Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Classic DC-Style Celebration - Kerry & Danny

What a way to leave DC! I worked with Kerry and Danny for almost a year to the date in planning their DC celebration... which would also be my final DC-area wedding before moving the company to Boulder, Colorado! I could not have asked for a better couple with which to end. These two really know how to have a great time!

Both hail from New York and so the weekend would be a destination for almost all of their guests. We chose the Carnegie Institute because with its large columns and steps in front, central location close to the Dupont Circle neighborhood, and breathtaking marble rotunda, it was just the perfect location to show their guests what DC was all about.

Kerry and Danny wanted the focus of the day to be on truly enjoying this special time with their friends and family. Priorities were in having a hearty, delicious Italian meal, free-flowing libations, and high-energy music. The ceremony and reception would take place at the same location to avoid losing any time with travel.

The entire day flowed perfectly! Guests were greeted at Carnegie and seated in the Rotunda for the short ceremony. The intimate setting allowed for an emotion-filled and touching ceremony, highlighted with a reading of lyrics from a special song and untraditional wedding songs to include Here Comes the Sun and All You Need Is Love played by the string trio.

Following the ceremony, our team of vendors converted the Rotunda to the reception space quickly while guests were greeted in the Boardroom with specialty drinks and a large assortment of food. Kerry and Danny chose to do a 1.5 hour cocktail "hour" to ensure that they had ample time with their guests, as well as to help set the tone of the evening... to celebrate! Occasions Caterers provided an impressive buffet spread for guests and soon after guests were dancing for more than two hours to the high energy band - Jangling Reinharts.

It was a fantastic celebration and such a great time for all - guests and vendors!

We have not yet received all of the photos for the event, but in the meantime, one of my favorite photographers - Jay Premack - has shared a few on his own blog.

I will certainly be sharing more once we get the full collection, so stay tuned!

I LOVE these vendors! They did an amazing job as always :)
Venue: Carnegie Institute
Caterer: Occasions Caterers, Matt Sipala
Florist: Growing Wild Floral, Barbara Von Elm
Photographer: Jay Premack Photography
Ceremony Music: St. Charles String Quartet, Neil Puzon
Reception Music: Jangling Reinharts
Cake: Cakes by Carolyn
Rentals: DC Rental, Liz Kelly Waylan
Officiant: Rev. Ken Knapp
Transportation: Reston Limo, Daniel Oh
Pipe and Drape: Fabrication Events
Wedding Planner: breathe. event planning, Lauren Freeman, CMP

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Winter Wedding - Hye-Hyun & Chang Sik

We had such fun starting 2009 with Hye-Hyun and Chang Sik! These two designed a beautiful wedding for about 300 of their friends and family. Their inspiration was Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman's stunning 2005 "winter wonderland" wedding. The photos below, taken by Hyon Smith Photography, help to tell the story of the day:

The bridal party was large, with twelve bridesmaids and ten groomsmen. The gorgeous bridesmaids were decked out in gowns by Vera Wang.

The traditional Catholic wedding ceremony took place at St. Paul Chung Catholic Church in Reston, Virginia.

Following the ceremony, guests travelled about ten miles to the Hyatt Regency Reston, where they were greeted by hors d'eovres, drinks and traditional Korean rice cakes. Photographer Hyon Smith also had on display a gallery of Hye-Hyun and Chang Sik's gorgeous engagement portraits throughout the cocktail hour space. Guests also had the opportunity, throughout the evening, to have a portrait taken by Hyon's team. Prints were made on-site and given to the guests before the end of the evening. This is always such a hit with wedding guests -- people love it!!

After entering the reception through a shower of petals, Hye-Hyun and Chang Sik totally ROCKED the reception by surprising all of their guests with a lively and entertaining first dance with two of their friends!

I worked secretly with the groom to coordinate one last surprise -- this time for the bride! Chang Sik brought Hye-Hyun (and many guests) to tears as we pulled a grand piano from behind a curtain on which he performed and sang a song for his new bride.

Two incredibly impressive cakes were created for the bride and groom by The Food Network's very own Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes - Charm City Cakes. The wedding cake was a delicious five-tier cake adorned with highly detailed flowers made of sugar. The groom's cake was based upon HH and Chang Sik's engagement -- a mountain ski slope with HH on a snowboard and Chang Sik on skis heading down "The Plunge". Fantastic!

These two pics are taken, unfortunately, by my own camera phone - so not the best :)
Special thanks to the fantastic vendors who helped make this event so perfect:
Reception site: Hyatt Regency Reston
Photographer & Videographer: Hyon Smith Photography
Flowers: Sophia Kim
String Quartet: Montebello Strings
Transportation: Prime Transportation (Rolls Royce); Chariots for Hire (Hummers)
Pipe and Drape: Fabrication Events
Rentals: DC Rental, Liz Kelly Waylan
Cake: Charm City Cakes, Duff Goldman
DJ: Shane, Friend of Bride and Groom
Wedding Planner: breathe. event planning, Lauren Freeman

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Modern, Simple, and Elegant"

...."modern, simple and elegant"...

In my opinion, these are three of the most popular adjectives that I have heard from clients while trying to describe their wedding design goals. No matter how common, though, they can also be one of the most difficult "themes" to achieve as the words are not as descript as a planner would hope.

In 2008, I had the pleasure of working with two parents during the planning of their daughter's Fall 2008 wedding... and again, these adjectives were used at our first meeting. However, during the five month planning period, we were able to hit the nail on the head! From start to finish, we were able to deliver this consistant message to the guests - from the invitations to the flowers to the table settings and even in the lighting.

The 220-person event was one of my all-time favorites! The structural and clean details of the event helped contribute to the energy of the event as they added texture and beauty but did not cause distraction from the music and ambiance of the entire setting.
The band, Dexter Lake Club Band, kept the energy higher than I've ever seen it and the dance floor PACKED from the moment the doors opened until the very last minute (including a few encores)!! They rocked the place with untraditional wedding music including covers of Guns 'N Roses, A-ha, Talking Heads, and Rolling Stones. After numerous tastings, we finalized the perfect menu with the Mandarin Oriental that blended comfort food with more formal fare. During cocktail hour, guests were served Mini-B.L.T.'s (the "L" being lobster), Pigs-in-a-Blanket, an active sushi station, Pommes Frites in cones, and pistachio encrusted lamb chops that literally melted in your mouth. The four-course dinner included an impressive amuse bouche served in a hollowed egg, a duo first course, duo entree including beef tenderloin, whole lobster tail and perfectly roasted artichokes, and customized cookies and strawberries for an after-dinner sweet. Guests later enjoyed wedding cake, as well as cotton candy - an homage to their engagement at Coney Island! As guests departed, they were given hot cocoa in "to-go" containers to prepare them for the cold weather outside.

See below pictures taken by Barnaby Draper Studios:

Our vendors were AMAZING! They worked tirelessly throughout the entire planning process to ensure that the event was 100% perfect, and it WAS! :)

Reception site: Mandarin Oriental hotel
Florist: Multiflor, Nick Perez
Custom Linens, Chivari Chairs, China and more: DC Rental, Liz Kelly Waylan
Ceremony Riser: Capital Party Rentals
Reception Chairs: Perfect Settings, Esteban Gimenez
Ceremony Music: Sterling Artists, David Kucharski
Cocktail Hour Trio and Singer: Janine Carter Trio
Reception Band: Dexter Lake Club Band, James Krents
Photographer and Videographer: Barnaby Draper Studios, Barnaby Draper & Craig MacNeil
Make-up: Kathy Aragon
Lighting: Swank AV
Wedding Planner: breathe. event planning, Lauren Freeman, CMP

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Rockstar Wedding - Kristin & JP

These two had such character, which always makes my job so much fun. Kristin and JP have a common love for music and especially indy rock, so decided that they wanted this to be the common "theme" to be carried throughout their event. Kristin found me about halfway through her planning once she had most of the big decisions made (location, photographer, caterer). I joined the planning team with about 4 months to go to help her nail down the overall look and feel of the event.

This wedding had a mixture of funkiness with elegance, which is a great combination. Combining the classic DC venue - National Museum of Women in the Arts - with the colors and angles of the lighting (Atmosphere Lighting) and details made for a truly stylish event.

Greg Gibson does amazing work... check it out:

The vendors:
Venue - National Museum of Women in the Arts
Caterer - Capitol Catering, Jennifer Krysa
Rentals - DC Rental, Liz Waylan
Ceremony Musicians - Celebrated String Quartet
Reception Music - DJ PGee
Photographer - Greg Gibson
Videographer - Dolce Video
Planner - breathe. event planning, Lauren Freeman
Florist - Growing Wild Floral
Lighting - Atmosphere Lighting
Draping - Fabrication Events
Transportation - Chariots for Hire

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Breathe Bride

Barnaby Draper Studios has shared with me the exquisite video of my client's Sarah and Jack's wedding from March 2008. (Sarah & Jack).... See what it's like to be a breathe bride for a day!

Thanks Barnaby!

Happy 1st Anniversary Cheryl & Corey!

Almost a year to the date, I'm finally blogging about one of my alltime favorite couples - Cheryl & Corey.

In my opinion, these two did it JUST right. Having met through mutual friends, Cheryl and Corey decided to abandon some of the more traditional wedding details and to instead focus on making their wedding day a truly personal celebration of their love as well as their friendships and family. I loved the whole energy of the day.

Because of their dedication to environmental issues, it was important to them to host a "Green" wedding. They selected the Audubon Naturalists Society's Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, MD as their venue, and worked with Cheryl Mazo of Capitol Catering to ensure that nothing went to waste. Their invitations, created at Written Word (one of my favorites!), used minimal paper and carried out their "nature" theme with a simple leaf as the motif.

So much thought was put into the details, but they remembered also the importance of not killing themselves over them. All added a personal touch to the day, but at the same time did not distract away from the purpose of the day.

Guests were greeted with drinks prior to the ceremony, and rather than having a full bridal party, Cheryl and Corey selected their close friends to act as "Greeters" to help blend groups of family and friends and help everyone get to know each other. Cheryl's brother had the role of her "Man of Honor" and Corey's sisters had the role of "Best Women". Truth Groove rocked the house during the reception, and as a late night treat, and homage to Corey's home city, we brought out Dunkin Donut Munchkins, which were devoured by the dancing guests! At the end of the night, Cheryl and Corey were sent off with a "lavendar send-off" and jumped into their decorated white Zipcar to head off for the night :)

Since their wedding day, they have been featured in Zipcar Newsletter, The Washington Post Express, and most recently Brides Maryland.

Below are some pictures of the night from one of my favorite photographers - Jay Premack: