Bailey & Dave: A Clifton Inn Spring Wedding in Charlottesville Virginia
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In Charlottesville, you truly cannot go wrong when it comes to weddings. This beautiful mountain town is well equip with everything you would ever need, including the perfect vendors and more than ideal scenery.

For Bailey and Dave, even though they both weren’t originally from the Charlottesville area, they knew it was the perfect place for them to host their wedding. After all, it’s where they met! For them, it all started byway of tennis. Dave is a tennis instructor and Bailey was taking lessons. Fast forward years later and the two grew their love well beyond the baseline.

Their wedding was fully inspired by spring. We incorporated bright pinks, peaches, whites, and creams into their design with lush greenery accents. Letting the beauty of Clifton Inn shine was important, so only personal touches and enhancements were really needed.

To incorporate their love story without making anything too “tennis themed” we included subtle details throughout their design that were interactive and contributed to their guests experience. For their guestbook, I was inspired by the Paris Lock Bridge. When scheming up their design I thought to myself (or…let’s be real, aloud to my cats) “Why can’t we take old school tennis rackets, tiny locks, and memo tags and make a personalized piece for them to remember their wedding for their home?” Newsflash: we can and we totally did!

With guest experience being such a priority for this couple, we decided to add a photo opp area into the mix! This was another way for us to incorporate their love for tennis. Vintage rackets were used to create a massive display for them and their guests to photograph with all night. Turns out…it was a huge hit!

All things tennis aside, we kept it clean and classy. Their tablescape was nothing but pure elegance to really allow for Clifton’s food to shine. Chic vellum menu and place cards gave the table more personalization while also allowing guests to naviagate to their seat and know what’s for dinner.

It’s weddings like this that I love the most. Taking the most simple of things and bringing them all together into one perfect masterpiece.

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Wedding Planner: Angelica & Co. Weddings

Photographer: Bethany Snyder Photography

Venue & Catering: The Clifton

Florals: Tourterelle Floral Design

DJ: Beats by Goodman

Desserts: Paradox Pastry

Hair: Top Knot Studio

Makeup: Rouge 9 Makeup Studio

Officiant: Jon Sarosiek

Rentals: MS Events

Tent & Lighting: Skyline Tent Company

Stationary: Minted and Etsy

Transportation: Easy Rider Bus Company

Justine & Jason| A King Family Vineyard Winter Wedding in Charlottesville, Virginia
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Justine and I met when I was first starting out on my new business venture. She found me on the preferred vendor’s list at King Family Vineyard and after some digging and research loved what she saw! A few email exchanges and one lunch date later we were well on our way to wedding planning bliss.

From the beginning, she was sure of a few things when it came down to her wedding. One: she wanted to create a warm and magical “winter wonderland” feel for her guests. Two: she wanted deep, jewel toned colors. (Dark green and eggplant/burgundy were her top choices! )

During our design phase, we incorporated shades of color and texture through all areas of her wedding to help create the warmth she was after. (After all, it was February!)

We had her bridesmaids dress in shades of green and grey and wrapped them in dark green shawls to keep cozy while outside during photos. The guys had ties with accents of the same color to match!

For their ceremony, we brought in beautiful over-sized trees and hung lanterns among the branches. Their ceremony took place right as the sun was setting, so this in combination with a fireplace full of candles and floral decor was the perfect backdrop and glow.

From there, it was all hands on deck as we worked to flip their ceremony space into their reception!

Pro-tip: When choosing a venue that requires you to re-purpose one room for multiple events throughout the night, make sure you have a really strong vendor team. Often times there’s only one hour to transform one space into another.

It takes a lot back-end logistics for proper planning, lots of swift labor, and a fine eye to finesse each detail before guests re-enter!

For their tablescape, it was all about layering for me. As a planner, one thing you’ll come to realize about me is that I love layers, shades, and texture! These three things really bring depth and dimension to your design in a way that is simple yet really pleasing to the eye. So for Justine and Jason, I did just that!

I centered their place settings around a few of their favorite pieces and added small details to enhance them on the table. Small touch items like their bronze napkin rings matched the charger they fell in love with in my original design. The amber water goblets added a fun splash of color and popped off of their wedding parties suits and dresses. And finally, mixing their reception layout with tables both round and rectangular really brought a neat visual aesthetic to the room.

It’s small details that make the big picture!

Overall, this one was a home run. Not only did I love them as a couple, but I’m still doing a little Angelica happy dance over their details and design!

Justine and Jason— you all are gems! Thank you for bringing me along on the ride. xo

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Wedding Planner: Angelica & Co. Weddings

Photographer: Bethany Snyder Photography

Venue: King Family Vineyards

Catering: Harvest Moon Catering

Florals: Blue Ridge Floral

Ceremony Music: Terra Voce

Reception DJ: Derek Tobler

Cake: Maliha Creations

Beauty: Glo-Out [Glamour Bar]

Officiant: Monica Chernin

Transportation: Easy Rider Bus Company

How To Prepare For Rain On Your Wedding Day
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Let’s face it…no one wants for it to rain on their wedding day. But let’s also be real, weather is the one unpredictable variable when it comes to planning a wedding.

As a planner, I’m hard wired to prepare for all types of scenarios and situations. I can take one simple action and visualize the ripple effect of changes that will happen as a result. Rain is no exception!

Often times with the weddings I plan, there’s a portion of the evening that happens outdoors. Whether this be the couples ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception 9/10 times my couples love those open air vibes. So, naturally, during our planning, we’re envisioning the most perfect Plan A day! We have the sun shining, the breeze ever so slight, and the temperature mild and comfortable so that no one breaks a sweat.

Sounds great, right?

Of course it does! But in reality, my job as a planner is to set realistic expectations with my couples. So while we’re all aiming for a perfect Plan A day, it’s my job to walk them through how we’re going to handle Plan B…just in case.

For me, it all comes down to a few things: your mindset, your mood, and your full trust.

  1. Your Mindset
    It’s one thing for it to be raining on your wedding day. It’s another for it to be raining on your wedding day and you having no clue what to do next. This is where setting expectations comes in handy!

    With my couples, it all starts with a simple conversation. It’s important for me to gauge their priorities and figure out their different levels of comforts and discomforts when it comes down to it.


    Asking the right questions to help re-train their original way of thinking is my planner trick. It’s my job to make it seem like the rain isn’t so scary after all! It’s just a part of their story that we’re needing to figure out the ending to together.

    Once they feel comfortable that I have a clear understanding of their “do's” and “don’ts” they feel much more confident moving forward that no amount of rain will drown out their love come wedding day.

    After our discussion, we’ll create a whole new set of diagrams and logistics that match the plan we all feel confident with moving forward. This will be in our back pockets in case Mother Nature decides to play games with us. All of your vendors will have been briefed with Plan B and all that’s left to do is execute— just like in a perfect Plan A scenario!

  2. Your Mood
    As extra cheesy as it may sound…attitude really is everything!

    Now that we’ve shifted your mindset on rain into a more calm and comfortable one, there aren’t any surprises. Since you know and have approved of the plan, all that’s left to do is play storm watcher and wait until it’s “go time”.

    There’s always a tinge of disappointment when it comes to a rainy wedding day— and that’s completely normal. But remembering that the end goal remains the same should wipe away any negative feelings you may have about a little water in the skies.

    After all, you’re marrying your best friend! What could be better than that?

  3. Your Full Trust
    As a planner, I am a firm believe in decency, honesty, and trust. I will treat your wedding as if it were my own and, in turn, I will always tell my couples what I would do if I were in their shoes and allow them to make the best decision for them from there.

    At this point in our planning, my couples and I have gotten extremely close. I know what they eat for lunch of Tuesdays and I know what their go to drinks are after a hard day. It’s an absolutely beautiful thing.

    So, with that being said, their full trust is all I ask. I ask that they allow me to take on the burdens of their stress and let me work my planner magic knowing that I have the best intentions, their priorities, and their vision close to my heart.

Room Blocks: What's the Deal?
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If you read my latest blog on transportation, by now you know that not all things wedding related are as easy they seem! But transportation aside, room blocks are another point of potential frustrations couples face during their planning.

Spoiler alert: they are not all created equal! There are two main differences to note when starting your search. Today I’m breaking them both down. First up, Courtesy Block Agreements; followed by Attrition Agreements…(stay with me here!)

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Courtesy Block Agreements

If you ask for my planner expertise, courtesy block agreements are the way to go. They’re exactly as they sound— a courtesy hotels give you as a thank you for your business.

With these types of agreements, you reserve a small number of rooms at the hotel of your choice for your guests to reserve. The hotel offers your group (what they call a Room Block) a special code which offers your guests special discounts when they call in to reserve their room.

Sounds great right?! Why, yes…yes they are. But here’s the catch: because the hotel is doing you a favor by placing a hold on X number of rooms for you and your guests, you can only block off a small number of rooms at a time.

Pro tip: Once your block is full the hotel will often extend you another X amount of rooms in addition (availability pending!)

Attrition Agreements

Attrition agreements are binding contracts that you and hotels have together. Hotels will reserve a larger number of rooms for you and your guests (usually two or three times the amount of a Courtesy Block Agreement) which guarantee your guests a room to stay within their hotel.

So, what’s the difference?

Any rooms that go unreserved within Attrition Block Agreements then become your financial responsibility as a couple. Typically, the hotel will collect a percentage of the remaining amount of rooms unoccupied. For example, if you’ve reserved 40 rooms from the hotel but only 12 have been reserved by your guests, the hotel will charge you 80% attrition for the remaining rooms. Meaning, you owe then 80% of the total revenue they would’ve collected had those rooms been fully sold.

More likely than not, hotels that only allow Attrition Agreements over Courtesy Block Agreements are more popular, more pricey, and on any given day guaranteed to sell out without the incentive of deals and discounts.

Pro tip: Take a careful look at your guest list and consider how many out of town versus in town guests you may have. Weigh this into your decision when deciding between an Attrition Agreement or a Courtesy Block Agreement. You don’t want to get financially stuck paying for more rooms than you may need for those just in case scenarios!

Photography Credit: Bethany Snyder Photography

Angelica Laws
Transportation: Is It Necessary?
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Transportation…it’s a tricky one! Depending on the location of your wedding venue it’s either a no-brainer YES or one of those items you really just aren’t sure about. When it comes to transportation, there always seems to be grey area.

My goal for this blog is to break it down for you while keeping three things in mind—- your venue’s location/accessibility, budget, and your guests safety.

Let’s get started!

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Venue Location & Accessibility

I serve two main markets as a wedding planner, those being the DC metro area and Charlottesville, Virginia. Both have two very different vibes and very different venue styles.

The DC metro area has most things readily accessible. There are plenty of prime attractions, bars and restaurants within walking distance of most venues/hotels and, for the sake of this blog, many convenient public transportation options available. There are endless Lyfts, Uber’s, and Taxi’s for all of your guests to grab within minutes; it’s an affordable option for your guests to consider when planning for your wedding weekend.

Charlottesville, on the other hand, doesn’t have it so lucky when it comes to convenience and accessibility. Most venues in Charlottesville are in remote locations on top of a mountain you have to travel down windy and unlit dirt roads to get to. (Though I promise, they’re always worth the trips!) When you take into consideration venues like these, your guests face two challenges: cell service (there often is none) and transportation availability (many Lyfts, Uber’s, and taxi services won’t go to such remote locations—- so your guests end of stuck and stranded!) Not the best way to end and otherwise perfect wedding day.

Budget

Though many of my couples are often surprised by this, transportation can be pricey! As a planner, I try to be as transparent with my couples as possible. Setting expectations up front is key!

Regardless of your market, transportation prices can add up quickly. Some companies charge by the hour, while others will charge based on the total number of trips.

Pro tip: Find a company who charges by the hour! Through my years of planning I’ve found the hourly rates more reasonable than the per trip rates. Why? Typically you can squeeze multiple shuttle runs within your allotted hours. This eliminates the need for more shuttle buses, which cuts down on your costs, and transports more of your guests!

Your Guests Safety

Weddings are fun…we all know this! The weekend is full of celebrating with the ones you love the most; and with celebrating comes the drinking! (Nothing wrong with it!) But when your guests are indulging and having a great time, it’s nice to take the pressure off of them in some capacity by offering them a safe ride home.

If your wedding venue is in a well populated location like the DC metro area, there are plenty of public transportation options nearby for them to call within minutes. But if you’ve chosen a more remote location like the ones in Charlottesville, the worst feeling for your guests after an awesome night of celebrations would be being stranded, on top of a mountain…intoxicated.

In this scenario, help them out by pre-planning safe shuttles home! They’ll be well worth the dollars you spend by ending the night on a happy high!

Photo Credit: Nikki Santerre (top), Molly Lichten (bottom)

Why Do Couples Need a Wedding Planner?
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Wedding planners have a bad reputation for being one of those “luxury planning pieces”: nice to have if you can afford it, but not necessary in the long run. I cannot stress to my couples enough how important (and absolutely essential) having a wedding planning truly is.

We are more than just the keeper of all things, organizer extraordinaire's, and design divas. We are your bouncer when it comes to getting you into the exclusive vendor clubs, your saving grace when it comes to contract negotiations, and we are your best friend and confidant throughout the planning process to ensure you’re getting the absolute best deals that align with your wedding day visions at the absolute best price.

Need more reasons? Here are 5:

No. 1: They Help Make The Planning Process Stress-Free

There’s some crazy (I don’t know if proven) statistic I read that said 96% of couples planning their wedding are stressed out. That blew my mind! That means (to me) only 4% of couples getting married hired a planner, and likely only 2% of those hired a good one.

When it comes to weddings, everything should be fun and exciting! Sounds impossible, but it’s not. When you set yourself up correctly from the beginning with a proper planner you have guidance. Guidance is invaluable when it comes to making decisions, making them quickly, learning wedding etiquette, and translating your visuals and word vomit ideas into beautiful realities.

Planners help keep you calm, your ideas and families firmly grounded, and have quirky ways of diffusing uncomfortable/awkward situations that may bring on stress—because we’ve been there and have done that!

No. 2: Your Venue Coordinator Is Not A Planner

Having been a venue coordinator myself, this may be one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to weddings. It goes a little something like this.,,

You’ve found your perfect venue. Their coordinator is AMAZING! They know every single thing about the venue and have answered all of your questions absolutely flawlessly. They’re an awesome human being, you get along so great and, even better, they tell you they’ll be there all night on your wedding day. “SWEET!”

Couples are thinking: “We’ve hit the jackpot".”

Venue Coordinators are thinking: “Why is this person emailing me about flowers…?”

The tough truth is, as much as your venue coordinator would love to help you out as much as they can, they already have a full time job. They’re juggling often 50+ weddings a year. They are there to oversee your day from a venue perspective to make sure you have everything contractually that you were promised from them— i.e. tables, chairs, a non-leaky tent, AC in your reception space, and golf cart rides for far away photos.

They are NOT there to manage/direct the rest of your vendor team (photographers, caterer, florist, ceremony musicians, band/DJ, rental company, transportation, hair and makeup artists, officiant, etc.) , set up your decor, keep track of time, manage your event flow, and/or bustle your dress. That’s simply not their role…but it’s perfect for a proper planner!

You feel me?

No. 3: The Right Planner Can Get You Vendor Perks And Privileges

How? Other vendors love other “good” vendors. These are people that they’ve grown to know and love, work with often throughout wedding season, and sometimes people they even happy hour with in the off season. We call each other “friendors” and we become one another’s wedding family.

When a planner sends you to one of their favorites, you’re treated extra special. You are an automatic extension of who they already know to be an awesome person, versus just one in the many inquiries they have coming in. With this comes extra perks—like complimentary items/services. Or privileges like what I tell my couples is the “Angelica discount”.

Some of my favorite go-to vendors will extend 5-15% discounts off of their regular priced product/services simply for my couples choosing to work with me. Knowing that my couples are in the hands of a great planner, they know in turn their jobs are going to be much easier. I streamline communication, get them all of the answers they need up front, and eliminate the worry of wedding day going to shambles with a less experienced (or simply no) planner.

No. 4: We Are The Expert In Our Field

Without wanting to be know-it-all’s…we really do know it all! Or if we don’t know it, we know someone who does.

Rather than spending your lunch hour or commercial breaks during Bachelor trolling Google for wedding related questions and hoping you get a somewhat decent answer, why not entrust your wedding to someone who actually has first hand experience? Better yet, why not entrust in someone who has first hand experience that you also really like? Aka your planner!

It’s taken us planners years, sometimes multiple decades, to develop the knowledge that we currently possess. Throughout those years, we’ve had many lessons learned simply by getting in there and doing it ourselves. I know for me, I learn something new from each wedding and each of my couples. What I learn, I think take with me to the next wedding and to my next couples. It’s a knowledge snowball, if you will. The more I plan, the better I get— and the better of a planner you’ll have from me in return!

No. 5: Your Guests Can Be Guests

When it comes to planning without a planner, you likely will feel super confident in the beginning. After all, you’re a detail oriented person, right? You consider yourself to be Type A and in your real life, you plan all of the things! So why can’t you plan you own wedding?

The truth is, you can. You can plan your own wedding all the way to wedding day itself. But then what happens when your role switches from “planner” to bride/groom?

All of a sudden you realize you can’t be waiting to walk down the aisle and also cue the musicians for your music change and grand entrance. You can’t ensure your signature cocktails are prepped and ready in 20 minutes because you’re busy marrying the love of your life. And how do you move ceremony chairs from the front lawn to reception space while you’re off taking pictures? Oh boy…things just got tricky.

Tasking these roles to friends and family seems like a fine solution. I mean, everyone keeps asking how they’re able to help you, right? But in reality when it comes to planning, you should let a professional take over. Why? Because everyone else that is a part of your wedding day already has a job. Your mom is there to stand by your side, your best friend is there to wipe your tears and hold up your dress when you need to use the bathroom, and the rest of your guests are there to shake their booties on the dance floor with you! 

Leave the logistics to your planner, and trust that they'll do everything within their magical planning powers to make sure you have the best day possible.

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Photo Credit: What Em Sees (top left), Nikkie Santerre Photography (right), Manali Photography (bottom left)