Soiree Special Events

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Photography Giveaway from Love Life Images!

Love Life Images is the studio collaboration of photographer Jennifer Domenick and her talented associates. I'm so excited to announce that they are giving away a free photography package to one lucky couple. Here's what the prize includes:

* Two photographers
* 8 hours of coverage at your event
* Engagement session
* 'Snapshot Studio' at your event
* Online images at Pictage
* 4x6 proofs of your images

You must be planning a 2008 DC-area wedding to qualify. Here's how to enter. In their words, email them a "true story-telling image of the love of your life. We're photojournalists and we want to see how you see your true love. NO 'SAY CHEESE'-TYPE IMAGES. We want a picture that speaks to us. Tell us a little story about this person, why he/she is the love of your life."

Here are some of my favorite images from their website and blog:Check out their blog for more information on the contest and also to view their beautiful work. Good luck!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

R&R Catering Open House

We were recently invited to an open house hosted by R&R Catering at the Briar Patch B&B in Middleburg, VA. I had visited the Briar Patch over the summer immediately after they opened their new reception facility but this time they had really finished it off. It's beautiful!

Of course R&R did a great job with the food and service as always...if you're looking for a high-quality and reasonably-priced caterer, we always recommend R&R. All of their salespeople are fabulous but we especially love Laura E., Laura R., Dianna, Natalie, Anne, and Megan (tell them we sent you). Here are some photos from the one and only Kate Triano:The front foyer at Briar Patch. This is perfect for cocktail hours or an indoor ceremony back-up plan (they have fantastic outdoor space):
The reception room complete with high ceilings, tone pillars, and crystal chandeliers:Another view of the room, showing the pretty fireplace:
Who doesn't love rock candy sticks on a coffee bar? This reminds me of the tea/lemonade station at my wedding!R&R is hosting another free tasting event on Wednesday, February 13th at Foxchase Manor in Manassas. Check out their website for more info and be sure to RSVP. While you're at it, check out more photos of this event on Kate's blog!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

$50 at Reston Limousine

Remember a few months ago when we had a $50 gift card to Reston Limousine? We got another one! Want it?Post a comment here by Friday at 8pm and we'll pick a random winner! Don't forget to include your email address so we can find you. Good luck!

UPDATE 2/1: Congratulations, eastportbride!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Real Simple Winner!

Two weeks ago we gushed about the Real Simple Weddings magazine and offered an extra copy we picked up. Last week we extended the contest and there were only 7 of you that wanted it!

Congratulations goes to Miss Preppy Fashionista at A Saratoga Wedding who is planning her New York wedding for this year (on my birthday!). We're so excited to send this one your way and hope you enjoy it!

Venue Spotlight: Queenstown Harbor River House

Finding a venue for Lindsay and Sam was a challenge. They wanted enough space for up to 250-300 guests, no hotel ballrooms or otherwise 'blah' spaces, a private site without having to worry about other wedding guests or wedding crashers, driving distance to Washington, DC, affordable, and oh yeah - a water view! Thinking about DC event spaces, there are very few with water views (Ft. Belvoir Officer's Club, Top of the Town, the Odyssey or Nina's Dandy dinner boats, and the Key Bridge Marriott are a few). None of these are extremely glamorous nor will hold enough guests. Also since the city is built along the river, there's not much seclusion offered.

Enter Queenstown Harbor Golf Club and their beautiful historic River House! Lindsay actually found this one on her own but I'm glad she shared it with me. This venue is located on the eastern shore of Maryland past Annapolis, the Bay Bridge, and Kent Island. While it's a bit of a hike from DC (about 45-60 minutes out Rt. 50), there are plenty of hotels nearby and also lodging on site at the house!

Their website isn't entirely helpful but hopefully this will give you an idea. Without further ado, a photo tour.

Guests will park their cars at the main clubhouse then be transported by shuttle bus to the River House. This is the front of the house:Inside we have a few sitting areas on the main floor. The furniture's not amazing but it's in decent shape and is perfect for a kids play area, catering staging, or even to hold the groom and his guys before the ceremony. These rooms all have doors, too, which can be closed if you don't like the decor:Upstairs there are at least 3 bedrooms. The River House can sleep up to 10 people!There are a few modest restrooms but for a larger party you'll need to rent a portable restroom trailer:The central hallway goes from the front to the back of the house:Here's the stunning back yard. This is where's we'll set the ceremony and reception tent:There's even a little patio - perfect to set a bar on for cocktail hour:We're so excited to work with Lindsay and Sam on their wedding coming this September. Of course we'll post photos after the big day! Special thanks to SoireeInternMelissa for these fabulous shots of Queenstown.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Washington Bridal Showcase TODAY!

What are you doing between the hours of 11am and 5pm today? If you answered "going to the bridal show" then you have answered correctly!

Join us at the Washington Bridal Showcase today at the Dulles Expo Center. We're booth 309 and my brother's company, Red Feather Video, is booth 310. Come say hello, eat tons of wedding cake, and get a tuxedo coupon (oh, and tons of other things. those are just the highlights).

For tips & tricks on how to make the most of your day, check out our blog post from last year's show.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Venue Spotlight: Famoso Restaurant & M Cafe

A few weeks ago I was treated to a fantastic lunch by the lovely Megan Showers at Famoso Restaurant and M Cafe in Chevy Chase, MD. She's one of the nicest venue event managers I know!

The lower level has a restaurant called M Cafe. It's a modern space and is very busy during the lunch hours. They can fit about 150 people standing in this space and 80 seated for a full meal:The entire front of the restaurant is full of sunny windows. On the lower level they have outdoor seating during nicer months and open up the windows to create an indoor/outdoor space. Upstairs the windows lend beautiful natural light to an otherwise more romantic space. Unfortunately it makes my photos look like crap but you get the idea.

Upstairs is Famoso Restaurant, a darker and more sophisticated Italian restaurant. They have capacity for 200 standing or 90 seated:There is a smaller private room called the wine room (guess what they store there?). This one would be great for a shower, bridesmaids luncheon, or even a post-wedding brunch. They can seat 35 in this room:Famoso's has this cool horseshoe/oval-shaped bar:This one hurts my eyes a little but shows the neat lounge furniture they have. They can move these pieces anywhere in either restaurant and really set up a funky club atmosphere for you:I love the space at Famoso's and M Cafe and cannot tell you how amazing the food was. If you're looking for a venue for your wedding reception or rehearsal dinner, look no further!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Real Simple Weddings Giveaway....Extended!

I'll be traveling over the next week so I've decided to postpone the 'enter by' date for our Real Simple Weddings Giveaway. Be sure to comment on that post for your chance to win! I'll be picking a lovely winner by Monday, January 28th. Good luck!


Capital Decor and Events

Last week we checked out Capital Decor and Events! This company's based in Beltsville, MD and has a wonderful office where they build floral decor, props, tables, or anything else you could want for an event. Meredith gladly showed me around their space and introduced me to their supber-fab staff.

To give you a quick idea of what they do, here are photos from their website:Without further ado, a photo tour...

Here is their consultation room, where they woo potential clients with pretty photos of events and talk business:A glimpse at their back warehouse. Here are a ton of floral vases:This entire wall is just crates upon crates of votive candle holders:These adorable bead-encrusted votive holders would be perfect for a glam wedding:This 8' tall structure holds escort cards! What a creative way to display your cards instead of the standard rectangular table. They can customize it with any color ribbon:These martini glasses reminded me of the ones at the Windows party:Colorful bistro-style garden chairs:Their woodshop is expansive and allows them to create custom pieces:I had so much fun with Meredith at their shop and am looking forward to working with them! Give them a call to set an appointment and take a'll really be amazed at the decor they can pull together for your wedding or special event.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Day in the Life...

....of a Soiree intern! This winter we hosted two interns in the office and showed them the ropes. Melissa just graduated from Virginia Tech and Nicole is already back at Ryerson University starting on her spring semester. Before Nicole left I asked her to write a blurb about her experience at Soiree to share with other potential intern candidates. I thought it was fun enough to include on the blog! Here is a recap of the past couple weeks through the eyes of a Soiree intern:

Well I have definitely learned a lot with the few days that I interned at Soiree Special Events. Laura took me on many adventures including the first meeting with the Sales Director for Linwoods, which was this fabulous restaurant near Baltimore. I learned the process of meeting with clients and building a bond with them since you will end up working many hours with them to create the perfect day for the engaged couples. After meeting with Linwoods, we ended up just going back to the office and created some holiday cards for this card swap that Laura entered with another wedding blogger. It was so fun for me because I had never really made cards before and using all her fun ribbon was so cool, along with her snowflake paper puncher. So cool!My second day as a SoireeIntern we ventured to an event services company called Gala, Inc. Before this day I really had no idea that companies like this existed! They build props and settings for various parties; it was so cool going into their warehouse because I was able to really see how they can create their client's ideas and turn them into lavish settings for events. It was such an exciting part of being an intern for Soiree. After we went to see Gala, Inc., we went back to the office to finish making the holiday cards and were really successful. They turned out pretty well! After all the cardmaking, we went to this ISES Holiday Party, which was definitely an experience as well. They had yummy grilled cheese hors d'oeurves, as well as carving stations, and some delicious risotto. The theme of the whole event was staying green, and giving ideas to the different companies of how to help be eco-friendly. This was such a great experience for me because I got to meet people who were in the hospitality industry and just observe Laura interact with the other professionals. My last day on the job, we went to meet this couple who were currently planning their wedding, but shopping around for wedding planners who fit their needs. It was a great meeting to sit in, because I got to learn how to interact with potential clients and let them know that you want their business. I was so grateful to be able to be at this meeting.. successfully they did end up booking Soiree!! My favorite part of being a SoireeIntern had to be meeting with different companies about the various events and just going through the different processes that go into planning a wedding. There are so many details that you have to be mindful of and specifically catering to the needs of your couples is definitely something I have learned that is important.

Unfortunately, I had only had a few full intern days with Laura, but they were still such fun-filled days. I learned so much in that little amount of time, and am looking forward to continuing my event planning dream!


Notables, Inc.

This week we visited Francesca at Notables, Inc., a stationery company in Alexandria. They offer anything paper-related for your wedding, including unique save-the-dates, invitations, programs, menu cards, thank you notes, and even escort cards. It's a one-stop shop! They also do baby things if you're expecting or know someone who is.

I unfortunately rushed out of my house without my snazzy camera so these were taken with my new BlackBerry. They actually came out better than I thought they would. Here's what their cute little office looks like:Walls upon walls of adorable and inspirational stationery:Plus note pads, cards, and napkins you can purchse and take with you:I thought these chocolate wrappers were so adorable:Give Notables a call at 703.820.1329 or email them to set up your appointment.