Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sultry 1940s Style {Danielle and Nick}

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of planning a fabulous 1940s styled wedding for Danielle and Nick. They loved rich colors, feathers and retro cocktails so we worked to create a wedding that would reflect their fun personalities.

The bride found her gorgeous Monique Lhuiller gown at Carine's Bridal Atelier in Georgetown and paired it with to-die-for Christian Louboutin shoes. Her bridal bouquet featured ivory blooms and brown feathers and was wrapped with a jeweled rosary.

After getting ready at The Mayflower Hotel, the bride arrived for the ceremony at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in a classic white Rolls Royce from Regal Limousine.

After photos on the steps of the church, the bride and groom dashed away to the reception at The Carnegie Institute. This is my new favorite venue for smaller weddings. I love the grand entrance and the gorgeous marble rotunda!

Cocktails were in full swing with 1940s music played by the amazing DJ Kopec, and fun hors d'oeuvres like mini pigs-in-blankets atop shots of beer being passed by Well Dunn Catering.

Guests were welcomed with a note tucked into a vintage typewriter and cards were slipped into an iron birdcage adorned with feathers.

Capital Decor built a custom wooden bar to create a speak-easy vibe for the bar and bartenders from the popular Todd Thresher bar PX who created handcrafted cocktails like a sweet basil martini and their signature grog (don't ask me what's in it but it's good).

The groom changed out of his ceremony tux and into a custom brown suit that fit the reception vibe while the bride changed her hair and jewelry. Don't they look amazing?

Kendall from Kendall's Cakes created the gorgeous cake that was decorated with peacock feathers and sat on a linen created entirely out of peacock feathers!

Carrying the feather theme into the dinner, we tucked peacock feathers into the napkins along with the menu cards that featured a peacock. Even the bride and groom's places were topped with a jeweled peacock frame with a picture of the couple.

Jeff and his talented team from Capital Decor created stunning floral arrangements and tablescapes for the long, rectangular tables we used for dinner. Deep brown velvet linens from DC Rental were topped with crystal table runners, jeweled candles and shaded candleabra dripping with crystals. John Farr Lighting created the amazing sultry lighting for the room.

I loved when the bride and groom entered the dining room and the bride saw her married name for the first time on her place card (all the place cards were done in vintage typewriter print by Sprites Ink)!

After a elegant three course dinner during which The Cherry Blossom String Quartet serenaded the guests, the couple took to the dance floor for their first dance. Then DJ Chris Kopec turned it up a notch and guests took to the dance floor and it was packed the rest of the night.

While guests danced, the catering and decor team (and my fabulous team) broke down all the tables in the dining room and moved lounge furniture in to create a lounge for the cappuccino station and donut machine. I have never seen such a fast room turnover in all my years in events! Guests enjoyed freshly made donuts and coffee before hopping on shuttles from Linder and Associates and heading back to the Mayflower Hotel. What an amazing night!

Thanks to the phenomenal team of vendors that made the wedding possible. Michelle from Carnegie was a dream to work with, Ric from Well Dunn moved mountains to make everything happen, Chris Kopec and his team spun some of the best dance music I've heard in ages, Jeff from Capital Decor went above and beyond to create the breathtaking decor and my own team (Maeve, Alison and Christine) was everywhere at once.

We can't wait to see the video from Stereo Waltz Films--they are always a pleasure to work with! A huge thank you to Fotobriceno for the gorgeous images. And a special thanks to Danielle and Nick for letting us share their special day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1940s Wedding Sneak Peek

Be sure to check out the post of my recent 1940s inspired wedding tomorrow! Here's a sneak peek of the bride and groom in the sexy bar we created at The Carnegie Institute in D.C. More fun photos tomorrow!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Well, it's Spring in Washington, D.C. and that means rain. Since today is a rainy day, my thoughts turned naturally to fun ways to stay dry (or shaded from the sun) at our many upcoming weddings. We love Bella Umbrella for their fabulous umbrellas and parasols. There are so many amazing designs to personalize your wedding!

If you are looking for classic white umbrellas, you can also try the options at Think Wedding.

I love the look of umbrellas for photos, as well. Even if the sun is shining! I keep a stash of white and black umbrellas in my car for rain or photo ops. So if it rains on your wedding day (knock on wood), some fabulous umbrellas can save the day!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Last call for the Engaged Bridal Show!

Don't miss all the fun this Sunday at the Engaged in Washington Bridal Event!

The first event of its kind, Engaged! in Washington will be held at FIVE of the city's premiere wedding venues: TheFour Seasons Hotel, The Hay-Adams, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis Hotel, and The Willard Intercontinental Hotel. From 4pm to 9pm, couples can arrive at any of the above properties and experience each venue as it would look for an actual wedding, meet the people that make fabulous weddings happen, linger and look, ooh and aah, and then take a limo bus to the next venue for more eye candy!

Photographers at each venue will take portraits, wedding planners and florists are designing knock-out spaces to wow guests, bands and DJs will play music, models from area bridal salons will be wearing the latest bridal fashion, hair and make-up artists will work their magic on attendees – first come, first served! Sample the food and drink champagne and don’t worry about parking or transportation....Reston Limousine will shuttle guests all evening to each site, rotating in 30 minute increments!

There will be fabulous goodie bags for the first 300 attendees plus drawings for 7 different honeymoons as well as other fab prizes (like a $500 Cartier gift certificate). Engaging Affairs will be at The Willard (with two Paris honeymoon giveaways and Cartier so come say hi)!

Engaged! in Washington promises to be an experience!

Bachelorette Parties (and a Drink to Go With Them)

Since I've been in the business, bachelorette parties have gone from occasional to required. But gone are the days when your only option was putting on a veil and bar-hopping. Now brides and their best girls do everything from a weekend at the beach to a weekend in Rome (yes, one of my brides did do this!). Here are some fun ideas for non-strip club parties:

Go Zen--Now this is my type of party! Pick a favorite day spa or have everyone fly out to a destination spa for a few days.

Amuse Yourself-- Our very own Sara and her gals had a blast hanging out in Disney World. Mickey isn't just for kids, you know!

Beach Bums-- Rent a house on the water for a few days of sun and margaritas. This is a great way to get some sun before the wedding, too.

Big City Weekend-- Gather in a fabulous city like New York, Chicago or London for lots to do. Think dinner and drinks in a swanky restaurant and plenty of shopping!

Rough It-- If you're more of an outdoorsy type, try a white water rafting or rock climbing weekend.

Head of the Class-- Learn something together. Arrange a group cooking class, take salsa lessons or even try a pole dancing class!

Stay In-- Have an old-fashioned sleepover. Give it a grown-up spin by bringing in a tarot card reader to predict the future!

And if you do decide to spend a night at bopping around to strip clubs, here's a drink to start you off courtesy of "The Bubbly Bride" by Natalie Bovis-Nelson.


1/2 ounce vodka
1/4 ounce cinnamon schnapps
1/4 ounce cream
3 red hots

Pour vodka, schnapps and cream into a shot glass. Drop three red hots into the bottom of the glass. Bottoms up!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to Get an Internship with a Wedding Planner

'Tis the season for college students to start looking for internships. We have had some fabulous interns in the past and we always get lots of applicants each year so I thought I'd share some tips for anyone who may be thinking of breaking into the business by interning for a wedding planner.

1) Address your letter or email to a person. It isn't too hard to do some research and see who owns the company. If the info isn't listed on the company website, call and ask to whom you should send your resume. And be sure not to mix up names. I have gotten emails addressed to another wedding planner before. Big oops! We know you're probably sending out lots of resumes, just don't make it obvious.

2) Proof well for spelling or grammatical errors. Don't say you're detail-oriented and misspell it!

3) If possible, find a personal connection. Did you go to the same school, join the same sorority or belong to the same professional organization?

4) The best is a personal recommendation or referral. If we ever met or spoke, remind me of it!

5) Don't be afraid to show your personality in the cover letter. We get so many letters that sound exactly the same. Show us why you are going to be an amazing asset but do it in a creative way. In other words, don't just say you'll be an amazing asset, show us! This is a business based on creativity, after all.

6) If the person you are writing has written a book or even an article, read it! Do your research and know about the company or the event planner to whom you're applying. I'm always impressed when people have done research and know about my company's history. It shows me that they will be just as thorough when they are working with me.

7) Be persistent. Wedding planners have a ton going on so it is your responsibility to follow up. If someone keeps emailing or calling, I know they are really interested. I don't think I've ever hired someone who has just sent me one email or letter. If your email says you will follow up in a week, do it.

Good luck!

Sweet Treats!

Today we had the pleasure of sampling some of the cakes offered by Cotton's Gourmet. If you're a faithful Bridal Bubbly reader, you know we love cake. And you also know that Alison really loves cake. So this was a fun day at the office.

We tried four flavors: chocolate, red velvet, vanilla and their signature flavor, sweet potato pound cake. Being the Southern girl that I am, I loved the sweet potato pound cake. It was so flavorful and moist! If you can't imagine sweet potatoes as dessert, you should try this cake. One of our other tasters loved the vanilla, and Alison is always partial to red velvet.

Cotton's specializes in Southern desserts so they also offer deep dish pies like coconut custard and bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Yum! They are located in Maryland but travel all over the D.C. area for weddings. So pop up to Maryland for a tasting and don't miss the sweet potato pound cake!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breaking D.C. Event World News!

Well, there is big news this week in the D.C. event world so hang on to your hats (or veils)! Our dear friend and Director of Catering at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Michael Deltette, is moving to The Park Hyatt to become their new Director of Catering. We absolutely adore Michael and have done so many amazing weddings with him at The Mandarin so now we look forward to doing lots of weddings with him at The Park Hyatt!

And the lovely Amal Zaari from The Park Hyatt will be taking over as Director of Social Catering at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. We all know Amal for her spectacular events at The Park Hyatt, and the Ritz is lucky to get her talent. Congratulations Amal! We look forward to working with you at The Ritz!

Congratulations Sara!

Once again, Sara has been nominated for a Capital Award for one of her weddings! The Capital Awards are sponsored by ISES, the International Special Events Society, and are the highest honor you can achieve in the D.C. special events industry. Go Sara!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Green Garters!

Our favorite Garter Girl has designed fabulous eco-friendly garters. The first-ever, green garters are environmentally friendly (and chic) wedding garters made from recycled plastic bottles. The background and accent colors can be mixed and matched to find your perfect style.

So, be you and be green!
Go to Julianne Smith to purchase or customize your garter colors. You might have to get a couple, though. These garters are too cute to throw!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mellow Yellow

Photo from MSW

This past weekend was so gorgeous in the D.C. area! The forsythia bush in my yard is in glorious bloom with the most riotous yellow blossoms so I thought I'd post some favorite photos of yellow wedding details.

Photo by The Cake Girls

These individual cakes look so yummy! You know how we love bright shoes under wedding dresses. These sunny peep-toes are perfect for a warm weather wedding!

Photo by Jose Villa

Happy Monday and bring on the Spring!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wedding Amusement {Carnival Inspiration}

credits: candy and game (Victor Sizemore Photography), centerpiece (Green
Wedding Shoes), escort cards ( Grey Likes Weddings), milk jug toss (Victor
Sizemore Photography), photobooth (Grey Likes Weddings), ferris wheel kiss
(Green Wedding Shoes), carousel bride (Picture That Photography), cotton candy
(Victor Sizemore Photography), ring toss (Victor Sizemore Photography)

The warmer weather starts making me think about summer carnivals and outdoor fairs. I always love really whimsical weddings that take inspiration from childhood fun. Plus, I adore cotton candy and funnel cakes and all sorts of fair food! Love having escort cards that look like carnival tickets--such a cute idea! Weddings are happy occasions so why not make them really fun? Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Win a Luxurious Yacht Wedding!

We just have to share this amazing giveaway!

Win an Annapolis dream wedding on a luxurious private yacht on the Chesapeake Bay! The prize, valued at over $20,000 includes:
  • 3-hour yacht cruise
  • Hosted Soda/Juice/Beer/Wine Bar
  • Delicious catering and a fabulous wedding cake from The Main Ingredient.
  • Accommodations, valet service and breakfast from Historic Inns of Annapolis
  • DJ services from Alpha Entertainment
  • Photography by DBryant Photography
  • Florals from Intrigue Design and D├ęcor
  • Limousine from An Extraordinary Limousine

There are two ways to enter:
1. Send a video (90 seconds or less please) of your love story or wedding proposal.
2. Come down to the Annapolis City Dock on April 17, 2010. Watermark will welcome you to step aboard the Catherine Marie to record your video and receive a tour.

For more information or to download your video, go to the contest website. Good luck! We hope a Bridal Bubbly reader wins!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day! {Green Wedding Inspiration}

Photo credits: dresses (Martha Stewart), bouquet (Martha Stewart), cake
(Artisan Cake Company via The Knot), ring pillow (), shoes (Cheri Pearl), table
setting (Martha Stewart), teacups (Martha Stewart), clover boutonniere, apple
escort cart setting (Style Me Pretty), drink (Martha Stewart Wedding), cupcake
(Snippet & Ink), invitation (Style Me Pretty)

Hope everyone remembered to wear green today!  We have a few green and white weddings coming up this summer, and we love the crisp combination. Enjoy this fresh and fun green wedding inspiration and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lunch with Some (Wedding Planning) Ladies

Last week, Sara and I had the pleasure of attending a lunch to showcase the catering talents of Silverleaf. Our dear friend Pam Barefoot of Atrendy Wedding hosted the Georgetown party and some of our favorite fellow wedding planners attended.

The weather was glorious so we enjoyed cocktails in the walled garden before going inside for a seated lunch. The meal was tapas style with delicious items like shrimp on skewers, summer rolls and chai pots de creme. I loved the unique flavors and creative use of spices! Pam had everyone answer a fun, wedding planning related question, which led to some lively conversation.

Nick Perez of Multiflor created gorgeous centerpieces using unusual flowers and vegetables that evoked the modern art on the wall. The beautiful photos are courtesy of Kate Triano. Thanks to Pam and to Silverleaf for a lovely afternoon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Picnic-Inspired Spring Wedding Board

bouquet (Martha Stewart Weddings), dress (Pretty Chicky), ceremony (Style Me
Pretty), watermelon (Brides Buzzing), tablescape (Style Me Pretty), lunch bags
(Style Me Pretty), escort cards (Style Me Pretty), picnic blankets (White Lace
Wedding), hammock (), table setting (Style Me Pretty), cake (Martha Stewart
Wedding), bottles (Style Me Pretty), edible 'paper bags' (Martha Stewart
Weddings, jar (Prima Donna Bride) The red gingham bottle photo is courtesy of Halo Photography.
We're so thrilled that the weather is turning warm that we feel inspired to share happy, sunny wedding ideas. What could be more fun than a wedding outside on the lawn? After ages with snow on the ground here in D.C., we love the idea of an elegant reception on the lawn with individual picnic blankets and baskets for guests. I love the pink floral arrangements on each blanket and the white cushions!

Photo courtesy of White Lace Weddings

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flaunt Your Rock!

Did you recently get engaged and are beaming with pride over the shiny rock on your finger? Do you have the best engagement ring ever? Well, it’s time to flaunt it for a chance to win a FREE Engagement Session AND a FREE 20 page Gold Guest Signature Album from Ever After Visuals.

The Details:

• Engaged couples only.
• Ceremony must be held in the Northern VA, DC, MD area.
• Submit 1 photograph of your ring & 1 photograph of yourselves (amateur photo’s only) by March 17th by e-mail only to After submissions are closed, they will put all images back up on the blog for voting.
• Encourage all of your friends and family to vote for you. The ring with the most votes wins! Voting will begin on March 18th!

Everyone will be invited to cast their vote by leaving your name, a comment and the image number of the couple you are voting for.

Submit by: 03/17/2010
Voting begins: 03/18/2010
Voting ends: midnight on 03/25/2010
Announce winner: 03/31/2010.

The prize the winner will receive:

A FREE Engagement Session
A FREE 20 page Gold Guest Signature Album

For a TOTAL VALUE OF: $500.00

Also because they appreciate you taking the time to vote, Ever After Visuals will give away 2 family portrait sessions as prizes! JUST FOR THE VOTERS! So be sure to leave an email address when you vote where they can contact you!

Don't send your photos or try to vote here. Bop on over to Ever After Visuals for more info. Good luck!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jet-Setting Weddings

box of collectibles (Green Wedding Shoes blog), plane shot (Blue Door
Photography), passport program (SMP), boarding pass escort cards (SMP), postcard
Save the Date (Besotted Brand LLC on leblahg), suitcases (SMP), mini globes
(Elizabeth Demos), toy airplane (Style Me Pretty), compass (SMP), luggage tag
escort cards (SMP), passports (SMP), suitcases (SMP), map (Elizabeth Demos)

Our quick little jaunt down to Bimini Bay (with our crazy dash through the airport followed by a ride on a teeny tiny private plane) inspired us to think of travel-inspired weddings. Since so many D.C. weddings have guests flying in from all over the world, we have done some fab luggage tag favors and place cards. I also love the idea of using a giant map for guest seating. Guests find their "escort card" flag according to where they are from. A fun conversation starter! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"On Love" in The Washington Post {Danielle and Nick}

Check out the fabulous Engaging Affairs wedding of Danielle and Nick featured in The Washington Post. More photos of the swanky 1940s style wedding to come!