Monday, September 21, 2009

Fabulous Event for Creative Professionals

Engaged! Magazine is sponsoring a luncheon featuring talented business consultant and speaker Sean Low. If you are in any creative business, you owe it to yourself to attend this luncheon. For more information:

The Details: You Are Your Brand
Who are you? What do you do? These two questions are the heart and soul or "core values" of every creative wedding business and what should help guide you in every decision you make - big and small - to nurture it.

Sean will make us think in different ways about how we identify who we are, what we do and how to translate the core of each of our own creative business' values into our own marketing strategy, pricing methodology, customer service, and corporate structure. The ultimate goal is to provide the best business platform for your art.

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 11:30am

Where: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St NW, Washington DC 20037Cost: $55/pp for a seated lunch, presentation by Sean Low, followed by Question & Answer session.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Vendor Friends

In the events industry, we have a unique relationship with our fellow vendors. Working together on the weekends and late into the night when the rest of the world is with their families creates a certain bond between us. We are the ones willing, no really, joyfully giving up a Saturday night out in order to work at someone else’s party. We are together in a stress filled, emotionally charged atmosphere full of timelines and deadlines, all the while being grateful and humbled that these hostesses have given us an integral part in a life event for their family.

On wedding days we’re a well oiled machine working together to see that the event is a success. Behind the scenes, we eat stale turkey sandwiches together (otherwise known as vendor meals), brave the rain and heat and sometimes mud together and discuss whether or not we will eat wedding cake that night. We wager on which groomsmen will drink too much, make a game of guessing the age of the bride and groom, and become the style critics when it comes to guest attire. We collectively agree that the word “overtime” is our worse enemy and that a filled dance floor and a happy bride is our greatest achievement. We complain when we work all weekend and we complain when we don’t. We talk about last weekend’s wedding, next weekend’s wedding and how grateful we are to be busy.

Vendor friends (as we call ourselves) do see each other occasionally outside of the actual wedding day. There are the appointments with the client, the NACE meetings, the bridal shows and networking events at which we get a chance to chat. In addition to friends, we are each other’s business consultants, confidants, grapevine, and barometer of the wedding industry. We exchange website links, blog tips, and marketing strategy. We are Facebook friends and Twitter followers. We want to know how each is faring during these tough economic times, which media we are using in which to advertise, and which are the most comfortable shoes to wear for those long wedding days. We argue and laugh over which venue has the toughest load-in and rules, which caterer has the best food and which wedding trends we wish would disappear.

Talented wedding photographer Arthur Remanjon died suddenly last week in a motorcycle accident. We spent many Saturday nights together over the past decade, he as the wedding photographer and I as the wedding planner. He was one of my most loyal supporters and I of him. We often talked on the phone about business as we challenged each other to raise the bar. He was an old-fashioned, true gentleman who dressed the part. His passion for wedding photography was contagious and he lit up whatever room he entered. When I arrived at a wedding and saw him behind the camera, it gave me such comfort. He treated all my assistants with respect and kindness. He was a true professional and a joy with whom to work. I feel honored to call him my vendor friend and only wish I got the chance to tell him goodbye.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mia + Christian: The Reception

The bride told us that her guests were going to know how to party and boy was she right. The reception started with a cocktail hour and ended with a last dance and there was a good time to be had for all in between.
Immediately following the ceremony, the guests were invited onto the back terrace of the Mansion for drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The signature drink for the cocktail hour was Malibu Rum combined with Orange Passion Mango Italian Soda. It is a refreshing drink and a beautiful color all served over ice in a stemmed wine glass. The full bar included champagne and the Manor House Arnold Palmer. Guests were offered Fresh Bruschetta, Filet Mignon Crepes, Crab Imperial Mushroom Caps, Miniature Quiche, Jamaican Jerk Chicken Satay and the ever popular Bacon wrapped Scallops and all that was just for the cocktail hour!
After the cocktail hour, guests were invited into the reception tent for a seated-served dinner, luscious dessert buffet and a bunch of dancing.

View of the reception tent from the back yard of the estate.

The custom made Guest Book which incorporating the dragonfly theme of the wedding.

Urns of white hydrangea stand at the entrance of the reception tent for a "shabby chic" summer look.

Floral centerpieces for the guest tables complete with live fish in of course the wedding color.
Great table numbers, menu cards, and rattan chargers.

The Reception Table

Bride and Groom entering their reception tent to a crowd of their friends and family.

Cute Detail - Mia added this bit of bling to her gown for the reception.

If you have never heard of the band Eturnity, you are missing out of a fabulous band. They are incredibly talented and extremely nice people.

Bride having a good time on the dance floor.

Confetti filled "last dance" to Donna Summer's "Last Dance" (our favorite).

All images in this post are courtesy of Brian Johnson from A Bryan Photo.
Please see previous post for a list of all the vendor team.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mia + Christian: The Ceremony

More than 180 guests gathered for the wedding celebration of Mia and Christian in June at Belmont Mansion in Elkridge, Maryland. The day before might have been rainy, but on the day of the wedding, the bright blue skies and moderate temperatures made for a wonderful welcome. The ceremony tent was positioned on the front lawn at Belmont overlooking the gorgeous rolling fields and trees of the estate. The bride chose white chivari chairs for seating, a soft fabric liner for the tent ceiling and flowers with just the right amount of color.

One of the coolest things about this wedding was the Gospel Choir hired by Mia
to surprise the guests with a joyous concert of traditional celebratory songs
like O Happy Day and This Little Light of Mine. The Gospel Choir was
directed by Tyrone Wright.

Ceremony Programs printed by Chelle Paperie.

Flower Girls Jillian and Leah with the cutest parasols ever.

Bride and Dad entering the ceremony tent from the Mansion.

Coming down the aisle with Dad.

Vows Sealed with a Kiss

(and isn't the tent beautiful?)

Jumping the Broom !

Mr. and Mrs.!

Mia and Christian right after the ceremony.

Stay tuned for the next post with great photos from the reception.

Photo Credit for all images in this post: Bryan Johnson from Birmingham, Alabama

The Team:

Photographer - A Bryan Johnson Photograph
Bridesmaid Dresses - Garnish Boutique
Venue - Belmont Mansion
Floral Decor and Bouquets - Floral Studio
Wedding Planner - Elizabeth Bailey Weddings
Lighting and Stage and Fabric Decor - Perkins Productions
Hair Stylist - Maleka Elion
Make Up - Maeion at Mirror Your Image
Officiant - Pastor Roland Scott from Northpoint Baptist Church
Ceremony Tent and Reception Tent Liner - Loane Brothers
Tabletop Rentals and Chairs - Party Rental Ltd.
Table Linens - Table Toppers
Reception Band - Eturnity
Portable Restroom Trailer - Bobby's Portable Restrooms

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mia + Christian: Getting Ready

After a long engagement and plenty of time to design the overall look for the wedding,
bride Mia and groom Christian were married at Belmont Mansion in June.

It was a beautiful weather day and "plan A" was in full swing.

For those of you who think this bride looks very familiar, there is a reason: Mia owns the cute as pie salon Garnish in Mt. Washington. Garnish specializes in dressing bridesmaids and other young women for special events. Mia is a stylish stylist who ends up making everyone look good.

Photo Credit for all photos in this post: A Bryan Photo

The festivities of the day begin with the hairdresser.

She was even super cute in her "getting ready" dress.

It was hard to choose from all the great images, but this is my favorite photo of the bride. The photo subtly captures a feeling, don't you think?

One of the advantages of having a wedding at Belmont Mansion is the gorgeous landscape as a photo backdrop. Of course it doesn't hurt that the bride is gorgeous too.

Crazy pretty detail on Mia's gown. She had a surprise in store for the reception. The wedding gown is an Oscar De La Renta design purchased in New York City at
Mark Ingram's Bridal Atelier.
The beautiful veil.

The bride's bouquet is a design by The Floral Studio in Mt. Washington.

Of course one would expect fabulous bridesmaids dresses from a bride who owns a salon specializing in bridesmaids dresses! Mia didn't disappoint with her choice of these tri-color tea length dresses designed by Mia and her good friend Annie. Annie owns Anna Elyse, a bridesmaids line of dresses carried at Garnish Boutique.

Love, love the guys attire. Perfect for an outdoors summer wedding. The navy blazers, beige slacks and brown loafers were purchased at Joseph Bank. The great looking ties are from Peter Elliott in New York.

The bridesmaid's bouquet were nosegays of roses, hydrangea and lemon leaf in coral, white, yellow and a touch of green. Perfect colors for a summer wedding.

Have you ever seen a more chic "mother of the bride" dress? The color is amazing.

I promise more photos and details about the vendors in the next post.