atlantaskylineRecently, I shared that Events by Sofia was moving to Atlanta, GA and here we are!

The last 3 weeks since we moved, have been a whirlwind, but we are slowly getting settled. One of the main reasons for the move was to be near family, so while I do miss DC (especially our friends…) it’s been extremely nice to live near loved ones.

I will definitely continue event planning here in Atlanta and I’m excited to start discovering new vendors, venues (I just found out you can get married at the Aquarium!) and meeting new people. If you have any suggestions and/or advice, please let me know!

Some fun facts:

  • There are more than 65 streets with the word Peachtree in Atlanta
  • In Atlanta, it is illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp
  • The official state fish is the largemouth bass

Atlanta skyline poster: Etsy

“This is 2014, people. If Americans can send a robot to roam Mars, why can’t we create a functional, easy-to-use, search engine for wedding and event venues that has all the info you’d ever need?”

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Q&A with Lauren Wolfe, CEO of Partyista –

How did you first come up with the idea for Partyista?
I planned a lot of events for my last job but it was always so difficult – you couldn’t find basic information about the venues online, you couldn’t sort by size, there seemed to be no comprehensive list of places, etc. I set off creating my own list and then I put everything online with Partyista.

How many venues have you visited? 
Oh gosh. I haven’t kept count but in working in DC and with Partyista, I’ve visited well over 100 venues.

Most unique venue you have visited so far?
People are always looking for something a little different to make their day stand out. In the DC area one of my favorites is the Woodend Sanctuary in Maryland. I really liked it because it is so close to DC, but it feels like you are in the middle of a forest with all of the deer running around. I just got back from a weekend visiting Cape Cod and a new restaurant here, The Canteen, has a small backyard beach space that is available for events. The casual beachy theme with all of the string lights is gorgeous and straight out of Pinterest.

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(The Canteen in Provincetown, MA)

Top 3 things to look for in a venue:
1) Size. First, know how many people you want to invite BEFORE you look for a venue. That way you can narrow your search based off of capacity limitations.
2) Cost. How much is this really going to cost? Is the cost of this venue JUST the space? Do you have to pay to bring in all food, chairs, plates, etc? Or does the venue cover the space, the dance floor, the food, the tables, etc? Really look at what the “price” entails. Paying for all of these additional things could easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars!
3) Fun. Does this venue fit you? Would you be proud of having an event here? Like I said, a gorgeous hotel ballroom would professionally take care of everything for you but it might not be the vibe you are looking for. If you love camping, consider having your wedding or big event at a campground. If you love traveling, consider going to Mexico (or anywhere) to have your wedding. If you love art, consider getting married in an art gallery. Make the event a fun reflection of your style.

What is your favorite DC venue?
It certainly isn’t easy to pick just one, but I do have to say for a big event, The Carnegie Institution of Science is a crowd favorite. I’ve had many couples get married there and they all rave about how gorgeous it is – and right in the middle of DC! If you are looking for a funkier space, The Long View Gallery just added on and now it is able to host events with up to 600 people!

If there was one venue you could visit, anywhere in the world, which one would it be and why?
I absolutely love traveling and I’ve been to 70 countries so picking just one destination is very difficult for me. I’d say that there are thousands of gorgeous, relatively inexpensive beach wedding opportunities nearby in Mexico. If you have family and friends in Boston, DC, Seattle and St. Louis, it could be easier to gather in Mexico than picking a coast! If your friends are members of the Forbes 500 list, you could always fly your private plane to the Maldives. The Maldives is a chain of gorgeous tropical islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I’ve never been (one day!) but I can’t imagine a more secluded and luxurious place to have a destination wedding.

Aerial shot of our hotel

 

(Photo courtesy of The Conrad Maldives Rangali)

We know you are revamping your site soon, we’d love to hear more about what exciting things we can expect!
Currently, Partyista is only available in the Washington, DC area. Right now you can search for venues in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. We are currently working on building up our lists so that you will soon be able to search for venues across the country. We currently have 20,000 venues listed and we are excited to get the huge list up for everyone to search!

It was such a pleasure getting to know Kate and Josh, a darling, down to earth couple, who met in San Francisco and share a love for the Beatles!

When asked to describe their wedding style, they mentioned “Love in Bloom” and “Classic, Spring Garden” and this was exactly what their beautiful, Mother’s Day wedding turned out to be.

The wedding ceremony took place at First Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, MD and reception at the beautiful, Historic London Town and Gardens, overlooking the South River. It was definitely a day full of love and sweetness (literally, the candy bar was made up of 46lbs of treats!)

DSC_5114  FPicMonkey Collage

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“Ain’t got nothing but love babe, eight days a week” – The Beatles

Photos: Hamilton Photography

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I can’t believe it’s been a year since Events by Sofia was born! I feel extremely lucky to be able to do what I love. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
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To celebrate, my sweet friend Regina sent me a virtual (she lives in Mexico) mini chocolate chip funfetti cake. My only complaint is that I cannot eat it! If you’d like the recipe, check out her baking blog, Rejinilla. I love that the recipe only makes two cakes, for those times when you are craving something sweet, but don’t want to end up with a whole batch (well…you do, but…you don’t).
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Onto year two!
dc-elopements-popwedco-btIf you have ever considered eloping (I mean, who hasn’t?), I’d love to introduce you to Maggie! She and her partner are offering a whole new way of tying the knot. Sorry courthouse, you have been replaced.
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“Pop Wed Co. is photographer Maggie Winters and wedding officiant Steven Gaudaen creating the most awesome elopements and popup weddings in Washington, DC. Our DC elopement package includes a popup wedding ceremony at a fun & photogenic location, plus photography of the ceremony, a creative wedding day portrait session & other fun stuff. The whole shebang lasts just over an hour on one special day a month!”
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1. How did you first come up with the idea for Pop Wed Co?
I have photographed elopements and intimate weddings for over three years — they’re the majority of my weddings. After being a part of many couples’ wedding days and fielding so many questions about where they should get married and where we should take photos (especially from out of town couples), I realized we are uniquely positioned to help couples plan awesome weddings that will be both fun & photogenic. Since we’re local, we know lots of awesome spots, and we take care of all the paperwork and courthouse stuff so that couples can just show up in awesome outfits and have a wedding day that’s stress free & full of love!
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2. How did you come up with the company name?
We talked about a lot of different names (it’s my least favorite part!) but we kept coming back to our main offering: popup weddings. Some are elopements, some are intimate weddings, but all of them are done in public places where weddings don’t normally take place — so we thought Pop Wed Co spoke to that in a fun way.
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3. Favorite spot in DC?
That’s a tricky question! I’m not sure, but I think the most amazed I’ve ever been by a location would be the Blind Whino building, painted by HENSE, where we did our first Pop Wed Co wedding. I just love the artwork so much, I wanted to hug the building when I saw it!
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4. Most unique elopement so far? 
I think all of our elopements are unique in their own way; no two weddings are ever the same! We had a ceremony at the Spanish Steps where we attracted a bunch of passers-by who ended up congratulating the couple and were so happy for them — that’s always a fun part about having popup weddings! And of course, photographing in new locations is always a treat (that rainbow building! Seriously!)
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5. If you were going to elope anywhere in the world (DC excluded), where would you do it?
Hmm, I’m not sure. DC is my hometown and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else!
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Photography: Maggie Winters