EBE News | EBE Talent - Part 3
Category

EBE News

EBE Vendor Feature: Kelsey Bartle from The Bellevue Hotel

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

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 Kelsey Bartle, Senior Event Sales Manager at the Bellevue Hotel.

Kelsey Bartle has been the Senior Event Sales Manager at The Bellevue Hotel for 1 year, and has been professionally involved in events for six years. The Bellevue Hotel is a piece of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, and is easily one of the most beautiful buildings in Phladelphia.

Located in the heart of the city’s Theater District, The Bellevue is lovingly known as The Grande Dame of Broad Street and appears on the U.S. List of Registered Historical Places. The building’s French Renaissance architecture and stately sophistication provides visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience reminiscent of the early twentieth century.

In her position, Kelsey is able to bring her clients’ dreams to life. She’ll be there for your initial tour and booking of the space, as well as on the day of your event to make sure everything runs perfectly!

 

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

What makes The Bellevue Hotel stand out next to companies like it?

The history of The Bellevue Hotel is incomparable. Built in 1904 by the “Father of the Modern American Hotel,” George C. Boldt, the Grand Dame of Broad Street was created solely for guests to experience unparalleled service and elegance; a reputation we’re proud to maintain today. If you’d like your guests to feel as if they’re attending a sophisticated, refined affair, host them at The Bellevue Hotel and let us do what we do best, with ease.

Favorite Wedding Month?

December. Nothing beats a NYE wedding!

Favorite Spot in Philadelphia?

Race Street Pier

Favorite thing to do in Philadelphia?

Continue my quest to find the best French Toast in America.

What is your Best Advice for Potential Clients?

Your wedding day is about YOU. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision based on someone else’s vision; yours is the only vision that matters!

Do you play any instruments?

Piano!

What wedding trends are you loving?

I can’t get enough of the greenery, I hope it never goes away!

What wedding trends are you ready to see go away?

If we all band together, we can prevent “cake-in-the-face” from ever happening again. (The makeup, guys, am I right?)

What motivates you to work hard?

Hearing a couple say “It was the best day of our lives” is the best feeling in the world.

What is your zodiac sign?

Capricorn

Tell us about your favorite events to work on!

Since moving to Philly, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in planning some of the nation’s longest running, and most prestigious events. Any gala that is 100+ years old will forever be at the top of my list!

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

I’m a champion hula-hooper

What is your go-to at karaoke?

Love Shack…but the man’s side of the duet

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

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers for sure

Is there anything else you want to tell us about The Bellevue Hotel?

As Philadelphia’s only hotel on the National Register of Historic Places, The Bellevue Hotel has been at the forefront of shaping the city’s cultural, culinary and cocktail scene since becoming its first luxury hotel. The deep-rooted history paired with unmatched service and contemporary cuisine connects every Bellevue Couple with the modern and distinctive occasion they deserve.

Let’s see some of your work!



Want to stay up-to-date on Event and Bridal Trends? Learn about Vendors We Love? New EBE Products?

Small Details To Remember For Your Big Day

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

They say that the devil is in the details and a wedding celebration is no exception to that. Covering all of your bases and ensuring that no stone is left unturned is part of what makes an amazing wedding reception. We’ve put together a list of details that your guests will absolutely love to help them feel comfortable throughout your wedding day.

Tissues

Weddings are an emotional experience for guests, especially those closest to the married couple. Place tissue boxes or small travel packs of tissues strategically around the venue for guests to use when emotions are running high.

Paper Fans and Water

Hosting an outdoor summer wedding ceremony? Providing paper fans and bottles of cold water for guests during the ceremony will help to keep them cool.

Flip Flops

Wearing high heels can become downright painful after a few hours. Give the ladies a break by providing a basket full of flip flops they can wear while dancing the night away. They (and their feet) will thank you!

Blankets

Hosting a fall or early winter wedding ceremony outdoors? Guests will need to bundle up to stay warm so providing them blankets will be appreciated. Go one step further and allow guests to take them home as a thank you for celebrating your wedding event.

Heel Protectors

If your ceremony will be held in a grassy area, it is a thoughtful idea to provide heel protectors for guests so their high heels don’t sink in the grass.

“Recovery Kits” for The Day After

An open bar with access to loads of booze can lead to a headache the day after the wedding event. Send guests home with recovery kit, which can be a fun DIY project!

Did you remember to include these details on your big day? If so, we want to hear all about your event! Contact us today!



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

5 Dos and Don’ts for Choosing Your Bridal Party

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

Choosing who will stand up next to you when you say “I do” to the love of your life should be one of the most fun and memorable parts of the wedding planning process. However, for some people, this may not be the easiest decision in the world. If you have siblings, cousins, or other family members that may expect to be chosen to fulfill the role of a bridesmaid, it can leave you confused. To help relieve the stress, we’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts for choosing your bridal party.

Do think about what you want.

Before you start bouncing ideas off of your fiancé, friends, or family about who you should include in your bridal party, think long and hard about who you really want to stand up next to you when you tie the knot. Following your gut feeling is really helpful in this situation. Remember, this is your wedding that is being celebrated!

Don’t be stressed about numbers.

Regardless of the grandeur of your wedding, the number of bridesmaids that you choose is your decision. If you have a big family and lots of close friends, you can absolutely have 10 bridesmaids. On the flip side, if you decide to have a more intimate affair, selecting one or two of the people closest to you is also wonderful.

Do include family members.

What defines family? Well, that varies from person to person, but including siblings in the bridal party allots them a special role in the wedding party. Siblings are usually our first best friends, so give them the highest honor by asking them to stand by your side and celebrate your wedding.

Don’t ask a friend just because you were in their bridal party.

You aren’t obligated to include anyone in your bridal party that you don’t want to. If a friend included you in her bridal party, that doesn’t mean that you have to include her in yours. Think about your friendship carefully and how you see her fitting into your future before making any decisions.

Do talk with your spouse-to-be.

The person that you plan on marrying should have some input in the bridal party. Making decisions together is a big part of marriage, so get used to it now! The love of your life may help you look at things in a new light that will steer you in choosing the best bridal party for your wedding event.Did these tips help you choose your bridal party? If so, we want to hear all about your event! Contact us today!



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

EBE Wedding Venue Spotlight: The Loews Philadelphia Hotel

By | Venues We Love, Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News, Vendor Features

Finding a great wedding venue to set the stage where your marriage vows will be recited can be an overwhelming task. Philadelphia is filled with some incredible venues where couples choose to get married every year. We’ve done the legwork for you and highlighted some of the best venues that Philadelphia has to offer in our Wedding Venue Spotlight. This month, we’re featuring The Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

The Loews Philadelphia Hotel is one of Philadelphia’s top hotels that also offer event spaces. With a convenient location on Market Street in Philadelphia and only a short 20 minute ride from Philadelphia International Airport, guests from near and far will have stress-free travel to this beautiful venue. This beautiful and unique location can accommodate virtually any type of wedding celebration with an incredible 22 event spaces available within the hotel. A single event space can hold up to 1,500 guests!

Guests will be blown away by the outstanding Millennium Ballroom. “The Millennium Ballroom is very impressive, especially when the giant blinds are opened to reveal a view of the surrounding buildings, particularly at night,” says EBE’s Director of Business Development, Joe Napoli. The beautiful Regency Ballroom is nearly 2,000 square feet and can accommodate 1,000 guests. Known as the crown jewel of the hotel, The 33rd Floor features direct access to The Terrace from the two interior event spaces.

A customized menu will be crafted to the request of the soon-to-be-married couple by the amazing catering team at the Loews. “Amanda Congar (Director of Catering) and her team are top notch and will take very good care of you,” says Joe. The wedding reception packages also include a beautiful custom designed 3-tier wedding cake. 

The Loews Philadelphia Hotel has 581 guest rooms which are available for your guests to take advantage of during the wedding event celebrations. Discounted room blocks are available and the hotel will even set up a personalized website where guests can book rooms directly!

Ready to relax? Your bridal party and guests can enjoy the wonderful amenities the hotel offers during the stage, such as the outstanding spa. Joe suggests, “Take advantage of how close the hotel is to everything – you can step right out front with your photographer to get shots in front of City Hall. Also, take advantage of the convenience of their restaurant, Bank & Bourbon.”

Did you host your wedding at The Loews Philadelphia Hotel? If so, contact us! We would love to hear all about it.



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

Shop Philly: The Best Places To Order Your Custom Invitations

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

So it’s time to start thinking about invitations. Should you opt for a digital design? What about calligraphy? Or maybe even letterpressed text? It can be overwhelming to design your wedding invitations, and most couples don’t even know where to begin!

Luckily, Philadelphia is home to some outstanding local businesses that will help you design and print your wedding invitations, as well as your save-the-dates, escort card, thank you cards, and more! We’ve put together a list of the best local places to order your custom invitations from.

The Paperia

Chestnut Hill Instagram | Ardmore Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

With two locations in the area, Ardmore and Chestnut Hill, The Paperia offers so much more than just invitations. Their gift shop features unique gifts for all occasions, many of which are paper-themed. This family-owned business has been providing invitations, announcements, and stationary to Philadelphians since 1983. “We have years of knowledge and experience with wording and etiquette and we love to share it with our customers,” shares Ben from the Paperia. Although the wedding invitation industry has experienced change in recent years, the Paperia remains a Philadelphia staple in this era of everything electronic. “If you believe marriage is forever and your wedding day is one you will never want to forget, come to our store and let us help you make it the day you’ve dreamed of all your life,” says Ben.

The Papery of Philadelphia

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Owner and operator Carolyn Brandhorst has an extensive background in fashion retail, graphic design, and advertising. Through passion for these industries and hard work, The Papery of Philadelphia was born. “Our customers love that we not only do invitations, but we create a complete brand for their special day, from the beginning to the end. It starts with the save the dates, continues with the invites, the welcome boxes/bags that we create for them, bridesmaid proposal boxes, custom logo design, and more,” says Carolyn. The Paperia creates a bond with their clients to make the design and print process stress free, unique to their event, and most importantly, fun.

Papertree Studio

Instagram | Facebook | Website

After over 10 years of experience in graphic design, advertising, and marketing, owner Christy opened Papertree Studio in 2012. At the time, she was the Marketing & Advertising Designer at Philadelphia magazine, and was creating wedding invitation designs on the side. As word of mouth grew and her client base expanded, she decided to take the leap and make Papertree Studio official. Conveniently located in Old City, Papertree Studio isn’t just limited to wedding invitations. They also offer stationery, baby announcements, vow books, and more! “I think we have a unique take on the invitation design. We design to evoke a feeling and I think that in itself is a different approach,” shares Christy. Their custom designs take time to create, so book early with Papertree Studio.

Chick Invitations

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

This custom design studio opened in 2010, and celebrated the grand opening of their retail store in Old City in April 2019. Don’t let the name deceive you… Chick Invitations is so much more than just wedding invites, offering custom crafted products from bridal party robes and cocktail napkins to drinkware. “Since we are a custom studio, we have so much more flexibility than places that are beholden to simply selling designs. We’re able to pull concepts from our client’s stationery and apply them throughout their Big Day, so their entire event feels coordinated, personal, and thoughtful,” says Caitlin from Chick Invitations. Chick Invitations loves going the extra mile to make their clients happy. “Whether they need a last minute engagement gift or help creating welcome boxes for their hotel guests, we have all the supplies needed to make it possible!,” shares Caitlin.

 

Did you use one of these Philadelphia businesses to have your wedding invitations printed? If so, we would love to hear all about your experience! Contact us today!



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

How Long do Wedding Bands Play and What Songs Should You Choose?

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

EBE Venue Spotlight: Branzino

By | EBE News, Vendor Features, Venues We Love, Blog, Ask The Experts

Finding a great venue for each step of your wedding weekend can be an overwhelming task. Philadelphia is filled with some incredible venues where couples choose to get married every year. We’ve done the legwork for you and highlighted some of the best venues that Philadelphia has to offer in our EBE Venue Spotlight. This month, we’re featuring Branzino.

Branzino originally opened in October 2003, and was one of Philadelphia’s best Italian restaurants for almost 13 years. Unfortunately, they were affected by a tragic fire in July 2016, which forced them to shut down and start over. Much to our excitement, Branzino has reopened this year and has truly lived up to their previous notoriety!

Branzino is located on 17th Street between Locust and Spruce in Rittenhouse, Philadelphia. The menu consists of a mouth-watering assortment Italian dishes, including their namesake – a Branzino entree with roasted asparagus and lemon caper butter. Operating as a BYOB restaurant, guests are able (and encouraged!) to bring their own wine and beer for dining and private events.

The owners of Branzino are married couple – Dori and Luan. Luan is the head chef, and has decades of experience creating exquisite Italian dishes. Each morning, Chef Luan and his team churn out handmade pasta, bread, and desserts for service. They also use only fresh seafood and homegrown micro greens, and locally obtain as much of their ingredients as possible.

The restaurant features three beautiful spaces to hold private events. Events may utilize the entire restaurant and outdoor space, or just one area.

  • A small, intimate dining room, which seats approximately 35 guests. This space is located in the front of the restaurant and has large windows that open when the weather is nice. This space alone is ideal for small rehearsal dinners.
  • A large dining room in the back, which seats approximately 110-115 guests. This room can also be closed off in the middle with curtains for a smaller group, up to 55-60 guests.
  • Their hidden gem, The Garden, has a vibe that is hard to find in Philadelphia. This secluded and romantic space is set behind the restaurant, and can seat up to 40 guests.

When asking EBE’s Director of Business of Development, Joe Napoli, about Branzino, he told us “It’s very popular for rehearsal dinners! They also have a really pretty courtyard in the back for a private dinner or event, or could even be used for a wedding ceremony. Chef Luan has many years of experience, and wants to get the word out that they have opened back up for business and are available for events. It’s also super close to many wedding venues and hotels, so it’s perfect for a rehearsal dinner or stand-alone wedding.”

Did you host your event at Branzino? If so, contact us! We would love to hear all about it.



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

The Recipe For Making A Perfect Wedding Toast

By | Blog, Ask The Experts, EBE News

When building a recipe for a delicious meal, a chef will make sure all ingredients are fresh, balanced in flavor, and compliment each other. If one of the ingredients is off in some way, it can change or ruin the entire dish. The same can be said for writing a wedding toast, which is typically done by the best man and/or maid of honor. We’ve put together some tips to help you write a toast that is as deliciously great as the wedding cake.

Where to Begin

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is the first few sentences. There are different ways to start off your toast, with the most basic as introducing yourself to the wedding guests. How do you know the wedded couple? Childhood friends? Did you meet in college or at work? Share some background to your relationship. An alternative is to simple intros is to share how you feel about the couple and what they mean to you.

Tell Stories & Make A Few Jokes

Any stories from the past should be light hearted and have a bit of whimsy. Stay away from embarrassing tales or sad times. Guests love hearing stories from the couple’s past that they may not have heard before. Did you all go on a trip somewhere and something hilarious happened? What about a story from college that ended on a positive note? Guests will enjoy seeing another side of the couple that they may not have known.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Speech

If at all possible, practice your speech repeatedly to memorize it so you don’t have to rely on cue cards. Not only will guests focus on your speech instead of watching you fumble with cards or your phone, but it will also sound more authentic and from the heart. That said, a speech that is written down is always better than making it up as you go!

Don’t Write A Novel

Although the wedding toast is a key part of a reception, it shouldn’t be a filibuster. Keep the toast to 3-4 minutes on average. If others are speaking, you may need to shorten it up a bit more.

Don’t Drink & Speak

Wedding cocktails are usually offered well in advance of the wedding toast. Try to limit your alcohol to avoid giving the speech on unsteady feet or slurred words.

To Finish

Raise your glass to the room, give the guests and couple a nod, and then take a sip of your drink. You’re all done!A great wedding toast can leave a lasting impression on the couple, so take the time to honor the couple in the best way possible during your speech. We hope these tips helped you build the perfect recipe for your wedding toast. We would love to hear all about it, so contact us today!



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

How To Decode The Wedding Guest Dress Code

By | EBE News, Blog, Ask The Experts

When you’re designing your wedding invitations, there are obvious pieces of information to remember to include, such as the venue address and the date and time of the event. There is also one important detail to remember to include that will help guests determine what they’ll wear to your event: the dress code request.

The terms frequently used to define the dress code can be a bit confusing, so we’re here to help you crack the wedding dress code.

White Tie

White Tie Attire is the most formal request, even above most awards ceremonies. Women are expected to wear full length gowns in dark or neutral colors, and men are expected to wear a full black tuxedo with tails, a white shirt, vest, and bow tie, and black shoes.

Black Tie

Weddings are generally a formal event,so requests for black tie dress are fairly common. For men, this means a request to wear a tuxedo. A tuxedo is comprised of a vest, bow tie, patent leather shoes and a cummerbund. For the ladies, this is typically a floor length formal gown. A shorter dress is also acceptable, but stick to dark colors and formal fabrics. A dressy little black dress (LBD) with complementing jewelry would also be acceptable.

Black Tie Optional/Formal

Many couples are choosing the Black Tie Optional/Formal dress code for their weddings. This lets guests know that the wedding party will be wearing formal attire but it is optional for guests. This doesn’t mean guests should show up in jeans and tennis shoes! Women should still opt for formal floor length dresses, the LBD, or a dressy jumpsuit. Men have the option of wearing a tuxedo or a formal suit.

Festive Attire

Festive Attire is not frequently used, yet more common in the winter months. This attire suggests that the guests take liberty in being a little creative with their outfits. Patterns, sequins, velvet, and other eccentric pieces are perfect for these weddings. Outfits should follow the semi-formal or formal guidelines, but steer away from simple black dresses. Suits and ties of any season-appropriate color are perfect for gentlemen, and we recommend a funky patterned tie if the suit is simple black.

Cocktail Attire/Semi-Formal

This dress code is in between formal and casual. A formal dark suit with a tie for men is appropriate. For the ladies, the infamous LBD with complementing accessories or a brightly colored cocktail dress are great options.

Garden/Beach Attire

Typically used during the spring and summer months, Garden and Beach Attire are becoming more and more popular. Sundresses and floral jumpsuits are appropriate, and should fit the vibe of a garden or beach. Soft colors are recommended for all guests, so khaki, pastel, and neutral tones are great for the gentlemen. Trousers with a button down shirt is suitable, and a tie is optional.

Casual

For a relaxed wedding, the casual dress code is appropriate. This allows guests to wear what they want within reason, of course. Casual dresses such as sundresses are great for the spring/summer months, whereas a midi or flowy dress with sleeves would be great for the colder months. Gentlemen should wear trousers and a button down or a polo shirt depending on the season, and a tie nor jacket are necessary.

We hope this information has helped you understand the wedding dress code a little better to make the best decision for your wedding. We would love to hear all about your wedding event, so contact us today!



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

EBE Vendor Feature: Justin Chan from Valley Creek Productions

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 Justin Chan, Owner of Valley Creek Productions.

Justin Chan started Valley Creek Productions in 2005 after finishing his degree in Broadcast Communications from Temple University. At that time, he began working on his Master’s Degree in business at Penn State. Valley Creek Productions was one of the side jobs that Justin had while in school, and production work continued to grow as a passion. It grew from there, and he took it full-time in 2011… they’ve been growing ever since!

The company is named after Valley Creek, that flows through Chester County and Valley Forge National Historic Park. Their dynamic team crafts video for any projects, including weddings, corporate events, and promotional films.

Voted Best Video Production Company by Main Line Today Magazine, ‘The Knot Best of Weddings” in Videography for 2018 and 2019, one of the Top Three Videographers in Philadelphia by Philly Hot List the past five years, and winner of WeddingWire’s Couples Choice Award the past nine years. Client satisfaction is their top priority, and they pride themselves on creating captivating videos of the highest quality.

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

What makes Valley Creek Productions stand out next to companies like it?

Our team prides itself in being very unobtrusive throughout our event coverage. We coordinate with all the other professionals and are quick to adapt to changing conditions and timelines.

Favorite Wedding Month?

October

Favorite Spot in Philadelphia?

Chinatown, best food in the city. Its been tradition to go down with family several times a year since I was a kid. Good way to connect with the Chinese side of my heritage.

Favorite thing about your career?

Capturing content of important events is always fun for us – knowing we preserved those moments to re-live later. We also love being a part of the event community in Philadelphia. Making friends through various event associations and chambers of commerce is fun for us and helps us do our job better.

What is your Best Advice for Potential Clients?

Everyone thinks video is a “would be nice” add on for a wedding or event. There is so many things that happen on a wedding day that only video can capture, and if you don’t have a professional with you to capture them you won’t have any way to re-live them in the future.

What is your favorite movie?

Star Trek (generally any of the original features, not the new ones)

What wedding trends are you loving?

Drones are a big trend with video in the past few years. Our team are all FAA licensed and insured for commercial drone flight. We love flying and capturing cool shots of wedding venues, churches, and couples’ homes.

Where can we see your work?

We have various portfolios on our website for all different types of events! You can see them here.



Want to stay up-to-date on Event and Bridal Trends? Learn about Vendors We Love? New EBE Products?