Real Wedding: Ina & Cyrus (Part 3)

30 09 2009

oxonhillwedding8Go back to Part 1 (the intro) and Part 2 (the pictures).

Here’s the vendor reviews. On days like it was, where it was raining buckets and we had to implement the Rain Plan and everything was just wet and messy, you really value having an exceptional vendor team to make sure everything still goes smoothly.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Oxon Hill Manor. OHM is a beautiful mansion with lush gardens. It’s really a hidden gem. The challenges with this facility are that a) they have 2 events on Saturday; and b) if there is inclement weather and you need to hold a ceremony inside, the largest room holds only about 100 people. The staff is OK. They were flexible in allowing us in a bit earlier. Even though they have several event staffers, they don’t assign you one. So when you call, you never know who you will get and they are likely to not know much about your event.

Catering: R&R Catering (Natalie Seng, event designer). Good job as usual.

Photography: Laura Kay Photography. Love, love, love Laura’s approach to photography – so fresh, whimsical and fun and just a little edgy. The photos speak for themselves. Plus, she’s just a fun person to be around. Go back to Part 2  for the pictures.

Floral design & lounge furniture rental: Davinci’s Florist. At a location like OHM where you have a tight load-in time, Davinci’s was the logical choice to supply the lounge furniture, as opposed to getting a separate rental company. They were already going to be there to set up the flowers so it’s fantastic that they could offer both! The bridesmaids’ bouquets are some of my favorites all year because they were so cheerful!

DJ: Bob Artman, Artman DJs. Bob is so easy to work with and I was so relieved to have him there because I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about him at all. Great music as usual.

Salsa Lesson: Instructor from Dance Factory. Fun for all guests!

Lighting: Blue Ridge Light Forms. I worked with Larry Lustberg during the planning phase and he was fantastic. Always responsive. Our original plan was to have lanterns over the back patio. But because of the rain, the BRLF team went the extra mile to try to make the inside as nice as possible. They did uplighting in the dining room, a soft spot light for the ceremony and then changed it to a cool, rose color wash for the dance floor (in the same room). They were also able to light the outside columns. They also attempted to string some of the lanterns inside but the mansion staff wouldn’t let them. Their team is just awesome!

Hair & Makeup: Chaos Salon.

Bridal Gown: Distinctive Designs Bridal . A Pronovias design. I love Pronovias.

Alterations: Estee Livioco. Ina bought a sample which was many times larger than her dress size so I sent her to the one and only Estee, who also altered my dress. Of course she worked miracles and did a great job basically remaking Ina’s complicated dress. [Ina’s yelp review of Estee]

Real Wedding: Ina & Cyrus (Part 2)

28 09 2009

We introduced you to another one of our lovely couples, Cyrus and Ina in Part 1. Go back if you missed it.

Let’s chat about the elements of this wedding because I had so much fun working with the bride and groom putting it all together.

Wedding Style: Ina and Cyrus wanted a homey, whimsical and relaxed style to their wedding. They chose a buffet for dinner, with a mix of formal seating for their relatives and lounge furniture for their friends.

Oxon Hill Manor wedding

The Dining Room with a casually elegant feel. Photo courtesy of Laura Kay Photography

eaTip: We chose walnut folding chairs for this wedding. We considered chivari chairs too but it would have been too formal to use chivari chairs and it would have strayed away from the homey feel the couple wanted. Be consistent in each design element you choose for your wedding.

Oxon Hill Manor wedding with Davinci's Florist lounge furniture

Lounge furniture from Davinci's set up in the foyer in front of the candle lit fireplace.

Wedding Colors: we chose a soft color palette of creams/whites, sage green, a mellow yellow and a touch of brown to ground it all.

Personalization: Cyrus gets full credit for this one! To add some whimsical, personal elements to the wedding, Cyrus came up with the idea of setting textbooks they used (law for Cyrus – the thick one, and education for Ina), board games they liked to play, and music they played/sang (they both sign/play in a church music group) on the coffee tables.

Oxon Hill Manor wedding

It all makes sense for a bride who is a teacher: Composition book as a guest book. Chalk board frame. Little lunch-box type box for gift cards.

Oxon Hill Manor wedding oxonhillwedding6
Oxon Hill Manor wedding

What's with the Curious George lunchbox, you ask? Ina had this and I thought we just had to use it somehow. We tied a tag that said "Open Me" and inside the guests discovered school photos of the couple! So fun. Photo courtesy of Laura Kay Photography

Stay tuned for vendor round up!

– Vicky

Read: Transportation tips on Reston Limo Blog

25 09 2009

wedding transportation Reston Limo

When clients ask us to organize transportation for them, we almost always turn to Reston Limo. We are thrilled that they interviewed up recently for a blog post. You can read more about me and get some tips on planning for transportation. Hope you find it useful!

If you are planning an event Sunday – Thursday, buy 3 hours and get the 4th FREE for ANY Vehicle! *New reservations only. May not be combined with any other discount or offer. Based on availability.

– Vicky

Real Wedding: Ina & Cyrus (Part 1)

23 09 2009
Oxon Hill Manor wedding

One of my favorite from Laura Kay Photography. Look at the lighting on her dress. Photo courtesy of Laura Kay Photography

I’ve always thought that if you have a solid plan for inclement weather, you would never have to use it. On a Saturday in August, for the first time in my career, I had to go to the rain plan for not 1 but 2 weddings! No matter! Plan B was just as awesome as Plan A!

Ina and Cyrus are such a darling couple. You can see why they work as a couple: she the more laid back, personable one; he the more cerebral one. Ina did much of the planning herself while Cyrus finished law school in Boston, where both would be moving to after the wedding. Like many modern couples, they relied on Skype. She always sought his input, even though he wasn’t physically there. A sign of a good marriage – communication!

So back to the rain. This was the weekend Hurricane Bill had passed by our area. It was a torrential downpour. I have to tell you a secret though – I think Plan B turned out to be more magical and more intimate than the original plan! Ina and Cyrus had a great time, smiling all day long. Here’s to remembering what this day is all about!

Visit the Laura Kay Photography blog for more photos.

Stay tuned for an overview of their wedding design and vendor round up!

– Vicky

Photos from July Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown Sale

21 09 2009

Back in July, we volunteered for the 2nd year in a row at Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown Sale, a fundraising event for Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation. This year was held at the Westin Arlington Gateway, Arlington, VA.

Unlike last year where I was able to help and meet many brides, I spent most of my few hours there helping one bride in particularly. It was really great hearing about her wedding and chatting with her Mom and friends. We really bonded over the 3 hours! The bride to be had an amazing figure and found a gorgeous gown that fit her like a glove. Just before they left my station, they even snapped a photo with me! So fun!

2009 Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale Arlington, VA

Outside the lobby of the Westin Arlington Gateway ballroom

2009 Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale Arlington, VA

Brides-to-be eagerly awaiting the gowns ahead!

2009 Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale Arlington, VA

The check out area

2009 Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale Arlington, VA

Tons of wedding gowns waiting for an owner

2009 Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale Arlington, VA

My new associate Megan and I awaiting the brides.

If you missed it, the next one in the DC area will be on October 23-25 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Silver Spring, MD. Click here for more info.

We had a wonderful time volunteering at this event last year (more here) and will be volunteering again next year!