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! ~~

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