Preston Smith Photography
Photography is much more than a weekend hobby for Preston Smith; when he’s not shooting weddings and engagement photos, he’s shooting editorial work for clients like Reebok and RVCA. For weddings, he works with his wife, Heather, to capture every special moment—he has an uncanny knack for hidden candids, like facial expressions at key moments, or intimate hugs between guests when they least suspect to be photographed. Importantly, his turnaround is astonishingly fast; you’re likely to have photos back before the honeymoon’s over.
Adria Lea Photography
Adria Lea and her husband Colt handle weddings as a team, so your photographer can (literally) be in two places at once—for example, the bridesmaids and groomsmen can both be photographed getting ready without any rushing back and forth. More than that, Adria’s a genius with natural light, so you won't catch her carting around too much equipment. Clients also love that that there’s very minimal photo-shopping involved in the entire process.
Amy Karp Photography
Amy Karp’s photography business is a family operation—Amy takes the photos, and her husband, Jon, handles the business side behind the scenes (though he does take some gorgeous photos of his own, too). What the clients get is the feel of a small one-man show with the professionalism and speed of a larger outfit. Side note: Amy’s side passion is underwater photography, should the occasion ever call for it.
If there’s such a thing as photographer’s bedside manner, Veronica Ellerman has a great one—she’s known for getting even the most rambunctious (flowergirls) and cantankerous (grandfathers) guests to cooperate and pose appropriately. She’s also got a way with natural light that makes for gorgeous results with a low-maintenance process. Book well in advance—her schedule fills up quickly.
A Sea of Love
A Sea of Love, a small team of photographers helmed by Morgan Chidsey, comes highly recommended for stunning photos that feel natural and easy. Morgan skips expected posing in favor of capturing intimate moments—the only time she’ll art-direct is when it comes to picking a romantic, gorgeously-lit setting.
Cebolla Fine Flowers
4415 Lovers Ln., University Park
Cebolla Fine Flowers is owned by couple and business partners Luit and Jamie Huizenga, who have been running the business since shortly after Luit emigrated from Holland in the '80s. Their state-of-the-art warehouse (where they also live with their daughter) is equipped with geothermal heating, which keeps the countless orchid plants healthy year-round. In the summer months, they actually offer monarch butterfly chrysalises, which eventually hatch and fly away. If you can't make it to their shop on Lover's Lane, they deliver to almost every neighborhood in the city.
The T Room at Forty Five Ten
4510 McKinney Ave., Knox/Henderson
Sadly, Forty Five Ten's Number 1 café shuttered, so to soften the blow they've expanded the in-shop café, T Room. It's a cozy space with cast iron chandeliers and an outdoor patio—perfect for bridal and baby showers and birthday lunches. The in-house event planner Missy, can handle the details (invites, flowers, favors), all you have to do is show up.
Chinatown is like a traditional wedding band on steroids. All five members have years of experience, so their renditions of all the party staples (Boogie Shoes, Shout, Rebel Yell) sound just as good as the real thing.
Cassandra Fine Catering
These guys definitely rule when it comes to super-fancy, high-end catering (not everyone in town has served meals to both Presidents Obama and Bush). But it's about more than the food for Cassandra—clients rave about the impeccable service and reliability.
The Left-Handed Calligrapher
Nicole is a great classic calligrapher. You can select from a number of different styles, and while she's based in Dallas, she takes orders from across the country. And yes, she really is left-handed.