In the Spotlight: Ritzy Bee

Holler- it’s the first of our new series dubbed “In the Spotlight” (or limelight!), where we will be featuring industry greats. Top photographers, incredibly creative planners, magazine editors, bloggesses, and the local who’s who.

Who better to kick it off than Maria Cooke and Kelly Seizert of Ritzy Bee Events and the Ritzy Bee Blog? They’re nationally-recognized, but girls-next-door- you can’t beat that combo.

{image by Kate Headley}

If you missed the memo, Maria and Kelly have a gigantic and loyal following as bloggers and are also positioned as top wedding and event designers in the mid-Atlantic.

Without further ado . . .

Calder: Best store (online or not) for great reception finds?

M+K: We love The Old Lucketts Store locally for big statement pieces like reclaimed furniture and odd containers for storage and display. As cool as we try to be, we’re suckers for a personalized napkin and is just so affordable, easy and has so many color options.

{The Old Lucketts Store in Leesburg, VA}

Calder: Secret weapon in your emergency kit/arsenal for your brides?

M+K: Shades of “blonde” & “brunette” thread – we’ve sewn in many a hair accessory and secured many flyaways that no bobby pin could hold.

Calder: What one wedding design element needs to be banished to its grave?

M+K: This was a tough tie with the chocolate fountain, but spray painted floral – enough said.

Calder: Your go-to signature drink for entertaining?

M+K: Classic drinks with a family spin (example: mom’s mint julep) and the recipe handed out on a beautifully pressed coaster. . . . as seen below.

{image by Kate Headley}

Calder: What do you really think about the styling trend in our industry . . . the mock
shoots, the faux weddings, the propped-out gigs on blogs?

M+K: Surfing wedding blog land can be fun and we think it’s okay to take some inspiration from these places, but strongly feel things should be personal to the couple.  We believe décor elements should serve a purpose and using props just have to have cute props looks a bit too trendy.

{image by Kate Headley}

Calder: What’s one of your favorite blogs, or what interesting blog is in your RSS feed?

M+K: We actually love going to style + decorating blogs best – Mrs. Lilien Styling House is a Ritzy Bee fave!

Calder: Favorite detail of 2010 that you deployed at a wedding? (I’m already drooling.)

M+K: With the surprise addition of an unexpected tent, we wanted to create a focal point. At the last minute we designed and then assembled a wall made of dozens of vintage DC pennants and using the brides huge collection of prize ribbons from her 4-H Camp days.  It went very nicely with the “collegiate” feel of the wedding day.

{image by Kate Headley}

Calder: Your ideal late night reception bite for guests?

M+K: Egg, ham & cheese sandwiches wrapped in a newsprint

Calder: What one coffee table book would you buy right now for inspiration?

M+K: We constantly find new books we love to pour over…but our most favorite are the Kate Spade trio of books on Style, Manners & Occasions – they are sweet, simple & timeless – and we love the illustrations!

Calder: You’re heading into an 18 hour wedding day- what’s your “fix”?

M+K: Water, a charged iPhone, comfy shoes and our big white notebook of paperwork…and Kelly likes to throw in Junior Mints and some lip gloss too.

Calder: No wedding is complete without . . .

M+K: “September”, by Earth Wind & Fire

Now if that doesn’t give you fodder for thought today, you’re off your rocker.


  1. Charlotte

    Terrific post! I loved learning more about Ritzy Bee’s take on the mock photo shoot! Thanks so much for sharing!