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M AY 2012 ISSUE 1

TheVow Factor New magazine puts local brides in the spotlight p.4

Elle Warren’s Love Story p.8

Carrekers Celebrate 50th p.17

Cover winner Claire Browne of Highland Park


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I DO!

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Publisher Karen Mordecai

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

EDITORIAL

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elcome to the debut issue of I Do! Our communityfocused quarterly wedding magazine is the ideal place to celebrate your big day with your neighbors. We’ve got it all, from wedding announcements and party pics to the personal stories of love and marriage that make our community strong. In “Love Was In Store for Dressmaker,” Dan Koller dishes on the 2010 wedding of Elle Warren, co-owner of Warren Barrón, and Brent Harman, CEO of Sonny Bryan’s. Meanwhile, Alana Harrison catches up with Connie and Denny Carreker to learn the secret of staying together 50 years in “Carrekers Are Solid Gold.” The business of weddings isn’t all roses, though, as Georgia Fisher found out in her article about the ups and downs

Managing Editor

Art Director

Staff Writers

Dan Koller

Rick Lopez

Assistant Managing Editor

Advertising Art Director

Georgia Fisher William Gerlich Alana Harrison Bradford Pearson

Amanda Shafer

Claire St. Amant

Sports Editor

Online Creative Director

Chuck Cox

Valerie Wong

Consulting Editor

Photography Director

Jeff Bowden

Chris McGathey

Intern Ana Chan

ADVERTISING of planning one in “Trends Walk Down A New Aisle.” Here’s a toast to the first issue of I Do! The best is yet to come.

— KAREN MORDECAI ■ ■ ■ Our next issue of I Do! is slated for Summer 2012. All brides who purchase an announcement will automatically be entered into our drawing for the cover photo. Call 214-523-5279 for more information.

Senior Marketing Consultants

Marketing Consultants

Kim Hurmis Kate Martin

Amber Albracht Carrye Crowder Geraldine Galentree Halley Homen

Advertising Services/ Marketing Manager Katie Bivins

ADMINISTRATION/OPERATIONS Business Manager

Director of Circulation

Alma Ritter

Dorothy Wood

Administrative Assistant

Distribution Manager

Jenna Owen

Don Hancock

Park Cities People (USPS 756-010) is published weekly except the last week of the year by CITY NEWSPAPERS LP, 750 N. St. Paul St., Ste. 2100, Dallas,TX 75201, © 2005, an affiliate of D Magazine Partners LP, © 2007; all rights reserved. Single-copy edition, $1, one-year subscription, $36. Periodical Postage paid at Dallas, Texas, Preston Hollow People is published

weekly by CITY NEWSPAPERS LP, © 2005, an affiliate of D Magazine Partners LP, © 2007; all rights reserved. Single-copy edition, 25¢, one-year, postal subscription, $75. Standard Class Postage paid at Dallas, Texas, Main Postal Center. Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission. Editorial and Corporate Headquarters: 750 North St. Paul Street, Suite 2100, Dallas, TX 75201, 214-739-2244. Letters to the editor can be sent via e-mail to editor@peoplenewspapers.com. Correspondence must include writer’s name and contact number. Our general e-mail address is people@peoplenewspapers.com.

MEET COVER GIRL CLAIRE BROWNE

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laire Browne enlisted the services of AH Makeup Artistry, Chi Ro Makeup Studio & Academy, and Lush Couture Floral for her bridals, which were shot at the Dallas Arboretum by Allison Davis Photography. Claire is now a newlywed, having married Jeremy Goerner on April 28 at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. Her photographer submitted this photo to our cover contest last month.


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The Photography Clique

Junior Villanueva

The Photography Clique

Come experience Cityplace where there is something for everyone. Select from the newly opened Chic 42nd Floor Loft space, our Traditional 42nd oor Club Room, or one of our Atrium spaces with 5 story tall windows. Cityplace can accommodate 50-350 for a seated dinner or up to 600 for an hors d’oeuvres reception. No matter what space suits your style, it will be uniquely you! 214.515.5100 2711 N. Haskell Ave. Dallas, Texas www.CityplaceEvents.com Sales@CityplaceEvents.com

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FEATURES Elle Warren and Brent Harman’s Fairy Tale Romance ...........................8 Everlasting Love: The Carrekers Look Back At 50 Years .....................17 Dallas Wedding Planners Dish About Their Wildest Weddings ........21 Gift Guide: What Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Really Want ..........26

ANNOUNCEMENTS Brook Carreker & Nick Schuttler ................................................................10 Lane Carruth & Robert Hawkins................................................................11 Hayley Hightower & Derek Louden .........................................................12 Lauren Fournier & Spencer Diebel ............................................................13 Amanda Seale & Clayton Farrow ...............................................................14 Brittain Denise Bakke & Aaron Christopher Ewert ..............................14 Rory Crissey & Doug Harbison..................................................................15 Ashley McElroy & Dr. Frank Castillon III ..............................................15 Jennifer Erwin & David LeBlanc ................................................................16 Megan Busher & Kevin Irwin......................................................................16

RAISE YOUR GLASS Engagement and wedding party photos ............................................. 22-25

Personalized Classic Canvas Cosmetic Pouch $14.95, Swoozie’s

Engraved Pocket Knife $18, Swoozie’s

Monogrammed Moon and Lola – Acrylic Block Necklace $59.95, Swoozie’s

GIFTS OF GRATITUDE Power Stay Collar Stays $40 , Neiman Marcus

Ashley McElroy & Dr. Frank Castillon III Party photos, Page 25

Keepsakes for bridesmaids and groomsmen More on pages 26-27


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LOVE WAS IN STORE FOR DRESS EXPERT Getting married helped Warren Barrón owner relate to her clients

PHOTOS: JOHN DERRYBERRY

Elle Warren models an Elizabeth Fillmore gown, with maid of honor Ainsley Harman, at First United Methodist Church of Dallas.

BY DAN KOLLER

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STAFF WRITER

t’s like the old saying goes: always a bridal gown merchant, never a bride. Elle Warren was in the wedding business for a dozen years before she walked down the aisle herself in March 2010. “I always said it was going to be so hard for me to meet anybody, because, you know, bridal salons,” she said. “How am I ever going to meet anybody? Any guy who walks in here is already taken, or they’re gay.” Nonetheless, it was Warren Barrón — the Highland Park Village bridal shop she owns with Cecilia Flores-Barrón — that brought Elle to the bonds of matrimony. She became friends with Jay Sudderth, the banker who loaned her the money to open Warren Barrón, and he set her up on a blind date with a childhood friend, Brent Harman. “I always told Jay about the guy that I would want,”

Elle said. “You know, I wouldn’t want, like, this typical Dallas person; I would want him to dress cool and play the guitar and, you know, be a little edgy.” Elle and Brent’s first date in June 2008 was hardly edgy — at least, it wasn’t from the start. Monday was her day off, so he took her to lunch at the original Sonny Bryan’s; not much of a stretch, as Brent had become the CEO of the barbecue chain four years prior. Still, Elle was hooked. “I thought he was so supercute,” Elle said. “I was like, ‘Do you have to go back to work today?’ He said, ‘Well, I guess.’ And I said, ‘I think you should play hooky.’ ” She must have been pretty convincing. By the time their hooky session ended, they’d seen a movie at the Inwood Theatre, enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres by the Ritz-Carlton’s pool, and eaten dinner at Charlie Palmer at The Joule. “It was this 12-hour-long date,” Elle said. “It was the best date ever.” They went on a series of presumably shorter dates for 18 months before Brent popped the question. Because they wanted to have a small wedding — “our immediate families, our aunts and uncles, and our best-best-best friends,” Elle said — they didn’t feel

like they needed a long engagement. They were married in less than three months. “It was kind of rushed in a lot of ways, but we pulled — you pulled it off,” Brent said, catching himself. “I was pretty much watching TV the whole time.” Ironically, the biggest headache involved the gown. Elle wanted a completely beaded dress designed by Elizabeth Fillmore, but it couldn’t be made on such

“So I only tried on two dresses — the one that was made for me, and the one that I actually wore.” — ELLE WARREN short notice. Luckily, Fillmore was able to design a custom gown that was all lace. “She made me a one-of-a-kind dress that she thought I’d love, and I did love it,” Elle said. “She sent it, and I was going to wear it, and I didn’t really try anything else on.” But 10 days before the ceremony, Elle’s fancy was tickled by another Elizabeth Fillmore design that she

had ordered as a sample for her shop. “It was just the one that made me feel the prettiest,” she said. “You know, it spoke to me. So I only tried on two dresses — the one that was made for me, and the one that I actually wore.” Elle said her personal tug-of-war over the two dresses has helped her relate to her clients. “I do see and understand a little bit more how important the dress is, considering I changed it,” she said with a laugh. “Nobody else gets to do that,” Brent pointed out. “Only a bridal store owner gets to do that,” she said. Meanwhile, Brent’s career influenced another aspect of the wedding. Celebrity chef Dean Fearing was a good friend of Sonny Bryan himself, who died in 1989. He even uses Sonny Bryan’s barbecue sauce in some of his recipes. “The relationship between him and the company continued,” Brent said, “and I’ve developed a friendship with him through that.” That friendship made it possible for the Harmans to take over the Sendero room at Fearing’s for their reception — on a Saturday night, no less. The restaurant’s Ocaso patio was also theirs for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Still, Brent was loyal to his own


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photography by Pink Light Images

4410 West Lovers Lane • Dallas, TX 75209 214-902-0800 boutique t 214-732-6019 cell Designer Bridal & Debutante Gowns. Bridal Alterations & Gown Redesign, Custom veils, & more.

For a Perfect Wedding.. To serve your guests company: The rehearsal dinner was in the Maverick Room at the Sonny Bryan’s in the West End. The ceremony itself was in a small chapel at First United Methodist Church of Dallas, a venue with a family connection. Elle has an aunt, Gennie Harris, who was like her de facto grandmother, because her father’s mother died before she was born. Aunt Gennie also got married in that chapel, and, like Elle, she got married in her 30s to a man who already had two kids. The Harmans’ wedding party consisted of only best man McKay Harman, then 8, and maid of honor Ainsley Harman, then 6. One year ago, a third sibling entered the family — Murdock, whom they call “Doc.� Elle said going through a wedding of her own has definitely changed her perspective on her business. “Until you’re in the midst of picking everything and you’re actually in the midst of planning a wedding, you don’t know how intense it can be,� she said. “I used to be like, ‘Gosh, it’s so silly how seriously they’re taking all these details’ — until you’re doing it yourself and you’re taking it so seriously.� Email dan.koller@ peoplenewspapers.com

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Personalize Labels Clockwise: Dean Fearing, Elle Warren, and Brent Harman at the couple’s reception at the RitzCarlton; Elle’s bridal portrait; the duo heading off for a honeymoon in Africa; and a precursor to Brent’s romantic marriage proposal

Wedding Party Bottling Party Ăž$SFBUFZPVSPXO1FSTPOBM7JOUBHF Ăž#PUUMFZPVSPXOXJOF Ăž.BLFBQBSUZPGJU Ăž#SJOHJOGPPE XXXUXPDPSLTDPN

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Brook Carreker & Nick Schuttler

rook Lee Carreker and Nicholas Edward Schuttler exchanged wedding vows the evening of Nov. 11, 2011 at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Mark Alan Davis. Wedding music was provided by Colin Howland, organist, and W.T. Greer, vocalist. Processional selections included Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Watts’ “The Wondrous Cross,” Sager and Foster’s “The Prayer,” Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” and Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary.” Bride, groom, family members and friends exited to the beautiful strains of Mendelssohn’s “The Wedding March.” A reception of dining and dancing to the music of the Ice House Band followed at Arlington Hall. The wedding had a “peacock” theme, expressed in the colors of the wedding party’s attire, in floral displays and by the classic white peacock that has become a Carreker family tradition, blessing three weddings to date, with the hope that it will grace many more to come. “Giveaway” gifts provided for guests included Limoges peacocks nestled in golden gift boxes, accompanied by the Biblical explanation of its history and significance to the couple. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John “Denny” Carreker Jr. of Highland Park. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Denzil Carreker Sr. and the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward Earl Brook, all of Oklahoma City. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Randal Loren Busby of Keller, Texas and Mr. Mark Schuttler. He is the grandson of Mrs. Dale A. Sayre and the late Mr. Sayre of Iowa. The bride chose a beaded princess style gown with a sweetheart neckline, from the Jim Helm Collection. She paired this with an antique lace veil, imported from England, that was the same length as her train. The bride wore her grandmother’s diamond cross, a gift to her grandmother from her children years ago, and a silver bracelet on loan from her mother, who had received this bracelet from her husband, fifty years ago on

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her own wedding day. The bride was given in marriage by her parents. Her father walked her down the aisle. Attending the bride as maid of honor was Judith Garcia. Bridesmaids included Kaitlin McKenna Busby, Lori Anne Carreker, Michelle Ann Carreker, and Megan Jackson Carreker. Members of the house party were Ashley Rae Blackwood, Jennifer Bordelon Hines, Sarah Elizabeth Linebarger, and D’Andra Calloway Simmons. Scripture readers were the grandchildren of Denny and Connie Carreker: Ashley Carreker Johnson and Brandon Michael Carreker, who read from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. The crucifer was Turner Edward Carreker, also a Carreker grandchild. Serving the groom as best man was Christopher Mark Schuttler. Groomsmen included Morgan Marcus Hanson, Robert Allen Pedrolie, Ink Phinyawatana, and Blake Miles Rudsenske. Ushers were Thomas James Amend, Brenton Edward Carreker, John Denzil Carreker III, and Michael Cole Summers. The bride is a graduate of Trinity Christian Academy and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. She was a 2000 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Debutante. She is a senior recruiter for Keste, LLC. The groom is a graduate of Lakehill Preparatory School. He is pursuing a Business Management Degree from Richland College. The groom played semi-pro football for the Addison Apaches and the McKinney Cardinals from 2002-2004 and was selected for the All-Star team. He is a co-owner of “Never Better” LLC, a fence construction and restoration company. Following their dramatic exit from the wedding festivities in a horse-drawn, “Cinderella” carriage, the couple enjoyed a honeymoon cruise on a private yacht to the Bahamas and around South Florida. Upon their return they have since made their home in Preston Hollow.


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Lane Carruth & Robert Hawkins

JANE BERNARD PHOTOGRAPHY

ane Elizabeth Carruth and Robert Frank “Robbie” Hawkins Jr. were united in marriage the evening of Aug. 13, 2011 at an outdoor ceremony under 80-year-old cottonwoods at El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos, N.M. Their wedding was officiated by the Rev. Jeffrey Barber. Enchanted Circle String Quartet provided the processional selections. Soloist Heather Antonissen sang “The Lord’s Prayer” and joined William Lee Thompson for a duet of Sager and Foster’s “The Prayer.” During the service, well-known Taos artist, Elizabeth Jose, created a painting of the couple exchanging their vows. As bride and groom walked back down the aisle, guests showered them with pink rose petals and rang tiny, silver bells. A seated dinner in the ballroom, with accompaniment by pianist Dan Lizdas, followed with dancing outside in the glowing pink tent. The Nick Lawrence Band from San Antonio played during the reception. The bride chose “I Won’t Let Go,” a Rascal Flatts tune, for her first dance with her husband and “I Loved Her First” by Heartland for her first dance with her father. Farolitos ringed the tent where the reception was held and a full moon beamed down on the dancers as the fragrance of pinon wood burning in the firepit lent a festive air. The nuptial celebrations at this remote destination were coordinated by Sally Jones Wedding Consultants in Dallas and by Jesse Abrams Baca in Santa Fe, N.M. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Carruth of University Park. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lenox Carruth of Highland Park and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Alexander Freeze of San Angelo, Texas. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Frank Hawkins of Del Rio, Texas. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Hawkins of Carrizo Springs, Texas and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Vincent Welsh of Buna, Texas. “Summer and Sage” was the bride’s theme for the wedding. The sage plant motif decorated her Bell’Invito invitations and was incorporated into floral displays from Millifiori in Santa Fe, as well. Altar flower stands held profuse displays of roses, hydrangeas, orchids, stock, lisianthus, jasmine vine, all in shades of pink, blush pink, cream and white with

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accents of sage. Reception colors were champagne, cream, taupe, and turquoise. Varying heights of mercury glass trumpet vases contained copious arrangements of ivory and white hydrangeas, large white roses, stock, lisianthus, dahlias, and selections of Hawaiian dendrobium orchids. Mercury glass candlesticks of different heights and jeweled votives continued the theme. Guests raised sparklers to the night sky as the reception wound down and revelers headed off to a late night breakfast. The bride selected a beautifully detailed, strapless “Devon” gown designed by Vera Wang. Its modified mermaid silhouette was embellished with lily of the valley embroidery and criss-cross grosgrain detail with back bows. Sewn into the underside hem of her wedding dress were tiny blue flowers and threads plucked from the bride’s favorite baby blanket. She paired it with her mother’s chapel-length, beaded, Alencon lace trimmed veil. The asymmetrical bridal bouquet she carried contained mini calla lilies in various shades of pink. The bride was given in marriage by her parents. Attending as maid of honor was Rayna Lynn McCarty. Bridesmaids included Olivia Angeline Hawkins, Brie Ann Luttrull, Elsa Jeanne Phillips McVea, Ania Sroka, and Elizabeth Marie Trosper. Michelle Mazur Armstrong and Amanda Elizabeth Woodall were members of the house party. The flower girl was Bryann Elizabeth Bonfield. The best man was John Joseph Gomez. Groomsmen included David Jordan Carruth, Tony Murillo, Gregory Frank Nichols, Christopher Taylor Mullins, and Brian Daniel Stewart. Michael Ashton Chadwell, Thomas Edgar Ricks, and Travis Ruel Wheeler were ushers. The ring bearer was Aiden Christopher Gonzalez. The bride was a Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante. She attended the University of Central Oklahoma and is now a real estate agent with DFW Realty Group. The groom is a former U. S. Marine who is currently a senior vice president with Plains Capital Corporation. Following their wedding trip to Nassau, Bahamas, the couple are at home in Dallas.


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Hayley Hightower & Derek Louden

SALLEE PHOTOGRAPHY

ayley Elizabeth Hightower and Derek Gardiner Louden were united in Holy Matrimony at Highland Park Presbyterian Church Oct. 29, 2011 by the Rev. Dr. Ronald Wesley Scates. “The Lord’s Prayer” was sung by usher Kevin Hayden and his wife Jennifer. A seated dinner and dancing to the Professor D band followed in the garden at the Nasher Sculpture Center. On the eve of the wedding a rehearsal dinner was hosted by the groom’s parents at Marie Gabrielle. The couple first met when they were match-dated during the bride’s debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League where it was love at first sight. After dating for six years they finally said “yes” to being matched for life. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rick Wayne Hightower of University Park. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Kathryn “Dodie” Beazley and the late Dr. Liston Beazley of Houston and Mrs. June Hightower and the late Mr. George Hightower of Dallas. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hunnel Louden of University Park. He is the grandson of Mrs. Maron Gardiner, of West Hartford, Conn., and the late Mr. Howard Gardiner of Dallas and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Louden from Sarasota, Fla. The bride selected a strapless mermaid gown, designed by Vera Wang, courtesy of Neiman Marcus. The gown was constructed of ivory silk mikado, tissue organza and tulle. The bodice was asymmetrically draped, fitting to the knee. The skirt was draped, using the ladder technique, creating a light and romantic full skirt that seemed to float when she walked. Her unique updo by Dianne Gomez, owner of Essensuals London, was completed with an ivory, short, full veil made of Russian net and silk tulle by Toni Federici. The bride was given in marriage by her parents. Her father escorted her down the aisle. Attending as maids of honor were

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Lauren Hayden and Kirby Carlberg. Bridesmaids included Caroline Nixon, Anna Beth Bonney, Jennifer Blackman, Ashley Lengen, Ashley Edrington Ashbaugh, and Georgie Hambright. Members of the house party were Natalie Fogiel, Serena Carr DeBergh, Jessica Hopkins, Leila Thompson, Lauren Stewart, Murphey Sears, Ashley Duncan, and Layne Kent Rotrammel. Serving the groom as best man was Matthew Kellogg. Groomsmen included Jeff Sears, John Mayberry, Will Mitchell, Bart Peters, Anderson Jones, Harrison Stoneham, and Ben Pace. Ushers were Gerry Hedgecock, Chris Sears, Taylor Etheredge, Rick Rowe, Mike Metcalf, Stewart Lang, Kevin Hayden, and Grayson Jenkins. The ring bearers were Brice Hartmann, Beau Hartmann and Brooks Hartmann. The bride is a 2004 graduate of Highland Park High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish literature and a Bachelor of Science in public relations with a business minor from the University of Texas at Austin. She was the 2010 Dallas Cotillion Club president and is a member of the Dallas Junior League, and the Chi Omega Iota Chapter. She is employed by Neiman Marcus in the Neiman Marcus Executive Development Program and was named the 2011 Neiman Marcus Designer Jewelry Manager Newcomer of the Year. The groom is a 1999 graduate of Highland Park High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from the School of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. The groom was a member of Sigma Chi, Alpha Nu Chapter and an Eagle Scout. He was the 2006 Idlewild Club president. He works for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group in brand management. The newlyweds are at home now in Dallas, following their wedding cruise through the Virgin Islands.


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Lauren Fournier & Spencer Diebel

ANDREA POLITO PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

auren Leigh Fournier and Spencer Curtis Diebel exchanged wedding vows in a romantic, formal, black tie winter ceremony on Saturday evening, Dec. 10, 2011 at SMU’s Perkins Chapel. The couple met at SMU nearly 10 years ago during their freshman year. It was at SMU’s Celebration of Lights where Spencer dropped down on one knee and proposed to Lauren while carolers sang “Silent Night.” Lauren was escorted down the aisle by her father as trumpets and organ performed “Trumpet Voluntary.” Close friends and family members read selections which Lauren and Spencer had thoughtfully chosen for their nuptial mass. The Reverend Father Anthony Lackland officiated and family members assisted as Eucharistic ministers. A reception of dining and dancing followed in the Main Ballroom of The Crescent Hotel where guests danced the night away with the bride and groom. The couple shared their first dance to “Stand by Me” but shared many more as the night went on. Santa Claus even made a late night appearance, passing out Santa hats, Rudolf noses, and Wayfarer sunglasses to the guests. A good time was had by all. When the night was nearly over, the band’s horns led the couple out as guests showered them with white flutter fetti on their exit. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Carter Fournier Sr. of University Park. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. John Arthur Cheney and Mr. Douglas Jack Fournier and of the late Mr. John Arthur Cheney and Mrs. Douglas Jack Fournier. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Alan Diebel of Overland Park, Kan. He is the grandson of Mrs. Fred Christopher Diebel Jr. and of the late Mr. and Mrs. Leo Robert Reinkemeyer and Mr. Fred Christopher Diebel Jr. The bride wore an Oscar de la Renta gown. It was a classic strapless creation with sweetheart neckline, asymmetrical folds on the bodice, and made of silk faille, with a gorgeous peplum in the back. Her veil was chapel-length, trimmed in hand-sewn lace and made to resemble that which her mother wore on her wedding day. Something old: lace

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was taken from her mother’s original veil and sewn around the bridal bouquet. Something borrowed: Lauren carried a third generation family rosary around her bouquet, one which belongs to her great Aunt Judy Pittman. She also wore her mother’s diamond pear shaped pendant, a gift from her mother’s own parents. Something blue: garter. And of course she wore a sixpence in her shoe which family had brought back to her from London especially for her wedding. Lauren carried a bouquet of white roses, peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, and freesia, with a touch of blush and soft gray lamb’s ear. Bridesmaids carried complementary bouquets. Groomsmen wore ranunculus paired with Dusty Miller. Attending as maid of honor was Erin Elizabeth Ashford. Bridesmaids included Claire Chandler Diebel, Gisele Marie GrosDubois, Hayley Danielle Evans, Rory Drake Harbison, Daley Ann Harris, Janna Allison Jackson, Elisabeth Anne Osterhout, Caitlin Marie Ryan, Rahle Morgan Shaw, Eliot St. John Weatherly, Ana Christine Webb, and Lacey Elizabeth Young. Bridesmaids wore beautiful black gowns with sweetheart necklines and draping throughout their bodices. Dennis Wylie Jordan Jr. assisted the groom as best man. Groomsmen included Thomas Nathan Allen, James Austen Cagle, Patrick Nolan Clark, Benjamin Nicholas Cowgill, Ryan William Dillin, Benjamin Alexander Fournier, David Carter Fournier Jr., Thomas Baker Greene IV, Ridley Mathias Heller, Joshua Chat Loe, and John Clifton Wood. The groom wore silver mustang studs and a black velvet bow tie, the perfect complement for the black velvet belt the bride added to her ensemble at the reception. The bride is a graduate of Ursuline Academy who received a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and psychology from SMU. She works in business development for SWS Re-Distribution Company, Inc. The groom received a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and Spanish from SMU and a Juris Doctorate from the Dedman School of Law at SMU. He is an attorney in Dallas. Following their honeymoon in South Africa, the couple are at home in the Greenway Parks area of Dallas.


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Amanda Seale & Clayton Farrow manda Seale and Clayton Farrow exchanged wedding v o w s D e c . 1 7 , 2 0 1 1 at Beltway Park Baptist Church in Abilene, Texas. David McQueen, senior pastor, officiated. A reception of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed at the Fairway Course at the Abilene Country Club. The bride is the daughter of Kris and Melinda Seale of Abilene. She is the granddaughter of Jean Baumann of Fort Worth, Texas. The groom is the son of Bruce and Vicki Farrow of Dallas and the grandson of Vinitia Smith, also of Dallas. The bride chose a Judd Waddell gown with sweetheart neckline, ruched bodice, ribbon belt, and chapel-length train. Two gathers accented her gown’s silk taffeta skirt and her heirloom veil was embellished with hand-sewn lace appliqués. The bride was given in marriage by her parents. Her father escorted her down the aisle. Attending as maids of honor were Amanda McKethan of Waco, Texas and Shannon Seale of Abilene. Bridesmaids included Jennifer Lively of Mesquite, Texas; Kristen Nelson of Austin, Texas; Jessica Burnham of Dallas; Anne Farrow of Dallas; and Harmonie Farrow of Grapevine, Texas. Gracie

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Wilcox of Fort Worth was the junior bridesmaid. Members of the house party included Rachel King of Waco, Texas; Rachel Beil of Kansas City, Kan.; Annie Turner of Dallas; Danielle Howell of Dallas; and Emily Grace of Dallas. Abby Wilcox of Fort Worth was the flower girl. Assisting the groom as best man was Matt Farrow of Grapevine. Groomsmen included Matt Bergstrom of Dallas; John Goodwin of Dallas; Drew Seale of Abilene; Robbie McCormac of Dallas; and Joel Burnham of Dallas. Ushers were Dylan Moore of Abilene and Dave Paquette, also of Abilene. Eli Paquette and Ari Paquette were ring bearers. The bride is a graduate of Wylie High School in Abilene. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Baylor University. She is employed as a marketing and social-media coordinator for Dallas Summer Musicals. The groom is a graduate of Highland Park High School. He is studying civil engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. He works for Park Cities Baptist Church and JBI Partners. Following their wedding trip to Sandals La Toc Resort in St. Lucia, the couple are at home in Dallas.

GEORGE STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Brittain Denise Bakke & Aaron Christopher Ewert rittain Denise Bakke and Aaron Christopher Ewert exchanged wedding vows Aug. 6, 2011 at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Dr. Ronald Wesley Scates. Music for the ceremony was provided by the Davidson Brothers. A reception of dining and dancing to the music of the Jimmy Church Band of Nashville, Tenn. followed at the Northwood Club. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Foxworth of Dallas and Dr. and Mrs. W. E. Bakke III of Sarasota, Fla. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Werneth Avril , formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio, now of Dallas, and Mrs. Wilbur Bakke Jr. and the late Mr. Wilbur Bakke Jr. of Boerne, Texas. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Strange of Garland, Texas, and Mr. and Mrs. Norman Ewert of Dallas. He is the grandson of Mrs. Bertha Gray and the late Mr. Gray of Fort Worth, Texas and Mrs. Irmgard Charlotte Bluestein and the late Mr. Bluestein of Tyler, Texas. The bride selected a strapless, multi-layered gown with sweetheart neckline and trumpet silhouette. The fitted shape was accented with intricate floral embroidery throughout, enhanced with Swarovski crystals, and with a draped sash at the waist. A French bustle at the back, completed the ensemble. The bridal garter was made from the embroidered flowers from her mother’s wedding veil.

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The bride was given in marriage by her parents. Attending as maid of honor was Alison Avril Pitzer. Bridesmaids included Marciny Elizabeth Trice, Alexandra Caroline Figari, Kendall Ansley Delk, Katherine Connor Brindell, Lauren Lee Lucas, Jennifer Antisdale Covey, and Emily Ann Lauck. Members of the house party included Emily Grace Sutfin, Cecelia Ann Sutfin, Avril Rebecca Payne, Erin Davis Ewert, and Stari Mayfield Ewert. Flower girls were Reese Caroline Ewert, Harper Nicole Ewert, and Olivia Bakke. Joseph Donald Covey was the best man. Groomsmen included Jeremy Quinn Ewert, Justin Edward Ewert, Wilbur Eugene Bakke IV, Austin Taylor Pitzer, Matthew Allan Primeaux, Paul Alexander Stark, and Michael Jordan Thompson. Ushers were Jonathan Eric Millstein, Adam Stewart Underwood, Kevin Brice Bell, Paul Carlos Munguia, and Ryan Robert Roby. The bride is a graduate of Highland Park High School and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Baylor University. She is employed by Legacy Texas Title. The groom is a graduate of Garland High School. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Christian University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is an architect for Perkins+Will. Following their wedding trip to London, Paris and Cannes, the newlyweds now reside in Dallas.


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Rory Crissey & Doug Harbison ory Drake Crissey and Earle Douglas Harbison Jr. were united in Holy Matrimony May 7, 2011 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, Texas. The Very Reverend Albert Laforet officiated. Immediately following the ceremony, guests were given white balloons and followed a bagpiper, who led bride, groom and guests to the Driskill Hotel for a reception hosted by the bride’s parents. The weekend festivities began with a Cinco de Mayo party on Thursday evening hosted by the groom’s aunt and uncle. On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted dinner and dancing at The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Drake Crissey Jr. of Dallas. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Howard Drake Crissey Sr. and the late Mr. Crissey and Mrs. Richard Denis O’Brien Jr. and the late Mr. O’Brien. The groom is the son of Mr. Earle Douglas Harbison Sr. and Ms. Kay Means Harbison of St. Louis, Mo. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Earle Harrison Harbison Jr. and the late Mr. and Mrs. Cole Cowden Means. The bride selected a formal gown designed by Angel Sanchez from Stanley Korshak. Its triplex silk and linen gazar featured a soft A-line silhouette, the back fashioned of pleated ruffles, cascading gracefully to her blue satin slippers. To complete her ensemble, the bride wore her sister’s cathedrallength veil of sheer illusion and Alencon lace that flowed

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beyond her chapel-length train. The bride was given in marriage by her parents and escorted to the altar by her father. The bride’s sisters, Kate O’Connell and Kimberly Underwood, attended as her matrons of honor. Bridesmaids were Lizzie Duplantis, Daley Harris, Meredith Luskey, Sarah Means, and Julie Sprunt. House party members included Julia Ambrose, Jamie O’Boyle, Leslie Carrigan, Lindsey Floeck, Lauren Diebel, Monica Palandjoglou, Andrea Urquidi and Catherine Williams. The groom’s brother, Capt. Ryan Means Harbison, U.S.M.C., was best man. Groomsmen were James Cagle, Leo Corrigan IV, Jeff Hackmeyer, Taylor Harbison, Robert Hill, Coley Means II, and Brian O’Boyle Jr. Ryan Harbison and the groom’s uncle, Jon Means, were scripture readers. Ushers included Ryan Crissey, Spencer Diebel, Seth Duplantis, Keith Harbison, Daniel O’Connell, and Dave Underwood. The bride graduated from Highland Park High School and received a Bachelor of Science in fashion merchandising from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. The groom is a graduate of MICDS, Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. Following their honeymoon in the Greek Isles, the couple resides in Dallas.

Ashley McElroy & Dr. Frank Castillon III shley McElroy and Dr. Frank Castillon III exchanged wedding vows Oct. 15, 2011 at Park Cities Baptist Church. The Rev. Don Duren officiated. A reception of dining and dancing followed at the Park City Club. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terry J. McElroy of Dallas. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Harold C. McElroy and the late Mr. McElroy and Mrs. Harry C. Meyers and the late Mr. Meyers. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Castillon Jr. of Boerne, Texas. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank Castillon Sr. and the late Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Garner. The bride selected a strapless gown with sweetheart neckline from the Casablanca Bridal Collection. Understated elegance was apparent in the beautiful fit and flare gown with its beaded lace appliqué accented with freshwater pearls hand-sewn onto Point D’Esprit layered over Luxe satin lining. The empire seam was enhanced by a champagne ribbon sash, delicate bow and lacy tails. The bride paired this magnificent gown with heels from the Christian Louboutin Bridal Collection with a sixpence in her left shoe for tradition. The bride was given in marriage by her parents. Her father walked her down the aisle to present her to her husband. Attending as maid of honor was Caroline Torbett. Her bridesmaid was Rosali

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MELANIE JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Castillon. Members of the house party were Jen Huddleston, Courtney Morgan, and Rebecca Waldon. Ella Castillon and Victoria Castillon were flower girls. The best man was the groom’s father, Frank Castillon Jr. Paul Castillon was his groomsman. Ushers were Michael Cichy, Brian McElroy, Cody Rakowicz, and Adam Rakowicz. The bride is a graduate of Highland Park High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies/psychology from Texas Tech University where she was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. She also received a Master of Science in child development from Texas Woman’s University where she will receive a Master of Science in family therapy this year. She is also currently working to complete her Ph.D. in family therapy at Texas Woman’s University. The bride is an NCFR Approved-Certified Family Life Educator and is employed as a family therapist-intern at the Samaritan Inn of McKinney. The groom is a graduate of Clark High School in San Antonio. He received a Bachelor of Science from Tulane University. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He completed his training in Neurological Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been in solo practice in Dallas for seven years. Following their wedding trip to Hawaii the newlyweds are at home now in Dallas.


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Jennifer Erwin & David LeBlanc ennifer Dawn Erwin and David Andrew LeBlanc exchanged wedding vows Jan. 28 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Dallas. The morning nuptial mass was officiated by the Rev. Robert M. Odom, Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and cousin of the groom, assisted by acolyte George M. Odom, his son. Musicians included Justin Brooks, on guitar and vocals, Tiffany Brooks on vocals and Dr. Susan De Kam, on piano. Guests entered the church to Vivaldi’s “Spring” and the wedding party exited the church with Beethoven’s “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” as recessional. Following the ceremony, family and guests enjoyed a seated brunch, with piano accompaniment, at the Lakewood Country Club. The bride is the daughter of Kathy and Paul Anderson of Longview, Texas. She is the granddaughter of Mary Theriot and the late Ivy J. Theriot of Fort Worth, Texas; Betty and R.C. Renfro of Longview, Texas; and Dorothy Anderson and the late Richard B. Anderson of Turlock, Calif. The groom is the son of Janie and Jerry LeBlanc of Plaquemine, La. He is the grandson of the late Ginny and Sonny LeBlanc, and the late Althea “Sissy” and J.D. Cointment, all of Plaquemine. The bride selected a floor-length, Watters gown with a soft sweetheart neckline and ruching at the

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bodice. She wore a stunning Badgley Mischka diamond and turquoise necklace, and for the reception added a mink stole belonging to the groom’s late maternal grandmother. The bride was escorted down the aisle by the couple’s daughter, Abigail Grace LeBlanc. The groom was escorted by their son, Andrew Talbot LeBlanc. Scripture readers were Joy Marie Anderson, sister of the bride, and Althea “Chinkie” Cointment, aunt of the groom. Chalice bearers were Leigh Fredrickson and Julie Ackerley. Members of the house party included Chelsea Burns Davis, Carina Gonzalez, Lisa Bledsoe McLaren, and Mary Tannehill Odom. Gretchen Henry and Jerry LeBlanc were witnesses. The bride received her degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. She is the publisher of D Magazine. The groom received degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and Louisiana State University. He is the benefits manager for Ryan, LLC. The couple spent their honeymoon on a mission trip to Belize with members of the Church of the Incarnation, where they are both active members. In lieu of gifts, the couple requested donations to the outreach department of their church. Both bride and groom are passionate about mission work and originally met serving others.

MATTHEW CHAD PHOTOGRAPHY

Megan Busher & Kevin Irwin egan Busher and Kevin Irwin were united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on June 4, 2011 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Texas. The nuptial mass was celebrated by the Rev. Msgr. Robert B. O’Connor. A reception followed at the Hoffman Haus with cocktails in the garden, and a seated dinner, followed by dancing. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Busher of Highland Park. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Rogge and the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Busher. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Irwin Jr. of Highland Park and the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Irwin Sr., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Eklund. The bride selected a strapless gown of sheer organza, layered over silky satin. Its elegant lace appliqués were embellished with Swarovski crystals, sequins and silver beadwork. The ball-gown silhouette was further enhanced by a sweetheart neckline with crystal buttons running down the back. The tulle, mantilla-style veil she wore was handmade by the bride’s mother. The veil’s lengthy train was accentuated with beading over the delicate Alencon lace border. The bride also wore her grandmother’s pearls and her great grandmother’s wedding band. She carried a bouquet of white peonies, roses and hydrangeas, hand-tied

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with heirloom lace. Attending the bride as maid of honor was Michelle Phillips. Her bridesmaids included Brenda Busher, Jennifer Carlson, Margaret Tart, Carrie Steinhoff, and Elizabeth Dryden. Members of the house party were Jennifer Tankersley, Lauren Zamorano, Camilla Grounds, and Lane Irwin. Serving the groom as best man was Steven Palmer. Groomsmen were John Busher, Joshua Bell, Jeff Lohmann, Zane Carlson, and Danny Lane. Ushers included Drew Irwin, Taylor Irwin, Ryan Phillips, and Christopher Busher. Ring bearers were Jack Phillips, Jacob Busher, Nicholas Busher, and Michael Busher. The candles in the sanctuary were lit in memory of the couple’s beloved friend, Ramsey Casteel. The bride is a graduate of Highland Park High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies from the University of North Texas. She is a teacher at Highland Park United Methodist Church, in the church’s child development program. The groom also attended Highland Park High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Southern Methodist University. He is a petroleum landman with RedSky Land. Following their wedding trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, the newlyweds are at home in Dallas.


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CARREKERS ARE SOLID GOLD A mega celebration is planned for Highland Park couple’s 50th wedding anniversary

STAFF PHOTO (LEFT): ALANA HARRISON

This August, Highland Park couple Denny and Connie Carreker will re-enact their wedding for their 50th anniversary. The couple was married in Oklahoma City in 1962.

BY ALANA HARRISON

D STAFF WRITER

enny Carreker thought he’d struck gold when Connie Brook accepted his marriage proposal over a glass of champagne. “I came from very humble beginnings, and here Connie lived in this big fancy house,” Carreker said. “I almost couldn’t believe she was going to marry me.” The couple will celebrate their 50th anniversary in August, and big plans are in the works for their golden milestone. Denny and Connie had been dating for two years before Denny popped the auspicious question. While at Oklahoma State University, Denny took Connie out for a night on the town. They went to see West Side Story, and then dined at a “nice” restaurant, as Connie described it.

“After having a wonderful dinner, Denny ordered champagne, and there in my glass was the ring,” Connie said with a grin. “There was so much excitement. I was not expecting it to happen that night.” While attending Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, the two were set up on a blind date by the school’s quarterback and head cheerleader. As Denny was a senior and Connie was a sophomore, they were only high school sweethearts for a short time. “It really was love at first sight,” said Denny. Connie agreed that they immediately clicked. “We dated other people for a while, but we weren’t happy with it,” Connie said. Shortly after her graduation from high school, they were married. Connie described their wedding, which was held at the Portland Avenue Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, as being very simple. “I did it all,” she said. “I even designed my own wedding dress. It cost me $25 for the material and $25 for the labor to make it. It was a strapless gown with a jacket. I really had intentions to wear the dress again. The back had a beautiful bustle and train, and my mother-in-law made a gorgeous veil.”

The reception was held at Connie’s father’s home outside of Oklahoma City. “It was very small — mostly family and good friends,” Connie said. “My dad had a beautiful home on a lot of acreage. It was perfect for the reception.”

“If you can’t laugh at yourself and at each other … well, that’s extremely important in any relationship.” — DENNY CARREKER The couple has three children — John Denzil Carreker Jr., 47; Brent Carreker, 43; and Brook Carreker Schuttler, 33. This summer, the couple will renew their vows at Park Cities Presbyterian Church — Connie is even planning on having a replica of her original wedding dress made in a shorter version. From there, the festivities will move to Dallas

Country Club. Connie said she’s going to have their original wedding cake remade for the event; Emerald City will take the stage to get party-goers on the dance floor; and the couple plans to have a “just married” first dance. Denny said they’re expecting up to 400 people. “This is such a great opportunity to relive our wedding, having our children and grandchildren there,” Connie said. “Sharing the experience with them will be wonderful.” The secret to making that 50-mile mark? “Our faith and commitment,” Denny said without a second thought. “Life throws you a lot of challenges, and going through those challenges takes commitment. You’re each other’s closest friend. And you have to have a sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself and at each other … well, that’s extremely important in any relationship.” Connie said she and Denny have a special saying they recite to each other almost every day: “I love you more today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow.” Email alana.harrison@ peoplenewspapers.com


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SPECI A L A DV ERT ISI NG SECT ION

StarDust Celebrations

Our vision from the beginning was to become a one-stop shopping experience for brides and their families, and to be known for our excellent customer service, impeccable wedding planning and fabulous collections of bridal gowns. Our flagship salon features couture gowns from renowned designers such as Lazaro and Claire Pettibone, while LuLu’s Bridal Boutique carries beautiful moderate gowns from design houses like Allure, Pronovias and Maggie Sottero. Samples from 20+ designers can be found at our outlet, A Bridal Closet. At Stardust, a wedding is not just about selecting a perfect gown, but also about helping a family with any and sometimes all of the details surrounding the wedding. Our approach is to help brides style their entire wedding, giving their special day a seamless feel. Once a bride has purchased a gown at Stardust, we help style her complete bridal ensemble, finding the perfect jewelry, veil, accessories and shoes to finish her look. Next, we guide our “Stardust Bride” through other departments in our store to serve and help style each aspect of her wedding, from navigating our extensive selections of stationery, gifts and wedding day accessories to offering our exceptional wedding planning services to dressing the bridesmaids, gentlemen, moms and children in the wedding party. Visit our full-service salon, and enjoy the Stardust difference. STARDUST CELEBRATIONS 6464 West Plano Parkway Plano, TX 75093 972-781-1619 Visit our website for additional sister salon information LuLu’s Bridal Boutique, Uptown A Bridal Closet www.stardustcelebrations.com


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SPECI A L A DV ERT ISI NG SECT ION

With timeless elegance surrounding you as you first walk through the door, you can’t help but embrace the magical ambiance that is so natural to Warwick Melrose Hotel, Dallas. The classical feel of this historic hotel provides the perfect backdrop for any wedding event. From the engagement party to the wedding reception, Executive Chef Mike Pacheco and his knowledgeable culinary team are eager to prepare delectable dishes for any occasion. This Dallas landmark is the perfect mix of character, charm and modern day luxury, which offers 184 tastefully appointed guest rooms and suites. Renowned for their superior levels of comfort and distinctive style, a welcoming atmosphere awaits in each unique guest room. Named "the Top Place to Sip and Sup" by the Wall Street Journal, The Library bar is the place to be for a pre-wedding drink or after party festivities. The newly renovated Landmark restaurant is also among the top restaurants in the city, boasting upscale casual dining. With all of its amenities, opulent surroundings and impeccable service, the prestigious Warwick Melrose Hotel is the perfect choice for making every dream wedding come to life.

WARWICK MELROSE HOTEL 3015 Oak Lawn Avenue Dallas, Texas 75219 214.224.3109 www.warwickmelrosedallas.com

Photo by Spink Photography

Photo by Sara Kate Photography


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SPECI A L A DV ERT ISI NG SECT ION

f8 Studio Wedding Photography f8 Studio has built its reputation on the genuine passion and uncommon skill with which it approaches wedding photography. The studio's accomplished photographers, who together represent more than six decades of industry experience, share a common commitment to capturing real, meaningful and powerful moments of the wedding day. With the highest technical craftsmanship, a quirky sense of humor and genuine appreciation for family bond, f8 studio photographers create dynamic imagery that reveals the day, moment by moment. Recognized by American Photo magazine as one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers of 2010, f8 Studio has earned top honors from multiple local and national organizations, including the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, which named f8 as its Favorite Photography Vendor for an unprecedented four years in a row. Primp. Pamper. Dress. Beam. Blush. Cry. Laugh. Wait. Hurry. Arrive. Enter. Glance. Gasp. Whisper. Exchange. Become. Kiss. Cheer. Announce. Toast. Wink. Clink. Blink. Thank. Relish. Eat. Drink. Dip. Boogie. Spill. Enjoy. Whatever happens. For Real.

F8 STUDIO Proudly Photographing Fine Weddings in the Park Cities and Worldwide 972-669-2274 f8studio.com


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TRENDS WALK DOWN A NEW AISLE But some wedding traditions — like family spats — are as classic as love itself

PHOTOS: GARY DONIHOO; VIM STUDIOS

Highland Park bride Maggie Samuel ordered a dress from Gowns of Grace customized with a smooth, A-line skirt, and small pockets for Maggie’s lipgloss. Her cathedrallength veil was accented with satin cord edge. Right: StarDust Celebrations clients Laura Abigail and Jonathan Price chose SMU’s Perkins Chapel for their ceremony.

BY GEORGIA FISHER

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STAFF WRITER

t’s true. Brides and their moms get snappy when they’re picking out a wedding dress. Ditto for brides and mothers-in-law, and brides and sisters. “Weddings can bring a lot of family stuff to a head,” said Nancy Dodd, owner of Lovers Lane dress boutique Gowns of Grace. “And it’s not just regular emotions; they’re emotions times 100.” Dodd has been in the bridal biz nearly 30 years, and has done so much mediation in the process that she opted — mid-retail-career — to get a psychology degree from the University of New Mexico. “It comes in handy, let me tell you,” said Dodd, who had no prior psychology background, and was finally admitted into the degree program when she described her work. “Sometimes,” she joked, “I feel like I need to put out my counseling sign.” But if family dynamics are constant, the fashions

themselves are ever-changing. “Weddings don’t all look the same now,” said Dodd, who offers off-the-rack designer gowns, alterations, and custom looks, “and there are much more individualistic details” than in years past. One client’s dress began as a satin, cathedral-length ball gown, later cut to tea-length and fitted with a custom belt. Said belt was made from a necktie — one that matched the groom’s — and woven around roses and peacock feathers, to match the bride’s blue shoes. Other women want sexy, strapless styles converted to something more conservative and church-friendly. Actually, Dodd predicts fashion will swing toward more conservative looks in general, with “a lot more sleeves, a lot more collars, and a lot more coverage. Now we’re coming back to the ball gowns, and the sweeping skirts with very romantic details and ruffles.” Lace is huge, too, thanks to Kate Middleton’s royal nuptials. Dress selection, of course, goes hand in hand with all the other details: picking a venue, planning a reception, and tallying the cost of everything from the band to the booze. Plano-based outfit StarDust Celebrations handles

the whole bit, “from the gown to the guests,” says employee Michelle Green, with many a ceremony in local churches, including Park Cities Baptist, University Park United Methodist, Christ the King — that’s a big one — and SMU’s Perkins Chapel. Top reception venues include the Ritz-Carlton, the Adolphus,

“The first thing I say is, ‘You really need to get that budget together.’” — MARSHA FRENCH the Tower Club, and the Dallas Petroleum Club, said Marsha French, StarDust co-owner and wedding planner. StarDust specializes in big to-dos, with a minimum of 150 guests. So French, for one, is pretty frank about expenses. “Young women come in,” she said, “and they’re all excited about their wedding gowns; all the fun, fun things they’ve read on Pinterest. But the first thing I say is, ‘You really need to get that budget together.’ ” If you’re inviting 200 people, said French, figure

at least $24,000 for the venue, food, and bar, with tax and server tips included. And that $24,000 is only about 40 percent of the total event cost (minus, say, the dress and rings) if you want photography, videography, a florist, a band, and so on. If it’s a Saturday-night wedding in Dallas? Well, the price goes up. And up and up. “Yes,” French said with a chuckle, “weddings are that expensive.” They’re also changing with the times. Like Dodd and her custom gowns, French is seeing “much more eclectic and personal attention” given to weddings these days, “including more of the groom’s side — what he wants, and what’s important to him.” One groom, a sportswriter, wanted to incorporate sports culture into the event design. The bride was less than enthused. In the end, the couple got table cards printed with quotes from his articles, which wound up being the perfect conversation piece at dinner. For couples, “bringing in who they are and what they love seems to be where the real trend is,” said French. “It makes it so much fun.” Email georgia.fisher@ peoplenewspapers.com


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Lane Carruth & Robert Hawkins Aug. 13 at El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos, N.M. PHOTOS: JANE BERNARD PHOTOGRAPHY

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Rory Crissey & Doug Harbison May 7 at Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas


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Hayley Hightower & Derek Louden Oct. 29 at Nasher Sculpture Center PHOTOS: SALLEE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Ashley McElroy & Dr. Frank Castillon III Oct. 15 at Park City Club PHOTOS: MELANIE JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY

photo by Steve Wrubel

ALL YOUR TO-DO’S DONE. toddevents.com


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TOKENS OF AFFECTION Gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen COMPILED BY KATIE BIVINS AND ANA CHAN STAFF PHOTOS BY ALANA HARRISON

Beavaldes Nomad Tassle Clutch $1,764 , Grange Hall

Glass Bridesmaids & Groomsmen Frame $19.95, Swoozie’s

Bridesmaid Tervis Tumbler $21.95, Swoozie’s

Jayshree Dalal 3.5ct Diamond Ring $3,550 , Grange Hall

Jayshree Dalal Diamond, Silver & 14K Gold Earrings $3,750 , Grange Hall

Personalized Bath Wrap $34, Swoozie’s


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Mont Blanc Special Edition Pen

Jan Barboglio Flask

$900 , Neiman Marcus

$76 , Neiman Marcus

David Donahue Cuff Links

Wedding Party Bottle Identifiers

$150 , Neiman Marcus

$9.95, Swoozie’s

Groomsman Tervis Tumbler $21.95, Swoozie’s

Personalized Leather Money Clip $21, Swoozie’s



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