special events

Fall Blush – A Styled Shoot

The idea for this shoot first came about prior to the pandemic when Carmen Monroe of Carmen’s Bridal Gown Rentals and I spoke about our next styled shoot project. I was slow to develop the idea (it is the middle of wedding season after all), but knew that I’d love to do this shoot outdoors in the fall, with a lush forest as the backdrop.

So when Danny Douglas from Danny Douglas Photography approached Carmen about doing a “wedding” themed shoot at Liriodendron Mansion, I knew these two ideas would merge beautifully and I couldn’t say no!

Carmen showed me some of the photos she’d saved on Pinterest as inspiration, and so many of her ideas were exactly in line with what I’d been envisioning! Which brings us to this inspiration guide.

So, here’s a quick breakdown of what we planned:


Fall Blush, set among the trees (with some indoor shots too), incorporating hunter green, wine, blush and gold, and some natural greens and browns


Couples enjoying the beautiful landscape and venue together on their dreamy fall wedding day. The afternoon was perfect – there were clouds, sunshine, trees with leaves in full splendor


Liriodendron is a historic venue in Maryland. The estate is comprised of the mansion – the Liriodendron – the Graybeal-Kelly House, a circa 1835 bank barn, a circa 1898 carriage house, a circa 1850 board-and-batten cottage, and five other outbuildings including a corn crib, a smokehouse, two ice houses, and a shed.  The mansion, built by Dr. Kelly as a summer home for his wife, Letitia, and their nine children everything is set up for both easy wedding flow and stunning photos. 

Surrounded by trees, it’s gorgeous year-round, and perfect for a fall shoot.

The Liriodendron is now used as a wedding, conference, events, and arts facility, and houses an art gallery on the second floor which primarily features local artists. The Liriodendron is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

special events

Life after loss

Life after loss, reforming, regrowing stages…..I am going to call this year – the year of 2022, the year New Beginnings. Losing my mother has had me in a place of pause…I am neither coming, nor going, I just am….something that is not normal for me …but then again NOTHING is normal for me anymore.

I have had to re-find myself and refine myself..without her, the first most important person in my life, my mom, my mommy, my first best friend. I am continuing on with everything anew all within my old self..a shell of myself if you will. Grief is definitely a process, and it takes its own sweet time. This time varies from person to person. This next stage is not going to be easy for me to get to but once it is reached, it will also be a bit overwhelming with its beautiful gratitude. As we progress forward, we will NEVER forget where we’ve come from nor the loss of my mom. All of this will only help to reshape us into whom we are to become. It will be alright for me to smile again, laugh again, be happy again all while being scared, unsure, cautioned and undeniably sad. If you have reached this stage, I congratulate you; if you have not, I tell you to keep pressing forward through the frontline pain and the healing process- because you will get there, I will get there. Together, we will get through this grief my friend. Keep pressing into our Father – the Lord. Psalm 30:2

special events

Are you thinking about planning your wedding?

Getting married this year or next year? 💍
Are you thinking about planning your wedding?  💍
Are you planning on working on your wedding day?  💍
Hopefully, you said no. If you are on the fence about doing it yourself, then please don’t be like this bride.
Last year a close friend of mine was a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding in Southern Maryland.
She said it was a beautiful venue. The venue was a small gazebo with a small lake. They had a tent reserved for the reception, and the ceremony space was set up facing the water. A stunning setting for a wedding.
But when my friend was ready to get her makeup done, she was surprised to see the bride working. Instead of relaxing, talking, and sipping wine with her bridesmaids, the bride was:
😟 Directing the set up of the tables and chairs 
😟 Placing the linens on the tables 
😟 Setting up the centerpieces for the tables
😟 Making sure the fans in the tent had power
😟 Calling the baker to see when the cake was coming   because it was late
😟 Calling the pastor to see where he was because he was late
😟 Setting up a backdrop for guests to take pictures
😟 Directing the caterer where they should set up
😟 Telling the bartenders where they should set up
😟 Telling the DJ and the band where they should set up
😟 Making sure the band and the DJ had power
😟 Helping set up the flower arrangements
😟 Calling the photographer because she was also late
😟 Calling her fiance to make sure he knew what time he should be there
The bride had a friend helping her, but her friend wasn’t much help, because she was in the wedding too – and didn’t even know where to begin.  She had to wait until the bride told her what to do. It was clear that her friend wanted to help but didn’t know what to do.
To no surprise, the bride was the last person to get her makeup on, and she still had to take a shower.
😟 She was late.
⏱️ Really late.

With no timeline and no one in charge, everything fell behind schedule. Vendors were still setting up an hour before the wedding. They had no real direction and no one to guide them.
The guests started to arrive.
Because the ceremony and the reception were at the same location, the guest didn’t know where they should sit and were confused. It was hot outside, so most of the guest wanted to sit in the shade in the tent near where they parked. Remember this is during a pandemic – so no one wanted to be close to people they came with, so they moved chairs and tables the way they felt comfortable.

Finally, the bride was ready, but she was tired.
Her attitude after the ceremony showed she was tired.
She didn’t want to take pictures 📷and was just ready for the day to be over. She tried to enjoy herself, but she was too exhausted from trying to coordinate everything herself.

Do you want to be like this bride?
Or would you rather have someone you can trust to handle and supervise everything for you? 🧑🏿‍🤝‍🧑🏿
Now, maybe you’re thinking it’s ok to help set stuff up, or even give people a little direction, or also that you could save money by not hiring a wedding planner, but do you want to take that chance on your wedding day?
What happens WHEN something goes wrong?
😟 The cake doesn’t show up in time.
😟 The DJ has no power for her equipment because nobody thought about it.
😟 The pastor is late.
😟 The floor plan you designed is set up all wrong.
😟 You can’t find the rings.
😟 The photographer is late and is lost.
😟 The caterer is late setting up.

What would you do?
What’s your backup plan?
Do you have a list of resources in case one of your vendors is a no show?
Can you really trust your friend to handle something like this? Aren’t they supposed to be helping YOU, and enjoying the day WITH you?

I understand that weddings can be expensive 💰💰💰and that you want to save as much money as you can, but this is one of the most important days of your life. Have you thought about hiring a Day of Wedding Coordinator just for your wedding day?
A Day of Wedding Coordinator does not just show up on the day of your wedding and start working. A good coordinator will begin working weeks in advance to make sure everything is ready and in place, and that all your vendors are on board and all on the same page. 
The day of coordinator will review all the contracts you made with your vendors, and spot and address any potential problems they see. The day of coordinator will also attend and supervise your wedding rehearsal as a precursor to your actual wedding day.
With Day 0f Wedding Coordination you get:
😊 Day of coordination starting eight weeks before your wedding day
😊 A timeline created for the entire wedding day so that   everyone is on the same page
😊 Reviewing of all vendor contracts
😊 Calling all your vendors to verify that things will are done   as per your agreement
😊 Running and supervising your wedding rehearsal
😊 Coordinating the set up of the ceremony and reception   spaces
😊 Coordinating vendor arrival and deliveries with the venue
😊 Making sure your wedding is on time and on schedule
😊 Solving unexpected problems and emergencies
😊 Organizing the after wedding cleanup and vendor rental   pickups so that you don’t incur extra fees
😊 Your emergency wedding kit

This is just a tip of the iceberg of the work that we put in to ensure that you are really able to be in the moment… Please schedule a time here and we can connect to see if a Day of Coordinator is right for you https://mdmassociates.as.me/Workwithme

special events

“Must Haves” list for your wedding Photographer

Do you have an idea of what photos you want to capture on your wedding day?

Creating a picture perfect wedding album has more to do with planning and preparation than you may think. We will show you how to create a complete “Must Haves” list for your wedding photographer in 4 easy steps.

Here is what you will need to get started…

1. A List of Places you Know you want to Capture – This should include any spaces at the getting ready location, ceremony space, and reception area. You can get really creative with this list.

2. A List of Moments you Know you want to Capture – This usually includes getting ready shots, first look, reactions, walking down the aisle, introductions and special dances. You should be very detailed with this list.

3. A List of People you Know you want to Capture – This list will include family and friends to get formal portraits with and candid shots with. You need to write down the names of each person. You will understand why later.

4. Once you have your list gathered, you will be able to put them in an order of sequence based on your wedding timeline. Now here is where having a wedding planner on your team comes in handy because this is something I take care of for clients all the time. Here is the normal order of photos but feel free to change it to suit your needs.

Getting Ready Photos

Photo by Mari Springer

Ceremony Photos

Reception Photos

Photos by Mari Springer

Newly Wed Photos

Photos by Mari Springer

Need sample list to get you started? Download our Photography Must Haves Printable List.

Click Here get your printable list.

special events

You’re Engaged! Now what?

What you have to do first when you get engaged

Do this one thing first!
Did you just get engaged? Are you lost as to what to do now or how to start planning? First, let me start by saying congratulations! This is the start of a magical journey between you and your fiance. I’m a big fan of attending weddings. All night dancing and dessert (bring on the wedding cake). Two of my favorite things to enjoy in life. But this is about you. So your fiance got down on one knee and popped the question, To which you most likely screamed “Yes!!”.
Immediately after getting engaged comes shock, the overwhelming sense of love, and pure joy while you lovingly stare between your new shiny ring and your now fiance. After a few hours or even a few days, you may be stuck as the thought of what to do next or event first as you are flooded with planning ideas and questions. 

Here are the most important things to do immediately after getting engaged:

1.    First and foremost…Enjoy. Enjoy your new love-bubble with your fiance. Take as long as you need to be able to fully process that you are now engaged to the person whom you will spend forever with. Enjoy the fact that you found your life partner. Enjoy your big secret (for now) between the two of you. Ultimately your marriage is between just the two of you. You are allowed to keep this news to yourselves for a bit of time before you shout from the rooftop that you got engaged (we’ll get to that part later). Once you start telling people, the questions, advice, and planning begin. Give yourselves propper time to be alone and happy and in love with each other, you’ll thank me later. 

2.    Once you are ready to share your news with others, start with your inner circle. Parents and close friends only, remind them gently to keep the news to themselves till you make your announcement to the world. The people in your inner circle will be your support system when times get challenging down the road either in wedding planning or in life. Let them know the wonderful news and shower you both with love and congratulations before the masses. It shows love and respect back to them.

3.    Go get that manicure, so you will look your best showing off your new ring. Opt for light pinks or neutrals to look clean and polished without taking away from the beauty of your engagement ring. Our favorite nail colors from OPI are Sweet HeartFunny Bunny, Lisbon Wants Moor, and Ballet Slippers by Essie. 

4.    Now that you and your fiance have enjoyed your little love bubble, all of your closets family and friends are in on the news, and your nails are ready for their close up. It’s time to announce to the world that you are now engaged. Don’t hire a professional photographer for this. You’ll have plenty of opportunities down the road to spend the money on professional photos. For your social media announcement, keep your photos personal and intimate by either taking a selfie or have a close family or friend take a few candid shots of you both. If you are both on social media, you should both post an image with a caption, and where it makes sense, update your status. This keeps the message consistent and avoids any confusion. Sit back and watch the likes and congratulatory comments roll in. 

5.    Before wedding talk and planning begin, create a new email address. You can get cute with ideas like TrueLove@email.com, TillDeathDoUsPrart@email.com, ForeverLove@email.com, or something more standard such as MrandMrsSmith@email.com, TheSmiths@email.com. This new custom email address will be used for all things wedding planning. Communications with venues and vendors, registry, coupons, virtual ave the dates, and bachelor/bachelorette festivities. This eliminates clutter from your work or personal emails inboxes, keeps everything organized under one account that you both have access to, less spam crowding important emails, and then after the wedding, you have the option of deleting the account altogether so you’re not getting email promotions about updating your registry, sales on wedding gowns, or vendors trying to get your attention years after your married. 

6.    One last thing to do before you break out your wedding planning under and sit on Pinterest every night finding all the latest wedding trends. Sit down with your fiance and have an open and honest discussion about the type of dream wedding that you each want. Elope or throw a formal wedding? Big, small, time of year? A ballpark idea on a budget and if either set of parents are able to help financially. You will want to have settle down some kind of direction and possible budgets to work within before you start browsing and contacting folks for more information. The last thing you want to do is find the perfect dress or photographer that costs $10,000 if you and your fiance end up agreeing that the total budget for the day is $10,000. Having an agreed-upon direction and preliminary budget you are both comfortable spending, keeps you focused and on track with all of the millions of options available that will all need to be reviewed and a decision to be made about. 

Good luck with your wedding planning adventures! Remember to have fun, take it one decision at a time, and most importantly, it’s about you and your fiance starting this new life long journey together. So don’t let the stress and minute decisions like cocktail napkin colors (no one remembers them anyway) get in the way of you enjoying your big day. 

Need more wedding planning tips?

Follow us on Pinterest  for wedding inspiration. And when you are ready,  schedule your free consultation to plan your perfect wedding, https://mdmassociates.as.me/Workwithme

special events

After The Yes! An Event Planner’s Power Hour of Advice for Newly Engaged Couples

Get the best tips and advice from excellent Wedding Professionals on how to handle your new engagement with grace!You’re Engaged! What to do after you say “YES!”
Embrace the joy. Dance, sing, smile widely – do whatever makes you feel happiest and enjoy the moment. There are going to be plenty of people ogling your sparkling new ring. It is such an emotional, exciting time, it is easy to get carried away.
But then, what’s next?! Seeking answers?
Presenting our elite event planners to answer your questions….bringing event planners together from our
T Rose Bridal Shows tour cities to give you the answers to our most asked questions. Join us and look no further, for you are invited on February 13, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm for a spectacular Facebook event 𝐀𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐘𝐞𝐬! 𝐀n 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫’𝐬 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐇𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐥𝐲 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐬.
Hear the best tips and advices from excellent Wedding Professionals on how to handle your new engagement with grace!
We are looking forward to seeing you there! Congratulations on your engagement!

special events

5 Hidden Wedding Fees

Ready to Make Wedding Planning Even Easier?
After you get engaged, you’re on a total wedding high.
You can’t stop dreaming about your wedding day and just want to plan, plan, PLAN!
But then you sit down, ready to start planning your big day, and realize:
“What the heck do I do now?
Where do I begin?
How do I determine my budget?
What am I supposed to ask my vendors?”
These are common questions and feelings, so you shouldn’t feel like you’re “totally incapable of this planning stuff” as so many brides do.
The problem is, you just don’t have the right resources.
Well, I am here help with that.

1. Makeup and Hair Trials – Did you know a bridal hair trial can cost as much as 75% of the day-of price? You’re basically doubling your beauty budget! Always ask them what they charge before you commit, but keep in mind, trials are pretty necessary to ensure you’re going to love your wedding-day look.

2. Wedding Insurance – Yes, it’s a thing and most venues require you purchase it. Websites like WedSafe.com offer it and for a fraction of your budget, you could save quite a few tears if the worst happens. Get a quote!

3. Postage – You’ll need a lot of stamps for your save-the-date’s, invites, and thank-you’s (for bridal showers AND the wedding). Postage rates could be $1-2 for each piece of stationary. The key is to keep your paper products simple and low-bulk.

4. Meals for the Day Of – A girls gotta eat —and so do your attendants. Breakfast and lunch should be provided to your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and whoever else is helping set up the morning of.

5. Tax – Sales tax will get you every time. It’s nothing I can predict for you, but always remember it’s there!

Soon, I’ll be sharing with you our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide. A no-fluff, straight-to-the-point resource for your planning needs.
Interested? It’s coming soon!

special events

Five Things Your Wedding Planner Can Take Care of For You

Chicago Wedding Planner and draping designer

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about hiring a wedding planner is that it’s too expensive, however this is the total opposite. When planning your wedding, a wedding planner is able to provide support in ways you have not yet realized. Here are some examples:

 1. Wedding Planners Help You to Stay on Budget

Wedding planners are experienced in knowing how much things should typically cost and how much of your budget should be allocated to each particular item associated with your wedding. For instance, a wedding planner can assist you in determining how much you should be paying your photographer, the caterer, the florist, etc. This will help you to not only stay on budget, but to ensure that you’re hiring the best vendors at the best price. When you hire a wedding planner, they will communicate with you about your budget and help you to make realistic decisions.

2. Wedding Planners have Industry Connections

When you hire a wedding planner, you pretty much get the “hook up”. From being in the industry for years, wedding planners have established relationships with various vendors from venue owners to florist and limousine companies, to name a few. Most vendors will offer a wedding planner a discount because of their established relationship and continuous business, something that a couple will not get access to if they are not familiar with the vendor. Knowing which vendors to work with is also very important and when you hire a wedding planner, they can give you their top recommendations based on personal experiences with the vendor.

3. Wedding Planners are Experienced in Handling Contracts

Contracts are essential when dealing with client/vendor relationships. But let’s be honest, some contracts have clauses or legal jargon that the average couple might not quite understand. When you hire a wedding planner, as a part of their job, the wedding planner will read, analyze, and communicate the contract terms for you. They will also act as an advocate for you against any contract discrepancies or clauses that are not beneficial to you.

4. Wedding Planners Allows You to De-stress

Truth is, you do not want to be worrying about things on your wedding day such when the photographer will be arriving, or did your bridesmaids show up. When you hire a wedding planner, you can rest assured that your day will get organized without you having to worry about it. Your wedding planner is responsible for making sure everything gets done in a timely manner and that everyone is where they are supposed to be from the caterer to the wedding party. This gives you the peace of mind to truly enjoy every moment of preparing to walk down the aisle.

5. Not have Wedding Planning Take Over your Schedule

Let’s face it when juggling work, home, exercise, and sometimes children you barely have time to do the laundry, much less pick out the perfect linens for the reception dinner. When you have a lot going on and still would like your wedding day to be perfect, a wedding planner is just what you need.If you have any questions about what to ask when interviewing planners or how to get support planning your wedding, contact us.

special events

Summer lovin’…..

Summer is here and wedding season is in full effect! Summer weddings are amazing, the extreme heat and humifity can be quite uncomfortable, especially for guests. Below are a few summer wedding tips to ensure your guests are comfortable while you say “I Do”!


  1. Handheld fans are a great way to help keep your guests cool during summer. We can even have them made with your names on them!
  2. Custom Sunshades
  3. Parasols – We can even have them made with your names on them!
  4. TENTS – I can’t stress this enough
    1. Have the ceremony in the tent and the reception indoors
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Let them eat cake

Cake by http://www.facebook.com/desserts4dequan

Currently in wedding culture, the cake/cupcakes/donut wall is usually on display and served to guests at the reception. However, traditionally, wedding cakes were made to bring good luck to all guests and the couple. Modern weddings now, however, they are more of a centerpiece to the wedding and are not always even served to the guests.

As far back as the Roman Empire, wedding cakes were created..  Here are my top 7 Wedding Cake Traditions

Cutting the Cake

In addition to the first dance and bouquet toss, this  tradition is one of those photo opportunities that graces every wedding.  The bride and the groom do this together symbolizing one of their first activities as Mr. and Mrs.  As cakes have transformed into multi-tiered exquisite designs fit for hundreds of guests, usually they do not cut the entire cake up, but instead leave that duty to the caterer.

Feeding Each Other Cake

In a traditional cake cutting ceremony the bride and groom feed each other a small bite of cake. This can be romantic and sweet, symbolizing a commitment to provide for one another and a show of love and affection.

Especially with social media, this  has evolved in some cases to the groom or bride grinding the cake into his or her partner’s face. Unless each person agrees beforehand to participate in this type of show, it is best to stick with a simple feeding.  For my hubby and I – WE DID NOT SMASH THE CAKE!

The Groom’s Cake

Early American weddings had groom’s cakes and many southern states in the U.S. continue with this tradition. Many northern weddings have begun to adopt this tradition  – it is used as a show piece for the GROOM!  The primary focus of this cake is to showcase the groom’s hobbies, individual taste, and even his favorite sports teams.

Traditional grooms cakes, are usually chocolate to contrast the actual wedding cake, although any flavor is acceptable, especially now that wedding cakes are SO unique to the couples individual taste.

Saving the Top Tier

Most couples cannot resist saving the top tier to eat on their first anniversary or a christening ceremony. Now, most couples are more likely to create a small cake eating ceremony around their first anniversary. Sharing this small cake is a charming reminder of a special day.

A well-wrapped cake can easily survive a year in the deep freezer without too much damage, as long as the cake has no mousse layers or delicate fresh fruit fillings. A seasoned baker like Kristin Curtis of Desserts4Dequan can take care of this for you with a little insider information.

Sleeping With Piece of Cake Under the Pillow

It is thought that a person sleeping with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would dream of her future partner that night. This custom dates back almost 300 years and is often practically combined with wedding favors being tiny, perfect replicas of the wedding cake.

Cakes in modern times are sometimes not as firm as the traditional fruitcake used in the past, so having it under a pillow could get messy! A favor in a box is a much neater solution – but I WOULD DEFINITELY EAT IT, and not sleep with it!

Wedding Cake Charms

The tradition of baking charms into wedding cakes is a longstanding one which has fallen away. It is an absolutely delightful tradition to try as long as you warn the guests to be careful and remove their charm before eating the cake!​​

A more practical variation is pushing the charms into a baked cake with a ribbon attached so the guest can simply pull the charm out.

There are several charms that are used traditionally and each has a specific meaning:

  • Heart: true love
  • Ring: upcoming engagement
  • Wishing Well; wishes coming true
  • Highchair: children
  • Clover or Horseshoe: good luck
  • Rocking Chair: long life
  • Anchor: adventure
  • Flower: new love
  • Purse: good fortune
  • Wedding bells: marriage

The White Wedding Cake

White icing was a symbol of purity, money and social importance in Victorian times, so a white cake was highly desired. The fine white sugar needed to create white icing was extremely expensive and the lighter the cake, the more wealthy the family would appear to their guests.

The white of the cake was simply a representation of the bride as the main focal point of the wedding. Many brides today mimic this continuity by creating cakes in the same hue as their dress or bouquet.

Wedding cakes can be any color, but most people still feel the base color beyond the decorations should be white. White is, of course, the color of purity and traditionally this cake was referred to as the “bride’s cake” – hence the grooms cake.