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Carole Keily

Our Favorite Things

We love finding new gift ideas for our readers to showcase. Here are a few of our favorite things that are a little unique than what is the usual wedding party gift. Consider these items for your wedding party or just as an anytime gift for those you love. Tie the Knot: Grant Patton has a great selection of unique ties made in the USA. Matching socks also available. Starting at $65. grantpatton.com Ruff Mornings: Custom blended for Semper K9, this is a combination of two light to medium roasted coffees. Roasted by Veteran Owned Ricks Roasters in Northern Virginia, sales from this coffee benefit Semper K9’s Service Dogs for Veterans program. Starting at $4. semperk9.shop Whiskey Wedge: Creates an ice slope that chills spirits but minimizes dilution with this rocks glass’s fitted silicone mold. $18. uncommongoods.com Local Gin: Distilled …

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Floral Initials

By Amanda Baity Floral initials are beautiful, personal wedding decorations, especially when filled with the couple’s favorite plants. They are great to make for your own wedding, or to give as a gift to a gardening friend who is tying the knot. Try the couple’s first initials, or just their last initial if you only have time to make one. Or go all out and spell their names if you have the time! Wire Outline: To make your personalized floral initials you’ll need to begin with a wire frame. You can make them yourself, but they can be found at many craft and garden stores. The time and trouble saved make the small cost worth it. You’ll also need moss to line your letters, plants to fill them and dirt for your plants to grow. Try to choose plants that …

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Venue Coordinator or Event Coordinator: What is the Difference?

By Lisa Beth Miller As you plan for your big day and search for your dream venue, it is important to pay attention to what assistance is offered at each venue. If the venue itself provides a coordinator, you may not need to hire a separate event coordinator. Confused about the differences between the two types of coordinators? Here are some tips regarding the roles of venue coordinators and event coordinators: Venue Coordinators: When you’re picking out your wedding venue, one of the first things you should ask is whether or not there is an on-site wedding coordinator at your disposal. If your venue offers a coordinator as part of its package, that means there’s no added cost for this added benefit. A venue coordinator works for the venue, not directly for you. They’ll act as a liaison between you …

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Changing Your Name After the Wedding

Changing your name after the wedding is a personal choice. If you do decide to make the traditional change, it is important to be organized and thorough in this endeavor. Where to start? STEP ONE: Get your marriage license. An original, or certified copy, of your marriage license will be required before you speak to other agencies. Call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies. STEP TWO: Change your social security card. Fill out the Social Security Administration’s application for a new card. Take or mail your application and required documents to your local SSA office. STEP THREE: Update your driver’s license. In most states, this must be done in person, so prepare yourself for a trip to the DMV. Bring your original license, your marriage certificate and your new Social Security card. STEP FOUR: Update …

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How to Use Wedding Blogs to Plan Your Big Day

wedding blog, blogs, laptop

By Amanda Baity When you’re newly engaged (or anticipating getting engaged), it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of wedding blogs. After all, there are so many great blogs out there, and they’re full of gorgeous images! Many brides find themselves spending countless hours scrolling through these blogs and becoming overwhelmed by all of the weddings they see published and by the imagined pressure to recreate those images or to compete with them. Don’t worry – we’re not going to tell you to stop looking at wedding blogs! In fact, we are going to help you use them better! Here are some specific ways to use wedding blogs so that they inspire you rather than adding stress: 1. Learn to identify your wedding style. When you begin planning your wedding, you may not know what your wedding …

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Big Savings for Winter Brides at The Piedmont Club

By Erin Pittman Sponsored by The Piedmont Club Have you dreamed of a winter wedding with family and friends gathers around cozy fires warding off the winter chill? How about in a grand ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and an attached patio with soft seating, firepits and toasty space heaters? If it’s a winter wedding you’re planning, you may want to check out all the Piedmont Club in Haymarket has to offer through their winter promotion. “For winter, we’re waiving the room rental fee,” said Kimberly McNamara, Events Director for The Piedmont Club. “Our couples will only be paying for their food and beverages, which is an exceptional value.” The room rental fee typically covers tables, chairs, linens in your color choice, glassware, table décor, use of the sound system and A/V equipment, and much more. There is even a beautiful …

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Make Your Wedding a Weekend Event at Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn

By Amy Taylor Sponsored by Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn If you’re planning your wedding, you know there are a lot of moving parts to arrange. From finding a venue for the rehearsal dinner, a venue for the ceremony, a venue for the reception and shuttling everyone back and forth, everything needs to be coordinated perfectly so that the day goes smoothly and everyone can enjoy themselves. Why not take some of the stress away by holding everything in one venue and making a leisurely weekend of your wedding? Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn is one of the few unique venues in the area that gives you the option to rent out their whole place for the weekend. “One of the things that makes us quite unique is the fact that we have 12 bedrooms so people can …

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Tania Hossain Photography Introduces Wedding Stories by Tania

By Tom Conway Sponsored by Tania Hossain Photography Wedding Stories by Tania is a new concept in wedding photography from Tania Hossain Photography, bringing together a top-notch team of photographers and video specialists, expertly combining journalistic style with portrait photography and creative videography to tell your love story the way you want it to be told on your wedding day. “We now have a fully integrated team that will be totally focused on your wedding,” said Hossain. “From engagement photos to the wedding itself, to the deliverables, we’ve made it all super easy, hassle free and a lot of fun for our couples.” Wedding Stories by Tania is an award-winning studio located in Northern Virginia and serving clients primarily within a 60-mile radius of Washington, D.C. They offer special all-inclusive 2019 wedding packages starting at $1,972 and have options to …

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Weddings Photographer Shares the Story of a Lifetime

By Tom Conway Sponsored by Tania Hossain Photography To stand out among the best wedding photographers in Northern Virginia, you have to listen and know what a client wants, what types of shots — traditional or photojournalistic — will capture that special day, and you have to love what you do.  Tania Hossain and her team at Tania Hossain Photography know the importance of what they do. “Every single photo tells a story. Some child will see one of those photographs 100 years from now,” says Hossain. “What will they think? The photos will be on the wall in someone’s home. Who will look at it? What will it mean to them?” To Hossain, wedding photography is not just a paycheck. “Every photograph is a legacy piece,” she says. “You see children, grandchildren and how they grow up.” Hossain says …

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Common Misconceptions About Wedding Photography

rob jinks, photographer

By Rob Jinks Having captured over 100 weddings at this point, it is easy for me to go into a wedding and know the best way to capture it all with images that will last a lifetime. However, I know that it can be scary for the couple; this is probably the first time you’ve done this! It is understandable that you don’t know what your wedding photography experience will be like. Even if you’ve been to other weddings, it is easy to have a few incorrect ideas about your wedding photography. Today I want to answer the five most common misconceptions about wedding photography that I have encountered. “12:00 or 1:00 p. m. is best for our ceremony because there will be the most light.” Even if you aren’t very familiar with photography, you probably know that photos need …

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Larson Fine Properties: Serving NOVA with Dedicated, Professional, Full-Time Realtors

Laura Larson, Larson Fine Properties, realtor

By Erin Pittman Sponsored by Larson Fine Properties Ten years ago, Laura Larson, an accountant by training, decided to make a significant change. She chose to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur as a full-time Realtor. Laura still has a knack for numbers, but she’d learned over time that despite her talent in accounting, it’s interacting with and assisting people is what she really enjoys as a profession. She also loves houses, not just as commodities, but as the space in which families come together providing a sense of security and also as the embodiment of our tastes and aspirations, so her dream had begun to feel like a natural fit. “I started with a small company working my way into the field while raising four sons by myself,” said Larson. Over the years, Larson steadily grew her business …

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Helga’s Caterers: A Family Tradition

Helga's Caterers

By Marianne Weaver Sponsored by Helga’s Caterers Helga Evans, mother of seven children, always loved cooking, and not just for her family. She started out cooking for her husband’s Department of Ophthalmology at Georgetown University, which evolved into a home-based catering business. Meanwhile, her son Michael, who earned a B.S.B.A. degree in business administration from Georgetown University, was preparing to launch his own career. “I was doing an apprenticeship at Raymond Haldeman in Philadelphia,” said Michael. “When I came home, she was already planting the seeds.” In 1981, the two opened Helga’s Restaurant and Caterers in McLean, Va., where they served many leading politicians and business leaders until 1990 when Helga retired. But that’s not where the story ends. The restaurant was sold, but Michael continued to build the catering business, which caters all types of events, ranging from corporate …

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