Friday, May 28, 2010

Inspiration Board {Yellow and Gray }

First Row: bridesmaid dresses (Sarah Seven via Stephanie Williams Photography) cake, bouquet (Style Me Pretty) 
Second Row: ring pillow (Brooklyn Bride), tablescape (Stephanie Williams photography
Third Row: escort card display and groomsmen (Stephanie Williams Photography)
Fourth Row: shoes (Wedding Wire), table setting (The Party Dress), invitations(Wedding Chicks)

Sara's gorgeous real wedding story featuring yellow and gray inspired us to do an inspiration board with this fresh but elegant color combination. We love these colors together because you don't see it everyday and it's unexpected but still so lovely.  Enjoy!

Alison and Laura

Thursday, May 27, 2010

50's Throw Back {Abby + Zack}

Nothing like an engagement shoot to get you excited for the upcoming wedding! Justine Ungaro, fabulous photographer, sent over a few snap shots of my clients, Abby & Zack. They did a 50's themed shoot right in their own home!

Abby & Zack are getting married on October 10, 2010 on the Eastern Shore, MD. We are high into the planning and just had a fun-filled meeting this past Saturday at Capital Decor & Events to discuss decor and floral arrangements. Can't wait to see how this wedding turns out!!

Ah, I love this one!! We all have our days...

Happy Planning!
Amy Lorraine

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Parking!

I have to admit that I got some serious giggles when I came across this "No Parking" sign while I was searching for some DC parking info for my wedding this Sunday (yes, it is non-stop glamour around here between getting parking permits and checking road closures). I wish I could get a few of these signs to put up for my weddings!

A Tale of DC Wedding Parking Permits {with frosting}

When Laura introduces me to people, it usually goes something like this:

“This is my assistant Alison. She loves cupcakes more than you do.”

My cupcake obsession has become a bit of a company joke. Apparently, most people can’t draw a map of all the cupcakeries in DC with their eyes closed, have never eaten five cupcakes inside five minutes, and don’t start their days with a carrot cupcake (which I would argue is essentially a breakfast pastry). The last time my mom was in town, we went to four different bakeries in one day, and in her entire five-day trip, she ate SEVENTEEN cupcakes. (Clearly, the obsession is hereditary.) However, I’m embarrassed to say that up to very recently, my cupcake tour of DC was incomplete. I was a poser, a fraud—a cupFAKE. … until last Thursday.

Now I love my job so much that most days, I’d work for free. Last Thursday was not one of those days. My morning was spent at the DC permits building. I waited in line for two hours, talked thirty minutes to an official about whether a parking meter on the east side of Constitution Avenue could even exist since Constitution runs east-west, and then I was detained for another half hour when the building was on lockdown because some guy refused to leave his spot in line for the cashier to claim his briefcase. Through it all, Laura was sending me emails about how easy it used to be to get parking permits in DC—why, she used to have a stack of blank permits in her trunk to use whenever! (Clearly, Laura wanted to make me cry in the hope that some city employee would take pity on me and grant the appropriate permit. She’s just that brilliantly devious.)

By the time I left the Public Space Office with permits in hand, the sun was significantly higher than when I’d entered, but my spirits were not. And that is when I saw the most beautiful sight in all the land: the pink Curbside Cupcakes van pulling up directly in front of me. You can say it wasn’t fate but I won’t listen: the universe knew I needed a cupcake at that moment and it delivered. Literally.

I’d been eager to try Curbside ever since it beat out my beloved Baked & Wired in the second round of Washingtonian’s most recent cupcake tournament. Had the voting public gotten it wrong, or did Curbside really take the cake?

Here’s what I can tell you. The guys in the van were really nice, for one thing. At $3 a cupcake ($15 for a half dozen), Curbside is less expensive than Baked & Wired, although the cupcakes themselves are smaller. The cake itself is more spongey than crumbly, and the frosting on the Classic Vanilla was a tad too sweet for my liking, although it was still a great cupcake. My Carrot Cake was okay (Hello Cupcake and Lavender Moon both do it better) but the Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Cup were good, and the Dark Chocolate Delight lived up to its name. Laura gave both the Classic Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Delight two icing-covered thumbs up.

All in all, while Baked & Wired remains my standard for other cupcakes to beat, I can definitely see myself chasing down the Curbside Cupcakes van for a second tasting. Now if they’d only drive by the Engaging Affairs office…


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hitched Maids Grand Opening!!

After bursting at the seams for quite some time, we are thrilled to announce that Hitched is hatching Hitched Maids, a fresh, fun bridesmaid dress shop nestled above their bridal boutique in Georgetown. Opening this Tuesday, Hitched Maids will provide brides & their best gals with a warm and inviting space to ogle over fabulous frocks from some of our favorite bridesmaid designers-- Amsale, Anna Elyse, Jenny Yoo, Lela Rose, Simple Silhouettes, and Thread.

Hitched Maids, located on the 2nd floor of 1523 Wisconsin Avenue, will operate by appointment only from 12pm-8pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11am-6pm Friday, and 9am-5pm Saturday. We are so excited that there is a space dedicated solely to bridesmaid dress shopping, and we're sure that brides and bridesmaids alike will adore the chic environment and wide selection of dresses. The styles range from classically sophisticated to modern and trendy, and of course, Hitched Maids will offer the same knowledgeable, friendly service for which Hitched is known.

To celebrate the grand opening, Hitched Maids is offering 10% off any bridesmaid dress purchased during the month of June! So be sure to check it out!
A special thanks to Kate Headley for the photography.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love, love, LOVE in YELLOW!

Last week I posted parts of a speech given by father of the bride Aldred Williams. Here is the story of his daughter's day.

As I have previously mentioned, Lauren is the last of the Williams ladies I will get to work with. Youngest of three sisters, Lauren and Malik go back a few years. I was so excited to get the call from her last spring that they were in fact engaged and that Lauren would be planning her wedding from NYC for the next several months before the two moved back to VA.

We quickly chose the Hotel Monaco for her venue given the unique character of the "hotel" space. The fabulous Buddee Clinton made sure all the venue needs were addressed. Decor was an exiting part of the planning and Lauren wanted something fresh in design and fresh for the spring season. Yellow can be a hard color to pull off, but I was excited to match it with slate gray and Lauren quickly embraced all the possibilities. What's more refreshing in spring than lemon, yum!

So, yellow/lemon took on a life of it's own, showing up in the centerpieces, thanks to John Duffy of Yellow Door (how appropriate!) the favors, compliments of ETSY and even on the brides feet! (Stay turned for my exciting blog on wedding shoes- my love, love, LOVE!) The final touch, the yellow lighting on the columns. "The lighting made the room!" I can quote the mother of the bride exclaiming. "It always does," I replied :)

Lauren, Malik along with family and friends took to the dance floor and stayed there all night long thanks to DJ 2 Tone Jones. A shout out to Stephen from Love Life Images and Dolce video for capturing the fantastic night.


Friday, May 21, 2010

An Oxon Hill Manor Wedding with A View {Abby + Tim}

Abby & Tim came to me back in February to help them plan their May wedding. They wanted their day to have a sophisticated and intimate feel, which I believed they achieved beautifully.

The exciting day began with the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride getting their hair and makeup done, in the bridal suite at the Gaylord Hotel by the talented Kim Steele. The bride was quick to point out when I arrived that she could actually see her reception venue just a couple of miles away from her bedroom window (not planned at all). After hair and makeup was completed, she slipped into her wedding dress that she purchased at Hitched and began her formal photos in the Gaylord’s unique atrium. Photographer Joshua Komanapalli of Freed Photography took care of the ladies' pre-ceremony photos while photographer Bryan Blanken was shooting the men’s pre-ceremony photos.

The shades of peach and lavender are so beautiful together and are perfect for a Spring day in Washington!

The couple chose to get married in the ornate Holy Rosary Church in Washington DC, which was built in 1913. Lots of history at this wedding!

The reception was held at Oxon Hill Manor which sits on a bluff and has amazing views of the Potomac River and the new National harbor development. The tables and fire place ledges were decorated by Bloom Florist located across the bride in Alexandria, VA. Guests were able to sip delicious cocktails and nibble on tasty appetizers in the gardens surrounding the Manor. After the cocktail reception, guests moved inside to enjoy dinner prepared by an Engaging Affairs favorite, Occasions Caterers. The bride and groom worked alongside Meg to insure all that the guests were dining on was perfect including the very tasty dessert buffet that had an assortment of mini desserts. In addition to the desserts, the guests enjoyed delicious raspberry crème wedding cake (yes, you read that correctly…delicious) made by Alexandria Pastry Shop.

And what’s a party without music?! Everyone in the building (including the planners) enjoyed listening to the music of the very talented Winn Brothers. They were able to take requests from the bride and guests including songs such as Sweet Home Alabama, Life Goes On, Kiss.

A special thanks to Katz Audio/Visual, out of Charlottesville, who worked very hard (and succeeded) to get all of the a/v equipment set up within the short time frame allotted for us. I must also thank my fabulous assistant, Kim, who help make this day possible.

Congratulations Abby & Tim!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pretty Plaid Wedding Inspiration

Clockwise from top left: tablescape (The Party Dress), cake (Flickr), linens (Brenda's Wedding Blog), invitations (Beast Pieces), candles (Things Festive), bouquet trim (Wedsmack), shoes (Things Festive), dresses (Wedding Stand)

Our love affair with patterns continues! We've done our fair share of Scottish weddings where the groom donned a kilt, but what about using this fun print throughout your wedding? If you claim some Scottish ancestry, you can use your family tartan or select another plaid that you like better (we won't tell).

A little goes a long way when it comes to plaid so be sure to balance it out with more monochromatic flowers and other details. You can also just use a touch here and there to pull the look together. We love the plaid bridesmaids' gowns and the spiky plaid heels are too-die-for! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Toile Wedding Inspiration

Starting at top left: programs, table setting (The Heart of the Sea), tablecloth (Williams Sonoma), ballet flats (Talbot's), cake (Martha Stewart Weddings), table runner (, cake , china fingerbowls (Brenda's Wedding Blog), parasol (

This week we are all about prints! After spending a good part of last week creating escort card framed boards (more on our DIY fun to come) and searching fabric stores for the perfect blue print, we were reminded about all the amazing patterns and prints out there.

We've always loved toile. We've used pink toile for garden parties, black toile for museum weddings and just about every shade in between. We love the relaxed sophistication of toile. Toile is the cool kid of the pattern world who's cool without even trying. Why not add a touch of toile to your wedding?

Laura and Alison

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wedding Dance Lessons: To Take or Not To Take?

There is a lot of debate among my couples about whether or not to take dance lessons for their wedding. I'd say most intend to and more than half actually do it. I think dance lessons are a great idea and can be a fun prewedding activity. That being said, if one person is dead-set against it, then dragging them through the lessons will not be fun. Better to stand and sway than to have one person gritting their teeth through the dance.

But if you are both willing to try, then go for it! Guests love when couples have a fun first dance complete with spins and dips. And I love seeing the excitement on couples' faces when they finish their dance and get wild applause.

We love the folks at The Wedding Dance Specialists because, well, they specialize in teaching couples to do a first dance. Even in one lesson, they will have you dancing more smoothly! Our own Sara and her now husband took lessons through The Wedding Dance Specialists and danced like pros. Sara says that they are living proof that anyone can be taught!

I also love that The Wedding Dance Specialists work with you on selecting a first dance song and have a list of appropriate songs on their website with clips so you can listen to a bit of the song. As the folks on American Idol will tell you, song selection is important. There is nothing more awkward than realizing halfway through a first dance that the lyrics are totally inappropriate.

So check out The Wedding Dance Specialists and get dancing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tag Sale Chic {Three Potato Four}

So, after my amazing wedding on Friday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (more on that to come), I woke up to our neighborhood's semi-annual tag sale. I'd entertained visions of clearing out our house and setting up shop in our yard, but I was still too weary from running around the day before to trundle out the folding tables and clothes racks. I had promised my four-year-old daughter that she could hold a bake sale, though, so there I was baking cupcakes and brownies at seven in the morning.

Since I was on bake sale duty (and I have to admit that my daughter made a tidy little profit off her cupcakes and brownies), I didn't get to walk around a see what people had out. The reality is that I don't get to flea markets and antique stores as often as I'd like to search for great wedding details. Which is why I was thrilled to find the website Three Potato Four. The site is like a fabulous vintage tag sale or flea market. They have all sorts of great items and finding them is as easy as point and click. I love the custom signs and the fun paper products.

They have a great selection of vintage glass bottles that would work well for centerpieces or even as drink carafes or to serve your signature cocktail from.

Plus, they have tons of fun ways to do table numbers.

I could wander for hours on this site! I hope you have as much fun as I do. Happy shopping!