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Vendor Q&A: Heidi Kallett of the Dandelion Patch (Part 1)

You asked, she answered! Our invitation expert answers some tough wedding-related queries

By Heidi Kallett

Heidi Kallett is the owner of the Dandelion Patch, a stationery store with locations in Leesburg, Georgetown, Vienna, and Reston. Today, she answers your questions on handling divorced parents on a wedding invitation, when to send out save-the-dates, and what should be included in a wedding program. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of her Q&A!

DIVORCED PARENTS ON THE INVITATION

Question:
My parents are divorced and both remarried, but both couples are contributing to our wedding. How do I address this on our invitation?

Kallett says: “When you are planning a wedding and your parents are divorced, you want to make sure to handle situations delicately so that no one’s feelings are hurt. In the case that both parents are contributing to the wedding, they are acting as co-hosts and should both be listed on the invitation. The bride’s mother’s name would come first.”


Ms. Amanda Smith

Mr. Michael Lewis

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Elizabeth Ann Lewis

“If either parent is remarried, traditional etiquette does not include stepparents on the invitation. However, you may choose to add them. The bride’s mother’s name would still come first.”

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lewis

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Elizabeth Ann Lewis


• • •

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Vendor Q&A: Genevieve Leiper of Genevieve Leiper Photography (Part 1)

You asked, she answered! Our expert photographer answers some tough wedding-related queries

By Genevieve Leiper

Ashburn wedding photographer Genevieve Leiper has photographed tons of gorgeous weddings, and has been featured in several publications—including Washingtonian Bride & Groom!

Today, we’re featuring the first half of her answers to your tough questions, the rest will go live tomorrow.

WEDDING DRESS COLOR DILEMMA

Question: I’ve picked out a dress that comes in both white and ivory, but I can’t decide! The wedding is at sunset in a garden/beach setting in Akumal, Mexico. What do you think looks better in pictures?

Leiper says: “You should pick the color that looks best with your skin tone because you will be photographed in a lot of different lighting situations all day. Don’t pick the color based just on the sunset—either color would look beautiful.”

• • •

QUESTIONS TO ASK A PHOTOGRAPHER

Question: I’m meeting with a few photographers for the first time to hopefully choose one for our wedding next year. What types of questions should I ask them?

Leiper says: “It’s important to get an idea of how the photographer will handle your wedding, so I would ask them how they approach photographing weddings. Are they unobtrusive and photojournalistic or do they like to get in the middle of everything and stage different images?”

“I would focus more on the personality of the photographer, rather than his or her answers to specific questions. It’s important that you like your photographer, because he or she will be the vendor you will see most on your wedding day. If you’re not comfortable around him or her, it will show in the photos.”

“Also, be sure to take a close look at the photographer’s images. Ask to see albums of a full wedding, start to finish, not just a collection of the photographer’s best shots. Do the photos make you feel like you’re at that couple’s wedding or does it look like every other wedding album you’ve ever seen?”


• • •

PORTRAIT SESSION SCHEDULING

Question: I’m trying to schedule my wedding day and was wondering how long a portrait session (couple, family, wedding party) typically takes. Is it best to take photos before the wedding or during cocktail hour?

Leiper says: “The timeframe really depends on how many family formals you would like. Portraits can take up a good amount of time so I would leave 45 to 60 minutes for them.”

“It’s become more popular for couples to see each other before the wedding to do the formals because they don’t want to miss their cocktail hour. Other couples want the big surprise at the ceremony and would prefer to do formals during cocktail hour. Talk with your photographer an decide which option is best for you.”

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Vendor Q&A: Genevieve Leiper of Genevieve Leiper Photography (Part 2)

You asked, she answered! Our expert answers your toughest wedding queries

By Genevieve Leiper

Yesterday, Genevieve Leiper of Genevieve Leiper Photography answered your questions about interviewing wedding photographers, wedding day scheduling, and choosing a dress color. Today, she’ll solve your queries about everything from relaxing in front of the camera to fall engagement photo ideas.

NERVOUS IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA

Question: Do you have any tips for couples who aren’t comfortable having their picture taken?

Leiper says: “Hire a photographer you feel comfortable around and get along with—you should be able to get a sense of this during an in-person consultation or a long phone interview. It’s our job as professional photographers to try different techniques to get you to warm up to the camera. I keep my couples moving around so they don’t think about the camera being on them. This helps bring about natural facial expressions and helps them to calm down. I usually start off with the wide scenic shots and the more artistic images, so by the time we do the posed shots, the couple is relaxed—­it shows in the final images every time.”

 • • •

TO POSE OR NOT TO POSE?

Question: My fiance and I like photojournalistic pictures and want to keep posed pictures to a minimum. From your experience, what are the most important posed pictures to take? Which ones would we regret not having if we opted for no portraits?

Leiper says: “Make sure you take a few family portraits with your immediate family members. Your parents will probably be very happy—and it doesn’t take long to do them if you keep it to a minimum, maybe one shot of the two of you and your whole bridal party. The images you will really regret not having are the shots of the two of you alone. Tell your photographer that you would like these images to be more candid/artistic and less posed. Then you will get the best of both worlds—artistic images that look like they are not posed and beautiful images to hang on your wall.”

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Bridal Party Chat: Ask a Baker

Cakes from the clouds.

By Lynne Shallcross

Lara Stuckey’s passion for baking started at the tender age of five with an Easy-Bake Oven. She grew up and earned degrees in psychology and fine arts—but fed her love of baking by working part-time at CakeLove.

Nine years ago, thanks to a suggestion from a friend, Stuckey decided to combine her passions for art and baking into a business. She opened Fluffy Thoughts Cakes in her licensed kitchen in McLean. So where does the psychology fit in? “Baking is therapeutic,” Stuckey says. “Seeing customers’ faces once they see their cake is very rewarding. It’s worth every single second that I invest in the cake.”

Lucky (and hungry) brides can choose from a wide variety of flavors. Some favorites include Elvis’s Dream (banana cake with alternating layers of peanut butter and chocolate buttercream), Oh Oh Good (chocolate or red-velvet cake with Oreos and cream covered in buttercream frosting), and Pucker Up (yellow cake with lemon curd and coconut buttercream covered in buttercream frosting).

Stuckey is coming to The Washingtonian on Thursday. And while we wish it were for a cake tasting, it’s for something even better—a live chat. Submit your cake questions now, and Stuckey will answer them from 11 to noon on Thursday.

 

More>> Bridal Party Blog | Wedding Guide | Wedding Vendor Search

 

Live Chat

Chat Recap: Ask a Caterer

From cuisine to kids at the wedding, this expert came armed with answers.

By Lynne Shallcross

When the clock hit 11:59 AM yesterday, Rob Goyena of Catering by Uptown was still typing. He had given thorough answers to a ton of questions in the live Bridal Party chat, but there were still a few more to go. We told Goyena he could wrap it up because the chat was due to finish at noon. But he said he came for the chat, and he’d finish the questions no matter how long it took. After an hour and 45 minutes, we loved his enthusiasm—and just hoped The Washingtonian didn’t give him carpal-tunnel syndrome.

Catering by Uptown has been a family-owned business for more than 30 years and has more than 10,000 weddings under its belt. The company offers on-premise wedding catering services at its two company-owned facilities—the Villa and Celebrations at the Bay—as well as off-premise catering at more than 100 locations in the area. But the services don’t stop with cuisine, Goyena says. Catering by Uptown offers wedding coordination, which includes everything from vendor referrals to decor and rehearsals.

From serving noncake desserts to recreating family recipes, our readers had questions—lots of questions. And Goyena had helpful, thoughtful answers for every last one of them. If you missed yesterday’s chat, read the transcript here.

 

More>> Bridal Party Blog | Wedding Guide | Wedding Vendor Search

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Bridal Party Chat: Ask a Caterer

From planning the menu to selecting the florist, this caterer does it all.

By Lynne Shallcross
When Rob Goyena was growing up, he’d visit his parents while they ran the family business, Catering by Uptown. “The chefs would give me rocky-road brownies—I was hooked!” says Goyena, who’s now vice president of the company. “At age 12, I started working on entering the food orders into the computer, and then I worked in the kitchen and as a waiter, and I eventually started consulting on, planning, and running events.”

Catering by Uptown has been a family-owned business for more than three decades. In that time, it has served six presidents, members of Congress, a variety of embassies, and the Supreme Court, just to name a few. And weddings? Oh, yes—it knows weddings, too. In 30 years, it’s catered more than 10,000 of them.

The company offers on-premise wedding catering services at its two company-owned facilities—the Villa and Celebrations at the Bay—as well as off-premise catering at more than 100 locations in the area. But the services don’t stop with cuisine, Goyena says. Catering by Uptown offers wedding coordination, which includes everything from vendor referrals to decor and rehearsals. Keep Reading ...

Live Chat

Chat Recap: Ask a Gown Expert

You had dress questions; this gown guru had answers.

By Lynne Shallcross
When it comes to picking a wedding gown, it can seem like a maze of possibilities. White versus ivory, beaded versus lace, straps versus strapless. For anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed with options, we’ve got expert help.

Carine Halabi began her career in fashion more than ten years ago when she moved to New York City to join the design team at Aeffe, the parent company of Moschino, John Paul Gaultier, and Alberta Ferretti. She later returned home to Washington, where she specialized in bridal fashion at Vera Wang, Priscilla of Boston, and Saks Fifth Avenue in Tysons Galleria.

In November 2006, Carine’s Bridal Atelier (1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696) opened its doors in Georgetown, offering wedding-gown expertise and tailored bridal fashion for every body type, personality, and style. Carine’s Bridal Atelier was the fashion sponsor of Sunday’s Washingtonian Bride & Groom: Unveiled wedding showcase, where Halabi presented mother-of-the-bride eveningwear and bridal gowns by Monique Lhuillier. Keep Reading ...

Live Chat

Bridal Party Chat: Ask a Gown Expert

Got dress questions? This gown guru has answers.

By Lynne Shallcross
Carine Halabi began her career in fashion more than ten years ago when she moved to New York City to join the design team at Aeffe, the parent company of Moschino, John Paul Gaultier, and Alberta Ferretti. She later returned home to Washington, where she specialized in bridal fashion at Vera Wang, Priscilla of Boston, and Saks Fifth Avenue in Tysons Galleria. While at the salons, she continued to work with New York designers twice a year for bridal-fashion week.

Halabi developed a knack for hand-picking dresses off the New York runway that would be instant bestsellers in the Washington bridal market and decided it was time to open a store of her own. In November 2006, Carine’s Bridal Atelier (1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696) opened its doors in Georgetown, offering wedding-gown expertise and tailored bridal fashion for every body type, personality, and style. The shop’s long list of designers includes Angel Sanchez, Carolina Herrera, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Melissa Sweet, and Monique Lhuillier. Keep Reading ...

Live Chat

Chat Recap: Ask a Planner

Holiday engagements all around? This planner is here to help!

By Lynne Shallcross
It’s no secret that the holidays are the most popular time of year to propose. With January just under way, we knew that our first chat of the year had to be with a planner who could answer any newly engaged couple’s questions, from save-the-dates right on through the honeymoon.

Enter Jamie Sears. She’s been a party-planning addict since she was a little girl—growing up, she used to help her parents pick out invitations and decide the menus for their parties. After graduating from college with a degree in event management, she realized she could turn her passion into a career. Helping to plan her best friend’s wedding and then planning her own inspired Sears to pursue her dream, which she did by forming Simply Chic Events in 2006. Since then, she’s planned more than 40 weddings in Washington and beyond—everywhere from the Hay-Adams and Meridian House to Bermuda and Napa Valley. “Being a wedding planner is about much more than timelines and spreadsheets,” says Sears, whose firm offers services from “month of” to full wedding planning. “It’s about being a friend,” she says. Keep Reading ...

Live Chat

Bridal Party Chat: Ask a Planner

Did the holiday season leave you with a sparkly new ring on your left hand? If you’re just starting to get your feet wet with wedding planning, this expert is here to help.

By Lynne Shallcross
When Jamie Sears was a little girl and her parents threw parties, she made sure to be a part of every stage of the planning from picking out the invitations to deciding the menu. But it wasn’t until after she graduated from college with a degree in event management that she realized she could turn her passion into a career.

Helping to plan her best friend’s wedding and then planning her own wedding inspired Sears to pursue her dream, which she did by forming Simply Chic Events in 2006. Since then, she’s planned more than 40 weddings in Washington and beyond—everywhere from the Hay-Adams and Meridian House to Bermuda and Napa Valley. “Being a wedding planner is about much more than timelines and spreadsheets—it’s about being a friend,” says Sears, whose firm offers services from “month of” to full wedding planning. “I love getting to know each couple and helping them create a day that’s truly unique and reflective of them as a couple. My goal is simple: to allow my clients to enjoy being engaged and ultimately be guests at their own wedding.” Keep Reading ...

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