#FriendorFriday: Meet the eye behind the Camera

There are vendors with extreme talent, then there are vendors with extreme talent + a great personality! Meeting Geoffrey was great! I worked alongside of him for Natalie + Doug's wedding in Washington, D.C. When it came to service, he was among the cream of the crop in the vendor world. Always helpful and available, he made my job on the day of and leading to a breeze.  So of course it was my pleasure to highlight him as this Friday's featured vendor.  

What is the best way to describe your cinema production and style?

I adapt my style to what fits the client best. However, if had to put a name to my style it would be Cinematic Photojournalism.  We simply maintain a cinematic documentary of the story as it unfolds while staying as unobtrusive as possible.  That means no directing how to pose, what to say, or when to smile. It’s capturing the bride and groom kissing in between the photo poses, the teardrop as the bride reacts to the groom saying his vows and more. In some cases capturing these moments takes some advance planning specific to a wedding (i.e. attending wedding rehearsal at the Church). Other times it’s a matter of adapting to the situation as it develops and making the most of it.

What are your biggest inspirations in your work?

I am always inspired by life stories. Our lives are a collection of experiences that tell a story about us.  This might sound cliché but when I meet the bride and groom during the planning phase, their story is what inspires me and their wedding allows me to capture them becoming one and the beginning a new chapter.

What lead you down the path of cinematic production?

About 20 years ago while attending an event a friend of mine who worked at a TV station at that time needed a second shooter. I offered to assist, she proceeded to give me a basic tutorial of what to do. I excelled at it and had lots of fun in the process. Five years later I got an opportunity to purchase a Mac that was preloaded with final cut pro. This opened the way for me to learn how to edit. I became good at it and that ultimately led me to being hired as an editor and later a filmmaker at one of the premiere wedding production companies in Bethesda Maryland. After working there for 7 years I went out on my own and founded G Muse Studios.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

The favorite moment in my career is the day I booked my first client after establishing the business in 2010. That first 'small step' in a journey that has made G Muse Studios what it is today.

What are your favorite styles or some of your cinematic inspirations?

I am a big fan of Cinematic documentary stories and my two biggest inspirations and Ray Roman Films and StillMotion.

How do you help a client narrow down some of their choices?

I help clients narrow down their choices by meeting them and listening to what their needs are. I then present the choices that best match the needs and based on the cost and style of coverage they are looking for.  In some cases I do offer custom quotes especially for cultural weddings that may run for multiple days.

What are some of your dream weddings, events or venues?

My dream wedding is one which bride and groom has fun and engages each other a lot. They are the stars of the show and that kind of chemistry just pops on the screen and its all you can ask for. When it comes to venues it is hard to pick one because by the time the florists and planners are done with the setup they all are awesome. However, if I had to pick then I would go with DC venues that have character and/or history such as The Willard, Mellon Auditorium, Women's Museum, and National Cathedral The list is endless!

How can your clients contact you?

I may be reached by email - info@gmusestudios.com or via phone (240)310-5637.  My portfolio is available on my website www.gmusestudios.com and via social media https://www.facebook.com/gmusestudios/#

#weddingwednesday Heaven and Earth Wedding Inspiration

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

Photo Credit: Sharmila Photography

2016 has been an amazing year for me professionally.  One of the first highlights of my year was this gorgeous Heaven and Earth Inspiration shoot held at Rust Manor House in Leesburg, Virginia. I was so excited to hear that they were excited about hosting our shoot as well.  The initial inspiration for the shoot was that I knew I did not want to incorporate any pink or colors at all.  I wanted to shy away from the same old Blush style photos.  I wanted something that reflected my love of nature.   

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

Photo Credit: Sharmila Photography

I was really lucky to find these gorgeous vintage plates with a scalloped gold plated trim and delicate green details! Needless to say, those were absolutely a must have for this shoot! If you  know me, you know I adore antiques.  I accented the plates with silverware from Select Event Group and some charming crackle glasses from Pier One.  I love when I find pieces that compliment my ideas at local stores.

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

Photo Credit: Sharmila Photography

Greenery is something that I absolutely love to incorporate.  I believe there is beauty in the simplicity.  Moss and greenery is a great accent for any wedding decor and its astoundingly affordable as well. It's both classic and timeless.  So I reached out to Taquilla from Twine and Toil and shared my vision.  Lucky for me she was really into my idea and was ready to execute this beautiful design. She did so with a moss runner and two tall centerpieces with roses, ivy, fern and hydrangea.  Oh, and the bouquet? She created a gorgeous and full design to compliment our idea! 

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

Photo Credit: Sharmila Photography

Catherine from Catherine George's Cakes did an amazing job executing our vision.  She made a super gorgeous and detailed ruffled cake with perfectly created and hand painted leaves!  Her design stole the show, we were all in aww with her talent! Behind the scenes she made us some super delicious macaroons as well.  

Our model, Devonshire was definitely the life of the party along with her 'Groom' and friend, Steve Ianelli, a talented woodworker and owner of Bmore CreateMore were such a fun pair to shoot! We were definitely full of laughs and smiles behind the scenes.  Our talented hair and make-up stylist Sarah Khan of Sarah Khan Artistry needed absolutely no direction when it came to getting the job done! She rocked it with our model's hair and makeup! 

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

Photo Credit: Sharmila Photography

We included so many smaller details to come full circle with our inspiration.  An original Atzi Bridal feather fascinator and timeless jewelry from Gemma Jewels Shop added the classic finishing touches on our design.  

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

Photo Credit: Sharmila Photography

Eikoh Design spoiled us with her gorgeous and etched Mr and Mrs Wine Glasses! You definitely need to check our her page to buy your custom glasses for your wedding day.  Menguin Tuxedo  had Steve looking oh so dapper! We chose the Milan suit in black for him.  Check out some more gorgeous photos below! Also, support small business owners by following and liking our featured vendors! 

Collaborating Vendors:

Photography: Sharmila Par, www.sharmilaphotography.com; @sharmilaphotography

Planning/Coordination/Design: Clarity and Class, www.clarityandclass.com , @clarityandclass

Florals: Twine and Toil, www.twineandtoil.com , @twineandtoil

Cake: Catherine George's Cakes, www.catherinegeorgescakes.com @catherinegeorgescakes

Venue: Rust Manor House, Leesburg, VA https://www.novaparks.com/weddings-meetings/rust-manor-house

Hair and Makeup: Sarah Khan Artistry, www.sarahkhanartistry.com @sarahkhanartistry


Devonshire Bouldin @dsignosaur

Steve Ianelli @bmorecreatemore

Bridal Hair Accessory: Atzi Bridal, www.atzibridal.com , @atzibridal

Jewelry: Gemma Jewels, www.gemmajewelshop.com, @gemmajewelsshop

Dress & Shoes: Maggie Sotero Couture & Badgley Mischka, Ebrada Atelier. www.ebradaatelier.org @ebradaatelier

Glasses: Eikoh Design, www.eikohdesign.com, @eikohdesign

Men's Wear: Menguin Tux, www.menguin.com , @menguintux

This photo shoot was also published on Chic Vintage Brides


#FriendorFriday: If you are having children at your wedding, this is one company to know!

Celebration Sitters Wedding Childcare

Childcare is an often overlooked detail for most clients planning a special event.  Oftentimes, they don't mind the children attending but worry about their safety and entertainment throughout the event.  Briana of Celebration Sitters offers a really personalized way to entertain your smallest guest in a stress-free and care-free way.  

What is the best way to describe your services?

We provide special occasion on-site childcare.  Our services are flexible, fun & family oriented! We cater to kids onsite at the venue or at a preferred residence during weddings, holiday functions, corporate events, and a medley of occasions.

What’s something really interesting about you?

I skipped 11th grade, became a licensed EMT and started college at 16 years old. 

What lead you down the path of special occasion childcare?

As a former homeschool mom I was very cautious about who I trusted to care for my son. I began providing mobile childcare for parents to enjoy date nights and attend special events. The demand for care during special occasions grew and Celebration Sitters was a God given idea.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

 It has been amazing experience to watching my idea come to life as a business. My favorite moments are spent building relationships and trust with many families. 

What are your favorite things to do with the children while providing child care?

The children have fun with games, watching movies and doing crafts. One of my favorite things to do is to incorporate a sign language session during events because it is fun, interactive and a new experience for most children.

How do you help a client with hesitations about special occasion childcare? 

Parents and guests can check on their child at any time! Clients can take comfort in knowing that our sitters are experienced, CPR certified, and accessible on site!

What else would you like prospective clients to know about your business?

We also provide companion sitters for the elderly during events. Our services are completely customizable!

How can your clients contact you?

Clients can visit us on the web at www.celebrationsitters.com, via phone at 410-512-6604 Monday-Friday from 8:30-5pm and via email: info@celebrationsitters.com


#FriendorFriday: Meet the talented lady behind Designs by Oochay

Oochay (spelled Uche) is a floral prodigy.  She is a rising star in the Wedding Community with breathtaking designs and a universe of passion behind it! Each of arrangements is Pinterest worthy! If you don't know who she is, well you may be hiding under a rock!  Check out our Q&A below and meet one of Maryland's best wedding vendors. 

What is the best way to describe your floral design and style?

My floral design and style evolves continuously, and I won’t say I have a particular style.  However, I gravitate towards the organic and earthy floral designs incorporating greenery with flowers. I love incorporating different textures in my floral designs, be it in a bouquet or centerpiece.

What are your biggest inspirations in your work?

I know this might sound cliché but the couples I meet inspires me. I love meeting new people and listening to their stories. I am particularly inspired by brides who let me create from the heart without restrictions.

What lead you down the path of floral design?

My wedding! I planned my wedding from out of state and I really wanted to have orchids at my wedding, although I couldn’t afford it back then. So, I centered my wedding colors on the different orchid colors. I also learned a lot about flowers, their meanings, and seasons and I began to have a deep appreciation for them. After my wedding, I’d purchase flowers at the grocery store and make cute arrangements. I also noticed that my friends & family would solicit my help to decorate their events. I started to take myself more seriously and enrolled in a floral workshop – 2 days with Intrigue, taught by Sarah Campbell. I left that workshop feeling so inspired that I couldn’t just let floral design be a hobby, so I took the plunge and launched by business.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

My favorite moment in my career happened recently, when I quit my corporate job to pursue floral design full time. The feeling of running my own business doing what I LOVE and I’m very passionate about is simply the best feeling ever! It reinforces my belief that I was created for a purpose and not just to work for money.

What are your favorite styles or some of your floral inspirations?

I really like all styles, it’s such a hard question because I create based on my client’s needs. If I had to choose, I’d say free form bouquets and arrangements are my favorite. I also love lush designs. I love color and I tend to gravitate towards jewel tone colors as well.

Some of my floral inspirations in the industry are Colin Cowie, Karen Tran, Jeff Leatham, Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme.

How do you help a client narrow down some of their choices?

Budget! Some of my clients have the most lavish ideas, which I absolutely love, however, they have budget restrictions. That plays a major role into what and how creative we can get, so I help them narrow down their choices by asking simple questions like what are your must have’s? Then I make suggestions based on those.  

What are some of your dream floral designs?

Structure designs like flower walls, floral chandeliers, and basically any structure that I can dress up with flowers.

How can prospective clients contact you?

I may be reached by email - info@designsbyoochay.com or via phone (240)389-3599.

My portfolio is available on my website www.designsbyoochay.com and via social media  @designsbyoochay






#FriendorFriday: The creative hands behind the gorgeous Custom Bridal Hair Pieces

Instagram is a very, very small world! Little did I know that Maritza, the owner, designer and creative mind behind Atzi Bridal was a fellow Tampa girl with a common friend! She is a talented business lady with an eye for glamour, beauty and fashion.  Her designs are making waves in the bridal stage with their unique look and gorgeous detailing.  

Martiza so happy to have you featured here, lets start off with the basics? Who are you? Where are you from?

Thank you for featuring me and Atzi Bridal! I am a fashion designer that specializes in jewelry, headpieces and accessories. I am originally from Tampa, Florida. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area four years ago... and I love it here!

What brought you into the fashion industry?  What do you love most about it?

I came into fashion accidentally. I went to school for Interior Design, and that is actually what brought me to San Francisco. After a successful year at one of the top design schools, California College of the Arts, I couldn't afford to live in the bay area and go to a $40,000 a year school full time. Thus, I am an art school drop out who decided to start a business. In 2013 I made a headdress for my halloween costume, posted pictures on social media, and had several offers from friends wanting to purchase it. I had just spent a lot of time making this headdress so selling it was not on my mind... until I had the right offer in 2014. Haha! Things snow-balled after that. After making my second headdress, I met someone who wanted to do a high fashion photoshoot. That photoshoot got published in Pump magazine. Since then I have made almost one hundred couture headpieces. I have done numberous magazine editorial and runway shows. I've had opportunities to collaborate and work with some amazing celebrity designers. And I have been very fortunate to have my products on some celebrities as well. In March of 2016 I launched Atzi Bridal, focusing on handmade couture bridal headpieces and Swarovski crystal jewelry.

What do you enjoy most about creating one of a kind designs and headpieces?  What are the services you provide to help ease a clients mind? 

What I enjoy most about creating one of a kind designs is selecting the materials that will go perfectly for this particular client. This is her day to shine and for me, CREATING something special for her that fits her personality and style.... its a great feeling to connect with a bride and use my art to express her.

Services I provide to ease my clients' mind... I realize that there is a lot going when you're planning a wedding. I try to accommodate the best that I can and as stress free as possible. I always have open communication with my clients. We meet up for fittings at locations convenient to them, we exchange images of her gown via text or email, etc. I always want them to feel like they can ask me anything at anytime. Its really all about them having a great bridal experience. 

What is your top favorite design you have ever booked? How was it challenging? 

My favorite design so far would have to be the custom steam punk bridal headpiece client. She wanted a mixture of elegance and steam punk... crystals, feathers, birdcage tulle with chains and gears. I found little charms that were steam punk style but also told a love story. She has a free spirit and I loved making a headpiece that fit her personality and style to the T! She was a pleasure to work with and decided that she wanted a matching neckpiece as well. 

What should a client expect from you when contacting you about your services?

When a client contacts me for a bridal headpiece or jewelry, they can expect a personal stylist who cares. I want to know about them and the style they like. I am a visual person, so I will ask them to show me images of inspiration, images of their wedding gown and any little tidbits of information that I might be able to use to make their headpiece special.

What are some tips you would give clients for narrowing down their ideal design?

When narrowing down a design, I would say choose something that is YOU and that you are comfortable wearing. If you are daring, want to make a statement, go for it and rock it! If you want to be more subtle, that is perfectly okay too. Just remember, it's not everyday that we get to put on a gorgeous gown and headpiece... Also consider your gown, you want to have a complete bridal look. Many times, brides want a professional's input. I am always happy to style assist!

How far in advance should a client book your services?

I like to have at least a month to work with a client on a custom headpiece. Depending on the design and materials used, it could take 4-6 weeks. I have worked with brides and brides maids that needed their pieces in a week. So it is possible, but the more time, the better.

How can a client get in touch with you if they would like to have a consultation?

I can be reached at info@atzibridal.com. I am also the Jewelry Sponsor for the Luxe Bridal Shows in the San Francisco Bay Area, so please stop by my booth!

#FriendorFriday: Meet the beautiful lady behind Gemma Jewel Shop

Justine, so happy to have you featured here, lets start off with the basics? Who are you? Where are you from? 

Hi! Thank you so much for the feature!  My name is Justine Ellis and I am the owner of an online wedding & celebration jewelry boutique, Gemma Jewels (gemmajewelsshop.com).  I am originally from Pennsylvania, but currently live with my husband and our furry friends in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What brought you into the fashion industry?  What do you love most about it? 

I’ve always enjoyed watching the Red Carpet events at award shows and reading about the latest trends and styles since I was young.  I love that fashion is expressive.  Most of all, I enjoy wearing and shopping for pieces that no matter what decade it is, I can wear them and know they are timeless.

What do you enjoy most about the beautiful jewelry pieces you have?  What are the services you provide to help ease a clients mind? 

I value timeless pieces, as I mentioned above.  So, when I am hand selecting items for my shop, I want to make sure that my brides & clients can wear the pieces that they purchase over and over again and enjoy them for multiple outfits and occasions.

I love to receive e-mails from ladies looking for accessory advice.  I enjoy being able to help them select the perfect piece(s) via our conversation, pictures sent and/or one-on-one meetings (with local clients). 

What is your top favorite design? (or dream design)

My favorite designs right now are the Loretta necklace, Maria necklace and the Giovanna bracelet.  All of these pieces are named for very important people in my life and they have received such great feedback from brides that have worn them in their wedding or gifted them to their ‘maids.

What should a client expect from you when contacting you about your services? 

My brides and clients can expect me to go above and beyond other online retail stores.  I take pride in putting a “little extra love” in each package.  I include a beautiful lace jewelry pouch in each package so the jewelry is always protected in the most elegant way.  It is my little gift to my sweet clients.  Also, as I said earlier, I am always willing to help clients style for any occasion.  An outfit is not complete without the right accessories – and one should not settle for anything but the perfect touch to finish off the look.

What are some tips you would give clients for narrowing down their ideal design?

Don’t be afraid to step away from the “matchy-matchy” look.  I like to pair jewelry that isn’t exactly a match or was made by the same designer.  Here’s a tip: look for similar structural pieces -whether it be a similar stone shape or color.  The shape or similar color detail alone could create a beautiful style and pull the accessories together to make a knock-out look.

How far in advance should a client book your services?

For assistance with accessory selection, clients should contact me at least a month and a half in advance.  I want to make sure the jewelry they end up selecting is in stock and that I can dedicate time to properly packaging each piece.  If clients know what they want to purchase, they can check-out at any time on my website.  If the items are in stock, they will be shipped out within that same week, via USPS Priority Mail.

How can a client get in touch with you if they would like to have a consultation?

I adore getting e-mail!  My e-mail is: hello@gemmajewelsshop.com.  Please contact me at any time.  I’d love to hear about your special day and/or special event! 

 Photo Credit:  Chesapeake Charm Photo

Why should you hire a wedding coordinator?

 Photo Credit:  Erin Scott Photography

Congratulations on your engagement if you are engaged + reading this blog! Your wedding is a milestone in your life that you will never forget.  It is the celebration of two people creating a union in love, respect and joy! But until that wedding takes place you have a lot of planning to do.  If you are like many engaged couples, having a wedding planner may be out of your budget, which is completely understandable. However, you should consider hiring a wedding coordinator for your wedding day. 

1.  Be the Star at your own wedding!

Beyonce and Britney Spears wouldn’t run their own events and neither should you.  Your wedding day is the day you get to be the star.  Friends and family from near and far have come to celebrate you both on this joyous occasion.  Pamper yourself by allowing yourself to be completely carried away in the celebration.  Leave the timeline and vendor concerns to a professional who is prepared to carefully orchestrate your special day.

2.  You don’t have time for that!

Let’s be honest, emergencies and unexpected things will happen.  This isn’t a scare tactic, but the honest truth.  You may have a guest who spills a drink on herself or you may get a tear or a button will fall off on your suit or dress, you can run around (or send your maid of honor to) trying to solve the problem, or you can have a professional wedding coordinator on standby to handle those emergencies. When I show up to weddings, I bring along a bridal emergency kit, with sewing kit, safety pins, deodorant, hairspray.  Everything to make sure we are fully prepared to handle whatever situation comes our way.   Let yourself enjoy those moments with the people closest to you and let me handle the stress.

3.  You can AFFORD it!

Let’s face it, the cost of weddings isn’t going down anytime soon.  However, even if you can’t afford    a professional wedding planner, it’s so important to take the time to invest in a wedding coordinator.  At Clarity and Class, we offer a 25% down payment and payment plans up to 10 months! You can make a small monthly payment up to one month before the wedding so that you can balance our rates with those of your other vendors.  You can’t afford to spend so much money for a beautiful wedding and then not be able to enjoy it because you thought you could go without a coordinator on your wedding day.  After every wedding, I’m constantly told that it was the best investment that they’ve made.  I work with my clients to make sure they can invest in a wedding coordinator without having to dig too deep in the budget. 

Click here, if you are interested in learning more about my Heart-Month of Coordination package. Our packages are competitively priced starting at $1000+ and we offer an additional lump sum payment discount of 5%.   If you are ready to let Clarity and Class orchestrate your day, click here so we can set a time to chat. 

#traveltuesday Enjoy the luxury at the original Sandals in Montego Bay

 Schedule your Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica with me.  Ask me how!

Schedule your Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica with me.  Ask me how!

When people mention Jamaica one of the first places that comes to mind is Montego Bay, popular and classic worldwide destination.  Montego Bay is also home to the flagship resort where Sandals began making waves.  Located in one of Jamaica's best private beaches, Sandals Montego Bay is a great location to create memories.  Come relax in the warm sun, walk on the beautiful white sand and bathe in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. 

Sandals Montego Bay resort hosts 9 restaurants with the opportunity to try a variety of meal options during your stay. Sandals chefs are known for their dedication to every authentic detail, giving you the same phenomenal culinary experience you'd expect in the most acclaimed restaurants across the globe.

In the water or on dry land, there's something for everyone at Sandals Montego Bay. And you can do as much as you want to do, because everything is included in your vacation - even unlimited scuba diving in spectacular waters. Go swimming, sailing, snorkeling...or just relax by the pool. Try some yoga or Pilates, get in a workout at the state-of-the-art fitness center...or hit the court for a rousing game of tennis. You truly can do it all, because it's all included. For those who are looking for absolutely nothing to do, we've got that, too. After all, it's your vacation.

In addition to staying at Sandals Montego Bay, you can play at 3.  That's right.  Your stay at Sandals Montego Bay also includes the opportunity to explore Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlisle resorts! Round trip transportation is included.

Sandals Montego Bay Honeymoon Destination

#FriendorFriday: Meet the Only Choice, the one and only DJ Reece

DJ Reece Professional Wedding DJ Washington DC

Meeting DJ Reece was a pleasure last summer for a wedding out in St Mary's.  Immediately I enjoyed  his extreme professionalism in responding to questions I had for a wedding I was coordinating in St Mary's College.  I was even more impressed when he had the crowd dancing out of their seats throughout the whole night! He never stopped delivering hit after hit.  So of course, I immediately took the chance to begin working with him as a preferred vendor.  DJ Reece is just one of those cool down to Earth guys, who is hardworking, humble and professional but with a very undeniable talent and ear for music.  Keep reading to learn more about why I respect his talent so much! 

What is the best way to describe your style? 

Best way to describe my style is a freestyle type of DJ. I determine my next song based on current crowd reaction. Paying attention to my crowd is vital in order for me to perform at my best.

What are your biggest inspirations for you when you work? 

t always inspires me to see my clients guest and family members come together on a dance floor and both reminisce on old memories while also creating new memories based on my song selection.

What led you down the path to become a DJ?

I used to be an R&B singer but lost the faith and passion when a potential record deal went incredibly sour. I still wanted to be heavily involved in music and make an impact on people's lives through music's energy as well. What better craft than being a DJ!

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

My favorite moment in my career would have to be when I met THE Janet Jackson haha.

What are some of your favorite styles and musical inspirations?

I literally enjoy ALL types of music from Hip-Hop, Reggae, EDM all the way up to Salsa and Merengue.

How do you help your clients narrow down their choices when it comes to services and packages?

I generally ask key questions to my clients to assist them with both choosing the right DJ (even if it's not me) and the vibe of the event. Music is probably one of the most important pieces in the overall moving machine called The Wedding.

What are some of your dream venues or events?

My dream events are always bigger events than what I have already done. The bigger they get, the more I dream!

How can potential clients contact you?

I am available through many convenient ways:

Mailing: PO Box 1608, Washington, DC 20013

Email: bookings@djreece.com

Web: www.djreece.com

Phone: 202-618-0355

#FriendorFriday: Meet the sweet nature loving floral designer behind Twine & Toil

 Photo Credit:  Sy Photography

Photo Credit: Sy Photography

I met Taquilla Martin at the Fall 2016 #Intrigued Tour in Annapolis, MD.  She and several others were a part of this hands-on class provided by Sarah of Intrigued Designs.  It was a fun class where we learned about designing spiral bouquets and boutonnieres.  Since then we've remained connected and its been really fun watching her talents flourish alongside her gorgeous designs.  I wanted to get to know a little more about her and her skills and share that with you all!

What is the best way to describe your floral design and style?

I love putting together garden style flower arrangements. The earthiness of the greens and foliage reflect my earthy, grounded nature so I tend to design with that in mind. I also prefer shapely arrangements that reach out and spill over, creating character that’s not easily duplicated.

What are the biggest inspirations in your work?

In the warmer months I walk around outdoors a lot and I always see flowers and trees doing their own thing, creating naturally flowing, sometimes not so perfect designs. But that gives me the inspiration to try to mimic that natural pattern. But usually I can’t compete, lol.  It’s hard to match Mother Nature.

What led you down the path of floral design?

I had been on a search for years to figure out what my passion was and how I could use my skills and talents to start a profitable business. I knew I wanted a something where I could express my creativity, be able to work out in nature and work on short term projects that were diverse and changed on a regular basis. I’d been doing floral design for a bit and finally decided to take advanced design classes to see what I was made of and that was all she wrote! Once I made the decision to turn my hobby into a business everything started to fall in place for me. I took a "Launch your Business" course by Rosetta Thurman of Happy Black Woman and a couple of months later Twine & Toil was born.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

When I first launched Twine & Toil! I’d never done anything like this before. Creating that website, signing the papers for my business license and actually putting myself out there was one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had for myself. If I could get past the fear to do this, then what couldn’t I do?

What are some of your favorite styles or inspirations?

My favorite styles tend to be rustic and garden based. Rustic themes in general are my favorite, with all those natural woods and metals and free flowing flower arrangements.

What are some of your dream floral designs?

I love outdoor weddings that have table runners, wreaths, ceremony arches, and garland galore! The more foliage the better!

How can your clients contact you?

Clients can contact me on my website at www.twineandtoil.com, by email at taquillamartin@twineandtoil.com, and on Facebook and Instagram at Twine & Toil.


#FriendorFriday : Meet the Cake Team behind 5-12 Desserts

What is the best way to describe your design and style?

The best way to describe my design and style would be modern work that is clean, artistic and elegant in nature with an art deco flare.

What are your biggest inspirations in your work? 

It’s hard to pinpoint my biggest inspiration in my work because I like to take inspiration from everything.  I can find inspiration in a piece of clothing or a painting that I see hanging on the wall. I get inspiration from other cake designers that I admire. When I see cakes from well-known cake designers like Sylvia Weinstock or Sweet & Saucy Shop I aspire to make the types of cakes that they make one day.

What led you down the path of baking and treats?

Ever since I was young I’ve always had a love for food. I knew at a very young age that I would be going into the food industry in one way or another. At 14 I realized that I had eye for pastries and a passion for cakes. I started off working on perfecting my craft with small classes here and there. Once I graduated from high school I went on to study Baking & Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree last March.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

My favorite moment in my career isn’t really a moment but the whole thing. I love the fact that at 22 years old and recently graduating from college, I am able to work in a field that I have studied so long to be a part of and I absolutely love it. I get to wake up every morning, put on an apron and pretty much “play” for a job. There is always something new and exciting about having this career and at the end of the day it’ll never get old.

What are some of your favorite styles or inspiration?

When it comes to my favorite styles I’m kind of on both ends of the spectrum. I love cakes that are so simple and clean that they look perfect, like they were done effortlessly. I also love cakes that are completely over the top too, like cakes that are 8 tiers tall, and having piping, gold and gumpaste flowers from top to bottom.

How do you help a client narrow down some of their choices?

When we have a client that may be having trouble narrowing down their choices we first try to figure out what’s most important them…if they have a favorite flavor, a preferred theme, color or element that they really want to incorporate and try to focus on that.  Our goal is to make sure that our clients are satisfied with every element of their dessert experience and walk away with a sense that we but them first.

What are some of your dream designs?

A dream design for me would be something that is considered to be out of this world. I would love to design a cake that is 6 or more tiers with intricate piping and detail from top to bottom.  I’d want it to be immaculate, as if it was meant for a Queen. I love when you are able to look at a cake and notice something different about it every time you look at it. I think it would be awesome to have a hand in a design like this.

How can your clients contact you?

Our clients can contact us at info@5-12dessert.com or give us a call at 240-841-4127. They can also follow us @512dessert on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The Caribbean's first ever Over Water Suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean

The Caribbean's first ever Over Water Suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean

Learn more about the Caribbean's first ever Over Water Suites at Sandals Resorts

#FriendorFriday: Meet Beauty Sensation Sarah Khan

 Photo Credit:  Sharmila Photography

What is your style of hair and makeup artistry ?

I love combining romantic and glamorous styles that enhance my client's beauty. After getting to know my client's needs during the preview, I have a better idea of her vision to create the priceless look for the big day.  

What are your biggest inspirations for your work?

Growing up as a first generation Pakistani-American, I was always trying to find a perfect blend of both cultures..  I love looking at both Hollywood and South Asian Glamour.  During award season, I'm in awe when I see the gorgeous make-up paired perfectly with the ideal hair and make-up.

What lead you down the path to be a hair and makeup artist?

 I always loved playing in my mom's makeup as a young girl ( even though it would get me in trouble).  I started doing makeup and hair for friends growing up.  A few years ago, I wasn't too happy with my career and decided to make a change towards my passion. Bless my friend Maria Iqbal! She believed and motivated me to take my artistry seriously and I started off at Graham Webb Academy.  After graduating and a few months under my belt, Maria Iqbal Photography did my first photo shoot. 

What has been a favorite moment in your career?

My favorite moment is hard to identify because I have enjoyed many moments with the work I do meeting and working with amazing people, including stylists, photographers and also other hair and makeup artists. I love being around positive people who inspire and empower me. 

What are some of your favorite styles or some of your fashion inspirations?

I love a little of everything.  I have so many style icons. But I do tend to favorite classic, glamorous, bohemian and edgy looks. Some of my favorite fashion icons are Audrey Hepburn, Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, Brigitte Bardot, Deepika Padrone and Madhuri Dixit. 

How do you make your client feel at ease?

All my clients and their needs can be unique. Some are really talkative and others are reserved.  I always remain friendly and ensure my client is fully satisfied before the leave my high chair. 

What are some of your dream styles?

I would love to recreate a dramatic but a luminous South Asian bridal look inspired by the Mughal Empire.

How can your clients contact you?

You can go to my contact page on www.SarahKhanArtistry.com or email me at SarahKhanMUA@gmail.com

Image Credit by Laura Ashley Photography

Upcoming Sandals Caribbean Information Night at Lake Presidential Golf Club

Sandals Barbados Clarity and Class

If you have heard of Sandals Resorts but have you ever taken the time to listen about the Sandals Resort Difference? With over 20+ resorts under the Sandals Brand, why not learn more about why Sandals in continually setting the standards in luxury all-inclusive vacations! 

Sandals gives you more! More luxury, more options, more activities, more love, more beach! Just more! Come out and meet me and my Sandals Senior Manager, David Ridge and learn how you can book your Sandals Luxury all-included vacation! You will discover why you and your partner will enjoy the Sandals Difference. 

If that's not enough to entice you. All you need to get your reservation in place is a $400 deposit.  If you plan a vacation within 14 days of Booking, you will receive special incentives only given to our attending guests! 

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided! We look forward to seeing you at Lake Presidential Golf Club in Upper Marlboro, MD on 08 April 2016 at 6 p.m.

SEATING IS LIMITED! Please follow the link below to register and reserve your seats for you and your partner: 


 Sandals Barbados

Sandals Barbados

#FriendorFriday: Meet Blushing Blooms Floral

I first met Jennifer, on a call as we prepared for the October District Bliss Couple's Social a few months back! I had taken a peak at her website beforehand, this lady had skills! I shared with her details of the venue and the event! From there she took it away and created a magnificent floral showcase! Ever since, I've had Blushing Blooms Floral as one of our preferred vendors! Her skill is undeniable.  I caught up with her during the 2016 Intrigued Experience and asked her some questions about herself and Blushing Blooms Floral Design.  

 What is the best way to describe your floral design and style?

I feel like I have a garden inspired, yet classic style. I love greenery. I feel like it makes an arrangement. The greenery for me is what sets the tone and shape for each arrangement. I can tell I’m headed in the right direction when an arrangement is beautiful before I even get to the flowers.

 What are your biggest inspirations in your work?

Nature. Nobody does it like Mother Nature. I recently hosted a wreath workshop that focused on using natural elements like evergreens, ivy, berries, and fern, all locally foraged from our property. I always try to use stems in their natural state. Its just want makes sense to me. I feel like if I have to wire or manipulate something, it just doesn’t belong there. I love incorporating unexpected natural elements like fruit or veggies. I did a farm to table shoot last year and did a beautiful garland of zinnias, peppers, and eggplant. It was one of my favorites.

 What lead you down the path of floral design?

I started in a local flower shop at 18 and worked there for about 2 years. I had no experience when I was first hired, but we designing full time within a month or two. I ended up pursuing a career in sales for the majority of my 20’s, but was able to come back to my passion after doing my own wedding flowers. I had 3 kids in 3 years (2 at once!) and left my corporate gig, that’s when the opportunity just seemed to fall into my lap. After doing my own flowers I started doing them for friends and family, and it just evolved from there.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

I think my favorite moment so far was when I was asked to freelance by one of the top local event florist in the area. I was literally star struck. I felt like I had made it in my mind. To have someone so experienced and respected ask me to help them create and design was amazing. Sometimes I think you can be your own worst critic, so that was a very gratifying moment.

 What are your favorite styles or some of your floral inspirations?

So, I’m completely obsessed with Downton Abbey. The fashion is everything. I’ve really been inspired by the elegance, class, and romance of the time period. I do a lot of rustic weddings so I love getting a chance to do more luxurious and grand designs.

How do you help a client narrow down some of their choices? 

I just get to know them. A persons style and taste in the details beyond the flowers, or even their wedding for that matter, can really help you understand what makes sense for them.  I like to meet with all my brides and talk more about an overall look so I can make more appropriate recommendations. I try to help them decide on the best way to use their budget and where to make cuts. One of my top suggestions is to embrace your venue. Its takes far more time, money, and effort to completely transform a space then to highlight and build off of existing elements. I am also a big fan of repurposing flowers whenever you can, and of course, always go with seasonal blooms.

What are some of your dream floral designs?

To design at the White House. It would be one of the greatest honors of my life in so many ways and its amazing to know it could actually happen. I mean, I technically live on the same road as the President. A girl can dream…

How can your clients contact you?

Carrier pigeon. Just kidding, via email at blushingbloomsfloraldesign@gmail.com or via the contact link from my website www.blushingbloomsfloraldesign.com/contact

Set sail to World's Most Romantic Resort

Imagine waking up to the crisp warm Caribbean air, take a glimpse outside and surround your senses with the beauty that Antigua has to offer.  Sandals Grande Antigua is the ultimate luxury experience.  

Located on Antigua's best and most famous beach, Dickenson Bay. Explore the Caribbean Grove, a charming seaside garden oasis graced by meandering pathways, majestic palms and cooling Trade winds. Then step into a realm of chic sophistication where European grandeur unfolds from the hillside villas-by-sea at the Six-Star, all-suite Mediterranean Village.  Come relax on silky-soft, pure white sands and let the warmth of the Caribbean fill your senses. One resort, all inclusive.  

Sandals Grande Antigua has 11 global restaurants.  Work off the delicious cuisine by participating in Sandals included land sports. Or sign up to snorkel or scuba dive in the Eastern Caribbean.  Wanting a little more adventure! Take a romantic ride on the Antigua Sunset Cruise or entertain your wild side by touring the Antigua rainforest Canopy Adventure or Xtreme Circumnavigation. 

With over 25 Room categories and one of the best Entry level butler values in the Eastern Caribbean, a Sandals luxury vacation for you and your love is something you deserve and can afford! Whether you are looking to book a Destination Wedding, Honeymoon, Vow Renewal or Anniversary Getaway, Call Clarity and Class, Events and Design, LLC for more information on how you can book your Sandals Luxury Vacation. 

On April 8th, 7 p.m. at Lake Presidential Golf Club, Sandals will be  hosting a Caribbean Information Night with booking incentives for all attending. Email to deserve a spot for you and your partner! 

#FriendorFriday : Meet Invitation Designer Extraordanaire, Pomp Creative



Good day! Welcome to another addition of #FriendorFriday  Part of being a wedding planner & designer in the Washington, DC area is that we are truly blessed to meet a host of talented professionals!  I love catching up with Liz to see what gorgeous designs she's been creating. Liz was sweet enough to take the time to answer some questions about herself and her business! I'm hoping you will see the sheer talent I see in her, she has been blessed with a creative gene that screams elegance and sophistication! Read her answers below and see for yourself! 

What is the best way to describe your invitation design and style?

Honestly, it’s hard for me to pinpoint my signature style. Before I quit my day job to become an entrepreneur, my background as a designer was in branding, specifically corporate events. I’ve had to morph my style to fit my client’s look and feel. But I would say that I gravitate toward simple, elegant typography and I love a little foil if budget allows. 

What are your biggest inspirations in your work?

I would say that each couple inspires me in their own way. I love taking what makes their relationship and wedding unique and putting a little of that in my design. For that reason, I prefer custom work. 

What lead you down the path of graphic design/paper design?

I was always artistically inclined but I didn’t think I could really make a career of it. I graduated from American University with a degree in Accounting of all things. Once in the workforce, I realized quickly that Accounting wasn’t for me. I went back to school and received my BFA in graphic design from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, so that means I went to college for 8 years! But it was totally worth it. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What has been your favorite moment in your career?

One day my 8 year old came into my office and said, “Mom, you have the coolest job. I want to be just like you.” She melted my heart. An added benefit of running my own business is showing my 3 girls that they can be and do whatever they want.



What are your favorite styles or some of your inspirations?

I love art deco for its opulence and sparkle and turn to that style often for inspiration.

How do you help a client narrow down some of their choices? 

I think in general my clients somewhat have an idea of what they want, but they just need some help bringing it to life, which is why they come to me. I have a initial consultation with every client so I can pick their brain and discuss what makes their wedding or event unique. After our consultation, I give my clients 2-3 comps of their entire invitation suite so they can get an idea of how all the elements—invitation, response card, and envelopes—will work together. From there, it’s usually a simple decision. 

What are some of your dream designs?

I love laser cut designs and hope I get the opportunity to create a laser cut invitation suite for a client sometime soon.

How can your clients contact you?