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. The Taste of Italy!

    October 1, 2011 by Bill Bonadio

    Who doesn’t like Italian food?  The fact is, Italian has become the fare of choice for Americans whether it’s dinner for two or a fabulous catered meal for 200.  Of course, there’s just Italian….and then there’s really great Italian!

    Hello, my name is Bill Bonadio, the owner and chef of Papa Dio’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar.  From the time I was eight years old washing dishes, I always wanted to be a chef and own my own restaurant.   As I worked my way up in the business, I was very fortunate to have learned the art under some wonderful chefs.  I also studied hotel and restaurant management at Oklahoma State University. I opened my first restaurant in 1979 featuring Dio’s original fried pizza.  We changed to full Italian fare in 1981 and added the wine bar in 1996 so we could offer upscale, formal dining available in addition to family dining on the other side of the restaurant.

    At Papa Dio’s we specialize in full catering services both on and off the premises.  Since we’re only open for dinner, you can arrange to rent the entire restaurant for an exceptional buffet or sit-down luncheon for up to 100 guests.  If you would prefer that we deliver a catered meal to another venue, we accommodate smaller groups or as many as 500 or more guests.  Our full catering service includes everything needed for a professionally presented buffet or sitdown meal, including lovely chafing dishes, fine plates and silverware.  Plus, when you let Papa Dio’s cater your function, you can trust us for professional bar service, wait staff and even security.  We will also be happy to meet all your additional event needs through our trusted resources, including entertainment, linens and florals.

    At Papa Dio’s, we’re famous for our northern Italian and Sicilian style fare.  Lasagna is always a wonderful choice for an event and, at Papa Dio’s, you can choose just about any type of lasagna imaginable, including seafood and vegetarian.  Our exclusive Trieste Sauce is a tasty combination of three different sauces.  We’re just as comfortable preparing American specialties, including roast beef and turkey and you haven’t lived till you’ve tried our fabulous Salmon Mousse or our Crème Brule prepared with Mexican vanilla which can be served flambé style for extra flair.

    For your next special event, large or small, count on Papa Dio’s for the finest Italian, American, French delicacies and so much more!   Visit our website at www.papadiosokc.com or give us a call at 755-2525.   If you’re looking for great food and service, we speak your language!


    Bill Bonadio, Owner/Chef
    Papa Dio’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar
    10712 North May
    Oklahoma City, OK 73120
    (405) 755-2525

  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. A Venue for Your Heart’s Desire!

    February 4, 2011 by Mike Jackson

    Selecting a venue is one of the most important decisions a bride and groom will make. Every couple should have the wedding of their dreams and that means flexible options and high level customer service are the highest priorities!

    I’m Mike Jackson, Operations Manager at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. For 31 years we’ve hosted large events drawing people in agriculture, travel, and sports from all over America. In 2005 our newest building served as the perfect solution for social events like weddings, corporate parties, conventions and artistic galas. Our newest facility offers you the latest in technology, customizable space options, an on site kitchen with renown catering services, and much more!

    Our ballrooms can accommodate events from 50 to 600 guests and with modern lighting options, big screen TV’s, projectors, Wifi internet access…all the audio and visual amenities you need to deliver your presentation and set the mood for your event easily. We have no restrictions on décor and the facility’s choice of neutral colors gives you a blank canvas to cast your vision for any event. Couples love the ballroom dance floor and the option of space upstairs to dress and relax before the wedding march begins.

    We are also very generous to our clients when it comes to set up and decoration. We allow clients to begin the design process 24 hours before the event and you can stay until the job’s done, free of charge! Whenever possible, we like to make sure yours is the only booking, allowing you complete control of lobby décor. Our prices include a set up and tear down fee, use of tables and chairs, and we make sure there are no surprises on the final bill.

    Droffats Catering brings you 25 years experience in the industry, serving satisfying and creative hors d’ eurves, buffets, or full plated dinners with your choice of American or International menu options. Our licensed and ensured caterer, Ken Stafford will manage your linen needs and ensure that a cash bar is available to serve your guests responsibly and professionally.

    Our central location is ideal. We’re just a short twenty five minute drive from Oklahoma City with access to comfortable hotels, corporate and private restaurants, golf courses, entertainment and much more here in Shawnee.

    Let us offer you high level customer service and flexible options for your next event. Visit us online at www.shawneeexpo.org or set up a tour by phone at 405-275-7020.

    Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center
    1700 W. Independence
    P.O. Box 1466
    Shawnee, OK 74802-1466
    (405) 275-7020
    (800) 762-7695
    fax 405-878-7000


  5. 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


  6. The Jewel of Southern Tulsa!

    November 5, 2010 by Kim Parsons



    A convenient location means so much more than a nice facility that’s easy to find and large enough for your event. A venue should be versatile to your needs with customized options, luxury amenities, and all the conveniences you and your guests will need before and after the event.

    Hello, I’m Kim Parsons, Managing Director of the new SpiritBank Event Center. Hailed as the “jewel of Tulsa’s Southtown” we are known as the location of choice for elegant weddings and upscale business events. We’re owned by MacPott LLC and located in Regal Plaza, a growing part of Tulsa.

    I bring a lot of experience from my years working for the Tulsa Convention Center where I worked my way up from technical coordinator to director of event services after I graduated with an MFA in theatrical lighting design. Though the hours can be grueling in this business, I love the ever changing atmosphere of something new every day!

    SpiritBank Event Center is a very happening place. We host everything from concerts and shows with famous performing artists to business and social events. Our 35,000 square foot arena holds galas, concerts, conventions and banquets while our 5,000 square foot banquet rooms are a favorite for weddings, receptions and private affairs. We can host up 300 guests in our banquet rooms with the option to scale down for smaller gatherings.

    As a new facility we offer state of the art audio visual amenities with wall mounted screens and internet lines for multimedia presentations. We have rooms to accommodate the bride and groom and suites that overlook the arena for concerts and conventions. We can offer you just about anything you can dream up!

    Create the menu you want with sumptuous cuisine that will exceed your expectations. With a customized menu clients also appreciate a wide price point and versatile menu and dining options. Our in-house catering team will bring you professionalism and exceptional service!

    Our location is ideal for any event, located in Regal Plaza where you’ll find what you need before and after your event. Especially for wedding receptions, your out of town guests will love the convenience of nearby quality restaurants, retail shopping, and stay in one of Regal Plaza’s first rate hotels! Tulsa residents find the finest services at SpiritBank Event Center and at Regal Plaza, making this a location that truly has it all.

    At SpiritBank Event Center we have a great team of special event professionals who will exceed your expectations. We invite you to stop by our location for a tour or visit our website for more information at www.spiritbankeventcenter.com.

    P.S. Don’t miss our upcoming concerts in November! Julio Iglesias, Jason Bonham’s Led Zepplin Experience, and in December Willie Nelson!



    SpiritBank Event Center
    10441 S. Regal Blvd.
    Tulsa, OK

  7. 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


  8. “Expensive Taste on an Affordable Budget!”

    September 3, 2010 by Maudie Simpson

    Fine dining, a gracious venue, spectacular décor, and superb entertainment are a few things that make an event special. Most people think giving their guests that kind of experience is well beyond their budget’s allowance but I know better.

    Hello, I’m Maudie Simpson, owner of A Special Occasion Event Planners, LLC. Creativity is my passion and helping my clients afford an event that looks more expensive than it is continues to be part of the fun!

    I started event planning on tight budgets from the first event I ever coordinated. I was helping my former church with their special occasions while working full time as a loan officer. As it turned out, I was not only resourceful on a tight budget but had a an eye for detail, artistic décor, and cohesive planning. Before I knew it, I was creating floral arrangements for weddings every weekend. As demand for my services grew, I left my high stress day job for the work I loved.

    Today we design events of up to 500 people for weddings, parties for retirement, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate events, reunions and more. As a lupus survivor, I have a special place in my heart for fundraisers and non-profit organizations that make the world a better, healthier place to live. We annualy coordinate “The Pretty Party!” lupus fundraiser, the “Gospel Fest” event and a fundraiser for “the Veteran Center.” We do it all, from selecting the caterer and venue to décor and music, so all you have to do is come and enjoy the moment.

    My clients receive a free consultation where I assure them that what they want doesn’t always have to exceed their financial allowance. We work together to find the best solutions that deliver maximum results with their bottom line in mind. At A Special Occasion Event Planners, LLC we have partnerships from A-Z that provide catering, entertainment, photography, and more so we can conveniently offer you a “one stop shop” experience. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the event!

    Stop by our website and see for yourself that expensive taste is about creativity and passion, not a larger than life budget!

    Maudie Simpson
    Special Occasion Event Planner, LLC
    Phone: 405-201-2692
    Address: 11421 Stansbury Place, OKC, OK 73162


  9. The New Bud Wilkinson Event Center!

    by Justin Lenhart

    Fewer things are more rewarding than being part of a team who are dedicated to a worthy cause. Preserving a past that will enrich the future is the goal of the Jim Thorpe Association (JTA) and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. As part of an organization that invests in education, charities, and civic responsibility, I am proud to have a hand in it’s recent growth.

    I’m Justin Lenhart, Director and Curator of the Jim Thorpe Museum, home of the new Bud Wilkinson Event Center. I grew up in Stillwater and as someone who always enjoyed treasures of the past, I received my BA and MA in history from UCO. After college, I went to work for the Textile Museum in D.C. I enjoyed working in DC’s art community before moving back to Oklahoma. I’ve worked in large, upscale museums and operations like the Oklahoma Historical Society, and smaller high quality museums. With documents and artifacts dating as far back as 1907, the Jim Thorpe collections and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame galleries are impressive and continue to grow.

    When I joined the museum in November 2008 I came on board at a time when the JTA wanted to expand and it’s been fulfilling to see those efforts come to pass. The new Bud Wilkinson Event Center reflects our vision for improvement and growth. The event center is ten thousand square feet on the second floor, seats up to 600 people, and is equipped with the latest technology for specific audio and visual needs. We can display your event and with several screens, you can broadcast a multimedia presentation. We’ve made it so easy, you can show up with nothing more than a CD, DVD, or portable computer drive. You can even program our lights and cue music or video without manning the equipment for a smooth event.

    We partnered exclusively with the Petroleum Club to offer patrons high quality catering services and make it convenient and less expensive. Better than that, there is no rental fee for our facility when you utilize the catering services of the Petroleum Club. In case you’re wondering, there is no hidden “rental” fee in the price of the menu. Because the food is stored and prepared here with a full kitchen, the Petroleum Club can offer patrons the same reasonable prices that apply to their other locations. Diverse options allow you to budget your menu without compromising quality. If your event is booked during museum hours, your guests can tour the galleries free of charge.

    Our close proximity to Brick Town and other attractions like Remington Park and Cowboy Western Heritage Museum make it even easier to take in the rich culture here in Oklahoma City. Whether you’re planning a wedding reception, corporate luncheon, birthday or anniversary party, we invite you to see what we can offer you. Stop by the Jim Thorpe Museum for a tour of our collections and facility or to book your event, contact the Petroleum Club at 405-232-1184.

    Bud Wilkinson Event Center
    Justin Lenhart
    Jim Thorpe Museum Curator/Director
    Ph: 405.232.1184


  10. Of Planes, Prairies, and Bistros!

    by Tim Williams

    The Sky’s the Limit!

    Some caters will travel anywhere to provide their clients with the food and service they expect, even if it means boarding the next flight! TW’s-Anything for a Buck Catering happens to specialize in catering to clients who want something far better than airplane food. Tim Williams, Co-Owner and Executive Chef specializes in regional cuisine for his customer’s international clients. When he’s not catering 20,000 feet above ground he and his partner, former employee Terry McDaniel, cater virtually any event. From private jet to black tie weddings, TW’s Anything for a Buck Catering also offers event planning services such as floral arrangements, limo services, entertainment and even invitations. Serving the Tulsa and Oklahoma City area, these caterers aren’t grounded! Check out their new location in Oklahoma City!

    Left By Gypsies!

    These full service caterers are full of surprises! Catering delicious food started out as a take out restaurant for Co-Owner, Debbie Land and today the take out side is one of their most popular services in catering. This less expensive and convenient option is a great alternative that trims the budget without diminishing unique quality.

    Dishes and trays that are as tantalizing as they are lovely, their versatile take out catering menu includes more than hot and cold party platters. From casseroles, soups, and sandwiches to veggies, cheese, meat and fruit this is an easy option for any event. They also offer full service catering for anything from a private party at home to wedding receptions and corporate events. Home made jams, sauces, and more are also perfect gifts for your guests!

    High Tea!

    Nibbles by Grander Affaires knows how to cater to the ladies. Owner Emeline Bauder has a passion for those special selections that Mid-westerners are hard pressed to find. Nibbles Café in Tulsa is the culmination of her successful catering business where patrons can get a taste of the kind of experience she can give your guests.

    Nibbles Café brings delightful customs from the east coast and beyond, High Tea and Venetian Hour of Coffee are two favorites. High Tea originated as an old English custom of tea with scones, clotted cream, puff pastries, tea sandwiches and quiche. Venetian Hour of Coffee and pastries is all the rage in New York and along the east coast.

    Catering up to 500 people, Nibbles by Grandeur Affaires provides customized menus that can be modified for special requests. With versatile options like buffet or seated service meals, they will also design your event and offer 10% off when they provide you with floral arrangements, wedding or special occasion cake and catering services.

    TW’s-Anything for a Buck Catering
    Tim Williams
    Tulsa- 640 N. Denver Ave.
    OKC-1000 N. Virginia Ave.
    Oklahoma City, OK 73106
    Nibbles by Grandeur Affaires
    Emeline Bauder
    8313 S. Memorial Drive
    Tulsa, Ok.
    The Prairie Gypsies
    415 NW 30th
    Oklahoma City, OK 73118