Sunday, August 30, 2009

Soiree at Josephine!

Last Thursday was one of those rare occasions when the party planners got to play! Along with Pam Barefoot and Jamie Sears (all of us above), Engaging Affairs hosted an end-of summer networking bash for the D.C. area's event professionals. The sexy Save-the-Dates and invitations were created by Saima Says Design and let guests know they were in for a special evening. We held the evening party at the hip nightclub Josephine, and because of the namesake, we played up the rich decor and the French connection.

Guests were greeted curbside by the sharp-looking guys from MarcParc Valet who provided flawless valet service. The amazing staff at Josephine managed the door beautifully and kept the drinks flowing. We served specialty cocktails like The French Martini, the Napolean and the Josephine. The Josephine (a peachy drink garnished with a tiny peach-colored flower) was my personal favorite!

Kelly Jenkins from Capital Decor created a stunning shelvinf unti to hold desserts with Jospehine Bonaparte's portrait as a backdrop. He also fashioned two ornate French chairs into cupcake displays using glass shelves. So much fun!

Nick Perez from Multiflor provided sultry floral decor that included chic, low arrangements with lots of feathers and rich colors to go with the rich fabrics on the walls and furniture. Of course, we used lots of candles.

The fabulous mini cupcakes were provided by Kendall Barrett from Kendall's Cakes. My personal favorite is the lemon curd but Sara is in love with the carrot cake. She also brought chocolate, coconut and red velvet. And since they were the mini versions, you could eat a bunch without feeling guilty. Heaven!

For another European touch, we brought in Patricia Rice to paint a classic oil portrait of the party as it unfolded. It was such fun to watch her paint and see the image evolve from a blank canvas to a beautiful painting. If you look closely, you might notice some familiar faces in the painting!

Guests had a wonderful time mingling and networking. It was great to see so many of our colleagues in a purely fun environment!

The ladies from Engaging Affairs were out in full force. Check out the Engaging Affairs team below: Amy, Sara, Laura, Christine and Grace.

Lara Stuckey of Fluffy Thoughts made the black and white French macaroons that guests took away at the end of the night. Since I ate mine in the car on the way home, I can attest to the fact that they were delicious!

A huge thanks to my fellow planners, Pam and Jamie, and to all the vendors who made the party so gorgeous and such a big hit! A special thanks to Juan Carlos Briceno of Fotobriceno for the gorgeous photos of the event and all of the special details.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Relief for you Feet! (And a Great Favor Too)

I must admit, for the most part, the days of personalized match books and candy almonds are behind us. The candy bar has come and gone and a multitude of other chochkie options have followed. The point, we all want guests to remember our wedding and be able to take something tangible away with them. Personalized M&Ms, custom tea bags, anything of the food nature is sure not to go to waste. For many of my outdoor weddings, and even some of my indoor ones where the forecast for the evening was going to be dance till you drop, flip flops have been provided for ease of partying.

So, I just found, and thanks is due to my fabulous bride Lauren, a sandal option that takes the cake! Sandals4Events is a personalized sandal company featuring full grain leather sandals. Move over Old Navy flip flops, these soles have more than a fancy color to boast. All of their sandals come in a great shoe box and drawstring satin bag. They make great bridesmaids gifts, bachelorette party thanks your and wedding favors. You can have them personalized with names, dates, etc. and you can be sure your guests will remember you with every wearing.

I recently asked owner Julia Bornstein how the business was born and here's what she said.

It actually all started when I was making a Bat Mitzvah party for my daughter. I was going through websites looking for something fun and different for a party favor..I
was getting very frustrated with the task.
After talking to my husband about different ideas, he said "let me take care of it, I have an idea"
Well, my husband has been in the shoe business for many years, and so he brought home a sample of beautiful patent leather thong sandals, personalized with my daughters name and date of her affair. Along with the sandals was a matching satin drawstring shoe bag also personalized.
I loved it! and my daughter could not believe she had sandals with her name engraved.
The night of the party we handed out a pair of personalized fuchsia patent leather flip flops with a matching satin shoe bag to each female guest and a pair of personalized brown leather flip flops with a black satin shoe bag to each male guest and they were flipping with admiration. Even the dancers from the entertainment company could not stop gushing about how great they were.
Weeks later friends and family would call me to say what a great idea the sandals were and every time they slip on their sandals they think of my daughter.
I couldn't have asked for a better reaction! So, I started investigating to see if anyone else out there was possibly offering the same product. After much searching,
I found that nobody offered the same quality or ability to personalize leather fashion flip flops for parties. And the rest history..
The first thing I did after setting up my website, was to research wedding planning websites and send out a mass mailing along with an e-mail mass mailing to introduce myself and my company to as many wedding planners and party planners, I could find.
I can tell you that I do not have as much contact with brides as a wedding planner would have...but I can tell you that 2 days after launching my website, It was a Friday and I was leaving for a weekend trip out of state. I called into my business line from the airport just after arriving at my destination.
I had a message from a wedding planner in Nappa Valley asking me if I could overnight to Nappa 200 pairs of sandals for a wedding!! I wanted to cry..!! There was no way I could get this done so quickly and from so far away!

Well Julia, we love your product and can't wait to use it again!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Go Digging for Diamonds!

And the bling goes on . . .

To celebrate the launch of the new website, Mervis Diamond Importers will host a modern day, “Diamond Dig” on Friday August 28, 2009, 10 AM-5 PM. The diamond importer is inviting the public to dig for themselves and un-earth one of the 60 diamonds buried beneath the sand.

“What you mine, you keep!” says Ronnie Mervis, Vice President of the 3rd generation family owned company.

The 60 diamonds are of varying sizes and shapes, with 55 smaller stones and 5 larger diamonds at a total worth of more than $15,000. The restricted “diamond mine” will be limited to 60 lucky diggers. To win a spot as a digger, the public is encouraged to register at Additionally, 5 diggers will be chosen at random from the crowd on the day of the event.

Jonathan Mervis says, “We wanted to do something really fun and engaging with our customers. Ronnie Mervis is known for his radio ads telling his adventures in the diamond mines. So we though, if we can’t bring the people to the diamond mines, let’s bring the diamond mines to the people!”
Hope to see everyone out there digging for diamonds!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Frost Yourself!

Okay, tell me you all know that line from the infamous "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" with Kate Hudson and more importantly, Matthew Mcconaughey? Huge fabulous party with huge fabulous diamonds!

Engaging Affairs is happy to announce we are now partnering with Adorn Bridal Jewelry so all of our fabulous brides can frost themselves too! These are real diamonds, ladies. And to make it even better, it's adoringly simple to log in, choose your style and have your wedding day baubles sent right over to your front door. And by entering in our Engaging Affairs promo code, PVX0TY01, you can save an additional 10% on your jewels.

Check out their collection of wedding day diamonds online and Frost Yourself!

Amy Lorraine

Friday, August 7, 2009

Engaging Affairs in Engaged! Magazine

We were so thrilled to open the gorgeous new issue of Engaged! Magazine and see, not only one of our weddings featured in a stunning real wedding spread ("A Celebration of Love and Family" pages 124-133), but a whole page feature of one of our engaged couple's casual portrait session.
Kavi and Maria's three-day celebration last year was one of my favorites so it was great fun to relive it again through the lovely article and photos. I love the fact that the real weddings are several pages each so you get a great sense of the event from start to finish.
The adorable engagement portraits of Kendall and Nick reminded me that my Fall weddings are right around the corner (and then it will be 2010--aaagh)! Be sure to pick up a copy of Engaged! and check out the amazing real weddings and fun articles.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An Asian (Bridal Shower) Affair

Over the past 2 months, I had the pleasure of assisting with the planning of an Asian-themed bridal shower for the very dear friend of Carine’s of Carine’s Bridal Atelier. Carine’s vision was to host an elegant, Asian inspired luncheon at the home of the Bride’s brother.
Beginning with the invitations, all of the elements for this event incorporated an Asian feel. The colors that we chose to use throughout the event were white, orange and natural wood with purple and yellow accent flowers. Since we would be designing the event in someone’s home, we worked with a handful of vendors to get the necessary items.

The dark, rustic, wood tables and benches were rented from none other than DC’s Capitol D├ęcor. With the help of Nick of Multiflor Florist, we were able to create stunning bamboo centerpieces to decorate the tables, living room and buffet. Purple and orange orchids decorated each of the bamboo sticks which were in tall glass vases with 5 Asian lanterns hanging in between. The glass vases on the tables were placed in a “pond” structure that included black river stones, water and real goldfish to create a pond-like feel. Check out the live goldfish below!

Each guest was given a note pad and 2 glass viles to write their well wishes for the couple that could then send off to float in the pond. All of the food was set up, buffet-style, in the kitchen and decorated with votives and loose orchids to compliment the flower arrangements through-out the rooms.

Check out the fortune cookie "garnish" on the glasses! The napkins under the plates and the open paper fans add just the right punch of color to the tables.

What would a bridal shower be without a cake? Lara of Fluffy Thoughts designed a super unique cake specifically for the bride herself…a Manolo Blahnik shoebox with 2 fondant shoes to go with it. The favors that were given out were mini bamboo steamers wrapped in ribbon and stuffed with delicious Korean cookies. With 18 guests, the party was unique, intimate and memorable for all that attended.

Thank you to everyone that was involved in the planning and setup!

Congratulations to the bride and groom, Colleen and Mike!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wedding Inspiration from Rancho la Puerta

Anyone who has seen my blissed out state for the past week knows that I just returned from Rancho la Puerta. And anyone who has been to Rancho la Puerta knows what a beautiful and amazing place it is. Located in Baja, the resort sits at the base of Mount Kuchamaa and features traditional Mexican architecture and stunning gardens.

I was completely captivated by the rustic charm of the buildings and the natural beauty of the herbs and cactus which cover the grounds. Walkways are lined with rosemary and lavender bushes, making strolling around the property a heady experience. After spending a week in this little bit of Mexican paradise and getting truly rejuvenated, I thought I'd share some inspiration for a Rancho la Puerta style wedding.

The cactus reminds me of the arid mountainside we hiked up every morning. The natural paper of the invitations feels perfect for a rustic, outdoor wedding.

We dined outdoors each evening at long tables that surrounded a stone fountain.
I love long tables for weddings and love the look of this one looking out onto a courtyard. The ghoulish bride and groom are traditional Mexican figurines used during the Day of the Dead. There were plenty of these to be found at Rancho la Puerta.

I love the idea of using traditional Mexican papel picado banners as decor. Customized with your names and wedding date, they make perfect keepsakes. I think the use of the colorful flags on the invitation below is so much fun!

Summer in Baja calls out for short, fun dresses with more flounce than form. The dress below from Anthropologie would be a perfect choice for bridesmaids for a warm weather, outdoor affair. Love the color!

I was in heaven with the amazing cuisine at Rancho la Puerta. Since they have their own enormous organic garden, the meals were so healthy and delicious. Lots of fruit used in creative ways like an avocado sorbet served with mango and a lemon tiramisu with papaya. And, of course, bowls and bowls of papayas, mangoes, and melons. Exotic fruits are perfect to incorporate into a summer wedding, whether in a display or desserts. I am a huge fan of fruity desserts and find fruit in general so refreshing during the heat of July and August.

What more perfect way to send your guests off from your wedding fiesta than with boxes of Mexican wedding cookies? Although we didn't get these at Rancho la Puerta (or anything covered in powdered sugar), I'm sure they would approve of them. Okay, maybe just one itty-bitty one.

I hope you enjoyed a little South of the Border inspiration. For true inspiration, I highly recommend Rancho la Puerta!


Blog shouts-outs from the top: landscape from Rancho la Puerta, landscape from Rancho la Puerta, cactus & long table from Jose Villa, , flags from Mexican Sugar Skull, Papel Picado invitation from {frolic}, dress from Anthropologie, fruit skewers and Mexican wedding cookies from Martha Stewart