Monthly Archives: September 2011

Forget Me Not Friday: Stationed or Seated… The Great Divide!

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There are many decisions a bride must make when planning the big day; one of the most important is the style of dining.  Will the reception be seated or stationed?  Here is our take on the great debate!

Generally speaking, seated dinners have been the standard in the North, while heavy hors d’oeuvres or stationed receptions are traditionally Southern.  Interestingly, in the past few years we have seen an upswing in stationed weddings on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

We think the change is a reflection of our general eating preferences.  Particularly in urban areas, small plates have been gaining popularity.  Tapas-style dining, rather than eating a single large course, allows you to explore a wide range of flavors and cuisine.  Stationed dinners give guests a similar opportunity to try a wide variety of food styles.

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wedding planningThere are two important differences between seated and stationed meals that should be considered before making your decision: cost and flow.

Cost.  Stationed events and seated events tend to cost about the same, but the money will be spent differently.  The food at a stationed event will be more expensive as the caterer will need to provide a surplus of items.  The surplus prevents a popular item from running out.

However, a seated event will typically require more staff for service.  Floral and table decor costs may also be higher as each guest will require his own plated seat.

Flow. Seated dinners tend to create a more formal setting and are ideal for couples who would like to include multiple speeches throughout the evening.  With a seated audience, it is easy to capture guests’ attention for blessings, welcomes, and toasts.  It can also give the bride and groom more time to spend with their wedding party or those seated closest to them.

Stationed dinners give guests more flexibility to mingle with one another, and are ideal for a group that wants to spend more time dancing.  Stationed events are intentionally less structured, so they tend to feel more relaxed.  Stations work best with open floor plans and fewer tables to allow plenty of room for guests to move around.  Stationed events also cut back on the pre-wedding challenges of assigning tables and providing printed materials to direct guests to assigned seats.

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image 1 courtesy of Patricia Lyons, image s 2-7 courtesy of Andrea Shirley, images 8-9 courtesy of Jen Fariello, image 10 via Style Me Pretty, image 11

Real Wedding: Tiz and Michael

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wedding plannerA peacock palette, feathery bouquets, and an adorably sweet pup are just a few of the details that made Tiz and Michael’s wedding amazing.  Moroccan inspired décor became the perfect backdrop for a vibrant reception; the upbeat mixings of a smooth DJ from New York kept everyone on the dancefloor all night. The evening was only made sweeter by piping hot donuts from Carpe Donut and a cigar station!

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Photography: Jen Fariello / Planner: Easton Events / Venue: Keswick Hall /Lighting and Draping: Blue Ridge Light Forms/Florals: Pat’s Floral Designs/Ceremony Music: The Silverleaf String Quartet/Cake: Keswick Hall/ Cigar Roller: Raphael Cigar Roller/ Donuts: Carpe Donut/ Reception Music: DJ Tom Finn/ Make-up and Hair:Face Value Salon/ Officiant: Rabbi Lewis Soloman and Father Robert Kelly/Printed Materials: Wiley Valentine/ Rentals: Festive Fare/ Tent: Skyline Tent/

Color Me Beautiful: Ombre

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Ombre is showing up everywhere in the fashion and design world.  It’s no wonder; the gradient color effect is fresh and modern without look harsh.  We are seeing ombre detailing seeping into everything wedding: cakes, gowns, florals, jewels.  Ombre brings just the right amount of drama. And who can resist those gorgeous Versace gowns?


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flowers via Design Sponge, image 2, image 3 via Style Me Pretty, image 4 of Lela Rose dress, image 5 via Anthropologie, image 6, image 7 via Teddy Fish, image 8, image 9 & 10 of Versace dresses, image 11, image 12, image 13 via Style Me Pretty, image 14 via Style Me Pretty, image 15

Forget Me Not Friday: The Wedding Sunset

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Every photographer can tell you the significance of lighting in that perfect wedding photo.  The natural glow of a setting sun can bring just the right amount of warmth for a romantic image.  Today, we want to stress the importance of knowing the time and placement of the sunset in relation to your wedding timeline and venue.


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Our tips to the perfect sunset:

1. Look up the predicted time of the sunset on your wedding day.  We like the Sunrise-Sunset app for the iPhone. Include the sunset time in your wedding day timeline.

2. Autumn and winter brides need to consider a “first look.” If you are set to marry in the autumn or winter, the sun sets earlier in the day, which may mean you need to schedule a “first look” with your groom prior to the ceremony.  By seeing one another before the ceremony, you will allow ample time for photos before the sun sets.  If you prefer not to have a “first look,” you may want to choose an indoor ceremony location with lots of good lighting or an earlier ceremony time.

3. Communicate with your photographer.  Voice what photos are most important to you, and be certain to have those moments captured during the best sunlight.  Do not schedule toasts, cake cutting, or other important moments during the sunset; allow for some beautiful portraits to be taken then.

4. Be aware of the sun setting during cocktail hour.  Have your guests called into the reception before the sun sets, so they are not left in the dark!

5. Consider where the sun sets.  Be aware that mountains or areas with high elevation will appear to make the sun set earlier (as much as 15 minutes earlier!).


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**image 1 via Junebug Weddings, image 2 by Adam Barnes, image 3 via Grey Likes Weddings, image 4, image 5 by Elizabeth Messina, image 6, image 7 by Ken Kienow, image 8 & 9 by Adam Barnes, image 10 by Lucy O

Real Wedding: Evans and Court

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Evans and Court are such a beautiful, Southern couple.  They met during college while Evans was attending the University of Virginia and Court was at Washington and Lee University.  Everything about their wedding was classically elegant.

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Venue: Keswick Hall / Event Planner: Easton Events / Wedding Gown: Elizabeth Fillmore / Jewelry: Family heirlooms / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Personalized Cummerbunds: Smathers and Branson / Florist: Pat’s Floral Designs / Catering: Keswick Hall Catering / Photography: Lynne Brubaker / Rentals: Festive Fare / Draping: A Vista Events / Lighting: Blue Ridge Light Forms


Color Me Beautiful: Chinoiserie

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Chinoiserie is a french term, meaning Chinese-esque, and it is sweeping across runways, tablescapes, and weddings everywhere!  We love the whimsical patterns and Euro-Asian artistic styling of this decor trend.


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There are many ways to incorporate Chinoiserie into your wedding day.  For the bold bride, one of the Galliano wedding gowns (above) with unique blue detailing, modeled after painted porcelain, could suit.  For something more subtle, the bride below chose Chinoiserie-inspired dressing gowns for each of her bridesmaids to wear while they got ready for the wedding.  Chinoiserie adds a unique element to your tablescape or venue decor as well.


** Jenny Packham ready to wear, images 2 & 3, images 4 & 5Galliano gowns, image 6 via Style Me Pretty, images 7 & 8, inspiration board, mirror

Forget Me Not Friday: Selecting Your Venue

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Finding the right venue for your wedding ceremony and reception can be a challenge, especially if you are set on a particular date.  If possible, it is always best to remain flexible with your wedding date until you can confirm the availability of your preferred location!  The venue of your wedding says almost as much about your style as the actual decor you choose to adorn it.  Outdoor? Ballroom? Backyard? Urban Your venue sets the tone.

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If your venue isn’t available for the Saturday in May you had in mind, consider selecting a Friday or a Sunday.  You will have a lot more flexibility with finding the best pricing if you can select an alternate day from Saturday.  Also, consider having a daytime wedding. Because they are not the norm, a daytime celebration seems modern and fresh!


When visiting various venues, we encourage you to ask the following:  Can they accommodate your anticipated guest count?  Will they assist with your ceremony, if it is to be held at the reception site? What time can your vendors begin setting up? Can you have music outside and what time must amplified music cease? What time must your wedding conclude?  If you are offering transportation for your guests, be certain that the venue can accommodate all vehicles.

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** image 1 & 2 of King Family Vineyards courtesy of Patricia Lyons, image 3 & 4 courtesy of Patricia Lyons, image 5 of the Newseum courtesy of Patricia Lyons, image 6 of Tuckahoe Plantation courtesy of Lucy O Photography, image 7 at Farmington Country Club courtesy of Jen Fariello, image 8 & 9 of Pippin Hill Farm courtesy of Jen Fariello, image 10 of Evans Hall courtesy of Lynne Brubaker, image 11 & 12 of Clifton Inn courtesy of Jen Fariello

Real Wedding: Maggie and Brian

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Today’s wedding has so many gorgeous details that speak of this bride’s timeless, classic taste… with a few fun twists along the way.  These photos by Jen Fariello showcase some of our very favorite elements of this beautiful Charlottesville wedding.

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Ceremony Site: UVa Chapel/Photography: Jen Fariello Photography/ Planner: Easton Events / Reception Venue: Keswick Hall/ Hair and Makeup: Moxie Hair Lounge/ Flowers: Floral Images / Catering: Keswick Hall / Band: Attraction / Lighting and Draping: Blue Ridge Light Forms/ Tent: Skyline Tent Company/Videographer: Ian’s Creations/ Rentals: Festive Fare and AFR Event Furnishings/ Wedding Cake: Keswick Hall

Crushing On: Styled Photo Workshop

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Charlottesville Wedding

How darling is this flower girl?  There is nothing like a sweet, cheerful child to brighten the aisle and bring a smile to everyone’s faces before the bride makes her entrance.

This summer, Charlottesville photographer Jen Fariello and Robert Radfiera held a photo workshop for photographers at the gorgeous Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.  The resulting photos are just as stunning as the scenic backdrop.  Thank you, Jen!

We at Easton Events collaborated with Rock, Paper, Scissors and Pat’s Floral Design to create two very different wedding vignettes and one ceremony site.  One wedding vignette was all about Tuscan romance with al fresco dining amid garden roses, mercury glass, deckled fabriano paper,and pale blue plates from Anthropologie.  To add a unique touch with some texture, we used slate chargers at each place setting.

The ceremony setting featured gorgeous wooden door frames by Pat’s Floral Designs spilling over with antique hydrangea and curly willow.  “Guests” were to sit on simple hand-hewn wooden benches in order to take in every element of the view.

The Pippin Hill Farm kitchen pulled together a fabulous farm to table themed station for the Provence dinner in the Tasting room.  Many thanks to all the wonderful vendors and models who contributed to this gorgeous photoshoot!

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The indoor wedding vignette held in the Tasting Room was modeled after a French Bistro with fabulous printed materials in classic red and black (all by Rock, Paper, Scissors).  The fun station signage and unique food displays added that extra flair to each table (by using a small metal bucket full of sun-ripened peaches and a gorgeous handwritten sign, we created a beautiful – and cost effective – detail). We used the existing eclectic furniture and set the tables with miniature baguettes and red gingham napkins rolled and tied with place cards atop small bread plates.  We wrapped wine bottles in burlap and used them as candle holders.

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** all images courtesy of Jen Fariello Photogaphy

Real Wedding: Lindsay and Will

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This next wedding was such a joy to plan!  Lindsay and Will met as undergrads at the University of Virginia, so it only made sense that they celebrate their love for each other in Charlottesville.  The wedding took place the weekend of July 4th – we loved using a couple of American flags to tie in the holiday. The entire day was full of love as many of Lindsay and Will’s friends reunited at their alma mater.  A family affair, all four of Lindsay’s younger sisters stood by her as maids of honor! There were so many amazing details, including the printed materials which Lindsay and good friend (and incredible stationnaire) Erika Jack worked on together!

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A storm had been brewing the entire night.  Luckily, photographer Jen Fariello was able to snap this gorgeous shot of lightning over King Family Vineyards!

Photography: Jen Fariello/ Planner: Easton Events / Venue: King Family Vineyards/ Bride’s dress: Paloma Blanca, from Bella Rosa, Richmond/ Veil: Paloma Blanca/ Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo/ Hair and Makeup: Moxie/ Bridesmaid Jewelry: Erin McDermott/ Groom’s Tux: Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen Bow Tie and Cummerbund Sets: Peter Blair, Richmond/ Stationery: Erika Jack / Calligraphy: Erika Jack/ Flowers: Pat’s Floral Designs/ Catering: Mosaic /  Band: Attraction/ Videographer: Jill Rose/ Rentals: Festive Fare / Wedding Cake: Cakes Unlimited/