Ribbon Box Events Blog

July 18, 2012

Real Wedding Recap: Paul & Joe

I spent hours agonizing over this blog post. I literally just couldn’t choose which photos to use (thanks a lot to Katie Jett Walls of Red Turtle Photography, for taking so many awesome ones, it was impossible to choose!) This was such a special event to be part of and bring together. Joe and Paul are two of the kindest people, and I was so honored to plan their wedding. It was also the first gay marriage I have been part of, and it was truly a wonderful experience all around ( I seriously miss s our planning meetings!)

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, just off of Dupont Circle. A short walk from the Tabard Inn, this building with a modern exterior was a welcome change from the typical marble and stone of its neighbors along Massachusetts Avenue.

Da Vinci’s Florist lined the narrow hallway with submerged purple dendrobium orchids topped with floating candles to guide the way.

The grooms escorted their mother and father down the aisle, and each carried a memorial candle to honor their deceased parents. The candles sat in  candleabras that framed the grooms during the ceremony, and continued to burn around the sweetheart table during the reception.

The floor to ceiling draping around the entire space completely transformed the meeting space into an intimate, romantic ceremony space. Simple white uplights bounced off the white draping, adding romance and drama  to the  altar.

The private courtyard in the back, complete with floor to ceiling windows  and sculpture garden made for a perfect backdrop for family photos, and cocktail cocktail hour. The space didn’t need much, just a few cocktail rounds with some submerged florals that echoed the hallway inside, and a stocked bar! As the lights went down, the cocktail area just glowed outside, and it felt like the outside and inside merged. Love!

While guests enjoyed a champagne reception, we were hard at work transforming the ceremony space into a breathtaking reception space. Amber uplighting, eggplant linens, and black accents transformed the room yet again. the stage and ceremony decor was re-purposed to become a sweetheart table.

Wine bottles (labels removed) served as alternatives to a traditional guest book. Guests signed their names and wrote warm wishes to the new Mr. & Mr., who would later display them in their dining room.

2 grooms, 2 cakes. Perfect ratio for me! Design Cuisine created two decadent desserts (not to mention the delicious homemade caramel turtles alongside coffee service). One, a traditional buttercreamy goodness, and the other, a rum cake, in the shape of a traditional rum barrel!

Two long tables of guest seating was dramatic, and had such a romantic, warm, dinner party feel…

… and the vegetable tablescapes turned food into art! In lieu of traditional centerpieces, Krista from Da Vinci’s Florist created a runner down the two tables consisting of turnips, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, and more!

Much thought was paid to the materials and the layers of texture on the tables. From the black spandex chair covers that provided a sleek, streamlined chair that not only meshed well with the eggplant crush linens, but the the mix of the organic vegetables, green glassware, and beautiful green and eggplant decorated china, set atop black chargers.

And then, there was the food! Design Cuisine knocked it out of the park with this menu they collaborated on with the Grooms:

Passed Hors d’oeuvres:
Truffle Tentazioni on Mini Polenta
Carrot and Parsnip Pancakes with Ginger-Apple Chutney
Sesame Tuna Tartare Cornet
Jicama Cups with Guacamole
Heirloom Tomato Tartlette

First Course:
Citrus Glazed Black Cod

Second Course:
Mache & Frisee Salad with Ginger-Mango Stilton

Filet of Beef in Red Wine, Shallot, and Honey Essence

In-between courses, there was a brief interlude for a little dinner party game. I’m normally anti-game, but this really turned out super cute. Guests had been given seating “regions” after Paul and Joe’s favorite wines to help them find their seating.

These regions also served as teams for us to easily pair off.  Each team was given a quiz where the answer to each question was either Paul or Joe. It brought a lot of guests together who knew certain questions, and could fill in the blanks for others. It created such a lighthearted feel, there were giggles and laughs coming from all corners of the room.

Afterwards, the next course was served, and the answers were revealed in a musical slide show. just above the sweetheart table.

Dinner, dancing, and a room filled with love. Couldn’t ask for anything more. Amazing night- one that I surely won’t forget anytime soon! Check out the bottom of the post for the rundown on all the amazing vendors that came together to pull off this fabulous wedding!

Congratulations Paul and Joe! I wish you a lifetime of happiness, dinner parties, travel, and lots of good wine!!

Venue: Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics
Wedding Planner: Ribbon Box Events
Red Turtle Photography
Design Cuisine
Floral and Event Design:
Da Vinci’s
String Trio:
St. Charles String Quartet
Jeremy Scarborough for Kirkabee DJs
Edward Ingebretsen-Doud, Your DC Wedding Officiant
Wedding Cakes:
Design Cuisine
Hotel Block and Rehearsal Dinner:
The Tabard Inn
Invitations,programs, and dinner menus:
Wedding Paper Divas
Seating Chart: Perfect Image Printing
Attire/Tuxedos: Their own

January 26, 2012

Wedding Recap: Lynn & Mick

Nothing better than a beautifully designed summer wedding to shake these Winter blues!! First off, this post is AGES overdue- but it took me quite awhile to choose photos for this recap because they were all stunning! A very big THANK YOU to the wonderfully talented Tracy Timmester of Timmester Photography for use of these images!

Everything took place at the Bolger Center in Potomac, MD. The campus is beautiful, stretching out over 80 acres- and with several different venues (multiple outdoor areas, lobbies, reception rooms) clients have a wide variety of options!

The property was formally owned by The Sisters of Mercy, a catholic religious community and later in the 1980’s became a leadership center for the Postal Service- and there are several different historical exhibits on site.

Lynn was all smiles as she got ready with her sister and bridesmaids.

I love when couple’s chooses to do a first sighting- love the looks on their faces, so beautiful and so happy! P.S. This garden was later turned into a fabulous cocktail hour space!

The sun was shining and guests roamed the grounds of the Bolger Center and made their way to a (love that at the Bolger Center, you have your choice of ceremony space- we did a walk through, and when we found “the tree”, we simply wrapped a ribbon around it (yes, of course, a ribbon, remember who we are?!) and come wedding day, we were set!

Perfect tree. Guests had some shade to keep cool, and the branches framed the ceremony area beautifully.

Look at the beautiful stained glass room (told you it was a former monastery!)

Growing Wild Floral did an amazing job bringing the outdoors in and giving the reception area a natural feel, which paired lovely with pressed flower escort cards.

Kirkabee DJ kept the dancefloor packed and by far, this was the longest, and highest energy hora and Hava Nagila I have ever witnessed!

After dinner, guests were treated tableside to ice cream and mini cupcakes from Something Sweet Cupcakery.

We were honored to work with Lynn, Mick, and their wonderful family and friends to bring this wedding to life!

Mazel Tov!


February 10, 2011

Real Wedding Recap: Amanda & Dan

From the moment I sat down with my black and white damask clipboard and began chatting with Amanda and her mother Pam, about her wedding plans, I knew this would be an amazing family to work with, and an eye catching design schematic. From a few planning sessions at the family home, visits to the ceremony and reception venues, and some follow up e-mails, a magnificent team of vendors came together to create a stunning wedding day for Dan, Amanda, and their friends and family.

Special thanks to Dave Kauffman for use of his images! Not only is Dave a terrific photographer, he’s a close friend of the family, and has shot another wedding for the family! Those of our blog readers in Boston- lucky you- that’s his base of operations- check him out! Fortunately for us, he travels to the DC/VA area for weddings as well, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with him!

The day began with Amanda and her bridesmaids getting ready at the family home in Virginia.

In the kitchen, the lovely and talented Updo Specialist, Devon Baltimore, got started on everyone’s hair in the kitchen. (Get to know Devon more in our vendor spotlight post here)

Finally, it was time to head to the church! A Touch of Class Limousine whisked the ladies away to the Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer.

The sounds of Sage String Quartet filled the air as family and friends entered and seating began.

Twinbrook Florist created beautiful florals for the altar- bringing some sunshine and greenery in from the unseasonably warm and beautiful November day we were having outside.

Dan was the epitome of calm, cool and collected (he knew his bride was a catch, no way was he nervous about spending the rest of his life with her!)

After a few finishing touches….

It was time to head down the aisle! Sage String Quartet made the chapel feel cozy with their strings serenading everyone down the aisle.

The Old Post Chapel holds a special place in the hearts of Amanda’s family. Not only did her parents walk down that very same aisle for their own wedding, but her grandparents did as well!

In what can only be described as a magical moment, at the crescendo of “Make Us One”, we opened the doors and Amanda walked down the aisle, escorted by her father. It was absolutely beautiful- a breathtaking bride, and the sun shining in, lighting up the aisle!

A carefully crafted color palette of black and white damask, with accents of avocado green made for a classic, dramatic, and elegant wedding. From the clean and crisp white florals, with just a touch of red (Amanda’s bouquet and Dan’s boutiounner, the wedding oozes with elegance and will forever be timeless!

After a few formal photos at the altar, it was time to head over to the Springfield Golf & Country Club for festivities!

While the newlyweds and their wedding party explored the beautiful vistas greens of the Springfield Golf & Country Club for a photo session, guests enjoyed cocktails on the veranda overlooking the 18th green of the club.

In the meantime, there was time for little fun on the greens…

The ballroom was a feast for your eyes-  white linens, black Chivari chairs and black satin cushions, and touches of damask.  Twinbrook Florist created stunning mixtures of high and low centerpieces- the tall ones had submersible gel l.e.d. lights inside the vases.. GORGEOUS.. and created a glow inside the room as the sun went down.

Damask print gave some visual interest, and every so often, there were hints of avocado green…

in the sign that directed guests…

to the table numbers…

to the cardbox..

to the cake

Amanda and Dan sat at a sweetheart table, complete with a custom damask runner and complimenting damask chair sashes that popped against the black chivari chairs and black bengaline cushions. Amanda’s red bouquet served as a centerpiece that really made the table POP!

M&M’s were sweet treats for guests, nested in favor boxes atop simple black napkins.

while a few carefully placed damask votives brought the design together…

and the final product was a stunning reception!

DJ Kirkabee did a fabulous job and kept the dancefloor packed!

After a sparkler farewell…


..we bid the newlyweds farwell!

Amanda and Dan (and Pam, Wayne, Sarah and JP), we really enjoyed getting to know you and working with you on this amazing event. Warmest congratulations and I hope you enjoy starting your lives together in Hawaii! Aloha!


January 12, 2011

Real Wedding Recap: Val and Mike


Val and Mike were married on October 9, 2010. Ribbon Box Events was honored to plan and execute the nuptials for this kind and loving couple! Val chose our partial planning package, and we guided her every step of the way! Luke Eshelman photographed the wedding, and as I’ve said before, I love working with this photographer! Great person, talented professional, and did I mention he’s a Penn State fan?

The day began at the Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, were just a few doors apart, Val and Mike prepped and got ready for the big day!

Val had her “something blue” in the form of a family jewel, pinned to the top of her dress, just above the zipper.

Val was stunning- always a smile on her face. As usual, the lovely and talented Ana Merces did an incredible job with makeup for Val and her bridesmaids.

It was a pictureesque , warm October afternoon at Blessed Sacrament, just off Chevy Chase Circle in Washington, D.C.

After  some fun and photos, it was time to tie the knot!

Afterwards, A Touch of Class Limousine whisked them off to Normandie Farm for cocktails and dinner.

We love the rustic french country decor at Normandie, and used mini wooden easels and chocolate brown accents to coordinate with the dark wooden beams across the ceiling, patterned china and copper decor.

Fifi Floral LLC designed simple yet stunning arrangements of white hydrangea and lemon grass leaves inside double square vases, filled with coffee beans. Ribbon Box Events provided 16 and 20 inch long neck vases filled with coffee beans and topped with branches on alternate tables to give the room some heigth variation and depth. Read more about coffee bean decor in our Love you a-Latte post.

Ferrero Rochers doubled as favors and escort cards- We were thrilled at how these came out (and judging by how quickly they were devoured, so did the guests!) Many thanks to the talented Lettering by Lynne for the escort cards and table numbers!

George Marshall of All in One Entertainment kept the dance floor packed with guests of all ages. I’m always impressed by his professionalism and support he provides his clients to get to know them as a couple and what type of reception they want- and then he can read a crowd and know how to keep them enjoying the party and dancing!

Congratulations Val and Mike! It was such an honor to guide you through this process and create a beautiful celebration for the two of you!  I truly enjoyed every moment with the two of you- your love for one another is evident- and I could not have been happier to work with you! I wish you all the best!

Many thanks to the fabulous Luke Eshelman for use of his images. As you can see from his photos, he’s incredibly talented. Not only that, but a pleasure to work with and wonderful professional to surround yourself with on wedding day!


November 18, 2010

Real Wedding Recap: Rebecca and Rick

From “Bookmark the Date” Save the Dates, a booklet style invitation and layered ceremony program, Rebecca &  Rick embraced a touch of literary wedding magic for their September nuptials at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore, MD.  We were honored to serve as Day of Coordinators to ensure all of Rebecca’s plans came to fruition.

A special thanks to Roman Grinev Photography for use of these incredible images! Jennifer was fantastic to work with- can’t wait to do it again!

The day began at the Peabody Court hotel, just steps away from the the festivities. Rebecca was calm, relaxed, and enjoying the morning getting ready with her sisters and mom.

 Jewel Hair Design and Lori Nansi Makeup Artistry did an amazing job on hair and makeup for the bride and bridal party.

Thanks to Jennifer of Roman Grinev Photography, you would never guess from these images that we were smack dab in the middle of the Baltimore Book Festival! Hundreds of people descended upon Mt. Vernon Plaza and the Peabody in a fall celebration of literature.  Using her talent and magic, Jennifer created an intimate  “first sight” opportunity for the bride and groom amongst all the festivities.

The library is spacious, but thanks to the chuppah and some dramatic lighting by Event Dynamics, a harp and string duo of April Vega, the ceremony was intimate and warm.

After the ceremony, guests headed to the gallery for cocktail hour. Meanwhile, the library was transformed into a beautiful dinner and dancing space by Main Event Caterers, Wicked Willow Florists, Event Dynamics Lighting and our Ribbon Box Events staff!

The bride found some amazing items on Etsy and each made the event personal and reflective of the both her and the grooms style. Love the 3d paper bride & groom cake topper!

DJ Lil’ E of Ball & Chain DJ’s was fresh and upbeat and so much fun! She kept the dance floor packed with an eclectic mix.

Congratulations Rebecca & Rick! It was an honor to work with the two of you- I wish you much health and happiness in all your years to come together!


October 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Filed under: Wedding Recap — by Ribbon Box Events, LLC @ 7:24 pm


Today’s our wedding anniversary, so I thought I’d spotlight our own wedding!

Before the rehearsal, we began the day at the Spa for some well deserved pampering with my bridesmaids!



Then it was off to the rehearsal..

and dinner!

Then we met up with our friends who came into town!


Our wedding was everything we hoped it to be and more- it was a great celebration of friends, family, and starting our life together.

I could go on and on- but no time, we’re off to celebrate our anniversary! Here’s a few more pics from our day!

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September 9, 2010

Happy Anniversary Jennifer & Jason!

The cool breeze today in DC lets us know that fall is in it’s away, after a brutal summer full of heat and humidity. It also brings back fond memories of one year ago- Jason & Jennifer tied the knot on a beautiful September day complete with a color palette of warm reds and oranges, welcoming in the fall season.  On behalf of Ribbon Box events, I wish a Happy Anniversary to Jennifer & Jason! This was such a fun couple and I’m thrilled to have the new blog up so I could share this wedding with you and relive the day!  Jen’s day began at the Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center, in the heart of Georgetown. A recent grad of Georgetown Law, Jen and her bridal party hit the streets for a walk to the ceremony site, Holy Trinity Church; stopping along campus for some memorable photos!  After the ceremony, the couple was whisked off to the Capitol for photos in a 1962 White Bentley, courtesy of Regal Limousine Service. Meanwhile, Chariots for Hire took the Bridal Party to Meridian Park, a stones throw from the reception venue, The Josephine Butler Parks Center. Chariots for Hire also shuttled guests to the reception for cocktail hour. Cocktails, dinner (including a delicious mashed potato martini “fixings” bar served by R&R Catering) and dancing followed at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, a historic property overlooking Meridian Park in NorthWest.  Some great personal touches to this wedding: All florals were done by the brother of the bride, a florist from out of town! The priest was a family friend! Mother of the bride is a long time member and used to be the wedding specialist at the church! 

One of the highlights of the evening was the photo booth from PoshBooth. Guests had a blast- and what’s great is that there are two attendants to show help guests get set up in the booth (they also bring some fun props!). Two copies of the strips are printed, one for the guests and one for a custom guest book for the Bride and Groom.


Here’s a slideshow of their beautifull DC wedding!  Thanks to photographer Dennis Drenner for the beautiful images!

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Photography by Dennis Drenner

Ceremony:  Holy Trinity Church Washington, DC (Georgetown)

Reception Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center Washington, DC

Caterers:  R & R Catering

DJ:  Kurtis Cross

Transportation:  Regal Limousine and Chariots for Hire

Coordination:  Ribbon Box Events, LLC

Favors/Entertainment: Poshbooth



August 31, 2010

My Chemical Romance: Melissa & Alex

In a perfect blend of love & science, Alex & Melissa were married on May 30, 2010 at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.  In a reflection of their careers and venue- they embraced a science filled soiree with customized details that made it personal and truly one-of-a-kind!

Photos courtesy of the fabulous Jessi Ringer of 5 Rings Photo!

The ceremony was held in the rotunda, and we took advantage of the shape of the room by seating in the round.  The result was an intimate feeling and contributed to the beautiful, emotional ceremony!

Another unique element was the warming of the rings during the ceremony.  Before they exchanged vows and rings, both Alex & Melissa’s rings were passed around so that each guest could hold or “warm” them.  Some held them silently, while others said a quiet prayer over them.  A few married couples joined them in their hands and had a quiet moment.  Meanwhile, the sounds of Sage String Quartet resounded through the marble floor and columns.

And then there was the guest book!  A photo book of their engagement photos.  The title?  I’ll let you read it for yourself!

Guests found their way via test tubes as escort cards….

…. stunning fuschia and gunmetal tables…..

named after years, with a corresponding science fact!

Their signature drink was a big hit amongst guests.  The “Hou- jito”, a raspberry mojito gave homage to the groom’s last name.

After an amazing dinner thanks to Main Event Caterers..

it was time to party!

Their first dance was “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra- rather perfect, given their engagement fell on the anniversary of the lunar landing!

A groom’s cake made up of donuts sat beside the wedding cake; a beautiful and delicious mousse cake!!

A loved one made them a custom plate for their first slice of cake and presented it to them at the rehearsal.

Congratulations Alex & Melissa! It was great working on your wedding, and I wish you both all the best!


The details..  

Wedding Coordination: Ribbon Box Events

Venue: Carnegie Institution of Science

Photography: 5 Rings Photo

Catering & Rentals: Main Event Caterers

DJ: Dream DJ’s, Jake Ritchie

Ceremony Musicians: Sage String Quartet

Florals: Janet Flowers

Wedding Cake:  Pastries by Randolph

August 27, 2010

RibbonBox Flashback: Laura & Joe

Wishing a Happy Anniversary to Laura & Joe!  Just one year ago, we were honored to offer Day of Coordination services for the happy couple at the Hilton Garden Inn Fairfax! Laura and Joe were a dream couple to work with- Laura had a clear vision, right down to the details – from the hand made wine cork escort card holders to the signature mojitos at cocktail hour- and we were so honored she trusted us to execute their wedding!

Here’s a look back at the beautiful day!

Special thanks to Liz & Rob of Pereda Photography for the beautiful images, Catherine Calvin and her fabulous staff at the Hilton Garden Inn, Maryam Flowers, Wanda’s Cake Decorating, and Kirk of Kirkabee Deejays for keeping the dancefloor packed!

Wishing Joe & Laura a very happy 1st anniversary- and their newest edition, Clemson, the pup!!