Featured in the Little White Book Blog

27 04 2009

The hot temperatures on Saturday reminded us of one of our favorite weddings from 2008. Remember Joan and Ben’s wedding last June? It was 90+ degrees outside but we had a fabulous time anyway. So I found out today from my the awesome duo of Anne and Bill Holland of Holland Photos Arts that Joan and Ben’s wedding is featured in the Little White Book blog! Thanks Courtney!


Glenview Mansion wedding

Taste: Main Event Catering

24 04 2009

Recently, we were invited to An Evening with the Chef at Main Event Caterers to sample their culinary capabilities and to meet their staff. My husband’s company has used Main Event for several of their corporate parties and they have always done an excellent job (best crab cakes). What a wonderful evening!  We had so much fun and went home full and happy. The event designers were friendly, the wait staff was attentive but not overbearing (we learned that a lot of their staff has been with the company a long time), and the chef was engaging and personable. The food was nothing short of amazing, beautifully presented and full of flavor.

What I like about Main Event is that they are a medium size catering company so you get very personalized attention. On the “green” front, Chef Joel has been composting for a long time. They are also more than willing to share their used cooking oil to power bio-diesel vehicles. On top of that, they really go out of their way to recycle everything and are using biodegradable disposables. See their website for more info on their environmentally responsible initiatives.

Main Event Caterers

Showing off some new tablescapes

Main Event Caterers demonstration kitchen

Demonstration kitchen. Look at the wine rack!

Main Event Caterers demonstration kitchen

Chef Joel preparing the first course of Artichhoke Soup in his demo kitchen. He also offers cooking classes.

Main Event Caterers small plates

One of the small plates of raw lasagne. check out the cool silver wavy placemat

Main Event Caterers small plates

Small plates: Mini corn & smoked chicken tomales

Main Event Caterers dessert

Dessert! Chocolate cherry shortcake

Are these dishes beautiful or what??!!

Real Wedding: Gwen & Adam Part 2

22 04 2009

If you missed the vendor recap, go to Part 1. Can you believe I forgot my camera?! I never leave home without it! So here are a few teasers from Jan Graves and more are available on her blog here and here.


Clarendon Ballroom wedding


You can see one of the altar arrangements do double duty at one of the food stations.

Apple pie at Clarendon Ballroom

Instead of a groom's cake, Adam chose apple pie, his favorite. Why not?

Real Wedding: Gwen & Adam (Part 1)

20 04 2009

The thing I remember most about this wedding is that Gwen and Adam looked happy and excited the entire day!

Church: Church of the Ascension resident at the Christ Church of Arlington.

Reception & Catering: Clarendon Ballroom. Excellent as usual. Because Gwen and Adam were going for more of a cocktail party vibe, the Ballroom did a mixture of cocktail tables, hightops, larger tables and lounge furniture! It was a fun alternative. The chef also made the cake which was moist, airy, and delicious!

Photographer: Jan Michele Photography. What I like about Jan is how proactive she is. She scouts out your ceremony and reception venues if they are locations she has not been to. She will also scout out some good locations for photos. Unlike most photographers, she also attends the ceremony rehearsal to work out any restrictions with the officiant and to meet the wedding party members. She had the photos edited and a slideshow up on her blog within 3 days! Talk about fast!

DJ: Mike Bell from MyDeejay.com. Mike did a great job.

Florist: James Cox

Makeup: Makeup by Brooke.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and the photos!

Real Wedding: Abigail & Joe (Part 2)

17 04 2009

For the vendor recap, go to Part 1.

Beautiful white wreath by Philippa Tarrant at the Holy Trinity front doors

Beautiful white wreath by Philippa Tarrant at the Holy Trinity front doors

ceremony programs


Escort card table at the Park Hyatt Hotel with floral arrangement by Philippa Tarrant

Escort Card Table

Park Hyatt ballroom with billowy fabric walls, washed with a soft amber up lights around the room and the pinspots highlighting the centerpieces

What a little pipe and drape can do to hide the otherwise boring ballroom walls. See the uplighting around the room and the pinspotting on the tall centerpieces?

Party Rentals gold grid organza overlay and gold bead clear charger

My new favorite: the gold grid organza overlay paired with the gold bead clear charger from Party Rentals. Note also the menu card and boxed favors. They were the most yummy chocolate covered pretzels.

eaTip #1 : Using a mix of hotel and rented linens help to keep the budget reasonable. You can select a few tables to highlight with specialty rental linens like we did here with the organza overlay for the sweetheart table. The cake table also got special treatment with a double layer of gold shimmer tablecloth.

Cake by Park Hyatt pastry chef

Cake by Park Hyatt pastry chef

eaTip #2 : It’s good to mix up the colors as you move from one part of the evening into another. For Abigail, her ceremony decor was mostly white/ivory. At the cocktail hour, we used the brown linens provided by the hotel. Once inside the ballroom for dinner and dancing, there were more touches of gold and deep red. While all the colors were present at each part of the event, the emphasis was on a different color at different parts of the evening. This will give you a coherent overall look but still allows you to vary things up a bit.

Sunday brunch at the Westin Grand Promenade

Sunday brunch at the Westin Grand Promenade. The floral centerpieces made a 2nd appearance too!

Real Wedding: Abigail & Joe (Part 1)

15 04 2009

Kicking off the 2009 wedding season! I’m always really anxious with the first wedding of the year. Dust off the cobwebs and off we go!

Abigail and Joe came to me via Lori Love who is Abigail’s mom’s cousin and brought back together a bunch of vendors I really love.

The forecast didn’t look good for their wedding day as we were expecting rain all day. Luckily, it never actually rained, just misting and very overcast. In retrospect, I think the bad weather kept the crowds away and kept traffic very light. It was the first weekend of Cherry Blossom season and the crowds usually cause havoc with traffic.

Photographer: Lori Love Photography. We last worked with Lori for Sarah and Jordan’s wedding in 2007 so it had been a while. Lori is creative with composition and is fun to be around in general. Lori was able to get some photos outdoors with all the beautiful trees in bloom.

DJ: Chris Laich. Chris is the ultimate professional. As usual, he kept everyone dancing, even grandpa! A little Bon Jovi always revs up a NY/NJ crowd!

Floral Designer: Philippa Tarrant. Philippa’s work is always stunning. Her designs have a very modern sensibility to them and her arrangements are always really lush and full. She did an outstanding job again this time.

Reception Venue: Park Hyatt Washington DC (Amal Zaari) Amal was really easy to work with during the planning process and I can attest to the fact that their food is outstanding. Its catering staff provided attentive service, and the guys working at the entrance were extremely helpful.

Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Courtney, their coordinator, is very helpful and you’ll be in good hands with her. Do note that Holy Trinity does schedule several weddings per day so schedule your time carefully with your ceremony and rehearsal.

Transportation: Reston Limo. My go-to transportation company. Their drivers are always on time and courteous.

Sunday Brunch: Westin Grand (Jennifer de los Reyes) Very easy to work with and accommodating.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for some of the pictures I took! Lori’s photos should be ready soon!

So you want a job with us?

13 04 2009

Recently, I have received many inquiries for part time and full time employment and for internships. Happy to oblige and I would love the help. However, I’ve seen such a lack of attention to detail (a skill absolutely necessary in this profession) with these employment inquiries that they make me wonder about the quality of the candidate! Many of these can be corrected if you just read about what you should put in your resume and how it should be presented for any job. Others are specific to this industry.

So here goes some unsolicited advice:

  • Do not put on your resume, cover letter, or introductory email that you love watching wedding-related TV shows. Come on! You expect me to take you seriously after that? Strike 1.
  • Do not just tell me that you are a newlywed and planned your own wedding and that is the only reason you give me for why I should hire you. Strike 2.
  • PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE proofread and spell check your resume and cover letter before you send it to me. Lack of attention to detail. In the toss pile. Strike 3.
  • Use my name instead of To Whom this May Concern, especially if you have just spoken to me on the phone.
  • Recent graduates, ONE PAGE RESUMES please.
  • I understand you may be looking at different kinds of jobs but please tailor your resume to an event planner position. Do some research on-line and find out the skills needed for an event planner.
  • Read this blog and read my website. It tells me that you took the time to research our company and find out what we are about. It shows that you really are interested in working with us.
  • Please be terse. Get to your point quickly. I have the attention span of a gnat. See bullet #5.