Chapter Nine: Videograper captures Demogorgon

The wedding industry has about as many elements as the newest season of Stranger Things. What heat is to removing Demogorgon’s from bodies– videographers are to capturing wedding day bliss. Aka, IMPORTANT. If I lost you, please, enlighten yourself with this binge-worthy Netflix hit. Intrigued in hearing more reasons to hire a videographer for the big day? Continue reading.

Biggest determining question that comes into play when deciding to hire a videographer: Budget.

Like many integral wedding vendors, they can be expensive. They create a product that encapsulates one of the most important days in a couple’s life; which validates the cost of this quality component. If it’s too much of a stretch to hire a videographer, totally understandable. Most of the couples I work with don’t have one. There is no shame in re-living the day through your snap chat video roll. It is 2019, after all.

However, if you are able to cover the expense, do it. Here’s why:

Remembering Details (Particularly Toasts & First Dances)

Being able to watch your wedding video is like getting to experience your own wedding as a guest.  I have been helping plan and coordinate weddings for a year now, and toasts will forever be my favorite moment of the night. They grasp the story of the couple through hilarious memories, sentimental words and genuine emotion. The words from toasts and vows can always be preserved on paper but don’t compare to seeing the delivery. Watching your first dance or when Uncle Jim roasts the groom can be a special way to share an anniversary or make a typical Thursday night a little more romantic.  

Accommodating Friends Near & Far   

Hiring a videographer is a great way to allow those who were unable to attend to experience your wedding. This is especially beneficial for couples who have a smaller guest count or a destination wedding where inviting everyone isn’t an option. From the flush on a bride’s face as she anxiously places her veil, to the flower girl throwing out rose petals, to the moment the newlyweds smash cake in one another’s faces—all moments can be easily shared to your friends from college you didn’t have the budget for but want to keep them included.

Variety of Vendors  

The wedding industry has grown significantly in the last decade. There are more details and DIY Wedding Pinterest boards than ever. This can seem overwhelming at times; however, it can also function as a blank canvas with unlimited amounts of color and paint to create a wedding Mona Lisa. With that said, there are a lot of moving pieces. All it takes is a curious mindset, a leap of faith and a budget.

Society has become obsessed with the resources and creativity that goes into putting on a production of this caliber, henceforth why I became a wedding planner in the first place. From finding the perfect dress, to hotel accommodations to make-up and hair—there are so many options for finding the right vendor to be a piece to the day; videographers are no exception.

Research is key when searching for videographers. Components like venue, guest count and personal connection with the vendor are things to consider when reaching out to videographers. You want to make sure they are trustworthy and communicative so they know what you are envisioning.

For those now interested and looking, we have a few preferred Videographer vendors we use at Celebrations. They are listed below and have done incredible work and are known amongst our staff.

Chris Yeatts with CY Wedding Films:

Ginger with Chic Wedding Day Films:

Until next time,


Post Eight: Wedding Nails- Finessed

What do all wedding photos and memories have in common? Attention to detail. Everything from a special hair pin to the invitations hold significant meaning to the couple and overall presentation of the day. Another element that is bound to show up in many wedding photos? Wedding nails! With many trending nail styles and Pinterest boards to pull inspiration from, here are some general tips and popular trends to NAIL your wedding vision. See what I did there…

Okay first, don’t step out of your comfort zone when it comes to length. No bride wants to feel like they can’t pick up anything and fumble their way through cocktail hour. If you want long nails for your wedding, try them out two weeks in advance to acclimate.

Next, before selecting your color of choice, test it out in different lighting. A color in fluorescent lighting can be an entirely different color in the sunlight. It’s always good to make sure you enjoy the color in both settings.

Lastly, bring the bottle of nail polish with you to your venue in case you need an emergency touch up. The last thing you need to be worrying about is a chipped pinky nail. Honestly, no one else would probably notice, but for your sake, have it with you for peace of mind.

Now, let’s talk trends.

French ombré

This is such a fun twist on a classic look. It’s simple but not boring; subtle but elegant. This hot trend also pairs well with any color scheme, so you can’t go wrong.

Pops of Color

A bride’s “something blue” momento can be anything- nails included! Don’t be afraid to stray from tradition. If it’s the color you want on your nails for your wedding, it’s officially a wedding nail color!


As a bride, you are already the star of the show, so you might as well SHINE. Chrome nails are eye catching and can be done in any color. If you’re afraid of blinding your guests with your nails, consider using chrome for a few accent nails.


This is becoming a trendy look for all occasions. Don’t be afraid to try nails with texture! It can look intimidating at first, but technically, you only need every single piece of applique to stay on until the big day is over. Your wedding is the perfect excuse to justify trying nails you normally wouldn’t, as long as you are comfortable. And yes, nails like these can be considered accessories.

Bling out the Classics

This trend allows for a great way to keep it simple without feeling blasé. Add a few rhinestones to a neutral shade or slap on a glitter topcoat. This is also something you can easily do at home!

You have the right to be as extra or as traditional as you want! Just remember that your choice will live on forever in your wedding photos, so don’t brush it off as an unimportant detail just because it’s something so small. Embrace the trends and finesse whatever look feels uniquely yours.


Post Seven: Bridesmaids as Fine as Wine

Bridesmaids play an integral role in a bride’s wedding experience. The time, planning, money, long nights spent on DIY projects and overall emotional support of bridesmaids can ease tension and day-of nerves. It’s important to keep the spotlight on the bride, of course, but equally as important to make sure the bridal party also feels beautiful.

So brides, keep this in mind when deciding what bridesmaids dress color will flatter them while giving your wedding a clean, cohesive aesthetic. Is the decision stressing you out? Let’s talk wine. Pour a glass and consider these wine-inspired colors for your lovely ladies.

Pic Credit: Google


Any leading lady will be looking pretty in pink wearing blush gowns. This flattering and feminine shade looks great and goes well with any color scheme. Blush brings out the natural flush in your face no matter the skin tone and has a simplistic finish that adds a special POP to make-up, jewelry and accessories.


A bold, rich burgundy is a romantic color that will instantly evoke the feeling of love in the air. Generally, more saturated colors work best on a variety of skin tones, so this color will ensure everyone feeling beautiful. This color also stands out beautifully next to a glowing bride, particularly with an autumn landscape in the background.  


Blessed Beginnings Photography

Champagne-colored dresses are timeless and neutral. They have a sophisticated look that pairs well with any venue and easily accessorized to let each lady add a bit of their own flair. Champagne gowns tend to look good on everyone, meaning there will be less complaining and more champagne-ing, as most people will not have an issue wearing this color.


We’re talking full-bodied purple, eggplant realness. Another very saturated color to flatter an array of skin tones, while illuminating the bride in stark contrast.


Ultimately, nobody knows the vision for a wedding better than the couple. Asking loved ones to be part of a wedding is an honor in itself, so at the end of the day as long as a gown or dress or tux brings joy, all parties involved will rock that ensemble with a smile.

If you are a bride who is having difficulty deciding on a dress or style for your bridesmaids, we hope these wine-inspired options find you with optimism. On behalf of the team of Celebrations, we love a tall glass of wine every now and then… sometimes you can’t go wrong with vino aesthetics.


Post Six: Origins of Wedding Traditions

Everyone knows the popular wedding traditions and superstitions, but have you ever considered where they came from? Many couples embrace them because it’s custom, but what we often neglect to realize is some of these common traditions have very literal and unique backstories.

1. Matching Bridesmaids Dresses

The tradition of bridesmaids wearing matching gowns dates all the way back to Roman times, during which people believed evil spirits would attend the wedding in attempt to curse the bride and groom. So not only did the bridesmaids match each other, but they would dress exactly like the bride in attempt to outsmart the spirits and keep them from figuring out which woman in the group was getting married. Nowadays, heaven forbid anyone else wear white to YOUR wedding, let alone the same dress!

2. “Tying the Knot”

Most people don’t question the phrase “tying the knot,” because it makes sense in terms of marriage. What people don’t know is that back in Roman times, a common custom was to quite literally tie the bride and groom’s hands together during the ceremony. The couple could not be released from this knot until their marriage was official. This is a tradition practiced in many cultures around the world — including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings to symbolize the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond.

3. Tying Cans to Newlywed’s Bumper

The tradition of cans tied to the bumper arose from the French custom of “charivari,” which was a celebration that took place on the night before the wedding. Friends and family of the betrothed would walk down the streets banging pots and pans to make as much noise as possible throughout the village in an effort to scare away evil spirits. The clanging noise of the cans tied to a bumper mimic the sounds of the charivari, but allow for much more beauty sleep on the night prior to your big day.

6. The Best Man

Back in the day, being someone’s college roommate was not enough to qualify for the position of best man. Being the best man entailed being the strongest and most capable companion when it came to using a sword to fight off enemies during the ceremony. Also, the best man was in charge of making sure the bride didn’t escape or get snatched away by her disapproving parents. So, for all the best men out there sweating the toast they’re expected to give at the wedding, you got off easy compared to best men in the past.

5. The Kiss

The classic line, “you may now kiss the bride” arose from a custom in which the priest gives a holy “kiss of peace” to the groom, who would then pass the kiss on to the bride. This was done to bless the marriage inside of the church. If this bit of information causes you to picture the priest kissing your groom during your ceremony, I’m terribly sorry.

6. The First Look

So why exactly is it considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding ceremony? This tradition came from arranged marriages, where it was believed that if a bride and groom met each other prior to the big day, it would give them time to call off the wedding if they didn’t like what they saw. Nowadays, chances are your sweetheart has seen you on your too-tired-to-care days (sweatpants, messy bun, you know the look) so it’ll be much harder to scare them off.

7. The Ring Finger

Out of ten fingers, all perfectly capable of wearing rings, why was the fourth finger on the left hand designated the ring finger?  It was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. The myth has since been debunked, but the tradition lives on.

Regardless of the bizarre roots of these traditions, they are still fun and aren’t going away any time soon! I think we can all feel grateful that they have become more reasonable with time, and that those wedding-crasher spirits must have found something better to do.

Post Five: Dessert Galore

A special part of our job at Celebrations is coordinating key elements to create weddings that fit uniquely to couples’ personalities, while also indulging in their personal styles and delicacies.

Couples want to make their wedding as personal and customized to their love story as possible, including their choice of dessert. In todays wedding culture there are more options than ever for dessert, and it has been a real TREAT to witness this evolution.  

Here are a few of our favorite dessert ideas with mentions of preferred vendors that bring these delights to life.  

1. Wedding Cake w/ a Twist

Many times couples still want to do somewhat of a traditional cake cutting ceremony, while still having their own personal twist. Playing with color, texture or overall design is a great way to do this. Picking the right vendor to match your vision and aesthetic is key.

Vendor: Delectable Desserts- Artistic Cakes by Chris & Anne

Photos: Valerie Demo Photography

2. Cupcakes

Yes, yes and yes.

Bite-sized, minimal mess, display looks amazing AND there are endless options for flavors and themes; cupcakes are making a name for themselves in the wedding world.

Preferred Vendors: Pearl’s Bake Shoppe & Shyndigz

3. Dessert Bar

A little bit of everything- check!

When a bride and groom are undecided or want different treats, this is a perfect option. Not to mention, if guest counts includes people with dietary restrictions, having a dessert bar is a fun way to accommodate all.

Preferred Vendors: Sweet Fix, Carytown Cupcakes & Baker’s Kitchen

Post Four: Brides on a Budget

Many couples stick to a strict budget when it comes to wedding planning. They pick four to five elements to allocate majority of funds on, and then frugally go through the motions until the big day arrives. However, in a world of Pinterest DIY’s, royal weddings and floral backdrops; it is easy to lose track of financial reality.

Here are a few ways brides on a budget can cut costs while still executing wedding day bliss:

Cut your Guest Count:Many couples don’t realize how much money they save on cutting their guest count. Keeping it intimate by only inviting family and close friends saves a drastic amount of money on food, beverages and other resources (tables, décor, etc.) Not to mention, it allows the bride and groom to spend more quality time with those that are there while still absorbing the moment. It may be difficult to not include everyone, but don’t forget this is YOUR day. No one else’s.   

Toss the Favors: More recently we have noticed wedding favors losing popularity. While favors deem significant meaning to some, most couples look at wedding favors as something they “should” do. Unless it is an absolute must, don’t fund the favors. That keychain or wine glass with your name on it could potentially be forgotten at the venue or never picked up during cocktail hour. Use that money on something more meaningful, such as your bridal gown, or save it.

Day After Brunch- Nope: Of course this is a great gesture if your budget allows; maybe your family or friends have traveled far and wide to see you exchange vows and this allows more quality time with them. But, if you are already financially strapped- kick this idea to the curb. You will already be serving your guests plenty of food and drinks and with a smaller guest count, you are able to make your rounds encompassing quality conversations and memories.

DIY in Moderation: Do it yourself crafts can add significant personality and charm to your wedding. No doubt about it. However, in today’s Pinterest board world where kudos are thrown around like confetti to anyone with the best DIY wedding projects, it can add a lot of pressure to any bride. Be moderate with your DIY vision. Focus on two to three DIY projects for your wedding that will make a big effect and then LET IT GO. Ask a few friends or family members to help you in executing these projects and don’t take on too much alone. That is how a bride can become very burnt out and spend more on useless craft supplies than expected. Remember this day is about you and your spouse, not your Pinterest feed.

Post Three: Q&A

Q&A—Christina Meyer

As someone who has been working in the wedding industry since graduating college, Christina Meyer, a lead event coordinator and wedding planner at Celebrations at the Reservoir, is a fundamental piece in the company’s success.

Christina has been planning weddings for eight years, but this past weekend was a wedding especially unique. One of the most significant weddings she has planned thus far: her own.

The following is a Q&A detailing a few elements of her wedding planning process, the insights she has gained from her work experience and how it has all impacted her own wedding vision.

How many weddings have you planned?

“At least 100 per year.. and this is my 8th year.. so at least 850? Wow that’s crazy.”

What is the best part of what you do?

“Honestly, the co workers I get to plan with are the best part. We are such a team here and the visions we bring to life every weekend are incredible.”   

Is it hard to separate work/life balance when constantly catering to brides and families?

“I have learned to completely take Mondays off for self-care and to recharge for the upcoming week. I also make sure to plan date nights.”

Are plus ones necessary?

“It depends how long they’ve been dating, or, it depends on how close you are with that person. So if it’s a bridesmaid with a boyfriend, I would include her invitation with a plus one.”  

How did you feel once you were engaged and it was time to start planning your own wedding? What did you do first?

“I was so excited. I immediately booked all of my vendors, I know who I love from working in this industry which is great.. and I really just soaked in the moment of being cute and engaged. Two months ago is when I really went into planning mode for my own wedding day (laughing) that sounds bad but I had to get through the rest of wedding season before thinking about my own.”

Why did you pick to have your own wedding at Celebrations at the Reservoir (the place you work)?

“I couldn’t imagine it anywhere else. This is my second home and the staff here is my family.”

Band or DJ?

“Live music during ceremony and DJ for dancing and reception.”

Has being a wedding planner made it easy to envision your own wedding?  

“No, it has not. I have seen so many different and beautiful options: from outdoor waterfront BBQ’s to elegant black tie affairs, I have seen and loved it all, so I did have a hard time nailing down my aesthetic. But, in the end, I went with a theme I love: winter wonderland. I wanted to feel like a Christmas bride.”

Last minute advice for brides that you were happy to hear on your big day?

“Take it in because it goes so fast and good God, don’t sweat the small stuff.”

And a Christmas bride, she was.


Celebrations Column

Post Two: Wedding Safety Tips

Most days at Celebrations, or any wedding venue, are days of productivity. Some days are short; a matter of finalizing details and answering last minute questions. Other days are long; very, very long. Working tirelessly to execute every idea, vision, and unique request in the best way to reach our ultimate goal: wedding day bliss.

The moment when two hearts are vowed to become one. Where tears are shed, champagne is popped and memories are made.

At Celebrations, we don’t promise to make one of the most important days come to life, we fight for it.

But like the weather, there are some things that go beyond our control. There are some things that put a damper on a big day no matter how many check lists we knock out. And as detrimental as a hurricane can be on a wedding, so can crime.

Unfortunately, our venue has recently fallen victim to theft. Our owners are taking the necessary precautions to prevent future incidents by installing additional security cameras throughout the property and doubling up on security officers during events. In addition to these measures, we also wanted to highlight a few tips on preventing theft from happening to our guests and wedding parties:

  1. Keep Personal Belongings in Your Possession

This may be a no-brainer, but it is very easy to leave a purse or valuable item out of sight while you go to say hello to a loved one or use the restroom. This offers a perfect opportunity for theft. Having a satchel or body bag and keeping things in your pockets at all times is highly recommended.

  1. Lock Vehicles

Sadly, having possessions in a locked car isn’t enough precaution these days. We suggest keeping purses or electronics hidden minimizing opportunities of break-in.

  1. Locked Card Box

We recommend bride and groom bring a box for cards that LOCKS and can only be opened with a key once the event is over.

  1. Guest Book and Gift Table Attendant

This is a person that is trustworthy and can keep an eye on the gifts and card table throughout the night. This person can also welcome in guests, show them where the guestbook is and then point them in the direction of the ceremony. They serve as a sense of security while also adding flow to the beginning of the event.

  1. Fire Hazards

An obvious sentiment, but a reminder to be mindful of fire pits, candle decor and proper use of sparklers.


Photo: Eastbrook Photography

All in all, we hope these tips and enforcing more necessary precautions add to overall safety and enjoyment for more weddings and events to come at Celebrations.


Celebrations Staff






Post One: Top 5 Fall Wedding Trends


Something Borrowed, Something Burlap


Here at Celebrations, it is no surprise that one of our busiest months for weddings is October. A month that encompasses Virginia’s beautiful fall foliage and brings cozy wedding trends. We have seen everything from DIY apple cider stations to barrels filled with blankets for outdoor ceremonies, but here are our top five faves from this season:

(All pictures taken from Celebration events by staff or collaborating photographers.)

PUMPKINS: These orange, white (sometimes burgundy- you never know) accents don’t just serve a purpose on front porches or stoops, but make a wedding decor staple. Whether they are centerpieces or simply staged around florals, they add significant fall aesthetic.


Photo: Serena Rose by Jamie

LANTERNS: As set-up coordinator I have come hand-in-hand (literally) with this fall trend. Celebrations allows rental pieces for several decor options including a variation of lanterns. The simple black and white (medium-sized) lanterns have been a hot commodity this season for their classic ambiance in any indoor or outdoor site.


AUTUMN FLORALS: Hues of yellow, rose gold and greenery. Simple touches of fall florals create a warm feel in many ways. We have seen cakes with rosy accents, tables covered in lush moss and gorgeous bouquets with pale autumn shades.



Bridal party photo: Natalie Jayne Photography


MUMS: Much like pumpkins, our fall brides have been specifically requesting Mums for wedding day. Particularly near ceremony archways, seating arrangements or next to DIY chalkboards- they add the perfect fall POP.


MASHED POTATO BAR: This trend will be making you rethink your Keto diet. Bring on the sour cream and crock pots because this is a fall wedding trend that keeps guests happy while also being completely customizable.


We hope this has put you in a pumpkin spice mood ~  Stay tuned for more Celebrations wedding tidbits to come.