Friday, January 29, 2010

We have a blog site!!!!!!!

Now that our blogsite is active, we will stop updating here! Make sure to visit us at our new blog location

Elegant Event Planning and Design

We look forward to seeing you there!

Fun and Fabulous Friday - Woman's Suits

Finding wedding attire is so difficult for Lesbian couples. Going into a men's shop and buying a suit is difficult. The woman's body is made differently and many shops are not attuned to fitting women.

So today I am talking to the mature bride, Bride marrying for the second or third time, the lesbian couple, or anyone who does not necessarily want to wear a dress or wedding gown, but wants to maintain a look of soft femininity. A beautiful suit - paired with just a flower gracing the hair, or a fabulous cage veil - creates a very sophisticated and feminine look. I'm going to show a lot of white suits, but the suit doesn't necessarily have to be white.


Suits are from Neimen Marcus, Bon Ton, Dillards, Grand Pointe, Midnight Velvet

Happy Planning!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tantalizing Thursday - a Celebration of Tradition

The Chuppah

The Chuppah or Bridal canopy is the central tradition in most Jewish weddings. Typically, it's made of a cloth covering attached to four poles that are burrowed into the ground, or supported by four honored friends or family members. Always open on all sides, The Chuppah symbolizes the new Jewish home that the couple creates for each other. During the ceremony, the couple, their parents, the Rabbi, and often the Bridal attendants will stand underneath the Chuppah.

Chuppahs are traditionally made. Sometimes people will use their grandparent's Chuppah, or make their own. One of my Brides had a very beautiful Chuppah - which was sewn together from individual squares by members of her immediate family. Chuppahs can also be rented, and adorned with flowers and other decorations.

From top left...

Erika and Matt's wedding in Baltimore - photography by Thomas Graves
An wonderful patchwork Chuppah seen on One Wed
Gorgeous Chuppah rentals through Charm City Chuppahs

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Luscious Libations - Celebrating with Bubbly

I tell my clients that if you want to cut costs at your reception, the champagne toast should be the first to go. However, if you want to do it, it should be done right. The reason that champagne remains the benchmark for sparkling wines the world over is because no other location can mimic or rival the unique terroir of the French Champagne region.

There are so many different brands - so how do you choose?

You cannot go wrong with Moet and Chandon or Veuve Cliquot. For those of you who like to flash the cash, then Louis Roederer's Cristal is the choice for you.

If you really want to impress, you should serve Salon. This uber expensive fizz - about $500.00 a bottle, will impress even the most discerning palettes. Perhaps you should save this exclusive bubbly for your 10th, 15th or even 20th anniversary - since sightings are as rare as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Pay attention to the label! NV or non-vintage is often the "house champagne" - a mix of many grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier) without regard to local terrior or vintage. Ostentation aside, "the more expensive the better", is correct when it comes to champagne. The most expensive bottlings from the big champagne houses contain a higher proportion of their best wines from grand cru and premier cru vineyards.

When buying champagne...

Brut is the driest - if you want a great champagne, get Brut
Extra-dry is less dry than Brut
Sec is sweet
Demi-sec is the sweetest - a great accompaniment to dessert

Read more

Happy planning

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stylish Tuesday - An Evening at the Walters

I had the pleasure of working with a busy couple. I helped them to plan and design their wedding.


Photographs by Rachel Smith

Happy planning!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eco-Friendly Monday - Eco-Hip Threads

Long gone are the days of eco-ugliness.

Awwww...100% sustainable, these Eco-beauties are made of the some of the finest fabrics - Hemp (grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers), bamboo, 100% organic cotton, and peace silk (silk is harvested only after the moths have emerged).


Dresses from : Natural Bridal, Wai-Ching, Threadhead Creations, and Leanne Marshall

Happy planning!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Video Blog - Historic Whitehall Mansion Tour

We took it to the road this weekend! We toured a beautiful historic mansion located just out of Leesburg, Virginia. It is absolutely gorgeous!

Take a look!

Happy planning!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fun and Fabulous Friday - Music

What's more fun and fabulous than Van Halen?

What a beautiful first dance song! I just love it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tantalizing Thursday - Arrange your Great Escape

As you plan your honeymoon, take advantage of the awesome deals!

Royal Caribbean - Dollars Off and Spa Treatment

Sailing Window: Jan. 5th, 2010 - Dec. 31, 2010
Booking Deadline: Jan. 31, 2010
Up to $200 off and a Complimentary Spa Treatment

Carnival Cruise Line - Book a Cruise and receive a FREE Coupon Booklet!
Sailing Window: Jan. 15, 2010 - Dec. 31, 2010
Booking Deadline: Jan. 22, 2010
This booklet is filled with tremendous savings on on-board restaurant discounts, spa treatment, excursions, etc.
Booklet is valid until 4/20/2010

Celebrity Cruise Line - Up to $100 savings on Celebrity Cruise Line
Sailing Window: Jan. 15, 2010 - Dec. 31. 2010
Booking Deadline: Feb. 28, 2010

Norwegian Cruise Line - NCL: Upgrades, Onboard Credits, Reduced Deposits & Coupon Booklets
Sailing Window: Dec 28, 2009 - Dec 31, 2010
Booking Deadline: Mar 14 2010, 11:59PM
Note: Book select cruises between 12/13/2009 - 3/14/2010 and receive up to a 6 category upgrade, reduced deposit or up to $300.00 on-board credit and a coupon booklet!

Classic Vacations - European Adventure
Sailing Window: Dec 28, 2009 - Apr 30, 2010
Booking Deadline: Apr 27 2010, 10:59PM

Save between $125.00 and $500.00 or more on your European adventure when visiting any participating property. *

Call Loren Adams at Destinations Reached for more information.

Bon Voyage - and enjoy the savings!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So Happy it's Hump Day - Luscious Libations

Cote du-Rhone-Villages A work horse appellation of southern Rhone. Many wines can be gotten for under $25-30. Most are meant to be drunk between 2-3 years after bottling.

Cote du Rhone- The main work horse of Southern Rhone. Many bottles can be gotten for less than $20. A true value.

Hermitage is the undisputed king of northern Rhone, producing big, lush tannic reds from primarily Syrah grapes. Hermitage wines are capable of aging well and can be quite pricey.

From Top to bottom Right...

Alain Vogue Dotes du Rhone Les Peyrouses - 100% Syrah grapes from the northern Rhone region. This wine is purple in color and has an intense flavor of ripe cherries. This wine is great paired with grilled meat and veal. Less than $20.00

Feraud-Brunel Cotes du Rhone Villages - Medium bodied from the south. It has an exotic mix of crushed blueberry, boysenberry and blackberry fruits. Great with heartier dishes like grilled steak and roast pork. Less than $20.00

Delas Crozes-Hermitage Les Launes - From the north, this wine has a deep garnet red color. Made from a region with a lot of Syrah grapes, that are aromatic, rich and full bodied, this wine is best paired with game, grilled meats and rich foods. 2007 between $20-30.00

Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone-Villages - From the south, this wine is a deep dark wine with rich and concentrated notes of raspberry and blackberry fruits on a spicy background. This wine is wonderfully paired with red meat, game and cheese. Less than $20.00

Information from The Wine Examiner

Happy planning!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stylish tuesday - It's a Winter Wonderland

I love intimate winter weddings. There is something special about getting married when it's cold - and when nobody else is getting married - that's so romantic! A ceremony by the fireplace is incredibly appealing to me.

To all of the wonderful winter brides out there, here is some cold weather color inspiration.


RED - Red/Black, Red/Gold, Red/WhiteInvitations from Majestic Invitations
Red and white table from
Black and Red inspiration from
Red and white dresses photography by

Red and Gold table by

Black and White

Simply elegant black and white cake from
Beautiful black and white dress from
The very clean plate, napkin and spoon arrangement from
The crisp and clean letterpress lovely from


That calla lily bouquet is really stunning!

The beautifully simple calla bouquet from
The eggplant and gold folio is from the always stunning Lela of New York
Place card arrangement from
Eggplant dresses from

Happy planning!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Special Monday - Thank you!

Today is a special day, because it's in celebration of a man who fought and died, with countless others - so that I could be and do what I'm doing today!

To those people, I say Thank You!

Whether you recognize his fight or not - it can be applied to everyone because persecution is the common thread that bonds us all together. In his speech - he says that we all must walk together and no man can stand on his own. No-one exists in a vacuum. One fight is everyone's fight.

I don't care whether you are black or white, Jewish or Catholic, straight or gay - there is someone, somewhere - in all of us - who fought, suffered, and died so that we are able to live. There are also people out there today who are still fighting - and dying.

So, it's to all those people - past, present and future - that I say Thank You!

Also, to a single man, who had the courage and fortitude - with his words - to not only inspire a people, but also a nation - and a world.

I say - Thank You! From the bottom of my heart.

In dedication to you and the countless others...

Free at last - free at last - thank God Almighty! We're free at last!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Premier Video Blog Post - Simply elegant Unity Candle

Lisa Nelson explains how to make a Simply Elegant Unity Candle.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Fun and Fabulous Friday - Words from a Travel Agent

Our resident travel agent stopped in to answer our questions.


When I was in college, I used a travel agent once to book my flight home. I know you book hotels, but what else do you do?

In addition to booking hotels, I sell the following:

-All-inclusive packages

-Bed and Breakfast


-Car rentals


-Convention space

-Reserve/block rooms for destination weddings/renewals/anniversaries/reunions, etc.

Why should we use a travel agent, when we can book our honeymoon on Travelocity or another online source? Money is pretty important to us. What if the online source is cheaper?

It also goes by the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” On-line travel engines do not sell the product, they sell the price. And, there’s nothing worse than entering your honeymoon suite with roaches and stained linen on your beds due to booking a hotel based on the price and not on what was recommended. You can never be too sure in trusting on-line reviews.

Travel engines are not always cheaper either. As travel agents, we are well connected. And by working with an agent that’s in good standing with many vendors, they are most likely to offer you a better deal with better perks. Remember, price does not always outweigh value, especially not on your honeymoon.

How much do you cost?

I do not charge a service fee for trips that are paid in full. If a payment plan is arranged or assistance is needed with booking air or car rentals, then a $15 service fee is implemented.

Can you get me any deals? Better than what I can find online?

Yes, I receive promotions daily. Another good thing about working with an agent is that sometimes promotions are only offered to agents working with honeymooners. They are not always released to the public in order to reserve space for those celebrating special occasions.

Do you have an office? Frankly, I’ve traveled all over the tri-state area looking for wedding vendors. I’m tired.

Clients are welcome to my home office anytime located in Baltimore County (Windsor Mills, MD). Or, I am available to meet with couples within a reasonable radius.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing. Right now, I am just looking online. Can I meet with you anyway?

Sure, it’s my job to guide couples in the right direction. Prior to meeting, I suggest couples calling me first to make sure we both at least have an idea as to where they would like to travel.

I am having budget concerns. The wedding has gone over budget and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on a honeymoon. Can you help?

Most certainly. I not only assist couples in planning honeymoons based on interests, but based on budgets that are fitting to each individual couple, also.

Do you specialize in any particular destinations? What if I decide to go to a location where you do not specialize?

Yes, my agency specializes in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Although, one of the great things about working with a certified agent is knowing that they are well-connected and knowledgeable about the world, even though they don’t specialize in that particular destination. I am still able to tell you several do’s and don’ts about certain destinations. I also network with a number of agents and vendors. I can assure you that I would not send a couple on their honeymoon without knowing that it is securely planned and reserved through credible service providers.

What if something happens on the honeymoon – like I get mugged? What do I do? Do you offer travel insurance (or work with a company that does).

This is a good point. I strongly encourage you to read my blog, “When Tragedy Strikes: How to Safely Plan Your Dream Honeymoon”. Safety is key and knowing what to do and what not to do is even more important. I always review and discuss the latest events taking place at couples’ desired destination prior to making reservations and departure. This is why it’s important to purchase travel insurance in case of emergencies.

In extreme emergencies, remain calm as much as possible. Locate a local emergency official as soon as possible. Afterwards, notify your hotel’s security, and then contact your agent to assist in contacting emergency contacts, such as insurance carriers, medical providers, even family members. Travelocity and Expedia can’t do that for you.

I spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to make sure that I had a “green wedding”. It is really important to us. I want to make sure that our honeymoon is also “green”. We want places which offer organic food. We want to stay in sustainable locations powered by wind or solar. We want a really natural experience. Can you help?

Sure. Eco-friendly or “green” honeymoons are all the rave right now, and many hotels and resorts are on board. Selecting a location that concerves energy via solar power and uses organic linen is not such a hard task anymore. Check out the following “green” locations that made Island magazine’s top list for 2009:

    • Deer Run Bed & Breakfast, Big Pine Key
    • Milia Mountain Retreat, Crete
    • Turtle Island Resort, Fiji
    • Paradise Bay Eco Escape, South Long Island, Australia
    • Ibo Island Lodge, Mozambique

Thanks to Loren Adams of Destinations Reached Travel Consulting Service.

Bon Voyage!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tantalizing Thursday - A Celebration of Love

Love is all around us and should be shouted from rooftops. A union built out of love and mutual respect is rare - and when found - should be celebrated.

We very much enjoy - and want to continue - helping same sex couples celebrate one of life's most special and intimate moments - a moment that will be savored and remembered forever. We look forward to the day when all are afforded equal protection and rights under the states governments.

Whatever the case may be - we will continue to embrace all people and treat them with the due respect and professionalism that everyone very much deserves.

I want to thank the photographers, Kelly Prizel and Lara Swanson, for their absolutely amazing and touching photographs.

Happy planning!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy it's HUMP day! Woohoo Wednesday!

Not that I'm looking forward to the weekend - with two more wonderful days to go - but things are really exciting around here. At least to me! :)

We have finally made the commitment to dust off our website. Boy, was there a lot of dust! The website will look much the same - but will allow us to give you fresh content much more often - which is a fabulous thing!

Also, we are going to move our blog directly onto our website! Bye Bye Blogger! Yes, it's going to be a big transition - and I'm not sure it's always going to be smooth. We will do the best that we can. Make sure you continue to visit us here. We will let you know when we are ready to make the transition.

The most fun change, is that we are rolling out our "video blog" series - which will be premiering this weekend! Yes, we are moving into the 21st century (slowly). Every weekend, we will be offering a DIY project, a tip, or an update on happenings in the industry - which will be done by MOI (and my hubby) on video. I'm totally excited!

Make sure to come back and take a look-see this weekend.

This week, we will be making a simply elegant unity candle - and more! Here is little preview!

Just as a side note, the invitation in this picture is absolutely fabulous. It's printed by hand in calligraphy. there is a hand painted peach rose on each invitation. Simply fabulous and simply elegant - which is what we are all about!

Happy planning!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stylish Tuesday - Clean Lines

We love white around here. White is so clean, crisp and fresh. There is nothing that says "wedding" more than white.

Here is a bit of white inspiration

Beautiful! I just love the look of long tables. If you love the look of long tables - we have some weddings for you!

If white on white is just not your style, try using it as a background color. White as a background palette is really beautiful and makes any color pop! Take a look at the orange/coral accent.

I just love those pictures. The wedding is so intimate and visually stunning.

Here is some inspiration from the color of the year, Turquoise

Simply beautiful!

We love white so much, we are going to talk about it a lot!

I wanted to thank Martha Stewart Weddings for the white and orange and white inspiration, Dawn Bernard Photography for the lovely picture of the white and orange invitation (custom), and the always lovely - All Things Lovely blog for the white and turquoise inspiration.

Happy planning

Monday, January 11, 2010

Eco-Chic Monday - Eco Tourism

Ibo, Mozambique
A unique, beautiful, and serene honeymoon destination

Although one cannot deny the activities which attract honeymooners from around the world; such as, scuba diving, the many magnificent beaches that await, the most pristine and unexplored island reef ecosystems in the Indian Ocean that provides refuge for 10 globally threatened bird species and five globally threatened turtle species, and the rich biodiversity - Ibo Island Lodge has also contributed positively to the Ibo way of life!

Kevin and Fiona established this first Ibo Island Eco Lodge in 2007. They built Ibo Island Lodge with a sustainable tourism ethos - giving back to the island community and assisting in the conservation and education of visitors and staff alike.

Poverty among the island’s 4,000 residents was driving slash-and-burn agriculture and habitat loss, unsustainable fishing, and illegal hunting of marine turtles and sharks. The opening of the Eco Lodge presented numerous new jobs and a viable economic alternative for Ibo Island’s community. It helps enforce national park regulations and engages community members in park patrolling. Ibo’s community trust fund encourages and supports entrepreneurial projects by local people.

Ibo Island Lodge in Quirimbas National Park, Mozambique is an outstanding example of how eco-tourism, sustainable economic growth and conservation can go hand in hand.

Happy Traveling!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday's are also for Trunk Shows! Betsy Robinson Bridal

Trunk show being held at Betsy Robinson's Bridal the entire month of January - featuring the following designers...

Romona Keveza Legend Bridal - January 15th, 16th, and 17th

and Wtoo Bridal and Bridesmaids - January 22nd, 23rd, and 24th

Amsale Bridal and Bridesmaids - January 29th, 30th,
and 31st

Call for an appointment 410-484-4600
1848 Reisterstown Road
Baltimore MD 21208

Happy Shopping! Happy Saving!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday's are for Trunk Shows! Paloma Blanca

January 15-17 2010

Don't miss your window of opportunity to try-on gowns in the latest Paloma Blanca Collection!

Call 410-975-0076 for an appointment

Bridals by Elena
556-D Ritchie Highway
Park Plaza Shopping Center
Severna Park, Maryland 21146

Happy Shopping!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fun and Fabulous Friday! - Top Travel Destinations

Let's find a honeymoon destination! Thank you to Loren Adams of Destinations Reached Travel and Consulting Services for this awesome list!

The top travel destinations according to Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and

  1. Morocco (Marrakesh)

  1. Italy (Venice)

  1. Burma

  1. Cuba (Havana)

  1. Thailand

  1. Philippines

  1. South Africa

  1. Costa Rica

  1. Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)

  1. Antarctica (Paradise Bay)

  1. Kyrgyzstan

  1. Sri Lanka (Colombo)

  1. India (Kerala)

  1. Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

  1. France (Paris)

Antarctica???? Are you kidding me? Okay...I had to look it up because I was so amazed. It looks cold. I love cold, but this place looks very cold.

I could see myself cruising around because It is very beautiful, peaceful, romantic and relaxing.

Just bring a coat!

And maybe a hat and some gloves. You know - just in case you want to take-in the breathtaking views outside your cabin!

Happy honeymooning!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tantalizing Thursday - Sofreh Aghd

Thursday is the day to present beautiful wedding traditions. Jennifer is in her second year with Elegant Event Planning and Design. Jennifer has planned her share of Persian and Middle Eastern Weddings while on Tenure in LA. She has done some fabulous things! So, in honor of her, Thursday is dedicated to all those beautiful traditions - not only in Persian weddings - but different customs from all around the world.

I enjoy making a ceremony more unique and personalized by incorporating beautiful traditions in each and every wedding.

So - sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and elegant tradition that will unfold before your eyes!

Sofreh Aghd

The ceremony takes place in a specially decorated room with flowers and a beautiful and elaborately decorated spread on the floor called "Sofreh-ye Aghd". Traditionally Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of sunrise (light).

On the Sofreh Aghd, are the following...

1. Mirror (of fate) "Aayeneh-ye Bakht" and two Candelabras (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future) . They symbolize light and fire. The Bride enters the room with her veil. When she sits to the left of her Bridegroom and removes her veil, the first thing he will see in the mirror is his Bride-to-be.

2. A tray of seven multi-colored herbs and spices "Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel"- to drive away evil spirits

3. A specially baked and decorated flatbread "Noon-e Sangak" - Prosperity for life.

4. A basket of decorated eggs and a basket of decorated almonds, Walnuts and Hazelnuts for fertility.

5. A basket of pomegranates and/or apples for a joyous future.

A cup of rose water extracted from special Persian roses "Gol-e Mohammadi"to make the air sweet

A cup of honey to sweeten life. The couple offers the other a dab on their fingertip.

8. Two sugar cones "Kalleh Ghand" made out of hardened sugar to be used during the ceremony. These sugar cones are grinded together above the bride and bridegroom's head (over the scarf held above their heads) throughout the ceremony to shower them in sugar (symbolizing sweetness and happiness).

9. A needle and seven strands of colored thread to figuratively sew up the mother-in-law's lips from speaking unpleasant words to the bride!

A brazier "Manghal" holding burning coals sprinkled with wild rue "Espand" a popular incense to bring health to the new family.

A bowl of gold coins representing wealth and prosperity.

12. A copy of the couple's Holy Book is placed on the spread. For Christian couples, it would be the Bible, for Zorastians Avesta, For Muslims Qur'an, .... This symbolizes God's blessing for the couple.

13. A Scarf or Shawl made out of Silk or any other fine fabric to be held over the bride and bridegroom's head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives (mostly bride's close family members).

A bowl made out of crystallized sugar "Kaas-e Nabaat/Shaakh-e Nabaat" to sweeten life for the newly wed.

Photography by Thomas Graves Photography

Happy Planning!