December 11,2009
Friday

A Picture Worth A Million Words




Pictures and art of all kinds are just marvelous to me. I love when people get creative and adore pieces that strike conversation, both at events and in my home.

I found this fabulous artist, Dee, on Esty.com and just adore the art she makes with words! Her work is distinct and unique. She also does custom work and can coordinate your art colors to match your wedding or home decor. Also, it’s so incredibly affordable for a thank you gift for a mom, bridesmaid or anyone else who strikes your fancy!

Hang them in your reception or your bathroom!

Check out Dee’s shop on Etsy.com HERE

Happy decorating!
xoxo,
Amy Lorraine

December 10,2009
Thursday

modern or traditional… textured or flat? {Amy & Clark}

Ahhh, I do adore the touch and feel of a fine invitation. Whether you are preparing for a formal holiday dinner or an upcoming wedding, a beautiful invitation to your fete should not be overlooked.

There are so many variations of papers, fonts, colors and design concepts in the world to choose from. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding an invitation that portrays “you” and the type of event that you are hosting. There is the ever-growing concept now in paper products of designing your own invitations and corresponding menu cards, programs and escort cards.

The first step in designing your own invitations is getting in touch with a graphic designer {or graphic designer turned invitation producer}. Having a consulting session with them will allow you to download all of your wishes for what your design concept will look like in the end product. From colors to modern or whimsical fonts to formal or fun vibes.

Clark and I worked with a great friend of ours and graphic designer, Jason VanDorsten, on our invitations. Jason was super fun to work with and offered so many ideas and creative ways to make our invites more like us!

Here is a glimpse at our first round of invites after telling Jason all of my HUNDREDS of ideas!! Oh, how fun!

Once you have your final design, you can work with either your invitation producer on the printing options or find a local printer that can walk you through the paper types and printing options.

To contact Jason directly for product design, email him at
{jason@vandorstendesign.net} or find his website HERE.

xoxo,
Amy Lorraine

December 09,2009
Wednesday

A Family Affair



As I look back at my CRAZY October, and start to fill you in on it, I realize it started off in such a familiar fashion. Of course a wedding is a family affair, as my blog post title describes. But the wedding of John Yavari and Christina Aumann was more of that to me than normal.

This past year, and next year is shaping up to be, a tremendous year for me and sibling weddings. A huge honor and one of the biggest compliments in my book. This year, I had the pleasure of doing three weddings for sisters OR brothers of past brides. Let’s start with John and Christina and work our way backwards.

John and Christina met in school and that was just the end of that.

Heartthrob that he was, and I know this because best man Nick Caldwell, brother of my former bride Allison (Caldwell) Bliss, collected keys to John’s room from the lovely ladies in attendance at the wedding during his speech. (See, it was a big Engaging Affairs extended family affair!) Anyway, Christina had captured his heart and the couple got engaged just before his sister, Josephine, wed Robert Reger last October.

The two weddings, as they should be, were very different. The first at the Stephen Decatur House in Washington, DC and John and Christina’s at the Ritz Carelton, Pentagon City. The first had more of a land ans sea feel, appropriate for the bride and groom’s professional dealings, while John and Christina’s was more red hot and sultry with color and had a modern twist on a favorite traditional venue. Jo’s wedding had live fish, John’s wedding had a live ninja. Similar, but completely different. Exactly what I love about weddings, but what I love even more about sibling’s weddings.


Not only was the family the same, but I got to work with a hand full of the same vendors as well. Toni Footer from The Write Image got us going again with invitations. Justine Ungaro captured the day in stunning style. Leslie at Fancy Cakes by Leslie created two more breathtaking cakes and Digital Lightning lit up to space to create the appropriate feel. Thanks for sticking with the team everyone!


Ok, so I mentioned this was one of the three family weddings I had the honor of participating in this year. Stay tuned to recap the other two and their sibling’s events!

Sara

December 08,2009
Tuesday

More Amazing Bridesmaid Ideas

So, after Bride Amy posted about what her fabulous Maid of Honor started for her by way of keepsake Charm Bracelet, I started to think back about how horrible I was about not posting about my wedding experience. My BRIDESMAIDS like so many of yours, are and were simply fabulous. They did some amazing things to make my bridal shower feel truly unique.

My favorite, and the thing that brought a tear to my eye, was the wine presentation. Each of my 5 bridesmaids bought me a bottle of wine, which they decorated, and with personalized prose, they told me when I was to drink each bottle; On my WEDDING night, for my first Hanukkah (holiday) party, my first Dinner Party, my first Anniversary and the one that made me cry, the birth of my first child,which I was told my husband would be drinking alone. It was such a sentimental, thoughtful “ceremony” of sorts.

So what else can YOU do as a bridesmaid to make you bride’s experience special? Here are a few more ideas.

Personalize dessert or tea china- Everyone chooses their formal and informal sets, but grab 6 or 8 girls, choose a theme (polka dots, primary colors, etc) and each of you make a dessert plate or tea cup and saucer that has the same theme, but are each a little unique. The bride can call it her accent china.


The cookbook- Go a bit further than the recipe on an index card. Have someone collect all the recipes before the shower, laminate them and actually create a book for the bride. Each entry should include when a good time (date, holiday, occasion) is to make the dish.

Friday Night Knitting Club? Does anyone in the group knit? Have everyone buy a different yarn color and create, or have made, a completely unique afghan or throw that the bride can wrap herself in when her hubby is not at home or when she has to start getting up for late night feedings (some day).

So, if bridal BINGO and toilet paper bridal gowns are not up your alley, there are definitely other ways to let your bride know how special she is to you.

Sara

December 07,2009
Monday

Quick Get Away! {Amy & Clark}

Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are more than ever a staple to your engagement period. And for many years, this outing has typically been a fun night out on the town with your closest friends. Now, couples are branching out and doing joint parties, spa days or golf outings. I have also heard of a lot of bridal parties wisking away the bride or groom to all out away weekends to their choice destination location. Everything from the Florida coast to Paris, France!

I was just sitting here day-dreaming of my own away weekend coming up soon and thought I would share a few pictures from my most recent bachelorette weekend.

If you recall, our very own Sara was recently married {Pictures from her wedding coming soon!} and we had an absolute BLAST at her away weekend at Disney World in Orlando, FL. We went in late October and it was wonderful having the warm sun beating down on us while laying by the pool for a few fabulous days! Now, it wasn’t so much fun coming home to the freezing cold, but that’s just life I suppose.This is a great pic of Sara & I. Trying to get into the Disney spirit and I had 5 pins of flair… who knows what I was thinking but it was fun!!

Obviously when it came to my own wedding, I was so excited to get out of DC for a few days and go on what is hopefully going to be the most fabulously fun girls weekend I have ever experienced! What is better than having all your best girlfriends with you for 3 days, at least 6 great meals and countless bottles of champagne?! We have decided to head out to the of Big Apple NYC in late January. Granted, it may be a bit chilly that time of year in New York but that’s just fine with me. Snow boots, puffy coat and a new sweater and we’ll be set!

Clark’s brother {& Best Man}, Rob, decided to take the guys and head out to Snowshoe Ski Resort in WV for his bachelor weekend. Definitely more of a macho man trip than tromping down 5th Avenue shopping but we’ll let the guys have their fun too.

I’ll be sure to post pictures after our trip, stay tuned!

Whatever you end up doing to celebrate your last single times with your friends, have fun & be safe! We need you in one piece on your wedding day 🙂

xoxo,
Amy Lorraine

December 04,2009
Friday

Advice Needed! Bridesmaid Gifts {Amy & Clark}

Game on, brides & bridesmaids out there! With only a few months to go and a MILLION options, I need some help coming up with some fabulous ideas for great bridesmaid gifts! Every bridesmaid has received gifts ranging from trinkets to jewelry to Coach bags… what did you love most? Items that you could wear, eat, or sit on a shelf as eye candy??

Let me know your thoughts, ideas and what you have seen out there that went over well! I have 11 bridesmaids, yes 11! Think budget friendly 😉

Then there is the thought of doing individualized gifts, something personal for each marvelous maid?


Friday

Bride & Groom Published! {Sloane & David}

Check out the current Bride & Groom {Washingtonian’s Wedding Magazine} on shelves now and catch a glimpse of Sara’s clients, Sloane & David. They had an all out wonderful affair at one of our FAVORITE venues, The Ronald Reagan Building. It was a great wedding with tons of fun guests dancing the night away and not to mention, the catering staff there is phenomenal!

Be sure to catch the NEW edition of Bride & Groom coming in January 2010! It will have the full line up of DC’s Top Notch Wedding Vendors in their Annual List. It’s a great resource for brides and not to mention, gives the full run down of who’s who in the city!

Thanks to our darling friend, Justine Ungaro, for the beautiful photos!

December 03,2009
Thursday

Gay Weddings in DC


I recently had the distinct pleasure of hearing Bernadette Smith of 14 Stories, the country’s most successful gay wedding planning company, speak about gay weddings coming to D.C. You may not know that earlier today the DC City Council voted in favor of allowing legal marriage. This isn’t the final vote but it is a good sign.

Bernadette spoke on the positive impact that gay marriage had on Massachusetts (her state) and how it would bring tons of new revenue and jobs to the city (hooray!). Plus, who doesn’t love thousands of additional weddings each year?

We are an open and affirming wedding planning company and love creating unique and personal weddings for all couples so we look forward to this new avenue opening up for D.C. Thanks to Bernadette for sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm! And thanks to Closed Circle Photography for the beautiful picture above!
Laura

December 02,2009
Wednesday

Charming & Memorable {Amy & Clark}

In my opinion, one of the best parts of friendship, dating, engagement and marriage is the memories you build along the way with the people you hold nearest and dearest. I adore receiving gifts that are meaningful and ones that I will be able to keep with me for many years, often reminding me of a special trip, event or person.
My fabulously wonderful Maid of Honor, Stephanie, came up with a great idea to gift me with a charm bracelet and have each of the women in my life send a charm to represent a memory that I have with them. Stephanie started out by giving me a sweet bracelet from Tiffany & Co. and let me know then that each week until my wedding I would be receiving a charm from someone in my life. What fun!! I have very much enjoyed receiving fun charms of all shapes and sizes, some with hilarious memories, some with inspirational words, all amazingly memorable!


You can get creative and send sea shells, glass, vintage coins – whatever reminds you of the bride’s style, personality or memories you have together!


If you are a bride who loves keepsakes, this is a great gift for you! Just send this link to your MOH and hope for the best…

Happy Planning!
xoxo,
Amy Lorraine

Among Life’s precious jewels,
Genuine and rare,
The one that we call friendship
Has worth beyond compare.
~Author Unknown

December 01,2009
Tuesday

Signature Celebration Cocktails: The Ring-A-Ding-Tini


Every bride knows that part of customizing your wedding lies in the signature cocktail. Since we’re approaching the holidays, I thought I’d share a fabulous champagne cocktail perfect for celebrating a Christmas or New Year’s wedding (or just celebrating Christmas and New Year’s). This recipe comes courtesy of mixologist Natalie Bovis-Nelson of TheLiquidMuse.com and author of “The Bubbly Bride.”

The Ring-A-Ding-Tini

1 sugar cube
Dash Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

1 ounce vodka

1/2 ounce peach or passion fruit puree

3/4 ounce acai juice

1/4 ounce simple syrup

2 1/2 ounces chilled champagne

Muddle the sugar cube and rhubarb bitters in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add vodka, fruit puree, acai juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with ice cold champagne.

Natalie just sent us a copy of her delicious book so stay tuned this week for more about the book and creating a custom cocktail for your wedding. Cheers!
Laura