Last week brought my first wedding of the Spring season and what a way to kick things off! Mila and Chip’s wedding was such a fun, beautiful event that I feel like I am spoiled for the rest of the year. I had such a great time working on the wedding with the bride’s mother, Christine, and the bride. They both had great taste and a fabulous sense of fun. While the wedding was elegant, it was also full of whimsical touches.
Both the ceremony and reception were held at the amazing Mandarin Oriental Hotel
with the flawless assistance by Director of Catering Michael Deltette
. It is always such a joy to work with Michael! The bride was made even more stunning by the skills of makeup artist Carl Ray and hairstylist Ishmael, both from George’s Salon at The Four Seasons. After getting into her slinky gown and fabulous burgundy
shoes, the bride took some time for portraits with the fabulous team from Ever After Visuals
. This easygoing and charming group of photographers was a joy to work with!
The ceremony featured soaring arrangements of cherry blossoms hung with tiny votives
by the talented John Duffy of Yellow Door Floral Design
and white chiffon draping by Fabrications.
Chris Grasso provided lovely music for both ceremony and cocktail reception, while DJ Andres kicked things up later on for the party. The cherry blossom theme was carried through the reception in the centerpieces, menu cards and cake (a fabulous white chocolate confection by Kendall’s Cakes). We brought in rental chairs and linens from DC Rental to really make the room pop, all in shades of deep wine to pink. The Oriental ballroom really looked stunning!
Of course what I loved most about this wedding were the fun touches like the digital portrait station from Fotobriceno, the donut machine from Smoothie Time that turned out unbelievably delicious donuts, and the Easter candy station (it was the day before Easter, after all). It was so much fun watching the guests discover each surprise throughout the evening. I love creating the WOW factor over and over during an event and this party definitely had lots of those moments.
Aside from the fun details and fabulous design, the bride and groom were so wonderful and clearly head-over-heels in love. And on top of all of that, the families were delightful and the guests were lovely. What more could a wedding planner ask for?
I know I said that we’d announce a winner on Friday but I got caught up in last-minute wedding prep for this weekend plus the rehearsal and a wayward shuttle bus (ah, the glamorous life of a wedding planner!). So here it is, one day late. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for a fabulous Julianne Smith garter, and a big thanks to Julianne for offering one of her amazing creations. The winner is ShaMaLa! Congratulations! Be sure to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your address so I can make sure to get the garter to you.
I’m off to the fabulous Mandarin Hotel for a wedding. Should be fun!
It’s that time of year again. The weather turns warm, tulips bloom, the cherry blossoms emerge and anywhere in D.C. remotely near the Tidal Basin is gripped in traffic gridlock. You know it’s cherry blossom season when it takes half an hour to move three blocks in downtown Washington! But enough of my day and back to the joy of the cherry blossoms.
I really do love the cherry blossoms, and I love doing cherry blossom weddings even more. There are few things more stunning than soaring blooming cherry branches in a floral arrangment. For truly gorgeous blooms en masse, be sure to visit The Willard Hotel this week. Their Peacock Alley is full of cherry branches. You can even have afternoon tea in Peacock Alley among the blossoms!
If you’re considering incorporating cherry blossoms in your wedding or just love to look at them, here are some of our favorite looks. Although it is not an entirely cherry blossom themed wedding, my wedding this weekend is using cherry blossoms in half of the centerpieces and they are having a cherry blossom cake. The Mother of the Bride (whom I adore) found faux cherry branches and is putting one in each of the hotel guests’ welcome bags. Cute!
I love cherry blossom cakes. They appeal to my love of simple, yet intricate (if that makes sense). I love the simplicity of cherry blossoms yet they are so delicate and detailed. The white cake above was made by Lara Stuckey of Fluffy Thoughts Cakes. She also makes adorable cupcakes with cherry blossoms on them. The chocolate version with the loose blossoms make out of sugar comes from Martha Stewart.
We’ve used cherry blossoms and cherry blossom details at very formal weddings as well as outdoor garden parties. The photo at the top of the blog (taken by Juan Carlos Briceno of Fotobriceno) features escort cards with a cherry blossom design painted on them for an outdoor wedding. But they also look fabulous above at a very formal wedding we did at The Corcoran from a few years back(photo by Robert Isacson). For the crafty, you can make your own cherry blossom place card holders (picture below from Martha Stewart).
Whether you add one lovely cherry blossom detail or put the blossoms on everything from your invitations to your welcome bags to your programs to your favors, cherry blossoms are quinessentially spring (and very D.C.). Now if we could just do something about that traffic. Happy Spring!
More big news in the hotel world (and good news for all those brides hunting for the perfect reception space). The fabulous Four Seasons
in Georgetown has transformed its former restaurant, Seasons, into new social space for weddings of 100 or less, rehearsal dinners, or 300 person cocktail receptions. It is a total of 3800 sq feet with two private rooms attached.
Whether it’s fabulous rehearsal dinner with friends and family, an intimate wedding reception, or a dazzling engagement party, the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC now offers the services and setting for an unforgettable experience. Formally the hotel restaurant overlooking the tree-lined, historic C&O Canal through miles of picturesque floor-to-ceiling windows, SEASONS, also known as a “Room with a View” is ready to host your next special event with expert professionalism and elegant panache. Since only January 15, 2009 the hotel has reserved this unique space for over 50 event this year.
This space is really beautiful and has lots of natural light (which we are big fans of) plus the legendary food and service of the Four Seasons. It’s a combination that can’t be beat! We are so excited to add this to our list of amazing site options in the city. As a matter of fact, I think I have a rehearsal dinner that would be a perfect fit!
As the spring wedding season gets underway, I am confronted with how to get my brides and grooms from hotel to ceremony to reception and back. When they are not situated to walk from venue to venue, most of them want to move in style. There are a few options for this.
The first option is your standard white or black limo. Most brides want white, just be warned that for some reason there are fewer white vehicles out there than black. So, be sure to reserve early! Staying within the limo family, you move into your suvs. While it may seem like a fun idea to roll up to your church rocking tunes in this serious car, it may be more suitable to transport your fine men in this stylish manor. Unfortunately, it can be quite a manuver to get into this vehicle for most women in their dresses. It’s a high up step in. As a last note on the more traditional limos, my absolute favorite is the rarely seen Jaguar Limo. It is sleek and classic looking. Very much an elegant statement, but only for certain tastes.
Next you have the limo bus, known in your younger days as the “party bus”. This is the ideal mode of transportation for large wedding parties trecking around town for pictures at the monuments. It holds the largest amount of people, besides the SUV limo and it much easier to get in and out of. The outside looks like your standard tinted window mini shuttle but the inside is all limo seating.A trendy way to travel if you are moving through Old Town or Georgetown is a trolley. It’s ideal in nice weather and has a fun, easy experience. Just keep in mind most don’t allow you to have open alcohol containers.
Finally, you have your classic or vintage cars. Our good friend Justine cruised the streets of DC in a stylish pink Cadillac. Recently I have been working a lot with John Bays at Regal Limousine . His inventory includes 2 Bentleys and 2 Rolls Royces of which I have a bride using the ’52 Gold Rolls Royce next weekend. They are great for pictures and once in a lifetime vehicles.
There are still many other ways of getting around town. If you are in to hurry, try a horse and carriage. You can even flag a yellow cab. Whatever your style, know the options are out there. Make this a fun experience and cruise the town in style.