lesbian wedding

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!

Melissa and Tashia // Josephine Butler Parks Center Wedding, Washington, DC // DC Wedding Planner

In case you couldn’t tell, wedding season hit. Hence the silence on this here blog. The good news, however, is that the photos from the rad, beautiful and fun weddings I worked on this spring are rolling in and I have one of my favorites to share with you today - Melissa and Tashia’s Hollywood glam wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center, with photos by Chris Ferenzi.

I met Melissa and Tashia way back when at last year’s Say I Do Expo (which I was sadly unable to attend this year due to another wedding). They hired me to help them nail down some of their major decisions and vendors, and then work with them on month-of coordination.

Here’s the thing about Melissa and Tashia - they are one of the sweetest couples you’ll ever meet. Their love for each other is truly palpable, they’re both insanely smart and ambitious, and they’re just a joy to be around. Not to mention - I finally got myself a bride in pants!!! (in case you weren’t aware of my obsession, see here). And good grief, what a hot bride in pants Tashia was (and that vest, and that lace… I could go on). Melissa rocked it equally hard with a stunning dress that featured a bolero she removed for the reception (hot hot hot) and those smokin’ red lips. She also had ridiculously hot shoes that somehow weren't photographed but trust me when I say they were beautiful. I had to get that out of the way cause I was completely obsessed with their bridal attire.


Melissa and Tashia DIY’d a lot of their wedding and you’d never freaking know it. Melissa’s mother did the flowers (can you believe it?), Tashia’s cousin DJ’d, and they created all their own signage and a great record guest book!

After some getting ready pics, a first look, and fun family and bridal party shots, they had their ceremony. Filled with tears, laughter and rainbow tissues, it was simply beautiful. I can’t get over the smiles on their faces.


Cocktails were followed by a delicious meal by Main Event Catering - and then they danced and danced and danced.

I’ll let the rest of the photos speak for themselves, except to mention that M&T hired Tiny Paper Portraits to do hand-cut portraits for their guests. It was a huge hit and they were such a pleasure to work with. Such an awesome, classy alternative to the photo booth. Get on that, people.

Congrats again to Melissa and Tashia! You're such a beautiful couple, inside and out.

Melissa and Tashia's vendors:

Wedding Planner and Coordinator: The Plannery

Photographer: Chris Ferenzi

Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center

Caterer: A Main Event

Make-up/Hair: Modern Bridal Studio

Cake: Sweet Black Orchid

Silhouette Artist: Tiny Paper Portraits

Becky & Melanie's DIY Arlington VA Wedding

Photos from the weddings I’ve worked on this year are slowly coming in and I’m so excited to share them with you!

First up are Becky and Mel, two fabulous ladies who are not only total sweethearts, but DIY goddesses. Seriously. I’ve never met a craftier bunch (as you’ll see from the photos, below). These wonderful women contacted me in January wondering if it was possible to plan a wedding in 4 months, and a DIY one at that. As you know, there aren’t many rules in my planning book, so I of course said that anything was possible.

Becky and Mel got married and had their post-ceremony reception at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA. All you thrifty brides and grooms out there should know that St. George's has a meeting hall that they rent out even to those not performing their ceremony in their church. It’s a great deal and a great space as long as you’re willing to give it a little TLC (which Becky and Mel were - with a little help from yours truly).

The wedding day was captured beautifully by Crystal at Lily B Photography (And did I mention this was the first wedding she’s ever done? She was a friend of the brides and a member of the church and while a super-talented photographer had not yet done a wedding. I thought she did an amazing job).

First of all, you have to love Becky and Mel because they had fabulous green shoes. That just needs to be mentioned straight away.

They got dressed (with a minor wardrobe malfunction which I was able to remedy) and then headed off to pre-ceremony portraits.

Followed by the ceremony in St. George’s beautiful sanctuary

Earlier in the day, and during the ceremony, I, along with some hired servers and awesome friends of the brides, were putting the reception together. This was a big job. Becky and Mel were the ultimate DIYers in that not only did they do all their own decor (down to the most amazing details), they self-catered their brunch reception as well.

There was a bloody mary bar. A waffle bar. A candy bar.


Basically - a ton of great food, awesome details, and a big ton o’ fun.

And did I mention the photobooth?

There was a photobooth


There was also Becky’s father who talked me into the photobooth with him


All in all, a really wonderful start to my wedding season, and a great day! And the best part about DIYing your wedding? You get to keep all the leftover booze.

Becky and Melanie's vendor team:

Venue: St. George's Episcopal Church
Photographer: Crystal Hardin, Lily B Photography
Photo booth: SillyShotz
Rentals: DC Rentals
Event Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery