Blog

  • 49% of Brides Would Skype Their Wedding March 30, 2016 - Gosh, when I started my wedding planning business 25 years ago, the only concern I had in communication was, will my clients have fax machines and cell phones so we can share documents and conversations quickly. Boy have things changed. For example: Photographers use to be concerned when a guest walked in to a wedding with a SLR camera. These friends with good cameras were a threat to many a photographer before the digital age. They would sometimes get in the way of the shoot, position themselves too close to the photographer and take practically the same angle as the photographer's shoot. There were many times where I had to gingerly ask a guest to step aside at least 2 ...Continue Reading
  • Value of Service March 21, 2016 - It is valuable to find someone who is at the top of their field of expertise and who is also freely willing to help. The following is an answer to an e-mail I sent to veteran wedding coordinator Tobey Dodge. Her approach to wedding planning is very logical and can be applied to planning any special event. She is a joy to work with. Eric Zimmermann Elegant Music. Hi Tobey: I have been meaning to interview you about what a couple planning a wedding should expect (price ranges) for items for their wedding. But then I realized that there must be a sequence to planning a wedding and talking about "price" right from the beginning probably isn't the best place ...Continue Reading
  • Synopsis for Laurie and Tom January 16, 2016 - Laurie and Tom set out to give their guests the best experience possible for their wedding May 12, 2012 at the Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena California. The wedding day was not about them only, but an expression of their friendship and love for their family and friends. They achieved that through a rich musical and spiritual wedding ceremony at the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, a culinary tor de force by the Hotel’s gifted chef and staff, and the graceful elegant floral designs from Tic Toc Floral Designs. Eddie and his team created a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere with lush mounds of pink roses, and spring blooms atop tall stately gilded candelabrum. The coordinating linen in ...Continue Reading
  • When Money Is The Object Of Attention September 9, 2015 - I recently had a conversation and correspondence with a bride who wanted to create a quality wedding for 150 guests and stay within a $15,000 budget near a large metropolitan area. To me, $15,000 is a lot of money, and I wish I could have told her the magic formula to make that happen for her without any compromises or downsizing. What follows is a portion of my letter to her in hopes that if you know someone that can be helped with this information, that you will pass on the suggestions: Actually I think you are doing well if you can have any measure of a wedding for $15,000 even in these economic times. The national average is $30,000 ...Continue Reading
  • Couture Looking Bridesmaid’s Dresses At Ready To Wear Prices April 30, 2015 - This past week though, I came across in person a great company, not only in product but personnel. Please consider working with these wonderful people and products. If you are in the market for bridesmaids or flower girl dresses make a bee line to Anna Elyse.com. They do online orders or in person in their studio in Pasadena at 87 Green Street, suite 304, Pasadena CA 91105. 626-396-1900. It's right above Red Hot and Blue Cafe. They will measure you, consult with you and make the dress from scratch using dozens of patterns they have on hand. They even have a line of flower girl dresses that coordinate with the big girl gowns. Thy also have a line of very ...Continue Reading
  • Making Tough Decisions April 11, 2015 - When you have tough decisions to make, especially when those decisions involve family I have used one question to ask myself which often clarifies the choices and assists in making a final decision. And the question is……………… Do you think you will feel as strongly as you do today about the issue or choice you are making now as you will in 5 or 10 years? If you think you will feel as strongly, then you can feel confident with your decision today, whether you are deciding whom to invite or other matters. If you are not completely sure or have second thoughts about your feelings on the issue, then it’s best to take a step back, consider other options ...Continue Reading
  • Creating the Ideal Guest List March 9, 2015 - You might wonder, what is the ideal guests list. Is there such a thing? Yes, and here’s what it looks like. The ideal guest list is a group of people that you enjoy their company and want to spend time with one on one . They are also those whom you have shared important milestones in your life. They are the people that you want to be close to in the future. They are the people you work with and want to expand your work relationship into friendship as well. They are the extended family members you enjoy seeing at holiday. They are your college buddies, sorority and fraternity members. They are the time honored next door neighbors and grade ...Continue Reading
  • Where’s the Water? January 29, 2015 - When you find the perfect wedding site nestled up in the hills high above your city, you are taken with the view, the ambiance, the garden  you can imagine what the hanging lights in the trees will look like in your magical romantic outdoor ballroom. It isn't until you have already hired the caterer, paid for the site, the photographer, etc. etc, when you are asked by the caterer in a walkthrough meeting at the property, “so where is the water source to rinse dishes or use to make coffee or tea?” Unless there is an outdoor shower, most properties use grey water for their gardens to conserve water by recycling water and using runoff water when safe to keep ...Continue Reading
  • Sara and Mike, Palm Desert CA January 23, 2015 - From the summer of '05 when Sara was smitten when she and Mike spent time together in Tijuana with mutual friends. Soon after they became an item.  Six years later, this amazing couple came together in the bride's mother's desert hillside home. They discovered along the way that they both wanted to pursue scientific careers and infused their interest in biochemistry and mechanical engineering in accessories for their wedding day. The escort cards from chemical identification cards, favors in test tubes with a rocket charm, and dry iced enhanced cocktails served out of test tubes all gave special touches to this Summer oasis wedding. "Your wedding must be planned, but no matter how planned it is, it will still be ...Continue Reading
  • He popped the question, now what? January 17, 2015 - After the glow of getting engaged and staring at that beautiful ring on your finger, it's time to figure out what to do next. Here are the top ten things to think about before you sign on the dotted line for anything! Consider all families included in the wedding for setting the date and location of the wedding by finding out about vacations, holiday rituals, and work and school schedules. The big "B" word needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Figure what everyone can contribute ($$'s) to the wedding weekend budget. I say wedding weekend since the growing trend, even in these economic challenging times is to have a joint effort to accommodate out of town guests in ...Continue Reading
  • Preparing for an Out of Town Wedding doesn’t have to bring Out of Site Challenges January 11, 2015 - With greater speed, mobility, and access to information, working from a distance, on the surface, should be just as efficient and productive as preparing or a wedding locally. Today it's easier to leave messages, scan anything needed from budgets to diagrams. Therefore, much of the legwork can be done over the phone; via blackberry or cable lines just about anywhere you live and work. When it comes to weddings though, the old adage, "seeing is believing" is alive and well. No matter how many photos, descriptions, samples on line you look at, when it comes to making final decisions, it's important to make time for those in person meetings with sites and services. The task of setting up meetings with ...Continue Reading
  • Keeping the Sparkle in New Years Eve Weddings December 6, 2013 - From time to time I am asked how to plan and schedule a New Years Eve wedding. It can be a very fun and festive way to bring in the New Year and celebrate a new beginning in your lives as well. Here are some suggestions for the timing of the evening to insure that your wedding flows nicely, everyone stays until midnight to ring in the new year together with good wishes too. Invite your guests for a cocktail party start at 8 PM if you have the bucks to entice your guests to begin celebrating early in the evening.This allows time for traffic in case it's a work day and your guests are traveling from a distance. You ...Continue Reading
  • Finding a Gem of a Site November 6, 2013 - Last night I had a great phone call with a new client. It is always an exciting time to talk over what your client hopes to see, feel, and experience on the wedding day. One of the most important topics to discuss  is finding the perfect site to hold the ceremony and reception, the one that just fits the couple's vision and atmosphere for their wedding day. Since this particular wedding is going to take place in Los Angeles and the bride and groom are now residing elsewhere, lots of thought is given to where the rest of the guests coming from out of town should stay overnight, will this site be easy or hard to find, is it big ...Continue Reading
  • The Best Seats in the House May 4, 2013 - I am often asked, "What are the best seats in the house". Meaning, where should I put my family and friends in the ballroom, backyard, banquet hall so they have the best view of the festivities and the most honored position. There is a fast answer and a long answer. First the fast one, closest to the bride and groom. The long answer it depends on family politics and cultural heritage. I've seen a lot of families over the years sweat over where to seat their family and friends, trying to please everyone and to make the most judicial decisions as if the future of the family and social register depends on this one event seating plan. It may sound ...Continue Reading
  • Purpose and Passion January 14, 2013 - Last night my husband brought home "Julie and Julia" to watch. What a treat! The movie depicted the life of Julia Child from 1949 in Paris with her quest to do something relevant with her life and mirroring the struggle of Julie a modern day woman turning 30 stuck in a job trying to find a way to follow her passion and purpose as a writer. Julia found a way to follow her heart, the love of food through learning to cook french food, and later writing the first french cookbook for Americans. She became a beloved culinary icon in the eyes of the American public.  Julie decided to write a blog about cooking through all of Julia's recipes within ...Continue Reading
  • Alternative Ideas for Guestbooks January 5, 2013 - I just came across a good idea as an alternative to the traditional guest book and wanted to share it. The idea is an  attractive box with a slit in the top for guests to place well wishes for the the bride and groom. this custom has been around for awhile, but there hasn't been any commercial company that has specialized in making the boxes for the general public. check out www.creativecustomcardboxes.com and see for yourself if this alternative to guest books makes sense for you. Happy shopping, Tobey
  • Platinum Weddings for Less December 13, 2012 - The famed television show "Platinum Weddings" has been touting the exuberance, exclusivity, and extravagance of brides for several seasons to rave reviews. Just one thing, is it possible to get the same "over the top" look for less. How can a bride or her glue gun toting troop of friends pull off a Platinum look alike wedding for less?   Well, anything is possible, right? In reality, you can get pretty close to a platinum wedding when you take into consideration a few important visual design principles and team it up with generous amounts of time, labor, and creativity.     Scale: Most Platinum weddings have very large centerpieces and visual accents. Scale helps create the wow factor. So think ...Continue Reading
  • “So, What Do You Do, And How Much Do You Charge” December 9, 2012 - It probably doesn't come as a surprise to you  that you might have thought or said the same phrase a hundred times when reading thourgh marketing material and speaking with potential wedding services. It's a fair question for sure, but not necessarily an easy one to answer in a quick manner as one might think. Case in point: The "Incoming inquiry" might include a sentence letting me know who or what location has recommended my coordinating service, then  swiftly want to know the obvious answer to what I do and how much I charge? Most of the inquires that are worded like this are for "day of" coordination package. Some folks wish  I could step onto a property the day ...Continue Reading
  • Four Seasons Hotel (Los Angeles) Does It Up Right! December 4, 2012 - Last night I was fortunate to be invited to the Four Seasons Hotel for their annual holiday evening of appreciation and gift giving for "Toys for Tots". Representatives from the Marine Corp, who help distribute the toys to boys and girls,  spoke about the importance of making the effort for these children in need. All of us admittedly look forward each year to the wonderful food and decor which is overseen by Jennifer Rebello, the director of catering. Every year Jennifer and the culinary staff out do themselves. This year there was a sampling of wonderful tastes from around the world. The quality of the food, service, and presentation is always top notch. This year, the room was laid out ...Continue Reading
  • The Seating Card Monster November 27, 2012 - Eventually all couples get around to figuring out where everyone is going to be seated and how to indicate on their seating cards what entrees were selected by their guests. I can't think of anything else but the forming of  the wedding budget that brings out so much passion and angst.  In a perfect world, it would be great to have your guests seated at their dinner tables and the servers go around at the beginning of the evening and ask them what they would like to have for their entree, "Filet or Sea Bass". These locations do exist, but they are few and far between. Most of the time, guests are asked to decide what they want to have ...Continue Reading
  • Dress Etiquette for Afternoon into Evening Weddings November 2, 2012 - It’s not surprising that the bride and groom were scratching their heads trying to decide what to say on the invitation as far as attire when their friends are really fun loving Harley Davidson riding buds and the last time the guys dressed up was never according to the groom. This bride and groom were fun loving and unpretentious. They didn’t care so much about everyone looking as fancy as they were going to be, but at the same time they had to abide by the club’s rules. The only “no no “ for the club was denim. So it was decided if ties were requested,  the guests would know that meant a pair of slacks and some kind of ...Continue Reading