Thursday, November 29, 2012

Romance in Red at the Cathedral {Rebecca + Jason}

The beautiful and historic National Cathedral was the location for R + J’s September wedding ceremony.  The couple, who live in NYC, chose to get married in DC because it is the bride’s hometown.  The bride and her family spent the morning getting ready with hairstylist Giselle of Hair by Giselle and makeup artist Nikki Frasier at the Ritz Carlton on 22nd Street. 

The day could not have been more beautiful for Greg Gibson to take photos in and around the Cathedral. 

The bride loves the color red and decided to use that as the overall theme of the wedding.  Check out her beautiful red bouquet (made of red roses and red dahlias) against the white of her wedding dress. 

She had her bridesmaids wear bright red dresses.

The ceremony at the Cathedral was intimate and beautiful as only a ceremony in the grand space can be.

After the ceremony, everyone moved to the Corcoran Museum for a night of dinner, drinks and dancing.  Red linens covered each table.  Capitol D├ęcor created six beautiful tall centerpieces out of manzanita branches and rich red roses and six lower arrangements that consisted of a cluster of smaller vases each filled with a single type of flower such as roses or dahlias.  The head table was a long rectangular table that consisted of the tall branch centerpieces and the white bridesmaid bouquets.

Custom menu cards, tables named after places important to the couple's courtship and squares of fabric for the guests to sign, that would be later used to make a quilt, were some of the fun and creative accents that made this wedding so special.

Lighting provided by John Farr Lighting highlighted the columns surrounding the event space as well as the dancefloor area.  DJ Jason Wallace made sure to keep everyone on the dancefloor all night long.

The tasty cake, specially designed by the bride’s cousin, was made with white frosting and red ribbon on each layer.

As a send-off, the Groom specifically designed a fun candy buffet with red and white candies (mostly gummies – his favorite).

A HUGE thank you to my associate Amanda Smith who helped run the day of and made sure everything went smoothly!

Thank you also to Joel Wolke and his team at Occasions Caterers for the amazing food and fabulous service.  And thank you to Greg Gibson for sharing his amazing images with us!

Congratulations Rebecca + Jason!


Junko Yoshioka Trunk Show!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saks Jandel Sample Sale!

over 60 gowns on sale
as much as 75% off!

Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Reem Acra 
& more
Saturday December 1st
presale starts Friday, November 30th 

5510 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Styling Night at Hitched!

Baubles and bling and veils, oh my! Before you deck the halls this holiday season, let the Hitched gals help you put all the trimmings on your wedding day look at their upcoming Styling Night, featuring accessories by Erin Cole!

What: Hitched Styling Night featuring Erin Cole

When: Thursday, December 6th from 5-8pm (though no appointment is necessary, please RSVP!)

RSVP: 202.333.6162 or

All the Details: During the Styling Night, Hitched will be showcasing the latest collection of jewelry, veils, headpieces, belts, sashes, hair flowers, and more from designer Erin Cole. As an added bonus, all accessories will be 10% off during the event!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Engaging Affairs is Thankful For . . .

In the spirit of being grateful this week (and all this month), we came up with some wedding-related things we're thankful for!

Laura is thankful for:

* the wonderful families who have called her for multiple weddings over the years and make her feel like part of the family
* the amazing Engaging Affairs team and our mad dancing skills
* safety pins (because she uses them at almost every wedding in some capacity) and Robek's smoothies (because she drinks one before every wedding)

Sara is grateful for:

* that each couple is so different and unique that they keep her creativity sharp
* vendors who understand we are all part of a team making brides' and grooms' dreams come true, no matter what we have to do to achieve it
* an Engaging Affairs team that is determined and innovative, supportive of each other and super fun whenever we are together 

Amanda is grateful for:

*her Cole Haan/Nike Air wedges, Luna Bars, and Sugar Free Red Bull that keep her comfortable and energetic on wedding days!
*her amazing past clients whom she's lucky to still keep in touch with even though their big day is over!  There were some really special ones this year! 

* all of the amazing vendors that we work with!  There is such talent behind each and every one of them, and she's thankful to have the opportunity to get to know them as people as well-- beyond the wedding days!  

Christine is thankful for:

* her super sweet couples that are kind enough to refer her to their family and friends
* comfortable black dresses (preferably with pockets) that last from wedding season to wedding season
*the top notch vendors we work with that keep her laughing no matter how long the day is 
* those magical moments she has with couples during the planning process when the wedding design and details just "come together"

And, finally, we're thankful for all of you reading our blog. Thanks for stopping by and hanging out for a while. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank You Notes!

Since November is the month of gratitude, I thought we'd touch on the subject of being grateful for all those fabulous wedding and shower gifts that are piling up!

The answer to your questions: yes, you must write hand-written thank you notes for wedding and shower gifts you receive and no, you don't have a year to do it. I've heard this year concept bandied about and it's wishful thinking. Etiquette dictates that you should write a note as soon after you receive a gift as possible but a up to three months later is acceptable. They don't need to be long but they do need to be personal.

Here is the nitty-gritty on structuring a proper thank you note:

-Address the recipient as “Dear {Name}”, then open the letter by thanking them for the gift.

-Your second sentence or paragraph should give some indication of your enjoyment or use of the gift.

-Some people like to go on to share a little news, especially if they have been out of touch with the recipient for a while.Just don't go on too long about yourself. The purpose of the note is to thank them.

-A good closing sentence or paragraph is one which looks forward to seeing or speaking to the recipient again. Mentioning “thank you ” again is great as it emphasizes the point of the letter.

-Try not to end with “yours sincerely” but with a less formal phrase like “love” or “love from” for relatives or “best wishes”, “warmest wishes” or even “thanks again.”

Example of a Personal Thank You Note
Here’s an example, from the Etiquette Grrls’ book More Things You Need to Be Told (p56):
September 1, 2005
Dear Katherine,
Thank you so much for the wonderful book about nineteenth-century architecture of Long Island that you sent me. Not only was it the perfect present (I haven’t been able to put it down!) but it will certainly come in handy for my studies. You always pick the perfect thing!
Again, thanks so much, and I’ll talk to you soon.

As you can see, a thank you note doesn't need to be long to be warm and effective.  Happy writing!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Louisville or Bust?!

Two weeks ago I had a new and super fun experience with one of my brides.  After a long debate about hosting their wedding in the bride's home town of Louisville, KY or in the groom's adolescent town (well backyard) of DC, Roby and Misty decided DC would be easier and more practical for their guests to travel to.  But we weren't going to leave Louisville in the dust!  So, Misty and I went to spend a few days there and gathered inspiration to incorporate into their wedding celebration.

I have to admit, after day 1, I was a little concerned that it wouldn't come to me.  How would I incorporate this town that is renowned for the Kentucky Derby and Louisville Sluggers without it feeling themeish??  Those who know me, know I don't do themes.  But on day two, everything fell into place. I absolutely cannot WAIT for you to see their pictures in September.  Until then, I will leave you with some of the highlights of our trip.  Enjoy!


Louisville is very much about food you shouldn't eat.  Misty and I shared cinnamon roll Bourbon French Toast and a Hot Brown.

Look away Laura, you do not want to see this.  This, is a Hot Brown.  Upon my research prior to the trip I learned this is a turkey sandwich with cheese and bacon crated at the Brown Hotel.  What I got was this casserole dish, I wasn't sure if there was a sandwich under it, cheese, about 1/4' of oil and a piece of bacon- done just the way I like it- burnt!  After I got over my fear and dug in, it was pretty good!

Lynn's Paradise Cafe hosted my first meal - and only meal necessary that day- above.  The kitschiest  restaurant I have EVER seen had an amazing general store complete with oddities like pickle lollypops and bacon toothpaste.  The tables are adorned with tacky lamps as Lynn hosts the tacky lamp contest every year, crazy!

I'm the one on the left and Misty is my fork :)

Checking out what ponies to put money on at Churchill Downs

My horse was leading the whole race and got beat in the last 25 yards!

We sat at the Finish Line

Misty's winner was Fear The Kitten...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Things I Remember...

At some point in the last two years I did my 100th wedding.  I cannot believe it.  I feel like I should have realized or marked the date.  I should have been on the look out for that big 100, who was supposed to plan the bells and whistles and the confetti shooter?  Alas, I guess I am the planner and I missed that opportunity.

In thinking back, it is funny the things you remember.  Very specifically, I remember overhearing remarks from two of my brides, and every time I think about them, I can hear their voices speaking the words.  Of course, I will indulge you...

Upon walking back up the aisle with her new husband, in an air of disbelief but joy and excitement,

"Oh my God, what did we just do!"- Laurie Rubin/Romanoff, 2007

Coming up behind her groom for their first look, in all seriousness,

"I'm coming Dominiqe, you better be ready."- Ashley Manning/Foxworth, 2010

Thank you ladies for the memories.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Cause Close to My Heart

I have the opportunity to meet extraordinary families planning weddings.  A handful I keep in my heart wondering how they are or what they are up to months and years after their wedding festivities live only in an album or on video.  Fewer still keep in touch with me every so often with e mail updates and expanding family pictures.  A select few I see now and again at a sibling, other family member or friend's wedding.

For members of the Cohn/Toll family, I was honored to work with them twice in a short period of time as two of their daughters married 16 months apart from each other.  I absolutely adore this family.  There is so much love between the four kids, two spouses and amazing parents.  

I was greatly effected when just following the second wedding Lolly, the mother of my brides, was diagnosed with cancer.  In short and always thinking about what she could do for others, it was Lolly's goal to be able to help other cancer patients obtain quality wigs after her recovery, as feeling and looking as much like herself as possible helped her keep a sense of normalcy during a time that was anything but.

Lolly lost her battle in March of this year and her family has started a non profit in her honor to make her goal a reality for so many cancer patients who cannot afford to invest in what some may call a luxury.  It is so important to recognize that when you feel good about yourself, you are better able to deal with and stand up to your diagnosis and treatment.

I am honored to be a party of Lolly's Locks inaugural event on November 27th from 6-9pm at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  Please visit their event page and learn more about the event and the organization. Lolly's Locks


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cabana Dreaming! {St. Regis Bal Harbour}

As the weather turns from the warmth of the past weekend to the rain and surprising chill of today (sigh), I can't help but think back on our recent wedding at The St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami. Granted, we may have only had one day of glorious weather during our trip but it was spectacular.  Guests enjoyed visiting the private cabana that faced the ocean and was stocked with nibbles and lovely libations.  Heaven!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali!

May the splendor and joy that are part of this festival season fill your life with happiness and sparkling prosperity. Happy Diwali!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Saree Style {Elie Saab}

In honor of Diwali tomorrow, we're letting India be our inspiration! One of my favorite elements of working on South Asian weddings is getting to see all the gorgeous sarees worn by family and guests. Though not a traditional saree, I love this Elie Saab saree-inspired gown! The fabric is exquisite and the lines are so flattering.  Anyone else love sarees?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Styling Night at Hitched!

Perfect accessories are like icing on the cake, and let's be honest-- the icing is often the sweetest part! Let Hitched help you put those final touches on your wedding day look at our upcoming Hitched Styling Night!

What: Hitched Styling Night

When: Thursday, November 15th from 5-8pm (though no appointment is necessary, please RSVP!)

Special Treat: As an added bonus, Hitched is offering 10% off all accessories purchased during the event!

RSVP: 202.333.6162 or

All the Details: During Styling Night, they'll be showcasing jewelry, veils, headpieces, belts, sashes, hair flowers, and all sorts of baubles and bling from their favorite accessories designers. As an added bonus, all accessories will be 10% off during the event!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Martini {Signature Drinks}

Still looking for a signature cocktail for your November wedding or a creative option for your martini bar? How about a yummy pumpkin and ginger martini?  Bottoms up!

Pumpkin Spice Martini



  1. Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into a martini glass.
  4. Garnish with a long slice of ginger or cinnamon stick.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Judd Waddell at Hitched!

Still searching for a gown that's the epitome of classic romance but still fashion forward and current? Hitched can help! Your wedding gown woes will surely be cured at the upcoming Judd Waddell Trunk Show!
What: Judd Waddell Bridal Trunk Show

When: Friday, November 16th & Saturday, November 17th

RSVP: 202.333.6162 or
(Please remember that all gown trials are by appointment only!)

All the Details: At the trunk show, you'll get a sneak peek at the latest collection from Judd Waddell before the gowns have hit stores, as well the chance to meet with Judd himself to get his input on your perfect wedding day look! As an added bonus, all gowns purchased during the trunk show will be 10% off!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Fabulous Fall Bouquet!

Gorgeous orange cascade from our friends over at Martha Stewart. Lovely!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Candy Take Two!

Off the wedding train for a day to bring you an important public service announcement! Tons of leftover Halloween candy? Check out these fun recipes for ways to creatively use up those "fun" size bars and even Pixy Stix (aside from just pouring them into your mouth two or three at a time)!

Pixy Stix and Sweet Tart Cake

  • 1 boxed white cake mix (plus the eggs, water and oil needed to make it according to package)
  • 8 Pixy Stix candies
  • 3-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 c. margarine
  • 1-3 T. heavy whipping cream
  • Food coloring gels
  • about 1 c. of crushed Sweet Tarts and or Smarties (I think Bottlecaps or even Spree would work in this recipe as well)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray 2  eight or nine inch round pans with cooking spray. 
  • Place a piece of parchment paper (cut to size) in the bottom of each pan and spray again.
  • Make cake mix according to package.
  • Pour about 1 c. of cake mix into each pan.  
  • Sprinkle contents of 4 Pixy Stix over cakes (dividing equally) ***note: blue and purple will show up the best in the baked cake, red and orange are very pale***
  • Use a knife to swirl colors together
  • Add the rest of the cake mix over the top (dividing equally) and repeat the Pixy Stix sprinkling and swirling.
  • Bake cakes at 350 for 30-35 minutes (use your cake mix directions as a guide and check often)
  • Cool cakes in pan over a wire rack.
  • When cool, tip pan over onto wire rack and remove parchment paper.
  • Use a serrated knife to make each layer level.
  • Cream together the powdered sugar and margarine in a large bowl. 
  • Beat on high for about 3 minutes (I used a whisk attachment).  
  • Add cream and beat for about another minute until a thick spreading consistency.
  • Crush candies in a small food chopper or processor.
  • Add crushed candies (and all the ensuing sugar dust!) to the frosting and fold it in. 
  • Add any food coloring you want to make frosting a desired shade.  (On its own the mix of candy colors make the frosting a terrible shade of gray). Adjust consistency if needed with powdered sugar.
  • Frost the cooled cake and decorate with remaining candies.
Chewy Butterfinger Cookies

makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 fun sized butterfinger candy bars, chopped
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Beat in egg until just combined.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in butterfinger pieces by hand.  The dough will be very thick. Drop by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool and enjoy!
© Sally’s Baking Addiction 2012 recipe & photos

Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Bananas

By Melissa Roberts , October, 2010 and featured in Real Simple



  1. Insert a wooden stick into each banana half. Freeze the bananas and the peanut butter cups for 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the chocolate in a double boiler or medium heatproof bowl set over (but not in) a saucepan of simmering water, stirring often, until melted and smooth.
  3. Chop the frozen peanut butter cups. Line a plate with parchment.
  4. Coat the frozen bananas in the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups. Freeze on the prepared plate until firm, 4 to 5 minutes.   

 Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 8 1/2 ounces bread flour
  • 8 1/2 ounces cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 ounces light-brown sugar
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 10 ounces mini peanut butter cups, halved
  • fleur de sel, for sprinkling


  • Sift together the dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until fluffy. Beat in sugars and salt. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter. On low speed, add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until incorporated. By hand, mix in the chopped chocolate and peanut butter cups. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Using a 2-inch releasable scoop, form balls of dough and place no more than 6 on each baking sheet. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Bake in batches until cookies are spread, set in the center, and brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Keep dough refrigerated in between batches. 
  • Provided by: