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!