We just got great news that Engaging Affairs has been nominated again for inclusion in The Knot’s Best Of Weddings list. We are thrilled! The list is compiled from recommendations of brides, and it is always nice to get accolades from brides. The new issue of The Knot’s Best of Weddings will hit newsstands soon so we’ll keep you posted on when it is officially out there.
Well, tomorrow is the big day. The 2009 DC ISES Capital Awards Gala hosted at the new Party Rental Ltd. warehouse. Since Party Rentals reminds up to “think pink” this year’s Lucky- 21 (the DC ISES chapter is 21 this year) The Pink Ball will also go to benefit Susan G Komen for the Cure. I think it’s a great initiative and can’t wait to see who shows up in pink. I must admit, I will not be in the color of the evening.
Anyway, not so long ago, back in December actually when Engaging Affairs first launched our blog, one of the first weddings I posted about happens to be the wedding I have nominated tomorrow evening. I called it “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” appropriately named as the festivities took place in a clear tent. Here’s a quick re-cap.
Cecily and Ari were married on November 1st, 2008. It was probably the most perfect day weather wise you can get. The event took place at her mother’s residence, a large lot of land in Fairfax Station, VA. The wonderful and talented Justine Ungaro of Studio Diana
captured the event.
The ceremony took place under a tent erected on part of the home’s driveway. There Ari and Cecily shared both Jewish and Filipino traditions. Guests then moved to the home’s back yard and enjoyed cocktail hour on the decks and around the pool. Just around dusk, guests were asked to move to the large clear tent set for 250 situated under and oasis of trees whose leaves were changing the most beautiful colors of fall.
Guests dined on one of my favorites, grilled cheese and tomato soup for their first course. The perfect fall comfort food. Occasions dazzled and impressed with the meal. The mood was set with help from Digital Lightning, who not only lit the tent from inside, but lit the trees from the outside so they could be counted as part of the decor. John Duffy of Yellow Door Floral also helped dress up the space. His combination of coral flowers and green apples was a big hit with the bride and the guests.
The night went on as the bride, groom and their guests danced under the stars to Free Spirit from Entertainment Exchange. The evening was not complete until the brothers and sister of the groom topped off their toast with an interpretive dance that brought the crowd to their feet.
Everyone associated with this event was an absolute pleasure to work with. I’ll let you know what the judges thought!
Last night we had the pleasure of attending the grand opening bash for the Lorien Hotel
in Old Town Alexandria. The new Kimpton property is the essence of sleek style that we’ve come to expect from their hotels. I was impressed by how many people flocked to the hotel’s opening night and how well the staff handled the crowd. The valet parking by MarcParc Valet
was seamless (surprisingly so considering the narrow street and the rush hour traffic) and it seemed that everywhere you turned a Kimpton staff member greeted you. The music, provided by Dand Goldman and Ray Bialek of Bialek’s Music
, kept the energy high without being too loud to talk over.
The hotel itself is both charming and chic. They had cleverly spread the food and bars throughout the hotel so that you found new treats as you wandered through the space. The living room features walls of built-in bookshelves and all the books are covered in white paper covers. Quite a look! Perhaps our favorite space was the courtyard with the open fireplace. Sara and I immediately started brainstorming of ways to use the space for small weddings or rehearsal dinners.
The hotel’s restaurant, Brabo, is getting rave reviews so it was no surprise that the food was fabulous. I liked the fact that they offered enough for vegetarians (like me) and that the vegi options were interesting. Since I lapse for shellfish, I tried the amazing shrimp tempura hors d’oeuvre, as well. I could have eaten a whole tray of them! My favorite culinary part of the evening were the desserts that were displayed in the restaurant. The carrot cake bites and lemon tartlets were to die for!
We didn’t get to try out the spa (it just would have been awkward to walk around a bustling cocktail party in a spa robe and slippers) but it sounds amazing. The “Lavender Dreams Experience” has my name all over it! The whole concept of The Lorien is dreams and the tranquil decor and clean lines fit the motif beautifully. This is the perfect spot for a charming bridal tea, and fun rehearsal dinner or even an intimate, hip wedding. It is also just a great place for guests to stay if your wedding is near Old Town or a lovely new restaurant to try. So check out the new Lorien Hotel!
Who doesn’t have a bridesmaid dress (or two or three or . . .) sitting in the back of their closet collecting dust? But if you didn’t have to wear a forest green velvet “suit” with gold rope piping or a black skin-tight mermaid dress with a striped chiffon bow on the back, then I don’t want to hear a word of complaining. If, despite the bride’s best intention (and I like to think my friends didn’t mean to inflict suffering on me), you know you will never wear this dress again, why not donate it to someone who would love to wear it?
Beginning April 1st, and continuing throughout the month, please stop by Hitched
to donate your gently worn (and dry cleaned) bridesmaid dresses (in all sizes!) that will go to students in the community. Due to the great expense of prom dresses, these girls might otherwise not be able to afford a dress for this special night. So clean out your closet and make a girl’s taffeta, silk, or satin dreams come true!
Monday night we were invited to dine at the newly opened, famed DC Jockey Club located in the Fairfax Embassy Row Hotel. It was quite an experience. One of the few remaining restaurants where you have to “dress” for dinner, the Jockey Club has proven it intends to continue the excellence it established when it originally opened it’s doors 40 years ago on the eve of President Kennedy’s inauguration.
We had the company of the fantastic Scott Button, Director of Catering and Convention Services at the Fairfax, who lived through the remodel experience of not just the Jockey Club, but of the whole hotel over the past year and a half. One thing is for sure, he is happy to have his hotel fully back to operating order. (And we are too! In June I have a wedding there that I can’t wait to blog about) While the restaurant was for sure not empty on a Monday evening, Scott mentioned that Thursdays and Fridays are packed and the establishment will not flip tables or have two dining sessions like so many in DC.
The food was wonderful. My pick for first course was the Golden Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms and Black Truffles. Laura had the Ricotta and Parmesan Filled Cannelloni suggested by Scott and it did not disappoint. We both finished off the meal with Strawberries Romanoff, YUM! The Jockey Club gets four stars in our book. Don’t miss it!
Thanks to everyone who entered our very first Bridal Bubbly contest. I love entering contests (and am usually genuinely surprised when I don’t win), and it was just as much fun being on the other side of things.
I’m happy to announce that our winners are Alexis and Erin. Keep reading for more fun contests. We’ll have a new one starting next week although mum’s the word about the cool wedding accessory we’ll be giving away. Don’t want to spoil the surprise!
For all our faithful readers (and for those who stray), we’re doing our first fun giveaway. Two lucky readers will win a signed copy of Better Off Wed. This mystery won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2005 and features a wedding planner and a cast of zanny wedding industry characters. We are in tight with the author (okay, okay, the author is me) and can tell you that lots of the crazy situations in the book were inspired by real weddings. But I’m not naming names!
If you want to get your hands on the book, just send us your name through the comment section of the blog. We’ll draw names on Monday, March 23rd. Good luck!