Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Night at The Fillmore {Sound Connection}

A great event to check out amazing wedding entertainment! Register here!

It's a Video Giveaway!

To all our newly engaged brides out there or those with weddings approaching, you won't want to miss this opportunity.  Thomas Bowen Films is giving away a free Trilliant Bliss Wedding video package valued at $4,000!  Don't pass up this chance to have your friends and family recorded in history.  Time is running out!  Today is the last day to enter.  Please click the link below for details on how to register on their Facebook page.  Good luck and be sure to let us know if you are the lucky winner!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Downton Abbey Inspiration!

I'll admit it. I'm hooked on PBS's series "Downton Abbey." I only started watching it a few weeks ago and immediately raced through streaming the first season on Netflix and then had to get Season 2 on iTunes to continue the obsession. Now I'm distraught that I'll have to wait months and months to watch Season 3!

Along with the amazing characters and captivating plot lines, I adore the costumes.  Susannah Buxton has done an impressive job creating the gorgeous creations and also of gradually moving the clothing from turn-of-the-century (complete with corsets) to the looser lines of the 1920's.

I love bringing the delicate fabrics, intricate beading and interesting necklines back into the fray and hope to see Downton Abbey inspire some of our wedding dress designers! Anyone else love Downton?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wish Upon A Star Party {Jorge Manuel Giveaway}

Just a few scenes from the fabulous event to kick off the Wish Upon a Star Jorge Manuel contest. It was such a delight to meet Jorge and see the stunning gown he'll be giving to one lucky bride!  Above, Hitched owners Carin and Julia with Jorge and his gorgeous gown.

The lovely brunch was catered by Design Cuisine with floral decor by Sidra Forman. Calligraphy by Meant to Be Calligraphy added the perfect touch. The lovely images are by the talented Ralph Alswang.

Don't wait to enter the contest as the contestants are limited!  The official "Upon A Star" application can be found by visiting The contest winner will be determined by a combination of votes by the public and the judges, made up of members of the Jorge Manuel team and the Hitched ladies. Here's hoping a Bridal Bubbly reader wins the amazing gown!

Thanks you to the fabulous ladies of Hitched for introducing us to Jorge and his beautiful designs and to Jorge for being such a charming designer who delights in giving back.  We were honored to be included in the contest announcement party and so pleased to be able to spread the word. Enter today!!

Jenny Yoo Trunk Show {Love Couture Bridal}

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sareh Nouri Bridal {Fabulous New Dress Designer}

When Sareh Nouri was young, she’d have loved it if you’d told her that she’d grow up to design her own bridal collection. She loved wedding dresses. But then, what little girl doesn’t? The difference with Sareh is, she never outgrew the phase. In fact, at her nuptials in 2009, her father joked in his speech about her ongoing obsession with wedding gowns. So perhaps it’s fate that the search for her own dress is what really set her down the path to create her own line. As her wedding day approached, Sareh grew ever more frustrated, for she couldn’t find “the one” — a dress that was at once sophisticated and traditional, ethereal and elegant. In desperation, she decided to design her own gown.

Fortunately, Sareh had the background to back up her daring gamble: She’d graduated from George Mason University with a graphic design degree, so she understood how to work with patterns and layouts. A native of Iran, Sareh has been extremely successful in her design career and utilizing traditional Persian art, her work on numerous commercial and nonprofit media ads have gotten her profiled in a number of magazines and books. So she wasn't just able to conjure up a nice dress, she was able to create the dress of her dreams.

Shortly thereafter, a move close to New York City allowed her to pursue her newfound career and passion in the bridal industry. The newlywed realized that, if she had trouble finding the perfect gown for her sensibilities, hundreds of other brides must, too. And, following her stints working with a high-end bridal salon, modeling bridal gowns, collaborating with couture dressmakers and consulting one-on-one with brides-to-be, a new business was born.

I love that Sareh's gowns are dramatic and highly detailed. These are dresses for fashion-forward brides who want to make a statement. Absolutely breathtaking!  In the DC area, Sareh's gorgeous gowns are carried by Love Couture and Soliloquy:

Love Couture
12500 - B Park Potomac Avenue. Potomac, Maryland 20854

Soliloquy Bridal Couture
754 Elden Street, Suite 103, Herndon, Virginia 20170

Gown designer: Sareh Nouri Bridal
Photographer: Moshe Zusman
Make Up: Nour Kazoun
Hair: Remona Soleimani

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keswick Hall {Venue Love}

A little while ago, we had the pleasure to visit Keswick Hall outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. We've done several weddings at Keswick but wanted to really immerse ourselves in the resort and in Charlottesville. Keswick is such a short jaunt from DC and we have more and more clients who want to "get away" for their weddings (but not too far). Keswick fits the bill perfectly!

Keswick's sales and catering manager, Adam Donovan-Groves, was such a marvelous host and planned such an amazing experience for us! We checked into our gorgeous rooms (each individually designed and decorated with antiques and original art) before enjoying dinner at the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, Fossett's. 

Dinner was a lovely experience and the cuisine superb! We returned to Fossett's in the morning for a lovely breakfast as the sun rose over the spectacular grounds and the fog melted away.  I must say that the lemon meringue pancakes were an indulgent treat!

Adam treated us to a wonderful tour around Charlottesville, which included Monticello, Montalto (another gorgeous site for smaller events) and a wine tasting at Jefferson Vineyards. Then it was back to Keswick for a tour of the event space (so many lovely options) and lunch at Villa Crawford on the terrace. The afternoon was filled with relaxing spa treatments at the Keswick spa (which features an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub). Heaven!

For dinner that evening, Adam took us into town to The Local. What a fun restaurant and what fabulous food. My black truffle mac n' cheese was to-die-for! Charlottesville is such a charming town with tons of great options for rehearsal dinners or pre-wedding parties.

We enjoyed using the fitness center each morning that overlooked the grounds with floor-to-ceiling glass. Our company mermaid, Amanda, enjoyed the heated infinity pool one morning as the steam rose over the water. What a way to watch the sunrise!

We finished our amazing stay at Keswick with a tour around the grounds and all the activity options (there are so many things to do at Keswick--we even got to see the dogs they use for fox hunting).

Although we've planned some pretty stunning weddings at Keswick, we never knew the resort and area like we did after staying as guests. And what a place to be a guest! We were thoroughly spoiled by the attentive staff and the gracious charm of the resort.

We've always known what a breathtaking venue Keswick is for a wedding or celebration but now we know so much more. Next up: some fabulous Keswick celebrations!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Discounted Tickets to The Engaged Show!

Today Bridal Bubbly readers are lucky ducks! By clicking on this link, you can get $10 off the
ticket price to attend DC's most fabulous bridal experience!

Get your tickets then plan to visit four of the top luxury hotels in Washington on March 4th for an evening of fabulous food, delicious drinks and stunning decor. Meet DC's finest wedding professionals and get amazing ideas (and stop by and see us--the Engaging Affairs ladies--at the rooftop of The Hay-Adams while you're at it)!  So get your tickets and we'll see you there!

Stephen Yearick Trunk Show {Chevy Chase Bridal}

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sticky Fingers' Sweets {Sticky Fingers Bakery}

I had a delicious vegan cinnamon cheesecake this weekend and was reminded just how good vegan desserts can be. Perhaps my favorite brownies of all time come from Sticky Fingers Bakery right here in DC.  Sticky Fingers is also the two time champion of "Cupcake Wars!" Now everyone can learn how to make AMAZING brownies that are better for you and better for the planet (cholesterol-free, sweetened with cane juice, non-hydrogenated oils, low saturated fats) from Sticky Fingers' owner Doran Petersan's new cookbook Sticky Fingers' Sweets.

The book is newly released and filled with amazing recipes for everything from cakes to pies to sticky buns. I am definitely getting a copy!  Sticky Fingers also makes gorgeous wedding cakes and can do them gluten-free. Check them out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Jorge Manuel Gown Giveaway {Wish Upon a Star}

I was lucky enough to attend the official launch of Jorge Manuel's 2012 "Upon a Star" contest, sponsored by Hitched! What a fun event and what a fabulous designer. Jorge Manuel is not only charming (and, um, a dreamboat), he is a super-talented designer with a passion for bridal fashion.  His gowns are so breathtaking and unique; there is nothing cookie-cutter about these designs.

 "Upon A Star" began as Jorge Manuel's desire to give one lucky bride the chance to win a completely custom creation to wear on her big day. The winning bride-to-be will receive a one-of-a-kind wedding gown made just for her (not the dress above) and will go through a completely couture experience-- attending muslin and gown fittings, and experiencing the joy of a stunning finished product.

The gown being given away this year, affectionately named "Eternal Flame" was designed by Jorge Manuel with the input of the Hitched team, and they could not be more thrilled with the result! This stunning gown is the perfect blend of chic and glamorous—just daring enough to make a statement on your big day without being over the top. Jorge Manuel has an incredible eye for detail and uses only the finest fabrics, so we are confident that the winner is in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Entering the contest is easy, but contestants are limited, so be sure to hurry!  The official "Upon A Star" application can be found by visiting The contest winner will be determined by a combination of votes by the public and the judges, made up of members of the Jorge Manuel team and the Hitched ladies. So gals, what are you waiting for?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Amsale Bridesmaids' Buying Party {Hitched Salon}

Show your best gals how much you appreciate the love and support they've given you over the years (especially during your often-stressful wedding planning process) by outfitting them in bridesmaid dresses that they'll actually be excited to wear! Join the fabulous team at Hitched for a week of dress trials and discounts during our Amsale Bridesmaid Trunk Show, March 22nd -30th!

Amsale's bridesmaid dresses are chic, sophisticated and modern, so it's no surprise that they're a favorite among Hitched bridesmaids-to-be. At the Bridesmaid Trunk Show they'll have tons of Amsale dress options to try, so grab your girls and be prepared to be wowed by bridesmaid dresses that they'll love. For this week only, we'll be offering 15% off of any Amsale bridesmaid dress!

If your girls are local, just have them make an appointment that week to come in to choose their dresses and complete their purchase. Have some out of town bridesmaids who can't make it to the store, but would also love to take advantage of the discount? No problem! Simply have them email or fax their completed forms and payment during that time frame, and Hitched will take care of the rest.

In order to be eligible for this promotion, each bridesmaid in your bridal party must complete her order forms, submit them to Hitched, and pay for her dress in full March 22nd – March 30th, 2012. The entire order must be completed and ready for submission to Amsale no later than March 30th, 2012 in order for the 15% discount to be applicable. Orders completed after March 30th will not receive the 15% Trunk Show discount.

What: Amsale Bridesmaid Trunk Show

When: Thursday, March 22nd - Friday, March 30th  

RSVP: 202.333.6162 or (Remember, bridesmaids need an appointment to try on the dresses)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

John Farr Lighting {Vendor Love}

photo by Greg Gibson

I first started using John Farr back when he was just starting out in the event lighting business in DC. This was before I had kids, was married or had even met my husband. So a long time ago!  We met working on a wedding I was doing at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town and the rest, as they say, is history.

 photo by Fotobriceno

We have worked together hundreds of times since because, not only do John and his team do an awesome job, but John is a really honest, ethical, great guy. He always works hard to do the absolute best work for his clients and at a fair price. And in this business, that is gold.

photo by Egomedia

No matter what loops we throw him, John has always handled them perfectly without a word of complaint. His guys even pulled a survivor out of a burning car after a horrible car crash during the load-out of one of our weddings! Talk about a handy bunch to have around. Enjoy just a taste of the gorgeous lighting work John Farr Lighting has done for Engaging Affairs over the years!

photo by Fotobriceno

photo above & below by Greg Gibson

Anna Maier/Ulla-Maija at Hitched {Trunk Show}

Exquisite. Couture. Dramatic. Glamorous. Luxe. If any of these words come to mind when you're asked to describe your ideal wedding gown, you're in luck. For a made-to-measure gown that's handcrafted from the finest fabrics in the world, you've got to clear your schedule for Hitched's Anna Maier/Ulla~Maija Bridal Gown Trunk Show on Friday, February 24th & Saturday, February 25th!

What: Anna Maier/Ulla~Maija Bridal Gown Trunk Show

When: Friday, February 24th & Saturday, February 25th

RSVP: 202.333.6162 or [Please remember, gown trials are by appointment only!]

Details & Perks: Anna Maier gowns are completely couture, which means that they are custom made-to-measure for each bride— a rare treat when it comes to wedding dresses these days! By purchasing an Anna Maier gown at the trunk show, you'll receive a complimentary muslin fitting, which guarantees a fit that will be unlike any other garment you've ever worn. You'll also have the opportunity to meet designer Charles Bunstine, who will assist you in selecting a gown that will perfectly compliment the vision you have for yourself as a bride!

This is an opportunity that's not to be missed, so be sure to make your appointment today by phone [202.333.6162] or email [].

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Engagement Session Giveaway!

Robert Holley Photography is eager to get to know more engaged couples in the Washington DC region and we believe that you will love the experience!  They are going to give away 4 free engagement sessions in February!  Go here to enter!  Good luck!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you're celebrating (or not celebrating) in style today! I have to say that my preschooler and 1st grader are more excited for Valentine's Day than just about any adult I know. The care with which they selected their valentine cards and attached the Spider-Man pencils, fairy stickers and Blow-Pops rivals the thought that most grown men (and women) put into the holiday. I mean, these kids are so excited to pass out their goodies (and get their own bags stuffed with little superhero and princess cards and candy) that they could burst. So I say we take a cue from kids and just enjoy today for all it's goofiness. I, for one, hope I get a Spider-Man valentine!

And congratulations to all those about-to-be-newly-engaged ladies out there!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Spectacular Indian Wedding at the Ritz DC {Rachna and Samir}

To say that I loved working with Rachna and her family would be an understatement. From the moment I met the bride, she impressed me with her energy and sense of fun. She loved planning her wedding and had such a great sense of what she liked and how she wanted her celebration. And her groom couldn't have been sweeter!

The wedding week started with the Mehndi party on Thursday and welcome dinners at two locations on Friday (but those stories and images are for a later post). After these fun parties, everyone was so excited for the main events on Saturday!

Saturday was sunny but chilly. The bride got ready in her suite while the groom and his family and friends gathered in front of the Ritz DC for the Baraat.  Harmon's Carriages provided the gentle horse that Samir rode while everyone danced and clapped to the sounds of the dhol player. This is my favorite part of the Indian wedding celebration; I love the energy and joy!

Once Samir arrived and entered the hotel, he was greeted by the bride's family and friends at the fabric and floral gate we had at the base of the Ritz staircase and then everyone entered the ballroom for the ceremony. DaVinci's had been hard at work setting up the mandap since 4 am and it was stunning! It featured sheer gold fabric adorned with tassles with masses of flowers at the corners and center plus a crystal chandelier hanging from the center (which was a surprise for the bride from Diana from DaVinci's)!  The aisle had half circles of rose petals in the bride's colors surrounding tall glass cylinders topped with floating candles down the sides.

The traditional Hindu ceremony was so beautiful. I love that the ceremonies involve both families.

After the ceremony, the bridesmaids managed to steal the groom's shoes back from the groomsmen, which is a fun Indian wedding tradition.

After the lunch, the bride and groom took photos during the break then started getting ready for the evening reception.

The Ritz-Carlton catering staff, lighting crew from Event EQ, and design team from DaVinci's did an amazing job flipping the ballroom to get ready for the reception. Gold linens covered the round, square and long rectangular tables and were topped with three different centerpiece designs using the bride's colors of deep red, purple, and spice orange along with masses of roses, hydrangea and orchids. Oversized red lampshades on some of the tables were strung with crystals and the tall floral arrangements had strands of rose petals and crystals hanging below.  The tables were set with gold beaded and gold shimmer base plates and gold-rimmed stemware and had high and low candles throughout to create a magical sparkle. Menu cards and table numbers were designed with the couple's logo by Zoya Couture and coordinated with the custom invitation suite and all the paper products for the wedding.

After a festive cocktail hour, guests entered the ballroom and were entertained by the couple's same-day edit video created by Suburban Video (see that video here) before the bride and groom entered the room.

After the couple's first dance and a series of heartfelt toasts, the guests enjoyed a multi-course dinner by Indique Heights (I can attest that the palaak paneer was delicious) and then Jag and his team from Event EQ kept the dance floor packed for the rest of the evening.

The bride's sister and cousins entertained the crowd with a Bollywood-style dance that was a huge hit and a guest sang a song to the bride and groom!

When guests weren't dancing, they enjoyed the scotch bar and modern lounge in the foyer with the same-day video looping on a flat screen above the bar.

The couple cut what had to have been the largest wedding cake I've ever seen (13 tiers over six feet tall and over 400 pounds--it had to be rolled out of the pastry kitchen on a flat bed and lifted by five chefs!) that was covered in jewel-encrusted paisley in the bride's colors. Amazing!

Aside from being a stunning wedding, this was also one of the happiest couples I've seen in a while. Best wishes to Rachna and Samir for a lifetime of happiness!

Special thanks to everyone at the Ritz-Carlton DC who made the day a fabulous success: Stacy, Amal, our captains and waiters, the pastry chef Daniel, the entire culinary team that worked hand-in-hand with Indique Heights to make sure the food was great. A huge thank you to Diana and her team from DaVinci's for going above and beyond to create such gorgeous decor. Thanks to the amazing Jag and his team from Event EQ for creating the perfect ambiance with lighting and sound. A shout-out to Arti from Zoya Couture for the beautiful logo design, the seating boards and paper products that tied everything together.

Huge kudos to my team: Sara, Amanda, Alison and Sarah. I couldn't have done it without you all! And I can't forget Bill and Tom and the team from Suburban Video who worked tirelessly to create the same-day video. And, perhaps most importantly, a huge thank you to Amy and Srinu Regeti from Regeti's for the absolutely gorgeous images. You really captured the energy and joy of the day and were an absolute delight to work with! To all the fabulous people on Team Rachna and Samir: you are amazing; there are no people I'd rather spend three days plus twenty straight hours working with!