[Real Wedding] C & M's New York City Winter Wedding

While the temperatures outside might have been a bone chilling 17 degrees on the day of C & M's wedding, their celebration was full of warmth and joy. 

C's mother contacted me almost a year before their wedding date and from there we embarked on planning all of the details of her daughter's special day. As the groom and his family are from the Baltimore, Maryland area, there would be a lot of out of town guests and we wanted to create a wedding weekend that gave the out of town guests a classic NYC experience while still appealing to the large number of "locals" who would also attend. 

On Friday, the groom's family hosted a Rehearsal Dinner at Landmarc in the Time Warner Center followed by a Welcome Cocktail Party hosted by the bride's family on the Empire Hotel Rooftop. The Rooftop has a retractable roof that was obviously closed due to the freezing temperatures, but the space still offered stunning views of Lincoln Center and the Upper West Side. 

On Saturday the wedding ceremony was celebrated at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, a stunning Church near the New York Athletic Club, where the reception took place. While the bride left a lot of decisions up to her mother, there was one thing she knew for certain: she wanted to get married at the Athletic Club, a building that holds special memories for her family. 

Take a look at some of the photos from this beautiful wedding, shot by Craig Paulson Photography:

Vendor Line-Up:

Church - Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Reception Venue - New York Athletic Club
Wedding Planning - LIG Events
Decor - Frank Alexander NYC
Photography - Craig Paulson Photography
Videography - Craig William Films
Music - Soulsystem Orchestras
Wedding Cake/Cookies - Sweet Lisa's Exquisite Cakes
Hair - Elie Camoro at Fekkai
Make-Up - Morgan at Face Time Beauty
Transportation - Sharaz Ceema
Photo Booth - Oh Snap Smile


How to Make Your Wedding Unique

One of the requests I hear most often from engaged couples is "we want to make our wedding unique." That comment is usually preceded or followed by "I'm sure you hear this from everyone."

Well, yes, I do hear that from EVERY client. But I don't think this is a preposterous request. In fact, one of my core beliefs when it comes to wedding and event planning is that I think your event needs to be a reflection of you.

If you are a former ballerina that loves Paris and peonies, I'm not going to recommend we throw your party in a barn in Virginia farm country. If you have specific hobbies you like to do as a couple, we'll weave those details into your wedding so that the celebration tells a story of who you are and what you enjoy. THAT is what I get really excited about, and why I love my job. I LOVE creating events that really reflect their hosts' personalities!  

Six Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique | LIG Events - Washington, DC Wedding and Event Planners

Below are some ways you can include unique touches in your wedding:

1 - Welcome Bags

There's no better way to show your guests little aspects of your personality and what you enjoy about the place where you're celebrating your wedding. I had a bride that loved Goldfish who was marrying a Brit that loved tea. So we included Goldfish and tea in their welcome bags and all of the recipients knew that that unlikely pairing was due to their individual tastes. 

Photo by  Lisa Lefkowitz

(If you're stumped about what to include in your welcome bags, check out my tips for the perfect welcome bag.)

2 - Food

Do you and your fiancé(e) eat out at your local Italian restaurant every Friday night? As a nod to your everyday life, maybe you want to serve a few Italian hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour.

Perhaps your Indian heritage is very important to you. Then we will most certainly be looking for an Indian caterer to provide your wedding dinner. 

Maybe you'd like to distinguish your event by serving a five course meal as opposed to the traditional three courses. Or serve a cheese course featuring French cheeses because you were engaged in Paris. 

Either way, food is a fantastic way to really distinguish your event and make it unique. There are so many different things you can do -- from adorable mini hors d'oeuvres to inventive stations -- that it is worth spending some time and effort in this area to make sure it's unique and memorable. 

3 - Napkins

This is a minor place where you can make a big impact! Rather than creating custom napkins with your monogram or logo, consider printing them with fun facts about your lives and courtship. It's a cute touch that guests really enjoy. 

4 - Entertainment

Entertainment is a great way to incorporate your taste and personality into your event. For another wedding of an American and a Brit (I seem to have lots of British clients!), we hired a live British band who performed in tandem with a DJ. The band played British classics while the DJ played American tunes. As a result, the music was a perfect reflection of the couple.

And don't restrict yourself to music. There are a ton of ways to customize your event that don't have to do with the selection of the wedding band. If your first date was at a comedy show, it might be fun to have a stand-up comic put on a 5-7 minute show during dinner. Or if you grew up listening to your father's salsa music collection, maybe you'd like to hire salsa dancers to get the dancing underway? 

5 - Cake

Customizing your wedding cake flavors is obviously a very easy way to incorporate your tastes into your wedding. However, what if you're not really into cake? What if you prefer cupcakes or ice cream? Or what if you don't like cake altogether? Well, there are a variety of things you can cut into and serve your guests instead. 

How about a cheese wheel wedding "cake"?

Or a doughnut "cake"?

Those are only two ideas, but the options are endless. Don't feel as if you must have a traditional wedding cake if that's not who you are and you'd prefer something else!

6 - Favors

Your wedding favors are an obvious place where you can really showcase your personality and offer your guests a taste of your preferences.

How about offering them a parting snack? A box filled with bagels and cream cheese for the next morning. As someone who LOVES bagels (oh carbs!), that would be my favor and every guest would know exactly why!

If you love candles, perhaps you will gift each guest an exquisitely packaged candle whose scent is inspired by a trip you and your fiancé(e) took together. 

Either way, your wedding favor is a great way to give a final unique touch to your celebration. It will really have guests walking away thinking "what a wonderful, unique evening!"

Creating a unique wedding doesn't come down to one thing you can do. Really focus on making lots of different areas of your wedding reflective of who you are and you will succeed in creating an evening that is tailored to your tastes and depicts your personality. 

What do you think of some of these unique ideas? How would you make your celebration unique? Let us know in the comments!


Wedding Morning Playlist

As you can imagine, there are a ton of music choices that need to be made when planning a wedding. Songs for the ceremony processional and recessional, songs for you first dance, the parent dances, what kind of music you'd like during cocktail hour....the list goes on.

One thing brides often forget to think about: music for the getting hours before your wedding. 

No, this doesn't require a lot of thought. And yes, it will make a big difference. 

Wedding Morning Playlist - LIG Events - Wedding and Event Planners in Washington, DC

Getting ready with your family and bridesmaids before your wedding should be a happy, joyous time. You don't want to sit in a room with hair dryers humming along and no background noise to fill the quite spaces. Plus, having some good background music on will really help set the mood. 

Below are some of my favorite ideas for playlists:
-You can never go wrong with a compilation of classic MoTown songs. Everyone knows songs by Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Temptations, etc.
-Throw it back to your childhood/young adulthood and put together some iconic 90s and early 2000s Pop songs. I know a lot of bridesmaids who still love those catchy Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and N*Sync tunes. Maybe throw in some "MmmmBop" from Hanson too? 
-Perhaps create a powerhouse singer playlist? I'd include Adele, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston.

Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head, so even if you don't agree with my musical choices (no offense taken!), make sure to remember to create a playlist for these hours of your day. Have someone bring a portable speaker you can hook up to your phone or iPod (do people still have those?) and you're set. It couldn't be any easier.

And if you don't have time to create a playlist, just use one you created for another party. Or find one on Spotify. If you're not musically-inclined you can give this task to another person in your group that loves music. They will appreciate being involved and you won't have to worry about it. There are tons of ways of making this easy without adding another task to your to-do list!

So start the day off right with a little music and you'll calm your nerves and get even more excited for what the day holds. Plus, you'll be ready to jump on the dance floor when the time comes. (And if the bride & groom dance at a wedding, the guests will too!)

What do you think of my playlist choices? Let me know in the comments!