1. La Bella Event Center

    January 1, 2012 by Teresa Holden

    There’s something romantic about historic places. Maybe it’s because we feel we’ve escaped from the everyday life and all it’s demands into another world where charm and grace sweep us off our feet. La Bella Event Center’s “old world” elegance is the perfect setting for romance in historic downtown Shawnee, Oklahoma.

    Hi, I’m Teresa Holden, co-owner of this something old-something new venue. When my husband Dana and I spotted this beautiful building’s exterior murals, we were delighted to find it for sale and at a great price. Shawnee’s quaint historic art district was the perfect place for an event center. The century old building held charm inside and out and before we knew it, we jumped in with both feet!

    Starting a business in the hospitality industry seemed to make sense and especially wedding planning. Few wedding planners or event center owners know love quite like my husband and I do. As an ordained minister, Dana has performed countless weddings and is qualified to offer marriage counseling. He and I teach marriage enrichment classes at our church. For twelve years we were children’s pastors and found ourselves performing wedding ceremonies for couples we watched grow up in church. It gave us the idea to venture into our own business.

    The chapel is the diamond in the crown. The architecture echoes of a centuries old church whose hand painted murals and furnishings casts a quiet elegance. Two spacious dressing rooms provide full length mirrors and a long vanity for the bridal parties and flat screen TVs for the groomsmen. A family waiting area lets everyone relax in anticipation of the day. Up the stairs, a historical antique chandelier lights the way to the reception area seating up to two hundred guests. Among the round tables is a round oak wood dance floor and a lighted gazebo, perfect for pictures!

    We offer an all inclusive package that covers the tables, linens, flatware and glasses to a custom designed wedding cake and punch, decorated wedding table, set up and clean up, rehearsal, and your own wedding coordinator! Brides may bring in the caterer of their choice or work with those we prefer for. Some extra options include an aesthetician who will play with the bride’s hair style options and make up prior to the day of the wedding. This service allows the bride and if she chooses, her brides maids or mother, to have their hair and makeup done by a professional at La Bella. We have photography packages and offer a selection of musicians and vocalists as well.

    La Bella is so much more than an a wedding chapel. Visit us soon and envision your next prom, birthday party, corporate social, family or class reunion here.

    La Bella Events Center
    Dana & Teresa Holden
    102 W. Main St.
    Shawnee, OK 74801

  2. Wedding Trends Soft, Natural, Undone

    by Mindy Wood

    What’s hot for 2012 weddings might be easier to accomplish than ever before! As society’s values change, so goes the décor and wedding trends. That’s good news for brides who want the wow factor without the headache!

    According to Pantone Pallette Predictions, simple, undone textures are emerging but with strong attention to details. Soft colors found in the world around us collide with a movement that is ever turning the beauty of nature. Hues of blue, grey, and yes, even turquoise, or nudes with soft oranges and or pink accents are cast upon simplistic linens bare of floral arrangement for wall hangings and canopies. Strategic lighting and drapery whose fabric speaks for itself create a fresh and light mood.

    Wedding Business Today predicts brides will look to nature for the reception table décor and that’s no surprise. It might come as a shock but Brides.com is putting at ease those blushing brides who want their dress to blush too! That’s right, ultra soft hues of pink, peach, sliver, lilac and even green are gracing the wedding gowns. Still a rarity, it’s becoming a trend for the bold bride who is comfortable with what she wants.

    And who wants a boring wedding cake when you can have your cookies and eat it too instead? Oh yes, the cupcake trend meets the cookie monster bride! Cup cake towers are replacing traditional wedding cakes or simply added as an elegant bonus to the cake table. Last year’s naughty candy bars donned cupcakes but this year your favorite cookies are the rage. For those who opt for the cake, an imperfect perfection with texture is the rule.

    Hair styles always seem to be characterized around the dress so it’s no wonder we’ll see a lot of brides with a more natural look. This year it’s the bridal hair styles that will be the something old! Styles set by Grandma’s tried and true pin curls are surprisingly easy to don with accents. Great for a bob or long hair, soft waves are in! The more natural the style, the less structured but with the right setting and accents still adds elegance fitting for the bride.

    No matter what trends are shaping up this year, the wedding is always defined by bride’s individual taste and a reflection of all the reasons she fell in love with her own prince charming. Happy planning from us at SEO.

    By Mindy Ragan Wood

  3. A Chapel with Old World Romance and Charm!

    April 4, 2011 by Sharon May

    Every girl dreams of her fairytale wedding day, filled with romance and joy as she imagines her walk down the aisle to marry the one she loves. When she grows up, planning the big day is too often anything but a fairytale! At Rose Briar Wedding Chapel, we’re giving brides their dream come true without all the stress of planning the perfect day.

    I’m Sharon Rose May and I had a dream too. For years I pictured a beautiful facility with beautiful amenities that would give happy couples an enchanted ceremony and seamless reception. I wanted to take the stress out of their day by anticipating and meeting every need. My children were grown and having left a career years ago, I knew it was time to pursue something more. My dream of owning a wedding chapel never quit haunting me. I purchased Rose Briar almost three years ago and found an amazing manager, Jacob Conger to partner with me.

    We went to work making changes to landscape and adding to the already beautiful old world style facility with updated amenities and furnishings. In order to offer the most enjoyable experience to my brides, I knew I needed to create all inclusive packages but with first class results. With that in mind, I acquired exceptional vendors. Brides are always pleased with our caterer, Bella Rosa Catering who allows brides to design the menu and the wedding cake! Our services include a DJ and sound engineer, limousine services, table and chair rentals with linens and flatware, audio visual services, and a one hour rehearsal in addition to five and a half hours for the ceremony and reception. From the guest book to the going away bubbles, we take care of everything! We even offer a list of preferred vendors for photography, florists, and musicians at special pricing.

    Bride and groom enjoy the excitement of getting ready in tastefully decorated rooms. We offer refreshments and both rooms have their own heat and air so they can get ready comfortably. The groom and his guests enjoy the flat screen TV and PS3 while the women prefer to chatter and giggle as they help each other look perfect. Elegance makes everything special. Our dedication to first class service and a stress free wedding make everything perfect. We invite you to experience the elegant simplicity of Rose Briar Wedding Chapel. Contact us for an appointment or stop by our website, www.rosebriarplace.com.

    Rose Briar Wedding Chapel
    11900 North Council Road
    Oklahoma City, OK. 73162

  4. Naturally Enchanting!

    January 4, 2011 by Tim Van Maren

    When people plan a large event, many look for a place to retreat from the pace of life. They want something warm, earthy, and peaceful. That’s one of several reasons Tulsa’s Silo Event Center is a favorite. I’m Tim Van Maren, operations manager of the Silo and Cedar Rock Inn, a historic bed and breakfast.

    Randy and Sandi Dittmann purchased and spent six years renovating what was then called Cedar Rock, built in 1890 and once home to Creek Nation allottee, Tecumseh Perryman. When the property holding the antique dairy barn came up for sale, they purchased it and immediately worked to create the Silo Event Center as a unique venue. They carefully expanded Cedar Rock to offer five suites and were able to save the first floor of the silo, using as much original and native materials as possible. The result of their work was an enchanting venue with carefully preserved history, picturesque landscape, and state of the art amenities to meet their customer’s every need.

    The earth friendly Silo Event Center reflects the “green philosophy” of it’s owners, recycling and reusing all possible materials including bottles and cans from events and office paper. They installed a grass parking lot and septic system and use low energy bulbs to reduce wasted energy. The natural atmosphere of the surrounding wooded hills and the warm interior made of reclaimed barn board and oak ceiling make this anything but a cold, empty ballroom at a crowded, busy location.

    We define customization as delivering exactly what our customers want. We offer as much or as little planning or design services as is requested from rehearsal dinner to reception. We’ll even manage rental orders for specific items so you can put out of your mind. Glasses, flatware, all indoor tables and audio visual amenities are conveniently included. To make sure your event runs smoothly, we provide an assigned event manager so there’s no need to worry about the endless details.

    We house an executive chef who creates the menu exactly to your tastes. With the finest in house kitchen our food never sees a hot box, serving everything from your choice of light or heavy hors’ de uerves to buffet, or plated dinners.

    Our prices are very competitive and range from $500 for a daytime event to $3500 for a Saturday evening and there are never any surprises on the final bill. Because we are outside city limits, customers save hundreds of dollars with a 3% lower tax rate.

    We handle anniversaries, reunions, weddings, memorial services, birthday parties, corporate events and much more for up to 200 people. Take a tour of our facility in person or online and see why the Silo Event Center is the perfect location for your next memorable event!

    Silo Event Center

    Tim Van Maren, Operations Manager


  5. Tuscany in Oklahoma!

    October 4, 2010 by Erin Goodrich

    Many brides dream of getting married in some faraway, ancient mansion that only Europe could offer but right here in Oklahoma, those dreams can come true. Dresser Mansion is Oklahoma’s historic wedding venue with all the romance and elegance that dreams are made of!

    I’m Erin Goodrich and I should know. My husband and I toured the mansion in July 2009 and decided to book our wedding there for the following March. I was working with an upcoming investor’s magazine, however by the time I found out the publication would never materialize I discovered the Dresser Mansion was hiring. I jumped at the opportunity and by February I was hired. A month later, I took my vows in the place where I would work everyday.

    I’ve never had a boss who worked just as hard I do but owner, Charles Sottong works tirelessly to make sure that every event goes precisely as planned. We are a team, dedicated to the dreams of our guests and to preserving this amazing venue for people to enjoy.

    The Dresser Mansion was built in 1919 when Carl and Pauline Dresser entrusted the design to Albert Joseph Bodker, the New York based architect who built the first Waldorf Astoria. This would be no New York design however, as Bodker was commissioned to create the mansion in the Italian Renaissance style. The Dressers chose the Charles of London design firm to decorate the house for the purpose of entertaining lavish parties for the Tulsa community.

    Recognized by the Oklahoma Historical Society, the mansion’s décor is virtually unchanged. The Dressers were granted special permission to use trees from the private forest of King George V which they used for much of the woodwork, including the beamed and coffered ceilings, and was finished by Italian artisans to resemble unfilled travertine marble. The floors are made from Tennessee oak, while the sun room, breakfast room and library are paved with colorful, handmade Italian tiles. Large, cast stone fireplace mantels, along with hand wrought iron railings, and leaded glass windows found in Austria contribute to an opulent, yet intimate interior.

    True to it’s original intent, the Dresser Mansion accommodates the most intimate affairs anywhere from five to two hundred guests. Large quarters for the bride and groom’s parties provide ample space to prepare for the wedding and include a private bathroom and televisions. Billiards are in the basement for further entertainment. All rooms are available to our clients including a full kitchen for catering.

    The Dresser Mansion breathes with inspiration and beckons guests into an almost forgotten world. We invite you to come tour the mansion and see for yourself what this “Tuscany in Oklahoma” holds for your next special event.

    Visit www.dressermansion.com or contact us at 918-585-5157.

    The Dresser Mansion
    Erin Goodrich


  6. Up with Balloons!

    August 3, 2010 by Leilani Stendebach

    When most people think of balloon arrangements, they picture a few floating colors attached to a weight. When I imagine them, I see elegant carriages, castles, and Cowboy Pete! I’m Leilani Stendebach , certified balloon artist and owner of Event Planning by Leilani, Inc. where we design and plan weddings, trade shows, parties and supply top quality rentals.

    My grandfather always told me, “You’ll have a business of your own someday but learn on someone else’s time. Get all the experience you can working for other people.” He was right. I learned the tricks of the trade working in the hotel business and for a convention decorating company before striking out on my own. I took my experience and contacts in the hotel business and got to work.

    What started as a business out of my home and garage fifteen years ago is now my dream job. In 2002 I became a certified balloon artist and soon began winning awards for my ‘out of the box’ creations. As a family business, my daughter Treva also mastered this creative illusion of color, movement, and design and today artistic balloon arrangements are a large part of our business. With certified artists on call, rest assured your event will shine right on schedule.

    With over 6,000 square feet of warehouse space, I have everything I need at my finger tips to make my clients the star of the show. We supply rentals and deliver gorgeous décor for events of up to 1,500 people. Whether you need pipe & drape, trade show decor, balloon decor, wedding coordination, wedding rentals or party rentals, we can deliver the kind of event that your guests will remember. Let us bring our expertise and unique creativity to your next special event!


    Event Planning by Leilani, Inc.
    P.O. Box 55593
    Del City, OK.  73155
    Ph: 405.232.0911
    Fx: 405.232.3744
    Toll Free: 1.888.PLANS-2-GO


  7. The “New” Coles Garden!

    by Jenny Wood

    It’s hard to improve on something as elegant and gracious as Coles Garden Wedding & Event Center. Gorgeous gardens, the beautiful architecture and convenient amenities are the features that have made it a favorite venue for so many different events for years. I’m Jenny Wood and my husband Willie and I are the new owners of Coles Garden.

    We’ve updated this breathtaking property that has drawn interest from people all over the world. We were no exception. Our wedding reception was held here in 2004 and made a lasting impression. When I discovered it was on the market and knew I needed larger accommodations for my insurance office, One General Agency, I couldn’t resist the possibilities.

    It was almost too good to be true. The rooms were perfect for meetings with clients and the building would offer more space for staff as well as a much more scenic view! But, it was also too beautiful not to share with people who wanted to welcome their guests to a spectacular event. I decided to host events and our agency under the same roof. The journey has been fun and exciting!

    It didn’t take much to update a good thing. We added new flooring, crystal, chandeliers, lighting, spacious dressing rooms for bride and groom and little updates that put the icing on the cake. When people step into the enchanted world of Coles Garden and realize how reasonably priced our custom or prepackaged rates are, they can’t walk away!

    We partnered with Deep Fork Grill to offer clients high quality and affordable catering services but clients are also permitted to bring in their own. Keeping flexibility, we also have in-house professional wedding coordinators and allow clients to bring in their own. We revived the indoor chapel so that guests can choose between an indoor wedding ceremony that captures the outdoor view or choose to recite their vows on one of our gardens. Either way, cascading waterfalls and vibrant, colorful gardens will catch your eye everywhere you turn!

    Coles Garden
    Jenny Wood
    1415 N.E. 63rd Street
    Oklahoma City, OK 73111
    Ph: 405.478.1529
    Fx: 405.840.9388


  8. Wedding Gowns that Turn Heads

    April 6, 2010 by Rhonda Davis

    Hello, my name is Rhonda Davis, the owner of Moliere Bridal in Oklahoma City. Although my degree and background was originally in accounting, I always had the dream of one day being in a retail setting – especially one that was service oriented. Plus, I was fascinated with every aspect of weddings, particularly because it is such a service-oriented industry.

    In September of 2009, I purchased Moliere Bridal which had been in business with a wonderful reputation for 18 years. I purchased the exquisite inventory and kept the wonderful staff, including the manager, consultants and seamstress who is truly a master of her art.

    Moliere Bridal specializes in wedding gowns, but we also offer, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, tuxedos, shoes, jewelry, headpieces and veils. We have one of the largest selection of wedding gowns in the state. Of our six designers, we are the only Oklahoma retail bridal shop to carry five of those lines. – you’ll find them no where else in the state but Moliere and no two gowns are alike. Because of our special order experience, we are extremely knowledgeable about taking measurements for dress sizes 0 to 28.

    At Moliere Bridal, we pride ourselves on our exceptional service throughout the process from selection to fitting and final fitting. Moliere is one of very few area members of the National Bridal Service, an organization which specially trains all our consultants.

    Another service we offer is gown preservation. After your wedding, we will assist you in preserving your gown as a cherished heirloom or perhaps for other generations of family brides. Your gown is cleaned and preserved in an acid free environment – beautifully displayed in a white, windowed box.

    Remember that few decisions are as important as the style, fit and care of your perfect wedding gown. Please visit Moliere Bridal and discover the special order – special service option that will definitely “turn heads” at your wedding.

    Rhonda Davis, Owner

    Moliere Bridal
    6401 N. W. Expressway
    Oklahoma City, OK 73132

    (new location as of May 1, 2010)
    800 N. W. 50th
    Oklahoma City, OK 73118



  9. Staging a First Impression

    March 3, 2010 by Tahnya Schilke

    Believe it or not, research shows that a first impression (good or bad) is set in the first seven seconds or less! How your guests almost instantly feel about your special event will affect their entire experience and help form lasting memories. Luckily positive first impressions can actually be “staged.”

    Hello, my name is Tahnya Schilke, the owner of Suddenly Simply. I am also an Accredited Staging Profession (ASP). I guess you could say I’ve been staging ever since I was a child who thoroughly enjoyed moving around furniture and household accessories.

    Even then, I could sense the difference the placement made in how I and others felt.
    My educational background is in special education and psychology, but I eventually realized that staging events, residences and commercial properties is what I enjoy. So, I began my staging company – Suddenly Simple.

    My job (which I love) is to create space and  atmosphere for your event using my understanding of space, color and proportion with the goal of achieving the desirable affect. In simple terms, what you place and where you place objects creates an ambience that effects emotions. How do you want your guests to feel? Impressed, relaxed, inspired, excited, romantic? All these and more are the result of creative staging.

    The first part of the process is my sitting down with brides, grooms and other clients, listening well and truly understanding what effect they want to achieve for their occasion or theme. When I tap into their vision, I creatively use that knowledge to choose and arrange areas such as the entry way, reception table, ceremony stage and/or the overall impact of the area, whether it’s an indoor room or an outdoor patio.

    I try to primarily use what is already available, including furniture, decorations and accessories – instead of spending a great deal of the budget on additional items. I can do as little or as much as clients prefer from a single centerpiece or a “wow” table at the entrance to arranging the entire venue. Stretching the budget is a major priority.

    In addition to staging events, I also use my training and talents to stage homes to make them more saleable, hotel lobbies, offices and other commercial properties.

    If you’re planning a special event, don’t underestimate the power of creative staging.
    Let Suddenly Simple help create the vision that will emotional impact your guests from the first seven seconds, throughout the event and forever in their memories.


    Tahnya Schilke, ASP, Owner

    Suddenly Simple
    Ph: 405-436-3181



  10. Catching Dreams with Horses

    February 5, 2010 by Sondra Reeves


     Hello, my name is Sondra Reeves, the owner of Dreamcatcher Carriage and Party Ponies in Tulsa. I’m lucky to have been around horses all my life. After graduating with a degree in education, I worked in the Human Resources field, but eventually decided to pursue my real passion, which is horses, and share that love with other people.

    I discovered the joy of carriage driving when my daughter brought home our first team from Minnesota.   The business began with offering Christmas carriage rides, but the referrals grew the business to include weddings, adult and children’s birthday parties, anniversaries, romantic proposals – all types of events all over Oklahoma.
    Currently, we have 11 large draft horses and 15 ponies that range from 37” to 46,” the larger of which can accommodate children up to 65 pounds.   In addition to carriages, we have a horse-drawn trolley, pony carrousel and hayride wagon. Our vehicles are handicapped accessible.
    The horses are well trained with experienced drivers. The horses are also “street legal,” which means we’re licensed to drive them on private streets and at all sorts of venues, including churches, schools, corporate gatherings, hotel parking lots and even private backyards for the smaller birthday ponies.
    At our own 25-acre ranch in Sapulpa, just outside Tulsa, we host campouts, hayrides and theme parties.
    Dreamcatcher Carriage and Party Ponies works individually with each client, decorating our carriage and horses with color-coordinated flowers and plumes. We can even decorate them according to your theme; some we have done in the past include tuxedo, western, Mexican, East Indian and more. 
    If you’re planning on thrilling a child with ponies at their birthday parties, popping the question on a romantic carriage ride, or incorporating horses into any church, school or corporate event, let Dreamcatcher Carriage and Party Ponies help you realize your own special event dream.

    Horses have always been an animal that inspires the dreams of humans.   Whether it’s their grace, strength or spirit, adults and children are drawn to horses and have incorporated them into special events for thousands of years. 

    Sondra Reeves, Owner

    Dreamcatcher Carriage and Party Ponies
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    1-918-CARIAGE (227-4243)