Good Eats & Entertainment Articles

Party Planning Guide

Bring the WOW to your Special Event  Planning a special event and want to impress your guests?  We’ve found the top vendors and services to help you celebrate in style. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party, wedding, mitzvah, sweet 16 or other milestone event, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planners
Sure, we all think of wedding planners, but did you know many event planners will bring their creativity, cost-efficiency and staffing to all types of events, be it a milestone birthday, holiday gathering, reunion, graduation or whatever you are dreaming up.  Yes, you will shell out a few bucks for a tenured event specialist, but ultimately it’s worth every penny. 

Bash Creative Events
Rebecca Baker brings over twenty years of experiencein private and corporate party planning to her Plano company. Each party created by her Bash team is unique and designed to be memorable. They start with a quick-study planning process and then flawlessly execute every detail. Bash provides turn-key, full service or simply fills in the gaps for clients wanting one or more areas of expertise. From private, intimate gatherings to large charity events, school dances and even weddings, Bash puts a unique spin on theme, invitations, venue selection, menu planning, props and decorations, logistics, party favors and staffing.

The difference between other party planners and Bash is that no event is too big or too small, because they provide day and hourly rates as well as custom quotes for larger events. Bash even provides holiday decorating services for homes and businesses, saving clients time during the busiest season of the year. Book soon because Bash Creative Events is a boutique events company and dates fill up fast.
Rebecca Baker | 214.616.9033

The Venue

Location. Location. Location. The venue you select sets the stage for your special event.  Their on-site professional staff will support you everystep of the way to ensure your party goes off without a hitch. Here are two of our top picks:

Mix & mingle at the new Aloft Richardson. This urban-inspired hotel is located just north of DFW metro and has plenty of savvy features to make your next party a hit. Gather with guests in the vibrant W XYZ® bar, or take things outside to their second-floor outdoor patio. The hotel also offers 2,700 square feet of flexible meeting space, perfect for events large or small. After the party your guests can rest easy in one of the 148 loft-inspired guest rooms, complete with fast & free WiFi, free bottled water, and Bliss® Spa amenities
Becky Milkie | 469.570.4753


Historic or Unusual Options

Arlington Hall at Lee Park
In this beautiful setting, you can host an intimate luncheon for 10 or a lavish wedding for 1,000 guests. This venue sits on a 15-acre park and features a formal garden, two terraces and the Allman Pavilion.
Allison MacNealy | 214.520.8611 

Dallas Historical Society
Want to hold your next reception in a place that has hosted events honoring heads of state and even royalty?  Then, look no further than the Hall of State at the Dallas Historical Society. This “Crown Jewel” of Fair Park is ideal for galas, weddings and corporate dinners.
Nora Lenhart | 214.421.4500 ext. 106

Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral
If you want to make your next event unforgettable, this is the right choice for you. The Crystal Ballroom is an enchanting venue for a gala or wedding, and there are elegant meeting rooms, as well.  Either way you’ll be surrounded by history as the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry goes back over 100 years in Dallas.

Dallas Zoo
Birthday parties, meetings, family reunions, picnics, weddings—the Dallas Zoo can do it all. Perhaps the Flamingo Room is perfect for your meetings, but you might also love the ZooNorth Pavilion for a lush outdoor party. They even have catering available, from a simple picnic to plated dining.

Frontiers of Flight Museum
Housing over 30 aircraft and space vehicles, this location featuring a 1940’s aviation hangar is a truly unique venue for your next party. They have a special area just for birthdays and casual receptions, but they also have interesting spaces for meetings and presentations.  Buckle up as you blast off to an amazing party!

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Make your event positively stately at this beautiful location on the campus of SMU. Three distinct spaces—the presidential library and museum, George W. Bush Institute and Café 43—mean that you can find exactly the venue you are looking for. 

Old Red Museum
This 1892 Romanesque courthouse is the ideal location for any event—casual or sophisticated.  Make your event truly historic in this unparalleled space.

Perot Museum
Located in Victory Park near the West End Historic District, this venue provides a beautiful modern backdrop to any event. Whether it’s a reception, a wedding or a meeting, your guests will undoubtedly be inspired.

The Music Hall at Fair Park
The Music Hall has been around since 1925 and with its Spanish Baroque style with Moorish influences it will impress all your guests. Perfect for banquets, black-tie affairs and receptions, this place is a show-stopper!
Jayne Basse | 214.413.3953


Jump for joy!  Trust us, this trampoline park is not just for kids.  Everyone at the party will enjoy the fun factor with full access to the entire park, including the main court, foam pit, battle beam, trapeze and dodgeball courts. Let the staff at Altitude take care of everything for your next themed party, from party setup and clean-up to pizza and drinks. Teens especially love Altitude, where Teen Night is every Saturday from 8pm – 11pm.   469.941.4350


This place is perfect for a party for your tween or teen, but it’s also a great option  for the “King Pin” in your life. For the kids, they offer party professionals to keep them smiling as well as kid-friendly menus.  And for your next adults-only party, they provide inventive dining and crafted cocktails. At Bowlmor, your next event is sure to be a striking success.

Make a birthday, reunion, wedding party or holiday party uniquely special at Choctaw. Can you feel your luck changing just thinking about it?  After winning big in the casino, your guests can stay in the spacious and luxurious rooms at the resort. You can also book a party with various activities at The District, which features a 3,600 sq. ft. arcade, bowling, a two-story laser tag arena and a sports bar.

Alamo Draft House
You’ve never thought of hosting a party at a movie theater? Well, think again. Alamo Draft House is perfect for a mitzvah or a milestone birthday with a movie or Hollywood theme. It’s even possible to have a live host with interactive props! And if you’ve been searching for a place to hold a bachelorette party or baby shower, you can rent out a theater for girls night. The folks at Alamo Draft House will even customize a cocktail or milkshake for you and your friends.


Entertainment & Services

DJ/Photography/Videography/Lighting/Photo Booth
What’s a party without the lights, camera and ACTION?  Here are some of our favorite vendors who can bring the fun and capture the memories.

Autumn is in the air! And with that comes a new school year, tailgating parties and get-togethers with friends and family. Whether you’re planning your daughter’s 16th birthday, organizing a middle school dance with your PTA or hosting your dad’s retirement party, GigSalad.com is a one-stop shop for booking entertainment. They understand the struggle to find the event vendors you need. With that in mind, they created a booking platform that’s simple to use and offers over 600 categories of entertainment and event services. Find local DJs, cover bands, magicians, face painters, caterers, photographers and more. You can even find unique entertainment like belly dancers, fire eaters, henna tattoo artists and mariachis. Browse tons of photos, videos and reviews to make sure you’re getting just what you envisioned! Once you’re ready, you can request a free quote from as many vendors as you’d like. And when you book, you can do it with confidence. Their platform is secure and offers a Worry-Free Guarantee that ensures a refund if anything goes wrong. This year, let GigSalad help you create some unforgettable moments.

Bill Cody’s Party Time Texas
Bill Cody’s Party Time Texas is Dallas’ top source for party entertainment.  The legendary Bill Cody and his tenured team of DJ’s, MC’s and entertainment specialists make every fete more festive.  Their DJ/MCs are upbeat, fun and full of energy—ideal for your child’s birthday party, school socials, homecoming dance, prom or bar/bat mitzvah. DJ’s come equipped with incredible sound, spectacular lighting and an extensive music library (including special “clean edits” of top 40 hits).From special requests to games and activities, they will customize the music and presentation to fit your age group, theme or occasion. Need more?  Look no further!  This is a one-stop resource including bands, dancers, photography, videography, instant photo stations and whatever it takes to bring the wow to your special event.


White Rock Films
Lights! Camera! Success!  White Rock Films, LLC offers video production using the latest equipment, including gimbals and motion control cameras to best tell your story.  And, if you wish to capture a different perspective (literally!), they offer aerial video with the latest quad copters that achieve shots that were simply too costly in the past. If memories are the paintings on the tapestry of life, White Rock Films is the cloth.  They give you the ability to capture and share your most cherished memories for generations to come.
Bill Brock | 214. 405.3909

Jennifer Melton Wedding  Photography
Jennifer loves capturing all the exciting moments and emotions on your special day and creating memories that will last a lifetime. She tells your love story in many of its most beautiful expressions, from a romantic engagement shoot, to the emotional wedding day, to the exciting first days following the birth of a child and family sessions for years to come.
Jennifer Melton |  214.205.6296 

James Bland Photography
James Bland has been showcasing his award-winning craftsmanship as a photographer for over 25 years.  His zeal for capturing the essence of the people in front of his lens is matched only by the fun he has doing it.  James’ portrait photography has been in exhibits and shows in Dallas and Washington, D.C., and he is widely known for his work for record labels and national magazines.  His love of capturing the heart and emotions of his subjects has led him to offer his services for your special event.
James Bland | 214.577.5200


Every party needs food, right? So why not make your party memorable by choosing one of the amazing caterers listed below?

Ruthie’s Rolling Café 
Meals On Wheels (Literally!)
Food trucks are all the rage, not to mention a ton of fun.  For unique and very festive catering, let Ruthie’s roll on over.  Catering options start at $800 and include staffing and 2 hours of service.  Although they now have three trucks, we recommend calling soon because they get booked up quickly.

Amazing Caterers
With roots going back to a popular New York deli in the 1950’s, Amazing Caterers offers full service catering of “basic good food” and plenty of it.  Using only the finest and freshest meats, fruit, and vegetables, they offer an extensive menu of options prepared by their experienced staff. “We believe that if we cannot say it or cannot spell it we do not make it,” says owner Ed Brandt.
When your event is over, we want to hear “They were Amazing!”

Floral & Décor

Transform your event into an affair to remember with inspiring floral and décor.  There are so many options throughout the metroplex, and it can get overwhelming, so we narrowed down your search to these inspired vendors.

The Haute Blossom
From inspiration to execution, the mission at The Haute Blossom is to create concepts unique to your event while providing exceptional customer service.
Stephania Duarte | 469.450.0574

WANT TO ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS OR SERVICE IN OUR NEXT PARTY PLANNING GUIDE?  Reach Amy Lendl at advertising@goodlifefamilymag.com.  

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