Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Plan a Successful Wedding: Top 8 Tips from Baltimore Hotel Wedding Guru

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel's on-site wedding guru shares her insights on tips for planning the perfect wedding celebration.

Wedding receptions in Baltimore

Sherri Griffis, Director of Catering Sales at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel

Quote startWeddings are continually evolving, and brides and grooms are free to write their own rules when it comes to designing the wedding day that they want.Quote end

For couples who got engaged recently, the race is on to plan their dream weddings while still managing to stay on budget. For those who have no clue where to start, what the latest trends are, or how they can save money, they can rely on Sherri Griffis, Director of Catering Sales at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. Widely considered one of the city's resident wedding gurus, Ms. Griffis has organized nearly 200 wedding receptions in Baltimore. Knowledgeable of the best Baltimore reception venues, Ms. Griffis also compiled a list of general wedding planning tips.

According to Ms. Griffis, there is no right way to plan a wedding. "Couples can and do design their day to be anything they want. Weddings are different than they were even two years ago. Weddings are continually evolving, and brides and grooms are free to write their own rules when it comes to designing the wedding day that they want."

Here are Ms. Griffis’ tips, suggestions and overviews of the latest trends, in addition to ways to save money in the planning process:

  • Engagements are getting longer again. Whereas there was a time when people were getting married a lot quicker, today couples are having a longer engagement period due to the fact that they want plenty of time to both plan every detail of their wedding and to save up the money to afford everything they want. The average engagement period seen now is 15 months. Couples looking to save money should note that hotels can be more flexible with the budget for couples who book a wedding with a shorter time frame. Many outstanding Baltimore wedding venues are located inside of hotels. Fridays and Sundays are more affordable than Saturdays.
  • Having a ceremony or cocktail reception outdoors is still hot. Regardless of weather concerns, brides and grooms want to be outside at least for part of their event.
  • Color is in. Wedding planners are seeing brides adding more color to their weddings, including pops of color with their shoes or on a sash for their gown.
  • Family-style settings are in vogue. Couples are asking for long tables "dining-room style" dressed with lots of low centerpieces, which allows more people to sit together. Other couples even choose square tables versus the traditional rounds.
  • Menus feature comfort food with a twist, where chefs work with the couple to bring a favorite comfort food to the gourmet level.
  • Wedding planners are seeing requests for heavy wedding receptions in Baltimore along with small plates versus a sit-down plated dinner. This allows the wedding guests more time to mix and mingle. There is a perceived notion that receptions are less expensive; however, that is not always the case.
  • Brides are becoming more willing to lower the attendee number in order to get all the other things they want for their wedding.
  • Comparison shopping and negotiating have become the new normal in weddings. There was a time when a bride had her heart set on a certain venue and cost was no object. Today everyone is more budget-conscious. They will ask for discounts and extras to be thrown in, and will also tell planners what the competition is offering them. The Internet is also a handy tool for couples to learn how to negotiate and provide an idea of what they should be spending for specific items.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Tangerine Tango PANTONE 17-1463
Solar Power PANTONE 13-0759
Bellflower PANTONE 18-3628
Cabaret PANTONE 18-2140
Sodalite Blue PANTONE 19-
Margarita PANTONE 14-0116
Sweet Lilac PANTONE 14-2808
Cockatoo PANTONE 14-5420
Driftwood PANTONE 18-1210
Starfish PANTONE 16-1120
Dazzling Blue PANTONE 18-3949
Vintage Khaki PANTONE 16-0205
Granita PANTONE 19-2039
Hawaiian Ocean PANTONE 17-4540
Tradewinds PANTONE 15-4307
Grass Green PANTONE 15-6437

For individual color swatches and inspiration visit Pantone Spring 2012

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Congratulationsto Three Lovely Brides

It is estimated that 46,200 couples got married on 11.11.11. I would like to congratulate three that I had the pleasure of working with!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great advice from La La Anthony, as told to Glamour, “When it comes to marriage, there are no rules, so don’t try to follow what your friends have done. Work within the realms of your own relationship.” So, avoid comparing your marriage to that of others, even those that seem perfect because what’s perfect for them may not be perfect for you!
I love the cover of MUNALUCHI Bride Fall/Winter 2011 issue with Mr. Preston Bailey on the cover...can't wait to get my copy next month!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fall and Winter Wedding Colors for 2011.

For all you September-December 2011 brides that may still be looking for a wedding color, have a look at the unique rich warm tones that are hot for the fall wedding season!


Invitations you may like...

Top picks from Noted Occasions:

Looking for a centerpiece that does not included pumpkins or leaves, how about candles on slices of wood for a rustic feel. This simple DIY centerpiece can be fond on Once Wed.

What you will need:

· slice of wood ( 11′ diam x 2.5′ h)
· glass cylinder vases ( 11′h, 9′h, 6′h x 3.5′ diam) you can find these at
Jo-Ann Fabrics, Michael’s Crafts, and Hobby Lobby
· pillar candles ( 3 varying heights to fit in each vase)
· ribbon & yarn
· fabric, wood, or dried flowers
· double sided tape
· scissors


1. Cut 3 pieces of ribbon/yarn (one arms length per piece). Wrap each vase with ribbon/yarn. Attach ends of ribbon/yarn with double sided tape to surface of vase. I chose to wrap with a knobby yarn, satin ribbon, and grosgrain ribbon to create a variety of textures. I also wrapped the ribbon/yarn at different heights on each vase to create more interest.

2. Attach fabric/wood/dried flower to a piece of ribbon and tie around tallest vase.

3. Insert pillar candles into vases. arrange cluster of vases on wood slice, keeping the sides with the tape facing the center.

4. Arrange fabric/wood/dried flowers on wood slice around the vase cluster. Light the candles and enjoy your rustically elegant centerpiece!

FYI: The wooden flowers shown are no longer available for purchase. I would suggest creating fabric flowers or heading to a local craft store and picking up some dried botanicals. If you are interested in creating these centerpieces in large numbers, I would suggest ordering the vases in bulk.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Felt Flower Tutorials

If you didn't already know I love flowers in any form! Some brides opt to use something other than a fresh flower for many different reasons. I like to be able to offer them options. This is also a great DIY project to do one afternoon with your bridesmaids. There are so many wonderful felt tutorials out there, here are some of my favorites. Remember you are not limited to felt, try them with any type of fabric. Enjoy!

From Will You? To I do!, shares a tutorial for a fun rose that has so many application possibilities and also easy to do! Try it without the scalloped edge for a different look.

Check out the tutorial for this absolutely gorgeous felt flower by Mrs. Priss.

How sweet is this flower! Tutorial and image courtesy of I Candy Handmade.

The two images above are both from Craft Snob.
Tutorial for the top flat flower here, tutorial for the bottom loopy flower here.

Keeping Life Creative offers these two lovely blooms, check out the tutorial!

This flower reminds me of a zinnia, you can get the tutorial here from Instructables

Food, Wine & Mod Podge, shares a great tutorial here for this little pretty.

A special thanks to Sara@CraftSnob for compiling this wonderful group of tutorials and
Amber@Salt Tree for posting on her blog where I discovered it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cheap Chic Weddings 7th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest

The Wedding Contest Winner for Cheap Chic Weddings 7th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest is Susan Brennan from Orchard Lake, MI!

CONGRATULATION SUSAN!!! Susan takes home Top Prize and $1000.00 for her beautiful toilet paper gown creation. Inspired by nature. She used flowers and feathers and balanced the dress with pleats on the bodice. She used 4 rolls of Toilet Paper, hot glue, and packing tape.

Winner: Susan B.

1st Pl. Winner Laura L.

2nd Pl. Winner Cynthia R.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back By Popular Demand


We ran this contest earlier in the year, because of the great response here it is again. If November 11th. 2011 will be your wedding date, follow our blog and post a comment with your first name, last initial, and state. You will be entered for a chance to win a personalized, white 25 ft., non-woven aisle runner. Local pick up or shipping is the responsibility of the winner. Drawing will be held on September 10th.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stars and Stripes Sale

It has been said that FREEDOM is not FREE...hats off to all our servicemen and servicewomen! I invite everyone to save 10% on any item in my Etsy Store, use coupon code ED0711. Save 5% on any special order item, use coupon code ED07115. Expires on July 24th. Happy Shopping!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Semi DIY Pocket Fold Invitations

I am always asked about how to create wedding invitations, I came across this wonderful step-by-step how to on Project Wedding. With a little imagination you can customize this idea to fit your personality.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Brides Against Breast Cancer Nationwide Tour of Gowns is returning to Atlanta on August 13-14 at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest. We are thrilled that you are interested in being a part of our volunteer team!


Atlanta Marriott Northwest

Power Hours: Saturday, August 13 from 10 AM - Noon

General Sale: Saturday, August 13 from Noon - 6 PM

General Sale: Sunday, August 14 from 10 AM - 4 PM


Choose yours shift(s) above and reserve your space. No tickets are required, but registration is necessary to reserve your time slot. Please arrive 15 minutes before for your shift! Upon arrival, please check-in at the volunteer table and grab a t-shirt.

You can also sign up for multiple days and shifts. Feel free to invite your friends, family and co-workers -- even your husbands and boyfriends (we need guys to help with the heavy stuff!).

Where You Can Help

1. Registration - Signing in brides as they enter the sale (men can help).

2. Bride Greeter - This person will be inside the sale area and will direct brides on rules and how the sale area is set up (men can help).
3. Dress Runner - This person will help re-stock the dress racks from the fitting room "go back" racks (men can help).
4. Dressing Room Help - This person will be inside the dressing room and will assist the brides trying on gowns.
5. Dressing Room Attendant - This person will be inside the fitting room assisting the volunteers with "no deal" gowns - making sure the gowns are ready to return to the floor.

What to Wear

Please wear dressy attire, such as khaki, black or brown pants or skirt. You can wear jeans as long as there are no rips or holes! Each volunteer will be given a Brides Against Breast Cancer t-shirt to wear at the event – if you are a returning volunteer, please bring yours from last year! Don’t forget comfortable shoes!

Click on the link to sign up.....I hope to see you there!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Winner IS

Congratulations to Cicely & Peabo!
The winners of the 9-10-11 white
25 ft. non-woven aisle runner.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ~Joseph Campbell~. Remember the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives so that others could have a better life. To all our troops. Thank you for your service. Never Forget!

Downtown Delight at the Garden

On Saturday May 28th I had the pleasure of providing wedding flower for the new Mr. and Mrs. G. The Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown set the stage for their nuptials. Here are a few photos.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My FAB Mother's Day Gift

Yesterday I collected on my WONDERFUL Mother's Day gift, a portrait session with the spectacular Sarah Mallard and styled by the amazing Laesha Ebony of Jewelry Make-up and More. We shot in an urban location of downtown Atlanta with lots of texture. Sarah has a great eye and I know the pictures are going to be beautiful. The professional pictures will be back in a few days (I will share), but here is a sneak peak until then.

Laesha Ebony

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Inside Out

Gone are the days where you cover up floral oasis with moss, now the oasis can play a starting role in your centerpiece or alter arrangement. Look how the green and brown pop and help to make PANTONE'S 2011 COLOR OF THE YEAR Honeysuckle 18-2120 stand out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The New Cascade Bouquet

Cascade wedding bouquets are rounded at the top and fall to a point, they may also be referred to as a teardrop bouquet or a waterfall bridal bouquet. Modern brides are asking for all the bells and whistles in the form of embellishment here is a look at the cascade bouquet all dolled up. Which one do you like? Too much or just what you are looking for?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Catherine's Lily-of-the-Valley Bouquet

Catherine's lily-of-the-valley bouquet is stunning! EXPENSIVE fresh flower! If you want to replicate it there are great silk options.

Royal Wedding Fever!!!

Suited and Booted...sitting in front of the tele for the Royal Wedding with with my daughter .Ya'll