I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 months since our wedding! It still feels like a dream, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! I know it’s a controversial statement, but I actually LOVED wedding planning. I really enjoyed choosing each detail and turning my vision into reality. That said, planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart. It’s so crazy to just dive into a world temporarily and plan a massive event!
As I mentioned, I thoroughly enjoyed planning our wedding, but I had a lot of stress around choosing vendors. How would I know whether they were my style, reliable or trustworthy? You are putting your wedding, one of the most important days in your relationship, plus thousands of dollars, into the hands of a stranger based off of a few online reviews and a phone call. No, thank you. I had to find another way.
So, I dove deep into my network and found people I trusted. Once I found a couple of strong vendors, I asked if they had a list of vendors they trust and have enjoyed working with in the past. Many vendors have a list ready as they also don’t want to work with people who are unreliable. One bad vendor could affect your whole system! Below is a list of all of our wedding vendors with my honest thoughts and experiences.
15 Best Dallas Wedding Vendors
Best Dallas Wedding Venues
The first thing we did when we began planning our wedding was decide where we wanted to have the wedding. We decided since we have family all over, that we would have a Texas wedding, close to where we live! After viewing 7-8 venues, we decided on The Laurel.
The Laurel has both the ceremony space and the reception hall and that was very important to us! We loved the lawn for cocktail hour, it fits each of us and our relationship best, out of the options.
We had several meetings with our venue coordinator, who was great and we managed everything really well the day of. She even made a connection with my grandpa when they realized they were from the same area in New York!
Overall the venue was amazing to work with and we were so happy with our choice of venue.
Sometimes when you choose a venue there are certain vendors they require you to work with. For The Laurel, the caterers came with the venue package and they helped to coordinate everything with you. Boxwood was fantastic and we got to try the food at an event for booked couples ahead of the day. This honestly made everything so easy for us! We did have one small mix-up with one of our passed appetizers but the team made it right. In the end, everyone told us how wonderful the food was! (I wouldn’t know I barely ate that day!)
The Laurel was already beautiful so it didn’t need a lot of decorating, but I loved adding twinkle lights with Absolute Lighting. I wanted everything to shimmer and sparkle, and the lights added to that effect. They were easy to work with and understood my vision even though it was something new that I didn’t have reference photos for in the actual space. The lighting definitely helped to bring my vision to life!
Best Dallas Wedding Photographers
From the very start, I knew exactly who I wanted as my photographer. It’s hard to choose a “most important” vendor, but your photos are absolutely a big factor and one of the only physical things that you can take away from the day.
I had worked with Madison years prior for blog shoots and knew that she transitioned to weddings. I love her style of documentary style photography which means. She captures the day as it happens and doesn’t stop the moment to pose you or ask people to smile. I loved that we would minimize the posed photos, while still getting our family and wedding party shots. It was really important for us to just enjoy the day together and Kale definitely didn’t want to stop for photos too often!
Madison has since moved to Colorado, but the good news, she does travel! So, if you’re in DFW and want to work with her you just may have to pay a travel fee. We also opted to add a second shooter, which I felt was really worth it.
Best Dallas Wedding Videographers
I was on the fence about a videographer, but I am SO happy we choose to get one, and Thompson Studio was amazing! We got a few-second cut-down preview, a several minutes long cut-down of the day, the ceremony, speeches, dances, and some fun reception footage! It was really amazing to see it all afterward and relive the day. I loved Tommy’s approach of capturing the day as it passed, with the end result showing an amazing cinematic view of the day. We’ll have this video forever!
Best Dallas Wedding Florist
I struggled to find a florist. All of the minimums seemed astronomical, and the places that didn’t require a minimum had naturally inflated prices. I was set on real flowers, so I realized that I had to reprioritize and rearrange my budget. I chose Root and Bloom because it seemed like Jessica really understood my vision and she was so easy to work with. Everything turned out perfect and I recommend them 100xs over. Jessica was the sweetest even as I changed my colors and arrangements so many times. I started with a circle arch and ended with ground florals and even kept it all within my budget!
Aside from my bouquet, my favorite florals were the ground florals on the altar that were moved in front of the band for the reception. Even though we didn’t have a massive budget, Jessica worked with me to make sure I felt like the flowers were everywhere!
Designs By Andrea Floral Preservation
I can’t leave this post without mentioning Designs by Andrea’s floral preservation. So much money is spent on flowers that I couldn’t bear to see them all thrown away at the end of the night, so my sister (and the best maid of honor ever) saved everything she could at the end of the night and I sent a ton over to Designs by Andrea to preserve. I chose an acrylic block, but she also does press flowers and has tons of options. They are more expensive than your average Etsy shop, but I did a ton of research and Andrea makes sure the flowers are preserved so well that they still look fresh through her trademarked process!
Best Wedding Dress Shops in Dallas
Wedding dress shopping was an interesting experience for me. I choose two places that had tons of options, thinking I would need them. I didn’t think I would be very emotional, and I thought I would have a hard time finding my dress. But there she was, sitting at the top of the stairs right when I walked up the Stardust Brides stairs. The first dress I set my eyes on was the one I chose! It was the 4th or 5th I tried on, and I could not stop smiling, I even teared up and so did my mom and sister. It was such an amazing experience with them, and Paik, my stylist was the best! She was with me every step of the way, gave her honest opinion on recommended alterations when asked, and even. She knew when I put it on, that this was the one!
We did leave for another appointment after this because most bridal salons charge you a fee if you don’t show up for your appointments, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that dress. Afterward, we called back and Stardust kept the store open for us to go back. We couldn’t have waited due to the dress being a part of an Eve of Milady trunk show so it wouldn’t be there after this weekend. I could have still bought it but I wanted to put it on one more time to be sure.
Admittedly, guys have it much easier on a wedding day. Kale had good experiences with The Black Tux in the past so he used it for our wedding for everyone! He got his own tux, the groomsmen, and our families, and we sent it to some of our bridal party who weren’t in the wedding but wanted to abide by the Black tie dress code.
Birdy Grey is amazing for bridesmaid dresses. They provided the dresses for my bridesmaids in exchange for promotion. My bridesmaids and I loved the dresses and our experience so much, my sister-in-law who got married several months later used them for her wedding, and I ended up choosing the same dress my sister wore in a different color!
While these are very clearly bridesmaid dresses, you can stop here to see where I love to get wedding guest dresses!
Best Wedding Bands Dallas
I had a vision of a live musician playing during the ceremony. When I started looking into strings or piano players, it was a no-brainer when I realized the cost was relatively affordable. We went with a string Trio for 2 hours to play during the ceremony and the cocktail hour. I had so much adrenaline during the ceremony, I don’t remember a ton of the songs, but I know they played everything I picked out! We were taking photos during the cocktail hour, but we were told great things, and our guests loved the special touch.
We had actually signed a contract with a DJ before we went to a friend’s wedding and saw the Manhattan band. Literally, while we were at that wedding we spoke to the lead singer, got their card, and booked the band. We did get very lucky since they were running 50% off services at the time, but even though they were more expensive than a DJ, no better decision was made in planning. The Manhattan Band was incredible and truly made our dance floor the place to be! Kale and I are big dancers and we didn’t step off that dance floor all night! The band comes up in every conversation we have about our wedding, they were such a hit and provided an amazingly memorable experience for all of us!
Best Wedding Planners in Dallas
It was a non-negotiable for me to have a day-of coordinator for the wedding. I really wanted someone to come in and manage the day I talked to a ton of wedding planners early in the process, but most don’t book the month/day of coordinators until three months out. We worked with Ann Marie, who was excellent. She took so many detailed notes and made sure the whole day ran smoothly. In our several meetings, she made us feel so secure and organized. Even though I forgot to tell her the flowers needed to be moved from the ceremony to the reception hall she made it happen!
Best Wedding HMU
Hair and Makeup was another vendor that I knew I wanted ahead of time. I’ve known Becca for years through blogging, and she is someone I trust and knew would do a great job on my wedding day! She brought someone to help with hair but Becca herself handled all of the makeup! I loved my look and did do a trial ahead of time.
I cannot recommend a trial with the actual person doing your hair and makeup enough. The trial helps you understand how they work and make sure that you can test out the right colors, eyelashes, even how your curls are done. Another great way to prepare for your HMU is to test out a few additional looks if you can at friends’ weddings or events, maybe have an artist at a makeup counter or store try something- just remember to buy something after! I wasn’t familiar with getting my makeup done professionally and I wish I tried it a few additional times before my wedding day to really know what I wanted. Fortunately for me, Becca was amazing and she nailed it even if I had no idea what I wanted.
Best Wedding Cakes in Dallas
My mother-in-law is a phenomenal baker, and she is still in the process of building her official business. She made our wedding cake and did an excellent job! Not only did it look amazing but it tasted so good! She said I gave her a challenge, but I think she absolutely nailed my vision. The cake was stunning and so so good! If you are planning a Dallas wedding or event, Tamzen is the best Dallas home baker. As she gets set up, I am happy to help facilitate a consultation, just send me an email!