Posts Tagged ‘Wedding planning’

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.









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!




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.







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.





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







12513842_975797402486651_3737292290164663958_o-1024x683 Meghan_Phil_Wedding_MJP_001



























































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


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.


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.


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

Vintage silverware -

Vintage silverware –

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

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers’ Marks

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

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers’ Marks

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

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.


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.

Coffee Cup and Saucer

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

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






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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


 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.


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.


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!



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).”


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!

What To Do Once You Have Said Yes?

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Well, you’ve been dreaming about this day, since you were young! The love of your life has asked you to be their husband or wife, and you’ve said yes! Now what? Here is a list of 10 things to do, after accepting your partners proposal.

1. Tell your parents – Allow them to have the honor of finding out that you have become engaged and be ready, time to celebrate! Might want to even let the family you don’t see or talk to all the time know too!

2. Call your closest friends – Make sure you call your closest friends, so they find out the great news from you, not from facebook! This is one of those things that should be done personally!

3. Decide on how many guests – Take a look at your friends and family and get an approximate idea of how many guests. You’ll need this for your Save the Date cards and if you use a planner, they will need to know that count, so they are able to refer you to the best locations suited to handle your affair.

4. Set your budget – Decide on how much you will have to dedicate to your wedding and also if anyone else will be contributing, such as parents, grandparents, etc. You will need a realistic budget so that you and a planner (if used) can determine what services fit your budget. This will also give you time to start saving for each of your services. The worst thing you can do is plan a wedding for $30K and when it comes time to pay the bills find out you don’t have the funds and end up having to take out a loan to pay it off.

5. Set the date – The main question you will be asked is “Congratulations, when is the date?” If you set the date right away you’ll already have an answer to the most often asked question. You also need to know the date when looking into where you will hold your ceremony and reception and finding availability of other wedding vendors.

6. Save the date – Get your Save the Date cards out to all your friends and family who you want to be in attendance this way they can put it on the calendar. A great place to go to do this is The Paperbag in Allentown

7. Hire a Planner – Getting married is a stressful time of your life. A planner will help you to get started and alleviate the stress you may experience. A planner, will save you a lot of legwork and time and allow you to really enjoy being engaged. Pinterest, may have become your best friend and you probably have many boards dealing with romantic wedding ideas, which your planner will help you to implement and make a reality. By knowing your budget, they can refer you to the best wedding vendors, to suit your budget and style. If you decide you are just looking for someone to pull it all together, look into Day of Service Packages too.

8. Now the honors – Pick out your attendants! There are many ways to ask those special friends to be in attendants and honor attendants in your wedding. Below are some fun ways to ask your friends:

a.  Gifts that help you ask
b. BBQ for everyone to get together to ask at once – love the t-shirts that say their role in the wedding (or something like that)
c. Check out online sites for other suggestions

9. Check out Social Media sites and Wedding Websites – Sign up at The Knot and also WeddingWire. Both of these websites have many wedding planning tools, to help you with vendor referrals, timelines of when things need to be done, to keep you on track, etc. Check them out. If you are in the Lehigh Valley, check out Lehigh Valley

10.  Take out insurance – Consider insurance for both your new engagement ring and also your wedding. Insurance for your ring will make sure that if anything happens to either your wedding ring, whether you lose a stone or lose the ring, it can be replaced. Many couples ask, is wedding insurance really necessary, below is what Travelers Insurance says,

“The Wedding Protector Plan® is special event insurance which provides cancellation postponement coverage and other coverages to cover your investment, with an option to add liability coverage with no deductible, for many of things that could go wrong – that are beyond your control. Some of the Wedding Day Disasters are:
Dress lost, Deposits, Lost Rings, Severe Weather, Transportation Shutdown, Ruined Photos, Call to Duty, Damaged Gifts, Sudden Illness, Venue Requires Insurance, Additional Expense, Unemployment”
You can contact Brosky Insurance for further information and what they offer.

Now that you know where to begin, it’s time to have fun, relax, enjoy and don’t sweat the small stuff!