Fancy Friday: Cocktail Hour

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, ideas, Weddings

Here’s some ideas to keep your guests satisfied during your cocktail hour without going flat.

1. People love a place to sit. Aside from having tall cocktail tables, play with heights and have some short 2-seater tables and furniture with coffee tables to keep the area interesting. Instead of centerpieces on the tables, maybe put pictures from your engagement session and simple bud vases with your logo on the table

2. Get food that is easy to eat and compliments your entree menu. You don’t want people to get full during the cocktail hour, so doing a “bite size” is not only economical but makes for good looking food. Another big trend is an elegant finger food, something that doesn’t require extra utensils.

3. Drinks. Signature drinks are all the craze. Calling it something creative that ties in with the color scheme/theme of the wedding is a minor detail that can go a long way. Don’t have the budget for a signature drink? That’s ok! Take a popular cocktail and rename it! Having a wedding in the city? Serve Cosmopolitans. What about a beach wedding? Serve Mai Tai’s. Vineyard wedding? Serve wine. These can be your main offerings during your cocktail hour and can save a ton on your budget!

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Fancy Friday: Bridesmaids have Feelings too!

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, ideas, Weddings

I know it’s your big day. And, theoretically, you can have the bridesmaids where whatever you choose. But 99% of the clients I have worked with have never wanted their bridesmaids to look tasteless in their gowns. These girls/women are, after all, the ladies that have stuck by you through thick and thin. Through the good times and the bad. Here are some new ideas (and classic time and true designs) that will make your bridesmaids happy and will make your overall wedding experience more enjoyable (I promise!).

The Twist Wrap Dress. I think this is an awesome idea. I’m even considering (keyword: CONSIDERING! My Bridesmaids, it’s not a for sure decision yet! lol) What’s great is the versatility of this dress. Ceremony: everyone wears a certain style. Looks great on pictures, there’s a cohesive look, your girls look fabulous! Reception: people can change up the style to make them comfortable. They can go strapless, a-symmetrical, sleeved, there’s a style for everyone. On top of that, the versatility goes well beyond the day of the wedding and this is ACTUALLY something that they can wear to other weddings/events (and it’s actually true!). Check out these ways to twist and customize your dress by the Dessy Group.
Another great way to make your bridesmaids feel confident in what their wearing is to pick a color scheme, fabric and let them choose a style. What’s great about this is bridal stores have set this up so the colors match as close as possible and there are a variety of styles to choose from. Check these styles out in “marine” by David’s Bridal (note: these are just some of the styles to choose from!).
Sometimes footwear can also be an issue. Sometimes people don’t feel comfortable wearing really high heels, some people feel more comfortable in a pump than an open toe, there’s too many options! How do you keep them cohesive? There are the Dyeables, which will be good for the wedding day (as long as it doesn’t rain) and will be good for pretty much that day and maybe one more. You can tell them to go get shoes in a certain color (i.e. black, silver, etc.) that you think will match the color scheme. Or, you can get everyone to wear one shoe and allow them to change into sandals for the reception. Here are some very cute sandals that would still look good over the good ol’ flip flop.
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Technology and Events — Part I

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, business

I wrote an article about 2 years ago about technology and weddings. I honestly can’t believe that in that short amount of time there are now even more technological avenues to utilize. As a business owner and being involved in the wedding/event industry, it’s exciting how the world of technology is having a direct effect on things in the bubble I call my life.


As a business woman, I believe you have to keep up and be resourceful. I’m a technology geek (not full blown, but pretty interested). Technology is quite different even from a few years ago and the internet has been such a useful resource to me. Because of the internet, I can connect with friends that I haven’t seen/heard from in years, I can keep in contact with family and friends all over the world, and they can keep up with me. The endless ability to reach people far and wide is jaw dropping. Here are just some of the things that I’ve seen or am a part of.

Blogger. (of course)

Those are the ones just off the top of my head. There are so many more, and that’s just for my business/event planning life. Why is this important you ask? It may not be. But to “techies” like myself, it’s a way to stay connected and to put a face on a company. I’ve never been one to impose my services or personality on anyone, but if someone is interested I’m not afraid to share a little bit of myself with another person. I’m a pretty open book. I believe in making a connection with people and I believe one of the only ways to do that is to share some of yourself. I guess that’s why I’m in the business that I’m in.

What’s important to me is to establish a personality for my company. I want everyone to know that with my company, comes my style, persona, quirks, and all. In a business like mine, working with different personalities is a way for me to further discover things about myself. The challenge of getting to know a person and understanding their likes and dislikes is exactly why I believe that personality is so important.

A website can show a little bit about you, but isn’t as personal as a blog, or a profile. Through the evolution of websites, I feel that a company website is just meant to brush the surface and give enough information to intrigue. With social networking, I feel like you can get a taste of what I’m about, and hopefully because or despite those things you find out about me, you can make a decision.
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Wedding Cake Ideas

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, Design, ideas, Weddings

(find these cakes on theknot.com and read more about them!)



People often forget about this part of the “tiny details.” The cake is an important part of tradition in weddings. These traditions date back to the Roman era when loaves of bread were used and broken over the couple to signify prosperity and long life. The guests would also try to take pieces of the loaves so they can also share in the prosperity of the couple.


Since then, cakes have transformed into a very important part of the reception festivities. The act of slicing and sharing a piece of cake together signifies unity and care for each other. The cake itself an edible work of art.


I’ve been surrounded by cakes my whole life. My aunt has been baking cakes even before my days walking this Earth working at the family bake shop in the Philippines. Since then, she’s honed her craft and recently opened a shop in Granada Hills with my parents to carry on the legacy here in the US (www.ninongspastries.com). She taught me that cakes have to be 2 things: DELICIOUS and BEAUTIFUL.


Sometimes cakes aren’t the most important thing to people, but I believe it is. This is one of the important parts of the celebration of a wedding, and it’s something that you share with the guests that mean so much to you.


There are so many ways to get creative with cakes. The shape, the flavor, the cake topper, the colors, the embellishments, the base, the height, the list goes on. Designers have definitely been pushing the bar with their cakes and moving from the traditional white/off white cake. Some are in full color, some with hints of the traditional with a new modern twist. Some cakes are all edible with gum paste flowers and decor, some cakes have fun non-edible embellishments.


The world of weddings is changing, but the growth in the creativity of wedding cakes is amazing. The future of wedding cakes is limitless and will continue to evolve as the years go by. I can’t wait to see what else people will be coming up with.


Photo sources: The Knot

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Vendors: How do I pick?

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice

This is a concern of many people. How do I know which vendor is the right pick? Here’s some advice on how to sort through all those vendors. (Please remember, DE has wonderful vendors that we’ve met and worked with along the way. However, DE is not responsible for any conflicts between other vendors and clients. We solely act as a mediator between vendor and client and works in the best interest of BOTH parties.)


1. Take the small steps to achieve the big picture. Looking at daunting tasks in small steps is usually more efficient. Don’t approach all vendors at the same time. Work category by category, but efficiently. Your consultant can help you organize when to approach certain vendors.

2. Ask questions. Vendors are here to answer questions and to tell you more about what they do. They welcome questions as well as asking you questions because it helps them hone in on the important stuff. Put a list together to make sure you get your bases covered and ask all the questions you have in mind. There are never any “stupid” questions but if you feel embarrassed to ask someone a question, that’s what your consultant is there for. We either have the answer or are more than willing to ask the question for you.

3. Contact a few vendors at a time. Interview about 3 vendors in the same category. If you think one of the vendors don’t match with your needs or personality, move on to the next one. Please remember, people like to be kept in the know. Let people know whether or not you have made a decision or kindly decline their services.

4. Do your research. There are so many methods to finding vendors. Online, trade shows, word of mouth, etc. Each method has its pros and cons, and I personally don’t prefer one over the other. Some advice – when researching online, there are literally hundreds of resources to look through. Try to keep perspective when searching so you don’t get overwhelmed. When attending trade shows, don’t be afraid of speaking to the vendors. Trade shows are meant to give you one outlet where you can see service providers and retails in a face-to-face environment. Take your time, you never know what you can learn or take from a person. What’s great too, is that they sometimes have specials that they are offering as a “trade show special.” Word of mouth: some people completely trust this method. I do as well, but one thing to remember is that someone’s preference might not be the same as yours. The vendor’s chemistry might have been great for one client, but might not match with another. Make sure you ask questions and get to know vendors regardless of which method you find them. Many times, your consultant can recommend the right vendors and do the “brunt work” of the research for you to save time. We can narrow vendors down based on budget, wants, personality, and needs.

5. Chemistry. I believe it’s one of the most important things to consider when hiring anyone. Every professional you work with should be someone you trust will do the job you contract them to do, and ultimately, shares and understands the same vision you have. The price, personality, package of goods/services, and reliability have to be right for you.

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Technology and Weddings

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, business, Weddings

Technology and Weddings Today

Technology has come very far in the recent years and the wedding industry isn’t exempt from being effected. Take a look at some great ways to incorporate technology into your wedding.

1. Wedding Slideshows. Many photographers and videographers provide this service. They allow your guests to see significant moments in your life separately and together. Many people enjoy this feature because it gives their guests an insight of the bride and groom’s life. It gives your guests a chance to know you.
2. Online Registry. Many stores now allow your guests to view your registry online. Providing this on your wedding website is a great way for you to appropriate suggest your guests to look at a registry as providing registry information in your invitations is not considered proper etiquette.
3. Song Lists. Many couples have specific requests (as they should) regarding the music selection for their wedding. With technology now, you can provide your DJ with a CD or iPod with the songs that you specifically want played.
4. Décor. Many things can be incorporated into your décor to add flair to any event. Lighting adds a extra touch to set the mood for your wedding. Use battery operated tea lights for an outdoor wedding – they last the entire event and never blow out on a windy day. Creating a custom gobo with your monogram can be used to travel around the room. LED lights can now give your centerpieces and floral designs a beautiful glow. The list is endless and just needs a personal touch.
5. Wedding Website. A wedding website gives your guests a great way to know more about your wedding. You can provide a link to your wedding registry, tell people about your love story and how you met, show them your recent photos together, introduce them to your wedding party, provide a map and directions for the wedding day, the list goes on and on! There are many companies that offer this service, many for free. There are providers (such as Daydreamer Events) that provide websites for their clients at a low cost. With this cost comes more options such as more picture space, editing, customizing, online RSVP, a personal guestbook and more.

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Wedding Dress Advice

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, Weddings

There are infinite amounts of different wedding dresses for a bride to choose from but knowing the right style that is most flattering on their body might be the most challenging. There are so many decisions to make about the cut, the train, the neckline…it can tend to be overwhelming. Doing your research regarding the type of dress that appeals to you and the type of dress that will look good on your body will help prepare you when you make your trip to the bridal store. Though there are countless amounts of dresses, there are the basic dress types.

1. Ball Gown: I hear many people call it the “Cinderella” dress. This dress is easily characterized by its full skirt coming from the waist or hip accompanied with a corset style bodice. The style most commonly fits pear-shaped, full, and thin figures. However, this style is one of the more versatile styles for all figures.

2. A Line: This style is usually characterized by its smooth transition from bodice to skirt. The skirt is also a full skirt but is smaller in size than the Ball Gown. This is the most flattering for all body types except for women that do not have a defined waist line.

3. Empire: Its waist line moves from waist to underneath the bust creating a more fitted bust line followed by a smooth skirt. A common material for these types of dresses in a flowy chiffon. This dress is most pleasing to women with no defined waist line and petite women. Because of the fitted bust bodice, it creates the look of being taller.

4. Sheath: This dress style is recommended for the petite woman because it also creates the look of being taller. Its cut is very thin and hugs every curve, sometimes with a pencil skirt.

5. Mermaid: Though very similar to the Sheath dress type, there is one difference it its charcteristics – the bottom. The bottom of the dress, usually beginning at the knee, is flared and wider than the sheath style.

Advice when dress shopping:
1. Though there are styles that compliment all body types, I always advise to go with your gut instinct. Even if people say that your body type “doesn’t go” with the particular style you like, try it on. You will never know unless you try. If they were right move on and try something else, but if they were wrong you’ll be happy to know that your instincts were correct.
2. Don’t go dress shopping after you’ve purchased your dress because most of the time it’ll just confuse you. Do all the shopping before the purchase. Many shops have a no return policy so you might lose the money you’ve invested in the one you already know you loved.
3. When going dress shopping for the first time, take one person with you. It helps your gown consultant find out what you like instead of what your friends/family like. When you’ve narrowed down your selection, invite everyone to help choose.
4. Have fun! This experience is supposed to be one of the funnest parts of planning!

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Wedding Planner Misconceptions

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, business, Weddings

The wedding planning industry is a very misunderstood profession. The most common misconception is that wedding planners are there to take complete control of your wedding, including making decisions without the couple about creative, business, and money aspects. If you are working with an experienced wedding planner, this is absolutely not true unless you want them to take that much control over your wedding. A good wedding planner is your side-kick during this experience. We’re not there for anything but guidance, professional advice, and assistance.

Many people also think that they don’t need a wedding planner. While every person is different, I believe everyone needs a little help somewhere. Someone might need help from the beginning, the middle, or the end. A popular service many wedding planners now provide is “Day-Of Coordination.” In this service, we are there to be your “eyes and ears” while you, your family, and your friends get ready, take pictures, and enjoy your day. I would say at the least, this would be a valuable service to anyone.

Another common trend that is coming around is wedding coordinators that are included in a package offered at a venue. While these coordinators are wonderful, they only help with your ceremony and reception set up and tear down. They will also help with asking you what time you would like the toast to occur, what time you would like to serve dinner, etc. However, they do not help with the other vendors and planning like a wedding planner would. While these wedding coordinators and your wedding planner work very well together on the day of, the facility wedding coordinator will refer to your wedding planner so they can relay any delays or issues to the correct people. But what about your DJ, is he there? What time is he setting up? Is your florist using the correct flowers for the arrangements? Did the correct chair covers arrive? Does the cake look the way it’s supposed to? The facility’s wedding coordinator does not take responsibility for these aspects of your wedding. Your wedding planner, however, knows these details and can make sure everything is ready and properly set up.

With the wonderful career opportunities women have now, a wedding planner is almost required. Women now have 9-5 jobs, bills to pay, and themselves to take care of. If it takes over 250 hours to plan a wedding and engaged couples usually only have a year to plan, how will anyone be able to make time? Life is already so hectic as it is. With a wedding planner by your side, you will have someone dedicated to making your wedding day everything you hoped it would be, and more!

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Invitation Etiquette

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, Weddings

With technology as a common source and times changing, there are always questions that people ask about the do’s and don’ts about invitations. Many believe that invitations are not important. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, the fact of the matter is that your invitation sets the mood of your wedding before your guests even attend. Here are some frequently asked questions that I get from brides and grooms.

Q: Do I need to order an invitation for every guest?
A: Absolutely not. Don’t forget that many people that are on your guest list are couples or families, therefore, you will only need to order 1 invitation for 2 or more guests. I would say that you will need to order 65% of the amount on your guest list.

Q: Can I send my invitations through the internet?
A: It is improper to send an invitation through e-mail or internet, especially because it is an unreliable source of contact. People might not receive your e-mail or message. However, you may send out of town information, directions, hotel information, and other things through the internet.

Q: When should I send out our invitations?
A: 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding.

Q: Can I let my guests know I am registered in my invitations?
A: This is not proper etiquette. Registration information is never proper to enclose in your invitation. You may add it to your wedding website (if you have one), or you may tell them if they ask you. You can also use your close family members (mom, sisters, etc.) to spread the word if people ask them as well.

Q: I want to have a small wedding and I only want to invite certain people. How do I limit my guest list?
A: The proper etiquette is to send the invitations only to those who are being invited and an announcement following the wedding to those who were not. If you do not want to be approached by certain people that you see often (co-workers, acquaintances, etc.), try to discuss your wedding plans more privately and not openly.

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10 Ways to Save Money on your Wedding

Author: Kissa  :  Category: advice, Weddings

According to TheWeddingReport.com, an average wedding in Los Angeles costs about $32,400 for 2007. No matter what the budget or size of your wedding, there are always ways to save money and time! Here are 10 simple ways to maximize your time and bottom line.

  1. Work with a wedding consultant. Any wedding consultant that is worth working with has a wonderful database of vendors. Many times, we have relationships set up with our preferred vendors because we always bring them repeat customers. Not only do we recommend them, but we know that they are ready, capable, and professional!

  2. Have your wedding during a “slow time” of the season. The busy part of the wedding season is usually May through October (depending on your location). Many vendors have discounts or lower rates for the “off season.” Also, consider having your wedding on any day other than a Saturday. Sundays are beginning to be a popular day to have weddings since the cost is much less than a Saturday.

  3. Be realistic. Sometimes people want to take on projects themselves because they think it will save money. While this is sometimes true, they forget about the time and dedication it takes to prepare these things. After buying supplies, they realize they didn’t get around to it and end up ordering whatever it was they planned on making. We’ve also seen situations where people attempt a project with good intentions, but it didn’t come out the way they planned. Make sure you think about whether you do have the time to do the things you commit to. There are many things that are going on at the same time, but if you can do it yourself, by all means do it! Also, you have your wedding consultant to help you!

  4. Plan ahead. If you plan in advance, it will save time, stress, and money! When it’s too close to your target date and you need something soon, there is always an extra cost — a rush fee, an overnight fee, etc. If you plan ahead, you won’t have unneeded expenses.

  5. Decide on what’s most important. Invest the money in what you feel is most important. Talk to your fiance and discuss which parts of the budget you want to spend and save.

  6. Limit your host bar to 1 to 2 hours. There are even some locations that include a 1-2 hour host bar in some of their packages. If you limit that time you will not only save money, but also possibly keep your guests safe from drunk driving.

  7. Save on postage.If at all possible, personally deliver your invitations. This will not only save the cost of stamps, but will also give you an opportunity to catch up with friends and family and let them congratulate you in person.

  8. Organize your guestlist. I don’t advise people to cut their list, but I always have people organize and break their list down into 3 categories — a.) Those who must be invited, b.) Those who should be invited, and c.) Those who would be nice to invite. This will not only keep you well organized, but also figure out how many people are in each category and will help with your final count.

  9. Get a block rate for out of town guests. Usually hotels are happy to do this for you as long as you do it in advance and they have availability. Also, they might have a wedding package available; for example, if you block a certain amount of rooms, you can get yours for free or updated to a suite for no extra charge.

  10. Save on attire. There are many ways to accomplish this. If your soon-to-be husband doesn’t want to purchase a tuxedo, go to a rental place that offers a “free groom’s tuxedo” special. If you don’t want to purchase a designer or couture gown, go to an outlet store or on Ebay and purchase your gown there.


Good luck and happy planning!


Sources:

www.theweddingreport.com

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