Sneak Peak: A Cape Charles Wedding

In Mid-July we had the honor of coordinating a wedding the ACE Team had been planning for the last several months in Cape Charles, VA. I always love to be on the Eastern Shore at Bay Creek, it's such a nice feeling to be "away from it all" and in reality only be 30 minutes from our home base. I don't want to share too much about Tricia and Vince's big day...until I have more detailed images to share, but I of course got a little giddy when I saw these images from Trivium Studio. I will however share this sneak peak explanation of their love story: Tricia and Vince met in Mexico while vacationing a few years back. Tricia is a gourmet ice cream sandwich maker based in DC (they are ridiculous amazing sandwiches too!) and Vince is a roofing contractor based in Sunny Southern California. They have lived across the country from each other for 2 years and have never gone more than 3 weeks without seeing each other. It truly is a blessed loved story. James and I had the extreme pleasure of shooting their engagement shoot while in LA this past summer and are so grateful that Vince brought the amazing weather from the west coast to Cape Charles for their big day. They got married in the church Tricia grew up in and had their reception on the water outside of Aqua Restaurant. I hate to put a "favorite" label on any one event because I have very distinct and fun memories from each client's wedding...but these 2 images below might be some of my favorite I've seen in a long time. (i love them so much I ordered 2 humongous canvases for my studio walls). I hope you like them as much as I do:

 Image Courtesy of Trivium Studio

Trust your Vendors: A guide to loving your wedding vendors

I often write posts for this fabulous blog based on questions, comments, concerns, input, etc. of former clients, current clients, friends and vendors and today is no different. I have enjoyed being in the amazing world of events for 12 years now and have owned Antonia Christianson Events for nearly 5 years (can you believe it?). I tell you this so that you, as a reader, understand that there are years of stories to back up the remainder of this post. Today, I'm going to write about trusting your vendors, proper vendor/client etiquette and a bit of random banter that pops into my head.

Image Courtesy: Hayne Photographers 

I think the easiest way to give pointers to our readers is to just bullet a few topics. Below are 5 tips to help ensure that you have the wedding day you have always envisioned:

1.  Have a mutual rapport with your potential vendor before you sign a contract. Make sure that you feel you will trust them and will have an enjoyable working relationship because it doesn't matter how amazing you think a vendors work is if the rapport is not up to par. If there is tension between you and your booked vendor it will absolutely show in their work. You want them to create beautiful flowers for you out of love, or to take amazing pictures because they love working with you and want to see you happy. If there is animosity in the client/vendor relationship then the best foot might not be put forward on behalf of either party.

2.  Trust your vendors. Understand that a respectable vendor is going to give honest feedback and will use their years of experience to give you the best service possible. If a makeup artist that has been in the wedding world for 20+ years tells you down to the minute the amount of time they need to service you and your bridal them. If you have valid questions by all means ask, but don't create your own schedule based on the amount of time you believe they need.

3.  Respectable vendors recommend vendors to you based on their experience. This is a topic that always gets me. Personally, as a vendor I only recommend other vendors that I have had an amazing experience with and those that I would trust with my own event. (this doesn't mean we don't work with new vendors, it just means we can only educate our clients off of the feedback we receive from other vendors in the industry) While I can't speak for all planners or vendors I don't recommend other vendors based on some sort of kickback I might receive as a gift for a recommendation.  With that said...We have to share the bad as well. If a former client is suing their photographer because they haven't received their wedding pictures over a year after their big day, we are going to tell you. This isn't to ruin your hopes and dreams for a wedding photographer, it's to save you the upset after the wedding.

4.  Communication is key! Here is the fine line, it's important that all vendors treat you with respect and respond to you in a quick response time...but it is also important that clients understand that a Friday or Saturday email to a wedding vendor might not be responded to until the Monday or Tuesday after a wedding weekend. This isn't because your wedding vendor is ignoring you, it's because they are taking care of another client on their wedding weekend the way that you would want to be taken care of on yours.

5.  Social Networking is not the way to communicate with your wedding vendors. Yes, Social Networking (Facebook, google+, twitter) are all great ways to see what is happening with your photographer, florist, videographer, etc. it is not the place to contact them about pricing, a product you'd like to receive or anything of importance. Social networking is a great tool, but all important communication about your event should be left to a phone call or an email to their proper email address. Many vendors don't even personally update their social networking: they have staff, interns, marketing associates, etc that create these posts and keep up with the items that take up a lot of time but don't necessarily need to be done by the owner...with this said, if you'd like a response in a respectable amount of time and by the person that you intend it to go to, please call or email your vendors directly.

I hope these 5 tips find you well and help create a proactive and well-received relationship between you and your wedding vendors. All of the items we touched on are topics of recent feedback from clients and vendor friends, so we thought it was a great topic to write about. 

Have a topic you'd like us to cover? Just email antonia{at}antoniachristiansonevents{dot}com

Christmas in July!

As a distributor of Tiny Prints (and their amazing line of stationery) we are often given great sale opportunities...I know that it's only July, but it's never too early to start your holiday shopping, and of course your holiday card shopping. Between now and next Thursday (7/28) if you click through the below banner you'll receive 20% off or your holiday card purchase. If you have any questions please just email us at

Real Wedding: Kristen & Bryan's

In December 2011 we had the honor of planning and designing a beautiful "Winter Witt Wedding" for Kristen and Bryan. Kristen happened to be dear friends to one of my best friends from college so I was truly honored to get the call that they were looking for a planner for their upcoming nuptials. Kristen and Bryan were married on 12-11-10 at the Marriot Newport News at City Center. Kristen had a great vision for her big day and no detail was left unturned. RSVP Stationery created custom designed stationery for their special day that added just the right amount of detail. Her stationery, to say the least, was amazing!  The ceremony and reception flowers were created by a friend of the grooms mother...Karen Mulkey, owner of  Rooms, Blooms and More. The flowers added just the right amount of elegance and personality to both the ceremony and reception. Trivium Studio captured all of the romance and fun (have you checked out their photobooth?)  as DJ Rodney Charles kept the party going late into the night. The whimsical fondant layers of the cake by Patti Cakes had many of the guests in awe (and of course, it tasted as good as it looked).

The ceremony was held in the hotels elegant rotunda. The stage was set by the beautifully lit waterfall glass panels. Kristen beamed as she cascaded the grand staircase from the back of the rotunda with her father by her side (a moment we had envisioned many times before the big day).

The winter ambiance in the ballroom was set perfectly by Blue Steel Pro Lighting. Pin spots showcased the centerpieces as well as the cake. Silhouettes of evergreens cornered the room creating an intimate Winter wonderland.

As always, I wanted to share a few of my favorite details and moments from their big day: Kristen and Bryan were obviously loved! Many family members and friends participated in their wedding and it was such an honor to get to know their family throughout the process. The minister is a very close family friend, he was  like a big brother to the bride and it was obvious how honored he was to share in their big day. Did we mention that the bride and grooms families were best friends? Since before Kristen and Bryan were even born? It was truly the official joining of these two families into one! If I had to narrow down my favorite memory into one I think it would be Kristen doing the electric slide with only her bridesmaids just as she had always envisioned.

Check out the highlight video created by Digital Dreammakers and as always...tell us what you think!

Kristen & Bryan from Digital Dreammakers on Vimeo.

Kristen and Bryan, it was our honor and pleasure to plan and design this wedding for you. We wish you all of life's happiness together!

Real Wedding: Rachel and Nick

Rachel and Nick got married a few weeks ago at The Mariner's Museum in Newport News. They were a complete joy to work with and had such a great energy. They were college sweethearts and are both lawyers, that met in law school. They shared so much love for each other...It was an amazing day!

Isha Foss Events created a beautiful outdoor romantic design that included antique books as centerpieces, a quaint seating area near the dance floor and an adorable sign in table. Brother Lucy, the band and friends of the couple, played throughout the night as the guests danced under the stars in the courtyard of the museum.

We can't give away too many details because there are some exciting things in the works. But here is just one shot from the fabulous Womble Photography.

The up and coming wedding cinematographer Jeremy Mitchell of Jeremy Mitchell Cinema created their wedding video. I have to say, it's pretty amazing. It perfectly captures the love that they have for one another and how fun of a couple they truly are. Here is a sneak peak of their event and some of the details we loved.

Rachel and Nick, a team. from jeremy mitchell on Vimeo.

Monday Meeting: Chef by Design Catering Co.

Chef by Design Catering Co. is a full-service catering company specializing in seasonally inspired menus with beautiful presentation and topnotch service.  They are best known for our world-class cuisine, exceptional service, and excellent event coordination.  Under the direction of Executive Chef, John Patrick Telfer, the culinary staff creates exquisite, personalized menus for each client, all with an eye on appealing presentation, creativity and excellent taste! 

Sophisticated products, old fashioned values, and fabulous service is what has set Chef by Design Catering Co. apart from others and has earned them a reputation for being one of the premiere catering companies in the Hampton Roads region.  

Take a look at this great question and answer session we had with them! 

AC: How did Chef by Design get it's start?

CBD: Chef by Design Catering Co. was previously the Silver Palate Catering Company. Owners, John and Marcy Telfer, started the company in 2002, and changed it's name in 2010, after letting go of their restaurant, the Silver Palate Bistro, in Virginia Beach.  Our goal was to focus solely on our first love - catering!!  We have endeavored to build the success of Chef by Design through our dedication to producing the highest quality private and corporate off-premise events throughout the region.

AC: What are some ways in which you help make an event unique?

CBD: The event must truly reflect the client!  It will be unique when the focus is on what the client envisions, and loves!  We take the time to meet with every client, to hear what their vision is, what foods they love, what level of formality they are looking for, and so on. Our goal is to capture their ideas, and then expand upon that, to offer them creative, beautiful menus and service that they and their guests will remember!  The options are endless how to create a signature event for each client - they will know that it is "their" event, unlike any other!

AC: What are some of the biggest trends for weddings that you've seen? 

CBD: Well, in the area of catering, beautiful food stations with gorgeous linens and beautiful creative accents are hot trends these days.  More and more, it seems the plated dinner is not as popular...our brides want the structure of plated in some ways, but the freedom of stations and displays.  We often encourage the best of both worlds by offering one or two plated courses, and then opening up stations and displays.    In addition, we see a lot of fun "mini" foods, especially as a late evening snack, while guests are dancing and having fun - things like mini sliders, tacos, pizza, french fries, "munchy" items are all the rage, too!  Truly, it is all about the client! It all depends upon their personalities, trend or no trend!  

AC: Do you have any advice for couples looking for the right caterer for their "big day?" 

CBD: I believe it is so important to connect with your caterer.  Couples want to make sure that they are comfortable with the caterer, and that the caterer will take the time to meet with them, have them taste their menu to make sure it is exactly what they are looking for, and to find one who can work with a reasonable budget. I encourage them to not just pick a few items off a standard menu, but instead, take the time to allow a caterer to create something truly special for them on this most important day!  It is important that couples not just be budget driven, because you often get what you pay for.  Chef by Design provides much more than just the food for your day.  We work in very close conjunction with the event planner or coordinator, or other vendors, to make sure that the entire reception flows smoothly and is flawless.  You don't want to entrust that to just anyone!! We develop a lasting relationship with our clients, as we walk them through the planning process of their reception, and it is priceless!!

 Image courtesy of Keith Cephus Photography

Image courtesy of David Schwartz Photography

 Image courtesy of Don Monteaux

Image courtesy of David Schwartz Photography


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