2009: A Year in Review

Where should I start? 2009 was an amazing year! I shared another year with my fabulous husband and 2 beautiful boys...I left corporate America, moved into a kick butt new studio and planned more events than ever before. I brought on a few new key players to our staff because I realized that my number one girl Kelly and I couldn't continue to do everything by ourselves. First, came Leila...she is someone you never see, but without her I would not be the planner/business owner I am today. She helps me raise the bar daily and I feel truly indebted to her! Next, I brought on Rachel for extra office and event staffing (and she fit in IMMEDIATELY!) she was definitely the missing piece to our puzzle. Finally, came my girl Alison! I actually coached Alison on her high school cheer squad and she has since become and amazing graphic artist, all custom stationery lies in her hands! In a few short weeks there will be one more key member added to our team, Lindsey! Lindsey will be interning with us during her spring and summer semesters...She is the sister of a former groom, a ridiculous volleyball player, and rising senior at Virginia Wesleyan College. I was blessed in 2009 to cultivate friendships in the event world that I am truly in awe of and I only hope to grow those friendships stronger throughout the new year!

2009 was fabulous...but I can't wait to see what 2010 holds! I am working with vendors that I have wanted to work with for years...New photographers, Fabulous new venues, Phenomenally talented florists/designers and amazing couples! We have a few things in the works that we can't wait to share with you in the beginning months of 2010. Life is good, business is better...my blessings are uncountable.

Now...a few of my favorite images from 2009 (i said, just a few) :

Thank you: James Christianson Photography, Scott Hayne Photography, David Schwartz Photography, Womble Photography, Dee Akright Photographers, Sam Hughes and Kelly Lee.

April and Jason: Another Beautiful Engagement

I always get super excited to book new clients and even more excited to guide them gracefully throughout their wedding day...but I truly look forward to seeing client engagement pictures. It is the first opportunity I have to see how clients are going to interact together, how they are going to interact with their photographer and to see what kind of chemistry they are going to start the rest of their lives with. You can tell a lot about a clients personality with the photographer they choose to capture them on their big day.

Jason and April are no different. They picked one of my personal favorites Veronica Dana Photography to capture their beautiful engagement pictures...and do you know what this says about their personality? They are a classy couple, with a bit of a traditional flare that like to laugh, A LOT! Veronica is hysterical.

I can't wait for their spring 2010 wedding. As always, Tell us what you think!

Laura and Matt...A great way to end the season!

I had been looking forward to the wedding of Laura and Matt for nearly a year since our first meeting at a random coffee shop in Virginia. Laura has amazing taste, a handsome groom and a wedding/reception location to die for. Not to mention she knew my husband in her teen years and he told me how much of a blast her and her sister Michele were. I was honored to help guide them along the wedding planning process and look forward to watching them as their love grows.

This event could not have run so seamlessly if it weren't for her amazing vendor choices: Bloom the Art of Flowers, Patti Cakes, Cuisine and Company, the one and only DJ Rodney Charles, Digital Dreammakers and of course Sam Hughes.

My favorite memory of the night: Laura and Matt did not want to "hide" while their bridal party was introduced...so instead, they stood at the top of the steps of the Chrysler while all of their loved ones entered below through the arch. It really showed me how excited they were to get the party started.

This might be my favorite bride and groom shot of the year...Beautiful composition, Amazing Couple, Impeccable Taste...It just works!

Rachel's Getting Married: Part 2

Antonia Christianson Events is going to have an amazingly blessed 2010 wedding season...and one of our many blessings is named Rachel! We are excited to plan a wedding for our much loved Event Assistant Extraordinaire and her ever so handsome groom Nick.

Nick and Rachel spent a few minutes with our good friend David Schwartz so they could enjoy one of his famous engagement sessions. Of course, we will update you on the fun we have planning their wedding October wedding...but for now, we leave you with a few shots.

Thanks Dave!

Isn't she beautiful!
I love their smiles in this one...Captivating:

A Beautiful Fall Engagement Session...

I know I gush about my clients in almost every post...but I really do love my clients. I met AnneMarie and Russell randomly at the Chrysler Musuem of Art when they were there for a site visit and after much banter back and forth I found out that this fun couple was getting married 10 years to the day they started dating. I LOVE THAT! I have had quite a few couples with long engagments this year, but I love that AnneMarie and Russ decided to tie the knot on such a happy day!

This sweet couple met while attending college at North Carolina Wesleyan so what better place to get their engagement pictures taken then where their love blossomed? Amazing (truly amazing) photographer Lissa Hatcher spent the day with them at their alma mater and here is a sneak peak of their great images:


I love a great wedding blog as much as the next girl...but unfortunately many of these blogs look identical. We see many of the same weddings on multiple blogs or even worse different weddings that look identical to each other on the same blog. But thank goodness things have changed!!

About 6 weeks ago an AWESOME new blog launched from the creative minds of famed photographer/videographer Barnaby Draper and my good friends and "go to girls" Leila & Kellee Khalil from "Be Inspired PR". Who What Weddings.com is an enticing look into the wedding industry. This new site is already all the rage because it offers a perspective the ordinary bride or wedding vendor can't usually see...it boasts interviews from Badgley Mischka, Romona Keveza and even Colin Cowie and Randy Fenoli (YES! the RANDY from "Say Yes To The Dress"). But here is the catch...these interviews are "behind the scenes, video footage"... No boring blogs to read here...only great videos, great images and great insight into a world that seems to be mysterious.

http://vimeo.com/7408898 from Barnaby Draper Studios on Vimeo.

Want to get insight into the illustrious wedding world as it happens? Follow WhoWhatWeddings.com on Twitter.

Melissa Rycroft Chooses Designer Gown

I came across this great little clip of "The Bachelor" & "Dancing with the Stars" star Melissa Rycroft trying on wedding gowns. Melissa chose to wear a dress from the wedding gown design company Alfred Angelo, which also happens to be a pretty popular designer for many Hampton Roads Brides. I love how free-spirited she is...

I'm Thankful.

Every year we write a post on Thanksgiving Day...explaining why we are thankful and leave it at that. But this year, you get 2. The obvious post...I am thankful for my Husband, My 2 Beautiful Sons, My Family, My Amazing Clients and of course Good Health. I am thankful for vendors that keep me sane and friends that do the same. And the not so obvious post...another beautiful wedding...

This is why I am thankful:

Melanie & Beau: A Historic Wedding at A Historic Hotel

As promised... here is my 2nd Thanksgiving Day Post. As I said previously, I am thankful for my family, good health and amazing clients. I am also thankful for my "M's": My best friends Melanie and Molly whom without I would be a complete mess. We have shared every major life journey together since college... Many Many Ups and unfortunately downs as well. They were there through the birth of my relationship with my husband James, the birth of my family, and the birth of my business... the three most formative things in my life. I am eternally grateful for Melanie and Molly.

"Years from now I won't remember every weekend night
 or the things that made us laugh 'til our stomachs hurt,
 but I will always remember that you were the ones who were with me..."

Four years ago they were with me when James and I got married...two years ago we were together for the wedding of Molly and Jeremy and this year, we were able to stand next to our Melanie as she married her beloved Beau. To say October 25th was an emotional day is an understatement. Melanie had her fair share of toads in her dating life and we were all so overjoyed that her "Prince Charming" had finally arrived.

Melanie and Beau's "Happily Ever After" started with a beautiful outdoor wedding at the Gazebo on Fort Monroe and the excitement continued with a reception full of love at the Historic Chamberlin Hotel. (a definite place for a fairytale wedding). This was a very interesting wedding as myself (1 of 2 matrons of honor), the bride's mother and the groom are all in the wedding industry...and guests included some of the most sought after wedding professionals in Hampton Roads. It was really a treat to see everyone out of a "work" setting really enjoying each other's company and celebrating the marriage of Melanie and Beau.

Melanie's Mom Debbie Pence of Fluttering Flowers created all of the floral decor, Scott Hayne Photography captured the couple beautifully and the cake was created by our good friend Stephanie of Sweet Dreams by Stephanie. Of course, my team did a fabulous job as I had only one duty that day...to be the "Matron of Honor" (bride's orders).

What was my favorite part of the day? Walking down the aisle hand in hand with Molly as we prepared to watch our beautiful best friend become a wife. It was a priceless moment, one that I will never forget.

Here are just a few of the amazing images from the big day:

Antonia Christianson Events featured on a National Wedding Blog

We recently started a series for our blog called "Your Mom Is Not A..." (fill in the blank) with our first article called "Your Mom Is Not A Wedding Planner" and it was a great hit! It took me months and months to start this series because I really wanted to get a point across without insulting any of our readers.  I wanted brides and their mothers to understand we were coming from a place filled with support and understanding...and we wanted this series to help them understand the reality and stress that comes along with a complete "DIY" event.  Much to our surprise brides, their mothers, their sisters, their friends and even other planners loved the post. So much so that when celebrity wedding planner Sasha Souza was looking for guest bloggers we thought what better place than to publish our second post in the series on Sasha's blog... and we did!

Visit our latest post on http://www.sparkliatti.com/ ... "Your Mom Is Not A Florist". (unless of course, she is)

Virginia Pierside Wedding: Bay Creek Marina

With all of the damage that was done in our beautiful area last week from our nor'easter it was great to receive this in my inbox last night. A beautiful slideshow with images of the calm, relaxing bay that we are used to.

Thanks Scott Hayne Photography.

PPA Photoshoot for the FABULOUS Lissa Hatcher

Over the past few months I have become great friends with the multi-talented Photographer Lissa Hatcher. Lissa is an amazing photographer with such an edgy vibe to her work...she is well known across the nation and I was more than honored when she asked me to help her with a class she was teaching. I was really excited when Lissa told me her "vision" and I was ready and willing to help make everything come together.

I love the vibe of this image...very much like my own life. Everything is always flying around me and no matter what I try to stay as calm and collected as possible. Thank You Lissa!

I had so much fun doing this shoot with Lissa in the cold and rain and a few of my friends: Travis and Charlie from Pike Media Resource, my handsome Hubby James of James Christianson Photography, Char with Char's Floral Design...my beautiful babies and my good friend and former client Cassandra.

Jason & Tanya: A Vintage Inspired Virginia Beach Wedding

My friends Jason and Tanya tied the knot this past weekend at the Lesner Inn and let me start off by saying this...There was good times to be had by all!  My husband and Jason have been friends for many years so I knew how fun and great his friends were but I hadn't really met that many of Tanya's friends before the big day. I loved their style! They all reminded me of 40's pin-up girls!

Jason & Tanya's sunset wedding ceremony was beautiful. There was obviously an overwhelming amount of love shown as the couple had known each other since grade school. And the reception was unique and one of a kind. Their black and white damask runners were accented with "trees" made of black curly willow that held up pictures of the bride, her groom, their pets and friends. Danny Gray from Astro kept the crowd happy with his great mix of music, Dee Akright captured the couple beautifully and Kate from the Lesner Inn made our guests fat and happy with their fabulous food.

Here are a few images to get a feel for the Meehan's big day:

So Sassy They Are...
I loved Tanya's Twist on a Birdcage Veil...
Her Hankie...
Their centerpeices...they varied in height but all had images. A great DIY wedding moment...
In lieu of cards...That's a picture of their dog! Completely custom created by my staff...
Love this wedding present! Jason bought Tanya a Tiffany Necklace; It's a key to his heart!...
A friend let them use their car...A perfect end to their evening...
Our mutual friend Stephanie made their cake and it was DELICIOUS! ...
This shot was a request from me...It was definitely their style and it worked awesome with the carpet...
Here We Are. (L to R) Kelly Motley, Danny Gray (from Astro), Antonia Christianson and Rachel Paige!

We hope you enjoy your honeymoon in Punta Cana!!


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