Category Archives: vendor spotlight

wedding vendor spotlight | eleven courses catering | maryland wedding caterer

Since it’s been a minute since our last wedding vendor spotlight, I’m SO excited to bring this series back and pickup right where we left off… with loads of eye-candy for you to help design your wedding to be one that leaves people speechless because it’s so YOU.

Today’s spotlight features an incredible local maryland wedding caterer that is one of the most artistic and inventive teams I’ve had the honor of working alongside! Eleven Courses Catering’s culinary creativity constantly has me asking “how are you going to top this?” and then they do… every time!! (ps – how’d ya like that sentence’s alliteration?) Melissa and Jim have such a passion for designing a culinary experience like no other with every event they’re a part of – it’s so refreshing to see how open to new ideas and collaboration they are (and as another husband and wife team, they get even more bonus points in my book!).

If you don’t already follow them, go do it now – eleven courses catering!

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What led you to pursue a career in catering?
When I met Jim in college, he cooked an amazing dinner for me on our first date. It was love at first bite. I was so blown away by how he could take a few simple ingredients and create something, almost melodic to eat. I was so inspired by him that I started organizing dinner parties for friends and family (I have a design background and loved creating the perfect table setting) – from there we launched a private chef company and a few years later turned into exclusively large-scale events.

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What is your favorite aspect about working with engaged couples and within the wedding industry?
I love that we never cater the same wedding twice, each couple is so different and unique – there stories are their own and the fact that we get to be a part of each one makes my heart sing. We are part of a day that ends up being a lifelong memory – talk about an incredible feeling of euphoria!

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What are some creative ways couples can stay within their budget when it comes to their menu planning?
I love this question. Sometimes less is more, so scaling back on the number of options, without compromising quality or flavor profiles can be a very effective budgeting strategy. If you wow your guests with a phenomenal one entrée option or two, vs three of four – it can be such a win win!

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Where would you go if you were planning a honeymoon right now?
I am pretty lucky because Jim and I take a culinary tour each year to a different spot on the globe, scouring the world, looking for inspiration to bring to life through our chef-curated, ever changing menus. These trips always feel honeymoon-esque to me! We just got back from a trip to Italy, next up is Peru.

eleven courses accelerator space wedding

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everyday favorites – reimagining classic dishes with modern twists, or taking a single ingredient and loving on it to create dishes that show it in a new way; color schemes always conjure up whimsical ways to create new recipes too – and of course there is the change of the seasons and our culinary tours. I also get a ton of inspiration from our clients, their backgrounds and stories.

eleven courses accelerator space wedding

Favorite recent read or podcast?
With three littles ones, my time to read or listen to something besides Moana or nursery rhymes is pretty scarce haha, but Jim always seems to have a book in tow – and I revel in excerpts he reads me – most recently was The Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich. He usually has something to do with food or music on his nightstand, haha.

eleven courses accelerator space wedding

Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations we should watch for?
We recently were invited back on Good Day L.A. to talk wedding trends for 2018, we will be returning to Houston as guests on Great Day Houston, as well as, hosting another event at the national Health Museum there. We love being able to share our recipes and stories with local and national audiences. We were also selected as the March of Dimes – Celebrity Chef of the Year, which will be officially announced next month. Such a complete honor and dream for us!


Well deserved and so exciting! I can’t wait for us to work together at M+C’s September Main Street Ballroom wedding… if you’re looking for a wedding caterer that will design a show-stopping menu, work with any dietary needs/restrictions and still making the most beautiful and delicious food you’ve ever had, your search is over! 😉

photography: Urban Row Photography
caterer: Eleven Courses Catering
wood cutting boards: Words with Boards
venue: Accelerator Space
air plants: B Willow
napkins: Moss & Surf

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wedding vendor spotlight | blush floral design studio | maryland wedding florist

Happy Wedding Wednesday to you! Although in all honesty, I’m still completely thrown off with what day it is this week – is anyone else? Please tell me I’m not alone…?! New Year’s Day falling on a Monday has been quite confusing for my brain, ha!

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The one thing that is very clear to me though, is how rewarding and wonderful it is to consistently work with such talented teams of wedding vendors in Baltimore and the surrounding areas… our 2nd vendor spotlight (peep the first one here if you missed it!) showcases Blush Floral Design Studio, and owner/designer, Linda Montuori!

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I feel so lucky to have been introduced to Linda and her stunning work while designing a photoshoot with Courtney of Moore & Co. Event Stylists. As part of the Be More Inspired collective of wedding professionals, Courtney and Linda have worked together many times; as soon as I showed Courtney my vision for the greenery-filled bouquet, she recommended working with Blush… I couldn’t be happier and definitely shrieked with excitement when she first showed me a sneak peek of this amazing fern-filled bouquet that simply overflowed with texture and industrial elegance!!

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What led you to pursue a career in floral design?

I started my career in floral design after working in marketing for several years. As most people do at one time or another, I went through a phase of  wondering what I wanted to do when I grew up. I always loved visiting local florist shops when traveling through a new town or city.  If it had a great window display, I was in!  I always felt so inspired seeing unique flowers and designs (and there is nothing like the smell of a floral shop).

Eventually, I  stopped into my local florist and literally begged for a job.  I started out washing buckets, taking orders, and over time, I learned all aspects of running a florist shop. But my world changed when I started designing!

I decided to start my floral design business specializing in weddings. After my wedding business started to flourish while working out of my garage studio,  I moved my studio into a beautiful building that I now share with other wedding professionals.

Every week I meet with amazing  couples who put their trust in me to create fabulous floral designs for their wedding! I am truly blessed.
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What is your favorite aspect about working with engaged couples and within the wedding industry?

I always ask my couples how they met. I find their stories to be fascinating and I definitely believe in fate!

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What is one piece of advice you’d share with the bride and groom to keep in mind during the wedding planning process? 

Keep it personal! Hire vendors that you trust and then turn it over to them to take the stress off.

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What are some creative ways couples can stay within their budget when it comes to their wedding florals? 

My advice is to focus on three floral focal points… the bouquets, a ceremony focal point and your centerpieces. Other elements are great to add but are not a necessity when working on a budget (i.e., bar arrangements, powder room, cocktails etc.). Also, be open and let your floral designer use your Pinterest inspiration as a springboard to a new original interpretation specifically for you.

urban-row-photo-industrial-chic-wedding_0005Where would you go if you were planning a honeymoon right now? 

Right now? I would choose adventure mixed with relaxation, so today, I would choose Switzerland (if you ask me during the peak of wedding season, I might say just put me in a beach chair and don’t make me move).  🙂

Where do you find inspiration?  

I might see something in a magazine or on Pinterest or in a store that just catches my eye and before long I am in my studio trying to recreate it with my own twist. I love an afternoon with my design staff where I present an idea that is in my head and we try to figure it out. They inspire me!

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Favorite recent read or must-listen-to podcast?

I can’t live without my kindle. I love to read historical fiction! I just finished a great book called Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, which was inspired by the life of  a real world war II heroine. I also enjoy a good love story!

Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations we should be on the lookout for?

Looking forward to spring wedding season starting soon! One of my 2017 spring weddings was featured on Artfully Wed in September!

Thanks again for sharing your time and talent with us, Linda! I love hearing how a keen interest led you to develop your passion into the successful business it is today and look forward to capturing your florals as part of future Urban Row couples’ weddings!!

What types of vendors are YOU interested in learning more about? Questions about all the things event designers/planners have a hand in? Looking for an experienced caterer that can accommodate dietary restrictions while still presenting a deliciously unique and memorable menu for you and your guests?

Send me an email and let me know the vendor spotlights to focus on moving forward (naomi@urbanrowphoto.com)! I love collaborating and sharing my experiences with the most talented, local Baltimore wedding industry pros I’ve worked with and meeting new ones to learn from!

xoxo,
Naomi

styling + planning: Moore & Co Event Stylists, Be More Inspired Wedding Collective
venue: Accelerator Space
dress: Martina Liana
boutique: K and B Bridals
hair: BTV Beauty
jewelry / hairpiece: Faye Daniel Designs
makeup: Elegance Artistry
boutonniere: B Willow

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wedding vendor spotlight | moss & surf, cocktail + dinner napkins | maryland wedding photographer

Happy Monday! Please tell me you got outside and enjoyed the AMAZING Fall weekend we just had?!? Today looks to be the only sunny day for the next week, so what better way to enjoy it than with the start of a new series on the blog!

I’m soooo excited to announce that as a result of meeting and collaborating with so many incredible talented creatives recently AND continually being inspired by how each got their start as an entrepreneur, I’ve decided to share the love and spotlight some of my favorite vendors – especially those you may not know about but should, while you’re planning your wedding (or any special occasion for that matter)!!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

Our first vendor spotlight feature showcases Moss & Surf, and owner/designer, Susie McQuiddy. I learned of Susie’s talent and gorgeous work while on Instagram (yay for social media bringing people together in tangible ways!) and thoroughly enjoyed working together on a recent styled shoot! Her simply elegant color-block dinner napkins were the perfect touch to the lush greenery; they immediately brought the tablescape to another level as we tied them with fresh green leaves… perfection!

Susie is not only super talented at her handmade craft, she is extremely detail-oriented and invested in providing a product that compliments the exact look or color scheme you’re going for. I could go on and on about how wonderful she and her cocktail and dinner napkins are, but I’ll let the photos and her fun personality, speak for themselves! 😉

What led you to begin a business in entertaining, home goods, textiles and design?

I started MOSS & SURF as a way to combine all of my favorite things – graphic design, modern interiors, home entertaining, fashion trends, photography, and a passion for color! It was also a fantastic way for me to transition back into the real world after my husband and I (and our canine crew member ) traveled and lived aboard our sailboat for 2 1/2 years. The business is a perfect mix of my professional career as a graphic designer/art director and my longtime enthusiasm for creating handmade goods. I learned to sew in grade school while making clothes for my stuffed Snoopy and eventually advanced to sewing a few outfits for myself along with a lot of home decor! When I’m not working on MOSS & SURF, you can find me in the kitchen baking, walking the dog, or out sailing on the Chesapeake! As a side note, MOSS & SURF represents my love of a small family cabin in the woods with my love of the ocean. It’s also my initials…backwards! I’m a one-girl shop and do everything from the designing and sewing to the branding and photography in my small home studio located near the historic downtown of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

What is your favorite aspect about working with clients?

I love helping my clients pick just the right colors to match their tableware, home decor, or event theme! Often, my clients will send images of their dinnerware or placemats for inspiration. In one recent case, I worked with my client to select custom napkin colors for an intimate and eclectic home wedding. She sent an array of references including beautiful images of flowers from her garden. All of a sudden, I became a part of the entire wedding planning process – and a makeshift flower consultant too! It was so fulfilling to be able to lend an artistic eye to her overall vision and be a sounding board for her ideas. Even though the relationship started with a few simple questions about colors, it really blossomed into a true friendship!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

What is one piece of advice you’d share with the bride and groom to keep in mind during the wedding planning process? 

Oh gosh! My husband and I were married at such a young age, my mom took over almost all of the planning. We just sort of went with the flow and showed up on time! But if we did it all over again today, I would just try to enjoy the process and have fun! Don’t stress out about the details too much (I know that’s so much easier said than done!)…and definitely arrange for as many cake tastings as possible!

Where would you go if you were planning a honeymoon right now?

A honeymoon right now sounds wonderful! My husband and I are a bit of adventure seekers, but we also like lounging around too – a little bit of excitement plus a lot of R & R equals pure bliss for us! So, if you’re into scuba diving (or even snorkeling), Cozumel is our favorite! It can get touristy when the cruise ships come to port, but if you stay at a resort specifically for scuba divers, you’re protected from the regular hustle and bustle. Our favorite is Scuba Club Cozumel! It’s safe, secluded, low key, simple yet charming, and very peaceful. You can spend the mornings out on the water and then relax on their tiny private beach the rest of the day. The underwater sites are spectacular – especially if you try a night dive (hello, eels!). It’s not for everyone, but we would go back in a heartbeat!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

What is your favorite color palette?

This is a tough question since my favorite colors change on a daily basis! However, I’ve been a bit obsessed with a soft, subtle shade of aqua blue lately. I guess it reminds me of the ocean! My number one resource for palettes is Design Seeds. There are so many beautiful combinations it’s hard to pick just one! Subtle teals, pale greys, and muted olive greens are always at the top of my list. But then again, I love strong colors like eggplant, chartreuse, and tangerine too!

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in so many things! My go-to sources tend to be Instagram or catalogs and magazines such as Communication Arts, Design Within Reach, and CB2. I’m always on the lookout for interesting color combinations and they can really come from anywhere! It’s funny, I’ve had an image up on my iPhone of a beer label since February…it just makes me happy. It’s from Evil Twin Brewing called Modern IPA and the label is simply an array of beautiful, angled stripes in summery shades of hot pink and orange. I’m planning to make napkins out of this color combination eventually!

{Naomi interrupting here to say how much I LOVE the vibrant design of this can! …and how it just proves so well that inspiration can be found everywhere!!}

evil twin brewing modern IPA

Favorite recent read or must-listen-to podcast?

My husband and I read every night before bed (sometimes I only last for 10 minutes) and I fully admit to being a detective thriller junkie! I just stumbled across an author on Kindle by the name of Joel Goldman. I’m on the third book in his Jack Davis series and will likely read every book he’s written before I switch to something else! I’m also a big fan of NPR – especially IA, Fresh Air, and Science Friday. Music is always on in the background while I work and I love everything from reggae, old school funk, and acid jazz to indie, latin, and electronica. Bob Marley, Thievery Corporation, and Buena Vista Social Club never fail to keep me moving!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations we should be on the look out for?

Yes! Besides collaborating with the fabulous team behind the Accelerator Space styled wedding shoot, my napkins recently appeared in a tasting event for Eleven Courses Catering & Event Co. and I’m working on a few small custom napkin projects through my Etsy shop. I’m thrilled to be one of the artists featured on Cultivations (cultivations.com), a beautifully curated online shop for handmade goods designed in the U.S. Everyday is exciting for me and I’m so appreciative of all the opportunities I’ve had since launching MOSS & SURF last July!

I can’t thank Susie enough for sharing her talent and style with me (and us!) – her color combos are always so uplifting and the elegant look and feel to her napkins is something you won’t want your guests to be without!!

Thanks again, Susie! Cheers to an amazing first year for Moss & Surf!!

Stay tuned for our next vendor spotlight… continuing the greenery trend of the handheld variety! 😉
xo, N

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