Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Soolip bridal show at Vibiana

Sunday was the Soolip Bridal show at Vibiana in downtown LA. Even though I am on the preferred vendor list as a wedding coordinator for Vibiana I opted to not do my own booth this year. Instead, my friend NancyKay, cake bake extraordinaire of NancyKay's Confections asked me to decorate her booth for her. I jumped at the chance as I had not had a fun craft project in quite a while! NancyKay let me take the reins and didn't flinch when I told her I wanted to do a springtime garden bursting with butterflies.

I chose as the base for everything a celery green dupioni silk and used pink everywhere that I could. The letters for her sign was a craft project that I photographed the process of. I'll post that as a blog soon. While I don't claim to be even remotely as talented as a professional florist, I did the flower arrangments of fresh springtime flowers in vases, urns, and pitchers. I wanted it to look like a garden. All of the flowers had handpainted butterflies "landing" on the blossoms. The butterflies were purchased downtown in the flowermart and ran anywhere from $2.50-$4.50 depending on how large they were.

My favorite part of the booth were the two birdcages that were filled with wheatgrass with tulips, daffodils, and irises "growing" out of the grass. And of course, butterflies landing on the cages.
I never could decide which of her cakes was my favorite. Not only are NancyKay's cakes so fresh and pretty to look at, they taste divine! I love her red velvet cake the best......no, maybe the carrot cake. But then again, the cake with the homemade toffee is pretty amazing too.....
I was able to meet Kim and Blair, some of the fabulous women of the sassy Junebug weddings blog, and they wrote such a great recap and posted the prettiest pictures of the show here. What a great day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Amber Advice on LA Style Unveiled

I am honored that sassy new wedding blog LA Style Unveiled featured an article of mine today!
LA Style Unveiled is a new website for stylish and chic brides looking to make their wedding as fabulous as they are.

My article has tips on creating your seating chart and can be found here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wood Wedding Invitations

image taken from www.oslopress.com

I am researching wooden wedding invitations for a client that wants something rustic and a little bit different and I'm so in love with these I just have to share! Below are some of the websites that I found that sell wood invitations:






image taken from http://www.nightowlpapergoods.com
image taken from http://www.lazerdesigns.com

Friday, March 20, 2009

An event at the Westlake Village Inn

Last night I attending a networking dinner for the Association of Bridal Consultants' Los Angeles AND Ventura county chapters. We have dinners where vendors in the wedding industry can showcase their flowers, favors, fashion, music, photography, etc. It was held at the gorgeous Westlake Village Inn in Westlake Village. Not only was I looking forward to networking with 150 other wedding industry professionals, I was especially excited to experience the Westlake Village Inn as a guest as I have a wedding coming up there in June. Being a guest at an event and being a vendor at an event are two totally, totally different worlds. I've always had a good feeling about the venue based on our meetings there and I know that the wedding will be gorgeous based on all of the work and attention going into it, but now I am even more excited about the wedding as I know that the service, staff, and food will be flawless!

It doesn't matter how pretty a venue is, if the staff is sub-par and the food mediocre, guests will definitely remember that about your wedding. What a treat it was to get a taste of what my lovely June clients will have on their wedding day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

great gifts for all walking down the aisle

I carry a mini emergency kit on my hip (ok, ok, so it's a fanny pack. Glamorous, eh?) and when I line the bridal party up to start the processional I pass out Kleenex to everyone in line. Unfortunately, Kleenex held in sweaty hands gets pretty gross after about 5 minutes. I'm a huge fan of handkerchiefs and an even bigger fan of these embroidered hankies from Felicia's Fancies . They are stunning. The personalized notes are so touching. These would be such great gifts to give out either at the rehearsal dinner or the day of the wedding to your mom, bridesmaids, father, etc.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Name Change

I like to give gift ideas of things that I think are great. Kind of like Oprah, but I don't give said gifts to my readers. Maybe someday, when I am a billionaire and get free products coming out of my ears...

Today's gift is specifically for the Bride**. It's not glamorous, it is not sparkly, it is not sassy, but it is truly a wonderful and useful time saver. Ladies and gents, may I present: Miss Now Mrs.

Last year I was doing my 3 hour details meeting with a bride and groom and when I got to the question: "are you going to change your name?" my overwhelmed, overworked, full time student/working bride completely burst into tears and wailed "I can't even think about that right now!!!!!" Her fiance looked at me with a look of shocked horror wondering if his bride was getting cold feet about marrying him and I told him: "Don't worry, she'll be ok, let her cry this out. It's normal". Then I consoled her and told her that she doesn't need to worry about it right now, just take things one step at a time. I really wish I had known about this service then, because for $29 I could have saved her a lot of work and aggravation. Poor thing. I know how she felt.

Truly, changing your name is a royal pain in the pants. Dealing with the state government, the DMV, credit cards, bank accounts, loans, travel documents, IRA's, and 401K's is not fun. No longer does this need to be a daunting task though! After dealing with the headache changing the wife's name, a husband and wife team created a site that helps you make a task list, tells you the steps to take, and fills out the forms for you! Hallelujah!!

**If the Bride isn't changing her name, get her something sparkly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Heather & Matt's Marvimon wedding

I blogged a few weeks ago (here) about Heather and Matt's wedding at Marvimon and today I'm excited to share the gorgeous images taken by the talented Brian and Allie Callaway of www.allieandbri.com. The whole evening just had such a romantic feel and glow to it. It was wonderful!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wedding Day Disaster

I tell potential clients "yes, you can get married without a wedding coordinator, but it's SO much easier to have one!" I can also file my taxes without an accountant, but there is no way I'd put myself through that stress.

Below is a blog borrowed from my dear friend and fellow wedding coordinator Jeannie Ward of The Wedding Jeannie. It's a scary look into something that could so easily have been avoided. Yikes.

Wedding Day Disaster


My blog is a place where brides and grooms can come for good advice with a smile. Normally, I wouldn’t post anything with a negative tone, but I’m compelled to warn you about what can happen when you don’t hire an experienced wedding planner.

Recently a bride called me inquiring about hiring me. I was already booked for her day, but referred her to another planner that I know and trust. Her wedding was 45 days away and she still didn’t have a DJ. Even though I wasn’t her planner I referred a great DJ to her, and she hired him.

Monday after the wedding, I heard from my valued DJ. The bride decided not to hire a planner because she didn’t want to pay the fee, and she was confident that her family members would take care of the details. Unfortunately they didn’t, and her wedding was not all she was wishing for. Here is a list of what went wrong, and how it could have been avoided.

  • The bride was 30 minutes late for her own wedding. We make a detailed timeline of the entire day, from the time the make-up artist arrives, to the time the limo picks up the bridal party, etc. We even contact your hair and make-up artists to tell them what time they should start and finish, to keep the bride on time.

  • The florist was late and didn’t have an assistant to help him. He was putting down the aisle runner and petals while the guests were seated and watched. A professional coordinator’s timeline is detailed. Each vendor (including the florist), is called two weeks before the event to discuss the duties and what time they need to start work and finish work. The florist is called again a few days before the wedding to confirm. I always have an assistant, and often times an intern. If a vendor is late and needs help to finish, we all jump in to get it done.

  • Kneeling benches were to be used for the ceremony. The bride’s sister was to pick them up from the rental company and bring them. She didn’t do it! Her own sister didn’t do it. Prior to every wedding, I’m mentally prepared for every possible problem. I know what rental company is nearby, and could have had my assistant pick them up within ten minutes.

  • Seating cards were to be placed outside of the ballroom. Assigned seating was the order of the day. The bride left this task to her beloved and responsible cousin. Guess what? She forgot them! It was a seating “free for all”. Important family members were relegated to the back of the room, because people who took the seats closest to the couple refused to move. We require that the seating cards are given to us the night of the rehearsal. We place them and assist guests in being seated.

  • The ceremony was one hour late and the priest threatened to leave because he had another wedding to perform. He instructed the DJ to start the music and send the bride down the aisle immediately or he would leave. The bridal party was running around visiting with friends and would not stay lined up. The brides father couldn’t be found when it was time to start. The Bride had to walk down the aisle alone! This is absolutely heartbreaking. There are always two of us at every wedding. I stay with the bride and her maids, and my assistant stays with the groom and his men. We keep everyone in line. The latest I’ve ever started a wedding was 10 minutes.

  • Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. You get one opportunity to capture “moments” on film. The photographer at this wedding was eating hors’ doeuvres and sitting down. The DJ caught him sitting down on several occasions, not taking pictures. He had to continually hound him all night to do his job. It is not the job of the DJ to help with all of these problems. This couple was very lucky that this DJ is very caring and wanted the best for them. A coordinator would have made sure the photographer was doing his job. If necessary, my assistant would shadow him and keep him on his toes. It’s our job to oversee that the important shots are being captured.

  • A video montage was to be played during the reception. The bride assured the DJ that there would be a projector and a screen provided. She forgot to inform the venue. No screen, no projector. Luckily the DJ had a backup projector in his vehicle. He convinced the venue manager to allow them to use their screen (additional fee for the couple). We do a final walkthrough with the venue to go over the timeline and flow for the day. The mistake would have been indentified and corrected at that time.

In the long run, the couple were married. Isn’t that what really matters? Of course it is. But the bride was especially distressed about everything that went wrong. Most brides are sure that their family will “take care of them that day”. I can attest to the fact that when a family member has been assigned a duty, 8 times out of 10, they don’t deliver. It’s not that they don’t love you, but your wedding is not their priority. We see it happen every day. That’s why I carry in the trunk of my car, an extra sign in book, toasting glasses, garters in every color, place cards and pens.

We are trained floral designers. If the florist forgets grandpa’s boutonniere, I can make one in one minute. My emergency kit contains, florist’s wire, tape and pins. We can put together an amazing cake topper from flowers from your centerpieces in five minutes.

Pardon the sound of anger in this post. I am so heartbroken for this couple. For the cost of hiring an experienced planner, these problems could have been avoided. Let me break it down this way.

Wedding Coordinator- Month Of Package…$1500
Walking down the aisle with your dad….PRICELESS!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Unique Invitations

I was filing some of my 2008 wedding binders and came across Derek & Angela's invitations and just had to share them. Derek and Angela got married aboard The Queen Mary last fall and we had a fun time designing their Art Deco/Travel inspired wedding. When we talked about invitations I said it would be fun to have custom designed invitations made to look like boarding passes for the ship. Because they were on a tight DIY budget, they were able to ask a friend to do the design for them and a family run print shop to print them. During one of our walk-throughs, we stopped in the gift shop aboard the ship and purchased vintage postcards to send out as their Save The Dates. The guests raved about the Save The Dates, Invitations, and the Resonse Cards made to look like luggage tags.

If you are having your wedding in a unique or historic venue, consider asking the venue for some of their artwork to incorporate into the design of the invitation. It makes it so much more fun than a plain white invitation!