Soiree Special Events

Monday, September 22, 2008

What?? You're still here?

Are you still checking this blog? Don't you know we moved a few weeks ago? Check out our new digs at!

We have a great Real Wedding today and lots of great posts this week. Make sure you update your bookmarks, links, and feed readers!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Have you updated your bookmarks yet?

Don't forget to update your bookmarks. We've moved!

If you're reading this on Google Reader or another blog reader, add this as a new blog:


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Join Us at the Wish Blog

We've moved!
Since we've changed our name, our blog is moving too. Don't worry -- we'll still publish the same awesome posts as we always have. On Tuesday we'll even have an amazing 'Real Wedding' to share with you. Click here to get on your way.

If you came here from a bookmark, please update it. If you link to us on your own blog or website, we'd appreciate if you could switch out your link. Copy & paste this:

See you on the flip side!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Big News!

We have been working on some big news for a while and are so thrilled to finally share it with you. As of today, we'll be known as Wish Special Events!We've formed a more perfect union with The Dandelion Patch and will be offering event planning services to their brides. We'll still be open for business as usual so if you're not ordering your invitations through their adorable stores then don't fret. From the surface we are essentially just changing our name and our look.If you're a current Soiree bride, your contract, payment terms, and coordinator will stay the same. We are keeping the entire team, cell phone numbers are the same, and email addresses will be active. The services you've contracted us for are not going anywhere. We are very much looking forward to working with you on your wedding.

If you are a potential client, please check out our new website! The information is very similar to the Soiree site as we're offering the same services, keeping the same people, showcasing the same weddings, etc. Our rates have gone up a tad but they are still competitive for planners in the DC area. All new weddings will be booked through the new company.

If you are a vendor, please update your website links and address books. Our team members' emails will now be Our contact number is switching to a central line at 866-410-WISH (9474). We plan to also send out a formal email announcement...add your address in the comments to be sure you're on our list. As always we appreciate your positive recommendations and referrals.

We're so thrilled to announce this partnership. It allows us access to bigger and better business resources and the opportunity to grow in the direction we've been aiming. Stay tuned for an announcement about our new'll likely need to update your bookmarks and links to follow us.

Post your comments below! I'll be checking back regularly to answer all your questions. You may also email me anytime with concerns. To chat on the phone, our snazzy new toll-free number is 866-410-WISH (9474).


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Free Bridal Show Tickets

Want FREE admission to the Washington Bridal Showcase? Thanks to WeddingWire, you can get in the Dulles show for free! Be sure to print more than one coupon if you have a date or a helper coming along. See you at the show!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Congratulations Rama and Neel!

My very first wedding! Well, not really...I've assisted the amazing Laura and Jessica with QUITE a few others, as well as helping friends and family members with their weddings for years. But Rama and Neel were my very own clients, and for that I am SO grateful! My first wedding was certainly a new experience...a 400 guest, all day Indian affair! Having never been to an Indian wedding, nor having been to quite a large wedding, I was worried, but luckily Rama and Neel had a ton of family members to help. I couldn't have done it without them!

The wedding was held at Foxchase Manor in Manassas and was decorated by the fabulous Prabha Bambri. Check out some of these amazing photos, taken by one of Soiree's favorite teams, The Regetis:
The ceremony included so many amazing colors, and there were even costume changes! I'm a sucker for a costume change...maybe it's the Diana Ross in me?

Outfit #1:
Outfit #2:And later in the evening, there were even more costume changes! Outfit #3: (How cute are Rama and Neel, with Rama's sister Deepa and her fiance Anand?! Their wedding is coming up next month...congratulations to you two as well!)

One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was the rice ceremony. The showering of rice on each other symbolizes the offering of mutual love, faith, fertility and prosperity.

After the ceremony there was an amazing luncheon catered by friends of Neel's parents. They catered dinner as well -- yum! The beautiful cake was provided by Cakes by Marida. Marida is retired from baking the cakes...her daughter, Donna, does the baking now. However, the adorable Marida, her husband, and her grandaughter arrived to deliver this beauty!

The ceremony flowers were also provided by Prabha...I love how th tall centerpieces are lit from below with what I can best describe as a jello like substance with a light in it. I had to explain to a table full of college guys from Emory University that no, they could not eat the "jello"!Speaking of college guys from Emory, Neel's little brother, Ajay, is in an A Cappella group at Emory called No Strings Attached. Not only were these guys sweet and hilarious, but MAN could they sing?! I don't know how Ajay did it, because he had just given a toast that didn't leave a dry eye in the house...especially mine! Little brother has an AMAZING voice!!

Special thanks goes out to both sets of parents for working with us before the wedding, as Rama and Neel live in New York City. Congratulations again to the happy couple...thanks for making my first wedding an amazing one!


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Our Big News is Slightly Delayed

Our Big News was supposed to be ready to go over the weekend. Due to some unforeseen last-minute changes, it looks like we'll be up and running NEXT weekend. Sorry for the delay. We're planning on unveiling our change at the Washington Bridal Showcase on Sunday -- check us out there OR tune into the blog. Thanks for your patience!


Monday, September 01, 2008

Why You Don't Want to be a Wedding Planner

Since the beginning of the year, we've received 100+ resumes from aspiring wedding planners. That's pretty typical and the list has stretched long since we started in 2005. Apparently being an event planner is the 'it' job of the millennium. I'm sure any other planner out there has tons of those emails (on iWed we affectionately call them the "it's my dreeeeeaaaam" girls).

Unfortunately the reality of being a wedding planner is that most of us are chained to our laptops 90% of our time. We blog about all the fun things we do....picking linen with clients, visiting new venues, going to networking parties, and of course running the wedding days. Like any other job, though, there is a ton of correspondence with clients and vendors, business paper work, tax documents, and everything else that goes with owning a company. Not very often do we blog about the boring things but they're equally as important.I took a few minutes today and averaged the number of emails I send on a regular basis. Last week I averaged 30.2 emails a day! Keep in mind that I was out of the office from 10am-8pm on both Thursday and Friday so the bulk of these were spread over the beginning of the week. On Wednesday I topped out at 42 emails for the day made up by 31 separate conversations. They span 15 hours. Can you imagine a 15-hour workday talking with 31 people simultaneously? The kicker is that most of my emails are about the same amount of text as this post.If planning events is still your goal, be persistent. We offer a great internship program and are looking forward to seeing what you can offer. The wedding industry always has room for better vendors. If the thought of 31 simultaneous conversations and office hours from 8am-11pm slightly scares you, turn and run just as fast as you can!

If you're one of our spring brides, we love you and promise we're not trying to ignore you. We always strive to get back to client emails same-day (sometimes same-hour) but can't always reach that goal. Our fall brides are taking the front seat for the next few days as we finalize their details. We'll get back to you just as soon as we can.


Friday, August 29, 2008

We're Out for the Weekend

We have three couples getting hitched this Labor Day Weekend. Congratulations in advance to Krystal&Jason, Angie&Rich, and Esther&Michael! We're looking forward to having photos from all three events on the blog soon.

Come back on Monday for some BIG SOIREE NEWS. Seriously, it's big. You'll have to check back to see what's going on!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why that bridal mag cost you $8.75

Have you ever bought a wedding magazine (don't lie...) and looked at the price tag? It's just right there on the barcode. Check it out sometime. Those things cost a fortune! In college I could've eaten meals for a week on $10. As a bride I couldn't get enough of them and had stacks upon stacks hidden in my closet. As a planner I now scoff at the recycled information repeated in nearly every issue. Over the years they've never ceased to produce some of the most gorgeous wedding photos that ever were.

Wedding planner Sasha Souza writes her very own blog called Sparkliatti. Recently she wrote about a photo shoot done for a magazine spread. The setup wasn't even for a real wedding! It was simply to display the conjure up romantic images and stir the creative juices in brides' minds everywhere. I simply can't imagine the cost of all the beautiful displays. That cost gets passed on to you, lovely reader:I think my favorite part of the post is where she describes the two people sitting in the car. (::hint: one of them is her::) What are you waiting for? Go check it out!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Washington Bridal Showcase - 9/7/08

Mark your calendars! The area's largest bridal show is coming to the Dulles Expo Center. The show is on Sunday, September 7th. There are also shows in Bethesda on 9/14 and Greenbelt on 9/21. We've participated regularly in this show and are looking forward to meeting you. Discounted tickets are available if you buy them online.

If you've never attended a show, check out our handy tips we posted before last year's show. They'll help you maximize your time there and make planning a lot easier afterwards.

This year we have some exciting news! We'll be exhibiting under a new name. Look for Wish Special Events instead of Soiree. I'll post more about our big news over the next couple days.

I have some free tickets to give away. To win a pair, leave a comment describing what you hope to accomplish at the show. Maybe it's comparing photographers or meeting several deejays? Perhaps you just want to come and stuff yourself full of cake? Be sure to leave your email address so I can find you. I'll select a winner on Friday at 5pm and contact you over the weekend. Good luck!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Live Chat @

Every Thursday hosts a wedding professional to answer questions about DC-area weddings. Guess who's the victim for this week's live chat at the Washingtonian? Me! I'm honored and thrilled all at the same time. I'm so excited to see their offices and answer your toughest planning questions for an hour.

Submit your questions here and join me on Thursday from 11am-noon! We'll post the re-cap afterwards if you're not able to make it (but would still love to see you online for the real deal).


Monday, August 25, 2008

Congratulations, Courtney & Tom!

Courtney & Tom got hitched this weekend! Their beautiful wedding started off at the Hyatt Regency Reston where Courtney chose to get ready. The boys congregated there too in a different suite. They were all picked up in two white stretch limos provided by Reston Limousine who did a phenomenal job (beautiful cars and nice drivers...what else can you ask for?). The ceremony was held at the adorable Vale United Methodist Church in Oakton, VA. If you imagine the quintessential country church, this is the same place. The party continued at Hidden Creek Country Club which just underwent a facelift and is looking quite snazzy. We'll have some great photographs from Heather Z Photography shortly. For now, here are some non-pro shots from the day:

Vale United Methodist:This large traffic circle at the church was wonderful for the limousines to turn around in. Someone must have ordered the gorgeous poufy-clouded sky:The program basket is ready to go just in the entryway. These baskets came in handy later to hold their send-off sparklers!Inside the church. Isn't it just the cutest thing you've seen? It reminds me a little of Wakefield Chapel in Alexandria. We filled it up with about 100 guests:Kate at Reston Floral Design provided all the flowers:Here's the church all packed in. Rev. Norma Peyton did a great job on the service! She and her husband Rev. Wesley Peyton both perform religious and secular wedding ceremonies. Check out Heather Z doing her thing in the aisle:A small piece of Hidden Creek's newly decorated ballroom. This place is a steal and still has plenty of open dates for 2008 and 2009 weddings (ask for Phil):Here are their cute little escort cards, all lined up to go. The ribbon at the top indicates each guests' meal choice for the wait staff:Outside they have a great big deck that overlooks the 18th hole. You can just barely see it beyond the sliding glass doors in the background:This photo is terrible but shows what it looks like with guests in the seats. This is just two thirds of the ballroom...there is another section to the left of the camera that looks just the same:The wedding cake was from Connie's Cake Creations. I wish I had a photo of it! It was three tiers. The middle layer was marble, the bottom was white on white and the top layer will have to wait a year until we know for sure. In between the top two layers were some pillars and the florist filled it in with hydrangea and roses. Beautiful! There were some extra slices left so the club boxed them up and sent them home as favors. Every last piece was gone at the end of the night.

Ron Gray of Kirkabee DJs did a great job at reading the crowd and keeping guests on the dance floor. I always recommend Kirk and his crew since they consistently do a great job.

Special thanks to Ladan and Jessica, my assistants for the evening. Without their help things wouldn't have been nearly as stress-free! I'm so glad Ladan got some shots of the club before guests arrived. It looks so different since we were there in September for Katie & Zack's wedding.

Courtney & Tom -- I hope you both enjoyed every second of your wedding day! Congratulations and best of luck with your new future together.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Win a Diamond Necklace from Mervis!

Mervis Diamond Importers is what I'd call the best diamond store in DC. My hubby actually purchased my engagement ring there and I'm sure a great portion of proposals involve a trip to their shops. It's hard to listen to any radio broadcast for more than an hour without hearing one of their advertisements. They are truly a DC institution.Until September 3rd, they are running a contest to give away a $500 diamond pendant! To win you must write a limerick about love, dating, and diamonds in Washington DC. In their own words:
Tell us your stories of love, dating, and diamonds in the District and you can win a diamond pendant! Did you meet your true love under the cherry blossoms? Did she say yes right after a spending bill passed? Was the ring presented at Ben’s on a half-smoke with everything?

So what are you waiting for? Run on over to the Mervis Blog and check it out!


Monday, August 18, 2008


Thanks to Elizabeth Ann Designs, we are hooked on Montage-a-Google! Type in your search terms and KAZAAM! A montage is created for you. Here's what happens when we enter Soiree Special Events:My face, the Party Rental showroom, my crinoline, our team photo, our logo and website, and the tutorial on how to un-freeze wedding cake were popular hits. Ashley's wedding and the ISES Green Party were also featured.

How about "Pool Wedding"?Or "Washington DC"?Try it out for yourself! You can get some beautiful combinations and this is a great way to come up with your wedding color scheme. Just be careful...this one sucked us in for quite a few hours of mindless activity. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're Committed

To Blog Action Day, that is!

We were proud to be a part of this force last year and are looking forward to it again. Blog Action Day is an annual event that includes big and little blogs around the world. Each blogger must write about the selected topic on the same day. This year's topic is Poverty and the date is October 15th.

If you're a blogger, won't you consider joining the cause?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Famous!

Okay, not really famous like Hollywood.

Famous like Aletha at Pearls Events featured my own wedding on her blog! That's famous enough for me and I'm just thrilled to see that she liked my big day. I'm so flattered. Here are the inspiration boards she put together:I think my favorite image from the whole day is the portrait in front of the yellow building. That's the print we used in our signature guest book frame. The green circular numbers are the tops of our strawberry jam jar favors/escort cards. I also like the one of our wedding bands. Can you believe that mine fits inside his? It's also hard to see but squint and check out the hottness of my ruffled-edge cake stand. Thanks Grandma, for finding that gem for me!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Soiree Classifieds: Lemonade Jars

UPDATE: The jars have a new home! Congratulations in advance to Jennifer and Ben who will be getting hitched this Labor Day weekend.

We've had these lemonade jars for quite a while and they're always a huge hit at events. They are perfect for holding pre-ceremony beverages or just as a fun station next to your bar. There are three which is perfect for serving lemonade, iced tea, and water. Of course you can jazz it up and do three different types of sangria if you want...they are really versatile!The spigots at the bottom twist open and closed:I love the little nobby tops. Her hands give you an idea of their size:
Beautiful!Each jar holds 19 liters of liquid and we've used them for parties of 200 without having to refill. They each have their own box so they stack and store quite nicely. We're asking $115 for all three but will consider all offers. Pickup is in Reston, VA or I can meet you in Tyson's/Fair Lakes/Herndon/Sterling/etc. Email me if you're interested!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Hour with Mervis!

Calling all brides- and grooms-to-be:

Soiree and Mervis will be at Chima tomorrow evening for an impromptu happy hour. Join us in Tyson's Corner around 6:15 for some non-committal wedding chat and a few drinks. If you plan on coming, please shoot me an email so I have an idea of a head count. See you there!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Terrapass for Weddings

We're all aware of the environmental impact that weddings and special events create. "Green Weddings" have been the rage for the past year and show no sign of slowing. Brides and grooms are more eco-conscious and are taking efforts to minimize their footprint.

Did you know that Terrapass offers a Wedding Carbon Footprint Calculator? It adds up airline and car emissions from your guests' travel, hotel energy use, and energy use at the actual wedding. After you discover the number of tons of carbon you're putting into the atmosphere, you can purchase a carbon offset to help reverse the damage. They offer a nice printed version that you can frame and display at your wedding reception (perfect near the guestbook).How much is YOUR impact? I think this is a great alternative to wedding favors and also a wonderful way to help the environment. To learn more about Terrapass, check out the dedicated Wikipedia page.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Eight Eight Oh-Eight

Remember last year when 07-07-07 was the biggest wedding date of all time? This year we have August 8th 2008 but brides just aren't biting the way they were. Perhaps it's because it's a Friday? We have surprisingly few weddings this weekend although August is typically a slow month anyhow.

Did you pick your wedding date based around a certain number? Mine was June 10th 2006 which to me looked like 06-10-20-06. For you planners out there, are you busy today? Do you think we'll get another date like 07/07/07?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Venue Spotlight: The Spy Museum

That's right folks, here in DC we have an awesome place called the International Spy Museum. All about deception, double-cross and espionage, this museum is one of the coolest tourist attractions around. Okay, it's a great local attraction too...Hubs and I discovered it last February and can't wait to go back.

Did you know you can host a private event at the Spy Museum? They've teamed up with Zola, their next door restaurant neighbor, to bring you an event venue that's to die for (har har...get it?)The space is not extremely large but is surprisingly functional. The room is split by a small set of stairs...the lower floor is perfect for cocktail hour and then for dancing. The upper floor is ideal for dinner tables and can seat about 100-120 guests. There's also a built-in projector and screen for those popular slideshows! The best part is that catering is in-house (by Zola! yum!) and they also provide tables, chairs, and linens.Zola itself has a great private room that's smaller but would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner. This rooms seats about 40 guests and is completely private from the restaurant:In keeping with tradition, I must post the link to the Scott Hamilton Skates the Universe video. I posted about this last February when writing about the Spy Museum and believe that every true Washingtonian should take a break out of their busy lives and try to discover this little gem at the National Air & Space Museum.