Monthly Archives: March 2012

Forget Me Not Friday: How To Tie A Bowtie

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Easton Events

Tying a bowtie is often one of the most dreaded tasks at a formal affair. The effort of getting to the event, mingling, dancing, walking the aisle—it all comes after getting in the tux.

There’s definitely something appealing about having a date or significant other tackle the tie, so keep in the dark if you’d like. But if you’re the one taking responsibility: it’s easy enough to learn and there’s always a wealth of online info when you’re in a pinch. We look to Brooks Brothers for their know-how on the topic:

1)   Begin with one end in left hand, extending 1.5 inch below other end in right hand.
2)   Cross longer end over shorter and pass up through loop.
3)   Make front loop of bow by doubling up shorter, hanging end and placing across collar points.
4)   Hold the front loop between the thumb and index finger of left hand. Drop long end down over front.
5)   Place right index finger pointing up on bottom half of hanging part. Pass up behind front loop.
6)   Nudge resulting loop through knot behind front loop.
7)   Hold the bow at both folded ends and pull carefully to tighten the knot.

Taking the time to practice now will prevent some (much unneeded) pre-event stress. So pull up a video on Youtube, get out your black satin, and get tying!

Easton Events

Easton Events

Easton Events

Image 1, 2, and 3 courtesy of Lynne Brubaker, Image 4 and 5 courtesy of Adam Barnes, Image 6 courtesy of Holland Photo Arts.

A Garden Inspired Wedding at Clifton Inn

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Easton Events

Kelli Brooks and Randall Scheri had a late-Spring wedding at the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia. Their event was a lush, green, and reverent celebration of the season.

With under a hundred guests, Kelli and Randall were able to keep the ceremony intimate in Clifton’s “Croquet Lawn”—an English-style, cultivated garden enclosed in white lattice. The Inn’s many elegant yet accessible rooms were woven with tables for the after-ceremony meal. Dining tables were set with a variety of flowers in pink, green, beige, and lavender, laid out simply and mixed with dark violet flowers, which added complexity and depth. The tablecloths were a subdued gold, overlaid with glimmering sage and deep aqua toppers. One of the themes of this wedding was definitely comfort: clean and cozy settees staged on the outside patio welcomed guests outside to a lush, green yard, and more casual cocktail and dining tables for mingling. The guests left with locally-made artisan chocolates—something to take home and savor the event days later.

Easton Events

Charlottesville Wedding Planner

Easton Events

Easton Events

Easton Events

Easton Events

Charlottesville Wedding Planner

Easton Events

Easton Events

Easton Events

Charlottesville Wedding Planner

Easton Events

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Clifton Inn// Catering: Clifton Inn// Rentals:Festive Fare// Hair and Makeup: Moxie// Band: Pheonix// Florals:Floral Images and Pat’s Floral Design //  Photography: Jen Fariello// Videographer: Aaron Watson//  Lighting and AV: Blue Ridge Light Forms//  Tent: Skyline Tent // Favors: Gearhart’s Chocolate//Printed Materials: Good Press Paper Co.// Calligraphy: Ginny Rogan

Color Me Beautiful: Ruffled Pretty

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Charlottesville wedding planner

Soft, feminine, and utterly romantic, ruffles have been gracing the aisles of weddings since brides have been craving a bit of drama on their big day.  While a frilly, ruffled gown may remind you of the girly tea parties of your youth, you can keep your look modern by choosing fluttery layers that are a bit deconstructed. We love Marchesa’s ruffled gowns in luxe fabrics; they are a perfect example of dramatic ruffles with a bit of an edge.

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BHLDN wedding gown by Elizabeth Messina, Marchesa, Ruffled sleeve with champagne, Anthropologie shower curtain, White wedding cake via 100 Layer Cake, Ruffled bridesmaid dresses, Table decor, Ruffled wedding cake via Wedding Chicks, BHLDN bolero, Love wedding cake, Ruffled sleeve, Christian Louboutin heels

Forget Me Not Friday: Selecting Your Bridesmaid’s Dresses

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Easton Events

When it comes to picking bridesmaid dresses, popular culture says there’s a lot of baggage entailed (picture the wardrobe in 27 Dresses, bursting with tulle and ruffles). But despite all the gags, you don’t have to let this decision become stressful—or worse: argumentative. With a little understanding and good sense, this seemingly big decision can go off without a hitch.

One of the biggest considerations is dress cost. The average price of a bridesmaid dress is between $150 and $300, but this number doesn’t even include other bridesmaid responsibilities: alterations, shoes, nails, hair & make-up, and travel, really up the bill. Some brides choose to offset the package cost with their own money. Your budget may take a knock, but your bridesmaids will appreciate the support!

Color is another big consideration. Brides want to stick with their color scheme, but that can mean different things: different shades of your colors or even complimenting colors are definitely acceptable. You’ll also want to consider the season or tone of your wedding: more formal weddings or nighttime weddings suggest longer or darker dresses. And when it comes to shoes, using metallic or neutral shoes can ensure that bridesmaids get some mileage out of their wedding look.

More and more brides decide just to give guidelines in color and style and then have each bridesmaid pick her own dress!  This idea is the accepted rule of thumb for jewelry, especially: suggest style, type, color, tone so the accessories look cohesive, but so the bridesmaids can draw from their own collection. Your bridesmaids may appreciate these opportunities to really feel good in what they’re wearing and to be an even bigger part of your day.

Easton Events

Charlottesville Wedding Planner

University of Virginia Easton Events Image 1 courtesy of Lynn Brubaker, Image 2, 3, and 5 courtesy of Jen Fariello, Image 4 courtesy of Paul Morse, Image 6 courtesy of Patrica Lyons.

Keturah and and Jay’s Clifton Inn Wedding

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Clifton Inn

This next Easton couple took classic to a whole new level of refined elegance with their wedding. Keturah Bracey and Jay Horine were married at the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia on a beautiful Spring day. The couple started off their wedding weekend with family and close friends at welcome and rehearsal dinners at Farmington Country Club. The indoor and outdoor tables at the welcome were staged with the full bounty of the spring and summer harvest: baskets of strawberries, peppers, and beets mixed with vases of Swiss Chard and wildflowers—all set across gingham and Vera Bradley tablecloths. The rehearsal dinner was aglow in sparkling simplicity: silver tablecloths with silver candelabra centerpieces surrounded by groupings of pink, white, and yellow roses in a sunlit room.

On the day itself, the bounty of nature was a continuing theme, with table centerpieces of all heights projecting calla lilies, roses, and orchids—all white!—up to the tented celling above. Flowers of every variety seemed to bound right off the escort table, the dining tables, and even the wedding cake! The tablecloths, the bridesmaids dresses, and the groomsmen’s ties were all glimmering sheens of navy and baby blue. In the candle-lit outdoors tent, navy-blue-draped tables stretched forth to a white-and-blue-checked dance floor accented with a single white wedding cake. A stark, simple centerpiece for an utterly classic affair!

Jen Fariello Floral Images

Charlottesville Wedding Planner Easton Events

Charlottesville Wedding Planner

Easton Events

Easton Events

Easton Events

Easton EventsCeremony and Reception Venue: Clifton Inn// Catering: Clifton Inn// Rentals:Festive Fare// Furniture: A Vista Events// Printed Materials: Rock Paper Scissors //  Hair and Makeup: Moxie// Band: Leggz // Wedding Cake: Sylvia Weinstock Cakes// Florals:Floral Images//  Photography: Jen Fariello// Videographer: Ian’s Creations//  Lighting and AV: Blue Ridge Light Forms//  Tent: Skyline Tent

Color Me Beautiful: Copper

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wedding planning Virginia

Metallic detailing at events and weddings certainly add a bit of modern glamor.  Nothing is more true about one of the more unique metals: copper.  With its slightly rosy hue, copper graced some of our favorite spring runways and has become a new staple in metal hardwares; we love Anthropologie’s ode to this hue in its dining chair and flatware!

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Anthropologie chair, Cake via Style Me Pretty, Makeup source unknown, Copper heels, Invitation suite, Anthropologie flatware, Copper vases source unknown, Copper champagne bottle, Bathroom, Men’s shoes, Bathtub, Norman Ambrose Spring 2012

Forget Me Not Friday: The Groom’s Cake

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Charlottesville Wedding Planner

The groom’s cake may seem like a relatively new presence on the wedding scene, but this growing addition has strong roots, specifically in the American South. (Back then, a single woman who boxed up a slice at a wedding was supposed to sleep with the cake under her pillow that night and she would dream of her own husband-to-be!). The basis of the new popularity lies in a kind of battle of the sexes—the modern groom wants his own presence in the wedding celebrations! The groom’s cake is generally more masculine, in contrast to the wedding cake: it is often a darker or richer cake, is only one layer, and, occasionally, reflects the groom’s personality or interests (think sport- or alma mater-inspired cakes).

How a couple incorporates their groom’s cake varies, and depends mostly on personal preference. Some display the groom’s cake next to the wedding cake at the reception, cutting the second cake later in the night, after the wedding cake has been cut. Some use the groom’s cake as a desert at the rehearsal dinner. Alternatively, the groom’s cake can become the focal point of pre-wedding preparations and celebrations for the groomsmen. It’s definitely an ever-changing and open tradition worth considering.

You can see the groom’s cake as a bit of groom’s revenge, and you can also see this second cake as a nod to the uniqueness of the couple: it’s a respectful acknowledgement of the two distinct individuals who are coming together.

Patricia Lyons

Easton Events Image 1 courtesy of Patricia Lyons and cake by Sylvia Weinstock, Image 2 and 3 courtesy of Patricia Lyons and cake by Mahlia Creations, Image 4 and 5 courtesy of Patrica Lyons and cake by Cakes of Art.

A Pippin Hill Wedding with Sara and Matt

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Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard
Sara Payne and Matt Barber were married on June 18th at Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards in North Garden, Virginia. These Boulder, Colorado residents decided to make it back home to Virginia for a gorgeous, farm-to-table celebration with family and friends. Avid outdoors lovers, Sara and Matt wanted to weave elements of the local and the organic into the night from start to finish. After walking down the aisle towards a picturesque Blue Ridge Mountain panorama, the couple invited guests inside to a lush, natural reception in Pippin’s main hall. A few large trees (installed just for the occasion) were strung with lanterns and lit with candles, throwing an earthy and joyous warmth over the diners below. Rustic farm tables were spread with potted plants, cacti, mosses, and more glowing lanterns, and set off with warm, azure earthenware. Later, guests were invited back outside for fresh donuts from the Carpe Donut food cart and DIY s’more fixings next to a roaring fire.

We especially loved the Sara & Matt personalized labels on the wine bottles, the handmade groomsmen’s ties, and the delicious, Southern comfort food!

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Easton Events

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Ceremony and Reception Venue: Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard// Catering: Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard// Rentals:Festive Fare// Printed Materials: Rock Paper Scissors //  Hair and Makeup: Moxie// Band: Attraction // Wedding Cake: Maliha Creations// Florals: Pat’s Floral Design//  Photography: Holland Photo Arts// Videographer:Exist N Motion Films//  Lighting and AV: Blue Ridge Light Forms// Late Night Snack: Carpe Donut 

Color Me Beautiful: Tickled Pink

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wedding planner

Fuschia, blush, rose, magenta, coral: We (and the rest of the world) just cannot get enough of pink.  As the weather warms, we are taking cues from Spring’s in trend moment, pink on pink.  Color blocking continues to make bold statements in fashion, and we are loving its newest form, color blocked monochrome.  Lighter pinks paired with neon or deeper pinks look fresh and modern.

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J. Crew pink on pink, Kate Spade pink bib necklace, Jenni Kayne Spring 2012, Anthropologie sunhat, Marni Spring 2012, Anthropologie shoe, Nordstrom dress, Pink lips photo by Elizabeth Messina for Rue Magazine, Rununculus, Backstage, Lipstick organizer, Chanel nail varnish, Pink on pink calligraphy

Forget Me Not Friday: All About The Wedding Cake

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Easton Events

The wedding cake is a wonderful way to celebrate, and is a quintessential part of the wedding rituals.  Whether you choose to have a small cake just to cut or you decide to have a five-tiered embellished display, the wedding cake is more than just a dessert. As Sylvia Weinstock said, “ a cake, it turns out, is more than just dessert- and serves many purposes at a party. It’s decoration, a conversation starter, a backdrop for photos, a keepsake.”

When thinking about your cake, maybe the most important choice is going to be in the icing—the cake has to taste amazing, of course, but it has look just as good! The two most common icing types are fondant and buttercream, and both have their own characteristics and flavor. If you’re looking for that smooth, porcelain texture, fondant should be your first choice. Kneaded from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin until it’s impossibly silky and pliable, fondant has that picture-perfect look, and in any color you can think of! Sheets of fondant are carefully leveled with a rolling pin and then draped over the cake before the final smoothing.

Fondant can be a finicky choice, however: fondant is hard to rework and any mistake or flaw the baker makes can be impossible to fix, so everything has to go perfectly. The extra time and care that goes into making each tier in one-shot is partially responsible for fondant’s extra cost—fondant can be up to three times more expensive than buttercream (think three to 10 dollars a slice!). Of course, neither icing is going to hold up too well, so it’s important that your cake stays fresh (and, really, you’d want that anyway).

Always make sure you’re aware of the cake’s delivery time and the logistics of the backroom storage so your cake is as fresh as possible. Ensuring icing and cake freshness takes coordination plus time and space for assembly. With fondant, the problem becomes its tendency to dry or peal. With buttercream, the icing may start to melt or it may gain condensation under refrigeration. Many bakers address the dryness of fondant by adding a layer of buttercream underneath the fondant layer—basically, a little thought and preparation goes a long way!

As far as taste goes, popular opinion says that buttercream is tops (like its name suggests, buttercream is an irresistible blend of butter, confectioners sugar, milk, and flavoring); however, new flavors of fondants, like marshmallow and white chocolate, are giving buttercream a run for it’s money. And even though the buttercream may taste better, it is harder to get that porcelain look. But don’t let that stop you! A good baker is able make buttercream as smooth as fondant. And, of course, if you don’t like the porcelain sheen to begin with, go for buttercream! Buttercream can be piped, swirled, set in waves, or piled up for rustic, organic perfection.

Of course, icing isn’t the only factor in the cost of your cake: behind all the icing, there’s a lot of labor and love that comes with it’s own dues. If you’re trying to cut costs, think about how ornate you want your cake to be: sugared flowers are beautiful (and edible!), but real flowers have their own distinct integrity and style…at a better cost. And who is forming those handmade flowers? A celebrity chef is going to be more expensive than your local (and equally as talented!) baker.

When should you start making the cake-styling decisions? Later, not sooner. As you start planning your wedding, you could get caught up with the cake before you even know the theme and tone of the event! The cake is often in direct conversation with your décor, your color scheme, or even your dress; it’s important to wait until you know the bigger details. Go ahead and decide on your baker, the kind of cake or filling…but leave the outer layer until last. Having a cake at your wedding is as much about eating it and the theme of celebration, as it is about having all those final ta-da’s that make your wedding the real deal. Some couples even decide to have a small, display cake (the one they cut and eat before friends, family, and photographer) and a less-expensive sheet cake (kept in the back) for the masses to enjoy! The real cake, small or big, should be out and on display–not carted out from the back–like the focal point it is!

Easton Events

Maggie Austin created sugar flowers on this tiered wedding cake.

Keswick Hall

Displaying the wedding cake on a beautiful linen and in a visible area allows your guests to enjoy the cake before it is cut and served.

Easton Events

Kathy, from Favorite Cakes, recreated the motif used on the printed materials to the wedding cake!

Easton Events

Anita from Maliha Creations used fresh flowers on this couples wedding cake. Ask your florist if they will provide flowers for your wedding cake, and make sure they have not sprayed the flowers with pesticides!

Easton Events

One of our brides loved the lace detailing in her wedding dress and she wished to have this pattern translated onto her wedding cake. Sylvia Weinstock’s creative design helped bring all of the details together!

Easton Events

Maggie Austin incorporated colors into her cake that were used in the decor of the wedding. Tones of orange and red were interspersed throughout the event in the form of pillows, draping, and even lighting.

Image 1 courtesy of Jen Fariello and cake by The Clifton Inn, Image 2 and 3 courtesy of Eric Kelley and cake by Maggie Austin, Image 4 and 5 courtesy of Patrica Lyons and cake by Sylvia Weinstock, Image 6 and 7 courtesy of Paul Morse and cake by Favorite Cakes,Image 8 and 9 courtesy of Patricia Lyons and cake by Maliha Creations, Image 10 and 11 courtesy of Patrica Lyons and cake by Maggie Austin, Image 12 and 13 courtesy of Patrica Lyons and cake by Sylvia Weinstock.