Event Alert: Wedding Blueprint Open House

What a crazy/beautiful/wonderful start to 2015!! We're so sorry about all the quiet on the blog lately. We've been busier than ever having an amazing time making new friends with the sweetest brides and some of their loved ones as their search continues or they say YES to THE dress! 

Have you been making new wedding friends 2015? Either way, we need to introduce you to some – mostly Liza: the amazingly sweet and endlessly talented owner of Studio DBI, a full service event design company, offering planning, coordinating, design consulting, and in-house floral services. They do it all!

After seeing Studio DBI's work for the first time, we realized we couldn't live without them. The arrangements we get from Liza and her team never fail give our salon a new breathe of life.  We now aim to have their florals as much as possible and can personally attest to the team's personal and outstanding customer service  and eye for style and design.

Not only is Liza's team expert in creating swoon-worthy arrangements, but our boutique space, colors, and environment are always considered when they design arrangements for us, creating works that not only fit whatever mood we want to set for the week but also compliment and enhance the entire room.

Ready to make new friends? Mark Sunday, February 22 on your calendars as Studio DBI hosts The Wedding Blueprint Open House right here in Alexandria. Get the chance to meet our friends from Studio DBI, Paired Images (remember them from here and here?), and more awesome local wedding vendors that you'll absolutely want the chance to get to know. 

RSVP for the event here (before Feb 17) and contact Studio DBI or Perfect Planning Events for any questions about The Wedding Blueprint.

Top 5 Best Surprise Wedding Dance Moves


I'll admit, I'm much more impressed with the special effects and pyrotechnics than anything else on this one. I mean, did you look at that dance floor yet??


I am so sorry I don't have a higher quality video for you (I even took the effort to look), but I promise that no amount of poor resolution can hide the awesomeness that occurs int he next wedding dance number.


Really, I'm just a sucker for handsome men looking this sharp with moves this suave.


This groom has some serious moves! The grand set-up, upbeat pop music, moves I can't even begin to compete with, and top-notch videography make this video a personal favorite.


I absolutely love how much fun everyone in this video is having. And by everyone, I mean just about everyone is on the floor dancing. It's hard not to break out into a smile as the energy from that room seeps through your computer screen. This bride had her wedding party and guests learn 3 different dances so the next 3:57 could happen, making it her favorite part of the wedding.

Did you, or will you, have a surprise wedding number at your wedding? What do you think of surprise dance numbers at weddings?

Share your thoughts below and show us your videos!

How to Pee in your Wedding Dress

Now that you have your dress, you need to know this little piece of advice: hot to pee in your wedding dress. Call me crude, but I think it's an important detail to consider! While there a few ways to go about this, one [Offbeat] bride got creative and figured this one out on her own:

How to Pee [by yourself] in your Wedding Dress

"I figured this trick out just prior to my wedding, as my dress was (as you can see) particularly unruly and I didn't really love the idea of employing a small army to help me keep it out of the toilet water (though my bridesmaids were willing to help, bless 'em). Had it been a bit easier to get in and out of, I might have just taken it off, but no — that was a complicated, multi-person operation as well, involving a whole bunch of lacing and carefully placed safety pins and chicken cutlets — not to mention being topless in a public restroom.

And of course, I'm the kind of person who has to pee every thirty minutes, and more often when I'm nervous.

Luckily this little trick is cheap and amazingly effective — plus it's easy to stash some extra trash bags in the bathroom, or find some in most venues if you run out. (A garment bag works well too, and lets you skip Step Three since it already has an extra hole.)

Step 1: Start with a poofy dress.

Step 2: Add a large, sturdy trash bag.

Step 3: Tear a hole in the bottom of the trash bag that is just wide enough to fit your feet through. Aim to keep it small- it will expand as you pull it up your legs, but you want it to fit tightly.

Step 4: Step into the bag and pull your feet through the hole. This is WAY easier if you take your heels off, but in case of super gross bathroom floors, it can be done. Stand near a wall so you don't topple, though.

Step 5: Pull the top of the bag up and start loading your dress-fluff into it, while keeping your feet pretty close together so you don't widen the hole too much. Some of the dress-fluff will inevitably try to escape through the foot hole, but it's not a big deal and you can just shove it back up in there.

Step 6: Shimmy the bag up your body carefully, making sure to get all the dress-parts, ribbons, trains, etc into the bag.

Step 7: Once the foot-hole is around your waist, you can gather the slack at the top of the bag and hold it in one hand, leaving the other free for… bathroom… tasks.

Disclaimer: If you're wearing a dress that easily creases, I can't promise that this won't wrinkle it a bit… but that might be unavoidable even with bridesmaid assistance."


How did you manage to pee in your wedding dress? Any good stories and/or advice? Comment below and let us know!


Source: http://offbeatbride.com/2013/08/how-to-pee

How to say "YES" to the Dress

The DC Ladies has quickly become one of my favorite local blogs for just about all things that involve women in DC. When they asked us to guest post for #TheDCLadiesWeddingWeek, I had to say yes! In case you missed our post over there last week, here it is again in its entirety:


So you’ve got a ring and now it’s time for the moment you’ve really been waiting for: finding that dream gown of yours!

Some of you may have already pulled out your notebook of wedding dresses you’ve been sketching since age 6, and others may be dreading the bridal salon experience the most of all. Big or small, tomboy or fashionista, you should expect to find a gown that you are comfortable in and have fun doing so! Here are some tips so you can make the most of your memories saying yes to the dress without all the stress.

1) Research before Budget Planning

Most bridal salons will ask you upfront what your budget is. If you have an answer, that’s great! But most brides forget to include all the “extras” in their bridal attire budget. How much will your jewelry, veil, undergarments, shoes, and alterations cost? When you talk about your bridal gown budget, have you considered how much all those necessary “extras” will cost? Without considering these elements and doing your research, you will likely underestimate realistic spending goals. Avoid the frustration of feeling you are over-budget down the line by planning appropriately now. Find out the price range of bridal salons before making your appointments and ask about undergarments, accessories, and alterations while you are standing in your favorite gowns to get the most accurate estimates.

2) Research Your Bridal Salons

This one is a bit tricky because it’s hard to do, and I only mention it to make a point. Choosing which bridal salon to visit is a lot like choosing a restaurant: while they are all carry wedding gowns, each salon offers a different atmosphere and ambience which will create completely different experiences for you. Do you prefer a more up-scale salon specializing in couture fashions or would you feel more comfortable in a more casual, down-to-earth environment? While this aspect of bridal gown shopping is worth considering, you likely will not find the answer until you physically visit each bridal shop. Bottom line: don’t let “bad” bridal experience keep you down for the rest of your adventure. There are plenty more salons out there to fit your attitude and style, so there is nothing to fear!

3) Know Your Timelines

We like to advise brides to plan 6 to 8 months for bridal gowns to arrive in our store after they have been ordered, if not more! The exact time frame may vary by designer, time of year your order is placed, and time of year of your wedding. You should also plan about 2 months for alterations after the dress has come in, ideally ordering your bridal gown at least 9 months prior to your wedding. Rush orders may be available for certain styles at an additional cost. The more time you allow yourself, the less stress you will feel; it always better to order sooner rather than later. But don’t let this time frame scare you! We know that not every bride is able to allot this much time; know that it is possible to complete the entire process much sooner. If time is really an issue for you, consider purchasing a sample gown off-the-rack, or calling local salons to ask your expert consultants what your options are.

4) More is Not Always Merrier

Many brides want to bring some family members and/or friends to the appointment. We encourage you to have no more than 2-4 guests, as it may become overwhelming. A larger crowd tends to bring a larger range of opinions. Remember, this is your dress for your day—don’t let anyone tell you differently. One to two highly trusted opinions is usually a nice accompaniment to the experience. If you really need “everyone” to be there, consider making a separate trip after you have chosen your gown and invite the rest of your loving entourage to the big reveal at a separate appointment or during your fittings (when the gown is brand new and in your size anyway).

5) Window Shop from Home

You’ve been eyeing wedding dresses online and in magazines since before you were even engaged. I know it, you know it, we all know it. That’s a good thing though! Feel free to collect photos of all your wedding inspiration in a bridal binder or on Pinterest to give your consultant a better sense of your taste and style. This is not necessary by any means, but certainly is a fun step that you’ve probably already started!

6) Have an Open Mind

After all that hard work putting all your ideas and inspirations together, you must have your wedding day look pretty narrowed down. Don’t be so sure about that! Gowns always look different in a magazine vs. on a hanger vs. on your body so you never know what you might end up loving. Trust your consultant if she wants you to try on something a little different than what you envisioned. What’s the worst that can happen? Either the gown immediately gets tossed to the veto pile, or you are pleasantly surprised when suddenly you find yourself saying yes to the dress!

7) Use Your Imagination

The whole point of trying on bridal gowns is so you know what you will look like on your wedding day, right? Unfortunately, it is typically not as simple as it sounds. Shopping for a wedding gown takes a lot of imagination. As beautiful as you will look in your gown while standing in the salon, just imagine how infinitely better the whole look will be when you place yourself with the appropriate hair and makeup, surrounded by beautiful flowers at your venue. Don’t forget to account for jewelry, veils, and other accessories that will have to compliment your gown as well. For example, if you know you want big, sparkly bling to accessorize with, you may not want to be so quick to dismiss that gown that feels “too plain” on its own. Many of our brides end up customizing many aspects of their gowns from the way it was originally designed. It may seem scary at first, but we promise you won’t regret using a bit of imagination once you see your dream truly come to life.

8) Beware of the Marathon run

Are you making appointments weeks in advance so you can perfectly schedule six different bridal appointments on a Saturday? If so, you are going to be absolutely exhausted. If you have yet to try on a bridal gown, I can almost guarantee that you are underestimating how physically exhausting getting in and out of wedding dresses non-stop for a full day will be. And as much as you would like to have a “moment” when you put on THE gown, unfortunately the enthusiasm wears off by the end of the day when the exhaustion sets in. Gowns and boutiques start to blur together, and while the day was tons of fun, experiencing it in this may will be overwhelming. Instead of finding the perfect gown, you will likely need a break to clear your head and revisit the favorites the following week. For the most effective and enjoyable experience, avoid going to more than three salons in a day. Better yet, avoid going to more than three total (unless you really have disastrous experiences–see #2).

9) Location, Location, Location

It really does break my heart a little to hear a bride say, “I love this gown but I’m getting married on a beach.” At the end of the day, it really is your decision so if that is how you feel then I can only be happy for the gown that you end up choosing. However, if I can put in my two cents… I think that’s nonsense. You are the bride. It is your wedding day.

Whether you are getting married on a beach, in a courthouse, or in your backyard, that should not exclude you from wearing the gown that makes your heart sing. The fact that you are a bride makes the event formal enough to wear a ball gown no matter where you are. That fact that you are getting married is all that anyone will think about, not that you are too dressed too for your wedding day.

10) Don’t make decisions from your photos.

Have you ever wondered why most bridal salons do not allow you to take photos? This is one of the reasons. If you do happen to sneak a few pics, just remember that the dresses look 1000 times better on you than on your phone/camera. Many salons have less than optimal lighting (to be honest, our boutique is one of worst for photos), which does nothing to flatter either you or the gown. We want you to remember the way you felt standing in the dress looking in the mirror, falling in love with all the details that your phone was not able to capture. Sometimes a bride will love a dress when she is standing in it but is less than impressed when she gets home. On the day of your wedding your dress will only be remembered by people seeing it in person or from the photos from the professional photographer that you hired. Trust your instincts when you are gown shopping. If you love the dress but can’t make a commitment that day, then take time to think it over for a few days and go back and try it on again. Seeing it in person once more versus seeing it on a phone is far more beneficial.

Most importantly, relax and have fun! Whether you are shopping alone or with your whole gang, don’t worry about others’ opinions. Your day. Your dress. You deserve to be happy in your gown; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Let us know what you think! Did doing any of these things help you during your wedding gown search? Do you have any additional advice for other brides-to-be beginning their search? Comment below or email us your thoughts!

For more from The DC Ladies, see some our favorite wedding features. You can also find them on facebook, twitter, and pinterest. They've got a lot of great information to offer: 

- Wedding Beauty Timeline 
- Finding a Venue: What to Know Before You Go 
- Finding a Venue: Questions to Ask at a Site Visit 
- Using Sparklers at your Next Event 
- Tips for DIY Flowers 
- Engagement Session Beauty

Source: http://thedcladies.com/2013/fashionista/sa...

The DC Ladies Recap: The Long and Short of Wedding Planning

The other day Kellie dished out some guidelines for where to start in the overwhelming world of wedding planning. What we didn't mention was how the length of your engagement may affect how you approach your planning. Luckily, Margo has this topic covered. We have Margo's recap below; the full article is here. Margo is the owner of The Bright Occassions, a local boutique wedding planning company.


Long Engagements

  • Enjoy being engaged, but stay away from wedding magazines or blogs!
  • Budget and save.
  • Set a general wedding date and planning start date.
  • Do not ask your bridal party before you start planning.
  • Use your time wisely.
  • DIY projects.

When couples first get engaged, they are often bombarded with questions from family and friends.  One of the advantages of a longer engagement is that you can take your time before answering all of their questions.  If you know your engagement length will be well over a year, avoid jumping into planning, reading wedding magazines or browsing blogs/Pinterest for ideas.  Take a few months to enjoy being an engaged couple before you start to overwhelm yourself with all of the options and planning.

Short Engagements

  • Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner.
  • Start with the Who, Where, When, and How.
  • Know what you need to do first, enlist help.
  • Discard the unnecessary.
  • Limit your options, and move on once a decision is made.
  • Consider the untraditional.

If you are planning a wedding in 6 months or less, there will be a lot of decisions to make and not a ton of time.  Having a Wedding Planner can help in a lot of ways!  Perhaps the biggest way, is that as a professional they are not planning a wedding for the first time, they can move quickly providing the appropriate venue and vendor options that are available your date and budget.  In addition, they can help manage your time, provide design solutions, as well as contact and negotiate with vendors on your behalf.

Getting Started with Wedding Planning

Getting Started with Wedding Planning – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Getting Started with Wedding Planning – via Ellie's Bridal Blog

Congratulations, you are engaged!! Now that you have finally arrived to this point in your life, what should you do? As a bride-to-be herself, our very own Kellie will share her wedding planning insight that she has gained through both planning her own wedding and experience working in the bridal industry.

Personally, I find WeddingWire to be very helpful. Who knew you no longer have to go to a million sites? You can find a lot on one place! See image on the right for what you can utilize for your wedding planning alone. In case the WeddingWire/all-in-one-place approach isn't for you, here is a list of 10 Wedding Websites that Every Bride Needs. No matter what resources you use, you should certainly kick off your planning by thinking about these points:

#1 Plan your budget.

Understand your limitations and prioritize. If there is something you really want, talk to the vendors for ideas and suggestions to get something similar that is closer to the price you are looking to stay at. This requires you to be flexible and open to suggestions.

#2 Get inspiration

Figure out what kind of wedding you want. How do you want it to look, what vendors are in the area you want to get married, and where you want to get married. With Pinterest, bridal magazines, and a plethora of wedding blogs at your fingertips, you will never feel short of wedding inspiration. If you own an iPad, The DC Ladies have a fabulous post on how to integrate your ipad/tablet into all your wedding planning needs.

#3 Find a venue that you LOVE

This will determine how many guests can fit and afford. The guest list can build up very quickly. Knowing how much the venue charges per person, you can place a reasonable estimate on how many guests you can invite. If having 200 people is very important to you, you can look at venues that can accommodate the amount of guests and be within the budget you can afford. Check out Venues on Wedding Wire or The Knot to help you see what is in the area and start making appointments.

#4 Request Quotes

Don't be afraid to start requesting quotes from vendors you are interested in. Take the time to learn everything you can. You want to make sure they have what you are looking for.

#5 Put together your online website

It's a great way to give detailed information that cannot fit in the invitations. You can share how you met, the proposal, who's in the wedding, fun activities in the area.

#6 Plan pre-wedding events

Personally, I have been to many weddings. Sometimes you do not know anyone but the couple and a few friends. When planning a wedding, take advantage that people are coming into town to be with you. Plan fun events before the wedding so your guests can make new friends and have time with you. The day of the ceremony is crazy and have limited time to spend with everyone. Events leading up to the big day will help you really spend quality time with everyone.

#7 Create down-time

Plan to have time for last minute details and to get away from the craziness. You want to enjoy everything because it goes by fast. Make sure you take the time to de-stress and relax. You'll need time to get yourself all together. So don't forget to plan time for yourself the week of the wedding.

#8 Expect the unexpected

Realize that something may pop up that you were not expecting. Tell yourself, it's your wedding and you are going to enjoy everything no matter what happens.

#9 Research the value of a Wedding Planner

Every engaged couple should at least think about hiring a Wedding Planner, in which case you should read this so you know a little more about what a wedding planner actually does. Great wedding planners are known to work with your budget, and ultimately help you spend less rather than spending more. If you know you want to plan your wedding completely on your own, you may still want to hire a planner for day-of coordination.  You may not realize the full value of one until you learn about the near-disasters that you didn't have to deal with only after the wedding.

If you have any other tips or advice that helped with your wedding planning, please help share those [not so] secret tips. You can also follow our Wedding Planning Tips Pinterest board and view our collection of the most helpful pictures and posts we could find.