147 Pittsburg St., Dallas
In Italian, Bell’Invito means “beautiful invitation.” The novelty of this company is that you can send out custom paper invites, but go through the entire process online (unless you opt for the couture line, which needs to be ordered in-person). Former fashion art director Heather Wiese spent a lot of time in Italy and fell in love with the artisanal quality of the stationery there. With Bell’Invito, she marries traditional craftsmanship with the demands of modern life. After customers fill out a detailed digital form that dictates the design, the stationery is made on a printing press dating back to the 1800s; the result is shipped within ten days of proof approval. Given that a three-month window is normally required for stationery of this caliber, the speedy turnaround is a lifesaver for time-starved planners.
Kyle Branch is a young Dallas multihyphenate splitting his time between working at TenOverSix and creating unusual, retro-looking flower arrangements at Peaches.
Steven Karlisch has been shooting weddings for close to twenty years. A childhood spent traveling with a photography-loving father piqued his interest, but it was only after a year studying architecture in college that Karlisch changed majors. While his wife was moonlighting as a photographer for a small wedding company, Karlisch decided to become a wedding photographer, and their photo studio flourished from there. His specialty is timeless, classic photography and the emotion behind the first look or the speeches. And he always tries to incorporate an architectural component, which lends dimension to his work. Karlisch is available to shoot both local and destination weddings.
1217 Main St, Downtown
Commissary is a bakery, a butcher, a gelateria, and a market all in one. Impressive, right?
Meggie Francisco Events
Meggie Francisco didn’t start out as a wedding planner; she had a 10-year corporate career before planning a few friends’ weddings helped convince her she was ready for a change. She specializes in smaller events (150 guests or less), where her hard work, thoroughness, and exhaustive attention to detail are most visible. She’s also great at destination weddings.
DJ Jason Esquire
DJ Jason has had a long career playing music; he’s been DJ'ing for more than 15 years, including playing on several radio shows and a long-time residency at Whisky Bar in Dallas. Couples say he’s particularly adept at reading the room—while he thoroughly questions the bride and groom on their tastes and vision before the event, he’ll never use a pre-made track. P.S. When drunk guests request the Wobble, he’s always in your corner.
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.
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