Planning Tips

Know Your Date

October 6, 2015

You’re engaged! Now what? One of the first steps after you say “yes” is deciding on the date. A few things to consider when locking down the day:

  1. Consider Community Events: It is important to know in advance if your wedding will fall on the same day as a large conference in your city, a parade or sizable community event. This could potentially affect traffic, hotel availability and vendor accessibility.
  2. Consider Seasonality: You may have guests that opt not to sit through the mid-summer outdoor reception – Know your guests!
  3. Consider the Factors of An Off-Season Date: It’s no surprise the most popular months to get married are May, September and October. The weather is predictably comfortable and there is availability in friends + families schedules. However, if you are planning a budget-friendly wedding, consider an off-season date. You may find venue fees and vendor costs are cheaper during less popular months.

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  • Anna Smith

Welcome Gift Wednesday: Week Five

July 29, 2015

Luxury Wedding Welcome Gifts

 by Jamie at Marigold & Grey

I’ve reserved the last week of our “Welcome Gift Wednesday” series for one of my absolute favorite topics…luxury welcome gifts! With gifts in this category, it’s all about creating an experience for guests, one that starts upon arrival and lasts throughout their stay and beyond. You might be wondering how something as simple as a gift can create an actual experience? Definitely read on! Here are ways to fancy-up your gifts and treat your guests to a welcome they will never forget.


Deluxe Packaging


Instead of the standard gift box or paper bag, this is an opportunity to let the packaging be a gift in itself. Choose something that is high-quality and will appeal to both male and female guests. I love these canvas Duck Bags by BAGGU. They hold a lot of items and guests will be thrilled to be able to take these home with them after the wedding. Another favorite is using an unfinished pine crate to hold your gift contents. They have a gorgeous, neutral aesthetic and can also be taken home and used for years to come.







Credit: Marigold & Grey

Amenity Items


Amenities such as Advil and breath mints are super useful in welcome gifts. To achieve a more luxe feel though, consider taking your convenience items to the next level. For example, I absolutely adore Rosebud Salve, packaged in an adorable vintage tin. For a beach-inspired event include high-end SPF and other sun relief items as well as a Turkish-T beach towel. Other options include earplugs and an accompanying eye mask for a good night sleep, a spa robe and bath salts to achieve a spa-like ambiance, or even hangover cures for the morning after aches and pains.

 00391_1-3-15_Bowties and Bubbly_Chesapeake Bay Beach Club_Maryland Wedding_Easternshore Wedding_Wedding Photojournalism Rodney Bailey


Credit: Rodney Bailey Photo



Locally-Sourced Snacks


Choosing handcrafted, locally-sourced snacks is a great way to welcome your guests to the area and show off the best that the town has to offer. Is there a local bakery known for their tarts, pies or other sweet treats? If so, arrange to have them individually wrapped to include in your welcome gifts. Chances are, sweets like these come in unique and high-quality packaging that’s a natural fit for your gift design. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with these caramels from La Vache Microcreamery in Charlottesville, Virginia. These add a very made-from-scratch, yet high end, touch to any gift while also making a local statement.


Another idea is to include regular-size portions as opposed to snack-size. This way, the goodies last the entire weekend and keep guests satisfied.


Credit: La Vache



Custom Maps and Paper Goods


Custom maps are not only personal but beautiful and interesting to look at. They keep the guests engaged, help them get their bearings in a new city and even act as a keepsake that a guest may even want to frame one day. I love this one by Cink Art.

Considering using it as an oversized gift tag on the outside of the bag or even printed on a welcome letter or itinerary card inside the gift itself. The possibilities are endless with this and definitely make the end result incredibly special.

 View More:

Credit: Krista A. Jones Photography



Use of Calligraphy


Oh my goodness, I’m a calligraphy addict. I’ve actually tried doing it and am terrible at it which furthers my fascination with those who have mastered it! Adding calligraphy to any gift automatically takes it to another level of gorgeous. Your guests will appreciate the added touch that gives the gift instant polish. These examples by Poppy & Scooter.


Credit: Abby Jiu Photography


Credit: Abby Jiu Photography




Bubbly can, of course, be champagne or prosecco. Or, it can even be a lovely full-size bottle of sparkling water added to the gift in addition to the still water that everyone might expect. I love Voss because of the neutral grey/clear packaging but also adore San Pellegrino and Badoit for a touch of green! Either way, bubbles are elegant, festive and a fantastic way to add the sophistication factor.


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Credit: Krista A. Jones Photography


Fresh Florals


Last but definitely not least, florals are my absolute favorite way to take your gifts from ordinary to extraordinary. Opt for florals and/or greens that tend to keep for a long time since there will be a time lapse between when you send the gifts off and when your guests actually receive them. But if you time it right, you end up with absolute perfection. Your guests see attention to detail, thoughtfulness and as an added bonus, it makes their hotel room smell amazing too.

 View More:

Credit: Krista A. Jones Photography

Thanks again to Jamie and Marigold & Grey for five Wednesdays of great welcome gift tips!


  • Abby Jiu Photography
  • Krista Jones Photography
  • Marigold & Grey

Classy and Charming – Real Wedding of K + J

July 28, 2015

When looking at Kaitlin and Jeff’s wedding, the perfect way to describe it can be wrapped up in one word: “classy”. This was the look that the couple was going for, and they certainly accomplished exactly what they wanted from this day!

The wedding was made up of navy, white, and soft pink colors, and all of them blended perfectly. The feeling of the wedding was gentle, yet exciting and romantic. Kaitlin explains her favorite details in her own words:

I loved how the first floor changed between the ceremony and reception.  The ceremony was beautiful with an arch of flowers and greenery that we stood in front of.  Then when we came downstairs from cocktails for dinner it was amazing to see how the space had been transformed for the reception.

The wedding was located at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, which was the perfect place for Kaitlin and Jeff’s classy and sophisticated wedding.


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Kaitlyn + Jeff

November 1, 2014 | Washington, D.C.

Event Planner:  A. Dominick Events  | Design: A. Dominick Events | Florist: Amaryllis | Reception Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Ceremony Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Rentals: Design Cuisine | Lighting Company: Frost Lighting | Photographer: Abby Jiu | Cake + Desserts: Design Cuisine | Hair: Amie Decker Beauty | Makeup: Kim Giammaria | Invitations and Day-Of Paper Company + Brand: The Dandelion Patch + Sugar Paper | Entertainment Company + Selected Entertainer: Andy Kushner Entertainment + Design Sound Connection


  • Abby Jiu

Destination: Honeymoon – African Safari

July 27, 2015

We’ve covered Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, and now it’s time for an African feature! Have you ever thought about going on an African safari for your honeymoon? Well, the pictures below are pretty explanatory as to why you should consider it now! Africa is a beautiful getaway, and it is the perfect way to spend your first days as a married couple doing something adventurous and exploratory. You could also check out a beach resort in Cape Town for a more tropical feel as you are in the exciting continent of Africa.




  • African Safari Experts

Destination: Honeymoon – Beijing

July 20, 2015

Is traveling to Asia on your bucket list? Do you want a relaxed honeymoon in a 5-star hotel in the capital of China? The Beijing Four Seasons will treat you like royalty, as they offer special packages for honeymoons that include champagne breakfasts and candlelit dinners. Even if you haven’t thought about an Asian getaway before, Beijing is the perfect place for you to go to experience rich culture, history, and a calm atmosphere. What better way to honeymoon than to discover this amazing place together?

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  • Beijing Four Seasons

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