Happy Fourth Anniversary, P&B!

Happy happy fourth anniversary to one of my favorite couples, Pippa and Brian. I tell the story of their ceremony quite often, because I basically made their guests walk through a {perfectly dry} ceremony set up under the tent at Woodend to sit in a very light drizzle on the south lawn. If the bride wants to stand in the the “rain” everyone else can too – that’s my motto! These two met at Colgate, and had a great alumni crowd at their wedding – I think it was about 20% of their guest list! I’ve kept up with Pippa and Brian over the years, as they love to give me glowing reviews to potential clients. But the best referral was Pippa’s sister, Laura, who I got to work with in 2015 at her wedding to Connor! Many thanks to Michelle Lindsay for these gorgeous photos.

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15 Michelle Lindsay Photography Woodend Sidra Forman Bellwether Events outdoor wedding ceremony tent reception 50 Michelle Lindsay Photography Woodend Sidra Forman Occasions Catering Bellwether Events outdoor wedding ceremony tent reception Colgate

Lessons Learned

Just because a venue has directional lighting doesn’t mean it will have the same effect as professional pinspot lighting. Investigate this ahead of time before being disappointed on the day of the event when all your gorgeous centerpieces are in the dark. Bonus tip: if you have tall centerpieces, and the budget for a little more lighting, hit those with a pinspot on each side.

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Photo by Procopio Photography

Lessons Learned is a recurring series about the little and sometimes not so little things I learn at each and every wedding. Even after 14 years and 200+ weddings under my belt, I still learn something new at each one! 

Happy Anniversary Anne & Ross!

Happiest Second Anniversary to Anne & Ross! I so loved working with them and their sweet pup at this Ritz-Carlton Georgetown wedding ceremony & reception. I love this light-industrial space that is perfect for intimate weddings. Many thanks to Jessica Schmitt, who came all the way from NYC to make these cute photos!

 

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Real Wedding: Sarah and Charles at Riverside on the Potomac

Sarah and Charles met when they were both volunteer firefighters in a Virginia suburb of Washington DC. As their relationship grew, so did their “family” – Charles one day came home with 5 chicks! So now they have 5 chickens, and their neighbors have fresh eggs all the time. We knew that while the chickens could not attend the wedding, we wanted to incorporate them in some way. So we hired an Etsy artist to create a custom sketch of the 5 ladies, and we used that on all of the stationery, from the invitation to the end of the night favor given to guests at the wedding. Which means I lovingly refer to this wedding as “my chicken wedding.”

The historic barn at Riverside on the Potomac was the perfect backdrop for this rustic wedding – we knew it as soon as we saw it – even though when we saw it, it wasn’t even open for events yet! LynnVale Studios used potted bushes for the ceremony decor that Sarah and Charles later plated at their home. Purple Onion served a Southern-inspired menu complete with a mini pie bar for dessert. And the Doug Segree Band kept the dance floor packed with classic rock and country hits all night.

Usually when people say “I have a friend who can do….” with regards to the vendor search during wedding planning, I cringe. But when Charles said that he knew Kristi Odom from college, I jumped for joy! What a super talented photographer that I was thrilled to get the chance to work with!

 

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Many thanks to these incredible vendors who worked hard to make Sarah and Charles’ wedding day so great.

Venue: Riverside on the Potomac
Photographer: Kristi Odom
Planner: Bellwether Events
Catering: Purple Onion Catering
Flowers: Lynnvale Studios
Ceremony Musicians: Eastbourne Quartet
Reception Entertainment: Doug Segree Band
Hair and Make up: Radiance Salon
Transportation: Dulles Limo

Lessons Learned

When you are running a generator to power your band and the lighting in your wedding tent, put a line item in the timeline to refill the gas tank in the generator. Depending on the size of the tank, plan on about 6 hours from when you turned it on. Secondary lesson: have the extra gas ready!

22 Michelle Lindsay Photography Bellwether Events Holly Chapple Flowers Skyline Tents at home backyard Virginia wedding orange Mormon DC Rental

Photo by Michelle Lindsay

Lessons Learned is a recurring series about the little and sometimes not so little things I learn at each and every wedding. Even after 14 years and 200+ weddings under my belt, I still learn something new at each one! 

Real Wedding: Katie and James at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria

It seems like so many of my couples don’t live in the DC area, and the same is true of Katie and James! They currently live in San Francisco, but they met in Washington DC and it is centrally located to where their families are, so a DC wedding it was! Katie has some Kimpton Hotel ties, so the choice of the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, Virginia was a no brainer.

James is a graphic artist by trade, so he created all of the fantastic paper goods. Katie’s mom put together the Adirondack chair escort cards and the maple syrup favors – both an homage to Katie’s childhood in upstate New York. We were so stinking lucky that there was zero percent chance of rain, because we had no tent for a back up plan. But this alfresco dinner is just stunning. Katie  and Andrea from LynnVale Studios went along with my crazy idea to have no repeating containers/vases/vessels for the 10 centerpieces and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out. The evenign was topped off in the best way possible – with treast from District Doughnut. I’ll not soon forget the day we spent doing doughnut tastings!

Many thanks to Deb Lindsey for all these gorgeous photos. It was pretty hot this day, but you can’t tell – everyone looks fabulous!
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Many thanks to all the wonderful vendors who helped make Katie and James’ wedding day such a success!

Venue: Hotel Monaco Alexandria
Photographer: Deb Lindsey
Planner: Bellwether Events
Florals: LynnVale Studios
Lighting: John Farr Lighting
Pipe & Drape: Drape Kings
Rentals: DC Rental
Hair and Make Up: Alison Harper & Co.
Ceremony Musicians: Paul Bangser Duo via Bialek’s
Reception band: Playlist via Entertainment Exchange
Doughnuts: District Doughnut

Lessons Learned

I recently had a couple get married at DAR. We had the ceremony outside on the Portico, the cocktail hour in the O’Byrne Gallery, dinner in the Library, and then dancing back in O’Byrne. While overall the wedding was absolutely flawless, what I learned from watching the event unfold with this flow was that I needed a lot more table top space and a lot more seating in O’Byrne once dinner was over. Guests needed a place to stow their personal items while dancing, or enjoying the ice cream sundae bar and coffee station.

Lisa Boggs Photography - DAR - Bellwether Events - First Dance

Photo by Lisa Boggs

Lessons Learned is a recurring series about the little and sometimes not so little things I learn at each and every wedding. Even after 14 years and 200+ weddings under my belt, I still learn something new at each one! 

Real Wedding: Alice & John at Rockwood Manor

Today I am sharing a preppy, camp-inspired wedding in Potomac Maryland with you today! I had the pleasure of planning and designing Alice and John’s love-filled and personal wedding at Rockwood Manor. It was a wedding celebration full of dark navy blue hues with pops of hot pink and rustic touches to help this couple celebrate in a wooded park in Montgomery County.

We had the honor of their wedding being featured in Washingtonian Bride & Groom Magazine, and on their blog, so you can see more of their gorgeous day there too!

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Rockwood Manor in Potomac, Maryland used to be a Girl Scout Camp, and it still has cabins on site today. Alice and John smartly booked the entire property, giving their wedding weekend a distinct destination wedding feel, without the expensive airfare. They were able to host the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, a post-wedding bonfire and their Sunday brunch all at Rockwood. It really was loads of fun.

In order to allow all their 150 wedding guests to eat dinner in the same place, we decided to tent the back lawn with a gorgeous clear top tent with string lights. We took advantage of the tent all weekend with the various events on site. LynnVale Studios brought in the most amazing flowers in all shades of pink, and created a custom willow chandelier that was hung over the dance floor. A custom retro Rockwood Manor poster served as their guest book.

Alice and John took the preppy pink and blue palette to Claudia of Fig. 2 Design and asked her to create a custom “patch” motif for us, which you can see in reflected in all of the paper goods. After a dessert of custom whoopie pies, the couple gave out Girl Scout cookies as their wedding party favor.

Thank you so much to Kurstin Roe Photography for sharing Alice and John’s wedding photographs with us!

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Congrats Alice and John for letting us be a part of your beautiful wedding day! I loved working with you and helping you to plan wedding. I wish you nothing but the best!

The following Washington DC area wedding vendor contributed to Alice and John’s wedding:

Photography: Kursten Roe Photography
Venue: Rockwood Manor
Planning & Design: Bellwether Events
Hair & Makeup: Jordan K. Winn
Officiant: Capital Ceremonies
Ceremony Music: String 4
Florals LynnVale Studios
Lighting: Frost Lighting
Reception Music: Mydeejay
Tent: Select Event Group
Transportation: Dulles Limousine
Furniture: AFR
Photo Booth: Booth-o-Rama
Guest Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda

Stationery: Fig. 2 Design

To see more of my real weddings, be sure to check out my past blog posts. If you are interested in a wedding planner for your wedding in the Washington DC area, please get in touch with me!

Photo Credit: Kursten Roe Photography

Real Wedding: Lexie and Mark at Rocklands Farm

I am so excited to share a rustic barn wedding in Poolesville Maryland with you today! Lexie and Mark live in Colorado, but her family lives in Maryland, so they decided to host their wedding close to her family. Once they saw Rocklands Farm, there was no other wedding venue to be considered – they loved the rolling fields and the rustic buildings. It was decided that the ceremony would be in the field behind the farm house, the cocktail reception would be in the corn crib, we would set up a tent for the dinner and dancing would be in the barn. This flow of events worked really well, and allowed Lexie and Mark to have a larger guest list than if they tried to serve dinner in the barn.

The allium flower was our main source of inspiration, driving the color palette of the stationery and the floral decor. Lexie and Mark had guests travel very long distances to attend their wedding, so they did their best to include as many as possible in the wedding, and guest received a custom framed photo of themselves with Lexie or Mark (or both) when they sat for dinner in the tent. The hot summer night was perfectly topped off with an ice cream wedding cake from Haagen Dazs.  Many thanks to Eric Laurits for sharing these gorgeous photos with me today! 

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Congrats to Lexie and Mark for letting us be a part of your stunning wedding day!

The following Washington DC area wedding vendors contributed to Lexie and Mark’s wedding:

Photography: Eric Laurits

Venue: Rocklands Farm

Planning & Design: Bellwether Events 

Hair & Makeup: Modern Bridal Studio

Caterer: Main Event

Ceremony Music: Tim and Savannah Finch

Florals: From Seed to Ceremony

Tent & Lighting: Sammy’s Rental

Reception Music: White Ford Bronco 

Rental Tables: Barnes Handcrafted Tables 

Rental Chairs: Vintage Affairs

Guest Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Bethesda 

 

Happy 6th anniversary J&J!

Not only was this one of Bellwether’s first clients, but Jessica and her mom later referred me countless clients (some, in turn, referred me even more clients), and really helped me grow to where I am today! Their kick ass photographer Andrea Jacobson had recommended that they reach out to me, and I am eternally grateful for her confidence in me back then. I will never forget Jessica and Jim’s first dance, which included the Thriller choreography, nor how the bustle was messed up and we were cutting the layers of crinoline so that it didn’t peek out from under the dress. This was also where I learned all about the sabre arch for the first time – knowledge that I’ve carried with me since. I love this couple, I follow along with them and their 2 sweet boys on FB and  I’m so glad I could be a small part of their wedding day!

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