Last summer, on July 26, CBS Sunday Morning featured a segment called “How a Wedding Photographer Captures Special Moments,” about a New Jersey-based wedding photographer named Inku. World-renowned for capturing love in pictures, his work is pretty amazing. But the coolest thing about the segment was where Inku was shooting love while the CBS cameras followed him. He was right here in Denton, capturing a couple on the Courthouse lawn, at a downtown coffee shop and as they held hands and strolled the square – she in her wedding gown, he in his tux.
So how did a high-dollar, world-famous guy like Inku end up working a wedding in Denton? The answer is: Denton is a wedding destination.
The CVB has been working the wedding market for several years. We’ve touted our venues and suppliers at wedding shows, at our own Planner’s Zone Expo and through Pinterest, the digital go-to for dreamy-eyed brides-to-be. We’ve hosted DFW area wedding planners for tours of Denton wedding venues, and we’ve forged tight relationships with Denton’s brightest, most creative planners, so we know that what we tout is exactly what our client brides will experience. We never waiver in our commitment to go beyond promoting our brand to delivering and fulfilling the promise it implies.
Lisa Moore is one of these expert partners, and she’s been in the business a long time. She has her own wedding planning business, worked as the wedding coordinator at the Wildwood Inn in Denton for many years and is now the event manager at Zera Coffee.
Wait a minute. Events at Zera Coffee? With 5,500 square feet of space in the heart of Denton and a planning pro like Lisa at a bride’s disposal, yes. Zera is among the pool of our most Dentonesque venues for original, independent-thinking brides. They opened their space to weddings in 2012, and their business has tripled every year since.
Match Lisa Moore with CVB Director of Sales Dana Lodge, and you get a planning duo whose vision for Denton’s burgeoning wedding business is just beginning. Last summer, the two put their heads together and determined that the wedding industry in Denton has grown so much so fast that Denton is ready for its own wedding expo, and it’s happening this coming Saturday, January 23, at Denton’s inaugural Denton Bridal Show 2016.
Lisa and Dana drew in another of Denton’s wedding-venue-brass, that being TWU. For some 80 years now, couples have been tying the knot in TWU’s Little Chapel in the Woods. Hubbard Hall on the TWU campus will host the free wedding show from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The very best bridal resources in Denton County will be there: venues, florists, DJs, photographers, officiants, equipment rentals, decorators, caterers, and more. And these ladies have mixed some fun into the show, too. Personally, I can’t wait to see the live fashion show where the CVB’s own Jake Laughlin, along with the Chamber’s Event Manager Angelica Del Rosal, will model up-and-coming wedding trends.
In the July segment, CBS Sunday Morning reported that the average spend on American weddings today is $31,213 not counting the honeymoon. Let’s round Denton’s venues off at 15 and do the math. At a conservative 20 $30,000-weddings in a month, $9 million are spent in Denton. Add local sourcing for services and hotels, and it is easy to see that that Dana’s and Lisa’s pursuits in this romantic arena means major economic impact for our city and county.
Kathy McNaughton is the General Manager of Hidden Springs, part of the Springs Event company that owns 17 venues on 13 properties across the country. “Weddings are big business,” the 30-year marrying-business veteran said. “But we sell more than just a venue. We sell an experience the bride will remember the rest of her life.”
Kathy said today’s brides are creative, designing their weddings around their personalities. Denton is very appealing to them because of all the city offers in amenities, entertainment, character and the beautiful surrounding countryside. Planners love Denton’s many vendors, as sourcing local often saves brides some money. More than 200 couples have said, “I do,” since Hidden Springs since opened in 2014, with an average attendance of 150-200 people and an average price tag of about $30,000.
Most of the Denton wedding business hails from the DFW area, about 85 percent. But Denton hotels are reaping their own share of the business, some reporting more than 100 wedding parties in a year that round out to more than 2,200 hotel room nights and nearly $250,000 in revenue.
Brides-to-be, moms of brides, maids of honor, planners, grooms, dreamers, people that might get married some day, people that know someone that is getting married, people that love wedding day enchantment, this Saturday is for all of you. Even been-there-done-that me is going just for the fun of it. Visit dentonbridalshow.com for details. See you there!
Featured image courtesy of ANM Photography.