Calling all brides and grooms!

12 Teams will be vying for the grand prize. Team Carnavale has returned to defend its title. Eleven other teams will strive to take it away. Come see the results on Sunday, November 7th, from 1-4PM, meet the teams and plan your wedding!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Author & Wedding Planner Deb McCoy to Speak at NSBWB

Deborah McCoy, author of several books including her latest "I Do...: How To Have the Elegant Wedding of Your Dreams for $15,000 or Less!" will speak at the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique on November 8 at Rockwood Manor.

Deborah McCoy has been in the wedding business for over 15 years. Owner of one of the largest, full-service bridal salons in Florida, it was there that she made the determination to master the bridal industry and all its facets.

About five years ago, McCoy launched the American Academy of Wedding Professionals™. AAWP’s goal is to teach aspiring wedding planners to become professionals. McCoy’s course is the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art, professional wedding-planning course available today. With more than 40,000 unique visitors per month to its website, AAWP’s cutting-edge program has emerged as the nation’s sole Internet resource of its kind uniting professionals, aspiring wedding planners and brides.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Open House at Seneca Lodge this Saturday

Teams - there will be an open house on Saturday (9/26) from 10AM-2PM at Seneca Lodge. A Parks employee will be there to answer questions concerning having an event there.

Not-So-Big Wedding Offers New Not-So-Big Entry Fee for Teams—Deadline September 27!

In keeping with our "Not-So-Big," cost-conscious wedding theme, we're offering a very special, limited-time entry fee for wedding teams.

Register your team by Sunday, September 27, and pay only $125! That's a savings of $375 off the regular $500 fee, which makes it ultra-affordable (only $25 each for a team of 5) for everyone. Ellen McCarthy from the Washington Post is onboard to moderate our "Wedding Wisdom" panel discussion, including authors Deb McCoy and Lynn Young, and bride registration is strong.

Don't miss your chance to join our event and promote your skills and services to smart brides-to-be at the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique & Challenge! Register today!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions (by Vendors!)

1. Can the caterer member of our team offer samples?
Definitely. We'll be setting up a special table in close proximity to your team's table for that purpose.

2. Do we include limo transportation in the $15K?

3. How many guests should we assume in planning?
65 guests, including the bride and groom!

4. Can we bring large decorations, i.e., a trellis, to put behind our table?
Only if it is part of your wedding package. Having said that email me with the specs so I can be sure that there is ample space and that we're not taking away from the other tables.

5. How is a florist to plan without knowing the number in the bridal party in advance?
You determine the number of members of the bridal party.

6. What does the $500 fee go for?
Your entrance fee covers the cost of marketing and holding the event.

7. What quantity of tables and chairs do each of the venues provide?
For Woodlawn:

  • 50 beige cloth stacking chairs for indoor use only
  • 3 tables - 6' x 30" - for indoor use only.

For Seneca:

  • 120 beige cloth stacking chairs for indoor use only
  • 12 tables - 60" round
  • 5 tables - 6' x 30"
  • 150 white resin chairs for outside use.

For Rockwood:

  • 185 camel, cushioned, stacking chairs for indoor use only
  • 12 round tables - 5’ round (10 max.)
  • 17 tables - 6’ x 30”
  • 20 tables - 6’ x 18”
  • 15 tables - 8’ x 30”
  • 15 tables - 3’ x 3’
For Brookside Gardens:

  • 175 camel, cushioned, stacking chairs for indoor use only
  • 18 round tables - 5’ (10 max.) for indoor use only
  • 15 tables - 6’ x 30” for indoor use only
  • 2 tables - 8’ x 30” for indoor use only

More FAQs to come!

Not-So-Big Wedding - Global Response!

From Portugal:

This is a real challenge [] all over the world because people are living under so much pressure that positive thinking hardly crosses their minds. If you're in love and want to get married you don't have to postponed it to 2015, you just have to define what's the "must have" and the "nice to have" of your wedding dream, and make it happen... with the money you can afford. .... This would nice to organize in Portugal. :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

St. Anthony's Bridal Joins the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique

St. Anthony's Bridal, a local non-profit, whose mission is to help people have an affordable wedding, will be at the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique on November 8. There, they will be showing and selling their beautiful designer wedding gowns at a fraction of normal retail value.

For those who are unfamiliar with St. Anthony's Bridal, the organization
has loans out wedding gowns and reception decor to qualifying brides, numbering now over a hundred brides since its inception in 2004. To make this all possible, St. Anthony's sells gowns to any bride at low, low, low prices.

St. Anthony's will be bringing a large selection of their dresses of all sizes to the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique for brides-to-be to peruse and try on. For more information about St. Anthony's, please visit their website

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Press Release Issued 9-3-09


For immediate release:
September 2, 2009

Kelli Holsendolph
Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks


POTOMAC, MD—Planning is now underway for a not-so-typical wedding expo this November, as the Montgomery County Department of Parks challenges area wedding vendors to form teams and plan a “Not-So-Big” wedding at one of the county’s four park event centers: Brookside Gardens, Rockwood Manor, Seneca Lodge or Woodlawn Manor.

“The Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique will celebrate the marriage of elegance and economy,” said Department of Parks Event Centers Marketing Specialist Laura Gosse. “The challenge we’re posing to wedding vendors is to form teams of not more than 5 and plan a not-so-big wedding for $15K or less.”

Each team will create a wedding package for a ceremony and reception of 65 guests. Wedding packages must include catering, floral arrangements, music, photography and a Montgomery Parks event center rental. Wedding vendors have until September 30 to form teams and register for the challenge online at No. 90549). The team entry fee is $500.

Then, on Sunday, November 8 at Rockwood Manor in Potomac, the teams will showcase their not-so-big wedding packages for brides and grooms-to-be, their families and other attendees during the Not-So-Big-Wedding Boutique. This first of its kind Montgomery Parks event will be held from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm at Rockwood Manor, 11001 MacArthur Boulevard, and is free to the public.

“I’m also matchmaking,” added Gosse!

Wedding vendors looking for a team or teams looking for a missing member, can email their name, email address, phone number, category need (e.g., photography) and website (if available) to Laura Gosse at or post the information on and Laura will help match them up.

During the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique, the Department of Parks will display the not-so-big wedding packages of 20 teams, award one team the grand prize, offer “Wedding Wisdom” talks from experts and showcase the event centers in the county’s parks system.

“The park event centers are special places no matter the special occasion,” said Gosse. “They are affordable options for not only weddings, but also birthdays, anniversaries, holiday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs—they are the natural choice.”

Brookside Gardens in Wheaton is an award-winning, unique public gardens and popular wedding location. Rockwood Manor in Potomac is a charming estate nestled in the woods. Seneca Lodge in Boyds is a handsome log cabin with cathedral ceilings and panoramic views. Woodlawn Manor in Sandy Spring is an elegant Georgian-style house sitting atop rolling pastures.

To schedule tours of these properties, wedding vendors interested in taking the challenge can contact Brookside Gardens at 301-962-1404 or Rockwood Manor, Seneca Lodge and Woodlawn Manor at 301-299-5026.

For more information on Montgomery Parks’ event centers, see the newly redesigned website and for more on the Not-So-Big Wedding Boutique and Challenge, visit