Soiree Special Events

Friday, August 29, 2008

We're Out for the Weekend

We have three couples getting hitched this Labor Day Weekend. Congratulations in advance to Krystal&Jason, Angie&Rich, and Esther&Michael! We're looking forward to having photos from all three events on the blog soon.

Come back on Monday for some BIG SOIREE NEWS. Seriously, it's big. You'll have to check back to see what's going on!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why that bridal mag cost you $8.75

Have you ever bought a wedding magazine (don't lie...) and looked at the price tag? It's just right there on the barcode. Check it out sometime. Those things cost a fortune! In college I could've eaten meals for a week on $10. As a bride I couldn't get enough of them and had stacks upon stacks hidden in my closet. As a planner I now scoff at the recycled information repeated in nearly every issue. Over the years they've never ceased to produce some of the most gorgeous wedding photos that ever were.

Wedding planner Sasha Souza writes her very own blog called Sparkliatti. Recently she wrote about a photo shoot done for a magazine spread. The setup wasn't even for a real wedding! It was simply to display the conjure up romantic images and stir the creative juices in brides' minds everywhere. I simply can't imagine the cost of all the beautiful displays. That cost gets passed on to you, lovely reader:I think my favorite part of the post is where she describes the two people sitting in the car. (::hint: one of them is her::) What are you waiting for? Go check it out!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Washington Bridal Showcase - 9/7/08

Mark your calendars! The area's largest bridal show is coming to the Dulles Expo Center. The show is on Sunday, September 7th. There are also shows in Bethesda on 9/14 and Greenbelt on 9/21. We've participated regularly in this show and are looking forward to meeting you. Discounted tickets are available if you buy them online.

If you've never attended a show, check out our handy tips we posted before last year's show. They'll help you maximize your time there and make planning a lot easier afterwards.

This year we have some exciting news! We'll be exhibiting under a new name. Look for Wish Special Events instead of Soiree. I'll post more about our big news over the next couple days.

I have some free tickets to give away. To win a pair, leave a comment describing what you hope to accomplish at the show. Maybe it's comparing photographers or meeting several deejays? Perhaps you just want to come and stuff yourself full of cake? Be sure to leave your email address so I can find you. I'll select a winner on Friday at 5pm and contact you over the weekend. Good luck!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Live Chat @

Every Thursday hosts a wedding professional to answer questions about DC-area weddings. Guess who's the victim for this week's live chat at the Washingtonian? Me! I'm honored and thrilled all at the same time. I'm so excited to see their offices and answer your toughest planning questions for an hour.

Submit your questions here and join me on Thursday from 11am-noon! We'll post the re-cap afterwards if you're not able to make it (but would still love to see you online for the real deal).


Monday, August 25, 2008

Congratulations, Courtney & Tom!

Courtney & Tom got hitched this weekend! Their beautiful wedding started off at the Hyatt Regency Reston where Courtney chose to get ready. The boys congregated there too in a different suite. They were all picked up in two white stretch limos provided by Reston Limousine who did a phenomenal job (beautiful cars and nice drivers...what else can you ask for?). The ceremony was held at the adorable Vale United Methodist Church in Oakton, VA. If you imagine the quintessential country church, this is the same place. The party continued at Hidden Creek Country Club which just underwent a facelift and is looking quite snazzy. We'll have some great photographs from Heather Z Photography shortly. For now, here are some non-pro shots from the day:

Vale United Methodist:This large traffic circle at the church was wonderful for the limousines to turn around in. Someone must have ordered the gorgeous poufy-clouded sky:The program basket is ready to go just in the entryway. These baskets came in handy later to hold their send-off sparklers!Inside the church. Isn't it just the cutest thing you've seen? It reminds me a little of Wakefield Chapel in Alexandria. We filled it up with about 100 guests:Kate at Reston Floral Design provided all the flowers:Here's the church all packed in. Rev. Norma Peyton did a great job on the service! She and her husband Rev. Wesley Peyton both perform religious and secular wedding ceremonies. Check out Heather Z doing her thing in the aisle:A small piece of Hidden Creek's newly decorated ballroom. This place is a steal and still has plenty of open dates for 2008 and 2009 weddings (ask for Phil):Here are their cute little escort cards, all lined up to go. The ribbon at the top indicates each guests' meal choice for the wait staff:Outside they have a great big deck that overlooks the 18th hole. You can just barely see it beyond the sliding glass doors in the background:This photo is terrible but shows what it looks like with guests in the seats. This is just two thirds of the ballroom...there is another section to the left of the camera that looks just the same:The wedding cake was from Connie's Cake Creations. I wish I had a photo of it! It was three tiers. The middle layer was marble, the bottom was white on white and the top layer will have to wait a year until we know for sure. In between the top two layers were some pillars and the florist filled it in with hydrangea and roses. Beautiful! There were some extra slices left so the club boxed them up and sent them home as favors. Every last piece was gone at the end of the night.

Ron Gray of Kirkabee DJs did a great job at reading the crowd and keeping guests on the dance floor. I always recommend Kirk and his crew since they consistently do a great job.

Special thanks to Ladan and Jessica, my assistants for the evening. Without their help things wouldn't have been nearly as stress-free! I'm so glad Ladan got some shots of the club before guests arrived. It looks so different since we were there in September for Katie & Zack's wedding.

Courtney & Tom -- I hope you both enjoyed every second of your wedding day! Congratulations and best of luck with your new future together.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Win a Diamond Necklace from Mervis!

Mervis Diamond Importers is what I'd call the best diamond store in DC. My hubby actually purchased my engagement ring there and I'm sure a great portion of proposals involve a trip to their shops. It's hard to listen to any radio broadcast for more than an hour without hearing one of their advertisements. They are truly a DC institution.Until September 3rd, they are running a contest to give away a $500 diamond pendant! To win you must write a limerick about love, dating, and diamonds in Washington DC. In their own words:
Tell us your stories of love, dating, and diamonds in the District and you can win a diamond pendant! Did you meet your true love under the cherry blossoms? Did she say yes right after a spending bill passed? Was the ring presented at Ben’s on a half-smoke with everything?

So what are you waiting for? Run on over to the Mervis Blog and check it out!


Monday, August 18, 2008


Thanks to Elizabeth Ann Designs, we are hooked on Montage-a-Google! Type in your search terms and KAZAAM! A montage is created for you. Here's what happens when we enter Soiree Special Events:My face, the Party Rental showroom, my crinoline, our team photo, our logo and website, and the tutorial on how to un-freeze wedding cake were popular hits. Ashley's wedding and the ISES Green Party were also featured.

How about "Pool Wedding"?Or "Washington DC"?Try it out for yourself! You can get some beautiful combinations and this is a great way to come up with your wedding color scheme. Just be careful...this one sucked us in for quite a few hours of mindless activity. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're Committed

To Blog Action Day, that is!

We were proud to be a part of this force last year and are looking forward to it again. Blog Action Day is an annual event that includes big and little blogs around the world. Each blogger must write about the selected topic on the same day. This year's topic is Poverty and the date is October 15th.

If you're a blogger, won't you consider joining the cause?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Famous!

Okay, not really famous like Hollywood.

Famous like Aletha at Pearls Events featured my own wedding on her blog! That's famous enough for me and I'm just thrilled to see that she liked my big day. I'm so flattered. Here are the inspiration boards she put together:I think my favorite image from the whole day is the portrait in front of the yellow building. That's the print we used in our signature guest book frame. The green circular numbers are the tops of our strawberry jam jar favors/escort cards. I also like the one of our wedding bands. Can you believe that mine fits inside his? It's also hard to see but squint and check out the hottness of my ruffled-edge cake stand. Thanks Grandma, for finding that gem for me!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Soiree Classifieds: Lemonade Jars

UPDATE: The jars have a new home! Congratulations in advance to Jennifer and Ben who will be getting hitched this Labor Day weekend.

We've had these lemonade jars for quite a while and they're always a huge hit at events. They are perfect for holding pre-ceremony beverages or just as a fun station next to your bar. There are three which is perfect for serving lemonade, iced tea, and water. Of course you can jazz it up and do three different types of sangria if you want...they are really versatile!The spigots at the bottom twist open and closed:I love the little nobby tops. Her hands give you an idea of their size:
Beautiful!Each jar holds 19 liters of liquid and we've used them for parties of 200 without having to refill. They each have their own box so they stack and store quite nicely. We're asking $115 for all three but will consider all offers. Pickup is in Reston, VA or I can meet you in Tyson's/Fair Lakes/Herndon/Sterling/etc. Email me if you're interested!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Hour with Mervis!

Calling all brides- and grooms-to-be:

Soiree and Mervis will be at Chima tomorrow evening for an impromptu happy hour. Join us in Tyson's Corner around 6:15 for some non-committal wedding chat and a few drinks. If you plan on coming, please shoot me an email so I have an idea of a head count. See you there!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Terrapass for Weddings

We're all aware of the environmental impact that weddings and special events create. "Green Weddings" have been the rage for the past year and show no sign of slowing. Brides and grooms are more eco-conscious and are taking efforts to minimize their footprint.

Did you know that Terrapass offers a Wedding Carbon Footprint Calculator? It adds up airline and car emissions from your guests' travel, hotel energy use, and energy use at the actual wedding. After you discover the number of tons of carbon you're putting into the atmosphere, you can purchase a carbon offset to help reverse the damage. They offer a nice printed version that you can frame and display at your wedding reception (perfect near the guestbook).How much is YOUR impact? I think this is a great alternative to wedding favors and also a wonderful way to help the environment. To learn more about Terrapass, check out the dedicated Wikipedia page.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 08, 2008

Eight Eight Oh-Eight

Remember last year when 07-07-07 was the biggest wedding date of all time? This year we have August 8th 2008 but brides just aren't biting the way they were. Perhaps it's because it's a Friday? We have surprisingly few weddings this weekend although August is typically a slow month anyhow.

Did you pick your wedding date based around a certain number? Mine was June 10th 2006 which to me looked like 06-10-20-06. For you planners out there, are you busy today? Do you think we'll get another date like 07/07/07?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Venue Spotlight: The Spy Museum

That's right folks, here in DC we have an awesome place called the International Spy Museum. All about deception, double-cross and espionage, this museum is one of the coolest tourist attractions around. Okay, it's a great local attraction too...Hubs and I discovered it last February and can't wait to go back.

Did you know you can host a private event at the Spy Museum? They've teamed up with Zola, their next door restaurant neighbor, to bring you an event venue that's to die for (har har...get it?)The space is not extremely large but is surprisingly functional. The room is split by a small set of stairs...the lower floor is perfect for cocktail hour and then for dancing. The upper floor is ideal for dinner tables and can seat about 100-120 guests. There's also a built-in projector and screen for those popular slideshows! The best part is that catering is in-house (by Zola! yum!) and they also provide tables, chairs, and linens.Zola itself has a great private room that's smaller but would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner. This rooms seats about 40 guests and is completely private from the restaurant:In keeping with tradition, I must post the link to the Scott Hamilton Skates the Universe video. I posted about this last February when writing about the Spy Museum and believe that every true Washingtonian should take a break out of their busy lives and try to discover this little gem at the National Air & Space Museum.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

1% For The Planet

Soiree Special Events is very proud to be one of 1% For The Planet's newest members! This phenomenal organization is dedicated to helping our mother earth through corporate giving. Each company that joins makes a pledge to donate 1% of their annual profits to an approved charity. We're glad to be among the businesses involved like Clif Bar, SIGG, Volcom, and my own personal favorite Brushfire Records.Some of these charities include the World Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Earth, The Conservation Fund, and even some local ones like the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

There are over 900 companies and 1600 charities involved to date and they're growing every day. We're proud to be involved with such a fantastic movement. If you're a business owner like me, check out some reasons why you should make your pledge to do your part!

In a somewhat related thought, here is one of my favorite photos from a recent vacation. Can you guess what gorgeous piece of our Earth this is? The first poster to correctly identify the location gets a free copy of Wedding Chic:

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Venue Spotlight: The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Recently I had a chance to visit the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club with Kinley and Drew. These two plan to hold their wedding reception here at the end of September! We're really looking forward to their day and I was thrilled to join them on a walkthrough at the club. Here are some photos I took along the way:
Here is the front of the club from the parking lot:
As you look to the right, there is a gorgeous marina right next door:Walking through the covered pathway to our reception room there is a fantastic waterfront lawn. I'm sure a lot of couples have their ceremony here:
Just inside is a very long hallway. Sorry the picture is so terrible! On the right we have a staircase that leads up to the club's offices. There is also a bridal party dressing room there. On the left those doorways lead into the ballroom:Here is the ballroom! The windows run the entire length of the room and look out over the Chesapeake Bay. I'd guess this room seats at least 220-250 guests and there is a built-in dance floor:
Here is the view they'll have during the reception:Kinley is trying to decide between a navy-colored cotton linen or a navy pintuck. The pintuck was amazing but just not as economical of a choice. Since none of the guests would know what they've missed out on, Kinley went for the cotton:Adjacent to the ballroom is this wonderful cocktail porch area. It's completely enclosed and would be perfect for a rainy day ceremony:In this same cocktail is a built-in bar. I love the wood detailing:Remember that long hallway? Down at the far end there is a staircase to heaven! Okay,'s just a stairway to a rooftop deck. But man, this deck really seems like heaven. Drew stands under the pergola and checks out the view of the bridge in the distance:I think this upper space would be perfect for a ceremony too! The lawn is nice but you really can't beat the view of the water they have up there. Since Kinley and Drew are marrying in a chapel down the road, they hope to use this as their cocktail area:Here is the view down the beach from the deck. See all those little people halfway down the beach? They were doing Survivor-style office olympics as part of a company picnic:That's the grand tour of the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club! The club has another ballroom which can be rented for events but we weren't able to peek in that day. However, I'm sure both spaces are just as lovely. If you're on the market for a wedding venue on the Eastern Shore, be sure to check out this gem!

Labels: ,