gay wedding

Adam and Ryan's Carnegie Institution of Science DC Wedding

Photo by Justin McCallum

Photo by Justin McCallum

Adam and Ryan signed on to work with me back when I was about to have my 2nd baby! I helped them get started - nailed down the venue and some of the major vendors, had my baby (!), then came back to help them out with the rest of their planning. And I’m SO blessed and thankful that they took a chance on a very pregnant woman. This might have been one of my favorite weddings of all time. They were so much fun to work with and I knew that their love and their wedding would be so special. Justin McCallum’s awesome photos capture every moment, big and small. They started the day with some photos around the Carnegie Institution of Science. Then after signing the license with friends and family, they had a beautiful ceremony in the round. One of my favorite details was that they’d ordered two custom gobos - one for during the ceremony (which listed both of their “maiden” names), and one after, pronouncing them, The Hunters :)

After the cocktail hour, their wedding party had some of the most fabulous entrances I’ve ever seen, including their officiant walking in to Like a Prayer, the ring bearer dancing, and of course, Ryan clacking that fan.

Dinner by Main Event Catering was delicious, as was their stunning custom cake (which incorporated their married logo) by Fluffy Thoughts.

And then… it was the best part of the night. Adam and Ryan did their first dance to Beyonce’s XO, and then announced the incredible Riley Knoxx. This infamous Beyonce performer surprised the guests with a 20 minute set and kicked off the dance party like no one else. (and BTW, she also appears in Taylor Swift’s new music video!). It was legit one of the best weddings I’ve had the honor of being a part of - I need more Beyonce in my life (who doesn’t??).

Thank you and congrats again to Adam and Ryan for allowing me to help plan and organize this awesome day! And a special shout out to Scorpio Entertainment. They not only kicked ass as DJ but had a ton of other elements to coordinate - like Riley’s performance/lighting/sound, the special logo lighting, etc - and nailed it all.

Adam and Ryan’s Vendors:

Planner: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Carnegie Institution of Science

Caterer: Main Event Caterers

Photographer: Justin McCallum

DJ, Lighting, and Sound: Scorpio Entertainment

Florist: Highway to Hill

Cake: Fluffy Thoughts

Hair/Make-up: Ebonie Jones

Performance! by Riley Knoxx

John and Jonathan's Long View Gallery, Washington, DC wedding

Susan Hornyak Photography

Susan Hornyak Photography

John and Jonathan were referred to me fairly last minute by some other clients of mine. I jumped in, super excited to work at Long View again and with this awesome couple - and on the day of DC pride, no less! Such a fun touch for their wedding day! 

John and Jonathan really wanted their evening to feel like a party - and they made some lovely small decisions that helped that vibe follow through. One of my favorites is that they greeted guests at the door prior to the ceremony. A reverse receiving line of sorts, I thought it was such a lovely touch that made guests feel welcome and made it an intimate affair. Their ceremony was also laid out with two aisles - an awesome decision that allowed the room to physically embody these two lives coming together, joining into a wonderful partnership and marriage. 

Post ceremony we had cocktails in the back gallery (with a champs bar, to boot), followed by a meal in the front gallery that featured three different stations for guests to visit which encouraged mingling and chatting. The room was stunning, with an awesome layout and rentals that really reflected the industrial vibe of Longview. 

Post dinner we all headed back to the gallery for The Bachelor Boys and the guys and their guests danced the night away!

Congrats again, John and Jonathan! And big thanks to Susan Hornyak Photography for the wonderful photos.

John and Jonathan's Vendors:

Coordination: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Long View Gallery

Caterer: Occasions Catering

Photographer: Susan Hornyak Photography

Band: The Bachelor Boys

Draping: Fabrication Events

Lighting: John Farr

Floral: Uncloudy Studio

Oscar and Blaine // Mexican Cultural Institute Wedding, Washington, DC // DC wedding coordinator

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah The Plannery's fab coordinator, Tarra, brings you this blog post about Oscar and Blaine's wedding at the Mexican Cultural Institute. I was so bummed I was unavailable for this one, but was very glad Tarra was able to assist these wonderful men. Take it away, Tarra!

Blaine + Oscar = Bloscar! This is the one case where I would say merging the couples’ names together was sheer genius. In many ways, Blaine and Oscar are complete opposites…Oscar love to dance, Blaine does not.  Blaine is very (self-admittedly) Type A, Oscar is not…but Bloscar truly had a personality of his own! Evidenced by a wedding full of details representing both Blaine and Oscar’s personalities and backgrounds.

On the one hand, this special day represented your traditional style wedding (tuxedos, bowties, a formal Episcopal service, etc.)  On the other hand, this wedding gave off a modern, laid-back yet sophisticated vibe - and of course it was extremely FUN!  I think this blend is exactly what Bloscar was going for.  The perfect Greek and Mexican amalgamation. Notable examples include the beautiful Greek crowning tradition performed at the ceremony, and the reception held at the Mexican Cultural Institute featuring a kick ass mariachi band! Even the menu created by Spilled Milk was inspired by Greek and Mexican cultures.  The best part was the Mario Bros photo booth theme!!! Granted, the Mario Bros are Italian, but still somehow it fit in like a glove!

The final thing I will mention about this fantastic wedding was the crazy déjà vu experience I had.  Same-sex marriage + Impeding Hurricane Joaquin = Tarra wondering how the heck she was in this boat again! What are the chances I would experience this two times, in two different roles…first as a bride, then as a wedding coordinator?   Never fear, Bloscar was in excellent hands if I do say so myself!  And it truly my pleasure working with them - Congrats again, Oscar and Blaine!

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Oscar and Blaine's Vendors:

Coordinator: Tarra, The Plannery

Venue: Mexican Cultural Institute

Catering: Spilled Milk

Photography: Khalid Naji-Allah

DJ: Khelan Bhatia

Lighting: Protech

Photobooth: Snapshot Moments

Cake: Touche Touchet Bakery

Food Truck: DC Slices

 

Tarra and Jessy's Baltimore AVAM wedding

Hey folks! This is the last post from our awesome new associate coordinator, Tarra. When I first met her she mentioned she'd gotten married at AVAM and I asked to see a pic. I was blown away and thought you all would be, too! So enjoy this beautiful Baltimore wedding, and the lessons Tarra learned - hurricane and all! **The final photo took my breathe away. Officially convinced the best wedding photos are rainy day photos

**Also, can we talk about how gorgeous these two ladies are?? Ok, I'm done now

I cannot recall dreaming about my wedding day as a child. I do, however, remembering orchestrating countless marriages between my Barbie and Ken, so at the very least I understood the concept weddings and how involved they can be. I also remember really enjoying the coordination aspect of it all, so much that I would literally try to assume every character there was in the “Barbie and Ken Wed” play –mother of the bride, bride, planner, limo driver, officiant, florist, caterer, cake baker, and DJ. It’s no wonder my sisters never liked to play with me! But there was no other way to do it. Things had to be right. I knew Barbie and Ken needed me to be detailed and meticulous…and I delivered!

So even though I initially headed in a different career path (Criminal Justice to be specific), this story shows that the planner has always been in me. When the time came for my very own wedding, that planner finally showed herself again!

The Venue

Jessy and I were married on October 28, 2012 at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore, MD. It was a pretty easy venue choice for us. Baltimore Inner Harbor – check! Non-traditional/unique – check! Artsy/quirky – check! AVAM provided indoor and outdoor options, which we really liked. Yes, we hoped for a freakishly warm fall day so we could have an outdoor ceremony, but that was totally not the case. It was all good in the end, because the gorgeous staircase inside the museum made the perfect ceremony stage for us!

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

The ‘fits

One of the most important things for Jessy was our outfits…specifically the dress choices. While we did not want to see each other’s selection before the wedding, we just had to. She was adamant about us not clashing with each other as many bride-bride couple tend to do. Since I picked my dress out first, I thought maybe we could get away with me shopping with her and her trusting me that I would not steer us wrong. NOPE! I ended up describing my dress which was very unique and the sales consultant said, “I have something like that, let me bring it out and we will go from there”. What does she come walking in with….yup, you guessed it…my exact dress! She slapped that bad boy on a mannequin and Jessy tried on dresses and stood next to my dress until she found the perfect bride-bride match!

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

Catering vs. Coordinating

We used Absolutely Perfect Catering (APC). I have only great things to say about the delicious food, presentation and service in general. One of the major selling points about APC was the fact that our point of contact would act not only as a lead caterer, but also as a day-of coordinator for no additional cost. I felt this too good to be true, so the thought to hire a separate wedding coordinator absolutely crossed my mind. APC, however, insisted that it would not be necessary. I should mention that I was not at a wedding planner/coordinator at the time…not even close…so I was a new to the process as most other brides. With that said, I trusted that our contact could act as both a lead caterer and coordinator. Again, while I have nothing but great things to say about APC including our contact’s services…going with a great catering company that offers coordination services definitely has its limitations. Typically, such coordination services extend only to the reception, falling short on the ceremony and all pre-ceremony preparation.   In other words, catering coordinators are not going to review all your vendor contracts before the wedding, make sure you and the rest of your wedding party are dressed in time, confirm transportation services for your guests, cue the ceremony, or make sure you don’t spend too long taking pictures during cocktail hour. Needless to say, I learned the hard way!

Richard Veytsman Photography

Sandy, oh Sandy!

They say rain on your wedding day is good luck! Well Jessy and I must be the luckiest people in the world because Hurricane Sandy brought on boatloads of rain the night of our wedding. As the storm was approaching the East Coast, I was in complete denial. It wasn’t until the phone calls started to come in from various guests apologizing because they were going to make it that I began to FREAK OUT. I knew the threat was very serious when the AVAM venue manager called to discuss potential flooding of the harbor and how we would be forced to cancel. [Editor's Note: Hey remember that post I wrote about having to cancel your wedding and insurance?] Around 7:00 AM the morning of the wedding, we were able to make the final decision that the show would go on!! Sandy was not scheduled to hit the Baltimore area until after midnight, well after our wedding send off. The rain started as we arrived to the venue and continued throughout the night. The air was pretty chilly and boy was it windy. The saddest part of it all (next to absent family/friends) was the lack of outdoor wedding photos…but our AMAZING photographers, Richard & Tara Veytsman, had such a great eye and awesome idea to drag us outside for some INCREDIBLE shots.

Richard Veytsman Photography

There is nothing I would change about our wedding. I consider all of the minor oversights/mistakes and misfortunes as invaluable lessons. Everything that was stressful and challenging about wedding planning was exactly what I loved about it. Strange, maybe? But that is me. I love worrying about everything and thinking through the solutions! And I really love seeing it all come together as perfectly as it was supposed to. Not even Sandy could hold us back…and the way I see it nothing can stop me from working hard to make others’ weddings just as remarkable as ours!

Wes and Brian // Hotel Monaco Wedding, Washington, DC // DC Wedding Planner

I’m not really sure where to begin with Wes and Brian. They hired me for full planning - after a hilarious meeting in which one of them forgot what secret word they were going to use to indicate to the other that they liked me and wanted to hire me on the spot. So I left and then immediately got called back to their beautiful apartment with the news that I was hired!

From there, things just got better. We did site visits at which Wes bought a painting from a gallery. I learned they were going to have a Best Man and a Best “Bitch”. We drank lots of wine over photographer meetings. We complained about people who shall not be named. We basically had a blast.

Wes and Brian originally wanted to do a courthouse ceremony but after seeing the sad trellis that adorns (if you can call it that) the DC courthouse, decided to do an intimate ceremony at the War Memorial. After some post-ceremony photos, they had a cocktail hour and blow-out reception at Hotel Monaco in DC. Wes and Brian settled on gray and red as their colors (Brian may or may not be from Ohio, and red is a lucky color in the Chinese culture), and Mike Bell from MyDeejay rocked it along with Emily from Love Blooms and her modern floral arrangements.

So sit back and enjoy these fantastic images from the super talented ladies at Paired Images. Some of my favorite moments include:

  • Jess from Paired Images stepping up and tying their bow ties cause they’d forgotten to research how to do it. She is the sh*t.

  • Wes and Brian’s gorgeous cake from Fluffy Thoughts and their adorbs cake topper.

  • Me wrangling big, red balloons. And being super relieved when one that had escaped due to some rough play by the kiddies popped mid reception rather than float into Hotel Monaco’s beautiful dome (whew).

  • The insane, raucous dancing.

 

So thrilled for these two - Congrats again, Wes and Brian!!

Wes and Brian's Vendors:

Wedding Planner: Katie, The Plannery

Venue: Hotel Monaco, DC

Photographers: Paired Images

DJ: Mike Bell, MyDeejay

Florist: Emily, Love Blooms

Cake: Fluffy Thoughts

Uplighting: I Want Ambiance

Photobooth: SillyShotz

Balloons: Balloon Affairs of Frederick

Musings on Equality

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.” It's been a pretty great day. DOMA was overturned and the ruling on Prop 8, though not the complete victory it could have been, at least means Californians get the marriage equality laws they want and most likely gay marriage will become legal there. Inequality is still out there (my marriage is recognized in GA while other same sex marriages are not), but I think the steps taken today are huge and important and historic.

My decision to be quite open about my support of same sex marriage wasn't a difficult one for me to make (as I've discussed previously here). But I've recently been reminded that it's a decision that others appreciate. I had an amazing time at the Say I Do Expo recently, and met some truly remarkable couples (that I'm dying to work with - call me, please!). Beyond that, I recently had a vendor at a wedding take me aside at the end of the evening. He said he'd taken a look at my website and that he wanted to thank me for being so open about my support, because he was going to his sister's wedding the following week. She was marrying another woman. His quiet and simple thank you really struck me. It reminded me that though my support is easy and I don't give it a second thought, there are a lot of other people out there who still don't support marriage equality and same sex couples. So here's hoping today is yet another step in the right direction. Love is love. And rights are rights.

p.s. Edith Windsor rules

Say I Do Expo 2013

I'm baaaaack! Wow. Wedding season hit and I disappeared from this blog. I'm going to try and be better for the rest of the season!

One of the things keeping me so busy, besides the lovely weddings I've been working on, was the Say I Do Expo which I was honored to attend this past Sunday. It was a wonderful day - I met a bunch of amazing LGBT couples about to get engaged, some who had just gotten engaged, and others very close to their wedding date! I wasn't sure what to expect from this expo but it was a truly wonderful experience and had a great turn-out. I also met a lot of awesome vendors as well - one of whom took some pics of my booth and was kind enough to share them with me! Big thank you to photographer Chris Ferenzi - you all need to check him out. Looking forward to working with some of the couples I met at Say I Do this year and next!

 

 

 

 

 

(I look a little tired... perhaps doing a wedding the day before with a 15 hour work day wasn't the best idea?)

Marriage Equality

I'm very sad I'm unable to be downtown today, supporting marriage equality. But wanted to do a quick shout-out here to show my support. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love love. And in my opinion, you can't be in the wedding industry, and love love and be anti-gay marriage. As the Onion pointed out so well today, I can't believe we're still dealing with and discussing this issue. So let's do this, Supreme Court. Seriously. I pray that by the end of the day I feel thankful for having personally witnessed a great moment in history.

And let's not forget: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

 

 

p.s. This is also a great article my husband made me aware of. I love hearing words of support and encouragement where you least expect it.