Crate & Barrel $100k Ultimate Wedding Contest

24 02 2010

Crate & Barrel and Daily Candy are hosting a contest to win a $100,000 Ultimate Wedding planned and designed by celebrity planner Jo Gartin. Here are their other prizes:

2nd Prize One $7500 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

3rd Prize One $2500 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

Honorable Mention 15 winners will each receive a $1000 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

Popular Vote Winner The highest vote–getter will receive a $500 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

Not bad! Who couldn’t use a gift card from Crate & Barrel?  Contest ends March 31, 2010.

Good luck! Vicky


Punk Rock Bride Giveaway & Special Offer

23 02 2010

Remember our visit with Stephanie of Punk Rock Bride?

To celebrate the launch of her 2010 collection, Stephanie is throwing a party! She is giving 10 ladies tickets to the launch party and 20% off any dress!

To enter the giveaway, go to A Foxy Wedding blog!

Good luck, Vicky

Bialek’s Music Showcases 2/27-2/28

22 02 2010

You are cordially invited to attend one of the following Bridal Shows below to meet Bialek’s Music, as well as some other great vendors! After you decide which show you’d like to attend, please email them at to RSVP.

Saturday, February 27th

Ft. Belvoir Officers Club – 11:00am-1:30pm – FREE! Must reply to RSVP
Featuring Invitation Band and DJ Debbie Bulles

Sunday, February 28th

Marriott Crystal City – 11:00am-3:00pm – FREE! Must reply to RSVP
Featuring Mixed Company Band and DJ Michael Valenti

Marriott Crystal Gateway – 11:00am-3:00pm – FREE! Must reply to RSVP
Featuring Doctors Orders Band and Ray Bialek

Marriott Key Bridge – 11:00am-3:00pm- FREE! Must reply to RSVP
Featuring DJ Dan Goldman

R&R Caterers Tasting – 12:00pm-3:00pm
Featuring DJ Brennan Sullivan
Located at the Harbour View Event Center
13200 Marina Way
Woodbridge, VA 22191

Marriott Metro Center – 11:00am-3:00pm
Featuring Harpist Gail Shanta

Mixed Company BandDoctors Orders Band Invitation Band

Newly Engaged Starter Guide Part 4: Keys to Success

19 02 2010

Go back and read Part 1 (Words of Wisdom),  Part 2 (the Big Picture), and Part 3 (Money).

Maybe a better title for this post is How to Plan a Wedding without Killing Each Other? All jokes aside, weddings bring out the best and worst in people probably because everything about it is so emotionally charged.

Here are my Top 5 Keys to Successful Wedding Planning:

  1. Prioritize. We talked about prioritizing when discussing the wedding budget and assigning more budget to those items that are on the top of your list. It does not stop with budgeting money. Prioritizing also applies to your time – so spending more time on planning your higher priority items and less time, if any at all, on those you don’t care as much about. On the less important items, trust the professionals that you hired and let them handle it. The bottom line here is that you don’t have a limitless budget and you don’t have a lot of time and you are not the Energizer Bunny. You want to make your budget and time work as efficiently for you as possible.
  2. Compromise. It takes two to be in a marriage and that begins when you start planning your wedding. There are two of you, two opinions and two sets of priorities. Chances are you will not agree on everything. Be ready to pick your battles.
  3. Organize. Planning a wedding is a big project with many pieces. It can all get out of control really quickly so it is crucial that you get organized and stay organized. Whether you do it electronically or using binder/folder system, select a method that will help you corral all the information packages, proposals and contracts you will be receiving. Set up a separate email account for wedding related emails to keep them from being mixed up with your other emails. When you purchase items for your wedding, designate a box/area/room for these items.
  4. Communicate. Communication is extremely important, not only with each other but with your family, friends and the wedding professionals you hire. Your vendors will appreciate you expressing your expectations and concerns. It allows us to do our job better and to provide you with better service. As a wedding planner, I get phone calls frequently from brides and grooms alike venting about each other or about a family member, and I find myself ending many of those conversations with “have you told this person what you just told me?” If you try to communicate and you hit an impasse, you might need to seek an impartial third party to help. I have had clients who attend pre-martial or couples counseling while planning their weddings and they have all said that those sessions were helpful.
  5. Perspective. Constantly remind yourselves what this wedding is all about. Like it or not, it is not about finding that perfect favor to give to your guests. Amidst all the planning, you can easily lose yourselves. I suggest having date nights or even weekend getaways where you are forbidden to talk about the wedding and decompress a bit.

Now that you are all prepared to plan your wedding, be sure to subscribe to our blog for more helpful tips. Looking for practical information? Want to read about the behind the scenes at read weddings? Want to know the truth about a vendor? Be sure to read our series of Real Weddings. As always, we are here to help so contact us!

Have fun! Vicky

Band Showcase with Elan Artists

18 02 2010

Tuesday February 23rd, 2010  7:30PM prompt start
Omega Studios – Rockville

Featured bands:  Nation & Truth Groove
Elan Artists Bands Recently Featured In Martha Stewart Weddings 15th Anniversary Issue…
Hear your areas top dance bands perform live.  Each band performs a cross section of music from classics to contemporary.  Hip, sophisticated, and affordable.  Our bands personalize each performance and have zero cheese factor.  Meet band leaders and musicians directly and get a feeling for style, personality and quality. 
Email us to check band availability for your date.  RSVP is strongly requested.
Omega Studios
5609 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
888.800.3526 or
Admission Free – RSVP Requested

Preview groups at

Wedding First Dance and your Marriage

10 02 2010

Hi friends, I promise that I will conclude the Newly Engaged Starter Guide this week! If you just can’t wait, take a break from shoveling snow and go back and read Part 1 (Words of wisdom), Part 2 (The Big Picture), and Part 3 (Money).  Today’s post is about learning to do your wedding first dance and its implications on the wedding planning process and your marriage. How? Read on.

My friend Amy Jean of The Relentless Bride fame is getting married next month and is taking dance lesson with her fiancé for their first dance with Deborah Joy Block at The Wedding Dance Specialists. She is writing a “she said, he said” style series on their experiences learning their first dance on her blog, each describing his/her own perspective.

I love this series because I am a firm believer that ballroom dancing lessons, regardless of whether you are taking them to learn your first dance, are like marriage counseling. There is a reason it’s called partner dancing and I try to encourage all engaged couples to try it. They offer insights, a microcosm even, into how relationships work.

Give and Take. I am a control freak, worsened by the fact that I’ve danced ballet since I was 4 and ballroom since college. So when we started lessons, I always wanted to lead and became very frustrated when John couldn’t pick up the steps fast enough. But I soon realized that if I wanted him to dance with me until we’re 90 years old, I’m going to have to grow some patience, bite my tongue and keep encouraging him. I tell him he’s doing great when he makes even the slightest improvement and even when he’s not.  He has never done instructional dancing before and being the man, he has to learn how to lead me besides figuring out his footwork. After a while, John gained more confidence about his ability to lead and to master his own steps that he was more proud of himself and wanted to show off to his friends! The point is – you give a little and you take a little in your relationship.

Teamwork & Communication. You learn how to work together to conquer a difficult task. When challenged with a new and seemingly daunting combination, we like to ignore the music and break down each step very slowly until we get it right. Then we do it to music. As we try to work out the dance moves, he tells me to take bigger steps and I tell him to not lift his arm so high. We try to communicate what each of us need the other to do in a neutral tone so that together, the steps feel right and look good. We each have our own good days and bad days and some days, he has to help me and other days I have to help him. The point is – communicate.

Date Night.  Thursday night is our standing date night when we have our ballroom class and we never practice outside of class. Since we don’t intend on entering any competitions anytime soon, we keep it fun for ourselves and not take it so seriously. When life gets hectic, especially when planning a wedding, we could count on having one night where we were doing something together. You learn to just be in the moment, focus on each other, enjoy some rockin’ music, and forget about the world. We started ballroom lessons 10 years ago, several years before we actually got married, and we are still dancing.

Doing our wedding first dance - a rumba to Al Green's Let's Stay Together.

Go try it! Vicky

DC Couture Wedding Consortium Bridal Show this Saturday!

2 02 2010

Don’t miss the Washington DC Couture Wedding Consortium’s 2nd Annual Luxury Bridal Show at the Decatur House Museum on this Saturday!

Featuring Dresses from Punk Rock Bride & The Cotton Bride

The following bloggers will be there: Emily Newman from Once Wed, Nole Garey from O So Beautiful Paper, District Weddings, and Amy Jean Chung from The Relentless Bride, as well as our favorite Custom Garter Gal Julianne Smith.

Valet Parking will be provided by Marc Parc

The following vendors from the DC Couture Wedding Consortium will be present:

Wedding Planners

Elegance & Simplicity, Inc.

Bella Notte

Something Fabulous


Occasions Caterers


Documentary Associates

Baltazar Photography

The Observatory

Cake Designers

Cake by Design

Kendall’s Cakes


Music & Entertainment

MSE Productions

Disc Jockeys On Call

Bialek’s Music


Jessica Pi Productions

Blue Sky Films

Marry Me Live

Rental Companies

Ampa Events

Sugar Plum Tent Company

Table Manners

Hair & Make-up

Elegant Hair by Giselle

Carola Myers

Wedding Style Consultants

Polished Image & Style