Ribbon Box Events Blog

April 27, 2012

An At Home Bar Made Simple

Filed under: Special Event,Tip from the Ribbon Box — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:05 am
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When you’re hosting an at-home event, you want things to be simple, yet offer guests plenty of beverage options. The easiest way is a self-serve bar, as most of us have done in the past. Why not take it to the next level and make some fun drink suggestions (along with having all the supplies ready) and theme them around the guest(s) of honor! Including the ingredients and directions made it simple and gave every guest the confidence of a bartender!

We had a lot of fun putting this menu together- we stuck with mostly vodka drinks, but added a few others for good measure. It was a lot of fun coming up with the names, and it was a great conversation starter, everyone wanted to know which drink people were trying! My favorite was the Patty Palmer, an Arnold Palmeresque iced-tea/lemonade and voka concoction! The RaspPATTY Mojito and PinkPattyTini were quite popular as well!

Guests had everything they needed, along with a cocktail menu, to serve themselves throughout the night.


April 23, 2012

Word of the Week: Postlude

We’ll, if you read our vocab post a few weeks ago about a prelude, you probably have an educated guess about this week’s word!




1. a concluding piece or movement.
2.  a voluntary at the end of a church service.

Wedding Wise

“Background” music played at the end of the ceremony, at the conclusion of the recessional- once the bride and groom, wedding party, and officiant, have exited. It typically lasts about 15 minutes, fades into the background until every guest has left the area.

Postlude music are the final songs your guests hear at your wedding ceremony. The purpose of postlude music is to seamlessly transition from recessional music and provide background and ambiance while your guests file out of the ceremony and make their way to the lobby, outside, and onto the reception.

Your string trios or quartets, guitar, piano, or organists, even a choir, should perform music that suits your taste and style, and transitions smoothly from the recessional.

Image by Deb Lindsey

Not sure where to start? Do some research online and listen to audio samples. Two of our favorite local groups are:

Sage String Quartet

St. Charles String Quartet 

Sites likes these and  others will help you pick things you like, and if you are local, they are top notch vendors you will want to book! Your wedding planner is also a great source of information!


April 20, 2012

Why Knot? Make a Toast!

Filed under: Why Knot? Inspiration — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:05 am

Your wedding is a wonderful occasion for your friends and family to celebrate. Why not keep that celebratory  mood going? Toasts need not only take place during Best Man, Maid of Honor, and parent speeches. Celebrate throughout the day with the ones you love most!

Before the day gets away from you, grab your gals, thank them for standing by you , and have one last toast as a single lady. (These are my own fab bridesmaids. Of course, we toasted while my airbrush was still drying, filling in my tan lines!)

Image courtesy of Suddenflower Photography

As you recess (and hide to avoid a recieving line, as many couples opt to do), retreat to a private area with your new spouse and bridal party and raise a glass- it’s all celebration from here on out!

Image courtesy of Lesko Photography

Greet guests at cocktail hour with butlered champange or sparkling wine.

Image courtesy of Drouin Photography


April 18, 2012

Unity Candle Alternatives

You’ve probably attended a wedding with a unity candle, sand ceremony, or wine- all in their own way representative of the uniting of two individuals, two families, coming together as one.

Here at Ribbon Box Events, 2011 brought some truly personal ceremonies and we are excited to share them with you!

Soil & Unity Tree Planting
Two of our fabulous couples chose iterations of a soil/tree ceremony to share with one another at their wedding ceremony.

Christie & Tim’s mother’s contributed soil from their family homes, and during a beautiful rendition of Adele’s Make You Feel My Love, sung by a talented family member, Christie and Tim added the soil to a potted tree they would be planting in their yard at home together.

Laura and Ryan chose to use soil from their childhood yards to plant an apple tree that they’ll put in their first yard together. Here’s an excerpt from the ceremony:

As we are here today, Ryan and Laura’s marriage is like the velvety roots of this young, yet resolute sapling. As they have found each other and chosen to share their lives together, two roots will burrow through the mysterious unknown until they find their true counterpart. Intertwined, supporting and being supported by each other, they shall grow stronger in their union into endless depths. The soil they will use to nurture this young sapling has been gathered from the gardens of their parents’ homes. Fertile by nature and nourished with love and attention, this blend of life’s ingredients will be the foundation of great things to come.

Image courtesy of Studio Juno

Image Courtesy of Studio Juno

Anniversary Box
L&E created an anniversary box. They gathered 12 objects and souvenirs from their first year together, as well as numerous birthday, holiday, and Valentine’s Day cards they have shared with one another throughout their relationship. They drafted ceremony wording to explain to their guests the symbolism of the box and the items collected.

Image courtesy of Lesko Photography

Here’s a snippet from the ceremony:

“Each year, on their anniversary, they will open this box to reflect on the foundation of their relationship and how their relationship has grown. Each year, they will add new cards and new memories. This Anniversary Box will be a tangible reminder of their love.”

Have you ever attended a ceremony (or maybe it was your own?) with a personalized ceremony? Comment below and share with us!


April 16, 2012

Word of the Week: Corkage Fee

Filed under: Advice,Word of the Week — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:05 am
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Corkage Fee

Image courtesy of Pereda Photography

Fee noun


1. a charge or payment for professional services: a doctor’s fee

2. a sum paid or charged for a privilege

Corkage Noun


  1. a fee charged, as in a restaurant, for serving wine or liquorbrought in by the patron.


When you choose to provide your own alcohol, some caterers charge a fee per bottle of alcohol to open and serve it during your reception. The price can range anywhere from $5 to $10 per bottle, which can certainly add up, so it’s important to discuss this with your caterer early on in the planning stages and budget accordingly.

Providing your own and still trying to figure how much alcohol? Check out a prior post with the same title here!


April 13, 2012

Why Knot? Take a Walk, and Find Some Fun!

Filed under: Why Knot? Inspiration — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:05 am

Why not have a little unscheduled fun on your wedding day (as your planner, we of course want to schedule that time- but what you do with it, can be creative!) That includes plenty of time for bridal portraits and time with your photographer before (or after) your formal festivities.

Jennifer and her bridesmaids took a stroll through Georgetown’s campus (her Law School alma mater)  on her way to the chapel- and fun ensued!

Image courtesy of Dennis Drenner

You never know what you’ll run into. Not only was it a perfect fall day to wed; it was a perfect fall day for a cookout!

Image courtesy of Dennis Drenner

Caution- sometimes a grill isn’t big enough to flip a burger!

Image courtesy of Dennis Drenner

Lindsay and Ryan also took a stroll in Georgetown before their picture perfect winter wedding.

Image courtesy of Terra Dawn


They even managed to pop into popular Georgetown Cupcakes for some sweet desserts and equally sweet photos!

Image courtesy of Terra Dawn


Some shots are worth the wait!

Image courtesy of Terra Dawn

Bottom line, when you have a fabulous photographer, be sure to schedule in some time for them to let loose that creativity that made you fall in love with their work to begin with! You’ll have some fabulous shots to last a lifetime!


April 12, 2012

Accessorize Your Wedding and Support a Great Cause!

Filed under: Sale!,Trunk Show — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:20 am

You know I love a good deal. I’m also known to multitask, but what’s better than being super productive? Getting things accomplished, saving $$, AND  being able to give back and support a meaningful cause at the same time. That’s why I was delighted to learn that Carine’s Bridal Atelier was hosting an Accessory Trunk Show featuring Giselle from Hair By Giselle. During the sale, which runs April 23-27th,  Brides can receive up to 15% designer veils, jewelry, and belts from Peter Langner, Siman Tu, Homa, Paris, Cheryl King, and more. For every veil purchased, a bed net will be sent to a family in Africa through the United Nation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign.

Zarina veil by Peter Langner

Giselle, owner, of Hair by Giselle, will be at the boutique on Friday April 27th from 4-7:00 p.m. ready to offer her hairstyling expertise.

I can only imagine that appointments are filling up for this, so if you don’t want to miss out, contact Carine’s directly (information below).

Happy shopping!


Carine’s Bridal
1726 Wisconsin Avenue NW
2nd Floor
Washington, DC  20007


April 11, 2012

Vendor Spotlight: Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouse

Filed under: Vendor Spotlight — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:05 am
Tags: , , ,

This week’s featured Vendor has been in the works for nearly a year, and I’m so excited to finally introduce you to Lisa Baker of Radebaugh Florist in Baltimore, MD!

Ten Questions With Lisa of Radebaugh Florist

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Down. To. Earth.


2. Why did you choose to work in weddings/special events?  I’d always loved crafting as a hobby since I was a little girl (though I was doubtful I’d make a living cross-stitching hand-towels).  While studying my other passions – radio and advertising – in college, I thought it’d be fun to work part-time at “that cute little florist down the street”.  I soon learned that that “little” florist was one of the best, most reputable florists in the Baltimore area.  I’ve worn many hats here at Radebaugh’s, but I didn’t know if managing the weddings and special events would be a good fit for me.  Well, 8 years and over 1500 events later, I can still say I love what I do and continue to grow as a designer every day!     


3. What do you love most about your job?  Nothing beats designing a bridal bouquet!  After conceptualizing and sometimes tweeking (and re-tweeking) the design, it’s so gratifying to finally create it.  We have a great team of wedding designers that work closely together, but I’m always trying to call ‘dibs’ on what I consider the most important flower piece of the big day!   


4. What inspires you?  My clients!  Each has his or her own personal taste so it’s my job to transfer that into a floral design.  I love that no two weddings are the same!  I also draw inspiration from others in my field.  I’m constantly scouring magazines and the internet to find truly amazing designs and I hope that I do my part to inspire other floral designers as well.  Nothing beats having a bride show me a photo in a magazine and being able to say – “I made that!”      


5. Share one of the most memorable projects you took part in and why it was so special.  A few years ago, both my boss’s son and daughter were married within the same year.  It was such a great experience to work on those two events that were so special to people that mean a lot to me.  I work for a family owned and operated company who’ve been in business since 1924, and it’s hard not to feel like part of the family here!  I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t the element of added pressure, but it was so much more rewarding to see the impact you can make on two very special days.    

Image by Freed Photography


6. Complete this sentence, “If I did not work in the wedding industry, I would…..” be a lot less stressed out!  Ha, in all honesty though I would hope I would be a famous (and rich) on-air radio talent. 


7. How would you describe your style?  Ever-changing.  I’m an anything-goes kind of designer who can appreciate everything from traditional and pretty to fun and funky.  What truly matters though is not my style, but my clients’ style and being adaptable to their needs.          


8. What advice would you give to brides and grooms on choosing a florist?  Select someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable.  Knowing you’re on the same wavelength with your florist will eliminate a lot of stress.  Reading reviews online has also become an excellent tool in choosing vendors.  Seeing photos of your designer’s work is important as well.  Even if the designs aren’t exactly what your flowers will be, it’s nice to see a range of styles that showcase their talent.   


9. What advice would you give to brides and grooms on the wedding planning process in general?  Relax and think about each decision you have to make, decide, and move on.  I’ve seen too many couples agonize over the little things.  Chances are, having your crab cake hors d’oeuvres fried or broiled isn’t going to have a huge impact on your wedding day, so don’t lose sleep over it!      


10. Lastly for fun, if they made a movie of your life, which actor would you want to play you?  George Clooney.  I know he’s a man, but I imagine we’d have to collaborate at some point and that might be the only chance I’d get to meet that dreamy, dreamy man! 

Ha- possibly the best answer to my celebrity question!! Thanks so much Lisa, I’m thrilled to share your beautiful work, and insights on the bridal industry! Looking forward to our next wedding together!

Want to contact Lisa directly? Here’s how:

website:  http://www.radebaugh.com/
phone:  410-825-4300
email:  weddings@radebaugh.com

April 9, 2012

Word of the Week: Prelude




1. any action, event, comment, etc. that precedes something else.
2.  Music. a piece that precedes a more important movement.

Wedding Wise

“Background” music played at the beginning of the ceremony, as guests arrive and are seated.

Image of Sage String Quartet courtesy of Aaron Haslinger

Prelude music is the first music your guests hear at your wedding. The purpose of prelude music is to welcome guests as they arrive to be seated before the ceremony, approximately 15 to 30 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. While the printed invitation is the first hint at the tone and style of your wedding that guests receive, the prelude music is the next. Whether you have string trios or quartets, guitar, piano, or organists, even a choir, consider music that suits your taste and style- whether it’s classic, contemporary, or maybe even some modern love songs- these songs should easily transition into the processional selections that indicate the ceremony is beginning and the bridal party begins to process down the aisle!

Not sure where to start? Do some research online and listen to audio samples. Two of our favorite local groups are:

Sage String Quartet: http://www.sagestringquartet.com/?page_id=31

St. Charles String Quartet http://stcharlesquartet.com/audio-samples/

Sites likes these and  others will help you pick things you like, and you don’t like, and start to get a feel for what you want. Your wedding planner is also a great source of information!


April 6, 2012

Main Event Caterers “Evening with Our Chef”

Filed under: Special Event — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 10:05 am
Tags: , , ,

Earlier this month, my associate Lauren and I had the honor of attending Main Event Caterers Evening with our Chef. We had such a fabulous time and want to thank Michelle Fishman  for inviting us to be her guests. Upon our arrival we were greeted with champagne and had the opportunity to mingle with other guests, enjoy tasty hors d’ouerves,  and check out a variety of tablescapes their event designers had created.

Love this look- such a sophisticated color palette and the touches of the stripe really pull the table together.

Also love the combination of textures- the satin tablecloth, the canvas pillows, striped fabric on the pillows, and the paper pattern on the centerpieces. It creates so much visual interest, really allow the flowers to pop. Love!

Clearly, no one should be surprised that we decided to sit at this vignette. Hello pink and black! Love the hints of yellow, and what a fun and simple centerpiece with just a few blooms and some glasses already on hand.

We enjoyed seven tasting courses courtesy of Chef and CEO Joël Thévoz and President Nancy Goodman. Here’s a peek at our menu and what we thought of each tantalizing course!

Course One: Lobster Bisque
Airy lemon sherry froth
Lobster salad
Droplets of chive oil

Our thoughts: This was not your traditional bisque- it had delicious chunks of lobster, and a slight kick of spice gave it a memorable flavor. The chive oil was a great balancing touch.

Course Two: Ahi Timbale
Diced cucumber and avocado
Nest of delicate micro greens
Crisp papadam sail
Spicy sesame dressing

Our thoughts: I loved the textures of the avocado and cucumber. It’s light, airy. This would be a fabulous starter at any affair- especially a summer/outdoor one. Lauren and I were both blown away by the beautiful presentation. Fun fact: I learned what a Papadam is! Papadams are thin, crisp Indian “crackers” made out of lentil, chickpeas, black gram, and rice flour. They are  typically served as an accompaniment to ameal, and sometimes as a final part of a meal. In certain parts it is served raw and unroasted and added to curries and other preparations. 

Course Three: Raw Zucchini Lasagna
Pine nut “ricotta” and pistachio “pesto”
Sundried tomato “sauce”
Virgin olive oil droplets and balsamic laces
Halved red grape tomatoes
Basil Crown

Our thoughts: What a fabulous raw food AND vegan option! Frankly, this dish would be a delicious first course for anyone! My first thought was, even my “meat and pasta” husband would LOVE this, and probably not even realize he was eating something vegan!  The pine nut “ricotta” is very creative and tasty. The flavors and vibrant and the presentation is bright

Course Four: Foraged Mushroom Crepe
Oregano scented paper thin French pancackes
Thyme scented mushroom ragout
Gruyere mornay sauce
Salad of lamb’s lettuce
French vinaigrette

Our thoughts: What a savory treat! The crepe was very creamy and delicious- as two mushroom loving gals, we were eagerly anticipating this course when we first saw the tasting menu… and it did not disappoint!

Course Five: Miso Bushed Chesapeake Rock Fish
Pan sautéed petite bok choy
Cauliflower puree
Soy reduction

Our thoughts: The rockfish was cooked to perfection, and the puree just melted in our mouths. I thought the soy reduction was an interesting take, and the bok choy complemented it well.

Course Six: Bacon Wrapped Breast of Duck
Plump with roasted pears and toasted almonds
Peruvian blue potato mash
Bourbon pan sauce

Our thoughts: The pear in the middle was refreshing and an unexpected surprise.

Course Seven: Raspberry and Pistachio Jaconde
Citrus Syrup soaked almond sponge
Layers of chocolate ganache and pistachio cream
Fresh raspberry puree
Crystalized sugar garnish

Our thoughts: Once again, beautiful presentation. Although we were quite full by the time we got to dessert.. this was delicious! Loved the combination of chocolate ganache and pistachio. Of course, you can never go wrong with fresh raspberry puree!

At the end of the night we headed home with full stomachs, lots of respect for the talents and efforts of the entire Main Event Team, lots of good cheer,and of course Main Event’s signature chocolate truffles.. YUM!

Looking forward to our next event together- perhaps it will be yours! Contact Michelle and she will help design a deliciously innovative menu for your next event- and their top notch service will bring your dreams to life! This is exactly why I enjoy working with Main Event, and Michelle, so much!


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