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Category Archives: Tips

Move your Wedding Reception to Another Venue the Day Before the Wedding? No Problem.

I am asked the questions of “Why do we need a wedding planner?” and “Is a wedding planner worth it?” often.  Let me share with you last summer’s wedding in Washington, DC and you can decide for yourself why hiring an experienced wedding planner could be worth every penny. Photo by Dreamworks Photography.

georgetown-washington-dc-summer-wedding-bride-groom-portraits

For the second time in my career, I had to relocate a client’s wedding reception overnight due to an electrical power outage. The first wedding relocation was during the Derecho storm of 2012. This time, the original wedding venue lost power due to a problem with the power company and I was informed while our clients were at their rehearsal dinner that power would not be restored for another 24 hours. I had the unpleasant job of informing my clients but not before we had a decent plan in motion. By this time, it was nearly 10pm on a Friday night. Overnight, we were able to relocate the reception and handle all of the logistics involved with that for the guests and for our event partners. We printed directions to the new venue for our guests; adjusted our timelines and logistics for our event partners; redesigned the floor plan based on the new space; revised the guest table assignments; created new file formats for the slideshow we had planned for cocktail hour; determined how to mimic the design we had planned for the original venue and use it in the new venue. I only slept for a handful of hours that night.

What are the factors that allowed us to successfully deal with such a rare and unexpected situation?

  1. Team Work. Here is where hiring the right team of wedding professionals makes a big difference. In choosing a wedding vendor, he or she needs to be a team player, with the overall goal of working together to make our clients happy and their event a success. They need to take pride in their work, have integrity,  and high level of professionalism. Our event partners were all helpful and flexible, doing whatever was necessary to keep the bride and groom at ease. Our DJ brought extra lighting equipment to help me transform the space. The priest who married them broke the news to the guests at the ceremony in the most humorous way possible.
  2. Longevity. Having been in the special events industry for quite some time now, we have contacts within the industry we can call on to help in emergency situations. This is the case not only for us but for our partners as well.  The original venue’s staff made many phone calls to explore all alternatives, from finding refrigerated trucks to move the food, to calling venue contacts, to finally contracting with the new venue. After all those years of networking, on days like that it is all worth it.
  3. Dedication. If you care about your client and about your quality of work, you will do nothing short of bringing your A game. Our entire team and all of our event partners were dedicated to giving our bride and groom and their guests the best wedding possible. At all cost, we were going to shield them from all the behind the scenes work that needed to be done. I wanted them to wake up the morning of their wedding, have fun getting ready with their wedding party and families, head to the church and enjoy the ceremony, and arrive for their reception like nothing had happened.

I will share with you the rest of the photographs by Dreamworks Photography from that wedding next week. In the end, our clients and their families had the best attitude and perspective towards this situation, and trusted us. The best reward was the following note I received from our bride and groom.

“I will always be grateful for going to our friend’s wedding … when he told us we had to get a wedding planner … Not only did you get us organized and lifted the weight off my shoulders …  and attention to detail, you also completely transplanted our reception from one venue to another. Steve and I, as well as our families, could not be more impressed or grateful. You are professional and thoughtful, and we could not be happier.”

I hope I have shed some light on how a professional wedding planner can help you. While this type of incident is rare, it can happen and I would hate for our clients to have dealt with that on their own the night before their wedding. — Vicky

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Categories: Tips

6 Wedding Photography Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Day Photos

Here are some tips on how to help your photographer get the best photos from your wedding day. You can affect the outcome by spending some time during your planning process to work through how you want to get the photos you want done. What do you think photographer friends? Do you have other tips?

Ft Belvoir military wedding Washington DC

Photo: Andrew Morrell

  1. Talk to you photographer. Every photographer has a different approach and different preferences on how he/she goes about photographing a wedding. Find out their approach. Talk to them about how much time they would like to have for taking photos of just you and your fiance/new spouse and for group photos, and what locations would be best for those. Express to them which photos are important to you and any concerns you may have that your photographer should know about.
  2. Plan it out. Once you’ve had your discussion with your photographer, now figure out how this will all fit within the time frame of your wedding day. Some questions to ask yourselves if doing photos before the ceremony: Can all the people you need to be in the photos arrive early, and how will they get to the location? Do you have access to your photo location prior to the ceremony? If yes, how much time do you have? Have you started your hair and makeup appointments early enough to accommodate photos? If taking photos after the ceremony, are you OK with missing parts or all of your cocktail hour? If your photographer is with you taking portraits, you cannot also have photos during cocktail hour of your guests or do detailed room shots if these are all happening within the same time frame unless he/she has a second photographer.
  3. Don’t forget the transportation. If you are going to another location that is not your ceremony or reception venue for photos, like the Washington, DC monuments, please also consider how you will get to and from that location. Also, don’t underestimate the amount of time you need to travel to and from that location, and getting in and out of your car and walking to the actual photo spot. Often times, you cannot pull the car right up to the exact spot and you will need to do some walking. Also, consider who will be going to the photo op location. Just you and your fiance/husband/wife and/or including the wedding party? Don’t forget your photographer! It is usually best to have your photographer ride in the same car as you.
  4. What about permits? If you want to go to the DC monuments, don’t forget to obtain a photo permit. Your photographer or wedding planner can guide you through that process. You don’t want to be stopped by the Park Police in the middle of your session.
  5. In case of rain. Make sure you have an inclement weather plan for where you might take photos if the weather is not cooperating outdoors.
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be sure to communicate in advance the time and place you want all those family and friends that will be involved in posed photos

How do you estimate how much time you need for formal wedding photos, you might ask? My two approaches to estimating time for posed photos: 1) you determine the amount of time you can tolerate taking posed photos first and then ask your photographer how many group combinations you can fit within that time frame; or 2) you come up with a list of photos you must have and then determine how much time that would take. My rule of thumb is to allot 3-5 minutes per grouping. The objective here is to strike a balance between getting the formal photos you want and not turning your wedding day into a photo shoot.

If you take away nothing else from this blog post, the one thing to remember is that the worst thing you can do is rush through your wedding day. Allow plenty of time so that you can stay relaxed throughout the day. Enjoy yourselves and have fun! When you do that, you will have great photos.

Do you have more wedding photography planning questions? Reach out to your wedding planner, or feel free to email us or ask your friendly photographer! Vicky

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New Year & Newly Engaged

Happy New Year!

Did you get engaged over the holidays? Congratulations! Ready for new adventures in wedding planning? Feeling overwhelmed? Let us share these helpful, locally-driven wedding resources that you can find here on our blog.

Washington DC wedding planner Event Accomplished

Photo: Erin Tetterton Photography

  • Start here: our 4 part “Newly Engaged Starter Guide” series. Part 1 (Words of Wisdom),  Part 2 (the Big Picture), Part 3 (Money), and Part 4 (Keys to Success).
  • Looking for a venue in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia or Maryland? We updated our list of ceremony and reception venues, which we will share with you next week. In the mean time, check out last year’s list. To give you an idea how your wedding might look at these locations, we included links to Real Weddings held at these locations where possible. Our friends at United with Love is also a great resource.
  • Need wedding planning tips on topics like budgeting, seating arrangements, invitations? Check out our TIPS blog posts.
  • Have a question regarding etiquette, trends, logistics, or how to handle sensitive issues? Email us and we will attempt to answer them on this blog! You are probably not the only one thinking about the same issue.

Finally, want more helpful wedding planning tips, inspiration and the inside scoop on Washington DC area wedding professionals? Follow us everywhere, anywhere.

Twitter: @EAParties
Instagram: @eventaccomplished
Facebook: @Event Accomplished

Cheers! Vicky, Juanice, Megan, Jen

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New Year & Newly Engaged

At Event Accomplished, we are ready for new adventures in wedding planning in this new year with you!

Engagement wedding rings Washington DC wedding planner

Photo: Stephanie Dee Photography

Did you get engaged over the holidays. Congratulations! When you are ready to start planning, let us share these helpful, locally-driven wedding resources that you can find here on our blog.

First things first: Want more helpful wedding planning tips, inspiration and the inside scoop on Washington DC area wedding professionals? Follow us everywhere, anywhere.

eventaccomplished instagram

  • Start here: our 4 part “Newly Engaged Starter Guide” series. Part 1 (Words of Wisdom),  Part 2 (the Big Picture), Part 3 (Money), and Part 4 (Keys to Success).
  • Looking for a venue? An update of our list of ceremony and reception venues in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and select Maryland locations will be coming soon but here is last year’s list. To give you an idea how your wedding might look at these locations, we included links to Real Weddings held at these locations where possible. Our friends at United with Love is also a great resource.
  • Have a question regarding etiquette, trends, logistics, or how to handle sensitive issues? Email us and we will attempt to answer them on this blog! You are probably not the only one thinking about the same issue.

Cheers! Vicky, Juanice, Megan, Jen

 

 

 

 

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Party Rental Ltd. Crave & Save Series

party rental ltd crave vs save

Photo: Party Rental Ltd

In the style of “the look for less,” you should check out Party Rental Ltd‘s Crave vs. Save Series on their blog. I love this idea. With such a variety of rental products, they show you how you can achieve similar looks at different price points. There are some fun ideas here. Enjoy, Vicky

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How many people are involved in the process of renting one piece of flatware?

Cleaning out my email inbox recently, I found this interesting newsletter from Party Rental Ltd. It broke down the process of renting one piece of flatware, from ordering to event and back to stocking, and the number of employees involved. Check in out below. Who knew?  — Vicky

Photo: Party Rental Ltd

The minimum number of employees that are involved in the process of a one piece of flatware is 18.

Order – 1 person (could be many if people are checking/revising the order)
Pick/Stage – 1 person
Audited – 1 person
Run – 1 person
Checked – 1 person
Loaded – 1 person
Delivered – 2 people (driver/helper)
Picked up – 2 people (driver/helper)
Unloaded – 1 person unloads, 1 person consolidates, 1 person transports to washing machine – 3 people
Sorted – 1 person
Washed – 1 person
Polishing in roto-brite – 1 person
Bagged – 1 person
Put away on shelf – 1 person

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Happy New Year & Welcome Newly Engaged!

The start of a new year is always exciting, a time to push the restart button. We are recharged and refreshed and looking forward to the new adventures ahead with you!

wedding rings Washington DC wedding planner

Photo: EyeWonder Photography

If you are like one of my assistant coordinators, you got engaged over the holidays. Congratulations! The new year will certainly be memorable! When you are ready to start planning your wedding, let us share these helpful resources that you can find here on our blog.

First things first: Want more helpful wedding planning tips, inspiration and the inside scoop on Washington DC area wedding professionals? Follow us everywhere, anywhere.

   Instagram     

  • While we will be sharing planning insights throughout the year, start by reading our 4 part “Newly Engaged Starter Guide” series. Part 1 (Words of Wisdom),  Part 2 (the Big Picture), Part 3 (Money), and Part 4 (Keys to Success).
  • Looking for a venue? An update of our list of ceremony and reception venues in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and select Maryland locations will be coming soon but here is last year’s list. To give you an idea how your wedding might look at these locations, we included links to Real Weddings held at these locations where possible. Our friends at Venue Safari is also a great resource.
  • Need help planning your rehearsal dinner? Check out a list of restaurants we have reviewed for rehearsal dinners in Washington, DC area so far.
  • Subscribe to United With Love blog, a DC-focused wedding blog, featuring a comprehensive Vendor Guide and a list of  Upcoming Events.
  • Have a question regarding etiquette, trends, logistics, or how to handle sensitive issues? Email us and we will attempt to answer them on this blog! You are probably not the only one thinking about the same issue.

Cheers! Vicky, Juanice, Megan, Arielle

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Newly Engaged to 2014!

Hello 2014! January is always an exciting time to push the restart button. We are recharged and refreshed and looking forward to the new adventures ahead with you!

newly engaged couples

Photo: Kurstin Roe Photography

Congratulations to the recently engaged! The new year will certainly be memorable! When you are ready to start planning your wedding, let us share these helpful resources that you can find here on our blog.

First things first: Want more helpful wedding planning tips, inspiration and the inside scoop on Washington DC area wedding professionals? Follow us everywhere, anywhere.

   Instagram     

  • While we will be sharing planning insights throughout the year, start by reading our 4 part “Newly Engaged Starter Guide” series. Part 1 (Words of Wisdom),  Part 2 (the Big Picture), Part 3 (Money), and Part 4 (Keys to Success).
  • Looking for a venue? An update of our list of ceremony and reception venues in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and select Maryland locations will be coming soon but here is last year’s list. To give you an idea how your wedding might look at these locations, we included links to Real Weddings held at these locations where possible. Our friends at Venue Safari is also a great resource.
  • Need help planning your rehearsal dinner? We will continue our series on Rehearsal Dinners and Welcome Parties. Check out a list of restaurants we have reviewed for rehearsal dinners in Washington, DC area so far.
  • Subscribe to United With Love blog, a DC-focused wedding blog, featuring a comprehensive Vendor Guide and a list of  Upcoming Events.
  • Have a question regarding etiquette, trends, logistics, or how to handle sensitive issues? Email us and we will attempt to answer them on this blog! You are probably not the only one thinking about the same issue.

Cheers! Vicky, Juanice, Megan, Arielle

 

 

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Looking Fit for your Wedding Day: Bar Method DC

bar method dc for brides

Photo: Bar Method DC

Want to look lean and fit in your wedding photos? Give The Bar Method DC a try. Class works all parts of your body – arms, legs, glutes, core – and includes cardio to bring you closer to a lean, dancer’s body. The Bar Method DC is running a bridal package for engaged clients looking to get their bodies sculpted and toned for the big day. The Pre-Wedding Package features:

  • 3 months of unlimited classes
  • Bar Method goodies
  • a private bachelorette party class with a group of friends, and
  • a package freeze (so you can freeze your package during your honeymoon).

I recently took a class there myself to check out the experience. My sore muscles can attest to the all around workout you get there and I like it better than going to the gym. Our teacher was energetic and encouraging and gave modifications for folks like me who were just starting out. Even if you already have an exercise routine, this would be a fun alternative to mix things up. They have a beautiful new studio located on 9th Street NW between G and H Streets and have classes before and after work, and also at lunch. Please contact the studio for more information. — Vicky

 

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What Money Can’t Buy in Creating a Memorable Wedding

Westwood Country Club wedding virginia

Photo: Amy Raab

A recent Colin Cowie newsletter focused on such an important and timely message. So often, couples get caught up in how much they should spend to achieve the wedding they want when some of the most important elements are free! I agree with his first 2 aspects and wanted to add some of my own suggestions.

Energy & Flow
Colin addresses how having a wedding that flows naturally from one part to another can really make a party. I couldn’t agree more. Your guests should never be unsure of what to do or where to be next. Uncertainty makes your guests uncomfortable. Lulls should be minimized. While there are many timeline suggestions out there, every wedding is different because of the couple, the guests, and the circumstances. Talk with your wedding team to determine the best flow for your wedding.

A Family Heirloom
I really never thought about this until recently, until I saw a bride pin her Mom’s brooch on her bouquet, or a locket to her crinoline; or a groom with his grandfather’s cufflinks. They were just beautiful. Some used their parents’ cake topper which can be funny and nostalgic at the same time. I’m just not a sentimental kind of girl but as I get older, I have come to realize that it’s perfectly appropriate to hold those close to you on your important day. You can be a modern bride and still have pieces of your family with you.

Face Time
Nothing makes your guests happier than to spend some time with you. Make sure you personally speak to each guest and spend a few quality minutes with them. I know it’s a tall order but do whatever you have to acknowledge that they have given up their time to be with you. If that means you take photos before the ceremony so you can spend cocktail hour with your guests, do it. If that means you host an informal get together the day before, do it.

Be Present
From my own wedding experience and speaking to clients, the day of the wedding can seem like a blur, and even an out of body experience. Try to remember to be present and in the moment. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on the wedding if you can’t remember it later. I know you’ll have beautiful photographs to look back at but try and also remember the conversations, the smell of flowers, the hug your grandmother gave you, or the taste of that first bite of food. Stealing from the Jewish wedding tradition of yichud, take a few minutes to step away from your guests to some place quiet to give yourselves a chance to take a breathe and to soak in what is happening around you. This might sound like some new age therapy but hopefully this will help you remember as much of this unforgettable event as possible before it is over.

Got other thoughts on this topic? Feel free to share. Cheers! Vicky

 

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