Preschool sweethearts crowd-surf and shoot tequila at fanciest frat-party wedding in Dallas
If frat parties had professional event planners, they might look something like Josh and Courtney Katz's wedding.
For their big day on November 17, 2018, the bride and groom envisioned throwing “the fanciest frat party of all time.” Event planner Jeffrey Kollinger delivered with countless details reflecting the couple's playful personalities.
"I wanted a party," says Courtney. "There was nothing cookie-cutter about it. My friends and family brought an energy that's not possible to re-create. We have memories to last a lifetime. It was the most magical night of our lives."
In fact, it was a night that was years in the making — 26 years, to be exact.
Preschool classmates, Josh Katz and Courtney Chanon had run in the same circles their entire lives. In college, Josh acted as pledge master to Courtney's brother. After college, he roomed with her best friend. The couple started dating shortly thereafter, and Josh put a ring on it on December 29, 2017.
"We had just signed a lease to move in together," Courtney says of the proposal. "He told me we had to take measurements for an interior designer, and I was so annoyed. Begrudgingly, I walked into the most gorgeous room, decorated with massive balloons that said, 'Marry Me?' We partied the rest of the night with those we love at Standard Pour, where he'd decorated the patio with balloons that read, 'Engaged AF.'"
That night, family and friends got a preview of what to expect on the wedding day. Courtney’s mother and Kollinger took charge of much of the planning, giving Courtney and Josh time to focus on the fun stuff, like food, drinks, and music.
The ceremony took place at Congregation Shearith Israel, where Courtney’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father all served as past presidents, and it was traditional from beginning to end — well, sort of.
The men wore cheetah-print Kippahs, and the wedding party threw back shots of Don Julio 1942 Tequila before heading down the aisle.
Eschewing tradition, Dallas String Quartet serenaded guests on electric strings with tunes by Drake, Bruno Mars, Chamillionaire, and Ellie Goulding.
Following a brief cocktail hour, the bride and groom greeted their guests at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas for a reception no one will forget.
GRO Floral and Event Design brought their A game with numerous custom floral arrangements. A glittering rose-gold dance floor featuring custom stages centered the room, serving as the main attraction throughout the night.
"Walking into the reception was magical," says Courtney. "No matter where you took a picture in the room, you had a gorgeous backdrop. And most importantly, there was a bar in each corner with custom Styrofoam cups. I made sure there wasn't glass anywhere; it's the biggest wedding party foul when someone drops their glass on the dance floor."
Emerald City Band played all night long, and toward the end of the evening, guests were served vodka- and tequila-soaked gummy bears, test-tube shooters, and Jello shot syringes.
"My favorite moment of the night was when I went crowd-surfing," says Courtney. "My mother's face was priceless. I didn't want the party to stop."
Wedding planner: Jeffrey Kollinger
Ceremony venue: Congregation Shearith Israel
Reception venue: TheRitz-Carlton
Flowers: GRO Floral & Event Design
Hair: Sonia Trevino Hair
Makeup: My Fabulous Faces
Photography: John Cain Photography
Videography: Elixir Entertainment
Live painter: Tanner Lawley Art
Entertainment: Emerald City Band
Ceremony music: Dallas String Quartet
Dance floor: DFW Dance Floors
Cake: TheRitz-Carlton Dallas
Neon sign: Shag Carpet
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