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Personal Touches

by Abagail McCary Washington


As I sit to write this, espresso in hand, responding to messages and emails for upcoming weddings, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the honor of being involved in such intimate, special days. Over these last several years, I have fallen in love over and over again with these families that I’ve had the privilege of working with; and I would love to share with you a few inspirations I have gained.


Honoring Legacies


One of my favorite additions to a wedding reception is a memory table. For those whom we hold so dear and who are no longer physically with us on that special day, a memory table is a perfect way to honor their presence in our lives. Gather your favorite photographs of those loved ones or maybe pictures from their wedding day, and display them at the reception. Candles and a beautiful floral arrangement are a great addition to this special display.

 Recently, one of my couples had the most beautiful and unique guest book at their wedding—all the guests signed a quilt made by the groom’s grandmother. This is something they will treasure for a lifetime. With similar sentiment, one of my brides accented her bouquet with her grandmother’s rosary, a testament to the love and faith of her grandmother. Such details as these are the ones that make the wedding day so memorable. Although these touches may not be something that guests notice, these complements are important to the bride and groom; and that is what matters most.


Bringing Two Families Together


One of my brides designed the most adorable family crest for her and her husband. They used the crest on all sorts of items for the wedding from invitations to glassware. I loved the unity it gave to the event. As a bonus, the newlyweds could use their new crest on a variety of occasions.

 A first for me (and I hope not a last), one of my couples had their pups, one representing the bride and the other representing the groom, in the ceremony—a special addition to the joining of two families. And it was everything you can imagine. I think these pups stole several hearts that day, too.


Simple Additions. Big Impact.


Lighting is such a key factor in the overall ambience of an event. Candles can transpire a table from something fabulous to something over the top. Lining window sills or mantels with pillar candles brings all the drama without a huge price tag. There are endless ways to light your event—from bistro lighting, chandeliers, and uplighting, to the lighting your band may bring to crank the party to that next level. If your venue doesn’t allow actual candles, have no fear; there are now effective flameless options that won’t go out at the first gust of wind! Be sure not to over look the impact these additions can make.


Having a wedding during the day and feeling like you are missing out on the magic of lighting? I recently had a bride schedule her ceremony time at the exact time of day that the church’s stained glass was brilliantly illuminated by the sun and set a glow over the entire ceremony. Talk about impact.


Lastly and most importantly, it is your day so cater it to you. Don’t feel the need to follow trends or what your best friend is doing. You do you as a couple! That way, when you look back, you will know the day was stamped one hundred percent by your likes and tastes!


I hope these few inspirations have given you some ideas for your big day. Thanks for reading along, and I wish you a New Year filled with lots of love and happiness!

XOXO, à deux


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