Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Event Furntiture

Cort Event Furnishings makes it very easy to rent lounge-type furniture for your wedding or other special event. They have quite a nice selection of styles and shapes of seating for a wedding.

In these photos we teamed sofas, chairs and ottomans from the "Oz" line with white Parsons style tables from Target. Flower and candle accents were from Romance of Flowers and the very cool "alligator" white bar front is from Party Rental Ltd.
The gorgeous tent is from Loane Brothers.
Photos by Khaki Morrison.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New In The Wedding Stock Room

We have a large storage room next to our office which houses a wonderful collection of wedding items. All of our clients have the opportunity to use any of the items at no charge on the event day. The collection includes: baskets, vases, candle holders, table numbers, easels, silver cake stands, umbrellas, paper parasols, shepherd's hooks, tiki torches, parking signs, party signs, glass candy jars, etc.

Our newest addition is this cute chalkboard, perfect for the dinner menu. Not only does it save money by eliminating menu cards, but it is an environmentally friendly way to introduce the dinner menu.
Photo by Khaki Morrison

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Love Love

This bridesmaid dress is simple, fresh and so, so cute. Designer is Lela Rose for Dessy and is priced around $ 100. Available at Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Tease

We have already planned and executed many weddings in 2010 and promise to blog about each and every one soon. In the meantime, the photos are pouring in from all the very talented photographers we have worked with the last few months. Today I received images from Gary Landsman at David Michele Photography and I am over-the-moon thrilled with the photographs of Grace and Justin's wedding. This is just a sampling. You'll love the look of this wedding! Thanks Gary!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You'll Love This Drink !

Island Girl
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup ginger ale
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Stir together in a large pitcher and pour into ice filled glasses.
4 servings

Monday, June 7, 2010

Restaurant Rave

I might have found a new favorite local restaurant. College daughter and I worked a long day in the office and decided to treat ourselves to a dinner out. We ended up at BlueStone in Timonium, just a couple of miles from the office.

What we didn't know was that from 4-7 pm, all wine by the glass is 1/2 price (nice choices) and "small plates" were 1/2 price as well. Yes, it was a great deal, but better than that, the food was amazing. We first had Fried Green Tomatoes with Lump Crabmeat, lemon butter sauce, shallots, garlic and chives that was truly a taste of summer. The second course of Seared Ahi Tuna was even better. The Chesapeake Shrimp Wrap was so rich and so good that we had some left to take home. The other small plates offered at 1/2 price were Flash Fried Calamari, Caprese Flatbread, Crispy Crab Balls, Shrimp Wrapped with Bacon, and Grilled Portabella Mushroom.

You must visit and enjoy the simple freshness of the food and the wonderful, friendly atmosphere. Even with a generous tip, we both enjoyed a great dinner (and wine for me) for under $ 40.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eco-Friendly Spirits

When preparing the bar menu for your wedding, perhaps consider adding some organic alcohol to the order. For instance, Del Maguey Minero Mezcal (pronounced Ma Gay) is a tequila produced in Oaxaca, Mexico and is made from organic agave.

Prairie Organic Vodka is produced by organic corn grown by a Minnesota co-op. The left-over cobs are used as fuel for production.
The world's only certified organic tequila, Copas Tequila is available in 4 styles and bottled in handblown glass from local Jalisco artisans.
Organic sugarcane is used to create the base for this white rum to make Rhum Clement Premiere Canne Rum.
Who knew that even alcohol can be eco-friendly?

Herrington On The Bay

Despite the fact that Herrington on the Bay has been the site of many, many weddings over the years, until recently, I had never been there. The beautiful waterfront venue is located about 25 minutes south of Annapolis, just off Solomon's Island Road in Anne Arundel County.

Just a few minutes into my visit with Julie Loos from the sales and catering office at Herrington, it was clear that this venue was special. The greeting was warm and welcoming, and the availability of good, accurate information was perfect for a first site visit. Julie is so knowledgeable about the venue and while I enjoyed the tour of the huge property, the best was yet to come.

Herrington on the Bay, with clear views of the Chesapeake Bay, has 600+ acres of wooded walking trails and the Herrington chefs are committed to offering the best in sustainable Chespeake cuisine. They bake all breads in house using organic and natural ingredients. Organic herbs are grown on site and used in food preparation. Chesapeake Roasters coffee is served, a local, eco-friendly roaster. In addition, they do not use Styrofoam, the office recycles ink cartridges and copier paper and even cleaning products are eco-friendly and citrus based. For this management team at Herrington, their intentions and practices are truly genuine, not the "jump-on-the-bandwagon" mentality.
There are several options for wedding ceremonies and receptions at Herrington, but my favorite was certainly the permanent, waterfront tent which they call The Paradise Ballroom. It is private, completely open for whatever decorating visions a bride would have, and has amazing views of the water.
I am currently working on a July 2010 wedding taking place at Herrington and I hope to be back many times in the future as I am truly on board with their goals, vision, and the spirit of what they are doing there.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Down By The Seashore

I'll admit it: we plan our annual family beach vacation around my wedding schedule. That means that we always book last minute (a month ahead) which makes the task crazy. We love to stay at the Delaware beaches, directly on the ocean, in a charming yet immaculately clean beach house. That, my friend, is very hard to find this far into the season.

So after spending hours on the Internet searching for the perfect place to rent, I have to concede to calling a realtor tomorrow. Just when we thought that everything possible could be found on-line, sometimes one must just pick-up the phone and ask for assistance. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Expert Advice for Industry Pros

It was a pleasure to finally meet my on-line industry buddy Liene Stevens recently. Liene is the owner of Splendid Communications, an on-line media consultancy for the wedding and lifestyle events industry. She and I are members of a couple of on-line groups which discuss the most current topics we face in the wedding industry.

Just a few weeks ago, Liene graciously offered to make her way from NYC to speak at the monthly Baltimore NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) meeting. NACE is the industry association for caterers, event planners, rental companies, entertainment agencies, hotels, floral decorators, and anyone else involved in creating special events. The Baltimore chapter of NACE is very strong and very active and this year I am serving on the board of directors as co-chair of programs.
During her presentation, Liene spoke of the role that social media plays in our businesses. She related startling facts, gave great advice, and related funny anecdotes as she presented ideas to move a business forward using social media.
If you are an event professional, subscribe to her blog as it's a great source of sage advice and timely information. And if you are interested in attending the next NACE meeting, send a note and we'll be glad to have you tag along. You'll get great information and meet many business owners in the events industry (there's alcohol and food too!).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Irvine Nature Center

Photos by Gary Jackson Photography

There is a new event venue in Baltimore and you really need to make time to visit. Irvine Nature Center is located in the lovely Caves Valley section of Baltimore County and offers a unique and private venue for all types of special events. Irvine is 116 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. During the day, the Nature Center is a haven for visiting school children and moms with tots as they wander through the exhibit hall featuring creatures and foliage and then venture outdoors to hike the paths, have a picnic lunch or visit the bird sanctuary.
In the evening, the center opens for parties on a beautiful, new tented patio surrounded by trees. Because the venue is new, it features a great catering kitchen, modern restrooms and air-conditioned space for the cocktail portion of the wedding reception. Brides can be married in the area behind the center or take a short walk to the gazebo which features gorgeous views of the valley.
Irvine Nature Center encourages brides to hire a caterer for their event who features locally grown and sustainable food, who composts and recycles, and who uses eco-friendly serving pieces. The rental coordinator at Irvine is the very kind Kim Brock and the venue accommodates up to 150 guests for the wedding.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Local Color Flowers

I love discovering new wedding resources and talent and recently had the pleasure to meet a new (to me) florist. Local Color Flowers, owned by Ellen Frost has a niche market in which they provide floral decor for special events using only fresh, seasonal and sustainable flowers cultivated by local specialty growers.

Think about it: because only Mother Nature knows for sure which flowers will be blooming at a particular time of year, Local Colors isn't able to be very specific about the flowers the bride will have at her wedding. This requires a lot of trust on the part of the bride, but judging from their popularity, Local Colors has come through with amazing floral designs for their clients. Ellen gathers lots of information from the bride about colors, style, venue and size of the event and then uses her creativity and available inventory of flowers to create wonderful wedding florals.

I love the concept of adding this eco-friendly element to a wedding and it was such a pleasure to meet such nice people behind the concept. Be sure to check out their blog for photos of recent weddings.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Things to Do: Baltimore

Photo by Michael Koryta

A new exhibition at The Evergreen Museum and Library is certainly worth a visit to anyone interested in interior design and decorating. "Modernism at Evergreen: Baltimore's Billy Baldwin", explores the life and brilliance of noted Baltimore-born interior designer Billy Baldwin. In his lifetime (1903-1983), Mr. Baldwin's client list included such fashionable hosts as Jackie Kennedy, Harvey Ladew, Cole Porter, and Diana Vreeland.

In reading about the exhibit, I was really was drawn to a quote about Mr. Baldwin's design principles which included " the importance of the personal, comfortable and the new" which is exactly the principles we keep in mind when designing weddings. I also chuckled at his quote in The Times: "The word that almost makes me throw up is satin" (me too!).

Some of Mr. Baldwin's signature design elements were cotton, shutters, chintz slipcovers and wicker covered Parsons tables. He authored two books: Billy Baldwin Decorates and Billy Baldwin Remembers.

Evergreen Museum and Library in Baltimore is open by guided tour on the hour from 11-4 Tuesday through Friday and from 12-4 on Saturdays and Sundays. The last tour begins at
3:00 pm each day. Admission is $ 6 and the exhibit runs until October 24th.