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L-R: Altrusa members Blue McElroy of Uptown Chiropractic, Amy Gavigan of Bank of America, Judy Porter of Bishop Dunne Catholic School and Porter People PR, Lee Dorsett of Hewlett Packard and Carol Kilman of the Baptist Foundation enjoy toasting each-other's professional success. Dorsett and Kilman are former presidents of the service club.

Network with Business Professionals at the Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Club's Happy Hour Tuesday August 4

Service-minded business men and business women are invited to a casual come-and-go Happy Hour at Blue Mesa Grill, 7700 North West Highway, across from North Park Mall, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4th to learn about the Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas.

This is a perfect event to attend for anyone new to the downtown Dallas area, who wishes to work together with other professionals to make the city a kinder, safer place to live.

The club, established in 1983, meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at the City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America building downtown. Business meetings are held on the first Tuesday, and a speaker is highlighted at the program meeting held on the third Tuesday of the month. Last month a local FBI agent discussed the covert operations used to catch embezzlers of government Medicare funds and how the members of the club can spot illegal billing to help the FBI catch these white collar criminals.

The club’s focus is on increasing literacy in the community and helping women and children in crisis. Networking among the club’s 78 members is encouraged, as many of the women run their own companies, from CPAs, attorneys, and Personal Financial Planners to doctors, artists, photographers, college presidents and a few Dallas judges. Since 1983 the club has raised over a million dollars to grant to local non-profits that help women and children and promote literacy.

August Service Project:  SOAR Camp

On Friday, August 7th, members of the club will be volunteering at the Irma L. Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, located at 1718 Robert B. Cullum Blvd., near Downtown, to help prepare rising seniors for their college admissions interviews.  Altrusa has awarded 20 college scholarships in the past two years to graduates of Irma Rengel in honor of former Altrusa club President Reagan Lorenzen. The school is one of a dozen local initiatives the Altrusa club supports which include Meals on Wheels, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Attitudes and Attire. For more information about the club’s service opportunities, contact Nicole LeBoeuf  at

Members and guests attending the Happy Hour are encouraged to bring new pencils, erasers and construction paper which the club is collecting for the Dolphin Heights after School program.

For more information on the club see:

For more information on the Happy Hour or the club contact President Niki Payne at:

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Realtor Niki Payne of David Bush Realtors is the 2015-16 President of the Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas, a community service club made up of business women and men who volunteer their time to promote literacy and help women and children in crisis.

The Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas Invites You to Savor a Happy Hour with Club Members!

The Altrusa International Club of Downtown Dallas is hosting a President’s Happy Hour at Savor Gastropub, 2000 Woodall Rogers Freeway, Dallas 75201, in Clyde Warren Park, downtown Dallas, on Tuesday, July 7 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Free valet and complimentary lite bites will be provided along with drink specials.

The service club was established in Dallas in September of 1982 and currently has 76 members. Business women and men interested in helping the downtown Dallas area through volunteering in community service are invited to attend the Happy Hour and meet the members of the award-winning club. Guests are encouraged to bring new pencils, erasers, or construction paper to donate to the Dolphin Heights after school and summer programs. Contact President Niki Payne for more information:

New officers for 2015-16 year were installed at the May 19 Annual Meeting held at Lakewood Country Club, which include Niki Payne - President; Nina Cox- President Elect; Amy Gavigan - Recording Secretary; Nicole LeBoeuf - VP Service; Marsha Reynolds- VP Communications; Lori Blair- VP Fundraising; Monica Urbaniak - VP Membership; Scottie Kennedy- Treasurer; Carol Kilman - Parliamentarian; Kim Schonwald - Immediate Past President and Club Board Liaison to Foundation Board.

Club members range in age from 25 to 75 years old and include attorneys, judges, artists, CPAs, business owners and Financial Planners, among other professions. Working together, the members fulfill the club's international motto of Patriotism, Efficiency and Service. 

The downtpwn club has a number of summer service projects scheduled.

July Service Projects of the club are:

Dolphin Heights - After School program, collecting new pencils, erasers, construction paper.

The Vickery Meadows Learning Center- putting together notebooks for students and volunteers, Friday, July 24th from 1-5 p.m.

Attitudes and Attire: Volunteering on Saturday mornings to assist clients to pick out work attire. Check with Cristal at to be sure they are in need the day you want to volunteer.

Meals on Wheels: Make greeting cards for a future holiday. Contact Gina Tolmas, for more information.

Story Line: is available anytime: to sign up for Story Line.

The club members also support local high school students with scholarships. Six $1,000 scholarships were presented to graduates of the Irma L. Rangel Young Women's Leadership School for Girls in May, in the memory of former Altrusa Club President Reagan Lorenzen.

For more information on the club see the club website:, or contact VP of  Membership, Monica Urbaniak at

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Professional Photographer Candice White is offering her home and gardens for wedding couples to use as a backdrop for their engagement and formal wedding photos - and even for their ceremony if they want to keep their special day simple.

Photographer Candice White Offers her Beautiful Home for Wedding Photos – Replete with the Ceremony!

The e-mail had a tone of desperation: “I hope you guys can help me. I am STRUGGLING to find a venue that is decently priced for a wedding that will probably be about/under 50 people. 


As for my budget, I have about $5,000 to spend. I’d like to get the most bang for my buck, and if I could do the ceremony and reception in the same place, that’d be awesome. Better yet if the place catered and had tables/chairs/etc. I really like the places that coordinate everything for you, but for the right price, I’d be willing to do it all myself.”

The desperate groom went on, “I’ve already looked into the Bird’s Nest, Providence Place, and Big Thicket, among dozens and dozens of others. We are leaning towards Myers Park, but the Hall is just too big for us, so I don’t know. I would prefer to keep it in the Dallas area and not venture out to Fort Worth or anywhere too far away from Dallas. Seriously– ANY and ALL suggestions are welcome. I’m so frustrated that I’m to the point where I just want to go to Vegas, elope, and forget all about a proper wedding!” The e-mail was signed simply, “Bruce.”

What he was learning was the crazy high price of a simple wedding in the city of Dallas.

Even spare loft spaces downtown, with little decoration and no amenities, are priced too high for some couples: a local venue posts their prices in an online ad as this:

“We have fixed prices for weddings depending on what day of the week it would be…. Prices range from $1,750 to $3,500 depending on the date. For non-weddings we price as follows:

Saturdays - $350 per hour

Fridays - $250 per hour

Sundays and all others are $200 per hour.”

With a typical wedding and reception a minimum of four hours, even on a Sunday the event – just to rent the space – is $800. Add food, at an average of $45 to $65 per person – and a bar tab of up to $35 more per person - decorations, a DJ, and a photographer, and it’s no wonder that the average wedding in Dallas costs about $25,000! That’s $20,000 more than the desperate author, “Bruce,” of the e-mail has to spend.

Candice White would rather those who want a simple, elegant wedding on a budget save their hard-earned money and enjoy a nice honeymoon. A professional photographer, her home sits on a ¾ acre lot and her gardens are maintained to provide a beautiful backdrop for professional engagement and wedding photos. Now she’s considering allowing smart couples to add to their photos by having their wedding at her humble – and gorgeous – century-old home.

“I call it the ‘Total Wedding Package,’” she says, replete with engagement photos, then pictures during the ceremony, and reception photos. Her cottage is a perfect place for Boudoir Bridal or photos as the bride is getting dressed with her bridesmaids or mother. Her backyard is the perfect space for a small outdoor wedding. The cottage on her property can also be added onto the event package for the honeymoon suite. “After all the family and guests are gone, the couple can stay in a quiet, secluded space.”

A typical wedding photographer charges a minimum of $2,000 just for the wedding portraits. Candice is offering a full service of engagement, wedding and professional portraits – plus a small wedding venue for up to 50 people – for about $2.500. A friend of Candice’s can cater the event with heavy appetizers for $10 to $15 a person, and a night spent in the Honeymoon cottage is about $75. She can also rent tables, chairs, table clothes and wine glasses.

A thrifty couple can have their lovely backyard wedding for under $3,000 and BYOB for the reception after.

Candice has a guest room on Airbnb which is rented out on a regular basis, but she can reserve it for the wedding couple’s parents or best man or Maid of Honor, if they are coming in from out of town.

“Mi casa es su casa,” says Candice, who is known to have lovely back yard dinner parties throughout the year for her eclectic group of friends ranging from artists and writers to teachers and local business owners.

Located in a quiet neighborhood of Elmwood, Oak Cliff, her home was the most popular on The 2011 Old Oak Cliff Tour of Homes. She was hostess for the two days and kept hearing that it felt like they were in Tuscany! Built at the turn of the century, the 100-year-old structure was a speakeasy in the 1920’s, and is the perfect backdrop for a Texas wedding. There is also cupola tower off of the master bedroom which is perfect for the blessing by the officiate before the ceremony!

Candice is booking her ‘photogenic’ home for wedding events for late summer, fall, early winter and spring 2016. Smart and thrifty couples can contact her now to save in their future to begin a beautiful life together without starting it in debt: call Candice at 214-770-1934; or e-mail her at: See her website at: or Keep It Simple (Sexy) Wedding: 

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Austin Wheeler is partnering with Bryan Hogan to help dentists, physicians and veterinarians open successful practices in and around North Texas.


Leading Healthcare Real Estate Firm Announces Dallas Office

Austin based Thomas Allen Real Estate Advisors is announcing today its launch of a new North Texas Office in partnership with Austin Wheeler. Austin will be joined by associate Bryan Hogan to continue helping dentists, physicians, and veterinarians open successful practices in North Texas and beyond. This partnership adds one of the nation’s top producing healthcare real estate agents to one of Texas’s largest healthcare real estate firms. 

About Thomas Allen Real Estate Advisors

After working for a large national developer to lease their buildings, Thomas Allen began solely representing dentists, physicians, and veterinarians in Dallas in 2010.  He left the Dallas office to expand operations into Houston and Austin before opening Thomas Allen Real Estate Advisors in 2014 with his partner, Sam Whiteside. 

Since opening in 2014, Thomas Allen Real Estate Advisors has quickly become a state leader in healthcare real estate. With the addition of Austin Wheeler, Thomas Allen Real Estate Advisors can now account for more new healthcare offices opened in the state last year than any other firm in Texas.

The company is built on its values: diligence, follow through and putting it’s client’s best interest first. Its services differ from other firms in that they act as a free startup consultant for doctors in addition to their real estate services – a reason for their client’s consistent success. Thomas says of the partnership: “We are obviously excited to have Austin as a partner.  He has a strong book of business and has been successful for a reason.  Our platform will give him the chance to use his experience to lead a team of agents and staff which will allow him to better service his clients and grow the business exponentially.  More importantly Austin is a great person who I have always respected and I am confident our partnership will lead to many fun and fruitful opportunities.”

About Austin Wheeler

Austin works with dental, medical, and veterinary professionals to open successful practices. He identifies ideal locations for new practices and negotiates on his client’s behalf against property owners to get the best terms and conditions for their space. Austin has experience in representing medical tenants with lease negotiations, land acquisitions, and building acquisitions. He has guided hundreds of doctors through the process of opening successful healthcare practices and has a deep understanding of every aspect involved. 

In addition to his real estate experience, Austin has helped start up and manage two successful dental practices in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, providing first-hand insight into the process his clients are working through. Austin has guest lectured numerous times at the Texas Dental Association meetings and Baylor College of Dentistry on the process of finding the best location for starting a practice. He said of this new venture, "I am thrilled to be partnering with TAREA.  Thomas and I worked together at another firm and remained friends after our departure.  We both feel that our company values of always doing the right thing, diligence, and follow through are essential to servicing clients.  I am confident that if we stick to our values we have the opportunity to grow a very special company, and we look forward to supporting healthcare professionals in their real estate needs for many years."

He believes in doing things the right way - with honesty, diligence, and follow through.  He puts his client's interests first and goes out of his way to provide the best service possible.  You can ask any of the hundreds of doctors he has helped and they will attest to his attentiveness, professionalism, and competence - the reason most of his business is generated by referrals. 

For more information Contact: Sam Whiteside: 512.417.8924 or:

Thomas Allen Real Estate Advisors, 7703 N Lamar STE 505, Austin TX 78752  Office: 512.649.2277; Fax: 888.712.8507

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Carol DOnovan will only be the 7th female President of the Oak Cliff Lions Club in the club's 86 years when she is installed to the office Thursday night.

Dynamic Dallas Attorney to Lead Oak Cliff Lions

Dallas attorney Carol Donovan will be installed as the 89th President of the Oak Cliff Lions Club on Thursday Night at Hitt Auditorium on the Methodist Dallas Medical Center Campus.

Active in the League of Women Voters and the founding director of the Castleberry Peace Institute at the University of North Texas, the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board recommended her to represent District 107, saying “she will bring fresh ideas for effective state government.”

She lost the election but it freed her up to become only the 7th female President of the Oak Cliff Lions club in 86 years.

The Oak Cliff Lions Club of Dallas, Texas was organized on April 1, 1929, by 35 outstanding community leaders and officially Chartered by Lions Clubs International on April 30, 1929. These leaders built and leave a lasting legacy of foresight and leadership to future leaders and members of the Club.  Currently there are nearly 150 Lions in the Oak Cliff Club.

Past President of the Oak Cliff Lions Club is a who’s who of business leaders from the community:


Rene Cox*
Dr. W. C. Jones* 
Vervon Singleton* 
Fred A. Kelly* 
Dr. H. K. Crutcher* 
W. P. Mathews* 
James R. Temple* 
L. B. Randolph* 
Dr. S. T. Bailey* 
Dr. F. M. Shultz* 
Gus Cook* 
W. J. Bryan*
J. W. T. Major* 
Dr. R. A. Self * 
H. L. Jennings* 
H. M. Craig, Jr.* 
Teddy Harris* 
H. E. Wolfram* 
Harley Hightower* 
Dr. W. B. Wilkinson* 
S. W. Taylor* 
Fred "Red" Harris* 
S. V. McCarley* 
A. E. Harris* 
Roger E. Parks* 
Charles E. Watson* 
O. N. Moffett* 
G. C. Harrell, Jr.* 
Abe Meyer*
Marion B. Snider* 
J. E. Willis, Jr.* 
Edward P. Thompson* 
N. W. Alexander* 
George W. Puckett* 
Charles H. Storey* 
Paul B. Craig* 
Dr. Dennis L. Lindsey* 
Allison Snyder* 
David R. Braden 
Henry M. Lively* 
Kenneth W. Ritchel* 
Bill Sullivan* 
Tom Young* 
Gordon Rea 
Dr. Parmer Richardson* 
Fred Ferguson 
Sam Monzingo 
Bill Lewis 
Bill Melton 
Dennis Jeter 
Jack Henigan
Dr. Marvin Grantham*
Bennie Brigham
Jerry Gilmore
Jack Frampton 
Gene Willard* 
Dr. Wm. J. Lawhorn 
Jerry Vincent* 
Kenneth Beard* 
Mark G. Snyder 
Dr. Burt Bryan 
Dan Cunningham 
Steve Levine 
John McCalib 
Jerry Adkins 
Steve McGregor* 
Carolyn Dunnigan 
Steve Elwell 
Bonnie Breazeale 
John Dodd 
John McCall, Sr. 
H. Wayne Meachum 
Robert Hirsh 
Michelle Metzger 
Stoney Greene
Bill Harper
Amy Alburtis
Rich Buickerood
Tom Timmons
Darla Wisdom
Charlie Tupper
Danny Boyce
Mike Lott
Iris Smith
Durhl Caussey



2014-15 President Lion Steve Bayless will pass the gavel to all the past presidents in the audience before it is handed over to Carol Donovan to lead the club for the next year.

Along with Ms. Donovan, first Vice President Layne Vincent, 2nd Vice President John McCall Jr. and 3rd Vice President Tasie Semos, along with the new governing board, will also be installed. Past Oak Cliff Lions Club President and District Governor Darla Wisdom will be installing the officers.

Hitt Auditorium is located on the Methodist Medical campus at:


221 W Colorado Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208


For more information on the Oak Cliff Lions Club see their website: or contact Sara Kittow at 214) 947-2921 or 2015-16 president Carol Donovan at:

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Bar None Director Martha Hofmeister has been volunteering for 30 years along with her cast. She thanked the audience for coming to the annual show on Friday night at SMU's Greer Garson Theater. Funds raised go to scholarships for minority law students to attend SMU's school of law.

For 30 years, Martha Hofmeister brings Laughter, Song and Dance to SMU to benefit Minority Law Students

Four shows of “Bar None XXX: Obscenely Funny,” held last Wednesday through Saturday, June 13, completes three decades of direction by local attorney Martha Hardwick Hofmeister and her crew of dozens of talented lawyers, judges, legal assistants and law students, many of whom have the chops to be on stage full time as actors, singers and musicians.

Bar None has been directed by attorney Martha Hofmeister for 30 years. Her seven assistant directors have been with her most of those years, notably the show's choreographer, family law attorney Rhonda Hunter, who also sang in this latest production. The variety show includes their attorney friends, paralegals and a handful of judges who get their comedy on - and the result is hilarious. Many of those in the cast took drama in high school and college and chose Law as a way to feed themselves and their families. A number of cast members are now married to each-other, having met during the 30 years of production.

Profits from the show go to the Sarah T. Hughes Scholarship Fund to help minority law students attend SMU’s Dedman School of Law. 

Skits each year are performed in a “Saturday Night Live” format, and the house band is made up of talented musicians who could easily sub for a Late Night talk show. Songs such as “Dancin’ Bar None Style,” to the tune of Gangnam Style replete with terrific dancers had the audience Friday night clapping and singing along.

Christina Melton Crain belted out “White Lawbit,” sung to the tune of White Rabbit as well as Grace Slick sang the original, with lyrics changed to: “One case makes you wealthy, and one case is quite small, and those legal aids referrals don’t pay anything at all, go add malice when your case is small.”

The show opened this year with a Broadway classic, from Les Miserables, “One Show More,” sung to the tune of One More Day  featuring Martha Hofmeister’s husband Kent, who leads a local band called The Cat Daddys when he’s not working his day job as an attorney. His rendition of “Now and Then (there’s a witness who lies),” a riff on the Elvis Presley classic, made the audience believe Elvis is NOT dead, but was IN the house.

This year's performance included a beautiful reflective song in the middle of the show, a tribute to James “Jim” Klancnik, an attorney and beloved cast who passed away in March, and a two page color memorial in the show’s expansive program, the Daily Commercial Record. A Who’s Who of law firms is represented in the program, and the lyrics to all the songs sung – in case the words were missed while the audience was laughing too hard to hear them – are also included.

Ushers were coordinated once again by LaVone Arthur, an executive of Baylor-Scott & White, and a member of Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas, a community service club that Hofmeister is also a member of. Another long-term member of the Downtown Dallas club, Holly Roundtree, CPA, coordinates tickets sales. Most of the club's 76 female executives can be seen working in the box office, selling T-shirts and taking tickets at each show every year, to support the effort to raise scholarship funds for deserving law students.

If you hate lawyers, love lawyers, know a lawyer or just want to hear some terrific live singing and laugh until you cry, plan to attend next year's performance of Bar None. Here’s hoping there are 30 more years of shows to come! 

Check out the Bar None Facebook page. For more information or to volunteer for next year's show see:

The Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas, Inc. meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at noon at The City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America building downtown. For more information see their Facebook page or website: The service club supports a number of local non-profits helping women and children in crisis and promoting literacy, including: Attitudes and Attire, Kids U and Meals on Wheels. To attend a future meeting contact Monica Urbaniak at: or call 214-952-5174.

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The Oak Cliff Lions Club is partnering with Methodist Medical Center to help promote their Saturday Generation programs. 

Saturday, June 20 in the Hitt Auditorium is the first in a series of special events. "BOOMERS U" will be 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

Methodist hospital suggests you “Learn how to live it up in your prime years and beyond at Boomer U! This fun, educational event will help you take charge of your wellness.  We’ve got a fantastic lineup of speakers, addressing diet, exercise, meditation and overall well-being.”

The course schedule includes:

Brainpower 101. Learn how to maintain memory and keep your mind in top condition!

Home Economics 102. A local chef will teach you how to cook up delicious, nutritious meals! Brain food instead of junk food!

Meditation Arts 103. “Lose your mind” in meditation and say so long to stress!

PE 104. No rope climbing here. Get moving in this session to improve your fitness.

Boomer U Event Activities

♦ Cooking demonstration & lunch

♦  Samplings of local restaurants 

♦  Keynote speaker from Mayo Clinic

♦  Benefits of meditation

♦  Exercising the mind and body

Join us Saturday, June 20

8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

HITT auditorium is located at 1441 N. Beckley Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201. Registration is FREE and comes with a free week’s membership at Folsom Fitness Center!

See the website: 

Questions? Please call: (214) 947-4628.

The Oak Cliff Lions Club meets Wednesdays at Noon at Weiss Auditorium on the Methodist Medical Center campus. Meetings are open to the public and the Lions invite new and veteran Oak Cliff residents to come for a visit and consider joining. The Oak Cliff Lions Club boasts over 100 community residents and business owners as members of its service organization which includes a number of elected Dallas city officials. In April the Oak Cliff Lions won the honor of "Best Club in the District."

Contact Sara Kitto for more information: or call (214) 943-9725 or see the website:


A Simpler Wedding = A More Extravagant Honeymoon!

100-year old Villa Blanca a "new" wedding site that offers more for less

It’s wedding season and the average cost of a wedding in Dallas is $24,692, which for many, is their entire annual starting salary out of college.

“That’s just ridiculous,” says professional photographer, Candice White, “I think we can do it better for less!”

White, a member of Oak Cliff Women in Business, lives in a century-old stunner of a home that sits back off the quiet street she lives on. Her 1900 adobe-styled home is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens. She rents a bedroom in the main house on Airbnb, called “Far From The Maddening Crowd.” Take a look at the space.

She sees a reason to rent more of her home – and beautiful outdoor space – to local Dallas area residents.

She hopes to help young couples - and couples who are getting married for a second time - by providing an inexpensive, but lovely, venue for a small wedding of up to 50 people.

Her “” website (Keep It Simple) is being designed and will soon be ready for the public.

Another member of the Oak Cliff Women in Business owner, Vicky Gouge, of Full Moon Design Group, is partnering with White to create wedding invitations for couples coming to Villa Blanca. Gouge believes quality does not have to be expensive. “Candice’s property is perfect for a small garden wedding,” she says. “And I’m happy to help her get the word out.” Gouge can also design party invitations for anyone wishing to use Villa Blanca for special dinners, like a rehearsal dinner the night before a wedding. “So much is done by email and Evite today,” she explains, “that paper invitations are obviously a bit superfluous.” Even so, she can design both, if necessary.

Both women want to give those who are looking for something simple, elegant and affordable a chance to have a lovely wedding, without going into debt.

White has had many dinner parties at her home - once used as a speakeasy in the roaring 20’s - and hosted meetings like the Oak Cliff Women in Business group there. “The women in that group are all about service without high expense,” she says with a laugh. “We support each-other’s businesses, and are always looking for a way to help each other be more successful, and save money.”

A local chef couple has agreed to create menus for a wedding reception, should couples want to stay at Villa Blanca for the reception after the back yard wedding, and can also cater rehearsal dinners.  Prices vary, depending on what the wedding party requests. Both professional chefs are employed during the week making food for large groups, and love experimenting on new recipes for parties of up to 50 people on the weekends.

And White is in the process of renovating her cottage on the property, to be used for the wedding party to dress, portraits of bride and bridesmaids to be taken, a bridal boudoir and even a honeymoon suite if the happy couple want to spend the night after their reception. “I’d be thrilled to have them stay the night in a quiet setting after saying goodnight to their guests.”

White adds, “We are now preparing and booking for fall and spring weddings. Give us a call for a preview and planning session!”

Sounds like a win-win for all!


Candice White can be contacted at 214-770-1934; see her website at:

Vicky Gouge can help with your invitations. Contact her at: 214-414-1069, and see her website is Her email

Villa Blanca was featured in the 2011 Oak Cliff Home Tour. See the story here:


PHOTOS: The gardens at Villa Blanca bloom nearly year-round, a perfect setting for an intimate Garden Wedding.