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Ruthe Tuesdays

What’s in Your Bridal Suite?

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

If you’ve looked at a lot of DFW wedding venues lately, you’ll realize that the bridal suite trend is everywhere! Brides no longer get ready in their house or hotel. Now they are looking for a dream bridal room to spend hours in leading up to their ceremony. But before you go falling in love with that venue, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting with that bridal hangout…

  • Does the Bridal Suite Have Enough Space?

This is probably the biggest concern when it comes to bridal suites. Is the room actually going to fit all of your bridal party? What about your mom, mother-in-law or flower girls? Consider just how many people need to fit comfortably. You and your girls might get a little frustrated getting dressed in tight quarters. Luckily, the Ruthe Jackson Center checks off this box! We’ve hosted bridal parties as big as 15-20 people!

  • How Much Time Do You Get in the Bridal Suite?

No one likes to be rushed, especially not on your wedding day. Make sure to ask how long the bridal suite can be used for. What is your access time? If you only have two hours of bridal suite time included in your rental rate, you might need to find other options. This short window might not be practical for you or your makeup artist…especially if you have a large bridal party.

  • Can You Bring in Outside Food and Drinks?

Everyone says you need to eat before the ceremony. And it’s definitely true! You don’t want to have an empty stomach standing at the alter. So make sure you and your bridesmaids have lunch in the bridal suite. Ask your venue if outside food and drinks are allowed. This is also important as your girls will likely want to celebrate with you that morning. Champagne or mimosas are probably going to happen! Connect with the Ruthe Jackson Center staff to see what drinks we can take care of for your morning in the bridal suite!

  • Does the Bridal Suite Have Mirrors?

While this might sound like a silly question, don’t look it over! Make sure your bridal suite has mirrors! You’ll need several mirrors or makeup stations as hair and makeup is being done. Make sure there’s at least a few. Most importantly, does your bridal suite have a grand mirror for you and your dress? We’re talking full size, multi-sided, grand mirror…not the kind you have in your closet! This kind of mirror is fabulous for final touches and last look before walking down the aisle. Photographers also love using these mirrors to capture sweet bridal suite moments.

We are loving this bridal suite trend and we really don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. So make sure to do your research. Find a place that speaks to you and makes your wedding morning perfect. And as always, feel free to shoot RJC a message and see how you can tour our very own bridal suite today!

How to Have the Perfect Outdoor Garden Ceremony

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

Like a lot of DFW brides, you might be dreaming of a beautiful garden wedding. Something that embraces the outdoors and southern style. Maybe you’ve already found your outside wedding venue. But what can you do to make sure it’s the perfect outdoor garden ceremony you’ve been envisioning?

  • Do Your Research

Before you decide on your wedding date, it’s important to do your research on the best time of the year to get married in DFW…especially when it comes to outdoor events. Consider what months typically have safer weather. If you’ve already booked your date, consider what you can do just in case sunshine isn’t in the forecast. Which brings me to my next point…

  • Prepare an Outdoor Wedding Backup Plan

Whether you’re getting married in April or August, you always need a plan B for your outdoor Texas wedding. Typically, your wedding venue should be able to help you with this. They have probably seen everything and they’ll know just what to do in case of rain or inclement weather. Some DFW wedding venues will even have indoor spaces or tents as backup.

  • Consider Your Wedding Vendors

Not only do you need to think about the possibility of rain, but you also need to consider how your other wedding vendors will pull off an outdoor wedding. For example, will your DJ have access to speakers outside? What about a power source? Does your vendor have their own protocol for rainy weddings? The most important thing here is to hire vendors that you can trust to get the job done no matter the circumstances!

  • Consider Your Guests

While your loved ones might weather through anything to see you and your fiancé get married, their outdoor experience matters too! If your wedding is in August, consider providing paper fans for your guests. You could even get creative and have the fan double as a ceremony program as well! On the other hand, if you are a December bride, you might want to use scarves or wraps as your wedding favor. It’s the little things that make the outdoor garden ceremony experience really shine!

Maybe you aren’t the bride I described earlier. Maybe you’re reading this and still searching through the dozens of beautiful wedding venues in Texas. If so, consider letting the Ruthe Jackson Center be that garden wedding venue that you say “I do” to. Rain or shine, we know how to create the perfect outdoor garden ceremony!

I’m Here for the Cake

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

When it comes to desserts and cake flavors, we all have our favorites. So for a lot of us, choosing a wedding dessert can be pretty easy. Just choose your favorite, right? Well yes…and no. While I wholeheartedly believe you should choose the flavor you love the most, there’s a little more that goes into planning your reception dessert than your love for pie or chocolate cake.

  • Find Your Baker

Finding the right vendor for your cake or desserts is very important. Like all other vendors, do your research and find someone that you can trust. Get their advice on designs, flavors and cost saving tips. If they’re an experienced baker like Cake-Aholics Bakery in Arlington (our local favorite), they’ll know what is best and what works!

  • Don’t Overload

At this point in your planning you probably already have a more accurate guest count. Take that into consideration as you plan your desserts. This is really important if you’re planning on having more than one dessert. You don’t want to have a wedding cake to feed 150 and 150 slices of pie as well. Not everyone will eat both choices and you’ll end up with a ton of leftovers!

  • Consider Your Guests

While you might be obsessed with lemon lavender cake, that flavor might not be a total crowd pleaser. Not everyone will take a piece. That’s why it’s also important to consider what flavors most people will enjoy. Make sure to still order your favorite flavor, but make sure to have a larger amount of something more common. This is where your baker can help as well. They will typically have a list of their most popular choices that never disappoint!

  • Be Creative

If you’re a bride on a budget, you might need to get creative with your reception dessert. A huge seven-tiered, fondant covered, gold cake might not be feasible. Consider opting for a smaller, buttercream cake paired with other, more affordable desserts. Dessert tables filled with cookies, macaroons, pies, brownies, etc. are very trendy right now too!

While choosing your cake might not be the hardest wedding decision you’ll face, it is still important. Make sure to get advice from your local cake experts and have fun with it. After all, cake tasting appointments are really sweet!

How to Pick Bridesmaid Dresses They’ll Actually Love

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

At this point in the wedding planning process, you might have already picked out your venue, style, colors and your own wedding dress. Now it’s time to nail down the dresses your best friends will be wearing as they stand beside you on your big day! But this decision might not be as smooth as picking your color scheme. When considering bridesmaid dresses, you now have to take others opinions into consideration…even more so than with other wedding aspects. So how do you navigate this decision to both make your girls happy but also sticking to your vision?

  • Step 1: Talk About Budget

As with anything else, you’ve got to have the budget conversation. Get honest feedback from your bridesmaids. If everyone is responsible for paying for their own dress, know what they are comfortable spending. Get a group consensus on what the max budget is that they are willing to spend. This will help narrow down your options and keep you from wasting time on dresses or boutiques that simply aren’t practical.

  • Step 2: Rule Out the No’s

What makes bridesmaid dress shopping long and tedious is everyone having their own opinion on style or taste. Each girl has their own list of what they want and what they look good in. To help make this process a little easier, start from a different angle. Don’t ask what everyone likes. Instead, ask each girl what is the one thing they absolutely can’t say yes to. For example, your maid of honor might draw the line when it comes to the color orange. Or your sister might say she can do anything but a strapless dress. Take these “no’s” into consideration and rule out the dresses that include these things.

  • Step 3: Consider Everyone

Another big part of picking out the perfect dress for your girls is considering everyone’s body type. Not everyone looks good in that off-the-shoulder gown you’ve been eyeing. If you’re open to different dresses for each bridesmaid instead of one uniform look, it makes this step a whole lot easier! Each girl can then buy a dress that fits their shape.

  • Step 4: Make the Decision

After taking all of these steps into consideration, it’s time to make a decision. If you’ve opted for every girl to wear a slightly different dress, you might want to give them a few different ones to choose from and let them make the final decision on what they want to buy. This might mean giving them three neckline options. Or maybe you might give them a color family to stick to. Or, if you’ve decided everyone looks best in the same style and color dress, it’s time for you to make that final selection.

At the end of the day, remember that this is your decision and your wedding. Don’t lose sight of what you want! Take time to consider your bridesmaids and their wants and needs, but be confident in your decision. Your bridesmaids will thank you as you take the time to make a dress selection that’s best for everyone. Have fun shopping!

Don’t Sweat It!

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

Stressed about wedding planning? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Anyone who’s had to plan a wedding can agree that at some point, things got a little stressful. Maybe planning events just isn’t your thing. Or maybe you adore the idea of planning, but just find yourself getting too overwhelmed. Either way, we have a few tricks to share with you to make things a little better!

  • Start with the Basics

One reason the wedding planning might be getting to you is that you forgot to start with the basics. Make sure before you spend hours searching for the perfect vendors you create a detailed budget for yourself. Find out how much you can spend on the event total. Then start creating a list of what is important to you and your fiancé. If the DJ or live band is a top priority, you might find yourself giving more of your budget to that category. On the other hand, reduce your spending on things that you could do without…or totally eliminate things that simply don’t matter to you. If you don’t take the time to really think about your budget and the things you want in your wedding day, you might be spending too much time with vendors that don’t even align with your budget.

  • Be Prepared

Another thing that causes wedding stress is the thought of the unknown. Just thinking about what could go wrong on your big day is enough to drive any bride crazy. That’s why it’s important to create a backup plan for yourself. For instance, connect with your venue and decide on what you would do in case of inclement weather. Being confident in that plan B can do a lot of good!

  • Enlist Some Help

Maybe you have a lot on your plate during this season of life. With work, family, friends and wedding planning, your calendar can get out of hand. Consider hiring help like a wedding planner to take some of the load off. You could also see if your maid of honor, other bridesmaids or family members are willing to pitch in.

  • Relax

After spending hours a week on planning, make sure to take a break! There is no harm in stepping back to give yourself some relaxation time. This might mean going out with friends, a spa day, or just a night in watching your favorite show. You could also use this time to go on a date with your fiancé…and talk about things other than catering menus and flowers!

While a lot of brides find planning a huge event like a wedding very stressful, we also know it can be a lot of fun! Remember that this is about you and your fiancé…and that at the end of it all, you’ll get to be with your best friend forever!

How to Say Yes to the Dress

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of us have been dreaming of the moment that we get to say yes to that perfect wedding dress. Everyone says that when you find THE dress, you just know. But how do you get to that point? How do you go from looking at a thousand dresses on Pinterest to being confident in that one dress? While we don’t have a full proof formula for finding the winner, we do have some tips to make a difference as you shop for that important gown.

  • Do your Research

Before waltzing into a bridal boutique, make sure to do your research! Don’t be a shopper without a vision. Take the time beforehand to make that wedding dress Pinterest board. Find out what you like and what you can’t stand. Note the consistencies in the dresses that you are pinning. Do all of them have the same neckline or train? This can be a very helpful observation and something to definitely share with the sales representative of the bridal shop. It’s always good to give them as much information about your style as possible. It’ll make the appointment much easier for both of you!

  • Form a Budget

Before making any appointments with a bridal boutique, please make sure to form a budget for yourself. Consider how much you want, or can afford, to spend on your dress, alterations and accessories. Be realistic. The worst thing you can do is try on a dress you know you can’t afford, fall in love with it, cry tears of joy and have to leave without that dress. Don’t put yourself through that torture!

  • Find your Support System

Typically, a bride will want to go dress shopping with a few of her loved ones. It’s always great to have that support system and group of people to help you find your dream dress. Plus, it’s so sweet to share that “say yes to the dress” moment with someone like your mom or best friend. Find out who that support system is for you and invite them to join you. But on the other hand, don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. Don’t overwhelm yourself and the bridal boutique with 10 or 15 extra people. Too many people might equal too many opinions as well.

  • Give Yourself Time

Getting the perfect dress takes time. If you know you’re a picky or indecisive shopper, start the process well in advance. Consider the time it might take to find something that makes you happy. How many bridal boutiques will you make appointments with? You must also factor in the time it takes to get your dress altered. On average, it could take up to 6-8 months to get those alterations done. That means you might need to start that Pinterest board and shopping prep a year in advance of your wedding. It’s always better to be safe rather than too late!

Finding that perfect dress to say “I Do” in is one of the most special moments within your engagement season. Taking the time to do a little prep before you jump right in can ensure a smoother process and quicker success. I hope these little tips make the difference in your wedding dress experience!

The “Friendor”

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

When you’re planning a wedding, you quickly realize how big this task can be…it can get pretty overwhelming with the amount of things needed to pull this party off! That’s when you realize it might be nice to have some friends to help out. And more often than not, brides on a budget will find friends and family to take on the role of the vendor. It’s definitely not uncommon to see the best friend take on the wedding cake or grandma commit to the responsibility of alterations. So how do you go about navigating the relationship of the “friendor”?

  • Know what you’re signing up for

Since the “friendor” relationship can be very casual, it can be hard to know exactly what to expect. After all, it seems silly to write up a vendor contract with your Aunt the florist. But try to get past this and make sure you are communicating! Get things in writing, even if it’s just an email. Both the bride and “friendor” need to be on the same page with what is being provided. Never assume. Ask all of the questions and get details like who is delivering, who is cleaning up and what is included.

  • You get what you pay for

While your friend might offer their wedding services for 50% or grandma might just make it a wedding gift, the saying still goes, “you get what you pay for”. Make sure what they can do and the level of skill they provide is what you really want for your big day. Ask yourself if their photography capabilities are something you can be happy with 10 years down the road… or if you’re willing to compromise the quality of your bridesmaid dresses. To some, the savings outweigh the need for a vendor with 10 years of experience. But to others, this might be a sad mistake. Either way, it is super important to take that time to consider the pros and cons.

  • Don’t compromise the relationship

Make sure the decision to hire your “friendor” is a decision that doesn’t compromise the relationship. Be open and honest…communicate! And allow them to do the same with you. Depending on who it is, this person might not want to work on your wedding day. Your sister or grandmother might want to just be a guest and be in the moment with you celebrating your marriage. Be open to this possibility.

No matter what “friendor” you decide to commit to, we celebrate those that embrace this way of planning their wedding. It can be a life-saver and a stress-reliever…or just another way for your loved ones to show you how excited they are for your new, married season of life. Just don’t forget to say thank you just as you would to other vendors. Gift cards, thank-you cards or a bottle of wine are all appreciated I’m sure!

How to Make the Most of your Wedding Rehearsal

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

You’ve made it to the end of the planning! You can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Your wedding day is just weeks away. So the next big to-do on your list is the wedding rehearsal. This is the time to practice saying I do and getting all of the nerves out! Bridesmaids and Groomsman will practice walking down the aisle. But how do you make sure to use this practice time efficiently? After all, a lot of ceremony venues only allow a small window of time for rehearsals. The answer is knowing who is doing what!

  • Who’s walking who?

Take time before the rehearsal to think about how you want your ceremony to look. Do you want a traditional ceremony? Or maybe you want to make a statement? Either way, you need to decide how your wedding party, parents, grandparents, flower girls and anyone else involved is walking down the aisle. Are bridesmaids and groomsman paired or do they walk separate? If you decide to pair up your wedding party, make sure to consider height or relationships. Consider how you want everyone to stand as this will impact the look of your pictures.

  • Who’s running the show?

For wedding rehearsals and the day of the wedding, you need to decide who is running the show. The worst thing that you can do is have no one making the decisions and no one in control…or worse yet, have multiple leaders for your day! Make it clear to everyone involved who that main contact is. If you’ve hired a wedding planner, it’s easy to let them take charge. If you haven’t hired one, often times wedding venues will provide a wedding coordinator who can take on that role if need be. Just make sure you have someone that is reliable and trustworthy there to take charge and help things run as smooth as possible.

  • Who is performing?

A lot of times during rehearsals, couples might opt to run through a shortened version of the ceremony. This is the time to make sure everyone that is performing is accounted for. For example, if you have a family member speaking or reading anything during the ceremony, you need to make sure they are well-practiced and ready to go! Your officiant might also run through what he has planned.

  • Who’s got the details?

At this point you will also want to remember any last details you want at your ceremony. Do you want your officiant to tell guests to silence their phones? Or how about a parting announcement telling guests where to go after the ceremony? You will also want to consider who needs to stay behind afterwards to participate in family portraits. Oh, and don’t forget the rings!!

We hope these questions give you a good place to start. We understand how overwhelming venue shopping can be, but with a plan in hand, it can be a little easier for you! And we always say that once you get the venue down and a date set, the rest seems to flow a little easier. Best of luck to you!

Top 5 Questions to Ask While Venue Shopping

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

If your social media feed looks anything like mine, it’s pretty evident that engagement season is in full swing! It seems like everyone is popping the question and getting that gorgeous ring. This also means everyone is out venue shopping! If you find yourself falling into this category, you know this task can be very tedious! It seems like DFW has endless venue choices, price ranges and upgrades to offer you. But you find yourself wondering when all the comparing and pricing will end! To make this task a little less daunting, we have provided you with a list of must-ask questions when you’re exploring possible venues.

  • What is included?

This might seem really basic, but it’s a must to ask! Every venue’s list of what’s included is unique. Make sure you don’t get them mixed up. You might also ask what is not included, especially if that what’s included list is pretty long.

  • What upgrades do you offer?

Again, every venue is different. With some, you’ll only rent out a bare room. With others, they might offer you a whole range of upgrades! Consider whether using the venue’s upgrades will provide a better value for you and your budget. A lot of times it might make more sense to use them for things like lighting, linens or catering instead of buying these things separately. It could also save you the time and headache of finding alternatives. Plus, it makes the day of your wedding a whole lot easier when everything is coming together from the same vendor.

  • What is your backup plan?

Don’t ever forget to ask a venue what their backup plan is when it comes to bad weather! Make sure they are able to easily move your event to an indoor location when the rain starts to pour. How much notice do they need to implement this backup plan? Can you make the call for an indoor location just hours before your ceremony or do you have to make that decision a week in advance? Will there be people on-site to help make this transition? These are all important things that need to be considered…especially with Texas weather!

  • How long is my rental?

Don’t assume you will get the venue reserved on your wedding day for the entire day! Make sure you know what you are paying for. Does the venue have multiple events per day or are you the only wedding that Saturday? How much time do you have to set up and tear down? How many hours will be reserved for your ceremony and reception? Make sure you and your vendors have enough time to accomplish your wedding vision!

  • What happens when the unexpected happens?

While this question isn’t exactly the easiest to ask, it is important. In the light of recent venues shutting its doors unexpectedly, many brides are left with no wedding day and no refund. This leaves brides still searching for venues just as concerned as they are trying to find a place perfect for them. So make sure you ask the hard question: what happens to my wedding if the venue goes under? Do they have a backup plan for the brides affected? What is their refund policy? A good rule of thumb is to start by considering venues that have proven to be reputable businesses. While there’s no way to really find out what their financial situation is, you can always keep your eyes open for good signs and years of experience to back them up.

We hope these questions give you a good place to start. We understand how overwhelming venue shopping can be, but with a plan in hand, it can be a little easier for you! And we always say that once you get the venue down and a date set, the rest seems to flow a little easier. Best of luck to you!

The Perfect Boho Chic Wedding

By | Ruthe Tuesdays

For those of you that attended our latest RJC Bridal Show on February 18th, you know we created a boho chic look for everything we decorated. We were inspired by the many weddings we’ve seen embracing this style. But we knew we wanted to put our own flare to it as well. So we’ve put together a few tips to recreate this look for your own special day!

  • The Florals

Our whole inspiration originated from the florals we knew we wanted to use. I say florals, but in fact, they weren’t really florals…we used grass! I have been obsessed with the look of pampas grass for a long time now and I just couldn’t envision our 2020 bridal show without it! While the look was gorgeous, it did take us a while to find them. Pampas grass usually isn’t in season around February, so we paid a pretty penny for the ones we finally found. My tip to you is to make sure it’s in season at the time of your wedding. To compliment the pampas grass, we also chose to use palm leaves painted gold. Yes, we spray painted leaves to create this look! Lastly, to create beautiful centerpieces, we chose to use burnt orange roses and white orchids.

  • Elevate your Boho!

Because we realized our venue is a traditional ballroom, we knew we couldn’t pull off the typical boho look. We needed to elevate it in order for it to make sense. In other words, we had to make boho and pampas grass look formal and elegant. That’s why we ditched the typical, rustic, wooden farm table for a beautiful, classy glass table. This long, rectangle table was perfect for our wedding party table display. The table had this beautiful gold trim with gold legs. We rented three of these elegant pieces and instantly it created an elevated boho look! We continued by adding gold Chiavari chairs, gold chargers and flatware, French blue napkins and white furs. We fell in love with how this style instantly clicked with our venue.

  • The Cherry on Top

Once we had our main focal points designed, we continued to carry out our theme throughout the rest of the show. One ways we did this was by asking our favorite cake decorator, Matthew from Cake-a-holics, to create that trendy, black wedding cake. The result blew us away! We loved the black cake with gold trim and florals. We only hope our future RJC brides will order that design from him! Another way you can continue the boho look is through your wedding dress. Find a dress that embraces florals, tulle and even lace. Don’t be afraid to try dresses that aren’t traditional or typical.

Want to copy our look even more? Check out our “Bridal Show 2020” Pinterest board! Get inspired by the pins that we were inspired by. And as always, please reach out if we can help you plan the perfect day! RJC can’t wait to bring your wedding vision to life!