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Karen Skruggs - Courtesy photo

Kim Phillips: ‘Engaged in Denton’ winner to receive $2,500

Courtesy photo - Courtesy
Courtesy photo - Courtesy

The couple faced each other holding hands.

“I do,” she said.

“I do,” he said.

And with those little words, two destinies are forever entwined. Family members and friends of both become part of a new story. Those little words have enormous impact on countless people connected to just these two souls. With such important implications at stake, it is no wonder that weddings are big business.

This scene occurs thousands of times in Denton every year. But the rest of the ceremony surrounding “I do” is different in every case. Big weddings, small and intimate, religious and not, themed and traditional, expensive and shoestring — no two weddings are exactly the same. Something every couple have in common, however, is a dream. They, and most especially the bride, have a vision for exactly how the only wedding that matters to them will look and sound and feel.

The Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau works to facilitate the Denton experience for every group holding events in the city, and weddings are a priority focus. With 50,000 college students in the immediate vicinity, this demographic alone drives the number of weddings planned in Denton, far more than in typical cities of similar size. The demand for venues, lodging and wedding-specific services in the past few years gave rise in 2013 to a new CVB services department that aids brides-to-be and wedding planners as they navigate the vast world of wedding options now available in Denton.

We believe wedding planning should be an enjoyable part of the knotting experience. A sure way to minimize stress is to discover wiggle-room in the budget. On Feb. 1, the Denton CVB launched an exciting contest, “Engaged in Denton.” One lucky lady is going to win $2,500 toward her Denton wedding.

Here’s how it works:

Book an appointment to check out one or more of 10 featured wedding venues in Denton (complete venue list is at

While visiting the venue, snap a bride-to-be pic to share on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). The bride-to-be must be in the picture modeling a wedding prop of some kind. A veil, bouquet, tiara or engagement ring are good suggestions.

Check in on social media, tag the venue and include #EngagedinDenton. Visit more than one Denton venue and take a picture at each for multiple chances to win. Entries are due by March 21. Interactive social media voting will run March 1-31.

The winner will be announced April 1 — no joke! Visit for more details.

Dana Lodge, the CVB’s director of sales, is a pro. A certified meeting planner since 2007, she is serious about aligning her clients with the resources that best meet their needs. Her role is to simplify every step of both the planning and implementation processes for groups of all kinds gathering in Denton. As new venues and amenities open in Denton’s wedding landscape, more brides and planners than ever before are referred to her office for help.

Lodge knows that most brides and many wedding planners don’t recognize just how valuable the CVB can be to their work.

“It’s tough to plan a wedding,” she said. “There are so many details to manage. The difficulty is multiplied many times over when the wedding planning is happening from a distance.”

So Lodge is reaching out. For every bride who finds her by referral, there are hundreds more who don’t. She wants the wedding experience for every bride to be as close to her dream-come-true as possible. Now, a section of the CVB’s new website — — is devoted to wedding planning. Resources, contacts and details for how the CVB can shoulder some of the work are outlined for brides and planners at any stage of the wedding-planning process.

“Our services are complimentary to every group utilizing Denton venues and hotels,” Lodge emphasizes. “Connecting brides with our ample network of amenities is our goal. It saves the bride time, headaches and footwork and allows Denton businesses to fill in the resource blanks in the wedding plan.”

Sitting across from Lodge, the newest bride-to-be exclaims, “So, venues, hotels, caterers, photographers, videographers, musicians, DJs, dance floors, florists, decorators, tables, chairs ... you have all these resources in Denton?”

“I do,” Lodge responds with a smile.

KIM PHILLIPS is vice president of the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Denton Chamber of Commerce. She loves promoting Denton’s original, independent spirit through the city’s sense of place and cast of many characters. She can be reached at