Soiree Special Events

Friday, November 30, 2007

Free Shipping at

I love Bare Necessities because they have every size and shape of undies you could ever imagine. Plus they're always running great sales! This is a great place to buy your longline bra to go under your wedding gown or even a new sexy number for your honeymoon.Through January 31st, use coupon code THENEST (compliments of for free shipping!


Tricia & Jim's Pro Photos

Tricia & Jim were married in May and I'm just now getting around to scanning the beautiful prints that Kimberly Brooke sent my way over the summer (thanks Kim!). As a refresher, here's the post that includes Tricia & Jim's vendors. On to their gorgeous photos:


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Soiree Classroom: How to pin boutonnières

If you hire a wedding coordinator, you'll probably never need to learn how to pin a boutonnière. The only two times you'd ever need to know this are prom and weddings, one of which you've hopefully already done. Pinning a boutonnière isn't necessarily tricky but it does look harder than it actually is. Here's the play-by-play:

1. Make sure you have a boutonnière and at least one pin (I prefer two).

2. Pins go in your mouth, holding them with your lips. Try not to stab yourself.

3. Place the flower on the man's left lapel so the area where the stem and bloom meet covers the buttonhole in the jacket. Angle it slightly outward so it gently follows the shape of the lapel's edge.

4. Make a flower hot dog. Pick up the lapel's edge and roll it towards the man's right side. Standing opposite the gentleman, you'll fold it from the right to the left, covering the flower.5. Holding the fabric tight against the flower, stick the pin in straight towards the gentleman, aiming towards the top part of the stem. Make sure you get a good chunk of stem but not too much so that the pin shows on the front side of the lapel. "Look ma - no pins!"6. Repeat #5 with your second pin, this time closer to the bottom of the stem. Try not to stab your victim wearer. Tell dad to smile for the photograph:7. Ask the wearer if it feels secure. Tug on the stem a little to see if it budges. If it moves just a little, try pinning it again until it's stuck on the lapel for good.

As a reminder, the following folks should receive a boutonnière: Groom, Best Men, Groomsmen, Fathers, Grandfathers, Ushers, Readers, and other important gentlemen who have a significant a role in your wedding.

When pinning corsages, the same rules apply but there is usually no lapel to hide pins. I try and include a little bit of bra strap, especially when the woman's dress is a sheer or light material. Instead of aiming the pins horizontally, I typically stick the pins more vertically and leave the pointy part inside of the stem so it doesn't stab it's wearer. I can usually secure a corsage with 2 pins but you might want to have 3 on hand just in case:


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Click for Good

Please take a quick second and go to this page, hosted by Tiny Prints. Just click once and donate $.10 to Starlight Starbright, the Ronald McDonald House, or Big Brothers Big Sisters. It's fast and there's no strings!


Soiree Classroom: How to freeze your cake top

Tradition tells us that we should eat the top layer of our wedding cake on our first anniversary. While I like the tradition and chose to do it with my husband, eating year-old cake isn't for everyone. Some bakers are now offering a small complimentary cake for your anniversary as an incentive to order your wedding cake from them, which may be an option for anyone who's skeeved out by this tradition. For the rest of you, here's how to freeze your wedding cake:

1. Place the top of the cake in the freezer for about two hours to solidify the frosting.

2. Wrap the cake in a few layers of plastic wrap. The goal is that no air will touch the cake.3. Wrap a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil around the cake, covering the plastic.4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 a few times until your cake looks like Randy from A Christmas Story:5. Put cake in an airtight plastic container (Optional. Martha says to do this but I didn't and it worked just fine).

6. Wait one year

7. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Inspiration Board: Tuscany

This board is set to inspire the dreamer, and lover, that imagines a wedding day that is both breezy and elegant, classic and stylish - think Old World Italy meets Audry Hepburn.Burnt orange, complimented by various greens, mimic the horizon of an Italian sunset. The bold bridesmaid dresses are balanced by the tan suites for groomsmen, neither of which is too formal or casual, and highlights the color scheme. This theme of balance and style is carried through the green letterpress coasters, rusty calla lilies, and sleek (but tasty!) cake.

To top it off, the bride is set apart by a lace dress and single layer veil. Not one for princess dresses, this bride is known for her fashion sense and classic style and choose lace for its sophisticated look.


$100 Paper Cafe Giveaway at Weddingbee!

Quick! Hustle on over to Weddingbee and enter to win a $100 gift certificate towards Paper Menu products at The Paper Cafe. Even if you don't want this for yourself, think of all the holiday gift opportunities!


Monday, November 26, 2007

50% Off of Snapfish Photo Books


Soiree Classroom: Tipping Guidelines

Our clients always ask us about protocol and etiquette when tipping their wedding vendors. First, there are three major rules to remember:

1. Gratuities are always at your discretion and while they may be expected, poor service should not warrant a tip. Of course the opposite is true -- if you have received stellar service, it should be rewarded.

2. Tips are generally reserved for professionals who do not own the company you hired. Profits pass through to the owners and a tip is not necessary. Cake bakers, photographers, florists, DJs, and coordinators often fall into this category. Keep in mind the delivery person is not always the person you signed a contract with.

3. Check your contracts before determining gratuities. Some companies include a tip in their total bill.

You may wish to prepare well-marked envelopes in advance and have your coordinator or close friend hand them out to the appropriate vendor on the wedding day. Here are some suggestions:

* Hair & makeup artists
10-15% of the total cost

* Ceremony musicians
$20 per player

* Officiant (outside of a church)

* Officiant (in a church)
$100-500 donation to church, depending on other church fees paid

* Catering staff
15-18% of your total bill, divided per person
$20-30 per person, including waiters, bartenders, and kitchen staff
$40-50 for your sales person (if present & useful on the wedding day)
$40-50 for your banquet captain

* Photographer (& assistants)

* Videographer (& assistants)

* DJ

* Band
$20-40 per member

* Wedding cake

* Florist
$20-50, depending on number of delivery locations and extent of setup

* Coordinator

* Limo driver

Of course these are simply suggestions based on our experiences. Before you decide on the appropriate gratuity amount for your vendors, think about the service you've received prior to the wedding day and the cost of each individual vendor's services.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We'll be closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving. In the meantime, check out some things I'm thankful for! Also, Liene at Blue Orchid Designs in Phoenix has shared a wonderfully thoughtful idea to replace your typical shopping on Black Friday. See you Friday!


Oscar de la Renta @ Hitched

Next weekend, Hitched bridal salon is hosting an Oscar de la Renta trunk show! Out of twenty salons featuring the new collection internationally, we're very lucky to have one so close here in DC. Check them out November 30th-December first! To make your appointment, call 202-333-6162 or email Julia & Carin at

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Northern Virginia Magazine....Online!

I've been a fan of Northern Virginia Magazine for a few months now...I thumbed through a copy while waiting for a hair appointment and have been hooked ever since. It's a great resource for local happenings and spot-on restaurant reviews. They even have a wedding issue coming out in December!If you love Soiree as much as I do (har har), go to this page and vote for us as your favorite wedding planner. Your other wedding vendors would appreciate your vote too! The wedding section is all the way down at the bottom of the page. Thanks in advance!


Website Updated!

Back in March I hinted at a new website design. Well -- after months of design and redesign, it's finally launched! We'd love your comments here on the blog since there may still be some glitches here and there. Click here to check us out!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Soiree Classroom: How to cut a wedding cake

At every wedding, I ask my brides and grooms if they'd like a cake cutting lesson before they attack the cake. While some couples want to just dig right in, others are concerned with making their photographs look great and will take a few seconds to learn how to do it right. Here's me teaching Jamie&John and Robin&Brian:Here are my instructions for the perfect cake cutting:

1. Decide which side of the table you will stand on. Look at the background behind you. Is there an ugly painting there? Or a mirror? Or a window? Ask your photographer which background they prefer. If your cake has a definite 'front', slice from the side or back to showcase the detail of the cake. Ashley & Jason wanted to include their guests and the beautiful view from Top of the Town:2. The bride will stand slightly in front of the groom. If you are both right-handed, you will probably stand a bit more to his left side. This way both of your faces will show in the photo and your beautiful gown will be on display. Greg was left-handed but you get the idea:3. Put your plate close to the edge of the cake where you plan to cut it. It will be easier to hit the plate if the cake doesn't have to go airborne after removing the slice.

4. The groom will hold the knife regularly in one hand (probably his right). The bride will place her dainty hand on top of his, just for show. No squeezing fingers or double-fisting, please.5. Aiming for the bottom layer of the cake, put the knife in as far as you can towards the second tier and slice all the way to the bottom. Pull the knife out and reposition at the top of the tier. Try to make a triangular slice by placing the knife tip near the furthest point on your last cut. Your two cuts will make a "V" shape and you'll be able to pull out one nice, clean wedge of cake. No cake stabbing necessary. Melisa & Frank followed directions nicely:6. Pull the wedge on to one plate and hold it chest-height. You and your groom will feed each other a little bite, either with your fingers or with forks if they are provided. If you want to play fair, agree to feed each other at the same time. Otherwise, the groom should feed the bride first and then the bride may feed her groom. If he values his life (and his wedding night luck), he will have more incentive to keep the frosting in your mouth and not up your nose or down your dress. Ashley & Jason are doing great here:Cleo was not so lucky but Rocco made the moment into a hilarious photo opportunity:7. I personally think linking arms and drinking champagne is a little outdated, but if you'd like to do this it's not too tricky. Pick up your own glass in your right hand. Groom does the same. Extend your arms towards each other then bend them back, linking at the elbows. You'll drink from your OWN glass. Just remember to bring your glass with you, if you had previously used it during toasts at your table. These guys are not one of our couples, but it illustrates the point:8. Once you've completed your cake cutting ceremony, plan to have another event immediately after. There's nothing worse than a cluster of guests staring at you during an awkward silence while you nervously say "mmm - the cake is good." Have the DJ announce for everyone to hit the dance floor, invite your father to the floor for the father-daughter dance, or perform your first dance if you haven't already. Trust me - this will save you some embarrassment.


Goodies For Your Party is the place to get just about anything personalized! We are constantly referring them to our clients and thought you might like it too. They have all sorts of fun accessories for weddings, like....

Personalized hang tags for favors and welcome bags: Cocktail napkins with meaningful messages:
Bags for candy buffets, slices of cake, and other favors:
Kitschy coasters:
...and personalized welcome bags for your out-of-town guests: