November 05,2009

Black and White Chic {Colleen and Mike}

Colleen and Mike were such a fun couple, and I was so excited to work with them on their wedding! Upon arriving to the St. Regis on the Big Day, the bride, surrounded by her bridesmaids, was all smiles. Giselle of Hair by Giselle was already working on everyone’s hair and Nour was working on their makeup. Colleen’s dress was a stunning custom Monique Lhuillier creation from Carine’s Bridal Atelier. Carine herself helped the bride into her dress! When it was time to head off to the ceremony, the bride was transported, along with her father, in a vintage Bentley provided by Regal Limo.

The venue they had chosen was the modern 2941 Restaurant located in Falls Church, VA. The restaurant, with floor to ceiling windows overlooks a man-made lake, which would serve as the backdrop for their outdoor vows. Guests were greeted by the two very large koi ponds located at the front of the restaurant as they arrived. The ceremony took place along the lake while waterfalls could be heard running in the background.

A black and white custom runner sets the modern tone.

A gorgeous profusion of all white flowers!

In addition to the beauty of the natural environment, DaVinci’s Florist designed beautiful white arrangements that served as additional décor for the ceremony. After the couple said their “I Do’s”, their guests enjoyed cocktails both outside by the lake and inside at the bar. The couple wanted their guests to be able to capture their own fun memories of this special day so they brought in a photobooth, provided by Booth-O-Rama. After cocktails, guests were invited inside to begin the dinner festivities.

The monogram at the top of the menu cards echoes the aisle runner.

Dinner began with guests being treated to a slide show of the couple, put together by the Maid of Honor, Carine of Carine’s Bridal Atelier. Guests then enjoyed their meals listening to the smooth sounds of the Brandon Combs Trio. The cake, provided by Lara of Fluffy Thoughts, was not only beautiful but super delicious.

The silhouette motif used on the program and the wedding cake. So retro chic!

After dinner, guests were invited into a separate room where a traditional Korean ceremony took place to honor the bride’s heritage. After this beautiful ceremony, the guests were ready to party. DJ Nica cranked the music and guests danced through the night. All of these special memories were captured beautifully by Nicole and Brad of Sota Dzine Photography. Thank you for your amazing work!

I want to send a special thank my assistant for the day, Grace, who helped me make sure the evening was seamless and stress-free.


November 04,2009

Sota Dzine: It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridal Portrait

Nicole and Brad from Sota Dzine sent me the photos of the portrait session they did with Christine’s couple from a few weeks ago, Mike and Colleen. I was blown away by the creativity and innovation and had to share the images and the process with our readers. For brides who think a “bridal portrait session” is old-fashioned, think again!

Nicole and Brad are commercial photographers and designers and when they started shooting weddings in 2000, they knew that in order to stay creative, passionate and excited about wedding photography, they had to produce imagery for clients that was not the norm. With portraiture, they knew they could specifically bring an approach every time that was inventive to the couple, their style and relationship.

They get to know the couple over the course of a year: hang out, go to dinner, spend time with them and location scout. This gives them an opportunity for couples to feel connected and comfortable with them, trust them and value where they want to take them with the work.

They conceptualize ideas, scout cool locations and storyboard a concept. They try to rarely shoot at the same location twice, and if they do, they take a completely new approach with concept and lighting.

With Mike and Colleen, it played out this way. A few months before Brad and Nicole met them, Nicole stumbled upon the Chanel 2009 Spring Runway show photos and was blown away. It was white garments on what looked like white origami, paper cut-out background. She thought how cool it would be to do something with a Bride, white on white and three-dimensional looking. Then Nicole and Brad met Colleen and Mike and found out that Colleen used to work for Chanel!

Nicole knew that she would be perfect for the shoot. So after months of organization, finding the perfect spots, tracking down tissue paper flower designers on Etsy, hours of unfolding tissue paper flowers and then figuring out how to get them to stay on the wall, they finally had their idea constructed.

Actually, they set the whole scene up in their Studio the night before the shoot so that the couple could just walk right into it the next day. When they arrived, ALL the flowers had fallen off the wall!!! So Brad and Nicole ordered two pizzas and Colleen and Mike ate and hung out as they frantically stuck everything back on the wall and did the shoot! As you can see, it turned out amazing!

The Mansion photos happened when Nicole discovered an amazing space after hearing a friends band play at the mansion. She was more interested in looking around that night than listening to her friend’s music. She went back the next day, rang the doorbell, introduced herself and after two hours of lovely conversation with the owner, the house was hers.

Nicole knew that it would be another great fit for Colleen and Mike, as well. She wanted it to be this soft, beautiful love story, kind of old world, with all available light and a juxtaposition of the clean, stark, editorial shoot with the flowers. The images speak for themselves. Breathtaking!

Thanks so much to Nicole and Brad from Sota Dzine for sharing the images and the process. I hope this inspires everyone to do some really fabulous bridal portraits and check out Sota Dzine.


November 03,2009

Trunk Shows at Hitched!

Check it out, ladies! Some of our favorite gown designers will visit Hitched for the following trunk shows. Call 202-333-6162 or to schedule an appointment.

Judd Waddell Trunk Show
Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th

Anna-Maier/Ulla Maija Trunk Show
Friday, November 20th and Saturday, November 21st

Amsale Bridesmaid Trunk Show
Saturday, November 28th

Oscar de la Renta Trunk Show
Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th


Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Miss Megan for winning the copy of “Fete: A Wedding Experience!” Miss Megan, send an email to with your shipping info and we will zip the book out to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks for your nice comments. We will be having frequent giveaways so keep checking back. You can’t win if you don’t play! And the odds are much better with us than with the lottery! 🙂

November 02,2009

Stephanie and Ryan: A Video Highlight

Fabulous videographer Tom Bowen shared the highlight video he put together from Stephanie and Ryan’s beautiful Labor Day wedding at The Mandarin (you can check out my blog about the wedding by zipping back a few entries). I think the video captures the lovely details of the day and happiness of the bride and groom. Watching Ryan smile as Stephanie enters the room for the ceremony brings tears to my eyes! Enjoy!

October 30,2009

Giveaway Reminder

Don’t forget to throw your hat in the ring for the free copy of “Fete: A Wedding Experience.” Just send us a message and you’ll be in the running. It’s a great book for anyone planning a wedding or looking for creative inspiration. We will draw a name on Monday. Good luck!


Adele Wechsler Trunk Show at Hitched

As you know, Engaging Affairs loves making weddings more eco-friendly. So we were thrilled to hear that Hitched (one of our very favorite bridal salons) will be carrying EcoCouture bridal gown designer Adele Wechsler. And they will hold their first-ever Adele Wechsler trunk show on Friday, November 6th and Saturday, November 7th!

Adele Wechsler describes her EcoCouture line as geared toward “the bride who cares about the world in which she lives.” The gowns are made in Toronto with fair-labor practices, and each style incorporates natural elements like organic silk and hemp, vegetable dyes, and remnant fabrics to create eco-friendly pieces with a truly couture look and feel. Adele Wechsler’s gowns are absolutely stunning, and this is an event that is not to be missed!

At the trunk show, you’ll have the opportunity to try on tons of Adele Wechsler gowns, including those from her newest eco-couture collection, as well as to discuss custom changes. Hitches will also be offering 10% off gowns and custom measurements to brides who purchase during the trunk show!

For additional questions or to book an appointment, please call 202-333-6162 or email This is sure to be a popular event, so book your appointment today!

October 29,2009

A Nice Day for a White Wedding . . . at The Mandarin Hotel!

I had been looking forward to my Labor Day wedding for a long time! I started working with Stephanie and Ryan almost a year and a half before their wedding day, and I was eager to see how all of our ideas would turn out. I know everyone is bored to death hearing me say how nice my clients are, but Stephanie and Ryan and their families were the nicest people in the world and working with them was a dream. I really am extraordinarily lucky to have such amazing brides and grooms!

I also love when couples know what they want. From the beginning, Stephanie and Ryan envisioned a day that was elegant but also fun. They wanted a beautiful white wedding with whimsical touches and dramatic moments. And, most of all, they wanted a wedding that was THEM.

They selected the fabulous Mandarin Oriental Hotel as the backdrop for their ceremony and reception. Stephanie and Ryan loved the clean, modern feel of the hotel; it meshed perfectly with their style. Plus, how could anyone not adore working with Director of Catering Michael Deltette? Michael and his staff made sure that every detail of the weekend was flawless.

The long wedding weekend started with guests receiving luxurious white welcome boxes filled with gourmet treats and Sour Patch Kids (the bride’s favorite). The ladies enjoyed a bridesmaids’ tea overlooking the hotel’s garden then had manicures onsite from Nail Taxi.

Later that evening (after a quick rehearsal) guests took shuttles provided by Linder and Associates to Rosa Mexicana downtown for a festive rehearsal dinner. The food was delicious and the toasting went late into the evening.

The morning of the wedding brought perfect weather (and the good news that we could have cocktails outside). Stephanie and her bridesmaids enjoyed being primped by makeup artist Carl Ray and hair stylist Giselle while the guys hung out watching the game (don’t ask me what sport or what game). Carl and Giselle always make my brides look unbelievable!

The bride chose her dress from Hitched (an Engaging Affairs favorite dress and invitation spot) and had her girls wear stunning floor length navy gowns. Flowers were all white. The clean palette was so simple and chic.

While all the bridal party was getting ready, Capital Decor, Fabrications and Swank were downstairs turning the ballroom into a magical ceremony site. We draped the entire room from floor to ceiling in white organza and brought in enormous trees with votives hanging from them. Instead of chairs, Capital Decor custom-made white upholstered benches for guests to sit on. It was simply stunning!

The beautiful ceremony was performed by one of my favorite officiants, Rev. Wesley Peyton, with a string quartet from MSE Productions. At the end of the ceremony, and as a surprise to the guests, the St. Martin’s Church gospel choir sang the recessional and led guests through the hotel and out to the garden singing the entire way!

After cocktails, guests entered the Oriental ballroom. The breathtaking room featured a profusion of white hydrangea; tables with white, high-backed banquettes; a shiny, white dance floor surrounded by white backless sofas; and custom linens, china and crystal from DC Rental. It was a modern vision in white (with touches of gold for warmth)!

After an amazing dinner, guests enjoyed a delicious wedding cake (and red velvet cupcakes) from Kendall’s Cakes. The always phenomenal band, Sound Connection, kept the guests dancing all night long.

The red velvet cupcakes had the bride and groom’s initials piped on top in gold. I speak from experience with Kendall’s red velvet cupcakes when I say YUM!

The bride and groom taking to the dance floor!

I love these moments when the couple is clearly having the time of their lives. This is what it is all about!

As guests reluctantly left the party, they took adorable wedding cake cookie favors from Kendall’s Cakes (we kept her busy that week!) and filled bags with the bride and groom’s favorite candies (every gummy animal I’d ever heard of and some I hadn’t!) from a shadowbox candy table.

My favorite WOW moment of the wedding was when we threw open the doors to the ceremony and the gospel choir started singing “Hallelujah.” My favorite behind-the-scenes moment was realizing that the beautiful trees in the ceremony room had crickets who sang when it got quiet. It ended up adding such a serene element to the ceremony, though. People thought we had piped in the sound to add to the Zen feel!

It really was a spectacular event and the best way to spend a Labor Day weekend that I can think of. Thanks to everyone who made the wedding a success, to Robert Isacson for the beautiful photos and Tom Bowen for capturing it all on video.

Congratulations Stephanie and Ryan!

October 28,2009

Vendor Spotlight: Sugarplum Tents

At Engaging Affairs, we use lots of different vendors and take pride in matching them to each bride’s style and budget. We do have certain companies, though, whom we’ve worked with for well over a decade and who feel more like family than colleagues.

Sugarplum Tents is one of those companies. I’ve been using Davis Richardson and his team since I started Engaging Affairs nearly fifteen years ago. He has put up tents for me on farms in Virginia, the waterside at the Eastern Shore, the dock at Washington Harbor, historic homes in Georgetown, a client’s super yacht and just about everything in between.

What I love about Davis is his patience and professionalism. He and his team know their stuff. Not only are their tents always amazing but they make sure that it is right, even if it means coming back out in the middle of the night or doing yet another sight visit to a client’s home.

Just recently, we had back-to-back home weddings in Potomac. The first weekend, it poured buckets and Davis stayed on-site for the entire wedding to make sure that guests were dry (they were). The next week, we were back at it again. This time, we were fearful of rain again so Davis made multiple trips to the client’s home to remeasure for additional tenting. Luckily, it didn’t rain but that was probably because we were so prepared!

A huge thanks to Davis, Barbi, Nicole, Courtney and the entire team at Sugarplum for going above and beyond! You guys are the best!

October 27,2009

A Bridal Bubbly Giveaway!

Who loves winning things? We do! But we also love giving things away to our fabulous readers. We reviewed the beautiful wedding planning book “Fete: The Wedding Experience” a few months back. Now we want to give a copy of the book to one lucky reader. This is great inspiration for anyone planning a wedding. All you have to do is reply to the post. We will pick a winner on Monday, November 2nd so check back to see if you won.

Since we love giving things away, Bridal Bubbly will be having more frequent giveaways and exclusive vendor deals so keep reading!
Good luck!