Jess and Jim were married on the most perfect summer day at the most perfectly lovely venue. The weather was amazing, the bride and groom looked wonderful, the flowers were bright and the food was family style comfort food.
This party is from the summer, but since the blog is new this is my first chance to highlight this super fun, pink daisy birthday party. The party was held in the private room at Food Matters in Alexandria, VA. Much of their food is from local producers and they also provide Food Matters Community Supported Agriculture which offers local herbs, eggs, flowers and produce to the community members. This is a cool place! Tanner’s mom wanted a bright, daisy, fairy feel for her birthday princess. The children left with favor bags of toys and goodies and the adults left with the lovely cookies pots created by Jill Agudelo of Rita’s Kitchen.
Jessica & Jeremy had a DIY backyard garden wedding last month, shot by my favorite photographer, Danielle Cover. Everything about this lovely wedding was DIY, from the food (which the groom made all homemade, including the cake) to the homemade jam favors and the darling ribbon wands the 7 little boys carried down the isle. The bride and groom, both professional musicians, played a beautiful concert for their guests, joined by some friends and the bride’s father. I cannot think of a more perfect way for this laid back couple to celebrate. It was a joy to work with them on their wedding!
Today’s Tip: Buffets
When planning an event people often think that they need to do a buffet because it is more affordable and that is all that will fit into their budget. Well did you know that a buffet can be more expensive, not less? It seems counter intuitive because a plated meal seems nicer, however, when you have a buffet, you have to have more food. There is no saying how many times Uncle Steve will go back to the buffet and you do not want to run out of food, so the caterers have to be prepared for that.
So, don’t rule out a plated meal if that is what you want, it may actually be more in your budget than the buffet!
If you need to cut your food budget, there are plenty of ways to do so. You could consider a cocktail reception with heavy hor'dourves instead of a plated meal. You could making your timing a little later and host a dessert reception or push your timing up and serve brunch. Any of these options could be fun and different and still offer you an amazing event while shaving a little off of your food budget.
I liked to call Lisa and Aaron superheros. They were both fighting crime and saving the world and all while being super cool and lovely people (and expecting a baby)! On any given day they would need to schedule calls with me around bomb squad training and jury trials for women’s rights. Basically, these two rock and so did their family and friends. They had an intimate wedding of only 40 people at the amazing Weather Lea Farm. I cannot get enough of this venue, which is run by two more super awesome people. All in all this wedding may go down as one of my faves (I also might say that every time). From corn hole, bocce ball, a pig roast and even a hay ride this was one fun wedding!
It is summer and many of us are planning outdoor celebrations. Nobody wants to have to think about what happens if the weather doesn't cooperate, however, it is a very real possibility and something that absolutely must be taken into considering. It isn't just rain either in these summer months. I have had more than one event move inside due to extreme heat. Here are some things to consider when planning an outdoor event.
Rain Rain Go Away
If it is raining on your wedding day there are plenty of fantastic ways to deal with this good luck charm. :)
1. Obviously, you can move everything indoors, just make sure you've made a plan for that and walked through it with your planner and on-site coordinator
2. Hold off on your ceremony for a few minutes and see if the rain will stop
3. Have a tent on hold, usually companies will hold them for you up until the week of the event when you will have a clearer sense of the weather. And don't forget to get the walls too, just in case!
4. If it isn't pouring and being outside is really important to you, get a bunch of clear umbrellas and make sure you and your guests are taken care of.
Remember, you can get some really beautiful pictures in the rain and cloudy weather makes for better photos than sunny weather!
If there is a heat wave during your event, you really need to consider the health and comfort of your guests, especially if you have any elderly or young children attending.
1. The first choice is to move everyone indoors assuming you've got that plan covered
2. Did you know you can air condition tents? Yep, fans, air conditional and walls to keep the cool air in. Tens are pretty fancy these days. So reserve the tent and watch the weather
3. Make sure your guests have access to plenty of water
4. If it is really important to you to have your ceremony outside, consider cutting it short. Also, allow your guests to mingle inside in the air conditioning and then come out for a quick ceremony and return inside for the reception.
5 Alternatively, hold your ceremony inside during the hotter part of the day and then move your guests outside once it cools down a bit later in the evening.
Remember, this is your day but one of the most important things is your guests comfort. You do not want anyone passing out! Including YOU!
I had so much fun helping Jen & Jason plan their wedding! It was not work at all. About mid-way through the planning process Jason admitted to me that he had sent about twenty prank invitations to his co-workers, different from the invitations sent to the other guests. They were Harry Potter invitations, indicating it was a Harry Potter themed wedding and that the guests were to dress accordingly! At that point I knew we had to take his prank all the way, so those two tables got Harry Potter themed tables. Add some string lights, a flower wall and a roving french fry cart and diffraction glasses to the fun and Jen and Jason had a blast and so did I!
District Bliss hosted their latest vendor social at The Outrage last month and once again, it was awesome! District Bliss brings together creative vendors across the DMV to foster community in an intimate, non-intimidating, comfortable setting. The temperature may not have been entirely comfortable, but the positive vibes sure were flowing and I'm positive some awesome collaborations and networking came out of this event. Make sure to check out the fabulous vendors we were lucky enough to have with us and stay tuned for our upcoming events. If you are interested in being a participating vendor at an upcoming event, you can do that too! Send us a note or fill out this form here. We can wait to meet you!
This has got to be one of my favorite weddings I did this year! Becky and Lee are just the loveliest couple, their venue was amazing and my favorite photographer shot the big day, which all adds up to a perfect day! Congratulations Becky & Lee!
This is Amy, Tom and Velcro. They are awesome, sweet, kind and fun and since this engagement session and their following wedding they have added an awesome human baby to their family as well! I adore this family and their cool Blagden Alley and Meridian Hill Park engagement photos!
photo credit: Swathi Balasubramanian
Sheena & Ben are the kind of people who care a great deal about other people. They came together initially because they enjoyed feeding and taking care of other people. So when it came to their Sangeet (and their wedding) it was really a celebration of not only their love for one another, but their love for their friends and family! And did they ever celebrate!
Sonia and Neil were married during the intense heat wave of July. This low key couple kept their cool even during their outdoor ceremony in 100+ degree weather. Their ceremony and reception both involved elements of their Indian and Jamaican heritages. They took important aspects from Sonia’s Indian culture and implemented them in the ceremony and Neil’s Jamaican roots were implemented during the reception with Jamaican music and Jamaican rum cakes as favors.
This super fun couple had custom made Converse in their wedding colors that said Let Luv Rule and Sonia changed into them and a short wedding dress in order to more comfortably rock the night away. They enjoyed every minute of their day! Congrats Sonia & Neil!
Kids are adorable and hilarious, but that does not mean you have to have them at your event. There are polite ways to indicate on your invitation that you are hosting a kid free event. Beyond these options, you can also write the names of the invited guests only - Jane and John Smith for example. Another option is to write in the number of guests for them on the rsvp card, put that 2 on there for them, so that it is clear exactly how many guests are invited.
The kid question is often going to be controversial. Some people insist on bring them (babysitters are expensive) and some parents really want to be with you but still have children dependent on their mothers. Allowances have to be made at times and that might ruffle some feathers. Remember this is your day and you should do it your way, however if it is important that someone is there with you, you may need to make sure to meet their needs. You can always offer to have a babysitter in another room or be understanding about kids being at the ceremony but taken home for the reception. Flexibility will go a long way in appeasing your guests.
We are looking back at Suzanne and Brian's engagement from back in 2014. We know, it is hard to think about winter in the heat of the summer, but sometimes I enjoy a quick break to look back and then I can enjoy the heat again! I love their use of the metro system. We overlook it's beauty because we ride it, often in frustration every day. But if you take a moment to look around, the tunnels, the trains, the ceilings, it really has some beautiful aspects!
Danielle Cover Photography
Heather and Matt had a very classic, all white, Washington, DC themed wedding. This may have been the most fun wedding I have ever been to much less planned! Heather’s family has a tradition of having props at all of the family weddings. I expected a single box of props to set out near the photobooth which would be used in the booth. I could not have been more wrong. There were 5 boxes and the guests did not wait to use them in the photobooth. The minute they entered the dinner portion of the reception props were snatched up quickly and all of the guests were wearing hats and wigs and blowing on air horns all before the soup was served! I had never seen anything like it and I loved it.
Heather’s dad hand drew all of the table names and escort cards, which were all Washington, DC buildings. They were beautiful and were also featured on the invitation. Guests were served 5 different kinds of pie and ice cream after dinner and were then surprised by the Washington National’s Presidents. Once again, my expectations of the evening were blown out of the water when the President’s stayed on the dance floor for most of the night partying with the guests, they even got in the photobooth!
This was my last wedding of the season and they sure made the season end with a bang! Congratulations Heather and Matt!
Ceremony: Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Reception: The Dupont Hotel, Cake: Caroline’s Cakes, Band: Kristen and The Noise, Flowers: Park Florist, Hair and Makeup: Brie Cafferty, Transportation: Regal Limousine and Chariots for Hire, Pies: Firehook Bakery, Photobooth: Eyelightz, Rentals: Capital Party Rental, Photography: Freed Photography, Planning: Events to a T
I love this engagement session not only because this darling couple happens to be my dear friends, who were photographed by my dear friend in what was at the time my beloved neighborhood. But also because Sean is currently on a one year deployment, so this feels like a little love letter to them right now. Enjoy this look back in history friends.
Danielle Cover Photography
Andrea and Mike were married at Strong Mansion on what we at the time was an absolutely freezing day November day (it probably wasn’t that bad that day). While the rest of us complained and huddled in our coats near the heaters, Andrea took off her coat and stood out on that beautiful lawn in her strapless dress and smiled and took advantage of the setting. There was no stopping her from doing what she had come there to do…which was get married outside, take pictures outside and then enjoy her party and that is exactly what she did (and Mike too)!
Catering: Gourmet by Paula, Rentals: Capitol Party Rentals, Alcohol: Ye Old Spirit Shop, DJ: Mydeejay, Photography: Timmester Photography, Dessert: DC Taste, Flowers: Edge Flowers, Ceremony Music: Bruce Casteel, Transportation: Chariots for Hire, Hair: Behind the Veil, Makeup: Clips Salon, Cake: Friends
The #1 question clients ask me without fail, every single time...all of them, is...
Who do I need to tip? How much do I tip? Will you pass out the tips for us? So here it is, all about tipping. Oh and yes, I will pass out the tips for you! :)
Jenelle & Seth were both deployed military when I met them 2011. They were stationed in Korea and we skyped our first meeting and planned their wedding via email, gchat and skype. Thank goodness for technology! They made one trip back to the states before their wedding and during that trip they managed to squeeze in this engagement session where we learned just how absolutely adorable these two are! They have since of course had a fabulous wedding, a couple of moves and and a couple of kids. Jenelle has proved there is not a creative thing she can't do beautifully and they are currently raising their family in Germany and still just as adorable as they were back in 2011!
Danielle Cover Photography
In 2011 I did a wedding at Adelphi Mill with the most lovely couple ever and don’t you know at exactly the same time of year I end up at Adelphi Mill again in 2012 with once again the mostly lovely couple ever who just wanted their friends to have fun, for one another to be happy and to enjoy their day. I love that. This was also by far one of the most DIY wedding I had ever done (check our her bouquet, yep, she did that!) and they did it beautifully and together. I asked them if they felt like it had been worth it in the end and they said a resounding yes and that they felt like it had brought them closer. When they started they didn’t know how to make paper flowers or anything about crafts really but they figured it out together and made a beautiful wedding full of personal touches.