Posts Tagged ‘lehigh valley’

Wedding Season Began Early in 2016!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Meghan and Philips January Wedding

Wedding Season began early for me this year at an Iacocca Hall Wedding, January 2nd.  The mother of the bride, Tracy, contacted me about 3-4 weeks before the wedding for my Day Of Coordination Package!  I had a lot to do and a short time to do it in, but hey, that’s why they hired me!  What made it easy were the vendors I had the privilege of working with!  In the Lehigh Valley, we have some of the “BEST” Wedding Vendors in their fields, but enough about that and back to my couple!

Meghan and Philip met and dated in High School.  Unfortunately, as happens in high school, they broke up.  They were apart for about 6 1/2 years but were always in close touch with one another!  When they got back together, they realized it was love and 2 years later decided to make it permanent.

The day started out on the cool side, after an unseasonably warm week. The day began with the bride Meghan, her mom and sister started the day out at Clementines Salon for hair and makeup.  The photographer Marissa and her assistant Tracey were phenomenal!  I really enjoyed how they took pictures through prisms of a Moravian Star, the effects were really cool.  They used many styles of photography, I have never seen a photographer use before, so that was really fascinating.  We then proceeded to St. Josephs in Limeport.  It was a rural country church and Father Buckley was a great host.  What was really neat, was the Christmas tree that held ornaments, the kids had made for years were on it.   My bride’s family had their ornament hanging in the tree, which made the day even more special.

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The photos after the ceremony, were at Lehigh University. at the Lookout and Iacocca Hall.  I am so glad that the light and the weather held out that they were able to get pictures taken out doors!

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The Reception was gorgeous, being held at Iacocca Hall, at the top of the mountain where Lehigh University sits.  The views on this evening were magnificent from the venue, you can see for miles on a clear night. Bethlehem, Allentown and even Easton were visible!  One of the most magnificent views I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot.

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Special moments of the reception, were the bride dancing with her grandfather, the groom and his friends dressed up as Kiss band members, a fabulous DJ (Wes from Wesley Works), who really kept the party jumping and phenomenal florist (Sara from Allium Floral Designs) who had the venue looking gorgeous with all the lit candles.  This really gave the venue a beautiful intimate atmosphere, to the reception.

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One of the coolest things about this wedding, was the Stepfather of the Groom, was a childhood friend of mine. The wedding allowed us to catch up with each others lives, when I had a quiet moment during the evening.  

What a beautiful Winter Wedding Day it was!

Professionals Included:

Venue: Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University

Florist: Allium Floral Design

Photographer: Marissa Joy Photgraphy

DJ: Wesley Works

Officiant, Father Buckley – St. Josephs Church, Coopersburg

Hair/Makeup: Clementines Salon

Transportation: J&J Limousine

Rentals: Action Party Rentals

 

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Lehigh Valley Wedding Planning – A Guide to Setting Tables for a Wedding or Special Event

Monday, October 19th, 2015
Armen Elliott Photography 2015

Armen Elliott Photography 2015

If you are having a catered wedding or event, where the responsibility for setting the tables is yours (most rental companies and caterers, will not setup your tables without an extra cost), this guide will be a big help to you.

The guide below will aid you in the correct placement of your silverware on your tables. It will also help you to decide how many utensils you need and how many to order from your rental company. The information below will make it easy to set a table correctly.

Below are a few different ways to set a table.

Armen Elliott Photography 2015

Armen Elliott Photography 2015

Napkins

You have many ways to place them. You can fold them into different shapes and lay on top of the base plate, you can fold them and put under the base plate hanging down the side of the table, you can fold them like a pocket, in the event you are having a menu, to insert into the pocket or you are putting your silverware in the pocket. You may also put your napkin folded and placed under the forks on the left side of the plate or to the left of the forks folded.

Plates

How many and type of plates depends on what type of meal (sit down or buffet) will determine how many on each place setting. I will give you the way that most tables are set. You may also use a charger, which is a decorative plate placed underneath your dinner plate.

In the event you are having a sit down dinner, you will want to have a Charger, Salad Plate on top and if you are using a butter plate, it would be placed to above and to the left of the dinner plate, above the Forks. If you are having a buffet and the Dinner Plate is at your guests seat, you will place the Dinner Plate on the Charger, then the Salad Plate on top of the Dinner Plate and if using a Butter Plate that is placed to the left above the Forks. If you are having the Dinner Plates and Salad Plates at the Buffet, you would put the napkin where the plates would go.

Silverware

The reasoning for placement of the silverware is what pieces you will use first, second, third and so on.

Vintage silverware - http://www.idealhomegarden.com/dining-rooms/woodland-decorations-for-dining-room/

Vintage silverware – http://www.idealhomegarden.com/dining-rooms/woodland-decorations-for-dining-room/

In the event you are using a pocket for your silverware, the fork should be on the far left, knife in the middle and spoon on the right side in the pocket. If you are having a butter knife and plate, you would lay the butter knife on the plate horizontally.

If you are doing a full table setup, it depends if you are using 5, 6, 7, 8 pieces of silverware. These are the most used settings, although you can have as many as 10 pieces on your table.

4 Pieces – Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon – This is probably the most seen place setting of all.  On the Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks http://www.925-1000.com/settings.html

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers’ Marks
http://www.925-1000.com/settings.html

5 Pieces Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, Dessert Spoon or Fork – Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon and above the plate will either be the dessert fork tongs face right and dessert spoon faces left. Another 5 piece setting could be Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, and Soup Spoon. In this setting, all pieces would be placed as above, except that the Soup Spoon would go on the outside of the right side.

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks http://www.925-1000.com/settings.html

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers’ Marks
http://www.925-1000.com/settings.html

6 PiecesSalad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Soup Spoon, Butter Knife – Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon and on the bread plate is the Butter Knife

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/how-to-cook/how-to-set-a-table

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/how-to-cook/how-to-set-a-table

7 PiecesSalad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, Soup Spoon (optional) Bread Knife (Optional), Dessert Spoon and Dessert Fork – Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon and Soup Spoon. Above the plate will be the dessert fork closest to the plate with the tongs facing right and dessert spoon faces left.

8 PiecesSalad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, Soup Spoon, Dessert Spoon and Dessert Fork and Butter Knife – As you have read above all silverware would be placed as in the (7) place setting directions, except that the butter knife would be placed with point horizontal to the plate.

http://www.findalink.net/diningetiquette.php

http://www.findalink.net/diningetiquette.php

Glassware

Here again, it depends on which glasses you are using. Some tables will only use a Water Glass and Wine Glass, others will use Water Glass, Wine Glass, and Champagne Glass or Water, White Wine, Red Wine and Champagne glass. The most used at a Wedding or Special Event would be Champagne, Water and Wine. There are two different manners of placement. One is straight across above the knife and some are in a triangular type shape.

Water Glass, Red Wine Glass and Champagne Glass and/or optional White Wine Glass – If you are placing in a straight line, in this setting the Water Glass is always above and slightly to the left of the knife. Then the Wine Glass would be to the right and placed slightly lower (towards the spoon) and the Champagne Glass would be on the end and placed slightly lower than the Wine Glass. They could also be placed in a triangle with the Water Glass being the Left Triangle Point, the Champagne Glass being the Top Tip and the Wine Glass being the bottom right point. In the event there is no Champagne, but there is a White Wine Glass, the White Wine Glass, would take the place of the Champagne Glass.

Intimate Outdoor Wedding - An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson 2015

Intimate Outdoor Wedding – An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson 2015

Water Glass, Red Wine Glass, White Wine Glass and Champagne Glass – in this setting the Water Glass is always above and slightly to the left of the knife. Then the Champagne Glass would be place to the right and higher than the Water Glass. The Red Wine Glass would be horizontal from the Water Glass and then the White Wine Glass would be slightly to the left and down from the Red Wine Glass.

www.elitetentsandevents.com

www.elitetentsandevents.com

Coffee Cup and Saucer

http://willowdaleestate.com/themed-celebrations-tea-party/

http://willowdaleestate.com/themed-celebrations-tea-party/

These should be placed to the right of the plate and above and to the right of the Teaspoon or Soup Spoon

There are many more ways to set a table.  These examples are just some of the placements I have seen, both as a waitress in a fine dining establishment and now as a Wedding Planner.

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort Lake – Photography by Jon Athans Photography

Ed Krisiak - Steel City Photography

Ed Krisiak – Steel City Photography

Wedding Reception Lehigh Country Club

Client wedding at Lehigh Country Club – Photography by Wesley Works

Lehigh Valley Wedding Planning – 8 Must’s, to Do On Your Wedding Day

Friday, May 1st, 2015

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You’ve been so caught up in your wedding planning, that you totally forget to do some of the most important things!  These things allow you to remain relatively stress free on your wedding day. Not sure what they are. I have put together a list of 8 things that will essentially, help your day, be less stressful and as perfect as is possible! This list is applicable for both Brides and Grooms.

1. Get a good night’s sleep.- Don’t have your bachelorette or bachelor party the night before. The last thing you want to do is be hung over the day of your wedding, same with the Rehearsal dinner, watch how much alcohol you consume. I know, all of your friends are in town and you want to party with them and have fun, but you can do that on your wedding day! We all know that when a person is tired, they tend to be grumpy and you won’t have a happy day if you are in a lousy mood. Make sure you get to bed early and even if you are too nervous to sleep, at least rest. You can read a book that might help to make you drowsy, but try to relax yourself enough to sleep.

2. Make sure you eat – I know, you say, you are too nervous to eat, but if you don’t eat you may end up passing out or becoming light-headed at the altar, from lack of food or drink and we don’t want that to happen to you! Make sure you eat a good breakfast or while you are getting ready, make sure you have bagels, fruit, etc. around to munch on. If you get married later in the day, then you may want to have sandwiches or a deli platter available for everyone who is there getting ready. This way, not only will you be fed, your bridal party will too! Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, last thing you need to do on a hot day is pass out from lack of water.

3. Give yourself enough time, so that you aren’t rushed on your wedding day – Hopefully you have a Wedding Planner or hired a “Day of Wedding Coordinator” for the Wedding Day. If you have, good for you! If you aren’t aware of it, a Wedding Planner/Coordinator will help make sure your day runs smoothly by utilizing a timeline for you and your family and bridal party. They will print out copies for all involved, so they know what is happening and when. This allows you to stay on time and relaxed. You’ve waited for this all your life and the last thing you need to do is worry about things. This is the time to have fun and soak it all in, because the day will fly by, faster than you realize.

4. Don’t wait until the last-minute – If you need a haircut, massage, pedicure or manicure. Don’t wait until your wedding day to do it. Take a day or two before your wedding day to pamper yourself. This is for the guys as well as the girls. We all need downtime and this will allow you to relax and not be running around on the big day!

5. Have someone be your go between – Again, if you have a wedding planner, you won’t need to appoint someone as your go between, but in the event you don’t have a wedding planner and have things you need to complete the day of your wedding, see if you can get a member or members of your bridal party to help out. They always want to know how they can help and this is one way!

6. Relish every minute of the day – From the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep, relish everything that happens on your wedding day. Remember opening your love’s wedding gift and how you felt when you saw it, remember the look on your mother/fathers face when they saw you in your wedding outfit, remember the smell of your flowers and the beauty of the arrangements, remember the happiness you are feeling today. Remember all the little things, because before you know it the day will be gone.

7. Make a point to speak and greet every guest – You invited your guests for a reason and love them all. Make sure you remember to give them a hug, a kiss or a kind word or thank you and how happy you are they were able to spend their day with you celebrating. We all know how important it is to feel needed and wanted.

8. Eat, Drink, Dance and Enjoy – Celebrate! You are now married to the love of your life and time to relax and enjoy! Make sure to eat, so that if you are having a few drinks, you won’t become tipsy. Drink, but try to control the amount. You don’t want to forget about your day, because you are too drunk to remember it. Dance as much as you can and enjoy this day! You’ve invested a lot of time and money into this, so make sure to take advantage of all the good things happening today!

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Lehigh Valley Wedding Venues – What to Consider Before Booking

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
1st Look Bear Creek Mountain Resort

1st Look at Bear Creek Mountain Resort Lake – Photography by Jon Athans Photography

1. Location, Location, Location –You really need to decide, what area you want to have your wedding and reception. Most couples want  the ceremony site, reception site and photo sites, to be a reasonable distance from one another, because of travel time. This is the first thing you need to think about and discuss with your family and your fiancé.

Sunset picture at Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia

Hotel Palomar at Sunset by Michael McNett Photography

2. Travel Time – Keep in mind, your guests travel from different areas of the state or country and are not familiar with the area. The GPS system is not as correct as you would think, so it would be a great idea to include a directions card, or a photocopy of precise directions to the ceremony and reception sites, from the different hotel locations or general vicinity. You will also want to consider hotels that are more centrally located to either your ceremony or reception site and be sure to block them right away.

1st Dance at Silver Creek Country Club

Silver Creek Country Club – First Dance – Photo by Michael McNett Photography

3. Fairs, Holiday Happenings, Parades – Make sure to check with the city to see if they have any special events going on the weekend of your wedding. Quite a few couples found themselves out of a reception site, and no hotel rooms available for their guests, because of Pope Francis visit to Philadelphia in September 2015.

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort Lake – Photography by Jon Athans Photography

Once you have considered those items, the next step is to visit venues. I would suggest searching on Google “Lehigh Valley Wedding Venues”, The Knot or Wedding Wire or something along that line. A lot of venues will show up. Go through the different venue sites and see what is appealing to you and narrow down your search by packages offered, how pretty the location is, and is it available on the day you want to get married! Below are the things you want to do when visiting a venue.

Centerpiece by Pondeleks Florist at Silver Creek Country Club, Photography by Michael McNett Photography

Centerpiece by Pondeleks Florist at Silver Creek Country Club, Photography by Michael McNett Photography

1. Visit Your Venue At The Same Time Of Your Event – Go and see the venue at the same time of day that you’re wedding or reception is being held. This way you will know how the room looks with the natural lighting, how the grounds look at that time of day, are there any kinds of draft in the room, etc. You may experience these things on your wedding day, so this would be a great time to bring your wedding planner with you to see the venue and get their thoughts too! In speaking with a few different venues, here are some of their thoughts about showing a venue on the day of a wedding. “Lisa Yeager from Miller Symphony Hall, said that she likes to show off her venue before a wedding begins, so that the potential client can visualize the space seeing it setup.” “Alan Raisman, from Lehigh Valley Zoo said, “that because the zoo is open every day, he shows the zoo, when it is open. If there is a wedding that day, he will have the couple come in before the wedding is set to begin to see the site.”

Wedding Reception Lehigh Country Club

Client wedding at Lehigh Country Club – Photography by Wesley Works

2. Ask all your questions! – Don’t be afraid, this is the time to ask as many questions about the venue and how it will suit your day. You need to know how many hours your package includes, most are 5 hours from start to finish, make sure you know this. Find out if you must use their preferred vendors, such as Monterre Vineyards.  They have an option, where you may either use their house DJ or you can bring in your own.  If  you bring in your own, there are special requirements you need to honor, to do so.  At Burnside Plantation, you must use their Tent or Catering Companies, this can cut down your legwork, but it can also be a pitfall; since you don’t have the option of using someone whose pricing fits your budget better.  So make sure to ask questions!

Kiss at Hotel Palomar

Kiss at Hotel Palomar – Photography by Michael McNett Photography

3. Get It In Writing– The one lesson I learned many years ago is to always get everything in writing! If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen. So make sure that if anyone promises you this service or that service, make sure it is in your contract! This goes for all your other wedding vendors too.

Head table at Lehigh Country Club

Head table at Lehigh Country Club Wedding, Photography by Wesley Works

Wedding Professional Reflections:

Friday, February 20th, 2015

My New Wedding Professional Reflections Section, will be featuring vendors, in various professions, that are centered around making your day “An Affair to Remember”!  This will give you the opportunity, to get to know some of the fabulous professionals, I have the privilege of working with in the Lehigh Valley, Phila, and the Poconos.

Today’s Featured Vendor is Michael McNett from Michael McNett Photography, in Bethlehem, PA!

Michael McNett, McNett Photography

Michael McNett, McNett Photography

 

 

 

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I met Mike about 2 years ago, when I was coming back into business, after my hiatus! I asked a friend, who they thought, were the best wedding photographers in the area? One of her choices was Mike.  When we met I loved him instantly! He has a quirky sense of humor and comes up with the cutest quips, when you least expect them. I am speaking from experience, when I say, he really is great at developing a close and committed bond, with his couples. As a planner, that is one of the most import things I look for in a vendor.  I always want to keep my couples as the prime focus, always keeping in mind, its their wedding.

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Can you tell my readers a little about yourself and how you decided to become a professional wedding photographer? I started in the photography field at the High School for the Arts, which is similar to the arts school, in the movie “Fame”. After completing that program, I then continued my education towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) at Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD. I graduated in 2000.

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How would you describe your artistic style? Emotional reportage. It is a documentary style of photography, documenting emotions, not news.

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How many weddings do you shoot per year? Do you have a favorite place in the Lehigh Valley, Poconos or Philadelphia area, which you like to shoot? I shoot no more than 30 weddings per year and I really don’t have a favorite place. I prefer to shoot, based on places that are representative of my clients and who they are.

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Not all clients are creative or do well in front of a camera. How do you manage your client’s expectations to think outside of the box, when working with you? My packages include an engagement session for every couple and I find them invaluable. They give me the opportunity to really get to know the couple and it allows them the opportunity to really get to know me. It’s a matter of comfort and I want all of my clients, comfortable in front of the camera. MichelleKent-W-0622

I know you have many facets to your business, how do you manage your success? “By the seat of my pants”, he quips! Success is secondary to me. My love stems from my deep love for weddings and couples and the Wedding Day is as exciting for me as it is for my clients.

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What have been some of your more difficult shooting situations and how do you overcome them? I would say shooting celebrity weddings. Talent agents are always restricting access to the client and I function better, when I develop a more intimate relationship with the client. That can’t happen with an agent in tow.

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How long do you spend editing the average wedding? The editing takes 2 hours/hour of shooting time on the wedding day.

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 For clients that are considering working with you, what’s the best way for them to start? How far in advance should a client try to book you? I value personal, face to face contact. I can carry out more in a face to face meeting, than online or over the phone. If a client is looking for Fall Wedding Season, they should book at least 2 years in advance. Any other time, should book 1 year in advance.

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What are the best memories from your wedding profession? When I see my clients use a picture I took, from their wedding day, as their profile picture on Facebook, especially 5 years later.

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What else would you like my readers to know about you? Being a photographer, is a means to an end. Much is expressed in the design of the wedding album and other visual ways. I help the client in remembering their day, after it’s over, for years to come!

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Let’s Talk Wedding Programs!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

For as long as I have been in business, I have seen more programs than you can imagine. I think the one that really sticks out in my memory and being the most ingenious way to do a program, was my wedding in December.

My client was really into reading and literacy! Her whole theme revolved around reading. It was a newspaper! It explained the ceremony (Greek Orthodox) and traditions that are followed. It contained information on her bridal party and information about her and her husband and how their relationship evolved. Her newspaper is below.

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It was so cool, I decided to look into a few other alternative forms of wedding programs. One of the best places to find really neat and unique ideas for weddings is Etsy.

The first I found was By DesignsbyTenisha. She has designed a cootie catcher. I used to play with these things as a kid and it is adorable how she took this idea and adapted it to weddings. On the flaps, it can contain:

Prelude
Seating of parents and grandparents
Processional
Welcome and prayer
Giving of the bride
Scripture reading
Exchange of vows
Exchange of rings
Music
Pronouncement of marriage
Recessional

Cootie Catcher program

The next one I found was by AnnaLouAvenue, it’s a great idea. Rolled scroll, ceremony program on Kraft paper. If you are having a rustic feeling wedding, these would work well.

scroll program

Here is another great one. This is by OneChelleofAMug, it is a personalized wedding fan, with the couples picture on it! Not only do you get to keep yourself cool, but you have all the pertinent information, such as Family, Wedding party, Ceremony, etc. at your finger tips!

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These are just some of the highlights of my research, and the different options you have open to you.  If I were to put all I have found, you would be reading for weeks! I hope you enjoy these ideas and if so, feel free to give feedback with any other ideas you may have.

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO BELIEVE!

 

We Won the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® for 2015

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award 2014 WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award 2015

My company was just notified that we received the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® for 2015.  This is the 2nd time we have been the recipient of this award.  I really am blessed to have received both this and The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2015, this year.  A huge thank you to all of my past clients, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have won this award!  You guys are awesome!  I so love what I do and reading your reviews, makes it all worthwhile! I am so looking forward to 2015 and all the great couples I am going to be working with!

“The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® recognizes the top 5 percent of local Wedding Professionals from the WeddingWire Network throughout the United States, Canada and abroad that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 200,000 newlyweds. Awards are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: overall rating (quality), total number of reviews (quantity), review performance from 2014 (recency), and consistency of reviews from year to year (consistency).”

REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BELIEVE

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson awarded The KNOT’s Best Of Weddings 2015!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

2015 The Knot Best of Weddings

I am so excited to announce that my company received 2015 The Knot Best of Weddings! This honor is based on “The Best and Most Rated Vendors” in their area of expertise.  Receiving this is even more exciting because this is only my first year on The Knot!

Thank you so much to my past clients for allowing me the honor, of being such an integral part of their day and helping them to have “An Affair to Remember”!  Looking so forward to 2015 and assisting all of my new couples to have the same experience as past clients!  2015 can only be better!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Happy-new-year-HD-Photos

I want to take this time to thank all of my past clients for allowing me the honor of being an integral part of your wedding day!  I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me or how important you were in my life.  You all helped me to get through, what was a tough year with the loss of my mom, but I treasure time spent with her this last year. I wish all of you much love, happiness and success as you go through this next year, hand in hand together.

This past year was one of the best I have experienced, since taking time away from the industry.  Next year, looks like it may far exceed my expectations!

For my 2015 clients, I wish you peace, happiness and lots of fun, for the upcoming year!

My new word for this year, and goal is to always BELIEVE. “Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach, author 

HAPPY NEW YEAR and BEST WISHES TO ALL