Thursday, October 25, 2007

Great Shots from 2007


It was a lovely fall day for the wedding of Lauren and Baldwyn in Annapolis. The flowers by Sharon Gordon of Flora et Fauna were beautiful and the guests raved about the catering from Ken's Creative Kitchen. Our heros Loane Brothers provided the wonderful tent, dance floor, stage and many other essential details of the wedding venue set-up. They are truly the best in the biz and make all of us look good!

The fireworks at the end of the evening were a fun surprise for everyone including the bride and groom.

We enjoyed working with the bride and groom from Belgium to create a Maryland wedding that they will remember always.

What an Honor!

The Knot recently featured Elizabeth Bailey Weddings in their "Best of Weddings 2007" Magazine. It was voted on by actual brides which means so much to us. We love our brides and it's lovely to know they love us too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Top Ten Reminders

Things tend to get a little bit hectic around your wedding day. Here is my Top Ten List of Reminders. Print them out or jot them down - you are going to need them.

1. Don't forget about the marriage license. You have to actually give it to your officiant. It doesn't count if you leave it at home.

2. Remember a hankie. It does not matter if you rarely cry. It is just like the umbrella theory - if you have a hankie you will not cry. And if you do, well, then you have a hankie.

3. Scuff your shoes, please. Do a shimmy in your front yard in your wedding shoes. Actually, wear them around the house for a few hours too. Break those puppies in.

4. Leave your cell phone at the hotel. You do not need your phone. You will not be taking calls. I am certain someone will have a phone if you need one.

5. Eat. Please. Before the ceremony AND during the reception. There is plenty of time to visit the tables.

6. Pre-pack. Start the packing process a few weeks ahead. Pack everything separately for different events, especially if you will be moving around. Pack for the honeymoon at least two weeks before the wedding. It will save you a trip to Rite-Aid on the way home from the Rehearsal Dinner for sunscreen.

7. Your camera. Remember to bring it or have someone else bring it for you.

8. Hold hands with your Groom. Look him in the eye when you say your vows. Try your very best to feel comfortable in front of all of your guests during the ceremony.

9. Take a minute if you need it. Have your wedding planner schedule in some time for you to be alone with your brand new husband after the ceremony. It will give you two a chance to chat and breathe.

10. Have fun. This is an amazing time. Enjoy yourself. Try not to let the little things annoy you. Remove yourself from people that are causing problems.

Wedding Day Eve

The night before the wedding you'll have your Ceremony Rehearsal and then a chance to celebrate with the people closest to you at the Rehearsal Dinner.

You may or may not have much "say" in the Rehearsal Dinner if it's being planning by your in-laws-to-be. But here are some tips if you will be taking the reins.

How can we make it fun?

1. Make a slideshow.
Slideshows are easier than ever with PowerPoint and other presentation software. The biggest hassle is scanning in the images, which you can do on your own scanner or with the help of a local photography shop. Put in some captions and set it to music!
Elizabeth Bailey Tip: Start this project months before the wedding. It may be frustrating at times and you'll want to be able to put it aside and work on it slowly. Better yet? Assign this take to someone else!

2. Get the best shots.
Ask your photographer about shooting the Rehearsal Dinner. You'll be celebrating with your closest friends and family and there are sure to be plenty of photo opportunities.

3. Keep it casual - if you can.
If your wedding reception is going to be a formal affair - keep the rehearsal dinner a bit more casual. It may help you stay more relaxed. And, come on, we're in Maryland - a crab feast just works.

4. Splurge.
Was there something you really wanted for the wedding reception, but couldn't work it into the budget? You will be entertaining fewer guests at the rehearsal dinner so you might be able to get those extra special treats after all.

5. Show your gratitude.
Take a few moments during the toasts at dinner to say thank you. This is a great opportunity to speak to the people to whom you are closest and tell them how much you appreciate their presence. You might get wrapped up in the day tomorrow, so take the moment the night before.

Finally, if you are letting your in-laws-to-be plan this party then let it go completely.

Want to offer help without actually doing any work? Send them to us!

The Team at Elizabeth Bailey Weddings are happy to help plan the Rehearsal Dinner. Email Christina for more information.

Candy Bar: Treat you guests to your favorite candies and add a colorful display to your reception!

Candy Bars have become very popular at weddings, birthdays, and celebrations of every kind. They make a huge impact and provide a shot of great color. The display becomes an activity at the reception - a place for guests to mingle and chat.

Theme your Candy
By color - all red, all white, all pink

By decade - favorites from your childhood
Family Favorites - each persons favorite candy. Label them Sally's Favorite, Jim's Favorite.

Wrapped or loose candy?
Either works well. The wrapped candy will stay fresh longer. Loose candy will require more to fill the jars and requires scoops.

Where do I get the candy?
There are a variety of online candy stores that sell in bulk or you can stop by your favorite warehouse store, grocery, or candy store.

What about candy bags and ribbon?
We can help you there too. We can custom imprint bags in low quantities and help you select a complimentary ribbon.

Is this just for kids?
Certainly not! Adults love candy and definitely enjoy the candy bar experience. Though occasionally they tell us they are "taking candy home for the kids" we know most of that candy will not make it inside the house.

ESB Weddings Tip: Pre-cut your ribbon into 1/2 yard lengths and decide how the bags and ribbon will be displayed. Order or pick-up your candy and pa
ck it up along with your other reception items. If the candy needs special unpacking be sure to do that before wedding day. We like to add a sign to the display with a note or simply to wish Sweet Dreams to your guests.

Assign someone to unpack the jars, set them up, and load them up with the candy. Your guests will love filling up their bags with their favorite goodies!

Autumn at its Best

It was a gorgeous Autumn day on Saturday for Sally and Jeff's wedding. The Baltimore Country Club looked amazing with linen from Table Toppers, flowers by Simply Beautiful, and lighting by Accent on Events.

Onyx, our band for the evening, kept the crowd jumping and played all our favorites. I even heard "It's Hot in Herre" near the end.

Guests wrote notes to the Newlyweds in the Polaroid photo albums and were treated to custom mixed ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery.

The evening ended with cake from Sugarbakers and a sparkler send off.

A Theatre Production

Congratulations to wedding clients Neda and Anis who were married on Saturday. The wedding took place at the incredibly beautiful Strathmore Hall Music Center in Bethesda. The dramatic ceremony which included 165 guests took place on the magnificent stage. A spotlight followed the bride and her parents for their processional down the aisle and then focused on the bride and groom during the ceremony.
Afterwards the guests enjoyed a fabulous dinner catered by Restaurant Associates in the soaring room of all glass called the Lockheed Martin Lobby. Family and friends filled the dance floor as DJ Nick Terkanian played Middle Eastern, Latin, French and Modern American songs.


Pass This Along To Your GQ Man

Finally the answer to the often asked question: "Should a man's socks match his shoes?" According to a recent column in the WSJ, "Traditionally, socks should match the color of your pants and not your shoes. You want an unbroken line from your pants to your shoes. So when you are in navy pinstripes, go for navy socks and black shoes. For charcoal pants, choose charcoal socks. With khaki trousers, choose socks with a slightly darker khaki tone which happens to look better with brown shoes. Make sure your socks are long enough - mid-calf at least- that you won't flash hairy legs. Bare ankles, however are just fine if you are sockless in loafers during the spring and summer. This is a Continental look that is fast becoming popular among big city men. If you are worried about sweaty feet, wear ultra low rise "no show" socks."

Like a Wedding on the set of Dirty Dancing...

Candles glittered in the Sherwood Dance Hall on Saturday night for Emily and Malcolm's wedding.

The food was plentiful and presented beautifully by the staff of Ken's Creative Kitchen. Guests mingled and mixed through the stations while waiting to taste the delicious cake from The Main Ingredient.

The band, Liquid Pleasure, kept the crowd on the dance floor the whole evening. They capped off the evening by bringing out hot pink suits for the last set.

The flowers from Romance of Flowers added color and depth to the rustic environment. The arrangements were creative and unique and even hung from the rafters.

A sparkler send-off topped off the evening as Emily and Malcolm made their getaway in a vintage golf cart.

The Peabody - it's just like a Harry Potter Movie

As guests entered the Peabody Library there were resounding 'oohs and 'ahhs. Everyone was blown away by the sheer size of the room and the stacks upon stacks of books. One gentleman asked if we were expecting Harry Potter to fly in - as it looks just like a set from a movie.

The linen from Select Event Rentals gave the entire room a warm glow and the menu from Chefs Expressions was terrific. The gorgeous floral arrangements from Flowers and Fancies added a sense of whimsy.

The band, Second Nature, kept the crowd on the dance floor all evening.

Guests loved the Adesso guest book! They were through all of the Polaroid film and filled the books with well wishes. The pictures got more creative and silly as the evening progressed.

Holly and John had a wonderful evening celebrating with their family and friends. The love and admiration of the newlyweds was overflowing all evening.

Cute as Can Be

Congratulations to Katie and Chris who were married on August 11th. Katie was such a cute bride with her hair in little ponytails. Katie wore the same hairstyle the first time she and Chris met.

As we often do, we planned the wedding with the bride and groom long distance as they live in Florida.

The church was the lovely Grace UMC with its beautiful windows and white pillar porch. The guests then drove the short distance to BCC where the menu was an incredible feast.

Since the bride and groom are musicians, they chose the talented New Legacy Jazz Band as their reception entertainment and danced to classics such as Cheek to Cheek, That's All, and Wonderful World.

Blue Sage provided the beautiful flowers and we were quite impressed with the services of The Limo Lady.

Many thanks to Gary Landsman from David Michele Photography for all of the wonderful images.

Congrats to the happy and fun couple!

Fun Downtown Wedding

The American Visionary Arts Museum is such a cool space for a wedding! The downtown location, funky artwork, huge spaces, and great management support makes it a wonderful venue for an event.

Our clients Jackie and Tony had a beautiful wedding reception there on July 28th. The colors of blue, yellow, and white were perfect for a mid-summer wedding. The large guest count of 325 was easily comfortable in the JRVC at AVAM.

The flowers by Narbers Floral Design were very creative and were accented with other decor such as table linens from Gala Cloths and hanging white lanterns from Perkins Lighting.

Classic Catering provided wonderful food and DJ Evan Reitmeyer from kept the dance floor completely full all night.

Time flew as guests ate, drank, and danced the night away. It was a very fun wedding. Congratulations Jackie and Tony!

An Island Wedding

What happens when the daughter of a busy event decorator gets married? Well judging from these photos, magic happens.

Katie and Jake wanted an island theme for their July wedding at Belmont Mansion and that is exactly what they got. The bride's parents own Perkins Event Lighting and starting with a single photo that the bride's mom found in a magazine, the theme and decor were designed. The colors of orange and yellow were brilliant and incredibly gorgeous.
Hundreds of yards of wispy fabric were installed in the ceiling of the tent and the bride's mom hand-sewed panels of fabric that were placed between the outside tent poles.
The table linens from Gala Cloths worked beautifully with the color theme and flowers by Carol Westerlund accented everything wonderfully.
Favors were Malibu rum candy bars and everyone visited the "cookie bar" filled with wonderful Italian wedding cookies made by many of Jake's family members.
Oh, did we forget to mention the huge palm tree ice sculpture that was also an ice luge? It drew a crowd all night to the fabulous "tress bar" also set-up by Perkins.
These beautiful photos were taken by event photographer Arthur Remanjon.

We'll take credit for being the wedding planners on this spectacular wedding, but the real creative brains behind this incredibly beautiful wedding are the talented staff at Perkins Event Lighting.

Hospitality Bags: Welcome your Guests without going Crazy

Hotel Hospitality Bags are a popular way to welcome your out of town guests, fill them in on all of the happenings for the weekend, and share some your favorite local treats.

What goes in?
We love Baltimore-themed bags - chock full of Charm City treats.
Berger Cookies, Goetze Caramels, and Utz Chips are favorites - and you can't forget the Clipper City Beer!
We dress them all up by repackaging them into cellophane bags with coordinating ribbon.

The bags can tie in to your wedding color scheme and can even be personalized with your names or a special note. We add colored tissue paper to give it some pop.

The Hospitality Bag is the perfect place for a note from the bride and groom, information about local attractions, the weekend schedule, and directions to all of the festivities.

Finish them off with a name tag and you are ready to welcome your wedding guests!

We prefer to have a table set up at the hotel to personally give out the bags. Area hotels are always very welcoming and the wedding guests love the personal greeting.

Top Secret ESB Weddings Tip:
If you are doing your own Hospitality Bags - start early!! We always put together a sample bag with all of the goodies so we can see the best way to combine everything into the gift bag.

The Team at Elizabeth Bailey Weddings are happy to take on this wedding chore - there are plenty of other things to keep you busy that week, so let us take one thing off your plate!

Email Christina to set up a design appointment. Please allow four weeks for design and assembly.


"Perfect!" was the word the bride's mom
heard most often from the wedding guests who attended Hannah and Ali's wedding on a spectacularly beautiful June evening. We feel very fortunate to have worked with this bride in planning the wedding. She was sweet and agreed to let all the creative team "do their thing". The Belmont Manor was the setting for the wedding weekend which included guests from all over the country.

We can't even begin to choose our favorite part of this wedding, but the ingredients of : nice bride and groom + beautiful floral decor (including the cool lounge furniture) by Romance of Flowers + creative tent decor (dance floor, lighting, stage, fabric) by Perkins Productions + amazingly nice wedding guests = a night to remember.

These gorgeous photos were taken by event photographers Gary and Renee of David/Michele Photography (

How to Dress for a Wedding (When you are not the Bride)

Because we attend the coolest weddings in town, we are often asked about fashion "rules" for wedding guests. Although the rules have changed over the years, the following is list of the common sense guidelines for dressing as a wedding guest:
* No it is not ok to wear a long dress or a tuxedo to an afternoon wedding. Afternoon weddings are normally defined as those beginning before 6:00 pm. Choose a dark suit for men and a street or tea length dress for a woman. Baltimore women do not normally wear black anything to an afternoon wedding. Hats (on women) are very acceptable at an afternoon wedding.
* It is only ok to wear white to a wedding if you are the bride. Back off and let her have all the attention that white brings.
* It is acceptable to wear black to a wedding but perhaps add a bit of color or pearls to make it look less funereal and less like you are working at the wedding (like us).
* Mothers of the bride and groom should collaborate on their attire so they aren't wearing similar (match-y) dresses.
* According to Town and Country magazine: "Guests should not dress conspicuously, provocatively or extravagantly. The bride may forgive you, but the mom certainly won't."
* Always bring a lightweight shawl or wrap. Do you realize how difficult it is to reach a temperature in which 200 people are comfortable? Men are wearing jackets, ladies are in strapless dresses, bare legs and sandals. Bring something to throw over your shoulders instead of asking us to turn up the heat when the men are taking their jackets off.
* Bring an umbrella if it is raining or threatening rain.

And remember... we'll be watching.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations

According to In Style Weddings magazine, these are currently the hottest, most romantic honeymoon sites. The best time to visit is in ( ) following the destination:
Kauai, Hawaii (July), Santorini, Greece (August), Rome (September), Istanbul, Turkey (October), Bangkok, Thailand (November) and Sydney, Australia (December).

"Apple Green and Raspberry"

We certainly heard those colors mentioned a lot in helping to plan a spectacular wedding for Michael and Sarah which took place on the last day of June. The weather was so fantastic that the outside setting was perfect. Imagine signature cocktails (one green and one raspberry) by the pool which included an all white lounge and then walking along the brick path to a gorgeous dinner tent filled with fabric, lighting and flowers.

The white dance floor with custom monogram (in apple green) was in the center of the spacious Loane Brothers tent which was filled with square tables and apple green linens from Table Toppers. The flowers designed by Li at Rutland Beard added a touch of raspberry to the decor.

Dinner? Well Catering by Carlton stole the show with a first course of incredibly fresh and wonderful homemade gazpacho followed by an entree of lobster and filet mignon.

One of our all time favorite bands from Philly, Jelly Roll, was fabulous and the guests insisted on an encore after the last dance. The guests were treated to a delicious ice cream bar by the famous Cold Stone Creamery.

The bride and groom left in a vintage white Rolls Royce to the dazzle of over 100 sparklers. The departure gift to the guests was a cute bag of gummi bears (apple green of course).

Congratulations to the bride and groom as the girls at Hannah Elizabeth and Elizabeth Bailey Weddings check off another successful wedding.

Evening at the Museum

Congratulations to Lisa and Chris who were married on a beautiful Saturday evening in June.

The setting was the stunning Walters Art Museum with decor designed by Robert Zimmerman.

The incredibly delicious wedding dinner was catered by Linwood's and the guests danced the night away to the always entertaining Janis Nowland Band.

It was our pleasure to be the wedding planners on such a glorious event.

Photos by talented event photographer Robert Isacson.


Weather - the ultimate uncontrollable part of a day. It plays a huge role in any party and you never know what you're going to get.

To get an idea of what you're in for - try's Wedding Planner.

It will give you averages for your special day, wedding, or party so that you know how to plan!

Flip Flops and Slippers

At a party or wedding, it is so cute to have baskets of flip flops near the dance floor so that the women guests may kick off their fancy (uncomfortable) shoes and continue to dance the night away in comfort. Throughout the year we have turned to the Old Navy website to get flip flops in lots of wonderful colors at a great price. This week Target has them on sale and they come in good summer time colors. Be sure to label your baskets "Small" (5-6), "Medium" (7-8), and "Large" (9-10) and make sure to cut off those pesky plastic rings that hold the pair together. An assortment of colors look best unless of course your party has a "theme" color.

For winter time events, we always suggest Chinese slippers instead because the women guests are less likely to have had a pedi and may be shy about baring their feet.

A Wonderful Wedding

Congratulations to Rebecca and Dan who were married on Sunday. Rebecca's family has often turned to the event team at Elizabeth Bailey Weddings to plan parties with them and we love working with a family who loves to spoil their guests.

Since Rebecca and Dan were engaged in Venice, the cocktail hour started with a signature drink of peach bellinis which were a big hit with the guests. After wonderful passed hors d'oeuvres (by the fabulous Linwood's Caterers) and a Peking Duck Crepe station, the guests walked into a beautiful ballroom designed by Victoria Claussen of Romance of Flowers. It was colorful and creative using both square and round guest tables, Venetian masks, feathers, and orchids. A hand painted stage and lighted gold curtain by Perkins Productions really gave the perfect finishing touches to the room.

Galaxy, one of our favorite bands, played a wonderful variety of music and the guests responded by filling the dance floor with each song. The music paused long enough for the traditional cake cutting and there was also a groom's cake designed by Charm City Bakery which was a computer game character (the groom designs computer games).

We love, love when weddings are this wonderful and we know that the guests had a terrific time.