Wednesday, April 11, 2012

what I love: brunch weddings

I am back in the mix of things after last week's wisdom teeth emergency and today's what I love feature is just as fun as last week's frozen yogurt trend... brunch weddings!

As a wedding planner, I get asked constantly for cost-saving tips, and one I like to suggest that couples often forget to consider is brunch weddings!

Photo credit: Stefan Sisters

I love brunch weddings because breakfast food is so diverse! From Belgian waffles to eggs benedict there's something to satisfy everyone's morning appetites! There are also a number of ways to get creative with breakfast foods! Check out this bacon, displayed perfectly for a rustic, laid-back event:

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Keep in mind, bacon in a jar, like a lot of other ideas on some of the most fabulous wedding blogs is too far "out there" for some, and I like to encourage brides to not get too carried away with ideas they garner from styled wedding shoots (as they often don't reflect real weddings), but you can be creative! Like with this doughnut cake for example!

donut cakes.jpg

Photo credit: Bronze Budget Bride via Pinterest

A traditional wedding cake can cost an upwards of $500, but Krispy Kreme donughts are as inexpensive as $9 per dozen! That's a huge cost savings, if you ask me!

May I also suggest heading to some of DC's bottomless brunch spots to get the creative juices flowing? Yes, please!! You know how we love our brunches here in the District!
Here's a quick list of my personal faves:

Includes Unlimited Mimosa
Masa 14 - an Asian flare
Beacon - big, bright, and beautiful
The Getaway - in Columbia Heights
Scion - patio seating available (Spring is upon us! Let's get outside!)


Ping Pong - til 4:00 pm
W Hotel  - rooftop seating available!
Ardeo - til 3:00 pm with unlimited champagne, not just mimosa
Smith Commons H Street - also with a rooftop patio
Vinoteca - bottomless kir royale, bellinis, and mimosas

Not Unlimited Mimosa, but Great Food
Birch & Barley - til 5:00 pm
Founding Farmers - yum!
Belga CafĂ© - small, but classy
Blue Duck Tavern - has a brand new patio!
Firefly - gluten-free menu available
Now, of course, brunch doesn't automatically equal an inexpensive wedding! For any restaurant with a delicious brunch menu and a private function space, I'd certainly recommend calling and pricing out a full wedding reception and seeing how they can work with you and your budget. Nonetheless, I think it's so very important to realize that there are definitely a lot of local choices for this type of reception!

What do you think of brunch weddings? It is certainly what I love this week!

Check out more breakfast wedding ideas right here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

what I love: the frozen yogurt trend!

Happy Wednesday y'all! Spring is here and summer is on the way, which means it's time to break out the snacks that cool us down! This one is especially close to my heart... and mouth, after dealing with a wisdom teeth removal yesterday - all things cold and frozen are my friend!

I know you're probably thinking ice cream, but think again: this snack is sweet, but low in calories! Who doesn't love that? I know I do! The real question is: have you ever thought of incorporating something like this into your wedding?

We've all seen candy, cookie, and dessert bars, but there's a new trend on the horizon I'd love to see break into weddings! Hello, frozen yogurt!

Frozen yogurt is the wow factor your guests will never see coming, and that they'll be talking about for years! It's the perfect sweet detail to revamp an outdoor reception and cool down famished friends and family.

Did I mention frozen yogurt machines are easy to setup?

Just think: yummy frozen yogurt flavors and a full bar of fresh fruit and sweet snack toppings! This Florida wedding featured on Southern Weddings did it right!

Photos by Tina Bass


Oh so pretty! 

They aren't the only ones either!

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt made an appearance in this Caroline Tran wedding, too!

The Sweet Life :  wedding favors nashville reception Sweets5 sweets5
Image via / Photo by Caroline Tran

Ok, so. The cost to pull something like this off is definitely worth giving some thought, but for the DIY bride, there's some alternatives! I found this tutorial on making frozen yogurt push-ups that could easily be passed around at the reception after dinner!

So fun, right?

Do you like frozen yogurt?

Have you ever seen anything like this at a wedding?

Would you consider having it at yours?

Monday, February 13, 2012

who I love: whitney houston

The world is devastated, no doubt by the loss of a music goddess, Whitney Houston, whom I consider the Beyonce or Jennifer Hudson of my day. With her all-powerful voice, strong beautiful presence, and fierce attitude this woman rocked us to the core with songs like "I Have Nothing," that when belted, made us feel more alive and definitely, understood. Not to mention songs like "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" that made us feel like doing just that!

Photo credit: Rolling Out

Among other favorites, I remember "I Will Always Love You," from The Bodyguard, a movie I never tired of watching, even 20 years after it's debut. It's not too often a singer can crossover into Hollywood and be successful, but I believed in the love between Kevin Costner and Whitney. She was just that good!

And even her recent works, "I Look to You," which included a few recent favorites like "Million Dollar Bill" and "Didn't Know My Own Strength," doubled us over in awe of a voice so powerful and lyrics so moving that we thought nothing - not even death - could ever take away that voice away. Now that it is gone, I'm sad that circumstances didn't allow us to celebrate this woman's achievements - as many as there were - a lot sooner, or at least more often and in her presence. It's undeniably heartbreaking to see another great artist silenced by causes that could have most certainly been avoided.

This week who I love is a woman who we all loved, Whitney Houston.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

what I love: washingtonian magazine

Washingtonian's Bride & Groom Magazine is a go-to resource for DC, Maryland, and Virginia brides and there's nothing more exciting for a planner than to have a wedding featured in such a presitigous magazine! Yes, that's right folks...
What I love this week is dear to my heart because it's years in the making, years of hard work and due diligence. INVITED IS IN PRINT!

It's no big secret that wedding websites and blogs are all the rage, but there's are some timeless elements of wedding planning that aren't going anywhere, and one of them is a good ol' wedding magazine! This one is by far the best in our area, not only because of it's pages and pages of gorgeous inspiration photos but also for the growing list of fabulous vendors in their prestigious vendor guide.

So what are you waiting for?!? Go check out Robynn and Jerome's fabulous DC wedding in the Winter Issue of Washingtonian Bride and Groom, on newsstands right now OR you can check out the event online on Washingtonian Bride and Groom's blog right here

Monday, January 30, 2012

who I love: barbara of growing wild!

I have the privilege of working with some amazingly talented professionals in this business, and one woman who I absolutely love working with is Barbara Von Elm of Growing Wild Floral Co. This is a bouquet she made for one of my April brides. Totally gorg!

Photo credit: Meredith Perdue

I thought it'd be fun to do a little Q&A with Barbara so you could get to know a little about the woman behind the flowers and why I love her as much as I do!

How did you get into the wedding business?
I was doing a Home and Garden show in DC selling my dried arrangements and a mother of a bride thought I would connect well with her daughter’s natural style... My first 2 weddings were actually done with dried flowers. I was knocked out when I started working with fresh (alive!) florals.. Sooooo much prettier!
Tell me about your farm.
I love my farm. I moved to my 65 acre farm in Delaplane (60 miles west of DC) from Alexandria in 2003, after my 2 daughters went to college. I literally packed up my dogs, cats and horses and moved west. Then I designed and built a house with a studio where we do all of our design work. 
What sets you apart from other florists in the area?

I am putting a lot of time and resources in growing organic florals for the business. We currently are focusing on high-end florals such as peonies, hydrangeas and my favorite cash crop—dahlias. Sadly, since we do up to 5 weddings per weekend (in high season), most of our flowers still come from the wholesalers…I am shooting to get 10 percent of all flowers used from the gardens.
What are good go-to flowers for the Spring? Fall?
Early spring (March-April) brings the classic Spring flowers including tulips, daffs, lilac, and hyacinths. It also is a good time to get flowers like ranunculus, anemone, that are cool weather flowers.
Late Spring (May-June) brings the ever popular peonies! 
My fall favorite is the dahlia. However,  one can find lots of other fun flowers including zinnia, sedum,  and of course, hydrangea.
What advice would you give to a bride on a budget?
Go for seasonal flowers or those that are available all year round (e.g. roses, etc.) and put your money in your bouquets and your centerpieces. Your bouquets (including bridesmaids) are in most of your pictures and your guests will be looking at the centerpieces all night long so that's what they'll remember. 
How much should a bride expect to pay for wedding flowers?
No more than she can comfortably afford.  At the end of the day, it is not about flowers.
What’s your favorite part of this job?
I love to find new ideas that brides bring to the table and I LOVE making gorgeous bridal bouquets! When I begin, I have no idea what it will look like. The flowers will take on their own personality. I let them do their own floral thing. They rarely disappoint unless I try to force them (that is why I ask for flexibility from my brides... it's when you get the best work)!
What is your favorite flower?
Love them all. Some are easier to work with. Some are so fragile that they are not practical.
If you hadn't noticed, Barbara, like me, is a woman who loves her work, and I love that! I'm not the only one who loves Barbara, either! Her clients do! Check out all the recognition she's received:
WeddingWire Bride's Choice Award 2009 the knot - best of weddings 2010 the knot - best of weddings 2008 and 2009 the knot - best of weddings 2007
To see more of Barbara's work, visit her website: or email her at, and let her know we sent you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

what I love: getting brides started!

So you're engaged!! Now what??

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Photo credit: Bride Finds
There's probably a million ideas running through your mind: the type of ceremony you want, who should be in your bridal party, your color scheme... the list goes on and on!

You've probably scoured the internet for advice, too, huh? Found Style Me Pretty and The Knot pretty helpful in conjuring MORE ideas! But have you talked to a planner? Better question: have you begun to feel overwhelmed?

You're not alone!! That's why I offer a FREE webinar for newly engaged couples to help them sort through the mess of details, and the best part: it all takes place from the convenience of your home! Here's the low-down:

Who: Just twenty brides - I want you to have my full attention!

What: We'll be discussing the 5 things every couple must know when planning their wedding, followed by a Q&A session! Topics include:

*How to pick a date
*How to set a budget
*How to make the planning process fun and a lot more!

When: 7PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Where: Online! For more information, visit our registration form. Let us know if you have any questions regarding the event at

What I love this week is what I love about my job - helping brides get started, get organized, and get planning their big day!

So what are you waiting for? Space is limited! Sign up today!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

what I love: one big resolution!

New Year's Eve is about fun with friends, sparkly clothes, party horns, and champagne, sure; but, it's really more about resolutions isn't it? Who doesn't wake up January 1st and try to do better, do more, and use this time as a fresh slate of sorts?

Remember my New Year's resolutions last year?

Well, this year I'm doing things a little different.

I'm making one big resolution that I am determined to keep!

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

This year, I will... blog more often!

There's so, so much on the horizon for Invited, and I can't keep it to myself! It's really only fitting I share it all with you (I know you're curious what's happening behind the scenes!), and what better place to start than this little blog? 

I know this is something I've got to work on because in 2011, I blogged only 13 times! Yikes! That's definitely not enough! We've been busy, which is a wonderful thing, but we can't ever be too busy to blog and keep you, my friends, in the loop! After all, you're helping shape this journey!

It's going to be a great year! Just you wait and see! Seriously!  

So what I love this week is, undoubtedly, my resolution! What's one big resolution your determined to keep this year?