Real Wedding: Classic Fall in Arlington (Part 1)

22 03 2010
Georgetown DC wedding bride and groom

Bride and Groom with Georgetown cityscape just before sunset. Photo by Rob Holley

Fate strikes again! In February 2008, I volunteered for Brides Against Breast Cancer and worked in the dressing room helping brides-to-be try on different gowns. In walks Lauren. She had just gotten engaged the weekend before and decided to come over during her lunch hour to try on some dresses. We really hit it off and I wished her well once she found a dress she liked. Flash forward to a year later, Lauren remembered me and contacted me to help her with her wedding!

Lauren and Matt had a gorgeous day late in the fall with sunshine and just a slight chill in the air.

wedding reception Washington Golf and Country Club fall

The beautiful ballroom at Washington Golf & Country Club all set for the dinner reception. Focusing on fall colors, the chocolate brown linens anchored centerpieces of orange, yellow and green flowers. Photo by Rob Holley

Fluffy Thoughts wedding cake dark ganarche with gold swirl

Another beautiful cake by Lara Stuckey of Fluffy Thoughts using a golden swirl pattern on dark ganache, reminiscent of the pattern on the invitations. Photo by Rob Holley

Go to Rob Holley’s blog for more photos from this fall wedding. Look at the photo of the bride with her father outside the church. Now, look between her Dad’s right leg and the bride. See me hiding behind them trying to stay out of the shot? Just noticed it myself.

Stay tuned for more — Vicky

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Real Wedding: Colorful Fusion at Glen Echo Park (Part 3)

19 03 2010
glen echo park wedding bride and groom dancing

Photo: Joseph Allen Photography

Go back if you missed Part 1 (the intro) and Part 2 (the design).

There is a statistic out there somewhere that says, on average, 43 businesses are involved with producing a wedding. It sure felt like it! Sorry for the long post below.

Ceremony Venue: Oxon Hill Manor. [Read about my previous review here] Because of the rain, we had to move the ceremony indoors, which is not really ideal for 130+ people. We had a mandap that took up some space and a large (16) wedding party so that reduced the seating capacity of the room we used. We were able to have some additional seating in the other rooms in spots where the guests could still see the ceremony taking place. As I mentioned in a previous post, the event staff is challenging to work with. Even though they requested floor plans, and I submitted very detailed ones, I noticed that they had set up the chairs incorrectly in the gardens. Had the weather permitted us to have the ceremony outdoors, my staff and I would have had to rearrange the chairs.

Reception Venue: Glen Echo Park, Bumper Car Pavilion and Cuddle Up [Emily Mah]. Emily is really easy to work with and very helpful. When we heard how much rain we were going to have, she came through with allowing the photographer and the wedding party to take photos inside the Spanish Ballroom and the results were amazing! The carousel is also a great photo op. There is a ranger on site during your event in case you need help. Even though we had a bus service for the wedding party, the Cuddle Up and Bumper Car Pavilion are very far from the parking lot. Keep this in mind if you have guests that have trouble walking. There is a closer entrance (near the rail car), but even that wasn’t close enough when it’s raining cats and dogs. Also know that your caterer will need a tent adjacent to the Bumper Car Pavilion.

Caterer: Windows Catering. [We worked with Danielle Couick, who is now with Evoke]. Because the couple was interested in a mix of Indian and American cuisine and also need great vegetarian options, we really needed a caterer that could handle it all. Windows made the whole process very easy. They work with an Indian caterer (not a restaurant) and was able to design a menu that fit all out needs. I’m looking forward to working with Windows again this fall with Nicole.

Photographer: Joseph Allen. The groom knew Joseph from the charity work they had done together in the past and Joseph had photographed one of their friend’s wedding so it was a natural choice. Joseph has an incredible eye, especially the portraits of the bride and groom. They had a magazine-editorial styling that were just gorgeous. He worked really hard that day and never once complained about the conditions.

Floral Designer: Urban Petals, Sarah von Pollaro. The bride gave some general ideas to Sarah and she ran with it. The results were a vibrant mix of flowers that tied together all the colors we used.

Band: The Mustangs. This was the first time a client of mine has expressed that music was their top priority. It’s usually in the top 5 but rarely #1. Luckily, the couple had heard the band play before and loved their energy. They wanted a band that can do great Motown, has great musicians, and just look like they love performing without being cheesy. They delivered!

Hindu Ceremony Decorator: Prabha Bhambri. It’s too bad we didn’t end up having the ceremony outdoors. Prabha has these beautiful market umbrellas (that happened to be in our color scheme) that we were going to be placed throughout the patio to shield the guests from sunshine. We ended up creating a pathway with them inside the foyer of the house but it just wasn’t the same.

Ceremony DJ: Bob Artman, Artman DJs.

Rehearsal Dinner: The City Tavern Club

Save-the-Date Cards, Ceremony Programs, Table Numbers: Event Accomplished. I had featured their paper set in this previous post.

Transportation: Reston Limo (large bus and sedan service). I really made my rep, Dan Oh, work hard for this wedding. He helped priced out various scenarios I had came up with and was very patient. We had anticipated a guest who would be using a wheelchair and had reserved a handicapped accessible bus. The hotel where the guests were staying was located on a one-way street in DC with its entrance on the left side of the street. Our bus driver called me prior to arriving at the hotel to say that he was almost there but that it would be unsafe for the wheelchair-bound guest to get on the bus since the bus door was on the right hand side and the guest would be exposed to oncoming traffic. I didn’t even think of that! Unfortunately, the guest decided not to attend the wedding. But I’m sure that if she did, the driver would have suggested a safer solution for us.

Rentals: Perfect Settings

Wedding Invitations: Papeterie

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Hair Styling: Andre Chreky Salon

Makeup Artist: Wanda Sossa

Phew! Catching up on more real weddings next week! Have a great weekend, Vicky





Real Wedding: Colorful Fusion at Glen Echo Park (Part 2)

17 03 2010

Back in Part 1, we began the story of Erin and Koonal’s wedding.  Working with two very stylish people, I knew we would come up with a concept for their wedding that embraced everything about the two of them.

Style Inspiration: This wedding was truly the definition of a fusion wedding in every sense of the word. The wedding was a perfect mix of Erin and Koonal’s personal styles, which are more urban and trendy with a tiny mix of preppy, and their individual backgrounds. All of which were reflected in every choice they made.

Glen Echo Park Bumper Car Pavilion Wedding

The Bumper Car Pavilion set for dinner and dancing

With a highly stylized venue like Glen Echo Park, there is a fine line between coming up a with a look that worked with, rather than fight against, the character of the space and a look that can be seen as kitschy. Thoughts of Cotton Candy or Popcorn carts came to mind but we decided to be inspired by the park rather than replicate it.  The table numbers had an illustration of a bumper car, which was the closest we got to anything park related. The bride wanted a ‘stylish country’ feel so we used chicken wire fencing as the backing for holding the escort cards, which had a photo of each guest with the bride or groom. The hanging round paper lanterns helped to make the space feel more intimate.

bumper car illustration table number

Can you see the bumper car illustration amidst the flowers? Our talented graphic designer embedded the table number in the bumper car!

escort cards clipped to chicken wire

Guests looking for their table assignments. Each escort card had a photo of the guest with the bride or groom.


Colors: The colors for the wedding were inspired by the two different color shawls worn by the bridesmaids. One had orange and fuchsia, and the other had teal and purple. These vibrant colors are prominent in Hindu wedding decor and attire, a nod to the groom’s heritage. We used them throughout in the ceremony decor, all the paper products [click here to see their design set], the flowers, the linens, and the lanterns. We used teal and purple linens for cocktail hour and then orange and fuchsia linens for dinner. The white napkins and chairs calmed the vibrant colors.

colorful silk wraps

Close up of the wraps worn by the bridesmaids that inspired the whole color palette.

The Setting: For the ceremony, Erin and Koonal wanted to honor their respective families and treat it as a sacred and reverential experience. Because they wanted it to be more formal, they chose Oxon Hill Manor and its beautiful mansion and grounds. We completely switched gears for the reception. Erin and Koonal wanted this part of the celebration to be much more casual and relaxed so they chose Glen Echo Park. What a hidden gem! Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served in the Cuddle Up, while dinner and dancing were held in a former Bumper Car Pavilion.

Glen Echo Park Cuddle Up for wedding cocktail hour

Cocktail hour in the Cuddle Up

Glen Echo Park Bumper Car Pavilion night wedding reception

Bumper Car Pavilion lit up at night

Wedding ceremony – The ceremony took place under a mandap and was performed by a Lutheran minister and a Hindu priest. The groom and his family began with a bharat, a processional with joyous music and dancing. [Read more about Hindu weddings here] During the ceremony, the couple lit a unity candle. The basic structure of the ceremony was a Lutheran ceremony with important Hindu elements inserted. It all worked really well together. I really enjoy fusion ceremonies and seeing how two different religions combine at the joining of two people.

Oxon Hill Manor Hindu wedding bharat

The groom's family led the bharat and was soon to be greeted by the bride's family.

Oxon Hill Manor Hindu wedding

Due to rain, we had to move the ceremony indoors. Otherwise, it would have taken place out in the gorgeous gardens

Food: With the bride and groom and a number of their guests being vegetarians, we had a great time working with Windows Catering on coming up with a menu. The final menu had a balanced selections of Indian and American flavors, ending with a sundae bar perfect for summer weddings.

Stay tuned for Part 3, the vendor roundup! — Vicky

All Photos (except the one of the wraps): Joseph Allen Photography





Real Wedding: Colorful Fusion at Glen Echo Park (Part 1)

11 03 2010

Glen Echo Park wedding brideRemember the weekend Hurricane Bill passed by our area last summer? While the torrential downpour made for a messy day, it did not dampen the spirits of our couple and their guests!

It was fate that brought Erin, Koonal and me together but I am so honored that they chose me as their wedding planner. Erin and Koonal are lovely people and by the way they look at each other, you can tell how much they adore one another. I admire their work ethic in their respective jobs, their sense of style and totally envious of their modern and sleek condo. It’s clients like them that makes me so happy that I chose this profession.

Come back next week to read about the overall wedding design style and the vendor reviews.

I want to extend my gratitude to my incredibly talented and hard working team, especially Juanice, Megan and Melanie.  Despite the incredibly amount of work we had and monsoon-like weather, none of them complained about how wet they were and was completely focused on assisting (and shielding) the guests and our vendor teams.

— Vicky





Trummer’s On Main restaurant, Clifton, VA

9 03 2010

One of the first weddings I ever coordinated was held at the Hermitage Inn in Clifton, VA. The Hermitage Inn closed a while back and now has new owners, who completely transformed the dated restaurant into a beautiful space named Trummer’s On Main. With several private dining options, the restaurant now is a great choice for intimate weddings,  for rehearsal dinners or for a post-wedding brunch.

Tip: Trummer’s On Main shares a parking lot with the Clifton Presbyterian Church. You can have your wedding ceremony at the church and then walk over for your reception!

Thank you to Ryan Francis (Private Events Manager), Chef Clayton Miller, the Trummers and Tyler Packwood (Sommelier) for hosting us. Special kudos also for selecting a Barboursville Vineyard (near Charlottesville, VA) Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as their house wines.

Trummers on Main private dining wedding Clifton

The light-filled Winter Garden Dining Room seats up to 90 people. There is an outdoor patio attached and a platform area that can be used as a stage.

Trummers on Main private dining wedding Clifton

Gallery Room 65 seated

Trummers on Main private dining wedding Clifton

Loft Dining Room 55 seated

Trummers on Main private dining wedding Clifton

Tasting Room 14

All photos from Trummer's On Main