Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Wedding at The Monaco {Eliza and Micah}

Since I have two small children, most of my New Year's Eve celebrations nowadays are pretty tame and I'm lucky to make it until the ball drops. This year, however, I had the distinct pleasure of spending New Year's Eve at a fabulous wedding and with an amazing couple and their families!

I know I go on and on about how wonderful my clients are but Eliza and Micah were truly an amazing couple. From the moment we met, I loved the fact that they wanted to have as "green" a wedding as possible (getting all recycled paper products and using as many organic flowers as possible). And they wanted it to be fun! The planning went so smoothly, even when they had the amazing opportunity to take two long trips abroad during the middle of it. Luckily, Eliza's mother and sister were able to step in and we didn't miss a beat!

Eliza and Micah loved the Hotel Monaco's unique design and the fact that it wasn't a cookie-cutter hotel. And this wedding was full of personalized elements from the bride's cool, vintage-style dress to the bright orange and purple palette of the ballroom to the fabulously kitschy New Year's Eve trinkets.

The bride's gown and her mother beautiful dress came from Hitched. We love the new Mother of the Occasion dresses at Hitched. So much nicer than traditional MOB gowns! Eliza searched high and low for the perfect wrap for her dress (since it was darn cold on New Year's Eve!) and finally happened upon a vintage white stole in a Silver Spring consignment shop.

I love the Hotel Monaco's staircases. They make for amazing photos and a great spot for the bride and groom's "big reveal."

The Hotel Monaco is one of my all-time favorite wedding spots in the city. Not only is it a fabulous looking hotel with a really unique ballroom but the catering staff is the best. Buddee Clinton is a dream to work with and Betty, the banquet captain, keeps the events moving perfectly.

The super-talented and so-sweet Jennifer Domenick with Love Life Images took the couple around the hotel for some great portraits before the wedding. The Monaco is a photographer's dream hotel!

The bride and groom steal a moment aboard the shuttle bus heading to the Sixth and I Street Synagogue with the extended families. The groom is one of six children so we needed a shuttle bus for the families!

The couple signed the ketubah before the ceremony surrounded by family and friends.

My new favorite ceremony site is the Synague at Sixth and I Streets. Not only is it stunning but the staff there is so phenomenal. They helped us set up the chuppah cover that the bride's mother hand-knit and made the wedding day go so smoothly. Thank you, Matt!

The groom's father conducted the ceremony, which made it even more meaningful for Eliza and Micah. The grandparents and parents each read one of the Seven Blessings during the ceremony. I loved seeing a wedding with so many proud grandparents in attendance!

The gorgeous cake cake from the amazing Kendall from Kendall's Cakes. The inside was delicious carrot cake. Yum!

What is New Year's Eve without funny hats? Everyone got in the spirit of the night and had a great time wearing them!

We also tucked colorful horns into everyone's napkins and guests really got into blowing them from the moment they sat down! The tables were each named after a country that Eliza and Micah had recently visited and since they had been trekking in Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam and India, it made for quite the conversation starters. Framed photos from their trip were tucked on the bookshelves around the room.

The gorgeous flowers were designed by the uber-deluxe Nick Perez from Multiflor. The purple and orange blooms looked amazing on the shimmery silver linens from DC Rental. John Farr Lighting provided the perfect lighting to create a festive yet sexy mood.

A romantic first dance.

This wedding had some wonderful toasts and really nice moments. It's impressive when a wedding veteran like me gets teary!

A brave groom goes "hands-free" during the hora!

The band "Nation" from Elan Artists was amazing and kept the dance floor packed all night! Plus, they were so easy to work with.

When the clock struck midnight, the air above the bride and groom filled with confetti. Special thanks to the staff at The Monaco for being such good sports because it looked fabulous but made a bit of a mess!

A huge thank you to the amazing team of wedding professionals who helped make the day such a success. The guys from Monachetti Video were a blast and I can't wait to see the video; Miles Stiebel provided beautiful strings for the ceremony music; Linda and the wonderful drivers from Linder and Associates who got the guests to the wedding on time. My assistants Erika and Krista were super stars and I couldn't have done it without them!

It was such a delight to work with Eliza and Micah and both of their families. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of their wedding day. Best wishes and lots of love from all of us at Engaging Affairs!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Music to My Ears

Well, it's that time of year again. Weddings have slowed down a bit for the early year freeze but at Engaging Affairs we are hard at work turning the wheels for our upcoming spring brides and looking towards the newest trends for your big day. And we have a huge spring coming that we can't wait to share with you.

But in the mean time, let's talk entertainment. Music surrounds each wedding day from the pre wedding hair and make up mix your MOH has put together, to the music that meets your guests at the ceremony entrance and the change that walks you down the aisle with your father. From the MARIACHI band that surprises your new husband during the cocktail hour to the band or DJ that obliges your guests with "one more song" when the party insists it's not quite over. You wedding entertainment sets a feel that carries you across the threshold of your wedding night bedroom.

So what are the options? Classic ceremony consists of a string trio or quartet or the glorious, old organ in the church balcony. I have spiced these options up with a trumpet solo or jaw dropping saxophone as the bride walks down the aisle. Another favorite was the angelic sounds of a boys choir when the wedding party entered and the unforgettable "Seasons of Love" from Rent preformed by a Broadway group signaling the beginning of a ceremony. The unique options I have helped to orchestrate just keep coming back to me.

But let's move on to cocktails. This is the perfect place to spice up your wedding. Season and location depending you can use steel drums, a jazz trio, mariachi band or dohl and sitar player. Of course, the string group playing a more popular mix of selections is also a nice way to introduce a relaxed feel to your event.
I'm reminded daily the enormous range different bands cover. My personal favorite is 80's music. There are some AMAZING 80's cover bands out there. If your concerned that some of the "wedding" bands you hear create too generic of a sound, I can assure you that they don't. But if you want to go a step further for a real authentic entertainment experience, those bands exist as well. A new personal favorite, although not for everyone, is an all male group called the VIPs. You can catch a performance by these guys at the Engaged! Bridal show at the Willard on Friday, Feb. 5th with yours truly!

So, whether your wedding starts in a house of worship, an outside space or a ballroom and continues through to a historic home, hotel or tented backyard, make sure the music sets the mood you're looking for. If you can imagine it, it's possible.


Modern Trousseau Trunk Show

Join the Hitched ladies and Australian-born designer Callie Tein on Friday, February 5th and Saturday, February 6th for the Modern Trousseau Trunk Show!

As an added bonus, they’ll be having a Modern Trousseau Mother of the Occasion trunk show on Friday, February 6th. Modern Trousseau’s mother’s collection is sophisticated, elegant, unfussy and anything but frumpy! Make a separate appointment for your mom or future mom-in-law, and let Callie help her find a beautiful look she’ll be proud to wear at your wedding!

What: Modern Trousseau Bridal Trunk Show

When: Friday, February 5th and Saturday, February 6th

(by appointment only)

202-333-6162 or

What Else:
10% off all Modern Trousseau bridal gowns purchased during the trunk show
~The chance to see Modern Trousseau’s newest bridal collection
~The opportunity to discuss customization options for your gown with designer Callie Tein

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase

Wanna help save the world for tomorrow while you celebrate today? This is totally the wedding show for you. Make your day a beautiful shade of green with the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase.

We promise you won’t be bombarded with loads of junk from overly-aggressive salespeople. Instead, spend a relaxed afternoon exploring the gorgeous Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center on the University of Maryland campus and discover must-have eco-options perfect for the sophisticated couple.

  • Get face time with the area’s hippest, greenest wedding vendors
  • Find fresh, original ideas for your day
  • Enjoy a swanky Eco-Fashion Show in an Eco-Fashion Lounge
  • Relax in the Man Cave with a locally brewed beer and watch the big game on a big screen
  • Enter to win stylish, eco-swag
  • Sample phenom food, off-the-hook cakes and local wine
  • Discover romantic honeymoons

This showcase is perfect for any stage of planning – whether you are newly engaged or just putting the finishing touches on your Big Day.


For the groom, Dad and the rest of the guys – we have a Man Cave, equipped with a big-screen TV showing the big game. Seriously. And a bar serving locally brewed beer.

The Green Wedding Showcase includes a fun and fast DJ spin-off and a wine bar to sample the finest in local reds and whites.

For the bride and her maids… the Eco Fashion Show. This incredible swanky catwalk fashion show will feature eco-couture gowns, bridesmaid dresses and tuxes on professional models.

The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase is the ideal place to check off every item on your wedding wish list. We will fit together every piece of the puzzle from green venues and caterers with local, organic offerings to eco-chic d├ęcor and your glamorous fantasy dress.

Engaging Affairs will be there hanging with other fabulous green wedding vendors so come check it out! You can buy tickets here. Hope to see you there!


Friday, January 22, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Kathryn for winning two free tickets to the Washingtonian Bride and Groom show this Sunday! Kathryn, send me an email ( with the names of the two people attending and we will get you hooked up. Thanks to everyone for entering!

Even if you didn't win the free tickets, you can get your tickets for the show at 25% off the regular price by entering special promo code WEDD at online checkout:

See you there!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

5 Amazing Venues, 7 Fabulous Honeymoons, 1 Showstopping Wedding Show!

The Engaged Wedding Show on Friday, February 5th is shaping up to be the event of the season! And I don't say that only because we will be part of the show. Each of the five hotels (The Willard, The Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, The St. Regis and The Hay-Adams) will be hosting a team of vendors to create an amazing display at the property. Although the details of each team's plan are top secret, I can tell you that our team has some amazing ideas and couples will see some spectacular ideas for everything from flowers to wedding cakes to music. Plus, couples who come to The Willard Hotel on the night of the show will have the chance to win a honeymoon to Paris! How cool is that?

Couples will get to ride complimentary shuttle buses between the five hotels from 5-10pm so that they don't miss a thing (and get to enter all the honeymoon giveaways--7 in all!) You really shouldn't miss this event. There will be great giveaways, the top wedding vendors in the city, and amazing swag!

Engaged is limiting the number of tickets sold to be sure that everyone can get to all the properties without a wait so be sure to get your ticket before they're gone! We hope to see you at The Willard!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christos Trunk Show at Hitched!

Announcing the newest addition to the fabulous collection of designers at Hitched – Christos! Designed by Amsale (you love her Amsale line already carried at Hitched), the Christos line evokes a feeling of romance, femininity, and old-world glam. Amsale’s Christos gowns showcase the finest silks, French laces, and silk organzas and we think you’ll love their dreamy, romantic quality!

To welcome this fantastic collection to Hitched, don't miss the first ever Christos Trunk Show, Friday and Saturday, January 29th and 30th.

What: Christos Trunk Show

When: Friday, January 29th and Saturday, January 30th

(by appointment only)

202-333-6162 or

What Else:
10% off all Christos bridal gowns purchased during the trunk show
~ The chance to get a sneak peek at the Christos 2010 bridal collection
The opportunity to discuss customization options for your gown with a Christos representative

Check out the other amazing trunk shows coming to Hitched. Email or 202-333-6162 to schedule an appointment.

Modern Trousseau Mother of the Occasion Trunk Show
Friday, February 5th

Modern Trousseau Bridal Trunk Show
Friday and Saturday, February 5th and 6th

Jorge Manuel Trunk Show
Friday and Saturday, February 19th & 20th

Anna Maier~Ulla-Maija Trunk Show
Friday and Saturday, February 26th & 27th

Judd Waddell Trunk Show
Friday and Saturday, March 5th & 6th

Anne Barge Trunk Show
Friday and Saturday, March 12th & 13th

Amsale Bridal Trunk Show
Friday and Saturday, March 19th & 20th

Amsale Bridesmaids Buying Party
Thursday, March 25th

Amsale Bridesmaids Trunk Show
Thursday-Saturday, March 25th-27th

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keep Them Coming! {Fabulous DC Venues, Part 4}

Oh, the fabulous options! We keep them coming here in Part 4 of our DC Venue Series. There are a ton of venues, all so unique, here in our nation's capital. Whether nestled downtown or boasting views of the Potomac, there is no question that DC absolutely offers a vast array of possibilities!

photo of Carnegie Institution by Jay Premack

Carnegie Institution for Science
Proudly standing on 16th Street NW, Carnegie offers a museum setting while still keeping in tact a very intimate gathering. I adore the atrium {pictured above} for dancing the night away! If the weather cooperates, you can even open the large doors in the atrium and have an outstanding view of the city during your ceremony, cocktail hour or dancing.

photo by Michael Kress
The Washington Club
This historic property right in the heart of DC is a fantastic location for anyone hosting a large amount of guests. The Ballroom has fantastic chandeliers and the Auditorium holds up to 180 guests with dancing - perfect mix for a large guest count to remain in the same space together without losing the historic home setting.

photo courtesy of The Washington Club

Floor to ceiling windows over looking downtown DC are the trademark of the Newseum event space. And don't forget about the stunning view from the 7th & 8th floor terrace of the Capital! Wolfgang Puck is the in-house caterer and the staff is sure to take great care of any couple hosting their wedding at this fabulous DC venue.

photo by Love Life Images


Sequoia offers a modern twist with an outstanding view of the Potomac. The main dining room transforms from the everyday restaurant setting and takes on your unique style for dinner and dancing. The service staff takes wonderful care of your guests and you can't beat how willing the Executive Chef is to make your food and beverage experience truly what you want it to be!

photo by Fotobriceno

Mayflower Hotel
One of the most fabulous hotels in the city, The Mayflower has all the glitz and glamor a girl could ask for. The Promenade is a photographers dream and the ballroom is nothing short of absolutely stunning. We adore the ornate decor and the space begs for a big band and dancing into the night!

two above photos by Justine Ungaro

Happy planning!
Amy Lorraine

Friday, January 15, 2010

Washingtonian Bride and Groom Show Giveaway!

Tis the season for bridal shows! So for all of you newly engaged women (or even if you've been engaged for a while), this is a great time to check out the wedding scene by attending one of the area's premiere shows. In addition to the fabulous Engaged Show, Washingtonian Bride and Groom will be hosting "Bride and Groom Unveiled" at The Mandarin Hotel on January 24th from 11:30-3:00 pm. You'll be able to see dresses, sip champagne and nibble on wedding cake.

Tickets are $55 each but readers of Bridal Bubbly are in for a treat. Washingtonian Bride and Groom Magazine has given us two tickets to give away to one lucky reader. So if you'd like to attend the show for free, send us a message. We will pick a winner at random next Friday. Good luck!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Year's Eve Wedding at The Monaco

Just a teaser from my New Year's Eve wedding at The Monaco. I was so thrilled the confetti poppers worked. You can't see me in the photo but I'm on the side shooting up huge flutterfetti wands one after another over the bride and groom's heads to make sure we had plenty of confetti. Can you ever have enough confetti? I mean, really? Thanks to Jennifer Domenick at Love Life Images for the gorgeous photo. More fabulous images and info to come!

Final Decisions {Amy & Clark}

After showing you a few of our initial invitation options, here are the final versions that we ended up sending out! There were so many decisions to be made {just like every other aspect of the planning process!} but it was a BLAST working on the designs with Clark and my dearest mum.

When designing your own invitations, make sure to convey the final look you are hoping for. Whether modern, sleek, traditional or fun, your invitations should be the first glimpse for your as to what the vibe of the wedding will be. Work with a designer like Jason to get the final product that you are happy with!

Not to mention, the many possibilities for papers, envelope colors, calligraphy, etc etc etc! Make sure to build in extra time for invitations when designing your own as there will be many conversations back and forth with the artist. You don't want to get off track and end up sending them out too late on account of having that personal touch.

Happy Planning!
Amy Lorraine