A Wrap up of 2007 (Even if it is already 2008 ;-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Hi guys ~

I KNOW, I KNOW... It looks like I completely dropped off the face of the Earth. Well, to tell you the truth, I have a kid! ... Now, that's not an excuse or anything. In fact, there are extremely accomplished people who juggle family, professional and social without breaking a sweat. Then on the other hand, there's me!!!! When I'm not working with my Brides, I get so caught up with spending time with Isabella. And unfortunately, all of those "other things" that I usually do have been swept to the side! ... Well, I only have a couple of resolutions for 2008 (in additition to the standard "lose 15 pounds") - If I don't blog after every wedding, I will at least blog once a month, to catch you guys up on what's going on over here at Serendipity!!! Below is a run down of the 2007 weddings I didn't blog about. Some don't have pictures, but I will be sure to post those when the photographers send them my way ;-)


Melanie & Jason – August 18th, 2007
Melanie and Jason were both entrenched in advanced programs at Harvard University when I met them. Yes, I said Harvard! Jason was getting an MBA from Harvard Business School, while Melanie was in her last year as a Law Student at Harvard. These are two smart cookies! … They came to me in March of 2006, looking for a Coordinator to help them plan a Washington DC wedding while they were away at school. I jumped at the chance to work on this wedding.

We immediately ran into problems finding a Reception site, because they had a HUGE guest list. We visited TONS of sites in DC proper, but none fit size wise or price wise. So, Jason ingeniously found out the Westin was building a new hotel in Annapolis, and he worked out a great deal with them. The only catch was we wouldn’t be able to do any kind of walkthroughs/tastings/changes until a month before the wedding – because that’s when the hotel was opening. Talk about a little stressful! But, we went ahead with blind faith, and the Westin came through like pros. The space turned out AMAZINGLY well. It was so beautiful. The food was also impeccable. I have to give kudos to Cathy, the Catering Manager at the Westin Annapolis ~ She is a complete pro, and it was a pleasure working with her.

Melanie looked especially beautiful. Although, this was another stressful point of the wedding. I scheduled trials around her schedule, since she wouldn’t be in town that often. Two trials with a hairstylist did not make Melanie very happy. She trusted me enough to suggest another stylist 2 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING!!! Talk about pressure!!!!! … They treated her so well, and made Melanie looked STUNNING. I am talking about Camille and Diane over at Cole Stevens Salon and Day Spa (Greenbelt, MD). Just look at the photos. She looked so beautiful – these pictures will still be timeless 20 years from now. And that dress – wow – that dress was GORGEOUS!!! … And it looked stunning on her frame. Oh, and Jason cleaned up pretty well on his big day too!

Derek Romanoff provided DJ services – and he was great as usual. I’ve raved about Derek before, but I will rave about him here again. At the last minute, Melanie and Jason decided that they wanted a family friend to give the blessing over the food. I told Derek about the last minute change. I also mentioned that he was a State Representative from his local area. Derek jumped on his wireless connection, read his bio, and gave him an introduction befitting a politician. Everyone was surprised and delighted, and it seemed as if Derek had this information in his hand weeks before the wedding! .. Derek embraces technology in his DJ’ing services, and I just love his ingenuity. He just rocks!

Linda Wallace – the AMAZING photographer out of NC – provided the photography services. I love working with Linda. She is so laid back, and produces stunning photography. I just love working with her, because she’s so flexible. She lives in NC, but does about half of her weddings in the DC area. Melanie and Jason were demanding, but it was all worth it. They had a clear vision of the way they wanted, and I think they achieved that. It was also amazing to see things unfold and see how happy they were on their wedding day ;-)

Angela & Jamison – September 15th, 2007
I met Angela for Lunch one day, and we hit it off immediately. She had seen a review in the Knot, of one of our previous weddings. It was nice that she came in appreciating our work. But, when I met her, I immediately knew I wanted to work with her! … Angela has such an amazing personality, and it’s easy to be her friend!

Angela’s wedding took place at the Mansion at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. It is a gorgeous mansion, and a wonderful place to have a wedding if you have less than 120 people. The Ceremony took place in the Music room and the guests then moved to the garden for Cocktails. During the Cocktail hour, we got all of Angela’s guests together for a group photo. It turned out amazingly well! Dinner was held in the various rooms of the mansion. Angela did something a little different for her head table. She asked us to set up one long rectangular table that would seat 22 people. It turned out beautifully. Angela had a lilac/deep purple/platinum color scheme. When you have purples and silvers, it can look a little childish/12 year old-ish if your not careful. With the help of the wonderful folks at Party Rental Ltd, Angela picked amazing linens and rentals that made her entire wedding looked sophisticated and “oh so sheik!”

The guests danced the night away to great tunes and even greater company. Kathy Blanchard and her sister Missy took the photos at the wedding. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kathy and Missy. Kathy and Missy were selected (again!) as one of the best photography teams by the Washingtonian Magazine; I’ll post pictures soon so you can see why.

I adored Angela, and I hope she and Jamison will be truly happy together. I think that won’t be a problem for them ;-)

Sara & Benny – September 22nd, 2007
Sara and Benny are one of those couples you just want to be around. Just plain and simple. They party hard, play hard and live life in a way that you envy. I met them for dinner a few months before the wedding, and realized that they are such down to earth people! These are the type of people that you just want to have a beer with while hanging out at a tailgate party or something!
The couple hosted their party at Woodend Mansion in Chevy Chase. It was a beautiful background and we were lucky to have GORGEOUS weather! … Spot Floral provided beautiful flowers, in addition to all of the linens and other rentals. Occasions catering provided the wonderful meal.

The Ceremony took place in the Grove, and was led by Calhoun “Callie” Perkins, a family friend. She did an absolutely phenomenal job. I may have mentioned before, that I don’t always listen to the Ceremony. There are so many things that need to be done to get ready for the next phase of the wedding, and I am busy with those things. But, I asked my assistants to take care of those things and I simply sat down and listened to what she said. It was amazing. Very spiritual and very moving.

We had a wonderful cocktail ceremony on the grounds, which led to the reception under the tent. It was a wonderful dinner. The guests then danced the night away to the sounds of the band Nation. They ROCKED!! .. The guests didn’t want to get off of the floor! .. It was so great to see the guests – and the couple – have such a great time.

As a note, I LOVED Sara and Benny’s guests. I got to take pictures with several of her guests. Not because I’m a superstar Coordinator (which I believe in my own head – haha!), but because they were UConn basketball fans. I am not sure if I’ve talked about this in the blog. I played basketball for UConn in the mid 90’s. We won the National Championship in 1995 – we were a perfect 35-0. For those of you basketball geeks, I was on the team with Rebecca Lobo. Anyhoo, some of her guests were huge fans, and knew I played. I got to take a few pictures with them and talk ad-nauseam about UConn!! … I have had UConn fans at 5 or so of the 120 weddings I’ve done. It’s ALWAYS great when we have fans – GO HUSKIES ;-) …. Oh, and er, um, Go Sara & Benny ;-)

Lindsay & Matt – October 6th, 2007
Lindsay and Matt are both lawyers here in Washington DC. I would call them very conservative – to say the least ;-) … They met each other while attending Law School at George Washington University. They are great for each other – great balance of two personalities.

Lindsay and Matt’s wedding took place at the wonderful Ronald Reagan Building in the Pavilion Room. If you have never seen this room, you are doing yourself a disservice! It is a gorgeous space to have a wedding. It was an unusually warm day. In fact, it was hot while the bridal party took pictures around the city! … But, along with the great weather, came a great wedding.

The Christian/Jewish Interfaith Ceremony was a wonderful representation of both faiths. The Chuppah was draped with soft flowing white fabric, and it set the tone for a romantic evening. The folks at the Ronald Reagan Building did an amazing job of flipping the space for the Reception. Courtney, an amazing Coordinator over at the RR Building, led them in making sure the things went off without a hitch. The uplighting also made the space beautiful, warm and inviting.

Lindsay was a little apprehensive about the big Hora! But, much to her pleasure, she was not dropped on the floor! … Once that was over, Derek Romanoff provided DJ services, and he didn’t let anyone down. Derek is an AMAZING DJ, and I am always so happy to work with him!

The “icing on the cake” wasn’t even on a cake at all! The couple really personalized their wedding by NOT having a wedding cake! Instead, they had a candy buffet, which was an absolute hit with the guests! Lindsay has always had a sweet tooth, and wanted a variety of candies she liked at her wedding, instead of cake. Well, it was a great decision that all of the guests appreciated.

Lindsay wanted a warm, welcoming wedding and she delivered on that. I am so honored to have worked with them both ;-)

Julie & Jim – November 3rd, 2007
Julie & Jim are both lawyers here in Washington. On the surface, they appear very conservative. When I met with them at their house, Jim was very pleasant to me, but couldn’t wait to get back to his flat panel LCD TV!! … I think it was a Samsung ~ I’m not sure ~ I just know it was NICE!!.. I wish I could’ve stayed to watch it with them ;-)

One of my previous brides, Stephanie (read the blog entry about Stephanie and Josh from April 2006) referred Julie to me. I am always so happy when former clients refer Serendipity to their family and friends. It’s the biggest compliment I can receive! As an added treat, Stephanie was one of Julie’s Bridesmaids!

Julie dressed in a very simple (and stunning) lace wedding dress with a gorgeous traditional Mantilla veil. She looked absolutely stunning in her simplicity. She reminded me of a Bride that may have walked down the aisle in old world Europe. The dress and veil beautifully complimented her gorgeous brunette hair.

Julie & Jim married at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington. If you have never seen this Church, you MUST visit at least once. It reminded me of Churches I saw when I visited Florence, Venice and Milan, Italy during college. It is one of the most ornate and beautiful Catholic Churches I have ever visited. Msgr. Jameson delivered a wonderful Homily, directed squarely at the couple. It was very timely and engaging. We then enjoyed a full Catholic Mass.

Once the Ceremony was over, the guests walked 2 blocks to the Mayflower Hotel for the Reception. This is an absolutely GORGEOUS hotel. Usually, once you get to a hotel, all of the ballrooms look the same. But not at the Mayflower ~ It was really beautiful. I had the pleasure of working with Kathryn Majeed-Ali at the Mayflower – she is an absolute pro at what she does! She made things so easy for us!

I also FINALLY got to work again with one of the best DJ’s in this area – Chris Laich. He’s such a great person (and great family man with 3 kids) ~ not to mention an awesome DJ! He’s listed as one of the best in almost EVERY publication there is, and yet there is not one pretentious bone in his body ;-)

The flowers were done by Barbara Von Elm of Growing Wild. As usual, she did a wonderful job! Finally, Bill Crandall shot the wedding photos. They are stunning. I have asked for a few to post to the blog. Until I get them, you can check out a few of his favorites (mine too ;-) here.

This was Serendipity’s last wedding of the season. It was a pleasure to end on such a wonderful high note. With the Holidays over, it’s time to start gearing up for this 2008 season. I know it will be a fabulous one ;-)


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