#BTS: 2015 Fall Bridal Market

We had an amazing time at Bridal Fashion Week in New York a couple weeks ago. Be sure to check out next year’s bridal trends in these reports by Junebug Weddings (here and here), Style Me Pretty and Martha Stewart Weddings. There are so many gorgeous gowns coming into stores soon and we can’t wait to see them on our 2015 brides!  We were especially excited to meet a few new faces that we think are “Ones to Watch.”

If you like dramatic lines, the finest European silks and handmade laces, and totally original textures and fabric details, slip into Giuseppe Papini

giuseppe sposa adv15

For feminine, romantic whimsy, you’ll love David Fielden

david fielden 8375

 

For stylish, totally wearable bridesmaid dresses, look no further than Kirribilla

kirribilla harper

Runway to Table: 50 Shades of Gray

Our fourth and final runway trend to be transformed into a fashion-forward event design is the color Gray.  An incredibly versatile color, it is perfect for everything from a Spring garden party to a chic dinner party or whimsical botanical luncheon.  Check out the pretty details captured by Sweet Tea Photography below.  Featured on United with Love and Junebug Weddings.

 

4_SweetTeaPhotography-25 4_SweetTeaPhotography-24 4_SweetTeaPhotography-23 4_SweetTeaPhotography-15 4_SweetTeaPhotography-14 4_SweetTeaPhotography-13 4_SweetTeaPhotography-12 4_SweetTeaPhotography-8 4_SweetTeaPhotography-7 4_SweetTeaPhotography-4 4_SweetTeaPhotography-2 3_SweetTeaPhotography-37 3_SweetTeaPhotography-35 3_SweetTeaPhotography-33 3_SweetTeaPhotography-29 3_SweetTeaPhotography-27 3_SweetTeaPhotography-23 3_SweetTeaPhotography-20 3_SweetTeaPhotography-17 3_SweetTeaPhotography-3 3_SweetTeaPhotography-15 3_SweetTeaPhotography-14 3_SweetTeaPhotography-12 3_SweetTeaPhotography-10 3_SweetTeaPhotography-8 3_SweetTeaPhotography-6 3_SweetTeaPhotography-5 3_SweetTeaPhotography-4 5_SweetTeaPhotography-39 5_SweetTeaPhotography-25 5_SweetTeaPhotography-23 5_SweetTeaPhotography-19 5_SweetTeaPhotography-17 5_SweetTeaPhotography-9 5_SweetTeaPhotography-6

Thanks again to our fabulous vendor team:

Photography:  Sweet Tea Photography

Floral Design: Sidra Forman Flowers

Equipment Rentals: DC Rental

Styling and Design:  Elizabeth Duncan Events

We’ll Always Have Paris

As you know, Paris has a special place in my heart.  After three decades of visiting, I’m amazed that there’s always something new to discover and fall in love with.  Last Summer, we introduced the next generation to the City of Lights (and love).  We wanted to do something special to remember the occasion, so I asked French Grey Photography to capture us with some of Paris’ iconic images.  I couldn’t resist having a new headshot taken with the Eiffel Tower, too.  It was a magical trip!

French Grey Photography by Brian Wright for Elizabeth 035

French Grey Photography by Brian Wright for Elizabeth 068

French Grey Photography by Brian Wright for Elizabeth 026

French Grey Photography by Brian Wright for Elizabeth 049

2014 Design Trends

Many of my Clients and Pinterest followers comment that I pin a lot of interior design photos on my event inspiration boards.  For me, designing an event is very similar to designing a living space.  Both require a balance of function and flow with style and creativity.  Also, entertaining is an extension of how we live.  Whether you’re entertaining in your backyard, at a historic museum or in the convention center, bringing in the gracious hospitality and unique personality of your lifestyle is one way to ensure a successful and meaningful event.

In 2014, some of the design trends we’re tracking and looking to for inspiration include:

Bold Black

The chicest of chic, an entire room painted black or a major focal point, black is no longer taboo in home design

Black 2014 Design Trend

via Pinterest: sukio.com

Glamorous Gold

Subtle to spectacular, this color and material make a statement

Gold 2014 Design Trend

via Pinterest: thebeautifulsoup.com

Wood Wonderful

Dramatic wood installations and signature pieces can be modern and traditional

Wood 2014 Design Trend

via Pinterest: contemporist.com

Rock Solid

Incorporating natural stones, cement, and tile that mimics stone

Rock 2014 Design Trend

via Pinterest: lushhome.com

 

We asked one of our favorite local event designers, Amaryllis, for their insight into this year’s design trends.

“We’ve been noticing a greater focus on gold accents and overall [color] schemes, and, of course, think the outcome is beautiful! The color can be incorporated anywhere from tabletop designs to containers in brushed, classic and modern styles. We love the “go bold with gold” mentality and foresee this becoming a big [event design] trend throughout 2014.”

Photo: Eli Turner

Photo: Eli Turner

 

Check out our 2014 Design Trends Pinterest board for more trends ideas.

2014 Food Trends Pt. 2

In our previous post, we introduced you to some of the food trends we’ve been tracking for 2014.  Recently, we asked some of our industry colleagues to comment on how they are already incorporating current trends into their events or to make their own predictions for hot new ideas.  Here’s what they had to say.

Trend:  Celery

At Your Event:  Chap Gage of Susan Gage Caterers predicts that celery is going to be the newest veggie Chefs and mixologists alike will be elevating and highlighting.  He has created two custom cocktails featuring this often over-looked green that can pack a mighty punch of flavor.

Aquavite Celery Martini

Photo courtesy of: Susan Gage Caterers

Celery-Aquavit Martini

2 oz. Linea Aquavit

1 oz. Celery simple syrup

.5 oz. Dolin Blanc

Top off with soda water

Garnish with celery

Rim with smoked sugar

 

Celery simple syrup

1 Cup water

1 Cup Sugar

3 stalks of celery (chopped)

Boil water, add sugar until dissolved, add celery and simmer for 10 minutes

Strain and allow to cool (will last in your fridge for a couple of weeks)

 

Celery Greyhound

Photo courtesy of: Susan Gage Caterers

Muddled Celery Greyhound

2oz Jensen Gin

2oz Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

Small handful of celery greens

 

Muddle greens in bottom of a rocks glass

Add ice

Add juice and gin

Lightly stir

 

Trend:  Cauliflower

At Your Event:  Wolfgang Puck Catering at The Newseum offers a delicious and unique first course highlighting the media’s pick for veggie of the year.  The Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Indian Spices shows just how versatile this pale sister of broccoli can be.

Wolfgang Puck Cauliflower Soup

Photo Courtesy of Wolfgang Puck Catering The Newseum

 

Trend:  Artisan Gin

At Your Event:  Occasions Caterers has been noticing an increase in custom cocktail bars at events.  To highlight this year’s trend of artisan gins, offer a selection of small batch gins, including DC’s own Green Hat Gin.  Then, invite your guests to mix their own cocktail with an assortment of options like housemade syrups; fresh herbs and berries; citrus peel ribbons; lemongrass sticks and candied ginger batons, small batch tonics, fresh squeezed juices and more.

Photo courtesy of Occasions Caterers

Photo courtesy of Occasions Caterers

Trend:  Juicing

At Your Event:  Kimpton properties across the country are now featuring fresh juice menus, and The Hotel Monaco Baltimore’s Juice Caboose Break offers a fresh and healthy option for meetings and events.

Kimpton Juice Bar

Trend: Hyper-Local

At Your Event:  Farm-to-table dining and local, seasonal, green events continue to grow in popularity. Some venues are going beyond sourcing at local farms and actually growing their own produce.  The Hay Adams Hotel recently announced a “partnership with the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) to serve locally grown produce from its Muirkirk Farm. The farm uses sustainable growing methods to produce a range of fresh herbs and vegetables including ethnic crops not native to the US, but that can be grown locally.”

Hay Adams DC farm

Photo courtesy of Hay Adams

 

2014 Food Trends

As in previous years, we have been collecting ideas and articles about the latest trends in the fashion, design and food industries to share with you.  In the coming weeks, we will talk about what trends will impact the event industry and provide inspiration and ideas on how you can incorporate some these trends into your upcoming events.

 

The experts have been abuzz for months making predictions about what will be big in food for 2014.  Here are a few of the articles we’re keeping on file National Restaurant Association, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Food & Wine.  Not surprisingly, some of the trends from last year will gain even more favor this year (e.g. mash-ups, local sourcing, and artisan products), but there will also be some new themes bubbling up (Peruvian cuisine, Cauliflower, tea).

Here are just a few of the trends expected to be big in food, dining and cooking.  Follow our Pinterest board to learn more.

2014 Food Trends

2014 Trends to Watch (L to R): Middle Eastern Spices and Cuisine; DIY and Artisan Gin; Mash-ups like S’mores BrowniesCauliflower Ousts King Kale; Tea, Not Just for Drinking; Artisan Breads; and Veggies, Juices and Local Sourcing, Oh My

What trend has you reaching for the recipes?

Honeymoon HotSpot

Four Seasons Bora Bora via Connoisseur Travel

Are you overwhelmed with planning your honeymoon?  Are you considering using a travel agent, but never worked with one before?  Here are a few myths about working with a travel agent that I asked my friend and today’s guest blogger, Sue Michailidis, luxury travel consultant with Connoisseur Travel, to debunk for us.

Myth #1

“I don’t need a travel agent.”

A travel agent brings years of experience, organization and industry contacts to your travel planning. While the internet has taken over a large piece of the leisure travel pie, do you want to trust your honeymoon to a website? Travel agencies still account for 51% of all travel sales in the US. We are knowledgeable insiders on destinations and accommodations.  And heaven forbid,  something goes wrong while traveling, you’ll have your very own travel advocate—not a call center–assisting you every step of the way.

Myth#2

“Travel agents are a waste of time.”

For planning your trip, a travel agent can save you from hours of painful research and comparison shopping. You have enough on your plate with the wedding plans! After awhile, every overwater bungalow in Bora Bora looks fabulous—but what is the right fit for you as a couple? Work with someone who is a destination specialist in the area—they have been to the resorts, and can give you insider information—stuff you can’t differentiate on websites, or on Trip Advisor.

You’ll also save time once your trip is booked. Say you want to make a change to your itinerary once it’s booked through Expedia….can you say “hold time”? Instead, send your agent a quick email or text.

Finally, your travel agent bundles your trip as a package, if any changes are made, it’s done seamlessly: flights, car rentals, resorts, transfers, etc. are all notified. Doing each booking on your own, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Myth#3

“It’s expensive to use a travel agent.”

Most agencies do not charge an upfront fee to do business, always ask first.

As for getting a better deal online—rarely is this true. In your research, if you find a better deal online, let your agent know. Oftentimes they can match whatever you find.

My agency is part of a consortium & preferred partners with exclusive resorts. We offer our clients a bunch of perks for hotel stays that you cannot get booking online: free breakfasts, room upgrades, etc.

Finally, often times online rates don’t include taxes and fees upfront. Most travel agent packages show the full price—no surprises.

Myth #4

“Travel agents try to needlessly upsell.”

Travel agents try to find the best value for your vacation. This isn’t necessarily the lowest cost option.

Sometimes this means suggesting an ocean view room on your Hawaiian honeymoon, rather than booking a  “resort view” room ( a view of the parking lot). Or recommending a non-stop flight  the day after your wedding, as opposed to a flight with multiple or long layovers. Believe me, you’ll be wiped out! Travel agents want your business and referrals—their goal is for you to have a trip that exceeds your expectations.

Myth#5

Who needs service on their honeymoon, when I can book it all online?

Your honeymoon is truly a trip of a lifetime. Work with a professional to customize a unique experience for the two of you. In addition to all the basic services they provide, agents can arrange car service, personalized activities, romantic excursions, special dinners. You can rest easy trusting your trip is in the hands of an experienced professional.

Sue Michailidis is a luxury travel consultant with Connoisseur Travel. She specializes in South Pacific Honeymoons. She lived in Maui for 5 years, traveling throughout the South Pacific: Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii and beyond. She now resides in Washington DC with her family and sells travel destinations worldwide.  If you would like to talk to Sue about planning your honeymoon or next vacation, you can email her at

sue.michailidis@ctltd.com