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EBE Vendor Feature: J&J Studios, LLC

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, Spotlights, EBE News, Vendor Features

In our industry, it’s impossible to execute an incredible event without the help of other dynamic vendors. In our Vendor Features, we learn more about the people who we love to work with event after event, and year after year. Next up is John Ryan, Co-Owner of J&J Studios, LLC.

John Ryan started J&J Studios in 2011 with the original intent to provide premier event coverage of various collegiate events. He was very involved in ballroom dance, and wanted to provide competition photographs for his team. It grew very rapidly from there to include corporate events, weddings, portraits, and headshots.

Recently J&J Studios has incorporated videography and aerial services into their offerings and became licensed drone pilots!

I was able to sit down with John to ask him a few questions… check it out!

What makes J&J Studios, LLC stand out next to companies like it?

We have an “all in” approach to business. We are full-service so we keep our production, editing, and delivery all in house. Our customer service is almost instantaneous. When you message us, you get a response in minutes.

What is your favorite type of event?

Weddings for sure. I get to be a product, portrait, lifestyle, glamour, boudoir, family, and documentary photographer all in the space of 10 minutes.

Favorite Wedding Month?

October

What is your Best Advice for Potential Clients?

Make sure to meet your photographer in person. There’s no substitute for clicking with your photographer.

What is your Favorite thing to do in Philadelphia?

Eat, of course! Huge foodie here. I love Talula’s Garden, Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Vetri, Volver, Fork, Vernick, Zahav, among others.

What is your Zodiac Sign?

Aquarius

What is your Favorite Movie?

Deadpool, John Wick Movies, Matrix

What motivates you to work hard?

Nothing better than working for yourself. I think this can’t be stressed enough. Working for someone else is never quite as enjoyable. It also keeps you accountable. Now any failure and any success is based on you and your work. The buck starts here and the buck stops here.

What wedding trends are you loving?

Love the return to vibrant, bold, “contrasty” images.

What wedding trends are you ready to see go away?

Light and Airy Images

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

I can dance and play piano pretty well. I love playing Billy Joel, Elton John, and The Beatles.

What is your Go-to at Karaoke?

Journey – Don’t Stop Believing

If you could join any past or present music group, which would you want to join?

U2. Hands down.

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your company?

We love what we do, wouldn’t want it any other way.

Show us some photos of your work!




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The Most Beautiful Streets in Philadelphia to Take Engagement Photos

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

We may be biased, but we think that Philadelphia is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. It is filled with old-world charm, rich history, and a contemporary artsy vibe that many adore. Aside from the well-known areas like Love Park, Rittenhouse Square, and the Schuylkill River Trail that many folks seem to flock to for engagement and wedding photos, there are some hidden gems that we think are equally, if not more beautiful to set the stage.

Elfreth’s Alley

Photo by Peach Plum Pear Photo

This historic hidden gem is one of the nation’s oldest streets dating to 1702. The oldest home on the street was built in 1728! Located between Second Street and the Delaware River, this narrow road provides the perfect backdrop for taking engagement photos with the beautiful brick homes and cobblestone road. Pro tip: Hit the street at sunrise to avoid the tourists and to catch that beautiful dawn light.

Delancey Street

Photo by MLE Pictures

Located in Rittenhouse Square, the 1900 block of Delancey Street offers picturesque views of Philadelphia that are perfect for engagement photos. Many of the brick homes were built in the 1800s, bringing charm and history to photos. If you love Philadelphia, Delancey Street is the ideal locale for your engagement photoshoot.

Addison Street

Photo by We Laugh We Love Photography

Looking for that small town feel in the big city? The 1700 block of Addison Street is just the ticket for your engagement photos. Beautiful trees donned with string lights that line the street provide the perfect amount of twinkle to your photos. This street is especially dreamy during the snow covered holiday season. It is perfectly picturesque!

Quince Street

Photo by Swiger Photography

Between Locust and Spruce Street in Center City, Quince Street is hiding. We spoke to Amanda Swiger, Wedding and Boudoir Photographer, and she told us, “Quince is a super cute little side street, with a cobblestone ground, adorable houses, and its extra perfect in the fall! Philly’s Gayborhood has some other awesome spots within walking distance of this street, and it’s my favorite hidden gem of the city!”

Did you take engagement photos on one of these beautiful streets? If so, we would love to see them! Contact us today! 

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Top Philly Bachelor Party Spots

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

The cake is ordered. The table linens are picked out. The venue is set and the tuxedos arranged. Everything is planned to the letter for the wedding of a lifetime and it is time to have one last hurrah before a lifetime of wedded bliss begins. Philadelphia is the perfect city to enjoy a night out on the town for a bachelor party. We have compiled a list of the best spots to hit, in order, for an unforgettable bachelor party.

Stay at The Rittenhouse Hotel.

@the_rittenhouse | www.rittenhousehotel.com

The night is young! Start off the party in the classiest way possible by booking your rooms at The Rittenhouse Hotel. The stunning rooms are upwards of 600 square feet, and feature marble bathrooms and the most comfortable beds that you will ever sleep in. Before heading out, get a fresh cut and shave at the on-site barber shop, then sip top-shelf whiskey at the Library Bar. This sophisticated hotel is the perfect spot for a gentlemen’s party getaway and is worth every penny.

Enjoy a smoke at Ashton Cigar Bar.

@ashtoncigarbar | www.ashtoncigarbar.com

Whiskey and cigars? Yes, please! This incredible bar features over 330 different whiskeys to taste and over 100 different types of cigars to sample. This unique bar is one of a kind in Philadelphia: It is the only bar in the city that is legally allow cigar smoking on its premises. Have a party guest that doesn’t smoke? No problem. Their air purifiers are top notch and vent the smoke out to keep all guests happy.

Eat a meal at Butcher Bar.

@butcherbarphl | www.butcherbarphilly.com

If you’re a meat eater, this is the spot for you! Butcher Bar, located a few blocks from Ashton Cigar Bar, has an outstanding food & bar menu. You can even opt for “The Trough”, which consists of rotisserie chicken, assorted house-made sausages, Chef’s choice cut of meat, wild boar ribs, royale with cheese, house-smoked bacon, korean short ribs, house-cut fries, and grilled pita. If you have a larger group of people, they also offer private party menus!

Play some games at Lucky Strike.

@luckystrikeent | www.luckystrikesocial.com

Grab your buddies and bowl a few rounds, then head on over to the bar area to enjoy a couple of beers. This unique spot is perfect for everyone – the game area and bar are separate so the gents that want to play can indulge and those that don’t can enjoy the great selections at the bar.

 

Did you choose to spend your bachelor party at one of these top Philadelphia spots? If so, contact us to let us know!

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Wedding Venue Spotlight: Bartram’s Garden

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Philadelphia is filled with rich history at every corner. A hidden gem and treasure of Philadelphia, Bartram’s Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the nation.

Photo by Peach Plum Pear Photography

Bartram’s Garden kicked off a legacy when botanist John Bartram purchased over 100 acres of land in 1728. Nearly 25 years later, he literally grew an empire of plants with the most comprehensive collection of North American plants in the world. Mr. Bartram was a friend of a well-known Philadelphian, Benjamin Franklin, and specialized in trading plants and seeds worldwide. In 1891, the garden was preserved by the city of Philadelphia as a park, and became a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Bartram’s Gardes sets the scene perfectly for an outdoor wedding with a backdrop of the Philadelphia city skyline. With spaces that can be transitioned for cocktail hour or even relaxing and fun lawn games, Bartram’s Garden is easily customizable to fit your wedding needs. The Eastwick Pavilion that overlooks the river can entertain up to 350 guests. Their dedicated event planners are there to help you discover and maximize the beauty of the garden to make your event spectacular.

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

We spoke with Joe Napoli, EBE’s Director of Business Development, about choosing Bartram’s Garden as a wedding venue. He told us that the Spring and Fall are the ideal times to get married at Bartram’s Garden and said, “the Ceremony and cocktail hour are best outdoors, so choose a temperate time of year.” He also added that his favorite part of performing at events at Bartram’s Garden is the newly added reception area.

The mission of hosting events at Bartram’s Garden is vitally important to support the legacy of John Bartram and his dream of keeping the garden alive: “to protect and enhance this unique space; to advance Bartram’s legacy of discovery, gardening and art; and to inspire visitors to care for the natural world.”

When you are ready to visit Bartram’s Garden to take a tour to prepare for your event, you can visit their website to learn more.

Photo by Shannon Collins Photography

Did you host your wedding at Bartram’s Garden? If so, contact us! We would love to hear all about it.

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Invite A Philadelphia Mascot To Attend Your Wedding

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Philadelphia is famous for quite a few things like cheese steaks, the LOVE statue, and being the City of Brotherly Love to name a few. However, the one thing that the rest of the country knows is that Philadelphians love their sports teams. If you are getting married in the Philadelphia area and are as passionate about the Eagles, 76ers, Flyers, or Phillies, then we have just the ticket for you to bring your wedding reception to the next level.

Did you know that you can hire Philly mascots to attend your wedding? We’ve got the inside scoop on everything you need to know about ensuring this VIP guest attends one of the biggest events in your life.

The Philadelphia Eagles

Meet Swoop, the most famous eagle on the East coast! In order for Swoop to attend your wedding, you need to plan ahead by filling out this form about 3 months before your wedding event. Having Swoop appear at your wedding will run you about $400, so make sure that you fit him into your entertainment budget!

The Philadelphia Phillies

The big green guy that attends all of the Phillies games is known as the Philly Phanatic. He is highly in demand and does most of his work attending Phillies games and charity events. However, he does leave a little wiggle room to attend a limited number of weddings each year. The fee for requesting attendance of the Phanatic varies, so contact the Phillies directly to inquire about availability.

The Philadelphia 76ers

Franklin The Dog happily roots for the Philadelphia 76ers. As long as he isn’t at a 76ers home game or at another event, he should be able to attend your wedding event. He will arrive in a big blue van, so make sure parking accommodations will be made available for his arrival and departure. He will dance and entertain guests throughout the entire event, and is sure to create a night to remember! If you are interested in having Franklin attend your wedding, fill out this form.

The Philadelphia Flyers

The newest mascot on the NHL scene is Gritty, who roots for the Philadelphia Flyers. Gritty’s schedule is very busy, so the Flyers organization is still working out the details of private and public appearances. However, there may be hope if his schedule aligns with yours. If you are interested in requesting his attendance at your wedding, you can fill out this form.

Did you invite one of these famous Philadelphia mascots to attend your wedding event? If so, we would love to hear all about it. Contact us today!

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5 Things Your Guests Want At Your Wedding

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Planning the smallest details like personalized napkins, the placement of flowers in vases that will adorn the cake table, the entryway decor, and the font used on the invitations are some of the many decisions that need to be made when planning on a wedding. Overall, these details, when executed properly, add amazing touches to a wedding. One question that may leave you scratching your head is: What do my wedding guests actually want to experience at my wedding? Well, we’ve got the answers for you!

Great food and beverage.

The #1 thing that guests want from weddings is the food and drink! Alcohol, although not a necessity, is always appreciated by guest., and they’ll prefer an open bar over a cash bar. Worried about cost? You can provide wine, beer, and signature cocktails instead of a full bar.
In regards to food, a sub-par meal will literally leave a bad taste in guests mouth, so invest time, energy, and a nice part of the budget toward elevating the meal from ordinary to extraordinary.

Excellent music and entertainment.

A huge aspect of a wedding reception is entertainment. Guests will expect to dance their booties off during the event to some incredible music. Hiring a wedding band or DJ that has industry experience, knows how to read a crowd, and keeps guests entertained all night long will leave them demanding one more song at the end of the night.

A really comfortable environment

If guests attend an outdoor wedding where it is 90-degrees and 80% humidity in the middle of the summer with no access to air conditioning, they will remember it. If you are planning a summer wedding, make sure accommodations are made to keep guests comfortable. Outdoor ceremonies and receptions should have back-up weather plans no matter the season.

Being mindful of small (and large) details.

If you are planning on getting married on a sprawling estate that may be difficult to find, ensure signs are properly placed to direct guests where they need to go. Are you having a large number of guests attend a wedding and are having a buffet-style food table? Make sure there are enough food stations to avoid having guests wait in line for long periods of time to fill their plate. Guests will unfortunately remember these small inconveniences.

Being thanked.

Taking the time to say hello to your guests and thank them for attending is something that they will remember. They took the time to attend your event and celebrate your big day, so afford them with the gratitude for attending! Also, don’t forget to send a “Thank You Note” for any gifts that they receive. (Check out our blog for Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Thank You Notes!)

We hope these tips help you with planning the largest and smallest details of your wedding to make it an event to remember. We would love to hear all about your wedding plans, so contact us today!



Want to learn more about our EBE Team Members? Vendors We Love? New Products?

EBE Vendor Feature: Elegant Events

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, Spotlights, EBE News, Vendor Features

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

In our industry, it’s impossible to execute an incredible event without the help of other dynamic vendors. In our Vendor Features, we learn more about the people who we love to work with event after event, and year after year. Next up is Donielle Warren, owner of Elegant Planning & Design.

Donielle began working with Elegant Events as an intern in 2005. After graduating from college, she continued planning weddings and special events while working as a project manager for an insurance company. In 2015, Donielle purchased Elegant Events from the previous owner, who was preparing to retire. Since this time, she has fully re-branded the company and expanded their team of planners and designers.

I was able to sit down with Donielle to ask her a few questions… check it out!

What makes Elegant Events stand out next to companies like it?

We believe weddings should always be as unique as the couple – never bland or boring. That’s why we bring together our in-house team of planners, floral designers, and creatives who come together to coordinate every wedding using the couple’s story and favorite experiences as our inspiration.

What is your favorite type of event?

Weddings of course! The level of attention and detail that goes into ensuring the event is perfect makes our work that much more special.

Favorite Wedding Month?

October

What is your Best Advice for Potential Clients?

My best advice is our company’s motto: Plan & Design Your Day Your Way

What is your Favorite thing to do in Philadelphia?

Attend festivals and street fairs, especially at Festival Pier

What is your Zodiac Sign?

Leo

What is your Favorite Movie?

P.S. I Love You

What wedding trends are you loving?

Bold Color Palettes

What wedding trends are you ready to see go away?

Mason Jars

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

Yes, I sing!

What is your Go-to at Karaoke?

Any song by Whitney Houston

What is your favorite thing about your career?

I love helping people reach their goals! I’m able to do this whether it is with my team or with my couples and their families.

If you could join any past or present music group, which would you want to join?

Destiny’s Child

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your company?

Our offices are based in Philadelphia, PA & Newark, DE and we provide award-winning customized planning & design for special events throughout the metropolitan area and we also offer destination wedding services.

Show us some photos of your work!




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Choosing Your Soundtrack to Happily Ever

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

In the midst of selecting flowers, cake flavors, meal choices, decor, and other details that make up a wedding event, choosing the music for the formal parts of your wedding can seem daunting. The processional and recessional, introductions, first dances, parent dances, and any other formalities are the perfect times to sprinkle some personalization. However, with a few choice tips and help from the pros at EBE, choosing your soundtrack to “Happily Ever After” to can be stress free.

Your History

This is the easiest one. If there is a specific song that resonates deeply for your relationship, that’s a great start! Think of the music in the background of your most monumental moments together. For parent dances, think of the music of your upbringing.

Select A Theme/Genre

If your wedding is channeling times in the past (think 1950s style), then your formality music can certainly fit the part of the theme, too. Selecting artists or songs that are popular during a specific era or songs with a similar tempo reminiscent of the past can help narrow down the song selection process during the party.

Use Music-Streaming Sites

If you know the style of music or artist that you want to dance to, you can create a “radio” around it with Music-Streaming websites such as Spotify or Pandora. Listen to the “radio” in the background at work or home and make a playlist of the songs you like! From there, you can sit down with your dance partner to decide.

Ask The Pros

Whether you’re choosing a live band or a DJ to play at your wedding, discuss the feel you want for your event and allow the professionals to help make suggestions for songs to enhance your wedding reception party. The EBE team will help guide you through navigating the wedding music to make your event perfect!

Did these tips help you select the music for your wedding? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us to let us know!



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Wedding Venue Spotlight: Get Married At The Franklin Institute

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, Spotlights, EBE News, Vendor Features

If you grew up living in Philadelphia or within the surrounding counties, it is safe to say that you took a day trip to the Franklin Institute when you were young either with your family or as a school trip. Many Pennsylvanians have fond memories of this incredible museum that are near and dear to their hearts. If you are newly engaged and are looking for a unique venue, you’re in luck. You can get hitched at the Franklin Institute!

A landmark and staple of Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute is one of best places to get married in the Philly area. Couples can exchange their vows overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway on the rooftop or in the Fels Planetarium under the stars. Guests can enjoy their delicious cocktails within your favorite exhibit.

We sat down with Anil Veeraraj of EBE L.A. Starz and and Nick D’Errico of EBE Imagine to discuss their love of playing at The Franklin Institute.

While EBE Talent is at The Franklin Institute most weekends during wedding season, L.A. Starz alone has performed at over 2 dozen events within the last several years. Anil shared that his favorite area of the museum to play in is the Fels Planetarium. “The beautiful ceiling makes you forget that you are indoors,” Anil tells us.

Nick says that his favorite exhibit is The Heart, as it can make any adult feel like a kid again, “I personally love the heart exhibit, climbing through the big heart is fun.” He also adds, “Cocktail hour allows you to experience a lot of the museum, so if you are nerdy and like the exhibits, extending the cocktail to an hour and a half can be fun. Also, having multiple cocktail musicians to cover the full area would be recommended.”

The ease of planning a wedding at The Franklin Institute can’t be beat. Their wedding package includes:

  • A dedicated bridal suite
  • On-site catering attendant
  • Day of wedding coordinator
  • On-site parking
  • Access to all permanent exhibits for photos
  • Access to rooftop deck or rain garden for bridal party photos
  • Multiple ceremony and space options including their rooftop deck, the timeless beauty of Jordan Lobby, or under the stars in Fels Planetarium.
  • Wedding catering – custom menus from FROG Commissary

If you are planning your wedding and would love to get married at The Franklin Institute, EBE is here to help you plan your entertainment needs. Contact us today!

Images: https://www.fi.edu/weddings


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Our Favorite Bridal Shower Themes

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Whoever decided that bridal showers had to be boring luncheons with sub-par food and wine is cancelled! Bridal showers should not be boring, and the food and beverage can be just as amazing as the bride and her party. This is one of the last parties that the bride will attend as an unmarried woman and it is an event that she will remember for the rest of her life. Selecting a theme not only the bride will love, but one that her guests will enjoy, is important. We are here to help you with a list of our favorite bridal shower themes.

Romantic Fairy Tale Theme

Many brides dream of having a romantic fairy tale wedding. Why not carry that theme into the bridal shower? A soft color palette, beautiful florals, and keeping the “Happily Ever After” theme going throughout the event will be a show stopper. Guests can snack on delicious sweets such as French macaroons and petit fours while sipping delicious cocktails to match the event’s theme.

Nautical Theme

If the bride and her soon-to-be spouse love to spend time on the water, a nautical theme is the perfect way to celebrate. Anchors, nautical knots, and a navy blue, white, red and yellow color scheme can carry the theme perfectly. We’ll even give you the first step! Adorn the invitations with some thick rope instead of ribbon to make a bow.

Backyard BBQ

For an at-home and relaxed bridal shower, opt for a backyard BBQ. Throw some burgers, hot dogs, veggie kebabs, and chicken on the grill, crack open a beer or two, and sit back and relax. Lawn games such as cornhole, lawn darts, and horseshoe are great activities to play during the party.

English Tea Party

The lover of all things floral and pretty will absolutely adore an English Tea Party bridal shower. Serve an assortment of specialty teas, finger sandwiches, and delicious sweets to keep this event classy. Use tea canisters to hold floral arrangements and make doggie bags of tea cookies as favors!

The Great Gatsby Theme

The roaring 20s was a time of incredible clothing, signature secret cocktails and feather headbands. All guests that attend can dress in style for the event. Serve up classic Prohibition-era cocktails like sidecars and Gin Rickey’s along with tasty treats.

We hope these ideas helped you select a theme for your bridal shower. We would love to hear about your event where you used one of these themes so contact us today to let us know all about it!

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