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Event Planner Notes

November 21, 2011
Sister Sister

Several times we’ve had the honor and privilege to plan weddings of siblings. The most interesting thing is how very different these events tend to be. And how much fun it is to plan a second event for the same family.

In 2004 we meet with Claudia and Bill Claudia had a vision; her wedding would be inspired by the movie “Father of the Bride”, with a tented reception at Bill’s grandmother’s house. The same music would be played at her church ceremony. Claudia loved the music from FOB. She had the same music playing at her reception too! This was her dream. So we watched the movie again to see how we could incorporate similar elements. So in late September, Claudia walked down the aisle at the University of Maryland Memorial Chapel. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the estate grounds while a pianist played in the background. Dinner was served under the tent, followed by dancing to the big band sounds of Blue Moon.

Two years later we received a call from Claudia’s mother asking for a consultation with her daughter Priscilla. Priscilla wanted her wedding to be a reflection of her culture. Priscilla and her family are originally from Chile and her fiancé Esteban is from Bolivia. Like her sister Claudia, Priscilla envisioned an outdoor garden wedding. But Priscilla’s wedding would take place in August with traditional South American food and music.  We visited several venues with Priscilla until she fell in love with Mount Airy Mansion where Pineapple Alley is the exclusive caterer. Pineapple Alley was up to the challenge of creating traditional Chilean and Peruvian cuisine based on old family recipes.  “Corvina a la Chorrillana” - Chilean Sea Bass with a spicy Onion and Tomato Sauce was served over rice. Beef and Corn casserole “Pastel de Choclo” was prepared in individual casserole dishes. Priscilla and Esteban’s families said the dishes were perfectly executed and delicious. Guests dined on three non-conventional long tables. Entertainment included the Mystic Warriors who provided traditional Andean music. Instruments included Pan Pipes and Andean Ancient Flutes. This was very different from her sister’s wedding.

Not long after Priscilla’s wedding we met Jennifer and Álvaro who were looking to host a simple church ceremony and hotel reception. The twist was that they were hoping to be married the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They also wanted to incorporate some elements of their individual cultures. Jennifer was born in the USA but her family is originally from Holland. Alvaro was born in Peru, so the invitations were printed in both English and Spanish. Jennifer and Alvaro wanted a deejay that was familiar with Latin music. With this in mind, we recommended Santana of Santana Entertainment – and they loved her!

The Hotel Ballroom they reserved did not have much personality. So to help create a more dramatic look, we brought in specialty lighting from Perkins Productions and added upgraded chairs and linens. Since we were approaching the season, two Christmas trees were set up and decorated with favors for each guest. Favors of Dutch Clogs and traditional Peruvian ornaments were a representation of Jennifer and Álvaro’s backgrounds.

Five years later we received a call from Jennifer’s younger sister Jessica asking if we could help plan her wedding. Jessica wanted to get married in late summer. She found a venue just outside Frederick that she and her fiancé Mike fell in love with. They envisioned their ceremony overlooking the venue lake with cocktails on the grounds and dinner and dancing under an open sided tent. Something really important to Jessica was the idea that her father would make centerpiece containers out of a birch tree grown in her late grandfather’s garden.This was a great idea with an outdoor setting, so we presented it to Carla at Ory’s Floral. Carla came up with 2 different floral designs, one “long and low” and the other vertical. Arrangements were filled with summer blooms in shades of pink and orange. Another garden theme element that Jessica & Mike added were tulip bulb favors which was a definite nod to their backgrounds. Every spring the tulips shall bloom just as their love.

In 2007, we meet Aidanora (Aida for short) who was helping her sister Marjorie plan her wedding. Aida was dating Matt – we helped Matt’s sister plan her wedding back in 2001.

Marjorie was a busy lawyer who was going to be married at St Mary’s in Annapolis. However she needed a venue in to host her wedding in December.  After visiting a number of sites, Marjorie selected the Governor Calvert House which is also in Annapolis. She was going with a winter theme of white and silver. Along with music, flowers were a priority to Marjorie, so we worked with Christine from Fleur de Lis to create her floral designs. She had beautiful tall arrangements in silver vases. Perkins Productions provided pin spot lighting that really accentuated her centerpieces. For music, Marjorie heard about a deejay that was familiar with the Latin sound and spoke Spanish. She wanted to ensure that her family from Nicaragua would be able to understand what was happening.

Fast-forward to last year when Matt proposed to Aida.  And of course we were thrilled that they wanted us to assist with their special day. Aida had a very different and less formal look in mind than her sister Marjorie’s wedding. Aida’s colors were champagne, bronze and gold. The only priorities she had in common with her sister were the same church, food and music. Because Aida's ceremony started in the early afternoon, we had room to play around with the time.

Aida selected Podickory Point Yacht & Beach Club for her reception - a great waterfront venue just before the Bay Bridge in Annapolis. Her vision was to have cocktails on the grounds and clubhouse deck, dinner under a tent and dancing back inside the clubhouse. All of the linens we selected from Gala Cloths were in Champagne, Gold and Bronze hues. Chandeliers were hung from the ceiling of Aida’s tent matching the theme throughout her invitations, programs and place cards.

Aida is a Yoga instructor, so for a little bit of the whimsical, her guest tables were named after “Yoga” positions that she and Matt posed for. Because Matt likes Hockey, the cake topper was sculpted as a Hockey player groom with his bride in a Yoga position. Unfortunately the day was cool and dreary for early Fall, so the grounds and Club House deck were not used as much as we had hoped for. After an hour of cocktails, we energized the party with introductions and an hour-long of dance set in the Club House. Then everyone was invited under a heated tent for dinner. Once dinner was over, Aida changed out of her beautiful Essence of Australia gown into her mother’s renewal of vows dress. The second set of dancing began with the traditional Father/Daughter dance, followed by the Mother/Son dance. Aida, Matt and the rest of their family and friends reveled the rest of the evening.

Posted November 21, 2011 by Encounters Events
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