Monday, March 18, 2013

Having a Wedding in the DC metro, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland area

We were married in Kensington, MD and our wedding celebration happened in Vienna, VA at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Atrium. The following posts are recommended for weddings in the DC metro area, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland.
I wanted to give a shout out to all those people who made the wedding amazing. And guaranteed there is more to come!

Enjoy y'all...I know I did!

Dress Alterations: Angie Cavalarro

I would recommend Angie over any other wedding dress shop in the whole DC metro area. I needed work done to the shoulders of my dress, as well as loosening of the arms, a bustle for my train, and potential hemming to the bottom. I took my dress to one shop that was recommended to me in Vienna, Virginia. The lady at the shop told me that lowest estimate for this work would be $400 for the shoulders and arms, $100 for the bustle, and $200 for hemming. This was the lowest estimate. After realizing that the price for alterations would cost at least half of the dress, I was despondent. My amazing hub, Adam, called some other alterations places, including:

1. Mrs. Kim: (703) 323-0979 (independent): recommended by a friend
2. Maria Main (out of her home): recommended by a friend
Maria's Bridal Designs

3. Green & Blue alterations in DuPont: 202-223-6644
4. Lynn Nelson at Bridal Silhouette,, Arlington. T: 703-402-2266
5. Fashion Dream in Clarendon. (703) 243-8877

At the end, I ended up going with Angie, who has been working in the industry for 25 years. She used to have a shop, but now works out of her basement on a referral basis only. If you are interested in her services, send me a comment, and I can send you her contact information. 

Her price was incredibly reasonable. She had me come for three fittings, and was completely friendly, professional, and easy to work with. I now consider her a friend, and recommend her to everyone! Here is a picture of my dress as altered by Angie, oh and my handsome man!

The Venue: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

I can't say enough great things about Meadowlark! I worked with Renee, Wayne, and with the Event Planner/Catering Manager Liz. They were just phenomenal. We mostly corresponded over email, and when I had freak out moments, they would listen and respond with cordiality and helped get my ideas from paper and turned them into a reality. I was worried that I would have to have everyone show up and help set up. I found out that part of my contract with Meadowlark included help with that. That was a huge burden off my shoulders. All I had to do was provide a list of where everything needed to go. When I showed up the day of, I was amazed at how everything was just perfect! The only recommendation I have is beware of when the sun will set if you decide to set up your ceremony facing West :) It was still gorgeous, but the sun hit our guests eyes during the first portion.

The Event Food: Blue Heron Catering (Meadowlark's Catering company)

Adam, my mom, and I attended a tasting prior to the wedding. We were completely impressed by the food. They were willing to switch things out, add to the menu if we wanted, and let us ask as many questions as we wanted about the food, including how they prepared it, what ingredients were used etc. We were sad when we didn't get to stuff our faces during the actual reception, because bride's and groom's never get to eat, even when they ask someone to make sure they do. The main chef has been working in the industry for years and has such a love for food, which we could tell in what he let us sample. My favorite was the goats cheese with raspberry filled pastry.

The Deejay: Brad McCormick

Adam and I were reluctant to get a Deejay at first. Brad McCormick came highly recommended by my friend who is a Washington Post journalist for the wedding section. He made our decision to have a Deejay really easy. He met with us on weeknight, which is often hard to do in the DC metro area. Prior to even meeting with him, he sent us a site where we could see the kinds of music he could play, including top wedding recommendations. He also sent over an itinerary which helped guide us through what music to consider, dad/daughter, cocktail hour, dinner music, etc. When we met, we talked about what he has done in the past, and he came fully prepared to show us demo material. He is very detailed and wanted to make sure all the music flowed appropriately. We were very flexible with our music selection and wanted him to help us out, but had some requirements specific to our taste, which he was open to. 

Brad is extremely knowledgeable about popular and traditional wedding music, but also knew some of my favorites including some more underground, indie rock. We were impressed by his wide selection, which is why we went with him. Our taste in music ranged from jazz, indie rock, 70s rock, hip hop, 80s romantic classics, and foreign hits (French swing and Latin salsa). His attention to detail proved well as we ended up dancing half the night and accidentally ignoring some of our late-arriving guests. While we have a great group of dancing friends, we have to give a shout out to this Deejay who kept the party going....there wasn't a moment that people were not on the dance floor, including our parents and older guests. We would recommend Brad for his taste in music, amazing mixes, ability to keep the party going, his likeability, flexibility, and attention to detail.

The Photographer: Danielle Schuh

It was so nice to go with such an amazing photographer. I was very happy with the professionalism and artistic nature of Danielle Schuh, who also happened to be my roommate. I had looked at several photographers in the area, but none of whom I appreciated the artistic flare they brought into their photography as well as moderate prices. I can't wait to see the rest of my pictures, but here are two of my favorites.

Honeymoon Location: North Fork Inn

Adam and I went to North Fork Inn on our honeymoon West Virginia for two nights. It was our first BnB experience, and we are happy to say, we are now BnBers for life! Upon arriving, we saw a herd of white tail deer. The atmosphere was perfect for a couple just looking to relax, which we both were after such a party wedding that we had. The rooms exceeded our expectations, and were all very comfortable. Carol was a fantastic inn keeper, and accommodated our needs. In fact, the room came with champagne that she willingly switched out for white grape sparkling soda and fresh fruit. We found out that her husband Ed typically cooks for the inn and was away, but we were very impressed with the Carol's cooking. We liked the food so much, we took home several recipes. 

We enjoyed lounging in the main area, relaxing in the hot tub, sitting next to the fireplace, sitting out on the patio reading, and knowing that we could hike around if we wanted to. We were able to book massages, and were completely impressed by the set up for one of the most healing massages either of us have had. We have since recommended this BnB to all our friends and family.

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