Bridal Brunch DC 2014 presented by BlackBride.Com in collaboration with Perfect Planning Events & Fallon Carter Weddings

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I am overjoyed to share this blog with all of you because of its importance to me and the first time something has been created for the Washington, DC area.

Last summer I was contacted by Mary Chatman, CEO of BlackBride.Com, and she shared her desire to bring to the Washington, DC market a unique bridal show concept (Bridal Brunch) to capture the beauty of women of color.  The first bridal brunch by BlackBride.Com was May 19th, 2013 at the Akwaaba Mansion in Brooklyn, New York planned and hosted by Fallon Carter of Fallon Carter Weddings.  Excited and delighted to take the challenge as their second stop of the bridal brunch series and to serve as Washington, DC’s local event planner and host, I briskly went about connecting with my wedding industry colleagues that were at the top of their craft in the wedding industry.  Month by month, and step by step the plan of this wonderful event came into motion.  Bridal Brunch DC opened its doors for one day, Sunday, March 9th, 2014.  This couture boutique style bridal showcase included a fabulous seated brunch fare, live entertainment, interaction with the industry’s best wedding professionals, fashion show, and a professional panel for the Brides to ask questions regarding their special day.  The event was the first of its kind, and it provided a great opportunity for wedding professionals to have a personalized experience with potential brides and grooms in a unique bridal setting at the beautiful and historic Carnegie Library in Washington, DC.

The results of the show – FABULOUS!  The Brides stated that this was an intimate affair created just for them.  It was certainly a honor and pleasure to serve as the event designer and producer for this extroadinary affair.  Special thanks to Mary Chatman of BlackBride.Com and Fallon Carter Weddings for allowing me this amazing opportunity – it was a pleasure partnering with you!  Many thanks to the wonderful wedding professionals (sponsors and exhibitors) and area panel members in the Washington, DC metro area for collaborating with me to make the event a success!  My first bridal show produced- accomplished!

WHO IS BLACKBRIDE.COM

Mary Chatman serves as the CEO & President of BlackBride.com since taking over the company in late 2010 through acquisition. With over 20 years of corporate experience in Global Business Development and in the fashion modeling industry, Mary began writing for the site while operating Love Life Designs six months prior to becoming the owner.  BlackBride.com has been the premier online resource for brides of color since 1998. It has been around for the past fourteen years as the ultimate wedding companion for planning the most romantic and important day of a woman’s life. The company provides definitive vendor resources for brides in every aspect of wedding planning, including new trends in fashion, designer wedding gowns, photography, accessories, food, honeymoon travel, destination weddings and so much more. (excerpted from BlackBride.Com).

THE PANEL:panelist photos

THE SPONSORS:

Events DC – The Carnegie Library
Tierra Floral Design
Caribbean Caterers
Soliloquy Bridal Couturefull flyer for bridalbrunch2
House of Jonlei Altelier
DJ Angie D Entertainment
Michael Clark Photographers
Frame Magic Productions
Couture Cakes by Sabrina
Mareta Creations
JJ&T Entertainment
Dawn Newsome Make-Up Artist
Defined by Deana LaRae
Booth-O-Rama
Gala Cloths
DC Rentals
Showtime Events

Emerald Stewart and Her Amazing Model Friends

THE RESULTS (photography credit:  Michael Clark Photographers)…click on photographs to enlarge view and for caption credits!

SPECIAL KUDOZ TO MY TEAM, PERFECT PLANNING EVENTS…I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU…YOU COME THROUGH FOR ME TIME AND TIME AGAIN!

Events by Perfect Planning…Munaluchi Bridal City-to-City Tour, Washington, DC

Early Winter 2013, I had the privilege of planning a spectacular event for the fastest growing bridal magazine for women of color and multicultural weddings in the U.S. and abroad – Munaluchi Bridal Magazine!

fw2013cover-singleMunaluchi Bridal Magazine was founded in 2010 by a dynamic husband and wife team, Jacqueline and Chike Nwobu of New Jersey.  While taking charge of their powerful careers, they began a second career as photographers that traveled the world taking photographs of very diverse, chic, and elegant weddings.  As they captured these dazzling images of their clients they wondered how can we showcase this hidden beauty that has not had the opportunity to grace any major magazine.  So they had a vision to create  a magazine.  After countless hours of research and the diligence to produce a product that would be adorned by all, Munaluchi Bridal Magazine was created.  They created a format to provide a vision and a stage of sophistication for women of color whom are major contributors in a $160 billion wedding industry.

The name of the magazine, Munaluchi, derives from a combination of two African names, Ethiopian and Nigerian; when combined means “Beautiful Work of God”.  The ideal canvas and description of the audience in which exemplifies their target audience – all women of color.

The night of the event was breathtaking.  It was an honor the day I received the phone call from the Owners/Editor-in-Chiefs, Jackie & Chike, to take on the responsibility to organize this celebration for the magazine.  There was relentless and outstanding collaboration with some of the best wedding professionals in the Washington, DC Metro area.  The highlight of organizing this event, was that I had the opportunity to collaborate with my idol and someone who I highly admire, Mr. Andre Wells of Events by Andre Wells – celebrity wedding and event planner.  Our host location was the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, DC – a boutique style hotel for the chic and progressive professionals of Washington.  To create the final touches to the night, we had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing wedding professionals in the industry:  Evelyn Alas Photography, Janet Flowers, Deejay Tye, and Frame Magic Productions.

Hats off to all of those involved.  Special thanks to Munaluchi Bridal Magazine for providing me with this rewarding opportunity.  Looking forward to future event collaborations.

Perfect Planning is an Honored Member of the Munaluchi Coterie Collection.

You can get your copy of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine at your local Target or at selected Barnes and Nobles stores nationwide.

Now preview the video our spectacular event captured by Frame Magic Productions.  And photographs by Evelyn Alas Photography.

And photographs by Evelyn Alas Photography.

Real Weddings by Perfect Planning….Jason & Virginia

A little Korean culture and a mixture of WebMD was the story of the gorgeous wedding of Jason and Virginia.  The sophistication of black and white transcended into the ballroom to exude grace and elegance just like our Dr. Virginia Park.  The main ingredient that made this Bride’s day was the vast array of sweets on the never-ending sweet bar, and the star attraction on the dessert menu – a cotton candy machine!  It was sweet, sweet, love!

Special thanks to Procopio Photography to narrate this love story through their photographic art.

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Wedding Highlights:

Wedding Date – November 2, 2013

Wedding Location – Sheraton Premiere, Tysons Corner, Virginia

Wedding Flowers – Dendrobium White Orchids

First Dance – A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

The Wow Factor – Never Endy Candy & Dessert Buffet, and Cotton Candy Machine

Bilingual Ceremony – English & Korean translations

Special Thanks to:

Sheraton Premiere Tyson’s Corner

Procopio Photography

L’Artisan Lily Floral Couture

Lugo Entertainment

Poshbooth Custom Photobooths

Ejung Hair Studio

DC Rentals

and the team at Perfect Planning

Two Upcoming Events for Perfect Planning…Hope to See you there!

***Wednesday, November 20th  |  6:30 p.m.  |  Liaison Capitol Hill***

You’re Cordially Invited to Attend the Munaluchi Bridal Magazine – City to City Tour…

This is event is for all Event & Wedding Professionals, and Brides & Grooms in the Washington, DC Metro Area…

This event is bought to you by Munaluchi Bridal Magazine |  Event Host > Andre Wells of Events by Andre Wells  |  Event Coordinator > Perfect Planning  |  Location Sponsor >  Liaison Capitol Hill…

Mix and Mingle with Exclusive Washington, DC Coterie Members of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine…

R.S.V.P at http://munaluchibridal.com/events/munaluchitour

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***March 9, 2014  |  12 Noon  |  Carnegie Library, Washington, DC***

Join Perfect Planning Events in conjunction with Fallon Carter Events and BlackBride.Com for

Bridal Brunch DC

Your experience to this event includes Brunch,  Unlimited 2 Hour Open Bar , Bridal Fashion Show, Swag Bag, and Expert Panel Discussion

Special Guests – Andre Wells of Events by Andre Wells  &  Janie Medley of The Bride’s Cafe!

Brunch Cuisine sponsored by Caribbean Caterers of Rockville!

R.S.V.P at blackbridedc.eventbrite.com

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Guest Blogger…from Inspired Photography by Susie & Becky…A Fun Relaxed Rockwood Manor Wedding

Our guest blogger is Susie Hadeed of  Inspired Photography by Susie & Becky sharing a real wedding story that was collaborated with us, Perfect Planning, and the amazing catering team of Savory Gourmet.  Susie & Becky did an amazing job capturing the romantic story of Tracy and Anton – a whimsical celebration held at the Historic Rockwood Manor in Potomac, Maryland on October 5, 2013.

(from Inspired Photography by Susie & Becky)

***Some weddings feel like hard work and some just feel like FUN.  Tracy and Anton’s wedding at historic Rockwood Manor was one of the latter.  They were a couple who were determined to accept whatever came and to enjoy the day!!  And they DID enjoy their wedding day to the utmost – so much so, in fact, that all of us in attendance enjoyed it as well, even if we were working :-)***  (Read More – Click Here)

Special Thanks to:

tracyanton

Guest Blogger…David Abel Photography…Featuring His Work on a Client we Shared…Lisa & William

An Introduction to David Abel Photograph’s Blog…”The Inn at Kelly’s Ford  |  Lisa & William”:

“Having fallen in love with Inn at Kelly’s Ford, when they first saw it on their one year anniversary, Lisa & William decided it was the only place they wanted to get married. Now William is the type of guy who is the life of the party & everyone loves him whether you’ve just met him or you’re life long friends. He sees the best in any situation and every person. Lisa is so very kind hearted, quick to laugh, and as her friends say “always looks like a Disney Princess”. With their loving family (and a little help from Perfect Planning) Lisa & William put together a beautiful wedding. So on a misty September day they became husband and wife, and thought the day may not have been filled with sunshine it was filled with the love of all of their family and friends. Narrowing down the images was actually really difficult for this wedding here are just a few of my favorites from the day!”

(Click Here to Read More on this Blog!)

(content from David Abel Photography)

Special thanks to David Abel for his spectacular work and featuring this amazing wedding and acknowledging us at Perfect Planning!

Additional Thanks to our partners at Drape Kings & DC Rentals

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Real Weddings by Perfect Planning…Amanda & Dean

What an amazing couple – Dean and Amanda!  This comical duo made it official to start a new path in their lives together and to celebrate with family friends in the heart of Washington, DC during the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival.  There was never a dull moment with this couple as Dean was always full of hysterical antics and Amanda was there just shaking her head and looking at me – just saying yes, that’s my man.  If there was a more compatible couple, then they would win the award for sharing true love and exemplifying the meaning of true love.  A magnificent couple that I will always cherish.

Wedding Date – Saturday, April 13, 2013  >  Ceremony – DC War Memorial, Washington, DC  >  Reception – Hilton Arlington

Colors – Navy Blue & Fuchsia

Photography – The Edge Photography  >  Music & Lighting – DJ Angie D  >  Florist – Twinbrook Floral  >  Wedding Cake – Heidelberg Bakery  >  Photobooth – Party Booths  > Bride’s Transportation –   DC PediCabs

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7 8 9 10      201Oh and the tourists played a special part in their big day – everywhere they went they were treated like celebrities – and just as I knew it, Dean and Amanda embraced the love of all those that wanted to celebrate with them, even the tourists!

We are Honored to be Featured by the Editors of United With Love!

This week we were recently honored to have one of our weddings featured on United With Love website – read what the editors had to say about this amazing wedding of Jacqueline and Matt, and the amazing wedding professionals we had the privilege of partnering with on this special day.

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http://www.unitedwithlove.com/2013/09/17/contemporary-fall-wedding-washington-dc/

http://www.unitedwithlove.com/2013/09/17/contemporary-fall-wedding-bethesda-maryland/

Image is Everything…The Cover Image of a Professional

For approximately one year, I have been torn rather or not to openly discuss this topic or rather to just stay confined in my own world and not involve myself with the image of others. Should the image of a successful event professional be displayed in their outer appearance?  Does it prohibit the professional from performing his or her task or conducting business?  Does Outward Image + Job Capabilities/Talent = Successful Professional?  These are the questions that I ponder in my mind as I travel through this vast and colorful event industry that is so ever-changing and has an endless diversity of culture and art.  I have become associated and established wonderful relationships with talented persons in the industry in which their work or service that they deliver is impeccable, however, if I/You were to judge them by their look before getting to know them, it makes me stop and wonder – should I or should I not engage?  There is the saying, “never judge a book by its cover, ” – meaning know what’s behind the cover before you make your final decision.

Let’s take a moment to define or study the meaning of “professional image”.  During my research, I found the following variations that surrender to the same core definition.  (A) “Professional image is the image that one projects about themselves based upon appearance and reputation. Image can be conveyed as professional by the way that you dress, the way you speak, the way you respond to others, and the way that others speak about you.”  (B)  “The constellation of tangible or visible representations and/or perceptions resulting from a person’s conduct as a professional, linked to ethical behavior and competence.”  (C)  “Impression projected by a person engaged in a profession, consisting of outward appearance and conduct exhibited on the workplace.”  (D)  “Professionals look the part – they don’t show up to work sloppily dressed, with unkept hair. They’re polished, and they dress appropriately for the situation. Because if this, they exude an air of confidence, and they gain respect for this.”

The four statements above relating to the “professional image” highlights on several key words – polished, respect, perception, competence, and confidence.  These are all key words and characteristics that I target in persons that I engage in business and present to my clients to assist in producing wonderful moments for our mutual clients.  With a couple of exceptions to these key traits, I have had the opportunity to come in contact with persons in which outward appearance or their professional image is not a visible priority.  Which makes me stop and wonder – what level of performance or degree of professional service will they provide to me and my client?   In hindsight, there have been those that are not focused on outward appearance that are highly talented and their work is impeccable.  I know that I am not the only individual that has encountered or has felt this way about this dilemma of the outward appearance of event/wedding professionals.  Which my recent conversation with an event professional about this particular topic encouraged me to write this blog.  The blog is not here to criticize or to be crude.  I want to provide insight to someone out there that may be in need of professional advice regarding the self-image that is a direct correlation to the image of their business.  The self-image can either hinder or dramatically improve a person’s relationship with their clients or with other colleagues in the industry, and more importantly give their business the ability to grow and to eliminate others second guessing their capabilities.  The self-image that is worn on the outside let’s the world know that you are confident in yourself, your work, and that you are a trailblazer!

We as event/wedding professionals should all care about our self-image.  We as an industry should always be there to support, coach, and champion each other.  To summarize the article regarding “Professional Image”, I have listed some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to consider for anyone that may want to take the challenge to improve their outward appearance.  These suggestions are not to have you go out and spend erratically on designer clothing or to be outrageous in your choices.  The list below is to provide you with the opportunity to examine yourself in a different way and to organize yourself to achieve.

THE DO’S:

  • Groom & Maintain the Crown – Always keep your Crown (your hair/hair-style) groomed.  Ladies, if you know that you are going to perform long hours, strenuous work, or the climate is not in your favor, you can still be sophisticated and professional with a nice hair bun or pin a french roll.  Gentlemen, keep a nice and sensible hair cut and for those that wear it long, tie the hair in a confined and well groomed pony tail.  Constantly maintain the crown for freshness and vitality – wash your hair weekly or daily based on your ethnic background.
  • Talk with the Hands – Ladies and gentlemen both should maintain the appearance of the next thing that they use to communicate with others, their hands.  Do self manicures or if you have the time or budget have a professional manicure to provide your hands and nails with the proper love they deserve.  They will certainly appreciate the weekly or bi-weekly grooming, and you will appreciate it also.
  • Freshly Pressed – Make sure that from your shirt/sweater to your jacket to your belt to your pants, that they are all wrinkle free and look fresh and crisp.  During your downtime take approximately an hour to sharply iron your clothes or transport to your local dry cleaners.
  • The Fashion – Dress according to your profession and to your gender.  Whether it is the business suit or causal business attire such as khaki pants and a polo shirt, or a having a synchronized team wearing the company shirt.  You should always reflect the image of your business.  Always consider the color of clothing that you are wearing to make sure that you are not the center of attention for your event.  You are always safe with black or navy, and we know sometimes that gets boring, so play around with colors that are safe.  The level on the radar screen for dress rather male or female should always be either business suit attire or business casual.  Wear a belt and always keep the shirt tucked in.
  • The Footwork – Your shoes should always reflect your profession and be comfortable.  Our jobs in this industry are demanding and serves up long hours, so wear shoes that will be of comfort to you and your feet – you will both be thankful.  Keep your shoes polished and in good condition.  Besides looking at your upward attire, your feet draw a lot of attention also so keep shoes looking fresh and spry.
  • HAVE THE APPROPRIATE SIZE – Wear attire that is suited for your body type.   Gentlemen should have the appropriate shirt length hitting the base of their hands.  Gentlemen’s pants should drop at the top of their shoe to provide that sense of GQ Fashion.  Ladies look comfortable in all of your clothes – have them fit to your body type also.
  • BE COMFORTABLE
  • BE CONFIDENT
  • BE POISED AT ALL TIMES
  • SMILE!

THE DON’TS:

  • Un-Kept Crowns – Never walk out the door as if you just risen out of the bed.  Your hair should not look greasy or as it does not look maintained.  You should also never walk out the door if you have unwanted snowflakes standing on top of the crown which eventually fall on to your attire which does not look to appealing.  Gentlemen don’t look as if you have been stranded on an island or that you have been living with T-Rex – shave, shave, cut, cut.
  • Soiled Hands & Un-shaped Nails – Never appear to have soiled hands that look as if they are never clean – your hands are a major part of your interaction and the bridge to engagement with individuals with the signal of a handshake, so you want to have your hands groomed at all times.  Take time out weekly or bi-weekly to trim and shape your nails, and to give them a little TLC.
  • Dirty Laundry – Never appear within any environment as if your clothes do not appear fresh and clean.  If you have pets, don’t have your pet walk out the door with you on your clothes.  Do not wear unwanted wrinkles – wrinkles make it seem as if you do not care.  Do not wear attire that looks like night-wear or lounge wear.  Ladies, knit dresses are not appropriate they look like lounge wear.  Stains are not a necessity also – if you see a stain or tear, change to something different because it is not appropriate.  Also, absolutely no lint balls or naps, this is a sign that this has been worn too death and it is time to retire.  Don’t look like you just stepped out of bed with the clothes that you had on the night before.
  • Don’t Let Your Clothes Wear You - Never wear clothes that are one, two, or three sizes too small – wear the appropriate size.  Ladies, make sure that the “girls” are secured appropriately – you are not going to the club – you are conducting business.  If you are a mover or a production person, no wife-beaters or tank-tops, full shirts please.  Wear a company polo shirt or a professional company t-shirt if you fall within the production category.  Never wear your shirt on the outside – tuck, tuck.  Don’t hang loose, please wear a belt to keep things together and to also provide definition to your stature.  Never wear clothes like you are hanging out in the comforts of your home.  Remember you are conducting business and not at home relaxing on the sofa.
  • Tacky Footwear – It doesn’t have to be a designer brand it just has to look the part!  Guys, keep your shoes polished and the soles leveled and in good shape.  Professions such as photographers, videographers, and others of similar constant work mobility usually wear sneakers.  For your profession, sneakers are okay – just don’t wear bright white sneakers, sneakers that are dirty, or sneakers that look like they are 15 years old.  Wear nice black comfortable shoes or black sneakers.  Don’t wear your favorite neon colorful running shoes – remember you are conducting business.  Do not wear flip-flops or casual sandals, you are not at the beach – you are conducting business.
  • Don’t Look Uncomfortable
  • Don’t look doubtful or that you are not sure of yourself
  • Never let them see you hanging – always have the correct posture
  • Never wear a FROWN!

When a business offers a professional image to the world, it draws customers and other professionals directly to them. Business colleagues in the industry value and respect the empire you are building and the services that you provide – you become recognizable as a professional.

Your Professional Image is a vital characteristic that represents you and your business – it states that you are arriving in the business world appropriately dressed for the occasion and ready to do business on any level…Image is Everything!

EXAMPLES OF APPROPRIATE & APPEALING DRESS ATTIRE FOR VARIOUS INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS:

professional attire for the wedding industry

Upcoming Events – 2013 Wedding Tasting and Bridal Focus Panel

2013 WEDDING TASTINGS EVENT – AUGUST 4TH, 2013

AIRLIE CENTER, WARRENTON, VIRGINIA

Visit Perfect Planning on August 4th at The Airlie Center’s 2013 Wedding Tasting Event

R.s.v.p with The Airlie Center – Lisa Albert – lalbert@airlie.com

airlie center tasting event

BRIDAL FOCUS PANEL – SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2013

THE SUNSET ROOM AT NATIONAL HARBOR

THIS EVENT IS FOR NEWLYWEDS!

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Newlyweds…if you have been married within the past year, The Association of Wedding Professionals of Greater Washington, DC is looking for you! We are hosting our annual Bridal Focus Panel on Tuesday, September 24th at The Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck at National Harbor, and we need Newlyweds like yourself to participate on the panel. This annual event serves as an epic educational moment for wedding professionals in the DC Metro Area…to learn more about being a participant, please click on the link below.  Each couple will receive a $75 gift certificate and dinner for their participation.

Panelist Application Click Here!