Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Making of a Wedding at Gotham Hall {Tantawan Bloom}

Gorgeous video from one of Christine's recent weddings in New York City showing the transformation of Gotham Hall by Tantawan Bloom's Golf Srithamrong. Amazing decor (and fun to see how an event like this comes together)!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Introducing Mr. and Ms. Parifax! {Creative Name Changing}

One of my coolest couples ever has come up with one of the most creative solutions to the "name change" issue. We've had lots of brides keep their name, plenty hyphenate both names and one create a new last name for both out of their existing last names. But the former Lia Mandaglio and Hudson Taylor have taken it a step further and created a new last name for both of them that is unrelated to their previous names. They are now Lia and Hudson Parifax!

Lia and Hudson are both ardent feminists and advocates for LGBT rights. Hudson is the founder of the gay-rights advocacy group Athlete Ally for athletes, and he speaks at colleges and schools throughout the country asking athletes to sign a pledge to end homophobia. Lia is a lawyer in New York who is equally progressive and fabulously cool.

This couple is so perfect for each other and I loved seeing how crazy for each other they were. I was lucky enough to get to work with them on their wedding because, at the time, DC allowed same-sex marriage while New York did not and it was important to the couple to be married in an inclusive state.

It was just as crucial to them that their name support their feminist beliefs. Hudson explained their reasoning for creating a new last name in this article for "Out Sports" Magazine:

"A lot of contemporary couples keep their own last names, which is great and something we are considering. But, we want to have the same name. We could hyphenate them. But, our surnames are our fathers' surnames, and their fathers' surnames, and their fathers' surnames etc.

Even if we decided to take our mother's maiden names, we'd still be operating in a patrilineal naming system. We find it pretty disturbing that male names have been "labeling" people for hundreds of years. Matrilineal surnames and non-sex-based surnames don't really exist. So, we decided to just pick our own -- fresh, equal, ours. That way, we can share a name that does not perpetuate patrilineage. My parents were upset in the beginning. But, I asked them: "Why is it that no one cares if my sisters abandon their surnames to adopt the names of their husbands, but everyone panics when I want to abandon my surname to adopt a new name with my spouse?" My parents understood, and as always, are very supportive."

Lia explained the meaning behind the name they chose: Parifax:

"We combined the latin words pari and fax. Pari has a clear English translation - it means the same or equivalent (i.e. "with the same" or "of the same" depending on the context). Fax is a little harder to describe. It's literal translation is flame or torch, but it refers to the fire or passion of life. It also refers to celestial bodies like comets as well as to ritual torches used in marriages and funerals. In sum the name Parifax translates to "with the same flame."

After getting to know Lia and Hudson while planning their wedding with them for 2 and 1/2 years, I can absolutely say that this is one couple that does live life with the same flame. Their passion for life, for each other and for creating a better world is powerful and you can't help but catch their enthusiasm when you are around them. I can't wait to see all the amazing things the new Lia and Hudson Parifax will do! 

Congratulations to a truly amazing couple!

Photos by Greg Gibson (more from their stunning wedding to come).

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Elegant Union at Union Station {Premal + Chris}

The fun Hotel Monaco in Chinatown served as the getting ready location for both the bride and groom of this wedding.   Makeup artist, Pattie Martin and hairstylist Giselle of Hair by Giselle spent the morning with the bride and her close friends and family getting them all ready for the special day.
Sari wrapper, Yogita Devani, worked with the ladies to make sure their beautiful saris were put on correctly and looking perfect.
The bride and groom chose to see each other before the ceremony.  The talented Greg Gibson shot some amazing photos of their first meeting and pictures around the Hotel Monaco.  Their families then joined them to take pictures around the hotel and in and around Union Station, the site of their ceremony and reception.  
For the Groom’s baraat, the Groom rode in on a white horse (thanks to Harmon’s Carriages) and the crowd was led by both a drummer, Dholi Sorabh and pre-recorded music played by DJ Ross of Chris Laich Entertainment.  

Guests were then led through the ornate main hall of Union Station to the ceremony in Columbus Club.  Sachi Sood of Partyland created the colorful mandap and aisle d├ęcor for the ceremony.  Chaitanya Bhagavan Dasa did a great job leading the ceremony.  He took the time to explain, in English, what was happening throughout the entire ceremony for those guests who do not speak Hindi.  
The ceremony ended and guests entered the Palm Court for cocktails and hors d’eourves.  Guests found their escort cards under a stunning peacock statue the florist designed.

During cocktails and dinner, guests were encouraged to stop by the photobooth, provided by Booth-O-Rama, that also served as the couple’s guestbook. Guests could take pictures with fun props, keep a photo strip for themselves or glue a photo strip into the couple’s guestbook.  

After the bride and groom’s costume change, it was time for the dinner reception, that took place in the East Hall.   Amber lighting lit the room and bright pink, blue and purple linen covered the tables.  The couple was led into the reception by Dholi Sorabh.  What a great way to start a party!

Dinner was a team effort, Design Cuisine provided the American fare while IndAroma handled all Indian dishes.  One of the highlights was the delicious dessert buffet provided by Design Cuisine.  The based Alaska’s on a stick are to die for!!
DJ Michael Valenti did a great job of keeping the guests dancing the night away. The bride and groom made donations to the Susan G Komen Foundation in each guest’s name.

The bride and groom ended the night by having their guests hold sparklers outside of Union Station as they walked through it and headed off into the night.

Thank you to my assistant, Sarah Obenour, for all of your help!
Congratulations Premal and Chris!  The couple is now off to their 3 week honeymoon in Africa.  So jealous! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's a Birthday Party!

In honor of my big one today, I thought I would share some of my favorite birthday inspiration as well as some of my favorite things and gift ideas I love.  Enjoy and Happy Black Friday!

I don't consider myself overly "girly" in general, but I LOVE a very girly afternoon with my favorite women.  Dressing up is a MUST.

Madly Stylish Events

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
~ Abraham Lincoln

I would love to walk into the room above...Surprise!

"You know you're getting old when all the names in your black book have M.D. after them."
~ Arnold Palmer
I actually have several of these now!

I share with some of my brides the love for cheap confetti cake from a box.  Whatever happened to the real confetti frosting??

One of the things Laura and I share is our love of the amazing Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in DC.  When I got married, I told my husband if he wanted a happy wife, he should send me there at least once a year.

I love giving and getting party favor bags.  It almost doesn't matter what is in them.  It's just exciting to take something home.

This next item was introduced to me by a planner friend of mine.  Besides being the name of my cousins and one of my best friend's new baby girl, Zoe's Chocolate is out of this world.  The Chewy Sea Salt Caramels are amazing.  

Just two more loves of mine and great gifts, my feet are always cold, so warm fuzzy socks, especially this time of year is the best gift I can get.

(Those are not my legs)

And finally, I've said for a long time that what I would like fresh flowers in my house every week.    The colors just make me smile and feel alive.  Dahlia's are my favorite.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Wise Man Has Said...

From a man who not only is a husband, but played a beloved one on TV...

For two people in a marriage to love together day after day is the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.
-Bill Cosby


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Special Couple

Jeff and Dan got married on a gorgeous Sunday evening in October at the Anderson House in Dupont.  The couple, who hosted the nuptials of friends last year at their home, wanted an intimate, dinner at home feel, but needed a slightly larger space to accommodate all of the friends and family who mean so much to them.

As guests arrived, they mingled and noshed with each other and the couple before the ceremony got underway.

Upon being pronounced, the couple took the time to hug and kiss their family members seated in the first row before walking back up the aisle together.

The grand staircase in the ballroom made for the perfect post to thank their guests for the love and support they have received.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love Couture Sample Sale!

Groom's Cakes Gone Wrong!

Yes, that is a toilet bowl cake. Many of you know how much I love Cake Wrecks. If I'm ever having a rough day, I can just bop on over to the site and I will be in tears laughing within minutes. Something about really bad cakes makes me hysterical.  So I thought I'd share a round-up of some hilariously bad groom's cakes from Cake Wrecks. 

The toilet bowl cake above really makes you wonder about people. Specifically the groom. Maybe I shouldn't wonder too hard.  But speaking about bad ideas, how about a foot cake?

Mike R. reports: "This was the groom's cake at a wedding I photographed. (The groom lost his big toe in a lawnmower accident as a kid.) You can't see it in this photo, but of course the cake is red raspberry."

Um, yum?

This ode to shooting deers and mounting their heads really looks festive with that party hat, huh?   I ask you now, who wouldn't want that sitting on a table next to their wedding cake?

But in case you were starting to think that sharing table space with the Groom's cakes is a bad idea, check this out.  It's always better to let him have his own cake, my friends. Always.

Thanks to Cake Wrecks for the pictures and the giggles. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun Groom's Cakes!

As a true Southern girl, I love Groom's cakes. The classic armadillo one from Steel Magnolias isn't exactly my style but I do love a creative cake made just for the groom.  We've had some fun ones over the years, from the replica of the Washington Monument for the groom who oversaw the renovation of the monument to the edible Hummer for the car buff.  Now there are plenty that are just plain bad and deserve to be on Cake Wrecks (perhaps my favorite website EVER), but that's another post for another day.

Here are some I love (some are ours and some aren't).

The above cake was for one of our grooms and was an exact replica of the cabin he loved visiting as a boy.  The cake was designed by Fancy Cakes by Leslie.

 This sushi cake is so fun!

 Fancy Cakes by Leslie created both the above crab-inspired cake for a Maryland groom and the cooler below for a die-hard Redskins fan.

The cake below is from Charm City Cakes (of Ace of Cakes fame) in Baltimore and is just hilarious.  Yes, it is a replica of the bridge from the original Star Trek and yes, I do feel like a dork for loving it.
Did you do a fun groom's cake?  We'd love to hear about it!