Soiree Special Events

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gala, Inc.

Last week, SoireeInternNicole and I had the opportunity to visit Gala, Inc.! This event decor company specializes in providing rentals and props to spice up the mood at your event. With their in-house floral designer, I loosely compare them to being the Preston Bailey of DC. Here are some examples of their work from their website:Here are some photos from our visit to their showroom in Rockville, MD:They'll set out a naked table in their Design Center and let you select linens, china, glassware, chairs, and everything else to try out different tablescapes. There are walls of rental items to pull out and play with:
And a multimedia display area to check out local bands:
Every wedding invitation book you could ever want:
Their 'back of the house' is where they make the magic happen. It operates fully as a prop shop where they can paint tables & chairs or build new pieces. Gala will even make you a custom piece if they don't carry it in their stock. The possibilities are endless!
There is an entire wall of ribbon. This must be what heaven is like:There was row after row of lounge furniture, picnic tables, urns, huge lampshades for ceiling suspension, lighting, and anything else you could imagine: A quick example of the extent of pieces they have. They must have at least 50 different styles of floral pedestals:I really enjoyed our visit to Gala, Inc. and recommend you stop by too! We'd be happy to set up an appointment for you in their Design Center if you'd like to play with a tabletop design or select furniture items for your lounge. You may also visit them on your own...Kristi Pichler is the gal to ask for. Their website has more contact info.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Real Simple + Crate & Barrel

Behold! The union of two of my favorite resources!

Real Simple Magazine is launching a wedding version of their magazine on January 28th (sweet!) and is selling advance copies at Crate & Barrel stores starting January 10th. I love Real Simple and am really looking forward to seeing what they have in the wedding issue. Check out there website for more information.

If you live in the Chicago or NYC areas, the magazine is also hosting parties at select Crate & Barrel locations. Check here for more info and to RSVP.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Card Swap

A few weeks ago, I came across the Brooklyn Bride Blog and signed up for their adorable Holiday Card Swap! Brooklyn Bride collected addresses and divided up the list so we'd all get the same number of cards back that we sent out. Here's some photos of the ones we sent:

This one utilized ribbon from the awesome ribbon outlet we recently visited:
These two incorporated felt ribbon from Queen & Co.: "The best gifts are tied with heartstrings"
Everyone should have a snowflake punch:This is what SoireeInternNicole's desk looked like for a few days:
Here's the beautiful card I received from Brooklyn Bride:
And of course DIY Bride's card is crafty to the max with a sparkly doggie and embossed letters:Talida Bakes sent this beautiful card along with a peppermint brownie. I remembered to take a photo only AFTER I ate the brownie. Oops. Yum!
I had so much fun participating in this year's holiday card swap! Perhaps there'll be a Valentine's Day swap? And an Easter swap? And an Independence Day swap? Count me in!

Washingtonian Magazine!

We're so excited to announce that Soiree has been included in the Washingtonian magazine 2008 Wedding Guide! Their website still features last year's list but you can find it here. The wedding guide is a comprehensive listing of the top vendors in the DC area and is a great place to start if you're recently engaged or trying to find quality wedding vendors.
I found mine at Barnes & Noble but you should be able to find it at any grocery store or bookstore. Pick up your copy today!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Soiree Classroom: How to give a wedding toast

Have you ever been asked to be a maid of honor? Or perhaps a best man? If so, you know how daunting the task of writing a toast can be. It's very important to write it in advance, though....I can't tell you how many best men decide to 'wing it' then stumble through and end up with something very generic ("I love you both. Congratulations!").

Oftentimes at weddings, these toasters will tell me (doe-eyed) that they haven't written anything and don't know what to say. Of course we do our best to help in any situation, so I usually rip off a page from my workbook, grab a pen from my pocket, and walk them through it. Here's the advice I dish out to nervous toasters:

1. If there is no wedding planner, introduce yourself to the DJ or bandleader and find out where he wants you to stand. Check with the photographer, too. Remember step 1 from the cake cutting lesson? Think about the background that will be in all your photos. If there is a planner, they should tell you these things.

Lori's grandfather didn't think about the DJ when he cut the challah:2. Think ahead and bring your champagne glass. Set it down nearby if you have too many things to hold.

My brother somehow managed this:3. Hold the microphone UP TO YOUR FACE. One of my biggest pet peeves is when toasters hold the microphone near their waist and expect it to pick up their voice.

My dear grandad wasn't aware of #3:Jessica's mom did a great job at #3:
4. Introduce yourself. A simple "Good evening. My name is John....Ben and Stephanie asked me to be their best man today and I am honored to be here."

5. Tell everyone how you know the bride and/or groom. "Ben and I attended middle school together. Mrs. Harrison's 7th grade history class was probably the most boring class I ever took, but I always looked forward to it since Ben sat next to me. He's been my best friend ever since and has been the closest thing to a brother I've ever had."

6. Explain how you met their spouse. "When Ben told me he met this really fantastic girl, of course I was skeptical. I didn't think anyone was good enough for my Ben. However, a few weeks later I had the chance to meet Stephanie and I could truly see why Ben was so excited."

7. Describe why they are better as a couple then they are as single people. "Ben is the kind of guy that is always trying new things and pushing the envelope. Stephanie is a perfect complement...always smart and practical about things. They bring out the best in each other and really do make a perfect couple. I'm so happy they found one other -- it was meant to be.

8. If you have a humorous story, make sure you give enough background but keep it concise so it's funny without being too long. AVOID jokes about past girlfriends, drunken nights, or anything related to the bachelor party.

9. Speak directly to the bride and groom. "Ben and Stephanie, you both have been great friends to me and have set a wonderful example for me and my wife, Judy. I wish you all the happiness in the world together."

10. "Cheers"

If you're too lazy to write your own toast, you can pay The Perfect Toast $155 to write it for you!

Special thanks to Rodney Bailey, Linda Wallace, Roman Grinev, & Marilynn Spindler of Sandi Foraci Photography for the photos in this post.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

25% Off at Jamali Garden

Jamali Garden is one of those hidden gems that has so many amazing decor options for weddings! They have a store in NYC but I've ordered vases, stones, ribbon, sticks, and just about anything else you can imagine through their fantastic online store. Here are some of our picks:

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Laura Hooper's Calligraphy

A few weeks ago I received a beautiful package from Laura Hooper's Calligraphy and have been meaning to share them since! Believe me...having a stack of beautifully letterpressed cards sitting around has made me a very happy girl every day.

Here's how the package came. I've never seen our address printed so beautifully!Her letterpressed business cards are positively drool-worthy:She does outer envelopes:Inner envelopes:Invitations:Menu cards:Escort cards have a certain flair when done by a professional calligrapher:
She's so talented! Look at these map & direction cards:
And even custom logo design!You can see more of Laura's work on her website or by setting up an appointment in her Northridge, CA shop. If you're in the DC area, let me know if you'd like to see some of these beautiful samples!