Arts & Culture News

Dallas Wedding Planners Tell Us the Most Lavish, Outrageous Requests They’ve Granted

For some people, finding each other isn't enough. They need to profess their love in front of giraffes and under floating chandeliers.
For some people, finding each other isn't enough. They need to profess their love in front of giraffes and under floating chandeliers. Mike Brooks

When it’s time to tie the knot, couples understandably want their special day to be perfect. There are so many details to work out: venue, dress, guest list, theme, flowers, centerpieces — the list goes on and on. It can be a daunting task for any couple. Fortunately, there are professionals out there who will stop at nothing (and we mean nothing) to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Whether money is no object or you’re on a budget, there’s a wedding planner in Dallas who can turn your dream wedding into reality. We tracked down some of the best to ask them all about the most lavish, outlandish wishes they’ve granted to make that special day unforgettable. Some of their stories are pretty outrageous, and some are outrageously sweet.

When you've met the one and only pretzel ...
“From helicopter exits, exotic giraffe wedding guests, confetti drops, floral walls and opulent chandelier installations, we have seen our fair share of exorbitant and lavish details. One of our brides was a Philadelphia native, so when she requested a late-night snack that would remind her of home, no average pretzel would do. The bride insisted on having them flown in from her hometown. We created a street-style concession cart complete with soft pretzels and her favorite mustard on the side.” — Lottie Fowler of Grit and Gold Weddings

Keeping secrets comes with the territory, along with tearful brides.
“It is so sweet when the groom goes out of his way to surprise his bride with something special. One of our most thoughtful grooms and I arranged for a huge fireworks show to go off right after their first dance. The night of, at the country club, the pyrotechnics team was setting up in an area away from the building, but if you paid really close attention you could see their flashlights and movement. It caught the bride's attention, and she went into full panic mode thinking that the club's members were playing night golf. Through tears, she was asking things like ‘What if one of their golf balls hits a guest?!’ I calmed her down and went to ask the golfers to move to a different hole, and made it back to send them out for their first dance and fireworks show. To which she cried again, but this time they were good tears.” — Leah Hudson of Given Event Company

This planner, who shall remain anonymous, was asked to defy the very laws of physics by a bride who probably should have known better.

“I had a bride who was an engineer by trade and was having an outdoor wedding. She requested a large chandelier over her dance floor, which was also outside. The lighting company and I talked with her regarding logistics, but she sat there clearly upset. Then she explained she wanted the chandelier, but she didn't want anything to hold it up. She wanted to see if we could just find a way to ‘make it float.’ Obviously, we weren’t able to make that happen.”

You never know who you might meet at a Dallas wedding these days.

“While the adorable ring bearer will never go out of style, a sharp-eyed hawk was definitely a crowd-pleaser at a wedding last year. Once the hawk’s ring bearer duties were over, the guests had the pleasure of meeting him and some of his comrades of the sky. Speaking of aerial entertainment, another client requested to have the night sky lit up with a fireworks display that popped in sync with their favorite song while spelling out their names as the grand finale.” — Jessica Deltoro, Daydream Events by Jess

Some couples are kids at heart.

“One client wanted to add a ‘gaming’ aspect added to their reception. So after their ceremony, we brought in pingpong tables, pinball machines, Ms. Pac-Man, foosball and air hockey. It was so much fun! The same couple wanted to be married under a canopy of flowers, so we brought in a 500-pound floral canopy for their ceremony room. Another couple wanted to dance under the stars, so we hung tons of twinkling lights in the Pavilion of the Four Seasons. The lights were strung every 10 inches, so the room was filled with little twinkle lights. It took 12 hours to install.” — Sue Kelson of Sue Kelson Events

This wedding took a dark (and painful) turn, and the wedding planner (who prefers to remain anonymous) was not prepared for it.
“After touring several venues and starting to plan their wedding, one couple explained to me that they wanted to take the wedding in a different direction. The groom asked about maybe making their colors a bit darker and asked about looking for a venue with darker spaces than what we were previously considering. I told him that I could definitely do that. Then he casually said, ‘We are thinking we might want there to be some light BDSM.’ He explained that he was hoping for it to feel like ‘soft porn.’ Finally, he added that he hoped the guests could wear BDSM costumes. Ultimately, this wedding did not happen.”

Gay weddings were even harder to plan before they were recognized as lawful.
“In September 2014 I had the privilege of helping a Texas couple get married in Suffern, New York. At that time, the law had not passed across the nation legalizing same-sex marriages, so it was necessary for them to get married in another state to have it legally recognized. I approached the planning process exactly as I would with any other wedding and was so surprised to see the difficulty associated with booking a venue, photographers and other wedding vendors. To encounter so many unwilling to work with them left me speechless, and it still does. Of course, it was never overt. It was a repeated cycle of excited business owners who would suddenly be ‘booked’ or ‘too busy’ to meet. It was exasperating and made me so angry and upset for my clients. I am very passionate about my work, and what drives me the most is the desire to see EVERY couple experience joy on their wedding day. Seeing the sadness of rejection cross their faces was very painful, and I can only imagine what it was like from their perspective. Ultimately, we made it all come together through many phone calls, cross-county shipments, car toppers and miles of travel, but in the end, the only thing that mattered was that love prevailed, and so did we all.” — Heather Henson, Guest List Events
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.