special thanks to Jennifer with Lip Service for Amanda’s makeup.

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Amanda, you’re a beauty!

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Special family pearls…

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Thanksgiving Tower Club Dallas Wedding - by Ivy Weddings

So beautiful!

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Matt was with Colby while he got ready. How awesome is his white tux?!

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Love this card exchange!

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Three beautiful generations!

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Love this romantic black and white…

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A thank you to Christy and Paula from Swank Soiree for helping organize such a beautiful celebration, and special thanks to Matthew from Tower Club for pulling this all together!

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Love to see how our couples display their photos!

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We were all (photographers included!) surprised when a local celebrity, Big Al Mack, from The Kidd Kraddick Show crashed Amanda and Colby’s wedding. He came bearing gifts, and of course, every iPhone in the house came out!

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If you’re going to tie the knot above “the big-D”, I can’t think of a better place to do it – check out this view!

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Amanda and Colby ended the evening with a solo private dance…

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A balloon send-off to end an incredible night…

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Amanda and Colby,

From the first time we heard your love story, we were charmed by you two! We’ve loved getting to know you, and your excitement for life and each other. We hope every day, and every year, is more exciting than the last. Here’s to many many joyful years, full of excitement and romance!

Cheers,

Matt and Ivy

Story from the Bride:

Colby and I met in August of 2005 when we were both Freshman at Oklahoma State University. Colby was a Finance and Accounting major and I was a Marketing major so we spent a lot of time together in the business school and at parties J . We had a lot in common and both were from the DFW area, him from Southlake and me from Coppell. We dated off and on beginning in 2006 and both ended up moving back to Dallas after graduation in May of 2009, which is when we started to get serious. Fast forward 5 years and Colby proposed while we were on a cruise to Cozumel in May of 2014. Colby is now a Consultant with Deloitte Consulting LLP and I am a Legal Recruiter with Dentons US LLP. When we started the wedding planning we both knew that we wanted it to be one huge party with all of our family and friends there. We are very social and just wanted everyone to have a night they would never forget! My mother and I did most of the planning as Colby was at Texas A&M getting his MBA for a year and a half. It was such a fun experience and I wish I could do it all over again as the night went by way too fast!

| Photographer | Ivy Weddings | Assistant Photographer | Jared Rey | Bridal Gown | Justin Alexander and Bridal Boutique in Lewisville | Bridesmaids’ Dresses | Circle Park Bridal |Hair | Erin Belcher | Makeup | Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service | Bridal Jewelry | Tiffany’s | Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Suits | Vera Wang and Men’s Wearhouse | Event Planner  and Coordinator | Swank Soiree | Florist | Gro Floral and Event Design| Cakes | Panini Bakery | Venue and Caterer | Tower Club Dallas | Officiant | Billy Mazur | Caricature Artist | Amy Draws Faces | MC | Brian Prescott of Simply Music Events | Transportation | Blue Diamond Limos | Photobooth | Premiere Booth |

For future photos and updates, follow the fanpage!


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