Real Wedding: A Fall Wedding at the Meridian House (Part 1)

22 12 2010

I first met Aubrey and Dave only two months before they planned to wed on October 23rd at one of our most loved venues, The Meridian House. While there was only two months until they said “I do” they had a vision and feeling of exactly how the wanted their special day to be shared.

persian wedding ceremony meridian house

Photo: Stacey Vaeth Photography

They could not have asked for better weather for an outdoor garden wedding in later October.  The ceremony was comprised of a traditional Persian ceremony, performed in Farsi, and a non-denominational ceremony.  The entire ceremony was beautiful and combined all elements that were important to Aubrey and Dave.

The cocktail hour immediately followed and Aubrey and Dave decided on the bright fall colors of green and shades of orange.  Dinner was served by Main Event, and as always, they did not disappoint.  DJ, Bryan George, did a fantastic job at keeping everyone on the dance floor too!

Stayed tuned for part 2 where  I go into the details of the ceremony and reception!


washington dc wedding meridian house

Photo: Stacey Vaeth Photography

Eat: Maggie Austin Cake

20 12 2010
Maggie Austin Cakes tasting

Me, Sara Bauleke (Bella Notte), Lisa Shulz (Posh Planner), Alex Pare (Cherry Blossom Weddings), Lee Van Buiten (Savoir Faire)

I first heard about Maggie Austin Cake one morning while watching the Today Show’s Wedding. Maggie’s cake was one of the choices for viewers to pick! Lucky for me, Lee Van Buiten of Savoir Faire Wedding Planning Services organized a tasting with Maggie a while back. As some of you may now, I’ve been dancing ballet since I was 4 years old so I was very excited to hear that Maggie used to be a ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet until an injury ended her career. After dancing, she attended pastry school and the rest is history.

maggie austin cake sample

Yummy cakes samples

[From top to bottom]

White Velvet Cake with Earl Grey Ganache & Lemon Flecked Vanilla Buttercream

Lemon & Spanish Olive Oil Pound Cake with Apricot Preserves & Fiori di Sicilia Buttercream

Vietnamese Cinnamon Cake with Hazelnut Praline & Cappuccion Buttercream

Mocha Spice Cake with Crushed Pecan & Maple Whiskey Buttercream

Double Chocolate Espresso Cake with Seville Orange & La Belle Orange Buttercream

Maggie’s combination of ingredients are so interesting and different from standard wedding cakes. While her cakes start at $10 per slice, they really are a work of art and her attention to detail is extreme. The one below is my favorite. — Vicky

Photo: Maggie Austin Cake. This is the Dogwood+Ruffles cake featured on the Today Show. The dogwood and ruffles detailing is incredible. A great example of Maggie's work.


Welcome Parties: Mad Fox Brewing Company, Falls Church

15 12 2010
Mad Fox Brewing Company falls church VA

The Saloon section of the Mad Fox Brewing Company

Venue: Mad Fox Brewing Company, Falls Church, VA

Food & Drink: Mad Fox features fresh seasonal and local ingredients with a chef-driven menu that features pizza, panini, salads, meats and vegetarian friendly foods. The beer is brewed in-house (you’ll see the tanks as you walk into the bar/restaurant)

Welcome Party Option: The Saloon area is located along West Broad Street, physically separated from the rest of the restaurant.  It has a fireplace, banquette, bar stool seating, and table seating. Groups can reserve the Saloon for private events, with a total seated capacity of 50.


  • Free garage parking
  • Semi-private space. Pretty spacious for a larger group
  • Great food and drinks options (especially for beer lovers)


  • No Metro rail access
  • Not within 1 mile of any major hotels (3 miles east of Tysons Corner)
  • Not near any major reception sites

Real Wedding: Coppery Fall Jewish Wedding at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

13 12 2010

ketubah jewish wedding ceremony meadowlark

Photo: Elaine Studley, Hay McKenna Photography

At the beginning of October, we had a pleasure of coordinating Jennifer and Alan’s wedding at the beautiful Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. Their lunch-time wedding was featured in All The Right Ingredients, Windows Catering Company’s blog. Windows did a great job with the food and Nicole Gutierrez was a pleasure to work with. More to come! — Vicky

Sneak Peek: Bejeweled Modern Wedding in DC

8 12 2010
Newseum wedding reception parents dance

Photo: Garrett Hubbard

“Hi Vicky! I’ll write you more after we get back from Thailand, but I wanted to send a quick note for helping so much with our wedding. We truly appreciate the work you and your staff did … Our wedding … was flawless! Thanks again! Love, Lauren”

Stay tuned. We’ve given you quite a few sneak peaks lately while we await the full set of professional photos to become available. We promise it’ll be worth the wait — Vicky

Rehearsal Dinner: Lyon Hall, Arlington

6 12 2010

First up is a place in my neighborhood.

lyon hall arlington private dining rehearsal dinner

Photo: Lyon Hall

Venue: Lyon Hall, Arlington, VA. Clarendon neighborhood at corner of Washington Blvd & Highland Street.

Food & Drink: Brought to you by the Arlington based group that also own The Liberty Tavern and Northside Social, this “casual & affordable neighborhood French brasserie” serves “approachable Alsatian-inspired fare, including … house-made charcuterie and sausages. The affordable wine list focuses on French selections, while the impressive beer list offers an extensive selection of European drafts and bottles.”

Private Dining Options: There is a private 2nd floor dining room, with its own bar, that could seat about 30 people and about 50 people standing.

lyon hall arlington private dining rehearsal dinner

Photo: Vicky Choy

Transit & Parking: Clarendon Metro rail stop on Orange line. Metered street parking (mostly free after 6pm) or garages nearby.


  • Great food & beverage options
  • Walking distance to Metro rail stop
  • Private bar
  • Near other local places for any “Welcome Party” options


  • No dedicated parking
  • Not within walking distance to any hotels
  • Not suitable for larger groups

— Vicky


Rehearsal Dinners & Welcome Parties: Intro

1 12 2010

Here are some resources to get you started to planning your rehearsal dinner and welcome party:

Rehearsal Dinners

Rehearsal dinners usually occur after the ceremony rehearsal the day before the wedding. Those invited include your attendants plus their significant others, immediate families and grandparents of both sides, and if there are children involved in the ceremony, the children plus their parents. Some couples also include extended families.

Restaurants – Restaurants are a natural choice for rehearsal dinners. The Metro DC area has so many great restaurants Depending on the size of your group, most restaurants can accommodate a private party of some sort, either in a completely separate space or semi-private space.

  • has a new feature listing Private Dining options of their member restaurants.
  • In the back of each Zagat Guide is the Special Features section which includes a section for restaurants with Private Rooms
  • Subscribe to our blog as we explore the restaurant options in the DC area!

Special Events Venues – any venue you might have considered for your wedding reception is a possible option as well.

Welcome Parties

Many couples today choose to host a Welcome Party in order to spend more time with their guests. While it is not practical to invite all your guests to your rehearsal dinner, you could have an open invitation to the Welcome Party. Here are things to think about:

  • Timing – Schedule something after dinner for 2-3 hours. If you think your dinner might run late, make sure somebody from your party can show up early to greet guests. Make sure you yourselves don’t stay too late so that you can get a good night sleep before the wedding day.
  • Food & Beverage – with the party late enough, I don’t think it’s necessary to provide food, unless you want to provide dessert or snacks. If you are at a restaurant or bar, I think it’s perfectly OK to have everyone pay for themselves. If you want to host a portion of the food and beverage, that’s OK too except don’t forget to budget for it. For example, my husband and I hosted a Welcome Party at Continental Pool Lounge in Rosslyn. The bar reserved several pool tables for us. We paid for that but our guests paid for their own drinks. We had a blast hanging out with our friends in a more casual atmosphere.

Bars – Bars are a natural gathering place and some will allow you to rope off an area just for your private party.

Private homes – We’ve also had a few clients whose friends or families offered to host a Welcome Party.

We’ve reviewed some venues in the past. Here is a summary:

Trummers on Main, Clifton, VA

Boulevard Woodgrill, Arlington, VA

Lorien Hotel, Alexandria, VA

Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC

— Hope you will enjoy this series and find it useful! Vicky