Monday, November 30, 2009

A Night of Enchantment

Washington DC in March is one of the most beautiful places. New life abound – the cherry blossoms blooming – a first hand view of Washington DC’s most stunning monuments. With the floor to ceiling atrium windows, I cannot imagine a more beautiful wedding reception than treating your guests to a front row view of Washington DC -while cruising around the Potomac. This is exactly what this couple treated their 150 guests to – a night of enchantment.

This wonderful couple, brought together by fate, came from two entirely different backgrounds – hers Korean – and his American, but both totally in love. They combined their love to treat their guests to a multicultural affair that both they and their guests will forever remember. Adorned in a beautiful designer gown and him in a tux, they renewed their vows in high fashion-while docked in Washington DC’s SE side, known for its great harbor and even better seafood. After the ceremony, the ship “set sail” to a cruise of magnificent proportions.

After an abundant cocktail hour of heavy Hors D’oeuvres and drink, guests were able to order of menus and feasted on a 3 course meal fit for kings/queens! While eating, the Bride and Groom partook in many traditional wedding rituals; such as, the First dance and parent dances. After dinner, the 5 piece band opened the floor to all guests!

The Bride and Groom cut their simple 3 tiered cake, and quickly went to change for the traditional Korean bowing ceremony. Guests were treated to an elegant Chocolate Foutain, with a variety of fresh fruit and sweets as an accompaniment to the delicous yellow wedding cake.

Dressed in traditional Hanbok, the Bride and Groom made their way from table to table and bowed, offering thanks and respect to all of their guests. After the bowing ceremony, the Bride and Groom cut the traditional Korean Rice Cake, which we distributed with traditional Korean desserts as guests exited the vessel.

The night seemed to end as soon as it started. The simple set up lead to a magnificent evening full of light, love, Washington DC sites, but more importantly a memorable occasion for all!

Photography by Marais Studios

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Bouquets of Elegant Event Planning and Design

This is going to be a beautiful entry. Check out all of our clients' gorgeous bouquets. I hope you are able to get some fabulous ideas! It looks like roses have been very popular over the years.

White and black was the flavor for the evening. A simple nosegay of white roses with just a hint of pink makes for a beautiful Virginia evening. Look at the flower in her hair!

Gentle pink tones was the color scheme, but the pure white nosegay sets off her elegant, but simple look.

For a tall sophisticated bride, this is a very classic choice. This Bride had a Burgundy theme for their wedding.

Brides' love hot pink. These casual Gerber Daisies really set off this more nice home wedding.

Simple white and greenery makes for a classic wedding.

Red, yellow and orange has been very popular this year for us! Here is a non-formed nosegay of red, yellow and orange. Bridesmaids carried button mums.

Hot pink roses with a collar of greens.

Stately blue hydrangea and ivory roses set off this very elegant wedding.

A yellow and blue colors scheme with jewels and swans. We put tiny jewels in this bouquet. If you had heirloom jewelry, that would be perfect in a bouquet like this.

This wedding was in Newport, RI. She wanted things colorful! This large nosegay was hot pink, orange and Green - roses abound. On her tables, we had different colored silk overlays. It was gorgeous!

This Bride loved pink, so we designed a simple rose nosegay of pink and ivory.

Her colors were celedon and blue. We used celedon orchids with hints of pink, and then used hot pink for her accent color. The Bridesmaids carried blue and celedon hydrangea.

Her colors were Ivory, cappuccino, and celedon. We used ivory with a hint of light green roses to make the bouquet pop.

Her colors were ivory and hunter. Since Ivory doesn't "pop" from a white dress, we used peach to bring it out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cutting Wedding Costs - A Comprehensive List

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and the entrance into the season which is not known for "saving" - here is a list of suggestions on how to cut your wedding costs.

1. Cut the guest list - if possible. Sometimes it's not possible due to family situations etc. This is the number 1 way of cutting costs.

2. Freelance photographer – A great “freelance” photographer might fit the bill. Often, the wedding is looked through a fresh and creative lens. Expensive back-end costs are often reduced. Warning – if a professional album is your goal, this might not be a viable option for you. Tip - one might even reduce their cost, for a chance at getting a great wedding in their portfolio!

3. Trunk shows and sample sales are great!

4. Opting for a smaller "show" cake and offering sheet cakes in the back.

5. Cutting the alcohol out of your bar (they will survive one night, I promise). Nobody is saying that you have to offer, but if you offer it - you should pay for it.

6. Choosing a venue that has table, chairs, glassware, silver, etc. Covering the chairs is not as expensive as renting ones (if you find an economic rental solution. Don’t rent the covers through the venue).

7. Choosing a venue you are happy with, decor wise - choosing a venue that you do not like because it’s inexpensive, and then paying twice the rental fee in decor - is not a good plan.

8. Cutting out favors, or combining favors and place cards into one offering.

10. Make every aspect of your wedding matter. Follow this rule of thumb, “don’t just do it because you think you “need’ to do it. Do it because it has a significance to you, your fiancĂ©, your families (collectively) and your guests”. Make the significance known to everyone.

9. Downsize your wedding party (or no wedding party at all).

10. Ceremony and reception in one place - no need to transport yourselves and/or your guests.

11. Renting instead of buying. Check prices. You will only use this stuff once, and renting will eliminate the need to sell afterwards.

12. Getting married during the “off” season. Many vendors would love to work early December, January and February - when things are typically quiet. They might even offer you a terrific deal if you give them your wedding!

13. Custom made dress as opposed to buying a gown at a bridal salon. I had a bride who loved a $3,500.00 dress. We got a dress made out of "real" silk satin, a cathedral veil which was lined in the same fabric, and a bolero jacket - all for $2,000.00. If that’s not cost savings, I don't know what is.

15. Create a realistic budget and prioritize. Be honest to yourself and your vendors about how much you can and/or want to spend on your big day.

16. Hire a planner who has a strong network of vendors that they always use. This will save you time and money.

I hope this list will offer you realistic ideas on not only helping you cut costs, but also on maintaining the spirit of your day!

Happy planning!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vendor Spotlight - Christopher Dunn

Christopher Dunn is an accomplished classically trained guitarist, residing in the Baltimore area. He is the owner of Classical Guitar Ceremonies, Inc - providing music for weddings and other upscale events in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

A native of Maryland, Chris received his Bachelors of Music, Masters of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. Chris was a recipient of the Peabody Merit Award and Howard County Arts Scholarship during his studies with Julian Gray, Ray Chester and Manuel Barrueco at the conservatory. As a founding member of the Aurora Guitar Quartet, recent concert seasons have included concerts in United States, Costa Rica and Japan. Chris also performs as a soloist in The Dunn- Stornant Duo with flautist Rachel Stornant. In addition to classical performances, Chris performs as a studio musician for popular music groups/song writers and is part of a new mix media electronic group in Baltimore with poet Stephen Reichert.

Chris is absolutely amazing and has an extensive repertoire ranging from Baroque and classical to Latin American/Spanish and popular modern arrangements. If you combine styles for your ceremony and cocktail hour, your guests will be “talking” for years to come! Take a listen to this beautiful piece. Although I have chosen Ava Maria because it is a personal “fav” of mine, you can find other music samples on his website.

He has a few professional guitarists in his company, so they are able to handle multiple events on the same day.

Visit him online. When you contact him, make sure you tell him that you read about him here!

Happy planning!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sample Sale - Thanksgiving weekend!

If you haven't yet found your gown and are interested in purchasing a sample gown at a great price, than the following information is for you!

Bridals by Elena, a full service bridal salon featuring couture bridal, special occasion gowns and custom designs is offering select sample gowns at 30%-70% off MSRP the weekend after Thanksgiving. These bridal sample gown designers include Romona Kevenza, St. Pucchi, Demetrios, Maggie Sottero, Anjiloque, Watters, Winnie Couture, La Sposa, San Patrick, Impression, Jasmine and many more!

Give them a call to schedule an appointment to find the gown of your dreams 410-975-0076. Also, visit them online.

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Helping Men, Women and Children - One Step at a Time

Part of having a strong belief in Family is doing my part to make sure that each part of the family unit (whomever that may consist of) remains healthy.

My interests in Breast Cancer are not new. It began many years ago while I was studying for my PhD in the Department of Cellular and Molecular biology at Brown University. I spent a number of years working with a protein that we thought was acting as a tumor suppressor in Breast Cancer. Even though my time there is finished, I still want to take an active part in keeping women healthy so that they can further realize their dreams - just as I have.

Maimah Karmo started the Tigerlilly Foundation whose goals are the following...

  • To educate, empower, advocate for, support and inspire young women affected by breast cancer
  • To end isolation among young adult breast cancer survivors
  • To improve the quality of life for young adult breast cancer survivors by creating vigilant self-advocates
  • To promote ferociously fearless females
Read more about Maimah here.

The Tigerlily Foundation has the opportunity to win a $25,000.00 grant to support their efforts to increase breast cancer awareness. The additional monies would help achieve additional outreach and services to young women in need. In order to do this, we need your help.

There will be a public online vote for the National Women of Worth Starting November 9th and ending November 24th. Maimah needs your vote to help further the foundation's efforts.

You can vote by going here

Thank you for your help! We look forward to following Maimah and offering her continued support though the coming years!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Home Wedding - More Pictures

It was truly a gorgeous day - picture perfect really! I would love to share more pictures with you.

The cocktail hour took place in an enormous field. Guest tables were placed on the field as well as by a private pond- giving them a quiet
place to reflect and enjoy. A trio of chamber players provided a number of classical selections

We used a mix of square and round tables and tall and short centerpieces. The colors were chocolate and celadon. After going to a whole sale florist, we learned that she love peonies, hydrangea, roses and viburnum. For the cocktail hour, light celadon linens were used. Chocolate satin with natural Chivaris draped the room.

The large tent was placed in one of the fields. Poles draped in fabric and covered with lights provided the most elegant setting for a most terrific evening.

Congratulations Adrienne and Brian

Photography by Thomas Graves

Monday, November 2, 2009

3 Recent Weddings

Take a look at this short video of 3 recent weddings. These weddings represent our style.

2 weddings were in Baltimore and 1 in Kansas City.


Jennifer and I look forward to speaking to you about your upcoming wedding!

Music - Half Acre by Hem

A Walters Wedding -
Kansas City -
A Home Wedding -