DC Area Wedding Planner, Perfect Planning Events | Visualize & Design a Knock-Out Feast…Catering Questions and Tips for Your Next Event

Most people who have attended a social event or wedding will tell you about the food – whether it was delicious or not and if there was enough of it! Most guests will not remember the floral and decor, or whether the linens on the tables matched the invitations exactly. The food always resonates in the minds of guests. Your wedding or special occasion is not the time to try out a new catering company or your cousin who likes to cook. The food is a very large portion of most event budgets so choosing a reputable and licensed caterer is a must.

If your chosen venue does not have its own catering services, you now have the flexibility to choose a caterer who will suit all of your culinary desires. However, before you begin interviewing caterers, be clear on what your venue will provide and what you will need to have brought in. Many times a venue can provide tables and chairs at no extra cost. But, whoever provides anything for your special day ask to see the items first so you are sure that they fit into your design scheme. Work with your wedding planner or event planner to rent items that your caterer or venue are not able to provide.

13 Questions for Your Caterer:

As you interview the licensed caterers ask a few key questions that will help you whittle down the options.darling photographers

  • Can the caterer create a memorable feast that will match your taste?
  • Will they provide a tasting session prior to your event, so you can get a preview of their culinary skills and select a menu of your choice (for the tasting session bring at least two other persons so you can get another perspective to take into consideration)?
  • Ask for an itemized invoice that outlines all that will be included in their services to include the meal selection, linens, tables, chairs, wait staff labor, cake cutting fees, corkage fees, etc.
  • Ask if tax and gratuity will be included in your final bill.
  • Ask if they have liability insurance and their ABC license agreement.
  • Will the caterer supply alcohol if you request it? Or, if you have to source the alcohol from somewhere else are they licensed to serve alcohol you have purchased?
  • Can they accommodate guests with special dietary needs (gluten-free, kosher, halal etc.)?
  • How many other parties will the company handle on the day of your wedding and can they handle a party of your size.
  • You should also discuss the serving options they offer such as plated meals, a buffet and various food/drink/dessert stations.
  • Ask if the caterer has experience providing food at your particular venue.
  • What is their staff to guest count ratio?  (Note:  For excellent service, the minimum service ratio for conventional sit-down meal functions with American-style service with some foods preset is one server for every 20 guests. If you are using rounds of 10, the caterer should schedule one server for every 2 dining tables. If you are using rounds of 8, two servers should be scheduled to handle 5 dining tables. ~Source, Cvent)
  • How many bars and bartenders?
  • And most importantly, ask for client references and check them!

3 Steps to Designing a Knock-out Feast for Your Reception:

Caribbean Caterers is a company we have had the pleasure of working with on numerous occasions. In business for over 25 years, they are known for using the freshest ingredients and wowing their clients with their impeccable style. The event designer that works with couples will create a memorable feast – from the linens, to the china and a one of a kind menu – you’ll be sure to be pleased. Gillian DeSouza, owner of Caribbean Caterers, shares her advice on designing a knockout menu for your wedding reception.

  • First, consider the atmosphere you would like to create for your guests.  This will help your caterer determine the service style and presentation.
  • Next, consider your guests likes and dislikes, dietary consideration, etc.  The idea is to come up with a mix of items that everyone will enjoy (walk on the safe side if you don’t know your guests).
  • Finally, plan the presentation of the menu items to suit the event/theme/style, i.e. small plate, designer plate, creative service-ware, etc.

Visualize Your Reception as if You are Hosting in Your Home:

Another industry partner that we often recommend to our couples is Tasteful Affairs – a full service, gourmet caterer based in Alexandria, VA who has been in business for more than 20 years. Linda Harkness, Owner and Head Chef of Tasteful Affairs suggest couples “to visualize their favorite restaurant, so that they might familiarize themselves with the kinds of foods their clients would like to offer their guests.  The Clients are hosting the “event”, we at Tasteful Affairs implement their ideas as if they were setting up, cooking, and decorating in their own home to entertain their guests.  We are the brawn behind the vision, the vision comes from the client.  If they have difficulty visualizing, then we begin to paint various pictures from which they may choose.”

Nobilephoto -101

When planning your next event, connect with Perfect Planning Events and its industry partners to produce a remarkable event for you and your guests.

DC Wedding Planner | Celebrating Father’s Day…5 Ways to Celebrate Fathers on Wedding Day

Originating in the year of 1908 leading to the year of 1972, there were several initiatives to begin the official day to honor “Fathers” across the United States.  The first record of celebration began in 1908, when a West Virginia church decided to honor fathers during a Sunday sermon to reflect on the life of 362 men who had died in a coal mine explosion.  July 19, 1910 was the next campaign of recognition of Fathers.  Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, went to local churches, the YMCA, local governments, etc. to gain support for her initiative to celebrate Fathers.  Sonora’s efforts were a success – Washington state became the first of US States to recognize Father’s Day as a semi-official holiday.  In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge was the first US President who tried to get Father’s Day as an official holiday but was unsuccessful.  Years later in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day an official holiday!

As a wedding planner, I observe the love between parents and their children on wedding day and festivities exudes an overwhelming emotion.  A Father’s love for their children is one that is bittersweet because it is rare when Fathers show emotion.  However, on wedding day, Fathers beam with emotion when they see their children open a new chapter in their life crossing the threshold of marriage; meaning they are “really” leaving the nest and spreading their wings.  The emotions range from tears of joy to the radiant and wide smile that stays consistent on their face throughout the entire wedding day.

We feel that every day is Father’s Day!  During your wedding, we have suggested 5 ways to honor your Father during your wedding no matter if you are the Bride or Groom.

Father’s Favorite Meal:

During the week of the wedding, prepare your Father’s favorite meal cooked by you – no chefs, no restaurants.  A meal prepared by your hands, means its cooked with love, and the fact that you are cooking his favorite meal will touch his heart in so many ways.  This can be dinner for two (just you and him), or make it family night in honor of him.

Music Selection During Father-Daughter Dance:

This is for my lovely Brides.  When you are looking for your program music for the reception and you need to select that one song you and your Father need to dance with each other, allow him to choose the song during the Father-Daughter dance.  Most Father’s love music – some even think that they are music buffs that know all of the latest and greatest during their era.  Give this responsibility to your Father to select his favorite tune that he wants to dance with his special little girl.  Anything from “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, to “You’re a Big Girl Now” by the Stylistics…this will be a moment that will last forever in his heart – dancing with his little girl to his favorite tune that he had the honor of choosing.

First Look Photograph:

Traditionally, Brides have their first look with their soon to be Husband.  You can still keep this tradition.  Take a little twist and add to your picture agenda a first look with your Father.  Yes, he sees you every day and probably the day before during the rehearsal.  But having the opportunity to see you for the first time in your wedding dress with your radiant glow before he hands you off to your new life is priceless.  A photograph like this will have lasting memories and to commemorate in years to come.  For my Grooms, although it is not a first look, have your father there to assist with suiting you up to cross over into manhood.  Your Father adjusting your tie, assisting with putting on your coat, or adjusting your cufflinks, will be a monumental moment for both of you to provide that secret nod to each other, “Yes, I am here, I am now a man, thanks Dad” (and will affirm your graduation into manhood)!

A Special Day Just for the Two of You:

It’s usually the Moms that get pampered with their children right before the wedding or have that private time; let’s pamper Father’s also.  Have that special time set aside the week of the wedding to take Dad out to do what he loves best.  Golfing, sporting events, a game of chess, concert, or out to a movie – create a special day where it’s just you and him and no one else doing his favorite thing.  This will bring a moment of reflection of the years past leading up to now.  His inner thoughts of emotion will be,  “I can’t believe my child is all grown up”!  Reflection for both of you, and the opportunity for you to say “thank you for all that you have done for me”, will be what this day is all about.

Memory Book:

This will take some preparation.  Start collecting photographs from the time you were born and special moments of you and your Father together throughout the years.  Place the photographs in chronological order and tag with special sayings under each photograph.  The last picture will be of you and your Father on your wedding day.  This will be a post wedding appreciation gift, however, it will be one that will sit on the coffee table or one that he will bring out every time you come over to visit, and eventually one he will share with your kids, his grandkids!

(Here are a few pictures of our clients during their wedding with their Fathers  |  Photography credit in order of pictures – Blue Palm Photography, David Abel Photography, David Abel Photography, Michael Clark Photographers, Bella Photography, Paired Images, DHT Photography, DHT Photography)

_dsc6582-2_wm 09_21_13_blog_032-2_wm 09_21_13_blog_099-2_wm 0725-2_wm 201005-1110320_0152_900-2_wm kjw0080-2_wm Pope Wedding034-2_wm Pope Wedding214-2_wm

(all pictures featured are all “Real Weddings” by Perfect Planning Events)

DC Area Wedding Planner, Perfect Planning Events featured in Munaluchi Bridal Magazine | Real Weddings, Aaron and Misty, Middletown MD

We are beyond thrilled to have one of our weddings featured in the current issue of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine!  Munaluchi Bridalspring.summer2015_MUNALUCHIofficial300dpi-RGB Magazine is a publication that showcases Brides that are bold, beautiful, worldy, witty, vibrant and free.  MB Brides love the finer things in life, and they are not afraid to go after what they want.  MB Brides exude style and grace and are determined to look their very best not just on their wedding day but every day.  The MB Bride yearns to embrace her culture and seeks inspiration that speaks to her.  She comes in all sizes and shades.  Simply put, she is beautiful no matter what skin she’s in. (*excerpt Munaluchi Bridal)

Our wedding featured is the love story of Aaron and Misty who were married July 5, 2014 at Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, Maryland.  Our couple used a very vibrant color palette, pink!  Our beautiful Bride knew exactly what she wanted and detailed to us everything that she wanted us to bring to life on her wedding day.  Elegance and attention to detail was most important for the Bride and she wanted her guests to have an “experience” on the day of her wedding!  From the lush color of shades of pink, to the intimate details in the stationery, to the activities that the guest would be able to participate in during the time they spent celebrating with our couple.

The color palette used was various shades of pink with hints of gold.  The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love, as well as self-worth, tenderness, caring and acceptance.  A perfect color for such a romantic day and our couple!  The floral décor was a mixture of hydrangea and orchids which were designed by our friends at Tierra Floral Design.  The pink floral décor added the right burst of color for our outdoor ceremony as it politely blended itself with nature’s green color palette.  At the reception, pink was incorporated with the tablescape as a pop of color in the linen napkins, floral centerpieces, wedding cake, and printed stationery.  Gold came into play as the little intimate details using gold flatware, gold pebble base plates, and gold hand-crafted tables names that were done by my cousin in North Carolina.  The final touches on the tables were the table linens; we toned down the color, however, the texture in the extreme ivory linen gave it that added touch to compliment our elegant décor.

As guests entered the reception, they were embraced with sheer fabric ceilings, pink up-lighting around the room, and above the sweetheart table was the lighted design logo of our couple; lighting was provided by our friends at Washington Celebrations.

As the guests dined and celebrated with our couple, they were able to enjoy the entertainment of a gelato station, photobooth, the rhythmic sounds from Deejay Tye, live cocktail music from violinist Daniel-D, and the guys had the experience of a cigar and cognac bar which as a classic hit!  Couple months before the wedding the Bride wanted to do something special for the groom and her friends, so I suggested to her a cigar roller and cognac bar.  After extensive research we found the perfect match, engaging Cortez Cigars to assist with a cigar roller on-site to show the skills of how crafting cigars for the gentlemen on-site.  This guy was a true talent and exciting to watch.

We loved working with the color pink and loved one of our first ideas – the cigar roller.  Providing your guests with an “experience” definitely yields to a romantic and remarkable day of celebrating!

Pick up your copy of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine at your local Barnes & Noble to gain insight from our Bride’s point of view of special day!

misty-aaron munaluchi 1 misty-aaron munaluchi 2 misty-aaron munaluchi 3

Special thanks to all of our wedding vendors:  The Venue – Stone Manor Country Club  |  Caterer – The Carriage House  |  Floral Décor – Tierra Floral Design  |  Photography – Inspired Photography by Susie  |  Photobooth – Photo In a Box  |  Videography – Understand the Vision  |  Deejay – Deejay Tye  |  Live Entertainment – DD Productions, LLC  |  Ceremony Musicians – JJ& Entertainment  |  Wedding Cake – Edibles Incredible  |  Gelato Station – Amore Gelato  |  Cigar Roller Company – Cortez Cigars  |  Beverage Service – Ye Old Spirit Shop  |  Portable Air Conditioners – Airpac  |  Linen, Charger Rentals – Select Event Rentals  |  Tent Liner – Lotus Productions  |  Lighting Specialist – Washington Celebrations  |  Stationery – LePenn Designs

DC, VA, MD Wedding & Event Planner | Celebrating Memorial Day in Honor of our Heroes

This Memorial Day Holiday is a time of celebrating and having backyard barbecues.  Most importantly, Branches_of_the_Militarythis special Holiday is to pay tribute for those that have fallen and those that continue to serve in our U.S Armed Forces.  This is our true reason to celebrate!

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo, N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966.  Primitively, Memorial Day, was to honor soldiers that had fallen – now a nationally celebrated Holiday, it is to honor throughout the world the remembrance of those that have fallen and those who continue to serve and support our country.

From the team at Perfect Planning Events we would like to say THANK YOU to all of the brave men and women serving our country.  To our U.S. Marines – Ooh Rah; U.S. Army – Hooah; U.S. Navy – Hooyah; U.S. Air Force – Hooah; U.S. Coast Guard – Oorah.

Special THANKS to some our clients that support the Armed Forces:

Ms. Jaspen Boothe (right)  |  Founder, Final Salute Inc. & Ms. Veteran America  |  United States Army

Photography:  DC HotSpots

kjw0257Mr. John Ward  |  United States Navy  |  Photography:  Paired Images

I_0283Major Michael Philip Del Palazzo and Rebecca Del Palazzo  |  United States Marine Corps (both)

Photography:  Michael Clark Photographers

View More: http://dawngardner.pass.us/sarah_brian_weddingMr. Brian Matthews  |  United States Army  |  Photography:  DG Photography


Washington, DC Wedding & Event Planner | Celebrating Mother’s Day…A Tribute Our Grooms & Their Mothers

Earlier this week, we did a special tribute to our Brides and their Mothers.  Today, on Mother’s Day, we want to showcase the love shared between our Grooms and their Mothers.  Mother’s Day originated in 1908 by Anna Reaves in memory of her own Mother to encourage children around the world to pay tribute to the women that sacrificed so much to raise them.  In honor of Anna Reaves and Mothers across the world, “Happy Mother’s Day”.  We hope you enjoy these special moments shared between our Grooms and their Mothers!

To view our Brides and their Mother’s blog post, click here.


What “Mother” Means

“Mother” is such a simple word,
But to me there’s meaning seldom heard.
For everything I am today,
My mother’s love showed me the way.
I’ll love my mother all my days,
For enriching my life in so many ways.
She set me straight and then set me free,
And that’s what the word “mother” means to me.
Thanks for being a wonderful mother, Mom!

Poem By Karl Fuchs

(photographs below are events planned by Perfect Planning Events and documented by their vendor partner photographers)


Pope Wedding447



View More: http://moderngrace./F8TCG115298





Washington, DC Wedding & Event Planner | Celebrating Mother’s Day…A Tribute to Our Brides & Their Mothers

The Origin of Mother’s Day

Since May 1914, the second Sunday has been celebrated as a national holiday to recognize the women that carried and nurtured their children now known as Mother’s Day.  A day that is celebrated throughout the world in various forms, this beautiful holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S Holiday in 1914.  Anna pioneered Mother’s Day after the passing of her own Mother, as a way to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children.  Anna increased her awareness of the tribute to Mothers which soon gained the attention of Philadelphia department store owner, John Wanamaker, who financially supported her efforts of Mother’s Day.  In May 1908, Anna arranged the first official Mother’s Day occasion at a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.

By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.  After its creation, Anna, tried very hard to remove the holiday from the calendar because she was not impressed by the commercialization of such an honored day.  Mother’s Day is a continued celebration to salute and honor Mothers.

Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World

As Americans celebrate Mother’s Day the second Sunday in May, other cultures around the world   celebrate Mother’s Day in various fashion.  In France, Mother’s Day is celebrated the last Sunday in May, and the Mother is honored with a cake shaped like a bouquet of flowers.  In Ireland, called Mothering Sunday, it is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in the Christian fasting month of Lent, and Mother’s are presented with flowers and cards.  In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit.  Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.  In South Africa, Mothers Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in the month of May. People of South Africa celebrate Mother’s Day in its true spirit by acknowledging the importance of mothers in their lives and thanking them profusely for all their love and care. Young children present their mothers with homemade gifts while the elder ones buy gifts for their mothers.

In honor of Mother’s day, we leave you with a poem that cradles the comfort of a Mother’s Love.  And we illustrate the love of our Bride’s & their Mothers.

What will you be doing this Mother’s Day?  In honor of its founder, Anna Reaves, make your Mother’s Day one that will be memorable and filled with organic love.

A Mother’s Love

There are times when only a mother’s love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.

There are times when only a mother’s love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we’ve dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a mother’s faith
Can help us on life’s way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day-to-day.

For a mother’s heart and a mother’s faith
And a mother’s steadfast love
Were fashioned by the angels.

Special Moments of Our Brides & Their Mothers:

View More: http://dawngardner.pass.us/sarah_brian_wedding

View More: http://procopiophotography.pass.us/mills-wigmanwedding2014-08-23procopiophotography


110213-Procopio Photography-Park Wedding-055

Pope Wedding129



ShadonnaCorey_0182 Special thanks to the photographers for documenting these special moments between Bride’s and their Mothers:  (in order from top to bottom) DG Photography, Procopio Photography, David Abel Photography, Procopio Photography, DHT Photography, Kay Photography, Paired Images, Morning Star Photography.

Special thanks to our Brides and Mothers for allowing us to be a part of their special day.


DC Wedding and Event Planner | The Valentine Cuff Event at House of Jonlei Atelier

Last month I had the opportunity to host an event for celebrity designer and event planner, Diann Valentine, to showcase her signature bridal collection of The Valentine CuffDiann Valentine is a visionary and a true trailblazer.  Her client list consists of a celebrated A-list such as Usher, Martin Lawrence, Tony Braxton, Lela Rochon, Boyz II Men, Evelyn Lozada, and many more.  From planning lavish events to designing the most divine interior spaces, Diann Valentine captivates the scene of event planning and design.

I reached out to Ms. Valentine in the latter part of 2014 and expressed my love for the cuffs and I wanted to introduce them to Brides in the Washington, DC metro area.  After several communications with the Valentine team, the event was scheduled and The Valentine Cuff was ready to make its debut in the DC area on March 14th.  To showcase this spectacular event, I partnered with proprietor, Gigi Williams, of House of Jonlei Atelier at National Harbor.  Once I engaged Ms. Williams and presented the history of the Valentine Cuff, the energy level of producing this event was phenomenal.

The Valentine Cuff provides Brides with a cutting edge look and a fashion forward image when they are walking down the  aisle.  No more carrying heavy bouquets and hiding their gorgeous dresses.  Brides can wear a signature bracelet sculpted to be an accessory to their wedding attire, and it leaves the Bride’s hands free to greet their guests and to embrace her new man.  The cuff collections consists of over 12 distinct designs with a price range starting at $275.00.  For the Bride that wants a custom cuff, the Valentine team can accommodate special orders.  My favorite of the collection is the Morgan Bridal Cuff Vanilla Cream!

In collaboration with House of Jonlei Atelier and a host of other Washington, DC metro wedding professionals, the event was a stellar showcase and the attendees had a wonderful time viewing the cuffs, enjoying the refreshments, and making their purchase of The Valentine Cuff!

Our beautiful models for the event – they were so gorgeous!  The cuffs they are wearing are the The Morgan Flame, The Charlotte, The Morgan, The Charlotte Bridal Vintage Denim.  The last picture showcases the models with myself (right) and Gigi Williams, owner of House of Jonlei Atelier.

I collaborated with Glam Candy Buffets to provide exquisite treats for all in attendance for the event.  Isn’t this just gorgeous!

Our beautiful hanging floral chandeliers were provided by Tierra Floral Design.  I knew I wanted something to hang in the ceiling and when I reached out to the team at Tierra Floral that went beyond my request for glamor.

I wanted to engage our guests at the event with social media and what better way to promote that event than with hashtag signs!  Our partners at Ten23Designs handcrafted our beautiful gold hashtag signs.  The guests had a blast using them.

Global Marketing Director of Diann Valentine Cuff, Darryl Wilson, demonstrated the cuffs to our lovely attendees.  The attendees were excited and intrigued!

Photography Credit:  Natarsha Wright Photography

Additional collaboration with make-up artist, Shaune Hayes, and hair by Leontyne Baldwin Reaves.

Washington DC Wedding Planner | 5 Wedding Ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day Wedding

Most everyone loves claiming Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day. And why not? It’s a day of shamrocks, leprechauns, fun and libations; and with a bit of luck o’ the Irish, you can plan a beautiful and fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day wedding. There are many Irish wedding traditions and superstitions you can take inspiration from for your wedding to round out your St. Patrick’s Day theme. When Irish eyes are smiling; you’ll be sure to create the wedding of your dreams.

Your Bridal Look

For the Emerald-Isle bridal look, go for a braided up-do with a wreath in your hair. According to Irish superstition the wreath should have lavender woven into it to ward off evil spirits. The bride should wear a porcelain or lace horseshoe on the wrist – and be sure to keep the horseshoe pointed up like a “U” to ensure good luck! If the horseshoe turns down, your luck will run out! Go with a lace gown rather than satin or another fabric and use the same or similar lace for the traditional Celtic hand-fasting to “tie the knot”.

For the Groom

Should the groom have Irish blood; a kilt in the typical Irish tradition is the way to go. A tartan from the county from which his family hails would be a nod to tradition, but if family history is a bit muddled, go with the Irish Diaspora tartan or the All Ireland tartan as these are more generic Irish kilts and keeps with the wedding theme. Getting traditional Irish garb stateside can be a challenge so cast the net wide to find a specialty shop. While the internet can be a good source; buying items sight unseen can be a source of worry for some.

Irish Blessings

The Irish are known for the ‘gift of gab’ and their wonderful Irish blessings and proverbs. You can look to traditional sayings for most any situation. Here is a variation of an Irish marriage blessing:

May God be with you and bless you.

May you see your children’s children.

May you be poor in misfortunes

and rich in blessings.

May you know nothing but happiness

from this day forward.

 Get creative with ways you can use an Irish blessing on your wedding day. Maybe your invitations can include a blessing with typical Celtic design work. Or, you could have the blessing read by the best man during his speech.

Irish Décor and Fun

Quintessential Irish décor include the Claddagh ring, Celtic cross designs, shamrocks and pots of gold. Use the Claddagh ring as your wedding bands as they symbolize love, loyalty and friendship when worn with the point of the heart facing your wrist. To include other symbols on your wedding day consider hurricanes of various heights with green glass marbles at the bottom and candles in some and copper pennies or pebbles spray painted gold with floating candles to symbolize pots of gold in others. You could use Irish lace on your tables and lucky horseshoes for your table numbers. Terracotta pots with shamrocks growing in them scattered about your tables make a sweet touch.   For your floral design you can include green Bells of Ireland and English lavender to symbolize love and devotion. The harp is the national emblem of Ireland, so hire a harpist to play traditional Irish music before your ceremony begins. For your recessional consider a bagpiper to lead the wedding party out of the ceremony site.

And speaking of ceremony sites – if you are having a D.C. area wedding there are two St. Patrick’s Churches in the city; St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on 10th Street, and an Episcopalian church on Whitehaven Parkway NW. The Phoenix Park Hotel on North Capitol Street NW, steps away from the Capitol Building is designed to look like an Irish country estate and the landmark Dubliner Pub is right around the corner. What a fun way to celebrate!

Food & Drink

Corned beef, cabbage, potato soup and soda bread are typical Irish foods that everyone knows and loves. Most people think of green beer when they think of St. Patrick’s Day; and for a bit of whimsy go ahead and serve some. Be sure to serve Irish whiskey during the cocktail hour and Irish coffee with dessert. Also, as the Irish superstition goes, be sure to serve honey wine and or mead to ensure fertility! Sláinte!

Photograph courtesy of Mary Photography, MS Photography


Written by Jennifer Armstrong, Blogger, Perfect Planning Events

Washington, DC Metro Area Wedding Planner | Valentine’s Day Weddings

What day of the year is more romantic than Valentine’s Day? In 2015 and 2016, Valentine’s Day falls over the weekend so we will be sure to see many weddings on The Feast of Saint Valentine.

The Effects of Cupid’s Arrow: In preparation for Cupid’s arrow of love, The Alameda County, California Clerk’s office has already announced that they will be open this year on Valentine’s Day to perform wedding ceremonies! The Empire State Building in New York City will have its 21st Annual Valentine’s Day wedding event where the first 100 couples to arrive can get married on the 86th floor Observatory. Dade City, FL will host a mass wedding ceremony at the County Courthouse. Many other clerks’ offices across the country will probably be open on Saturday the 14th; check with your local office to see if you can get your marriage license on the year’s sweetest day.

Color Palettes: Red and pink are the go to colors for Valentine’s Day, but for your wedding color palette how about mixing in aqua, silver or gold – a pale pink shade and gold make a beautiful palette. There are so many ways to use these colors to evoke the sense of romance and love for your wedding day. From a pink signature drink at your cocktail hour to warm mood lighting and lots of votive candles you can pull off a dreamy Valentine’s wedding. Pink and gold stationary and table settings with traditional Valentine’s Day lace can tie your whole theme together.

Flowers of Love: The cost of red roses can skyrocket for Valentine’s Day, so to beat the high cost of flowers for your wedding you can work with your florist early in the planning process to secure your roses order to try to get a lower price. Or better still, skip the roses altogether and go with less expensive, but equally romantic flowers.  When selecting flowers, turn to the language of flowers to choose blossoms with romantic connotations. Pink peonies symbolize prosperity and good fortune. White daisies are simple but pack a big symbolic punch – loyal love and purity. Red tulips are not only beautiful in bouquets but they also symbolize perfect love.  To give your flower arrangements an exotic touch, go with pink orchids which symbolize affection.  Your florist and wedding planner can work with you to come up with amazing and very romantic floral arrangements that don’t have to include red roses.

Sweet Delights: What Valentine’s Day is complete without an overdose of chocolate and those cute conversation hearts? If you want to have a dessert station at your reception you could have a chocolate fountain with dippable like strawberries, pound cake and marshmallows.  Chocolate truffles, petite fours, cake pops and gourmet cookies round out a chocolate station.

A Valentine’s Day theme for your wedding is not only romantic, but also very appropriate. The feast of Saint Valentine is the celebration of love and affection. So let cupid guide you on your planning journey and you will be sure to have an amazing wedding!

Jennifer Armstrong, Blogger, Perfect Planning Events

Here are a few of our past weddings for Valentine’s Day inspiration:

Red Color Palette:  black magic roses were the theme for this wedding!

Various Shades of Pink Color Palette:  shades of pink calla lillies, hydrangeas, and roses

(Pictures above are weddings/events planned by Perfect Planning Events and not duplications of others.)


Virginia Event Planner | Real Events by Perfect Planning Events | Tracy’s 50th Birthday Celebration

Working with our Birthday client was so rewarding and inspiring.  Her youthful spirit and beauty always wrapped around you during every encounter.  Ms. Tracy, wanted to celebrate her 50th Birthday in grand style and that was big enough to fit her  personality!  She had a few simple directives – she wanted it elegant, she wanted to dance,  she wanted awesome food, and she wanted Michael Jackson.  Not too much to ask!

The venue we selected had that classic old world feel and the chandeliers gave Tracy the perfect ambiance to celebrate being young and 50.  The deejay kept guest on their feet all night, and the main center of attraction was a thirty minute performance from a Michael Jackson impersonator – he was a hit!  Tracy walked away that night and said she was “50 and Fabulous!”.  The perfect response any event planner wants to hear from their client.

Tracy Pope 50th Birthday Celebration  |  October 4, 2014

Special thanks to:  Event Planning – Perfect Planning Events  |  Venue and Catering – Maggianos Little Italy  |  Photography – Tony Brown Photography  |  Cupcakes – Confections  |  Linens – BBJ Linens and DC Rentals |  Deejay – DJ Supaman  |  Floral Decor – Tierra Floral Designs

Photography Credit:  Tony Brown