Unexpected Venues - The Schaufele-Evens Wedding

Is it possible to find a reception site in Dallas for 500 this isn't a typical venue? Not that there is anything wrong with country clubs, hotels and museums, of course, -.but what if the bride and groom want someplace different for their celebration?

This was the dilemma for Dallas natives Anne Schaufele and Cole Evens when they began their wedding plans. But with a little help from their moms, Lee Schaufele and Janet Evans, the happy couple were quick to find the perfect answer: The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center!

Even though the Meyerson just celebrated its twenty year anniversary, the magnificent I. M. Pei creation has been the scene of very few receptions. As the home of the renowned Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the building is in constant use. So unless a couple is willing to hold their event at an off hour or is lucky enough to snag a date during the orchestra's summer hiatus, it is next to impossible to book. Happily the orchestra is on vacation during the month of August.

Anne and Cole were thrilled by the Meyerson's impressive open space and elegant style, but they did have a few concerns. Was there too much room? Was the contemporary architecture a little cold?

"Anne was afraid the lobby was so cavernous that guests would be lost. And though she loved the modern design, stark minimalism isn't her style," recalls Dallas Wedding Consultant, Nina Nichols Austin, who helped Anne and Cole with their plans, "Our biggest challenges were how to effectively utilize the space while introducing soft, romantic dà ©cor elements that would reflect Anne's taste."

The Meyerson's dramatic marble stairway was the couple's favorite feature and it quickly became the centerpiece for their celebration. The landing would be a perfect stage for their large show band, the SoulSations, and the large expanse of marble around the base of the stairs would be perfect for dancing.

"Once we decided to build the party around the stairs, everything else quickly fell into place," says Austin. "We arranged sophisticated lounge seating groups with day beds, ghost chairs, coffee tables and animal print rugs on either side of the dance floor and blocked one end of the space with a long, walk-up bar surrounded by stand-up cocktail tables and sleek bar chairs. Floor-to-ceiling organza drapes blocked one end of function area to define the party and create a convenient staging room for Culinair International, who provided the catering."

The Meyerson's dramatic proportions include a ceiling which soars over forty feet, therefore it was essential to select dà ©cor that would not be dwarfed. The florist adjusted their designs accordingly, filling the giant urns that adorned four large buffet stations with leafy green maple branches and creating towering table arrangements of exotic blooms that softened the massive marble, glass and stainless steel structure. The soft summer palette of silvery greens and watery blue, including Carolina Blue, Cole's Alma Marta, champagne and latte was achieved with clean but abundant bouquets dominated by pale blue and white hydrangeas, Dendrobium orchids and Casa Blanca lilies accented with spray Majolika spray roses, delicate maiden hair fern, scented geranium foliage and silvery dusty miller,

Guests were comfortably ensconced in chic seating areas or clustered at more conventional tables. Communal, bar-height tables were the preferred perch for those wanting to catch their breath after a lengthy turn on the dance floor.

To complete the effect, Switch highlighted the Meyerson's dramatic edifice with spectacular lighting. Thousands of votive candles floating in glass cylinders filled with water produced a warm, luminous glow, while striking shafts of light, alternating between green, blue and magenta throughout the evening, illuminate the immense structure.

Just as the magnitude of I. M. Pei's magnificent symphony hall dictated the scale of the dà ©cor, its minimalistic, contemporary design influenced everything from the attire to the menu. Anne selected a polished Vera Wang designed gown from Warren-Barron which featured asymmetrical layers of silk organza fashioned in a lean, trumpet -shaped silhouette. Her attendants were dressed in matt silvery blue silk from Bridal Collections by Stella. Cole and his attendants wore Carolina Blue silk ties with their traditional black formal attire from Mister Tuxedos in Snider Plaza.

Anne and Cole wanted recognizable but stylish "comfort" food, notable not only for its flavor but the flare with which it was presented. Perennial favorites like Pepper Crusted Strip Loins, Wedge Salads, Mashed Potatoes and Mac N Cheese were augmented by special delights like Seared Ahi Tuna garnished with Wonton Chip served in white JB Price china spoons, coconut fried shrimp, and market fresh Cerviche with avocado, lime and cilantro served in bright green martini glasses. Late in the evening guests were treated to miniature sliders and fries garnished with dill pickles.

The Bride's cake, a simple but elegant butter cream confection made by Krisia, dominated the Meyerson entrance and was flanked by the scrumptious Grooms cake of sinful chocolate topped with a replica of the North Caroline dome, artfully rendered by Dallas Affairs.

The bride and groom made their escape in a shower of rose petals as guests relished the final moments of this unforgettable evening.

Photography courtesy of Scott Hagar Photography.

Dallas Wedding Consultant, Nina Nichols Austin