Take Time to Enjoy Your Wedding Day
It’s your special day, take the time to really enjoy it. When you are planning your event, be sure to put enough time in your schedule so that one small bump won’t derail the whole production.
You might even want to consider hiring a wedding planner. Movies make fun of them, but a good wedding planner, with the right personality for you, means that the little things that can happen on your wedding day won’t be your problems to deal with. Planners are experts at handling venues and contracts and their experience can be invaluable to insuring that your big day goes off without a hitch. Read More
Member Spotlight: Jeanna Hilton
I had a quick conversation with Jeanna Hilton of Stonewall Golf Club regarding her thoughts on the wedding industry.
What makes you unique and different from other vendors in your category?
We really try to be as flexible as possible and make the day what the bride and groom want and not what we as the venue want. And of course our view!
What is your favorite aspect of the wedding industry?
Selection of venue of course, it’s the biggest decision they make and can set the tone for the whole event!!
What is your favorite new trend (pertaining to your category) for spring 2012?
Healthier wedding eating and a more “farm to table “ approach to dinner.
What is the most important piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples who are planning a wedding?
Try and not get STRESSED. Wedding planning should not be stressful. Hire a planner and enjoy your day!! And make sure you eat the food you are spending so much money on!!
Reception Planning TipsChoosing a reception venue is a big part of creating your wedding vision and one of the most important choices. Whether it be a hotel ballroom or a tented party in your backyard, it reflects the tone that you are seeking for your special day. It will also have an impact on the size of your guest list.
As you work toward finding the venue, keep in mind what may also be required to create the feel you would like. Typically, a hotel venue will include linens and china in their rental fee, whereas, a banquet hall or tented facility will have expenses to rent tables, chairs and any other piece of equipment necessary to make your day complete.
What about reception style?
You may choose a cocktail reception or a plated dinner. At a cocktail reception, many couples feel the need to still do a four hour party which is not necessary. The typical cocktail reception lasts two to two and one half hours. Here you can control the amount of alcohol which is consumed as well as limiting the amount of food required.
If you choose to do a buffet, remember to make it double sided, and realize costs may go up as more food is needed.
Some couples are opting for a combo of both types of events which offer waiter passed drinks and canapes with the addition of several stations. No matter which type of reception style you choose, please do have a chair for every guest. Nobody likes to stand for even a short time.
A more formal wedding requires a plated, sit-down meal service. Wine is usually served with dinner, with an open bar for most of the 4 to 5 hour party.
Tips to consider when planning a wedding reception within budget:
- People tend to take less food when it is being passed by wait staff.
- Although difficult to do, cut the guest list from the beginning to keep within your budget.
- You may want to consider a morning ceremony followed by a brunch. This will allow you to offer a specialty drink instead of incurring alcohol costs. Of course, if you prefer bar service, think about serving only wine and beer, or creating a fun signature drink to be served.
- Consider hiring a professional planner who has a wealth of ideas on how you can minimize costs without sacrificing your style.
Myrna Grossman is an experienced wedding coordinator with For All Occasions. For more information, call 703-222-5912 or go to www.fao-events.com.
Wedding Coordinator or Wedding Planner? A Personal Story
Many brides are confused about whether to hire a wedding planner or to use the wedding coordinator at the selected venue. I chatted with Maureen Chandler of Blush Bridal Boutique about her personal experiences with this decision. This is her story.
I was one of those brides that dreamed about my wedding all my life. I knew what kind of dress I wanted, how the cake would look and the perfect decorations for my “perfect day.” I was told for months leading up to our wedding that I needed to hire a planner or a day-of coordinator. Nine years later, I still regret not taking that advice. I had an event coordinator on-site and had done all the planning myself so I thought everything was under control.
Like many couples, when we chose our reception site, we were led to believe that our event coordinator was there to help us plan our wedding, and, he was, but only for the venue itself. We did not take into consideration the other vendors that were booked: photographer, florist, limo service, band, decorator, baker, etc.
Using Pinterest to Plan a Wedding
Ok, I admit it, I am addicted to Pinterest!
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
People use pinboards to plan their weddings (my favorite idea!), decorate their homes, and share their fashion wish lists.
As someone who has always been a fan of “inspiration boards,” I am loving the ease of using Pinterest.
Inspiration boards required actual clipping, gluing, and labeling of various items onto a board or piece of paper. While incredibly fun and useful for creating an image or developing a concept, storing and revising the boards was always impractical.
Pinterest simply requires the user to register, install a “Pin It” button, and start pinning!
Bliss Collection Honors: Washingtonian Bride and Groom
The members of The Bliss Collection are always so proud when other hard working members are acknowledged for their excellence!
Washingtonian Bride and Groom has listed some of our beloved members in its latest issue! Why exactly is this an important honor?
According to wedding planner Myrna Hyman, “I found out that one finds themselves on this list based on votes from colleagues in the industry, which I think is pretty special.”
Miles Stiebel of MSE productions added ” MSE Productions is listed in the most recent 2012 Washingtonian Bride & Groom under Music & Entertainment. MSE Productions has been recommended by the Washingtonian as “One of the Best” for over ten years. This publication has become a fabulous resource for brides and grooms planning their wedding.”
So…which members of The Bliss Collection were listed?
More Bliss Collection Honors: Wedding Wire’s “Best Of” List
Great news, Bliss Collection members! Sooo many of us were listed on yet another prestigious list: Wedding Wire’s Best Of!
Susan Smith was listed under the category of Wedding Planners.
Myrna Hyman was listed under the category of Wedding Planners.
Kristi Odom was listed under the category of Photographers.
Kelsey Thompson was listed under the category of Photographers.
Jeanna Hilton of Stonewall Golf Club was listed under the category of Venues.
Miles Stiebel was listed under the category of Music and Entertainment.
Jessica Piscitelli was listed under the category of Videographer.
Congratulations to everyone! This is an awesome honor!
Bliss Member Wedding
By Jessica Piscitelli Robinson
As you can imagine, I have a lot of friends who work in the wedding industry, and only one wedding to go around. Choosing vendors from among my friends was very difficult, but I ended up with the best wedding team a girl could ever hope for.
I have listed everyone I worked with with at the end of this post. They were all fabulous and I highly recommend every one of them, so please follow links to their websites and hire them for all of your weddings.
But I need to say a few words about the Bliss Collection members, because Bliss was a wonderful resource for me for planning my wedding.
In the following video, I made sure to include live audio from both the procession and the recession because Eric Waters, a guitarist with MSE Productions, did such a fantastic job. I married a Robinson so the recession song was particularly key and, even though it wasn’t on his playlist, he learned it especially for my wedding.
As you can see, I shortened the video of the ceremony considerably. Not so in the Blu-Ray disc we have at home. It was such a beautiful ceremony that I kept in almost every moment for our own video.
Our Newest Member – Hollin Hall
The Bliss Collection, Northern Virginia’s Finest Wedding Professionals, is so happy to welcome our newest venue – Hollin Hall. Hollin Hall is a charming, restored Manor House built in 1919.
The venue is beautiful and unique; competitively priced; close-in; with lots of free parking and other amenities. The chapel is available for ceremonies in event of inclement weather…and couples get the benefit of Nina Tisara’s more-than-25-years of wedding experience.
Hollin Hall is also available for business and family parties and receptions, classes and training programs and concerts .
Check out their website and blog, http://HollinHallWeddings.blogspot.com/ . Then contact Nina Tisara at 703-625-2330 for your personal tour.
Our Newest Member-Mason Inn
About The Mason Inn Conference Center & Hotel
Nestled among a natural wooded setting on the southside of George Mason University campus is The Mason Inn.
This Fairfax, Virginia hotel is designed to be a first-class venue hosting world-class conferences with an environment conducive to academic and business interactions.
The Mason Inn embodies the ideas of George Mason, the man, while incorporating the Patriot image and mission.
Couples will enjoy every minute at the Mason Inn from an initial entrance into the lobby with a lounge, rooms for their guests, fabulous restaurant and the ability to hold an intimate affair to the large gathering and still keep the ultimate in service.
The Mason Inn offers a variety of menus, event packages, 148 sophisticated guest rooms and flexible event space. Our attentive wedding specialist will be delighted to work with you personally to custom-design your unique wedding package.
For More Information, Contact: Keith Jagdhuber, Catering Sales Manager/Event Planner Jagdhuber-Keith@aramark.com