DC Wedding Planner | Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events | Anthony and David

“A Marbled Wedding in the City” was the theme and inspiration for the wedding of Anthony Sims and David Butler.  My first encounter with this vibrant couple was one that was of pure exhilaration!  David and Tony were both eager to embrace a new chapter in their life and wanted to celebrate it with their friends in grand style.  Although they had contracted all of their vendors, they needed someone to bring their vision together with the decor, and David wanted me to focus the design around a marbled wedding cake that he had seen in Martha Stewart Weddings and he wanted limited floral decor.  Both gentlemen expressed they wanted their day to be one of grandeur and of distinction but most of all fitting their personality.  Based on the couple’s specific decor requirements, I designed exactly what they had envisioned (this was expressed by David on the day of the wedding – he loved what we had put together).

Decor elements used for their wedding ceremony encompassed lots of candlelight encompassed by soft and luxurious pipe and drape around the perimeter of the room.  The wedding attendee floral accents were of yellow-gold calla lilies and orange tulips.  To enhance the ambiance of the ceremony, the flawless angelic sound of music from Mrs. Tanya Blount, Renee Trotter, and Mr. Michael Trotter filled the sanctuary and moved everyone to tears of joy!

After the ceremony, guests traveled downtown to the District Architecture Center for the reception.  When guests entered, the room they were met with a glow of a romance.  The entire room was wrapped in a luxurious pipe and drape; the table linen decor was shimmery Riviera gold set with dupioni brickhouse orange napkins, and gold glitter glass chargers; the guest rested comfortably in Cleo Bronze ballroom chairs.  The floral decor was set with dynamic crystal globe vases with LED lighting to provide a romantic ambiance of lighting.

David & Tony’s first dance was to Patti Labelle’s – My Love, Sweet Love.  Deejay Greg Sims kept the guests entertained with the best sounds – keeping the dance floor full during the night.

David & Tony celebrated the union of their love with their closest family and friends.  It was a celebration of one to remember, and one that the two will cherish for a lifetime.

Anthony Sims and David Butler  |  October 18, 2014

The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC  |  District Architecture Center

 Special thanks to Industry Partners:  Coordination & Design – Perfect Planning Events  |  Officiant – Reverend Dwayne Johnson  |  Ceremony Site – The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC  |  Reception Site – District Architecture Center  |  Floral Decor – Tierra Floral Design  |  Photography – ArtsGroup Photography  |  DJ – Greg K. Sims  |  Ceremony Musicians – Tanya Blount, Michael Trotter, Renee Barnes  |  Wedding Cake – Cakes by Linda  |  Invitations – Niks & Naks  |  Linens – DC Rentals  |  Lighting Decor – Washington Celebrations  |  Chair, Bar, Charger Rentals – Select Event Group

Photography Credit:  ArtsGroup Photography

R.S.V.P Etiquette Series Part 2…6 Rules of Thumb as a WEDDING PROFESSIONAL

In part one of our three part series on R.S.V.P Etiquette, we discussed 10 rules of thumb as a Wedding Guest.  Today, we address the “6 Rules of Thumb as the Wedding Professional” – yes, wedding professionals have an obligation to R.S.V.P to their client(s).

As Wedding Professionals, we are so engaged with performing our duties and making sure that our client(s) have a spectacular event, and on the day of the event we unconsciously arrive with our un-invited/plus one or two entourage.  We think that everything is okay, not knowing that we did notajw_0218 follow proper protocol and have just caused a slight ripple in the day.  Just as our client(s) have to provide to the venue or caterer a headcount on their actual guests, they also have to provide an accurate headcount of the vendors.  So, if you did not provide to your client(s) the number of attendees within your crew, then you have just caused an offset in the number of meals that will be provided to the client’s vendor team.

To make sure that you are being a courteous wedding professional/vendor, these simple suggestions will have your client(s) forever grateful of you:View More: http://procopiophotography.pass.us/mills-wigmanwedding2014-08-23procopiophotography

  1. Details in the Contract.  Upon signing the contract agreement between you and your client, let them aware of the number of persons that will be on-site for their event.
  2. Is it a Requirement?.  Clarify with your client if vendor meals are a requirement of your contract.
  3. Reminder Notice.  Within 2 weeks prior to your client’s event, send a friendly email reminder that there will be a certain number of staff members from your company.
  4. Inform the Wedding Planner/Coordinator.  If there is a Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator, please inform him/her of your team count.
  5. No Plus-One.  On event day, be courteous and do not send additional staff members to the event; if so, please do not expect your client to feed your staff if there was no prior acknowledgement.  Remember, your client has to pay for your staff and any additional unknown staff causes your client to incur extra charges or causes another vendor to be short because of this miscommunication.
  6. Be Patient.  Remember, you are a vendor on site performing a job.  Be patient and wait for the appropriate time for you to receive your vendor meal – do not harass the wait staff as to the time of when you will eat.

These simple suggestions will be admired by your client(s).  You ask which wedding professionals/vendors is this directed towards?  Most of the time it relates to vendors that are spending the entire day for the event, 5 or more hours, and will be onsite during the duration of the event – the event planning team, photographers, videographers, deejays, bands, etc.

R.S.V.P Etiquette Series Part 1…10 Rules of Thumb as a Guest

Many of us receive formal invitations in the mail to attend weddings, formal celebrations, retirement banquets, galas, etc.  However, when we receive the invitation do we really pay close attention to whom the invitation is addressed to and all of the fine points?  If not, we need to slow down and pay close attention to the particulars of this special delivery.  Proper etiquette leads to formal respect.

First let’s define the acronym, R.S.V.P.   In the context of social invitations, RSVP is a request for a response from the invited person or people. It is an initialism derived from the French phrase Répondez s’il vous plaît, literally “Reply if you please” or “Reply please”.**

This will be a 3 part series on “R.S.V.P Etiquette” covering the obligations as a Guest, Host, and Wedding Professional.  Today we will cover “10 Rules of Thumb as a Guest”.

 

10 Rules of Thumb to R.S.V.P as a Guest:

  1.  It’s a Social Obligation to “accept” or “not to accept”:  Please respond to your host with an answer.  When your host is requesting an r.s.v.p., they want you to respond either with an2414_FBN21251Bmnacceptance or non-acceptance of their invitation.  On occasion you may receive an invite that states, “R.S.V.P regrets only”; this means to respond only if you can’t attend – do know otherwise your attendance is expected by your host.
  2. Be Courteous – Respond by the Due Date:  Your host places a date for your reply for a reason.  Your quick response assists with their preparedness to know how many persons will be attending and to staff appropriately.  Remember your host is making an investment to ensure that you have a wonderful time.
  3. Reply back in the Manner requested by your Host:  If your host inserts a r.s.v.p card, please complete and return the card; if they indicate to email – email your response; lastly if they say to call then call to provide your response.
  4. The Plus “1” Rule:  Proper etiquette states that only the name(s) that are addressed on the envelope are the only persons invited to the special event.  To be respectful to your host(s), you should acknowledge this form of etiquette and only respond back indicating just the person(s) specified on the invitation.  It is not proper etiquette to ignore this formality, and to take upon yourself to invite more persons than indicated without consulting with your host.  Don’t take it personal if you are not able to have a plus one.  So, when you receive your next invitation in the mail, pay close attention to the addressee line!!
  5. Change of Heart:  If for some reason at the last-minute you are not able to attend after you have accepted the invitation, it is only proper to CALL your host to explain your situation as to why you can’t attend…do not be impolite and be a no-show.  Express your change of heart as soon as you know that your decision has changed.
  6. Remember, Remember:  If you “accept”, you are obligated to attend!
  7. Do Not Critique the Menu:  If your host request that you make a meal selection do so accordingly, however, do not ask for special requests just to be asking.  If you are a vegetarian or have special dietary restraints only indicate when the option is provided; note, most caterers or restaurants already prepare meals for guests with dietary restrictions.
  8. Don’t Assume:  If you are close to the host, don’t assume that because you are close friends that they know you are coming.  Be a true friend and follow the directions provided by your friend and r.s.v.p through the appropriate channel – don’t be a party or wedding crasher!
  9. Post Gratitude:  Send a quick response or note to inform your host of your gratitude.
  10. Be on Time:  It’s wedding or party day, so be on time!!!!

**Source:  Wikipedia

Blogged by:  Tara Melvin, Certified Wedding & Event Planner

Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events…Keenon & Lauren

It makes our heart do a dance when we have the opportunity to encounter wonderful couples such as Keenon and Lauren, now Mr. & Mrs. Keenon Vaughan.  Lauren, a busy career girl, reached out to us to help coordinate her special – the one in which she would be saying “I Do” to her love, Keenon.  She elected to utilize our coordination services and jumped in there to plan the day with the assistance of our team and wedding planning tools (the Client Workbook) that we provided to her.  The time went by swiftly and before we all knew it, the time had come for Lauren and Keenon to walk down the aisle.  The decor and color scheme that Lauren chose was elegant and simple but provided the right touch.  We (Lead Coordinator, Courtney Shorter and team) were there to coordinate the logistics and to make sure that their day went off without a glitch – and we were successful!  It was a beautiful day – and we want to thank Lauren and Keenon for our allowing us to witness their love.

Lauren & Keenon sent us a special note to summarize our services and we want to share it with you: 

“First, I’ll say that hiring a day of coordinator was possibly the best money we spent on the wedding. All I had to do was show up to the venue and get my makeup done. Every other detail was taken care of and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. Believe me, if you’re on the fence about whether to hire a coordinator…do it!!

We hired Tara and Perfect Planning for day of coordination of our October 2014 wedding. During the planning stage we had meetings about once a month. Tara sent us a workbook that was very helpful to make sure I had all the details covered. I worked primarily with Tara and Courtney until my wedding day and they were both very pleasant and helpful. I’m normally very busy with work and I got a number of the details done at the last minute. They were very patient and offered to help in anyway they could.

My wedding day was perfect. My guests are still saying how amazing the day was. The entire day of team made sure that every detail was amazing and that my guests were taken care of.”

We leave you with this expression of love that felt reflected Lauren & Keenon’s love:

“Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good. Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God. Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.” (Author – Thomas Kempis)

Special thanks to the wedding partners that help to make this day a success:  Officiant – Reverend Paul Lee  |  Ceremony & Reception Venue – Newton White Mansion  |  Caterer – Catering by Uptown  |  Floral Decor – Bella Fiori Flowers  |  Photography – Blue Palm Photography  |  Photobooth – Blue Palm Photography  |  Deejay – Lugo Entertainment  |  Wedding Cake – Sugar Bakers Cakes

 

Keenon & Lauren Vaughan  |  October 18, 2014

4 Tips to Ringing in the New Year and Saying “I Do”!

New Year’s Eve is such a great time of year. It’s the time of year full of renewed hopes, resolutions, and new beginnings. So, why not choose New Year’s Eve to get married? Starting a new year with your new companion surrounded by all of your loved ones and friends at a fabulous party – sounds absolutely perfect!

Most New Year’s Eve parties keep going until well after mid-night so an early church wedding may not work for you and your guests. Try to plan your ceremony late in the evening so your party can get started later. You could also think about switching up the ‘normal’ order of events for the night and start off with the cocktail hour and dinner then have your ceremony so that the real party gets started closer to midnight!

The New Year’s countdown would be a fun way to kick off the dance portion of your reception. Make it complete with a champagne toast and Times Square style ticker tape falling from the ceiling while Auld Lang Syne plays. Make sure guests have New Year’s themed party hats, beads and noise makers to ring in the New Year.

The usual colors for New Year’s décor would really work for a wedding. Black, white, gold and silver are fantastic colors to carry through your theme. From shimmery gold bridesmaid dresses, to silver plate chargers and black and white linens, you can add lots of sparkle and class to your special night. You just can’t have enough sequins, glitter or sparkle for New Year’s! Also, to keep with the theme, you could name each table with a New Year’s resolution of each yours and your fiance’s and give each guest a glittery, miniature champagne bottle.

As you are planning your wedding, think about accommodations for your guests. If your reception will go into the wee hours of the morning, have it in or near a hotel and provide a breakfast bar when the party starts winding down for guests to get some extra food in their system before leaving – you know to help with all the festive libations you’ll be serving. A sparkler send-off at the end of the night would top off your wedding and give your guests a New Year’s Eve wedding to remember!

Yours Truly,

Jennifer Armstrong, Blogger – Perfect Planning Events

 

(New Year wedding inspiration of events from our very own portfolio of events)

Real Events by Perfect Planning Events…”Ms. Veteran America 2014 – The Woman Beyond the Uniform”

For the second year, we had the honor of planning Ms. Veteran America competition at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia.  Ms. Veteran America is an extraordinary event that celebrates the strength, courage, and inner beauty of women in uniform, and providing financial support for the foundation, Final Salute Inc.  Final Salute Inc. and Ms. Veteran America are the results of a dynamic young woman, Jaspen Boothe, who has overcome many adversities in life to obtaining much success for women all over the world that serve this Nation in uniform.  The Ms. Veteran America competition proceeds are provided to the Final Salute Inc. to aid in shelter and offer a new beginning for homeless women Veterans.

The first day of festivities was a VIP Gala filled with dancing, a live auction, entertainment by the Dan Band, and dancing by all from sounds provided by Washington Celebrations.  The second day was the Ms. Veteran America competition.  This was the day when women in uniform traded their combat boots for stilettos and showcased their high calibre of talent and character for the privilege to be called Ms. Veteran America.  The competition was fierce and the new Ms. Veteran America 2014 is Ms. Amanda Wirtz.  The event was emceed by Actor and Advocate, Lamman Rucker, alongside Veteran, Comedian, and glamputee, Marissa Strock.  It was a weekend of celebration and recognition to the many women in uniform.  To learn more about Final Salute Inc., visit http://www.finalsaluteinc.org/.

Special thanks to my industry friends who helped to make this event a success: 

Venue:  The National Conference Center  |  Deejay Services & Lighting Design:  Washington Celebrations  |  Floral Decor:  Edge Floral Event Designers  |  Dessert & Themed Event Cake:  Couture Cakes by Sabrina  |  MUA Team:  Bridal Artistry team lead by Joanne Trimmer  |  Linens & Chair Rentals:  DC Rentals

Photographs by Perfect Planning Events:

Photographs by DC HotSpots

 

Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events…Charlie and Sarah

Marriage is sharing life with your best friend, enjoying the journey along the way and arriving at every destination together (author – Fawn Weaver).  This quote perfectly describes the connection between Charlie and Sarah.  Two beautiful souls that met each other at the perfect time in life, and as they grew to know each other they grew a special bond between each other that created their foundation for love, their “friendship”.

Charlie and Sarah were actually married on March 17, 2014 but wanted to celebrate with a formal reception surrounded by those near to their  heart.  On September 13, 2014, friends and family joined Charlie and Sarah at Sequoia Restaurant in Georgetown.  Sequoia, named after the Presidential Yacht, USS Sequoia,  nestles on the Potomac River in Georgetown.  With its stunning fiber optic blue and crystal chandeliers in the main dining room, 360 degree view of the Potomac River –  it was the perfect setting for these love birds.  The decor we chose, sapphire blue, ivory, and gold,  was simple and elegant not too compete with the scenic view and the architectural space.  The guest had the pleasure of a seated duet dinner of Maryland jumbo crab cakes and an Aspen Ridge Farm filet mignon.  For dessert, guests satisfied their sweet tooth on a gelato and sorbet station, and with a lemon and raspberry filling wedding cake created by Gateau, Inc.

The day was about Charlie and Sarah – what better way to make the evening exciting was to hear  amazing stories about the two of them from close family and friends.  Expressions of love and funny tales from Sarah’s law partners, and her besties from Wellesley College and The Madeira School; along with family hoorahs from Charlie’s side of the family shining light on his fantastic character and remembering his father and mother who are no longer here on earth.  Charlie and Sarah raised a glass to their guests to thank them for the support over the years, and for those coming near and far to celebrate with them.  Then everyone hit the dance floor as deejay David Lugo entertained them with rhythmic beats that kept them on their feet all night long.  In lieu of wedding gifts, Charlie and Sarah suggested their friends to donate to charities that are close to them; Horton’s Kids, Wounded Warrior Project, and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

Sarah and Charlie have a love that was built on friendship, and a love that will last forever.

Special thanks to all that help to make this day possible:

Reception Venue – Sequoia  |  Catering – Sequioa  |  Floral Decor – L’Artisan Lily  |  Photography – Lux Photography  |  Photobooth – Luxe Photography  |  Deejay – Lugo Entertainment  |  Wedding Cake – Gateau Inc.  |  Linen, Charger, Chair, Rentals – Select Event Group  |  Lighting – DJ Angie D Entertainment  | Event Planning & Stationery – Perfect Planning Events

Charlie McGarvey & Sarah Piper  |  September 13, 2014

Tis the Season…4 Tips to Planning Holiday Weddings

The winter holiday season is a wonderful time of year. It’s so full of color, music, whimsy, and twinkling lights. It’s no wonder many couples chose to wed at this time of year. For many couples, the holidays are the perfect time to get married since family and friends are already gathered together – plus a winter wedding means the chance to get away from the cold weather and honeymoon in the tropics!

According to theknot.com Christmas and New Years are popular dates to get engaged, and many couples like to get married around the anniversary of their engagement. But remember, the holidays can be a very hectic time for your guests, so consider sending out your save the date cards a bit earlier in the planning – this gives them extra time to make the necessary arrangements to be able to attend your wedding.

And yes, the weather can be somewhat of a concern, but look at it this way. For a spring/summer wedding you’d be stressing over rain and the heat. At least for a winter wedding you know to expect cold and snow and your wedding will be indoors. Your guests will be prepared for the weather too, so let it snow! A snow-covered landscape will add beauty to your photos and a sense of romance. Be sure to have an early wedding though, you want to be able to take advantage of daylight to get the best shots.

We have a few tips to help you navigate your Winter Holiday Season wedding planning:

Be Sure To Book Early

Photographers, DJ’s, and caterers can be in high demand during this time of year due to holiday parties. To ensure that you are able to get your first choice of vendor you will need to plan early and be diligent about getting contracts signed early and deposits paid.

Color Palettes

Think classic holiday colors – reds, metallic hues, navy and winter white. Find out from your venue if it will be decorated for the holidays and try to play off the color palate they chose to use. Since you won’t be able to change the venue’s décor, you will need to try to work it into yours.

Floral Arrangements

Many churches and venues may already be decorated for the holiday season so you could get away with spending less on flowers and lighting! Most ‘typical’ wedding flowers like roses, orchids and peonies are out of season in the winter time so getting these kinds of flowers could be cost prohibitive. Think outside the box for bouquets, boutonnieres and table arrangements. Consider holly, paper whites, Amaryllis blooms, evergreen fronds, and mistletoe boutonnieres for the guys.

Decoration Ideas

Decoration ideas for a Christmas wedding abound! Cute snowflake frames as place cards double as gifts for guests to take home. And fairy lights and votive candles on mirrors at each table give a winter wonderland effect. To keep your guests warm and toasty serve hot toddies, Irish coffee, classic eggnog and mulled wine during the cocktail hour. Then have hot chocolate and a selection of teas available towards the end of the evening.   A Christmas cookie station with iced sugar cookies, gingerbread brides and grooms and other classic Christmas cookies would add a sweet touch!

We hope these tips help you to celebrate your special day and the holiday season! Happy Holidays!

Here are a few holiday events we had the opportunity to plan.

Red Holiday Season Color Palettes

(photos by Jon Fleming Photography)

 Winter Wonderland Color Palettes

(photos by Fairfax Weddings)

Blogger:  Jennifer Armstrong, Perfect Planning Events

Celebrating 10 Years of Excellence…Perfect Planning Events

Last month Perfect Planning Events celebrated a joyous milestone, our 10 Year Anniversary!  Our celebration included family, friends, clients, and wedding partners within the Washington, DC metro area and beyond. The occasion highlighted our years of bringing joy, happiness, and the moments of celebrating new beginnings with persons that at first are strangers but become a part of our family forever.

The team surprised me during the night by having various people who have touched my heart through the years to speak about me and Perfect Planning Events. Next the team coordinated their own personal speech and presented me with flowers and a special gift. To recognize the hard work of others, I presented the team with custom monogrammed tote bags, and recognized our industry partners with awards.

It was a night of excitement, fun, dancing, spectacular food and décor, but most of all a celebratory night of success! It was great once again seeing smiles on my guest’s faces but most importantly, I had a big smile in my heart that reflected joy of the past and that special rainbow of many more years of joy to come.

Special thanks to all that made this event a huge success:  George Washington Masonic Memorial, Paired Images, Tierra Floral Event Design, Tasteful Affairs Catering, Gateau Cakes, Lugo Entertainment, DJ Angie D Entertainment, PoshboothDC Rentals, DJ Tye, Dawn Newsome MUA.

Special thanks to my gems – the ladies that make me a success – my team:  Courtney Shorter, Nykeba Law, Loretta Hackett, Taylor Williams, Kendra Johnson, Jasmine Maddox, Emerald Stewart, Briana Moore, Briana Lindsey Foster, Briana Alston.

Photography Credit:  Paired Images

November 14, 2014

Real Weddings by Perfect Planning Events…”A Monumental Affair…Myles & Vanessa”

On the brink of the start of the fall season and the end to summer, we had the opportunity to share in the celebration of the union of Myles and Vanessa.  These two love birds connected with us to tell the story of their “Monumental Affair” throughout their wedding celebration.  Vanessa and Myles built their love connection in the DC Metropolitan area from meeting each other, to first dates, and starting their new life with each other.  The background colors were navy and gold, and we provided table names that acknowledged locations in the area that helped to tell the story of their “Monumental Affair”.

The ceremony and celebration were held at the Carnegie Institution of Science, the perfect setting, for these two love birds.  From the building’s solid, neoclassical facade to its monumental portico surmounted by a flat-top roof and supported by Ionic columns.  Huge marble urns, copies of originals in the Vatican Collection, flank the entrance steps.  The massive bronze doors at the top lead inside to a two-story rotunda, framed by large Corinthian columns and an elliptical side staircase.  This impressive and regal building provided the perfect setting for Myles and Vanessa’s romantic day.  As you look through the photographic story below documented by our friends at Procopio Photography, you can see why they chose this as the place to say “I Do”.

Vanessa was radiant and Myles was so dapper.  There also was a special flower girl, Little Miss Zoe Sanaa (Myles and Vanessa’s daughter), who stole the hearts of many as she came down the aisle in her little red wagon decorated by her Mom, Vanessa.

After saying their vows before all of their close family and friends, everyone enjoyed a delectable cuisine provided by our partners, Main Event Caterers, which ended with vanilla and dark chocolate gelato cones.  The deejay, Lugo Entertainment, rocked the crowd preceded by a serenade of songs for the couple’s first dance, Love of My Life by Brian McKnight.  There was a union on the dance floor by both of the couple’s fraternity and sorority organizations, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.  To capture her husband’s heart, Vanessa surprised Myles with a cigar bar which was a hit with all of the guests.

Myles and Vanessa thanks for letting us share this special day with you.  Enjoy your new beginning in North Carolina!

Myles & Vanessa, September 21, 2014

Special thanks to our wedding professionals that helped to make this day spectacular:  Coordination & Event Design – Perfect Planning Events  |  Venue – Carnegie Institution for Science  |  Florals – Taylor & Hov  |  Officiant – Pastor Marcia Norfleet  |  Catering – Main Event Caterers  |  Photography – Procopio Photography  |  Deejay – Lugo Entertainment  |  Ceremony musician – Dawn Johnson  |  Wedding Cake – Gateau  |  Hair Stylist – Simone Fennell  |  Make-up Artist – Jeff Enriquez  |  Linens – BBJ Linens  |  Chairs – DC Rentals

Photography Credit:  Procopio Photography