I See Red and it’s Glorious!

29 04 2008

My Google Reader is full of blogs about planning weddings, interior design, business and local news. In many of the blogs I read, there is nothing but “Wedding Pretty,” or photos of real weddings, inspiration boards, pictures of couture dresses that nobody can afford on a real salary, progress photos of a bride working on her latest Gocco project. With so many pictures, I get sensory overload. So I scroll on, never really stopping to process what I was seeing, until today. I saw this inspiration board of red on the Wedding Chicks blog and it literally stopped me in my tracks! First, red is my favorite color. Just look at how bold each element is. Red is a great color, depending on which shade of red you use. It can be romantic, sassy, preppy, glamorous and many other adjectives. I just had to share.

a red wedding

So I took a stab at a red inspired collage.

Top left: brides.com. I just love chunky things, including these great candlesticks.

Top right: pinchmysalt.wordpress.com. Love strawberries.

Bottom Left: dkimages.com. Love spicy food.

Bottom Right: Nordstroms.com. I carried a red clutch for my wedding day.

my red inspiration board





DC ISES Capital Awards Gala 2008

28 04 2008

I always try to volunteer at various events in order to learn more from seasoned professionals and see how different events are put together. So this year, after returning home the night before at 1:30am from a wedding and having no feeling in my feet, I got up early the next day to volunteer at the DC ISES Capital Awards Gala. I had a great time volunteering last year. Held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC (we were here in 2006 for a wedding), this is an annual event that recognizes the best in the special events industry in DC. This was a huge team effort to put the whole thing together. In some of the pictures, you can see lighting, sound, floral design, hotel staff, performers, volunteers all working at the same time in the same space. It was a huge undertaking! I had the pleasure of helping Janet Flowers with the tablescapes and Jodi Moraru‘s team with setting up the VIP reception and the awards portfolio room. Here are my photos. I’ll post the professional ones when they become available.

Click on the thumbnails to learn more about each photo.





Real Wedding: Dana & Jon Part 2

27 04 2008

Click on the photos to see a description.






Real Wedding: Dana & Jon

26 04 2008

Dana & Jon are such a great couple, such grounded people. Dana is a teacher and Jon works for the Patent & Trademark Office. Both are really into music with Dana being a member of the Choral Arts Society of Washington. She has a beautiful voice and one day, I’ll catch one of the performances.

Ceremony: St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, DC – Music was the centerpiece of this ceremony. Dana got Norman Scribner, the CASW’s Artistic Direction, to play the organ and to conduct a small ensemble of Dana’s CASW friends. Although I left shortly after the start of the ceremony, their voices were beautiful during rehearsal. A big thank you to Marti, the church’s coordinator, for helping us with the ceremony. We made a great team! Although I don’t understand why wedding planners get such a bad reputation with church coordinators, I really like it when the church has a coordinator. Nobody knows the church better than he/she does, which makes my job so much easier!

{eaTip} Music was a great way to personalize Dana & Jon’s wedding. With a choir for Dana during the ceremony and a 9-piece band for Jon during the reception, the musical element was shared with all their guests as this was an important part of both their lives. In the past, we’ve also used fiddlehead ferns in various floral elements because the groom played the violin. Although they did not choose this route, we also discussed giving away coffee as a favors because their first date was at Murky Coffee! Do something meaningful and share with your guests!

Reception: Georgetown University Marriott – Dana is an alumnus of Georgetown so having her reception on campus had significant meaning to her. The GU Marriott is on the northern end of the campus next to the GU Hospital. The hotel put together a wonderful and inclusive package for them, including upgraded linens, chairs and lighting. Argee Daproza, our event manager, and her staff were wonderful to work with and very accommodating. For example, we did not have flowers for the cocktail hour and Argee had some left over from another event earlier that day and used them for our event without asking. I know Dana noticed and very appreciated the extra effort. Also, Joe, the bell captain/greeter/do-it-all man was a huge help to my assistant getting all the guests onto the buses.

Floral Design: St. Columba’s Flower Guild & Growing Wild Floral Company. The church had its own flower guild which provided the flowers for the ceremony. They did a great job and was pretty competitively priced. Growing Wild then provided the personal and reception florals arrangements, doing a great job as usual.

Band: Retrospect – Larry, the band leader, and the rest of the 9-piece band did a wonderful job, playing a variety of music to keep all the guests dancing. The guitarist also provided acoustical music during the cocktail hour. They were easy to communicate with and also learned the first dance and father/daughter dance songs, which were not in their repertoire. By booking themselves and not having to charge an agency fee, I think they are incredibly affordable for such a large band. And like Retrospect, the larger bands tend of have a horn section which I think adds another dimension to the music they can play.

{eaTip} When you have live music such as a band, you need to make the best use of its playing time. Try to plan events for the reception which don’t require live music such as dinner and toasts around when the band is on break so you can maximize the enjoyment of dancing to live music. For Dana & Jon’s wedding, we threw away the typical timeline of having dinner immediately after introductions. Instead, we opened the dance floor immediate after the first dance so that guests could get into the celebratory mood and burn off some of those hors d’oeuvres! Dinner services started after about half an hour of dancing. Contact us and we will help you get the most of your band!

Photographer: Dan Peppel, Portraits of Life Inc. – Low maintenance, efficient with portraits, brought an assistant photographer. No complaints here.

Transportation: Chariots for Hire & GU Shuttle. The limo driver from Chariots of Hire was OK. I heard from my assistant that he didn’t know where he was going and was asking her for directions. THESE PEOPLE DRIVE FOR A LIVING!! Why do they not have a GPS?? Dana & Jon encouraged guests to use the GU Shuttle Bus to get to and from the church. GU provided 3 buses for us. They are school buses so nothing fancy.

~~ Stay tuned for photos! ~~





Tag! You’re It!

25 04 2008

Laura at Soiree Special Events and Kay at Howerton & Wooten Events tagged us. This is the first time we’ve been tagged but I think this is going to be fun! Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 5 songs you are embarrassed to admit to others you like and tell why.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I’m an equal opportunity listener so I’m not actually embarrassed to admit I like the songs below.

  1. Fernando by ABBA. This was the song a client used for her father/daughter dance at the very first wedding I ever coordinated for money (it was a song they used to sing in the car on family road trips). All the guests sang along and it was honestly the happiest vibe I’ve ever felt at a wedding. Every time I hear it, it makes me smile, want to sing along and brings back such a positive, happy feeling.
  2. Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band. Just reminds me of that scene in Anchorman. Come on! How can you not sing along and laugh at the same time?!
  3. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face by Coldplay. OK this one I’m slightly embarrassed to give the reason. Hubby and I were both huge Alias fans (the TV show). They played this song during one of the scenes between Sidney and Vaughn.
  4. Always on your Side by Sheryl Crow & Sting. I just really love this song. No real reason.
  5. My Way by Frank Sinatra. My Dad’s theme song, if he had one.

Tag on! Ayr Hill Events, Julia MacInnis Photography, Ever After Visuals, Emilie Inc., Photos Unscripted,





My Trip to Riviera Maya

25 04 2008

So there is a perfectly good reason why I’ve been MIA for a while. My husband and I just got back from 6 days in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Read about my full trip report here. While I was there, I witnessed one destination wedding on the beach and saw multiple wedding groups throughout our stay. The Gran Bahia Principe Akumal has a beautiful beach area set for weddings. With such a gorgeous setting, how can you not want to get married here!





Venue Spotlight: Harman Center for the Arts

9 04 2008

The new home of the Shakespeare Theatre, Harman Center for the Arts, is a beautifully modern building. With floor-to-ceiling glass on both the 2nd and 3rd floor lobbies, there is a great view of the city below. If hosting an event, you could have dinner on one floor with dancing on another. There is a bar situated in the middle of the 2nd floor lobby. I wasn’t able to find other photos on-line of actual events so here are the ones are took while I was there to see the Washington Ballet.

We hope to tour the facility soon and give you more details!

I did also find this collage from Lara Swanson of A Softer Image Photography.

harman center lara swanson