Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creating Your Financial Future- Together

We wanted to let you know about an upcoming, free financial workshop that engaged or newly married couples could greatly benefit from. Thrivent Financial is offering a workshop on Saturday, August 7th to help couples find common ground with money management and work together to reach your goals.
From Me to We is a 50-minute education workshop that takes a stewardship approach to helping you prepare for your financial future. At this workshop you will learn to:
  • Identify your values and attidues about money.
  • Set goals and use a budget to help you reach them.
  • Manage your money together.
Couples are asked to pre-register no later than August 1st by calling Corridor 7 Associates at 703-444-9576 or by emailing

From Me to We

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

11:00 AM

1950 Roland Clarke Place, Suite 120

Reston, VA 20191

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Gown Preservation

One of the many concierge services we offer here at A Splash of Elegance is Wedding Gown Preservation through Wedding Gown Preservation Co.  

I wanted to share my experience with gown preservation as I was hesitant at first two send off my mother's gown so I'm sure other people are as well.  My mother's wedding dress has been hanging in a garment bag for the past 30 years at my dad's house.  For the past few years I have been nervous about it yellowing or being otherwise damaged.  Until I joined the Splash team last year I had never heard of gown preservation.  It had been on my long-term to do list to get it cleaned professionally, so when I heard about preservation I wanted to learn more.

After talking with Victoria (the owner of A Splash of Elegance) and learning about all of the advantages of gown preservation, I decided to take the leap and send off my mom's dress.  The process is so straight-forward and easy, Wedding Gown Preservation Co. does all the work for you.  Once I purchased the gown preservation kit, I simply put the gown (and veil and slip) in the pre-addressed box, jotted down my address on a form and taped it up!  Easy as 1-2-3!  The hardest part was leaving it at the UPS store, I was a little hesitant to let it go.  A few weeks later the package arrived at work (they will not deliver to a home address for security).  It was weeks quicker than I had anticipated and arrived wrapped up so nicely!
(My mom's wedding dress after being preserved)

The folks at Wedding Gown Preservation Co. were great to work with- I got an email as soon as they received my gown and an email letting me know of the progress.  They have been doing this for so long; they have seen it all and know they best ways to get out certain stains (did you know sugar causes the most damage to a dress), they know the best way to mend tears, and I can tell the truly care about each dress and each bride that they encounter.

I highly recommend preserving your wedding dress, your mom's, your grandma's, etc to save it from damage, so that future generations can enjoy it, there are so many reasons to consider preservation!  Please contact us if you are interested in having your gown preserved!

Happy planning-

Julie Daniel, Splash Consultant

Friday, July 16, 2010

How to Spot a Worthwhile Investment in a Vintage Wedding Dress

We wanted to share some tips we read in DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day, Your Way by Kelly Bare.  Enjoy!

Start with the fabric – natural fabrics (silk, cotton, wool) are superior to synthetic.  Rub it between your fingers – each has its own unique qualities: Silk shantung should feel heavy and substantial, lace should be delicate and lightweight, satin should be smooth and free of snags.  High quality fabrics will feel good in your hands, look beautiful and drape well on your body.  If the fabric needs “brightening”, a natural fabric brightens best.

Look for a designer’s label and make a note of what it says.  You may recognize the designer’s name immediately but if you don’t do some research.  (Note; handmade items often don’t have a label: consult an expert if you’re not sure what you’re looking at). 

Check the seams – are they double- or single-stitched? (Double-stitched is a sign of fine workmanship)  Either way, how are they holding up and can they withstand a night of dancing?  If there is not adequate seam allowance, do not think you will be able to alter a dress that is too small.  For that matter, don’t think you can lengthen a dress that is too short.)

Inspect the garment for obvious signs of wear – pilling, thinned fabric in places, tears and holes – and for stains.  Look more closely than you think is necessary and then take the garment to a window or even outdoors to get a good look at the dress in the kind of light you’ll have on your wedding day.  Broken zippers can be repaired but dresses with holes, stains and tears on other than a seam should be avoided.

If the dress has beading or other detail work, check the quality.   Pull (gently!) on the beads to see how firmly they are attached.  Look to see how many are missing.  If the garment is old, it’s almost guaranteed that some will have fallen off.  A seamstress can easily replace them

Speaking of seamstresses, our own Splash Consultant, Lynn Nelson, can honor any heirloom dress you may come to possess.   Check out her website to see some of the beautiful work she has done.  If you can dream it, she can design (or re-design) it!

Happy Planning-

Deb Merriner, Splash Consultant

Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Get Your Entourage to Bloom

Behind every beautiful bride you will most likely find a lovely group of devoted bridesmaids whose job it is to help usher the bride from her single to married life through any number of tasks and rituals.  What sometimes makes this a challenge is the configuration of the modern bridal party which is often comprised of not just sisters and extended family members on both sides but  college roommates, grade-school buddies and the new best friend at work.  As wonderful and supportive as these friends are to the bride, they are often complete strangers to each other.

When the bridal party is not a tight knit group of childhood friends who live in the same home town, there are options.  Perhaps the easiest way to break the ice when the bridesmaids hail from different parts of the county is to forward their email addresses to the maid of honor with a request to introduce herself to the bridesmaids via a short email.  (Best men can also take this tack with the groomsmen).  Including some interesting facts (how she met the bride, her hobbies and interest, her "sign", her favorite adult beverage, etc.) and a personal anecdote about the bride would be a great start.  She will certainly want to talk up how much fun the wedding will be and then request that everyone "reply all" with similar information along with their phone numbers and the best way/time to reach them.

Everyone can participate in this simplest of icebreakers for team bonding and who knows what new friendships will develop because of it!

Happy Planning-

Deb Merriner, Splash Consultant

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Splash Advantage

Why hire a Splash Consultant?  Here are the four reasons we share with Brides when they call to inquire after our wedding planning services.  We always assume they are shopping around for a planner so we want to let them know, even if they don't choose us, what to look for in a wedding planner.

Credentials:  Our Consultants are all members of the Association of Bridal Consultants and have completed their Professional Development Program in order to be designated as a Professional Bridal Consultant™.  Anyone can hang up their shingle as a wedding planner (sounds like a fun job, right?) but please make sure you are working with a professional who has the support and knowledge that comes along with an affiliation to a professional wedding association.  A Splash of Elegance is additionally a member of the Association of Wedding Professionals.

Flat Fee Pricing: When you sign a contract with Splash, you know what you are paying up front.  We choose not to charge a percentage of what your wedding costs so there are no surprises in the end.  Any discounts we receive from vendors are passed on directly to you- we take no kickbacks.  We want to make the wedding planning process as stress-free as possible!

Insurance:  A Splash of Elegance carries business insurance to make sure our Consultants are covered -- make sure you hire a "real" business. 
Back Up: With a large team of consultants, there is always someone available should you at the last minute need a planner (have you heard of our 911 service?).  In the unlikely event that your Consultant or the Assistant Coordinator becomes ill, we will always have someone available to step in and take over to make sure your event goes off without a hitch! 

Happy Planning!

Julie Daniel, Splash Consultant

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Have Fun with a Groom's Cake!

The groom’s cake can either be chosen by the bride or groom, but some grooms like to make their choice without their bride’s knowledge. What fun! Adding their own personal flare to the design makes a groom’s cake even more special.

Offering a groom’s cake is a wonderful way to add variety for the guests during the reception, as the groom’s cake tends to be more informal and varied in flavor. Some wonderful choices might be a cheesecake or perhaps even a tiramisu dessert. Because it’s a “less serious” wedding cake, it’s not confined by wedding tradition protocol. Some couples choose to serve their grooms cake at the rehearsal dinner while others save it for the wedding reception as an alternative to the wedding cake. However you choose present your groom’s cake, make sure that it reflects Mr. Groom’s personality and taste ~ that’s the fun of it!



Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chef Extraordinnaire!

Pardon the diversion in this bridal blog, but it's not often that I get to blog about fabulous food, and I promised Chef Andrew that I would sing his praises on my blog today, and for good reason -- Bill and I were treated to an incredible dinner last night on this paradise island of Grand Cayman.  Chef Andrew's lasagna was non-pareil, but the coup de gras of the evening was his delectable creme brulee.  Chef Andrew has participated in cooking contests through the years, and his creme brulee has won over many professional chefs.  I quickly learned that there had been some backroom discussions about the fact (yes, it is a fact) that I am a creme brulee aficionado ... I've tested them from sea to shining sea, and now across the sea.  I do believe that poor Chef Andrew had been told of my purist desires when it comes to creme brulee and was ever so cautious not to offend my delicate balance in search of the creamiest and smoothest creme brulee.  Kudos, Chef Andrew ~ your creme brulee was a magnificent treat to my palate, and the perfect ending to a beautiful dinner.  Cheers to you, Heather and Drew for a wonderful evening of fun and friends.  You're the best!

xo, Victoria

Military Wedding Attire

The question often arises in the DC metro area as to the proper attire for the wedding party when certain members of the party are in the armed services.  The following guidelines (provided by are offered for military and non-military weddings where service members are a part of the bridal party.

Probably the main distinction of a military wedding is that the bride and/or groom, as well as service members in the wedding party, usually wear their uniforms. The type of uniform depends on the style of the wedding, the time of day, and the season:

  •     Evening dress uniform (blue in winter, white in summer) is worn for an ultra-formal wedding (i.e., a white-tie affair).
  •     Dinner or "mess dress" uniform is appropriate at a formal or semiformal event (comparable to black-tie).
  •     Dress blues or whites are worn for less formal weddings; they are equivalent to a nice suit or a cutaway coat.
  •     Any non-military wedding-party members simply wear traditional wedding clothes of the same level of formality as those in uniform.

Some additional tips:

  •     Bride and bridesmaids: The bride can wear her uniform (and so can any bridesmaids), but many military brides opt for a traditional white wedding dress. Bridesmaids might wear navy bridesmaids' gowns to complement the colors of the men's uniforms, or any other color dress the bride prefers.
  •     Groom and groomsmen: If any ushers are members of a different service than the groom (Army instead of Navy, for example), they simply wear a uniform of comparable formality to his. The groom and best man do not wear gloves because they will be handling the rings, but the other ushers wear white gloves throughout the ceremony. Boutonnieres are never worn with uniforms; instead, officers wear their military decorations.
  •     Parents: Should the fathers of the bride or groom be active or retired officers, they may wear uniforms. So may mothers, although they usually choose to wear traditional mother-of-the-bride attire.
  •     Guests: Military guests (active or retired) may wear their uniforms or traditional formal attire. Put "Full dress uniform invited" on the invites to request that your guests come in uniform.
Happy Planning!
 Deb Merriner, Splash Consultant