New York City Engagement

Meet Dana and Nonye! They will be getting married in July at the Portsmouth Renaissance. We have been working with Dana since last summer and we know that this wedding is going to be a blast!  Eleise Theuer took some amazing engagement shots of the two of them in New York City. We wish we could have enjoyed this shoot with them in NYC, but it looks like all parties had a great time trying to keep cool in the HOT weather! Get this it was nearly 100 degrees that day! 

We can't wait to share images from their big day later this summer! Enjoy!!

Rachel and Mike: Ft. Monroe Reception

I recently shared a message from a former groom on our blog that gave a bit of insight into his thoughts on why you should hire a wedding planner...I was more than honored that he felt so highly of our services that he wanted to write on our blog! I'd like to introduce you to Mike again...but this time, with his lovely bride Rachel. When Rachel and Mike came to me they were newlyweds, they had gotten married in New York City and wanted to celebrate locally with a reception a few months later.

Rachel and Mike chose Ft. Monroe as the backdrop of their wedding reception. Mike works on the base as a laywer and they thought the relaxed view of the Bay Breeze Club would be the perfect location. From day one their main goal was to have a laid back night that their guests could really enjoy...And I think we pulled that off perfectly.

We incorporated very simple decor with crisp white linens and hints of Royal Blue. I think that their cigar bar was the ultimate hangout spot for many of the guests throughout the evening.

Here are a few images from Connie Feng of the evening:

A special thank you to the following vendors: Patti Cakes, Inc., DJ Taylor Haycox, Pike Media Resource, Becky's Buckroe Florist and MWR.

A 30th Surprise Party...

I have been meaning to post pictures from my hubby's surprise 30th birthday for a few weeks now...but we have been so focused on taking care of the little details for our clients June weddings the blog has take a back burner... but wait no longer. Pictures and details are here!! 

I must first say that I am amazingly blessed to have a very strong core group of friends, both inside the wedding world...and out. I mentioned throwing James a surprise party about 4 months ago...and everyone wanted to jump in and we decided to go for it. He isn't the easiest person to surprise, so I was a bit leery but it was definitely worth the stress! James and I are a very open couple; I keep no secrets, so this was gut wrenching to say the least. 

I said I was blessed with amazing let me tell you who helped make this fun party happen! First, my good friend Daevid let us use his place for the backdrop of our party. You know him better as the amazing florist on Granby Street...but I know him as an amazing friend and support system. Next, we contacted our good friend Emily Patti of Patti Cakes Inc, for her help on creating the perfect birthday cake. Unless you live under a rock you know that my love is also a special events photographer so we decided that a camera cake would best suit word, AMAZING! He was so very impressed and everyone keeps commenting on how astounded they were with that cake! Next, no party is complete without proper stationery, so we called on Kim & Kristen of RSVP Stationery to help create something that was simple yet fun! They came up with a classy card with a great beer tub embellishment...sounds a bit over the top but it definitely was the perfect fit. DJ Rodney Charles brought his musical genius to the big party! This definitely wasn't a dancing crowd...more of a "humming to a great tune crowd". But nonetheless...Rodney knew just what to play for our chill vibe and we are eternally grateful for keeping us in tune. Jeremy Kilgore with Blue Steel Pro Lighting adding a touch of masculine ambiance (is there such a thing?) to the space. I'm a true believer that lighting can definitely set the mood for any event, no matter how large or how small and Jeremy definitely came in and "did his thing". I really didn't give him any direction other than to make the room super cool for my James...and that he did!  Finally! I cannot say enough about our final vendor...Sweetwater Cuisine! I wanted a great caterer that would appeal to my hubby's love of food (in his past life, he was a chef, true story)...and I wanted a menu that would cater to all of our guests and their broad range of food finickiness...Jodi and her team definitely exceeded our expectations! From our tri-tip (my hubby's fav) to our turkey sliders...and of course our SHRIMP AND GRITS, everything was fabulous!!! 

Ok...enough about the details, how about some pictures! 
Did I mention that all of the linens were from Daevid as well? I love the peacock feathers! 

James' parents and little (big) brother drove 2 days for the party! 

The Family...

My Family...(LtoR) Me!, My sister-in-law Alicia, Brother Kevin, Mom, Sister Marci and Brother-In-Law Dan...This isn't all of my siblings...but still a great pic! 

My sister Marci is amazingly beautiful! ... and they gave me the sweetest new nephew this year. 

This was right after the surprise...he didn't want to go in the door! Thanks Steph and Bryan for being our decoy.

Our HILARIOUS friends and clients Kristen and Bryan! really, hilarious...

Can you tell he loved his cake? Thanks Emily! It's truly remarkable. 

The back of his camera...thats a Cannon 5D, pretty great representation. 

Also, I couldn't finish my post without thanking James' good friend, and partner in crime (and photography)...Trey Tesoro! He was at the party as a guest but he so graciously brought his camera to help document the party for us! I'm eternally thankful. 

A Groom's Perspective: Hire a professional planner.

I wanted to introduce you to my clients Rachel & Mike. They are a very fun couple that we helped plan a reception for...they were married last year in NYC and wanted to be able to share their wedding joy with friends and family... so they decided to hold a reception at the Bay Breeze Club on Ft. Monroe. After the wedding Mike wrote me an email about how Antonia Christianson Events had changed his perspective on hiring a wedding planner (something he previously thought was unnecessary) I asked him to share his thoughts with us. 
I am honored to feature him today and thankful that our work does not go unnoticed (by anyone involved). Below is the post he wrote.  

(We look forward to sharing more details of their wedding in the coming weeks.) 
Above is an image of Mike and Rachel at their New York City Nuptials in September.

As the wedding planning proceeded I agreed with most ideas that my bride-to-be, Rachel, suggested concerning wedding plans.  However, I disagreed with hiring a wedding planner because we could save cash by doing everything ourselves.  We were busy, but we had plenty of time to get things done.  Is this stuff that complicated?  Invites, minister, cake, DJ, booze, food and add water... you got a wedding.  Anything we don't know we can Google, right?

I was wrong.  Very wrong. 

Rachel and I began the festivities planning and we realized that there was more to planning a wedding than expected.  Also, we were new to town so we had no idea who we should hire.  We didn't want to get ripped off, or worse hire someone substandard.  Finally, I conceded that we should bring a subject matter expert.  Rach interviewed some folks and we hired Missy.  It was the best decision we made concerning the wedding.  She had great ideas and taught us how to throw a great party.  

More importantly, I need to emphasize that Missy worked within our budget! Before I met Missy, I assumed that she was going to try to sell us on stuff we didn't need.  Once again, I was wrong.  We (and by "we" I mean Rach) made the centerpieces and invites and Missy worked with all our materials and gave Rachel solid suggestions.  Missy was also candid when it was needed.  For example, we wanted a "candy bar" but Missy stated those are very popular but can be expensive.  I read that to mean, "Don't waste your money on something that is overdone already." 

Then the big day.  Rachel and I didn't lift a finger the entire wedding.  Missy took charge of the all the moving components involved with the wedding.  And there are a ton of moving parts.  Missy and her staff were all over the place taking care of everything.  Complete set up, directing the vendors, managing the flow of the event, checking on us, directing guests, etc.  If it wasn't for Missy, it would have been me and Rach doing all the management and not enjoying ourselves.  I guarantee that I only noticed a small percentage of the work that Missy was doing.  Everything at the wedding was seamless so she had to be behind the scenes making things happen.  She got to know us, knew what we wanted, as was able to make decisions without us knowing that there was even an issue so we could enjoy our time with our loved ones.

Antonia Christianson Events is a must hire for wedding.  My wife, family, friends and I had a blast. The money we paid to Missy we saved with her cost saving ideas and a very low stress wedding.  We owe Missy and her suggested vendors for all of our wonderful memories.

Emily & Scott: Upper Weyanoke Plantation Wedding (Part 2)

I mentioned in a previous post that I have known my great bride Emily since 1993...and I thought i'd divulge a bit more into our relationship and the details of their big day. So, here we go... I met Emily's brother Chaz in the 7th grade at Independence Middle School. We quickly became amazing friends that have lasted throughout my life thus far. We have shared life's ups and downs together and I'm honored to consider the Wagner family as part of my own family. After college I went back to my alma mater to coach cheerleading and Emily was on my squad...I still pictured her as little "Emmy" then so you can only imagine how excited I was (and how old I felt) when I got a call that my girl was getting married...Of course, I was more than honored to help her plan the big day!

Emily chose the Upper Weyanoke Plantation in Providence Forge, VA as the backdrop of her beautiful wedding. This amazing plantation has sprawling grounds right on the James River and is nestled about 20 miles outside of Williamsburg. Their ceremony took place under a beautiful large tree followed by a tented cocktail hour and reception just a few feet away. Scattered thunderstorms threatened this outdoor ceremony...but we were able to squeeze in a very intimate ceremony after a brief shower. The weather cleared up beautifully as the night went on and turned into an absolutely amazing night.

Emily & Scott's friends were a blast! The dance floor was full all night with the help of Rodney Charles... the great catering of A Catered Affair was an absolute hit! (the catering manager there is a sorority sister of mine and an all around fun gal! thanks Michelle!). I couldn't end this post without mentioning my favorite memory of  the night...Emily's brother Chaz (my old pal) caught the garter and our mutual friend Sarah caught the bouquet. The hilarious part of this...Chaz and Sarah had a pact to get married when they turned 30 if they weren't yet taken...looks as though both have a great significant others now, at the age of 29. So fun!

It was a great feeling to be surrounded by a family that you love so much...with friends that still make you laugh until your sides hurt after all these years. Here are a few images from my old friend Charles Koeppen... (another pal since'93).

Our guests were greated by a traditional Fife & Drummer...a necessity at a plantation home, don't you think?

A few getting ready shots. Below is Ruthie, Extraordinary Maid of Honor. 
Did I mention her toast was hilarious?

I think this is the prettiest picture i've ever seen of Mrs. Wagner. Who also happens to be one of the strongest women I know!

Emily's father passed away in 1999...
Mr. Wagner's Brother, Uncle Tom was honored to walk Emily down the aisle. 
Did I mention Em's mom made this bouquet? So pretty! 
Mr. Wagner was a pilot before his passing...below is one of the two hats that we used to 
commemorate his honor. 

This cake tasted so good! It as from CarrotTree Kitchens in Williamsburg
Now that's a sunset! 
I love an engraved wedding band...I don't think this is done too often anymore...but this reminds me of the inside of my loves' ring... his says "Until Forever Ends"...Scott's simply says "Forever"... timeless!
You can definitely tell we set up in the pouring rain. I look a bit crazy! (L to R), Antonia Christianson, Emily Wagner Richardson, Charles Koeppen, Scott Richardson. 

As always...leave us comments and let us know what you think!


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