Happy International Women’s Day!

On March 8th every year we celebrate International Women’s Day. In the world of weddings there are so many amazing women involved that deserve appreciation, and where better to start than with your bridal party? Your bridesmaids are among the most awesome, kind-hearted, and generous women you know. For all their love and support, not to mention holding your wedding dress during those impromptu trips to the bathroom, those sleepless nights of planning showers, bachelorette parties, and wedding details, your bridesmaids definitely deserve a huge thank you!

Since you probably still have a mile-long to-do list, we did the legwork for you and collected 7 gift ideas that will show your favorite gals just how much you appreciate them.

Seven Best Gift Ideas for Your Bridesmaids

By this time in our wedding cultural history, one thing has been made abundantly clear: no, a bridesmaid will never wear her bridesmaid’s dress again. Ever. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the dress is, how basic, how black, how supposedly versatile the bride believes it to be, it’s not going to happen. So, what can a bride do to thank the lovely ladies who stand by her side on her special day, not to mention all of the special days leading up to that, such as the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, the dress shopping excursion? Give her something she will actually use! So, here are the seven best bridesmaid gifts.

  1. A spa gift certificate is the type of gift that gets opened with a relaxed sigh. Finally, after months of helping with the planning, making sure the dress fits, paying for the dress, participating in all of the pre-wedding events, including the rehearsal dinner, and then dancing the night away at the reception, what bridesmaid wouldn’t want to get those kinks worked out in a full-body massage? A spa gift certificate is undoubtedly a gift that a bridesmaid will be happy to use. Pass the lavender oil.
  2. A restaurant gift card is the type of gift that gets opened with delight, particularly by a foodie bridesmaid.  Finally, she can enjoy a nice, relaxing meal with the bride’s big day behind her and conversation that no longer includes wedding talk. Plus, she no longer has a dress into which she must squeeze! Pass the bread basket.
  3. Wine of the month club for one year or six months or even three months is the type of gift that gets opened with a smile, particularly by a wine-connoisseur bridesmaid.  Finally, she can enjoy a glass of wine without having to toast the happy couple. Pass the grapes.
  4. An iTunes gift card is a music-loving bridesmaid’s dream. Finally, she can download music that would never and could never be replicated by a wedding band. Pass the iPod.
  5. A piece of jewelry is the type of gift that gets opened with a squeal.  As long as it’s something of good quality, it will be greatly appreciated. Many silver pieces from Tiffany’s are actually affordable for the bride, timeless in style, and what bridesmaid wouldn’t love being the one who feels like a princess opening up that iconic blue box? Go ahead, pull the white ribbon.
  6. A monogrammed bag is something both personalized and useful. Whether it’s a makeup bag or a large weekend duffle bag, it is a gift that can be practical as well as stylish. She might not be going on a honeymoon after the wedding but a bridesmaid still might need a vacation after the big day.  Pass the plane or train ticket.
  7. A Subscription Box is a gift that keeps on giving. Sign your gals up for Birchbox, Ipsy, or similar subscription box. Each month they will receive personalized beauty products to try out and a reminder of how thankful you are for their friendship! 

Any bridesmaid will be thrilled to open up any of the above gifts because they’re the type of gifts that allow her to relax, dine, shine or sport something that she would either likely buy herself or not, considering it an indulgence. There is no better gift than that and no better way to say thank you to the ladies who happily wear the dress the bride prescribes.


Fort Worth Wedding Venue Open House

The Orchard’s Open House is January 16th, 2018

The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat would love for you to join us at our Winter Open House on Tuesday, January 16th! This Event is complimentary and will be held from 5 PM in the evening till 8 PM at night.

We invite all newly engaged couples to come and tour The Venue, Cabins & Lodge! We invite already booked clients to come with your family and friends to help plan the big day… EVERYONE is WELCOME!

This is a perfect opportunity to meet some of DFW’s TOP wedding vendors, see the latest trends in decor, gorgeous gowns, enjoy fantastic catering samples and appetizers, sip on a variety of cocktails and taste delicious cakes and other desserts! To add to the excitement there will be all kinds of door prizes and chances to win a discount on The Orchard Venue rental throughout the night!

The Orchard Open House is a one-stop-shop wedding planning dream come true! We can’t wait to see you there, so gather your family and friends and come join us for a night of Wedding Wonder and Inspiration on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018.

Winter Wedding Inspiration at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat

Do’s and Don’ts for your Holiday-Time Wedding

‘Tis the season to get married and The Orchard is sharing our favorite do’s and don’ts for your holiday-time wedding!

November – There’s a cornucopia of reasons to wed during the Thanksgiving season!

It is the month of giving thanks and there is nothing to be more grateful for than love and family. Autumn is quickly becoming the new wedding season as well, inspiring brides to choose plums, scarlets, and oranges into their wedding palettes. The gorgeous changing of the leaves is a beautiful symbol for making a big change in our lives and celebrating the blessings all around us. What better time to marry the love of your life?


  1. Schedule your special day with Black Friday in mind. An early November wedding gives you the chance to reap the harvest of your gift registry discounts! Most registries grant soon-be-be newlyweds a discount on the items they put on their registry, but don’t get as gifts for six months to a year after the wedding. That means, you can go in and snag those dream items at a fraction of the tag price. Do that during Cyber Monday or Black Friday sales, and you and your honey can save a great deal of cash that can be used, say, for the honeymoon? Hello, double savings! A wedding in early November also means guests will be less fatigued by the holidays and more eager for wedding events.
  2. Use seasonal decor! White pumpkins, gold-painted leaves, and burgundy dresses can all make your wedding classy, unique, and memorable. Bring some of the outdoors in to create a warm, fall fling and keep guests in the holiday spirit.
  3. Add the flavors of fall to your wedding feast. Pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and pecan– these warm, homey flavors will add a sweet and earthy touch and leave your guests smiling and skipping through the leaves.


  1. Honeymoon after Thanksgiving. You’ll rake in the deals from off-season deals on travel and still be home for the holidays if you honeymoon before this date! Airports get insanely busy and chaotic during the holidays through New Year’s. Avoid the crowds slip into your honeymoon without the food coma from all that turkey!

December– A whimsical winter wonderland is the perfect backdrop for your perfect day!


  1. Give your guests as much notice as possible with save-the-date cards! December is notoriously the busiest month of the year and nearly everyone has plans that fill the calendar rather quickly!
  2. Consider that vendors may charge more during this time because of having to pay staff over-time during the holidays.
  3. Carefully incorporate holiday decor with an elevated class. Use white Christmas lights to add to the romance, candles and blankets will add the warmth and coziness, and ornaments as wedding favors can be personalized and sweet.
  4. Use the natural beauty of winter for wedding photos! Snow and pines make for a stunning backdrop and add great lighting for close-ups!


  1. Be surprised if there are many more declines on rsvp’s than there would if it were not a holiday-time wedding. This may work in your favor, in cutting down the guest list and having on the most important people see you on your special day.
  2. Cliche your wedding by using red and green as your colors. There are a host of other gorgeous winter-time colors that would be perfect, but red and green together should be used sparingly as it has been done and overdone.
  3. Don’t play major holiday music at the reception. You want guests to feel like they are celebrating your love for each other, not attending a fancy holiday party.

Featured photo by Feather and Twine Photography 

Looking For Real Orchard Wedding Inspiration?

Here are features of Real Orchard Weddings for your own wedding inspiration that appeared in Brides of North Texas Magazine… 

Madeline & Colin’s Wedding at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat 

Madeline chose The Orchard as her venue because she fell in love with the feeling and theme. She wanted a ceremony outside, but was nervous about the weather, and loved that they had three different ceremony locations to use if the weather did not cooperate. Madeline thought the venue did a wonderful job of making sure everything ran smoothly the day of the wedding with as little stress as possible on the bride. The altar was set up underneath the pergola next to a giant oak tree. The pergola had been fully draped in white cloth with two big flower arrangements on either side of the gathering.

Wedding at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat

See More Photos from their wedding day on Brides of North Texas.

Kristen & Jordan’s Outdoor Wedding at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat 

Kristen loves neutrals and metallics, and wanted to bring her style into the setting. She went with a sophisticated chic theme, mixed with earthy tones. The Orchard was a perfect blank canvas for this, with beautiful outdoor spaces for photos and incredible natural light. The wedding was romantic and classic with a trendy geometric twist. For her color palette, Kristen wanted depth and beauty infused with several neutral hues that coordinated together for a complete story. She had mixed neutrals, blush, mixed metallics and a heavy influence on charcoal grey as a grounding theme. She also wanted to be sure natural greenery was added wherever possible. They added a geometric element and presented it in a sophisticated, subtle way through the geometric place cards, escort card table, linens, floral centerpieces, table numbers and cake.

Venue in Fort Worth


See More Photos from their wedding day on Brides of North Texas.

Beyond Bed, Bath & Beyond: A Registry for the Modern Couple

The traditional wedding registry is intended to help a newlyweds build a house and home with everything from Kitchen Aids to duvets. However, more today than ever before, couples are tying the knot at an older age and have been living as independent adults for years; joining together in matrimony simply means having two crockpots, two TV’s, two fancy knife sets. If they haven’t been living out on their own, the modern couple has been living together long before they say “I Do.”

Many couples are already well-established with all the pots, pans, and Honeymoon plans they could want. This presents today’s bridegrooms with an interesting new wedding challenge: what to do with their wedding registry? Why register for nicer versions of items you already own, when you could instead, get a gift that will really mean a lot to you? If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional registry, look no further! Below is a list of 3 creative and heartfelt ways for guests to spread the love without needing to include a gift receipt.

  1. Create a Honeyfund

So maybe you have all the gorgeous dishware a girl could want, but your dream Honeymoon has a steep price tag; create a honeyfund! A honeyfund is a Honeymoon registry, wherein guests can help pay for the honeymoon itself in lieu of a traditional wedding gift! Several companies allow you to create a kickstarter that itemizes your honeymoon into small packages that your friends and family can buy for you. Grandpa Earl will get just as much joy, if not more, seeing a picture from your on the romantic dinner for two on the beach that he purchased as he will knowing he purchased the right color sheets.

This gives wedding guests the chance to help you make memories, a truly invaluable gift. Plus, thank-you cards coupled with honeymoon pictures are sure to warm the hearts of your generous guests. Get started with companies like Honeyfund, HoneymoonWishes, Wanderable, and Traveler’s Joy. You can even pair a Honeyfund with a traditional registry through companies like Macy’s Dream Fund.

  1.  Create a Nesting Fund

I know, I know, you skipped to number two hoping it wasn’t another way to ask for money. But the truth is, every registry is asking your guests to get out the checkbook. What guests spend money on is entirely up to you and your fiance. Why not ask for something that will really help get you started in your new life together?

Rather than buying items for your home, have guests contribute to a “Nesting Fund.” Weddings are expensive and let’s face it: most couples cannot afford, or even begin to think about, putting a down payment on their dream home. A Nesting Fund gets at the best of both worlds, by providing the bride and groom a way to start building toward their dream home right from the start and gives guests the chance to enjoy their gift every time they come over to visit! Hatch My House or Feather My Nest and companies like them, help you itemize and bundle parts of the home guests are paying for.

  1. Create Kindness by Giving to Charity

What better way to celebrate love than by loving on those who are less fortunate? That’s what marriage is all about afterall: selflessness, compassion, and love! This option gives couples the chance to put their personal touch on their wedding and demonstrate the kind of power couple they are. Giving to a charity will tug on the heartstrings of your guests and do real-world good.

You two can pick a charity that means the most to you and guests can feel good about helping to make the world a little brighter and a little more loving place to be and be married. Want a blended registry? The Knot allows guests to buy off your registry and a portion of the proceeds will go to a charity of your choice, so long as they buy through The Knot’s website. Or get started with registries specifically designed with compassion in mind, like SoKind, Zankyou, and CrowdRise.

So whether you’re hoping for plushy towels or a dream honeymoon, remember that your guests want to help and celebrate your marriage, so that it can flourish for a lifetime. Friends and family want to take part in your big day and shower you with more than just homegoods, but with love and well wishes. At the end of your big day, no one will think about what is on your wedding wishlist as much as what is in your hearts for each other. So get ready, get set, register!

Rustic Wedding Venue Fort Worth

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Colors

Congrats! You’re engaged and get to marry the love of your life. Thus begins the endless to-do’s and wedding planning conundrums. One of the very first things every new bride-to-be must decide is her wedding colors! This is an exciting step, but can be a very hard decision also. But don’t worry! The Orchard has got you covered.

The Wedding Feels

To pick your wedding colors you have to decide what feel you want your wedding to have: bold, soft, glamorous, or whimsical. The atmosphere you hope to create will be most concretely be impacted by your wedding color choice. It will undoubtedly give your wedding that personal touch that helps to communicate the ‘feel’ of you want for your big day. Choose from the pastels for the sweet, soft look, or pick a red and black combo for a classic formal affair. Your wedding colors also reflect how you want to portray who you are as a couple to the world. Are you light-hearted and playful or sexy and serious? Canary yellow is bright, happy, and hopeful. Plum purple will leave you feeling mysterious and regal. No matter what atmosphere you hope to create, The Orchard is the perfect canvas in any of our versatile venue options.

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration for your color palette is all around you, if you know where to look! Why not go for your favorite colors if they pair well together! Or gain inspiration from something special you shared, such a vacation you both loved or colors of your alma maters. Begin building a wedding or pinterest board with pictures to give you inspiration! Maybe you are wearing your grandmother’s deep blue necklace or your engagement ring pops with color itself. Whatever your wedding colors, they must be compatible with the more sentimental parts of the wedding.

Things to Consider

Your wardrobe isn’t the only place your wedding colors have to be compatible and apt. The most first and most important thing you book is your wedding venue and this can drastically impact what colors you choose.

  1. Know what looks good on your bridal party and in pictures. Does your new sister-in-love have a flushed face? Maybe don’t put her in bright cherry red. Does green bring out the color in your eyes? Opt for a forest green that will turn all eyes on you. Want your dress to really stand out? Choose the darker of your wedding colors for your bridal party to wear so that your gown is the highlight in every photo.
  2. What season are you getting married in? Are the fall leaves going to add a touch of warmth to your wedding palette? Does the Springtime get you excited about light pinks or soft blues? Is it close to New Years and you want to bring in some glitter, pop, and fizz? Your ideal color in your favorite flower maybe out of season on your wedding day too. You may have to pick and choose what you will compromise on. If you want beautiful sunflowers to bring that yellow country theme home, but they’re out of season you may want to pick a different color to match your theme. Want deep velveting roses but their out of season? Decide on a colored flower that will be fresh and beautiful on your special day.
  3. Choose colors that compliment the venue space because quite simply, you can dress up the space, but you cannot change it. If you’re getting married in the woods in winter, the entire wedding party will melt into the snowy backdrop if you ask them to wear a light blush or cream. If your venue has dated, orange carpet you may want to consider not choosing hot pink as a color, even if it’s your favorite, because you’re wedding will end up looking like a 60’s themed tie-dye t-shirt instead of a beautiful celebration of love.

Thus, we cannot emphasize the importance of choosing a versatile and accommodating venue space that can suit any style. At The Orchard, our gorgeous reception hall with vaulted ceilings can bring any vision you have for your wedding to life with precision and elegance. So you chose a wine burgundy color with gold accents and greenery for your colors for a rustic warm feel or maybe a soft grey-lavender combination for a garden wedding. Our Pergola serves as your perfect backdrop. You want a modern, edgy feel or a classic white wedding, our sweeping views and grounds will serve as the ideal location to make you and the wedding party “pop.” Which brings us to…

Contrast Contrast Contrast

Think about how those colors will be represented in your wedding. If every color you pick in your palette are Springtime pastels, you may need some contrast to add dimension and intrigue in your venue and in your space. If every color you chose is darker– deep blue, deep gray, deep purple, you may need to lighten it up with some lighter hues. I suggest having three main colors. Your three main colors should be light, medium, and contrast colors respectively and one should be an “accent” color (light blush, glitter gold (accent), and navy blue for example). The idea is to create depth within the aesthetics of your wedding day to ensure no perfect detail is lost in a sea of block colors.

Whatever colors you choose, your wedding is sure to be a beautiful and happy day!

To schedule a tour at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat visit: theorchardtx.com/contact/

Fort Worth Wedding Venue

The 3 “D’s” to Consider Before Booking the Big Vendors

There’s so much to do before the big ‘I Do!’ Once you’ve chosen those big ticket items, like the venue and photographer, getting the rest of the details in order tends to fall into place. But what about before? Knowing just where to start is where most get stuck, so here are the 3 “D’s” to consider before booking the big vendors…

1) The Date

Most weddings take between six months to a year to plan, so it’s important to give yourself and your fiancee some time to get everything together. Many venues don’t even take reservations before a year out and the same is true for ordering a wedding dress– it can take up to six months or more. Case and point, wedding planning takes time. If you know you want a Spring wedding, with plenty of florals and a light palette, but your beau popped the question in late January, it’ll be a tight squeeze to get hitched right away.

It’s also important to consider what time of year will work best for your dream wedding based on your region. Weather is a very important factor in deciding if you want a Winter Wonderland or Spring Fling. If you know you want a Mountain backdrop, for example, it’s best to check weather warnings before putting down a  deposit on what will be a snow bank.

Finally, you should consider if there’s a very special date that means a lot to you and your soon-be-spouse. Maybe it’s your dating anniversary that you’d love to use as your wedding date or perhaps your first date. What better way to start your new lives together than to celebrate when your relationship began! Whatever your hopes for the timing of the big day, remember that choosing a date is the first step.

2) The Dress

You might think it is counter-intuitive to get the dress before the venue, but believe me when I say the dress dictates more than you can imagine! As I said, dresses can take up to six months or more to order, not to mention tailoring. If you have always dreamed of that big, beautiful ball gown that makes you look and feel like a princess, remember that they take up quite a bit of space– you’ll need a spacious aisle (and a large bathroom stall!)

Remember too that wedding gowns are HOT, figuratively and literally. Layers upon layers of gorgeous lace or satin will make you sweat, so before you book your venue, you’ll want to check that it’s cool enough for you to enjoy your prince charming and all your guests. Let’s say you want a gorgeous slimming sheath-style dress; if you’ve already booked a cathedral, you might seem a bit underwhelming in the space, not to mention cold.

The dress also dictates the veil, accessories, and shoes. If you need a gorgeous heel, your beach wedding with have to be sans the sand. If you know you need to wear your grandmother’s necklace, you’ll have to pick a dress that showcases it. Choose the dress that makes you feel like a goddess and pick then pick the space that can accommodate and compliment your magnificent frame.

3) The Design

The design of your wedding includes the atmosphere you hope to create along with any family traditions you know you want to participate in. The best way to choose a design or theme for your wedding is to choose three specific adjectives that you want to describe your wedding day. Your words might be ‘Fun, Whimsical, and Classy’ but these words are too broad; they won’t help you choose the vendors that will bring your dream wedding to life. Be specific. One great example of a set of design words is  “Woodsy, quaint, and simple” which helps you choose a color palette, venue, the number of guests, and the style of your details.

Choosing a design also means deciding on what family or religious traditions you want in your wedding. If you want a Bahamian Junkanoo band to play at your wedding, you’ll need a space that will accommodate it. If you plan on having a traditional Orthodox wedding, you’ll need a church that will suit your vision.

Similarly, if you only want a small number of friends and family, you’ll want to create a design for your wedding that makes the ceremony and reception feel cozy, but comfortable, without looking empty. Or if you plan on a larger guest list you will need to make sure the venue can accommodate for parking, seating, and feeding your desired guest list. At The Orchard, we have venues for all guest list sizes. Our Arbor and Pavilion is perfect for under 75 guests while our Reception Hall can host up to 400 guests.

Knowing your wedding budget and your guest size is the most important part of the design of your wedding. Once you’ve chosen the type of atmosphere you want to create and any special traditions that are essential to your big day, you’re ready to go shopping for vendors.

The date, dress, and design are all you need before booking the big ticket items, like the photographer and venue. Now that you know where to start, enjoy the journey!

For more wedding planning tips and help on staying organized check out Wedding Wire’s Wedding Checklists

Traditional Wedding Cake Alternatives – Four Creative Desserts That Will Make Your Celebration Special

If you are planning an upcoming wedding, your dessert options aren’t necessarily limited to traditional wedding cakes. Unique desserts are becoming more popular and there are many other desserts that might be more in line with the bride and groom’s tastes or background. Here are four creative spins on wedding desserts that can replace the need for a traditional wedding cake.

  1. Keep it in the Family

If there is a dessert that your family cherishes or has been handed down for generations, you might want to incorporate this into your wedding reception. If you and your fiancé come from different backgrounds or traditions, you can to include desserts from both of your cultures. Having a relative that is an excellent baker can be an asset if they are up to the challenge of providing a heartfelt dessert for your reception.

  1. Local Flavor

If you and your soon-to-be spouse live in a location famous for a certain type of dessert, it can be a nice treat for out-of-towners to get a taste of the local flavor. This might be a dessert that your favorite restaurant offers that you would like to share with friends and family. Whether this is local ice cream, beignets, or creme brulee, if you have a special local dessert that you love, this can be celebrated with others. 

  1. Donuts for Dessert

Who says a sweet breakfast item can’t double for dessert at your wedding? Donuts are a fun, grab and go snack that will enable folks can get back to dancing and mingling. If you don’t want to waste time sitting down for dessert at your wedding, donuts can be a great way to keep your guests mobile throughout in the reception. You can even special order a large donut for the bride and groom to fill in for cake pictures.

  1. Dessert-Themed Carts

With food trucks and carts gaining popularity, you can work off of this theme when it comes to desserts. If you just can’t decide on one dessert, bring in food carts or stations with various desserts, from ice cream, pies, cupcakes, or cookies. This way, people can sample a few different desserts or pick what they like the most. This buffet-style option can keep the night going and folks can get desserts when they are ready.

While traditional wedding cakes might still be the number one option for some, trying something new is always an option. If you would like a fresh spin on your wedding dessert, there are plenty of creative and special sweets that might be perfect for your big day. If you still would like a smaller wedding cake for the bride and groom to share, this can be accommodated along with other creative desserts for guests.

Photo by: Lightly Photography

Join Us for our Summer Open House on August 17th!

We are hosting our Summer Open House Thursday, August 17th. The complimentary event will be from 5 PM in the evening till 8 PM at night.


At the Open House you will be able to tour the entire venue, visit with a variety of vendors, and meet our staff to have an idea how we can manage your event. Complete access to the kitchen, bar, all event spaces, bridal suite, groom’s cabin, as well as the  cabins and lodge accommodations will be granted. To add to the excitement of the night, there will be a variety of raffle prizes and contests to enter to win discounts and free items towards the planning of your wedding.

In addition to touring the venue and meeting the vendors and staff, you can also explore some of the great tablescapes, enjoy the cocktails with friends and family, and taste a selection of hors d’ oeuvres from our preferred caterers.

The Orchard Open House is a one-stop wedding planning shop, so stop waiting and start gathering friends and family to plan a visit to The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat on Thursday, August 17th, 2017.

RSVP to: info@theorchardtx.com

For more information about The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat, please visit: http://www.theorchardtx.com/ or “Like” us on Facebook. 

Inspiration Through Wedding Photographer Blogs

At The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat we are very fortunate to be able to work with so many amazing vendors. From wedding planners, caterers, photographers, and entertainers, we’ve formed special relationships working together to put together a special wedding day for our couples.

Many of the vendors we work with have blogs where they post photos of events they have done at The Orchard. Whether you’re planning a sophisticated black tie wedding or casual country wedding, photographer’s blogs are a great place to get ideas and inspiration for your own event!

Here are a few features of wedding events that took place at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat.


Monica Salazar Photography Blog

Brett & Kara’s wedding photographed by Monica Salazar Photography


Lightly Photography Blog

Chadler & Nic’s Wedding Photographed by Lightly Photography


BeatBox Portraits Blog

Emily & Logun’s wedding photographed by BeatBox Portraits

Fort Worth Wedding Venue