Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where to Begin... {Amy & Clark}

So, I was at an industry event this past Tuesday chatting with two of my favorite DC photographers, Jennifer & Mary from Love Life Images. I was gabbing non-stop about how much fun I have been having planning my wedding over the last very short, but yet somehow long, very exciting three weeks.

While some of you may have caught wind from our blog that Clark proposed {more to come on the engagement story soon} it has been a whirlwind ever since! Our engagement day truly was the happiest day of my life thus far and without Clark knowing, it unleashed the months of planning that my dearest mum and I have been working on undercover!! Needless to say, it was high time to kick it into gear if I was going to make my hopeful wedding date of March 6, 2010.

Jennifer & Mary told me how fun it would be to follow along on this path of a Wedding Planner planning her own wedding... so, here goes!

First things first. While my engagement came in September, I started having the planning discussions with my mother over the summer in hopes that Clark would ask one day soon. As we hemmed and hawed over details, the day finally came when I had to pop the question to my parents... "What is the budget?" It's not an easy task of reigning in all the wonderful ideas to the confines of a budget but it must be done! I always advise my clients to define a budget and stick to it. It was time for me to follow my own advice...

The second thing that I always say is a must is having someone assist in the planning who isn't emotionally attached to all of those wonderful ideas and who can realistically guide you through matching up your dreams while still staying on the right track with funding it all - Hire a planner!

Finally, I had Clark sit down and pick his side of the guest list. {Yes, only his side... I did mine in July!!} This was a lot of fun to do. We both are very fortunate to have both friends and family that are excited to share in this long awaited moment with us! However, Sara has been key in reminding me that our guest count drives budget. Somehow I am having bridal amnesia when it comes to my own wedding and how things work in this process ;)

Must Haves in the beginning:
1) Defined Budget - be realistic about what you can afford and stick to it!
2) Have help in maintaining reality along the way!
3) Define guest list - this will help maintain your budget throughout the planning!

More to come on the fun stuff - event design, wedding gowns, photography, venue, bridal party and men's attire!

Amy Lorraine

Romance at The National Cathedral {Ashley + Adrian}

A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune to work in one of my favorite places in the city: The National Cathedral. I've been doing weddings at The Cathedral for well over a decade now and can't count how many brides I've sent down that magestic aisle. I love the grandeur and reverance of the space; I always feel both humbled and inspired after being inside the Cathedral.
I also love the Cathedral staff. The Vergers know their stuff and working with them is always a pleasure.

If being in the Cathedral again wasn't wonderful enough, I got to work with the nicest couple you could imagine. Ashley and Adrian were an absolute dream! I started working with Ashley at the beginning of the year and we hit it off right away. We're both vegetarians who love yoga and animals (Ashley plans events for the Humane Society) so it was a perfect fit. We had the best time running all over to find the perfect reception site (finally landing on the beautiful Strathmore Mansion) and vendors to make her wedding day perfect.

Ashley was such a calm bride. She even calmed the nerves of her soon-to-be stepdaughter right before the long walk down the aisle. Adrian's three charming children all took part in the ceremony and behaved beautifully. It was touching to see that they all felt part of their new family already.

After the gorgeous ceremony in the Great Choir at The Cathedral, Ashley and Adrian ran outside while guests blew bubbles and dashed off to Strathmore Mansion for the reception. They took photos on the lovely grounds before joining guests inside the house. Sharone from DaVinci's Florist created the beautiful, classic arrangements in shades of cream and white for the bride and burgandy and celedon at the reception.

Ashley has wanted a reception that was fun and fluid so, instead of seating everyone, we had various size and shapes of tables throughout the mansion (some long, tall share tables and some cocktail tables). Waiters passed small composed plates (mini crab cake with corn souffle, fried chicken on mashed potatoes) to guests and then a main buffet opened. Augie Bove of Strathmore made sure that the food and service were flawless. I love working with Augie!

Guests danced to the sounds of Bittersweet before the bride and groom cut the cake from Just Cakes. Just Cakes also provided the heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies that guests left with at the end of the night.

Special thanks to Joseph Allen for the gorgeous photos. Joseph is an absolute delight to work with and creates such stunning images. It was an honor to be a part of such a special day for such special people in such a truly special place. I really do have a great job! Thanks to Ashley and Adrian for letting us share their joy.