happy first anniversary, christine and mark!

One year ago today I spent a beautiful October Friday with a team of top-notch vendors celebrating the marriage of Christine Sherburne and Mark Flicker.

Mark & Christine wedding ceremony

I'm smiling just thinking back on it!  Christine and Mark surrounded themselves with family and friends, and there was so much love there that day that it felt like a big hug.  Exactly the way a wedding should be!

Christine and Mark also had a team of really excellent vendors behind the scenes bringing their wedding vision to life, and it was an honor to work with each and every one of them.  I'd be happy to team up with any of these talented wedding professionals again:

Ceremony and Reception Venue -- The Thomas Birkby House, Leesburg, Virginia

Gazebo at the Thomas Birkby House

Christine and Mark chose the Thomas Birkby House in Leesburg as the location for both their wedding ceremony and reception, and it was beautiful.  The Birkby House is about my favorite place for a single-location wedding.  The property features an historic home, a large formal tent, a gazebo, a carriage house, and a beautiful lawn with a patio, all in one location.  Everything is well-maintained, and the property is designed and managed with weddings and other large social events in mind.  There's even parking nearby!  The Birkby House has it all.

Band -- Holt 45, Philadephia, Pennsylvania

Holt 45

Christine and Mark live in Philadelphia, and they opted to have one of their favorite local Philly bands play their wedding.  It worked out so well!  Not only were they excellent musicians; they also really knew their way around a wedding.  They were able to work well with the flow of wedding events, they played a great mix of music, and they kept the dance floor packed and the wedding guests happy all night.  They even learned a new song just for Christine and Mark's first dance!  Thanks again for a job well done, guys.

Catering -- Basikneads Catering, Alexandria, Virginia

Mark & Christine wedding buffet

Basikneads is one of the Birkby House's approved caterers, and working with them was a wonderful experience.  They assigned a consultant to Christine and Mark who worked with them from start to finish.  We had tastings at Basikneads' Alexandria location (their tasting kitchen is gorgeous!), and the chef was very open to tweaking things to make them just right for the couple and the season.  On the wedding day, Basikneads sent enough staff to set everything up, serve, and break down efficiently; and everyone there was professional and unobtrusive.  And the food?  Delicious!

Floral Design -- Holly Heider Chapple, Leesburg, Virginia

Bride's bouquet by Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

Holly Chapple and her team are an institution in the D.C. area because of their ability to creatively express their couples' personalities through their floral designs, and because of their skills in incorporating so many unique blooms and accents -- many of them home- or locally-grown -- into their pieces.  For Christine and Mark's wedding, Holly created gorgeous designs featuring flowers and greens in rich autumn colors.  She also brought some pretty amazing antique wooden containers to build a multipart floral display for the ceremony background.  It was stunning.

Also stunning was the way Holly stepped in without being asked, when a key member of the wedding party had an emergency that prevented her from being present at the wedding, to take over some of the responsibilites that left open.  She's the kind of wedding professional who's always a joy to work with.

Be sure to click over to Holly's blog to read all about Christine and Mark's wedding from her perspective.

Photography -- Amir West of Photo Fanatic Photography, Herndon, Virginia

Mark & Christine's sparkler exit

In my opinion, a good photographer is one of the most important professionals you can hire on your wedding day, and Amir did a super job for Christine and Mark.  For example, look at the beautiful shot, above, of the sparkler exit at the end of the wedding night.  Not an easy shot to get, but Amir's picture is gorgeous.

In addition to being skilled technically, Amir and his assistant were always where they needed to be to get the shot, yet they were unobtrusive during the wedding and reception.  One of my favorite parts of each wedding is the anticipation of waiting to get the pro pictures from the photographer, and I remember being very pleasantly surprised when I saw all the great photos Amir and his assistant managed to get.  They captured the whole day, and they had fun doing it.

Be sure to head over to Amir's blog to check out more of his photos from Christine and Mark's wedding.

Wedding Pies -- Mom's Apple Pie Company, Leesburg, Virginia

Mom's Apple Pie Company (Leesburg, Virginia, location)

Christine and Mark chose to serve pies instead of cake, and they were a huge hit with everyone.  Mom's Apple Pie Company prides itself on using locally-grown ingredients whenever possible, so not only were the pies delicious, they were also a fun regional treat.  Locally-sourced foods are both a greener option and a unique way to share something you love about your hometown with your out-of-town guests.

Christine and Mark, I loved loved loved your wedding!  And I hope every day of your first year of marriage has been better than the last.  Much love and many blessings to you both, and may you enjoy a long and happy marriage!