Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Beautiful Summer Evening at the Walters Art Museum

So rarely do you meet a couple who are wholly dedicated to their life’s passions. From the moment I met with them, they were very clear on the fact that they wanted a magnificent wedding that not only they, but more importantly, that their family and friends could enjoy. Because of the dedication to their work, they did not have the time or energy to plan the wedding themselves. They were looking for someone who could incorporate their love, create their vision, and bring it to a reality. Both the Bride and Groom were from the continent of Africa, and it was important for them to have a western wedding with an African flair. After producing an elaborate proposal, I immersed myself in planning an intimate affair with the sole purpose to entertain the Bride and Groom’s loved ones – all of whom will have flown around the world to celebrate this union. The venue had to be unique, opulent, distinguished, discerning, open, and light filled – and it was clear to me that there is only one Baltimore venue that would fit their needs. The Walters – a beautiful museum situated in picturesque Mount Vernon, provided all of this and more in one complete package.

Orchids abound, I used bold colors to create the backdrop to this simple yet stately affair. The Bride wore a simple silk satin gown. Simple orange Mokara orchid blooms were placed elegantly in her hair - creating a simple but unique headpiece. The custom arbor, made with a sheer ivory fabric – gathered and tied at both ends with a cluster of red hypericum berries and orange orchids hanging in the background - provided the focal point for the traditional Catholic ceremony, and later housed the sweetheart table during the reception. The Bride and Groom chairs were marked with simple wreathes made from vivid yellow button mums, tied with an orange coordinating ribbon.

While guests took pictures and enjoyed signature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres among Greek and medieval art, the ceremony was transformed into an elegant reception. Two long rectangular tables, covered with yellow overlays and finished with tall and short centerpieces of submerged orange Mokara orchids, and white Manzanita branches, provided seating for 85 guests. Each place setting was finished off with an orange folded napkin containing a custom-printed menu card – on which the Bride described her and her new Groom’s relation to each invited guest - and a single red gloriosa lily.

The food was made up of two bountiful displays of American and African fare. The, 3 tiered, 3 flavor cake was accompanied by fresh fruit, chocolate covered strawberries and an assortment of African delicacies.

Upon exiting this spectacular affair, guests were treated to a monogrammed bag containing a silk fan, personalized mints, couture Godiva chocolates, a shot glass and a customized bookmark.

Every detail was carefully considered – down to the custom designed monogram which was placed on the menu cards, bar cards, programs, cake and favors.

Floral Design by Wicked Willow, LLC -

Photography by Rachel Smith –

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Testomonial - Walters Art Museum Baltimore

Here is a lovely thank you note from a Bride! Both the Bride and Groom were busy with their "worldly" passions and did not have the time to plan their wedding. I helped them design and plan their lovely affair.

Dear Lisa,

Just to say a big and warm THANK YOU for the hard work you put into
planning our wedding. You were marvelous and the wedding turned out to
be exactly as we wanted. I was so pleased.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Home Wedding - Maryland

I had the pleasure of helping a wonderful couple and their family plan a home wedding - just 40 minutes outside of Baltimore. This wedding presented it’s own challenges in that the site was not connected to the home so we had to create a self contained venue in the middle of a field. In a year and a half time, we created a magical event.

It was the perfect setting and the absolute perfect day

Take a look at their beautiful day!

Congratulations Adrienne and Brian

Photography by Thomas Graves -


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why you need a "day of" coordinator

Is the answer to the question above obvious? How long did you spend planning your wedding? 6 months? A year? More? Odds are that you invested a lot of time, money, energy and stress into this one big day. My question for you – Why wouldn’t you want it handled and run with precision and grace?

Sadly enough, nothing is perfect. Would you rather enjoy your hair and make-up session with your Bridesmaids, Mother and Sisters, or spending the time on the phone with questions from vendors, speaking with your fiancé - who is still at the hotel because the limos are late, dealing with the florist - who delivered red, yellow and orange bouquets that are supposed to be white. Or perhaps you want to spend the morning of your wedding decorating your reception site? These are just a few of the vast number of issues that come to light on a wedding day?

I hear couples say - “but we have a coordinator that comes with the ceremony/reception site. Why would we need someone else”? Let me take a moment to list the many reasons…

1. Who is in charge of the entire day in total? Who knows your wedding, and will know what you want?

2. How many couples is your reception site coordinator dealing with on a daily basis? When calling not only caterers, but florists, reception site coordinators and photographers, they tell me that they work on weddings taking place in the next week or two. Well…if your wedding is not immediate, who is answering your questions and responding to your needs? What is the result of this on you? More stress and anxiety?

3. Who is going to be the “point” person? Who is in charge of knowing the limo drivers’ cell phone numbers, so they can be contacted when they are late or lost? How about for the hotel concierge when guests have questions on when the buses will arrive, or the address of your ceremony/reception site? Who negotiates with the florist when they delivers the personal flowers to the ceremony site instead of to the hotel? Who is going to coordinate how to get those flowers to the right place? Who is going to advocate for you when the reception site places something in the wrong place, or does not adhere to your detailed set up instructions?

4. Who is going to make sure that all the last minute details leading up to your wedding is taken care of? Who is going to make sure that you have applied for your marriage license, have prepared the place cards correctly, and makes sure that all of the people involved in the wedding knows what’s going on - prior to the day they show up at the rehearsal.

5. Who is going to speak with the vendors personally to make sure that everyone knows what’s happening on your day, hammer out any last minute details, and make last minute confirmations, while you are enjoying lunch with your Bridesmaids, making trips to the airport, or more importantly, enjoying your guests that have flown around the world to be with you?

6. Who is going to make sure that shuttle buses arrive for pick-ups and drop off’s at the right place and time?

7. Besides you, who is going to know your wedding so well, that she/he can make decisions while you enjoy your guests and reception? Who is going to make sure things run just as your envisioned they would run?

8. Who is going to know what you want for set-up and clean up while you are preparing for your day or are saying goodbye to your family and special friends?

After answering some of these questions, you will see that a day of coordinator is not a luxury, but a necessity. I present the question again - you spend a lot of time, and money, planning this important day – why wouldn’t you want it handled with professionalism? Why would you put your wedding, the largest and most important event you have ever planned, in inexperienced hands?

One more question – who knows what subtle details need to be attended to? A professional that dedicates his/her life work to weddings.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The importance of working with a travel agent

Is planning the honeymoon the best part of the wedding planning process? I have no idea, as I have never planned a honeymoon. To help you with the honeymoon portion of the planning process, I have invited a wonderful person, friend and professional to discuss the importance of utilizing the professional services of a travel agent.


In planning the perfect honeymoon, the words paradise and romance automatically filter your head. Yet, in order for those two things to happen, working with a travel agent to properly plan your honeymoon is vital when it comes to preparing for an unforgettable get-away.

First, give yourself six months to a year to plan your honeymoon. If your heart is set on traveling to the likes of Paris or Johannesburg, a year is advised; unless you are a frequent visitor of that particular destination. “Time is money!” may sound clichĂ©, but precise. Allotting ample time to plan your honeymoon will afford you more promotions, more time to save, and prevent you from having to pay rush fees. Let’s not forget experiencing less stress and yielding last minute disasters. Next, talk to newlyweds about where they spent their honeymoon. They can provide recent updates about where they spent their honeymoon and how they enjoyed their experience.

Selecting a certified travel agent is a very important task. In doing so, do your homework. Ask for referrals and be sure to do background checks. By working with an agent, you should feel at ease knowing that you are working with a professional who is knowledgeable about the travel industry. With an industry so broad and ever changing, it is a travel agent’s responsibility to stay up-to-date on current events, airline advisories, vendor updates, etc. I would never send a couple on their honeymoon to a destination experiencing political upheaval or to a resort with extremely bad service and unreliable accommodations. Agents also perform frequent site inspections. Inspections tell you the real deal. They help distinguish the difference between what the Internet reveals and what resorts and cruises really have to offer.

Agents are experienced travel advisors who are trained on the ins and outs of the industry. We have years of experience, relationships with industry vendors and resort/hotel management, and collect tons of referrals. Agents also take frequent courses and attend seminars to increase their travel knowledge and level of certification. Always be sure to inquire about certifications and how current they are. Often times, people do not want to spend the time or the money to work with an agent for many reasons. But, keep in mind, all travel agencies operate differently. So be sure to ask plenty of questions.

Now that the ring has been set and the guest list is in full effect, it’s time to contact your trusted travel agent. It’s my duty to prepare you for an experience of a lifetime!

Loren Jackson Adams, Certified Agent and Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist

P: 410-900-7440