Let’s Eat Cake!

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I have been discussing cake cutting for an upcoming wedding with the hired DJ/MC.  We both have different opinions on when the cake should be cut.  He thinks that 9:45 pm is too early to cut a cake.  I think that should be the latest time to cut the cake!

Granted, in our particular situation, the photographer is only on-site until 10:00 pm and the cake is made in a particular way and with fresh ingredients so that the cutting needs to take place as early as possible. 

However, in another situation when the cake does not have to be cut early due to its ingredients, or getting the photographs done, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cutting the cake as early as you feel like it.

It seems that some vendors are adamant about when and how things happen, which can be good or can be bad.  Take this cake issue, for example.  The bride and groom have chosen an absolutely beautiful and tasty treat and are eager for their guests to taste it.  So, should we follow what “most and typical” wedding couples do and wait until later in the evening to cut and serve?  No way!  I say go for it when you want to.  This is your day and you don’t have to follow any set rules.  As your coordinator, I will suggest to you an order of events but we will work together to make your day happen according to your wishes.

There are many weddings that take place where the cake is served before dinner or right after and do you think guests are complaining?  Guests love the wedding cake!  And they are not going to leave or think your wedding is over just because the server hands them a slice of cake.  Your DJ will crank up the music and get the party started and whoever planned on staying to party will definitely do so!  Those guests that were planning to leave early will appreciate the cake cutting and take off.

Oh, another thing.  As a Coordinator, guests approach me all the time with their requests and comments.  And wouldn’t you know one of the most common discussions I have with guests is that they want the cake and ask me when it will be served.  Other vendors may not get the opportunity to interact with guests so they aren’t aware of what they want.   

Enjoy your wedding day and don’t be afraid to ask vendors for what you want.  You do get to have your cake and eat it too!

Fun Find of the Week #7

This link helps you find your very own “signature cocktail!”  Answer the various questions about your likes, style and tastes and submit and viola!  Your signature cocktail and recipe will appear.

 What a fun way to offer specialty drinks at your next event!  You can also find lots of other great recipes, which I definitely plan to do this summer. 

Oh and my drink – the Southern Punch.  Who would have thought?!

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Click here for your own signature cocktail

Posted in Fun

The Organized Bride

No doubt about it, when I was planning my wedding, I had everything color-coded, tabbed, hole-punched, you name it!  I still have my home-made planning binder to reference when helping other brides.  I couldn’t find a pre-made one that fit my needs, so I went ahead and just created as I went along.  If that sounds like something you want to do, read on for some great binder organizing tips!

So, to make your own, use either a 3-ring binder or a file box.

Organize your planning information into sections:

* Ceremony and reception site

* Fashion

* Beauty

* Catering/Cake/Specialty food or drink

* Flowers & Decor

* Invitations/Thank you cards/Maps/Programs

* Photography

* Videography

* Entertainment

* Transportation

* Honeymoon

Then, organize your documents into the following sections:

* Ideas and inspiration from magazines, books, etc.

* Contracts & reciepts for each vendor

* Planning timeline and checklist

* Budget outline

* Guest lists/RSVP

* Registry information

Having all your necessary information organized and easy to access will save you lots of time and stress!

Or, if you want to make it really easy, we will give you a handy-dandy wedding planning binder of your very own when we help you with full-service planning.  What a deal!

Fun Find of the Week #6

I love, love, just love edible favors and individual sized desserts!  I say this to my friends, family and clients all the time.  If someone is wondering what to give to guests as a favor, I always recommend something they can eat because that usually gets better reviews than anything else.  Not that a pretty candle holder or a CD of tunes doesn’t get its own recognition because it does! 

So, speaking of edibles, I found Peggy Porschen’s (www.peggyporschen.com) website and am loving her miniature cakes and her cookie favors.  Take a looksie below – doesn’t it just make you hungry?!

Oh and since Peggy’s studio is in London, most of you will probably not get a chance to meet with her so let this serve as some sweet inspiration!

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Posted in Fun

Name Change

For the bride that decides to take on her husband’s last name, the process can be quite intimidating!  But, if you have the right information and a to-do list, the process will be easier, I promise! 

I had to change my name and the most time-consuming part of the process was a visit to the social security office.  After that was done, all else could be handled through the mail.

Here is a checklist of items that need to be taken care of and you can do this after your honeymoon.  I recommend after you get back from the glorious get-away because you can just use your current passport with your maiden name instead of worrying about the name-change details while planning your wedding.

I also have a name change kit which is so helpful and includes all the forms needed so if you need one, leave a comment with your contact info.

* Social Security Card – always start with this one first!

* Passport

* Drivers License

* All credit reporting agencies  

* Doctor/Dental records

* Bank/Credit cards and accounts

* Insurance & Registration

* Voter registration

* Retirement accounts and life insurance policies

* Memberships to gyms or club warehouses

* Magazine subscriptions

* Post office

Happy name changing!

Baby Shower Fun

This weekend I attended a baby shower for the Figueroa Family, which is the same beautiful family that I featured as a wedding right here on my blog!  Sal & Lisa are expecting baby Ella this August, and this will make Isaac a brand new, big brother.

I wanted to share the joy because I am just thrilled to be a part of this exciting celebration, especially after having known Lisa since she was planning her wedding (back in 2003 I think!) and now a baby is on the way.

Just another great reason why I love what I do – seeing families celebrate again and again and if i’m lucky to be invited back into the lives of those I help, well then all the better!  Sal, Lisa & Isaac – congratulations to you all!  Baby Ella is one lucky girl!

Here are some photos of the expectant mom and the great decor provided by her family and friends.

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And a shameless plug of my own baby girl, only because Sal took such a great picture, I wanted to share!   

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Fun Find of the Week #5

I love these mini boxes (small size on the left of picture)! they are very affordable and can be used as favor boxes to hold cookies wrapped in tissue paper, or bulk candy, candles, pretty much any type of favor that would fit into the box.  And the tropical look is perfect for destination weddings in Hawaii or for a beach-themed wedding.

Decorate with any color ribbon and embellishments like shells or beads and done – so simple!

By the way, guests absolutely love edible favors!  Find them at http://www.ailanakai.com/ along with some really cute tote bags.

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Posted in Fun

Not Your Mother’s Wedding Linens

Have you seen all the great choices in linens these days?  Long gone are the times where only white and ivory were your only choices.  I have nothing against white & ivory, even my own wedding linens were this color but I think if I were to have seen some of the colors, textures and fabrics that are available to brides today, I may have given in to something with a lot more flair!

Last night I attended a networking event that showcased florals and linens and all I can say is WOW! The options are pretty much endless.  I had the privilege of chatting with two wonderful ladies from Wildflower Linens (www.wildflowerlinens.com) and they were so passionate about what they do!  I have seen many pictures of weddings decorated with linens from Wildflower and I am always so captured by the colors and looks of the fabrics.  I was just thrilled to be able to talk shop with the Wildflower staff.  Just feast your eyes on some of these samples taken from the Wildflower website:

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So, the message here is brighten up your wedding colors and add some punch to your ceremony and reception linen designs.  With fabrics like this, you have the choice of adding minimal flowers and decor.  Or you could go all out and have a picture-perfect look destined for a magazine layout!

Venue Tours

I love being invited to tour different venues that I have yet to see.  The staff are always so friendly and eager to share their event site specs. and logistics in order to encourage planners and couples to see what they have to offer and hopefully have us all fall in love with its specific characteristics!

I also invite myself when I have a serious curiousity about a venue.  Now, I know what questions I need to ask to really get the true info. about a site and i’m going to share it with you!  If you are looking for a place to host you wedding or other event, make sure to ask the following questions, and plenty of others, which will definitely help you in securing the best site for your plans.

Oh, these are in no particular order!

1. How much is your minimum and/or cost per person?  The cost will differ depending on what day of the week you have your wedding or what time of the day.

2. How many people will the site accomodate?  Are there areas that may be hidden from the head/sweetheart table if you go above a certain number of guests?  This would be the “overflow” area where you guests may be hidden and not able to see the main seating area. 

3. Are you insured?

4. Do you allow outside caterers?  If you do, is your kitchen fully equiped?  If you are hiring an outside caterer, they will know what they need to adequately provide service at this particular venue and even better if they have worked there in the past.

5. Are there staff available on the day of the wedding and the rehearsal to answer any questions?

6. Is there an extra charge for bartenders?  Other staff?

7. What is your policy on overtime charges?

8. Is there a cake cutting fee applied?

9. Do you offer discounted pricing on vendor meals?  For children?

10. What deposit is due to reserve the site?  When is the final payment due? Is the deposit refundable and if so, until when?

11. What is the service charge?  Is there a gratuity charge? Are there any other charges that will be added to my food/beverage total?

12. Is there audio/visual equipment available?  Is there a cost associated to rent these items? 

13. How many hours do we get the room for?  How many hours before the start time and how many after the end time?  Make sure you have enough time alloted for vendors to set-up the site, especially if you have a lot of decor or other details that need to be taken care of.

14. Are there any other events taking place the day or day before ours?

15. Is there valet parking available and if not, do you allow valet companies to provide service?

16. Do you allow candles and if so, what are the restrictions?  There may be a requirement on how tall the candle holder is or where exactly you can place candles.

17. And a question for you to ask yourself after you have toured the venue, did you feel good about it? Did you get along well with the staff? You want to make sure you feel comfortable since you will be working closely with these folks until your wedding day comes.  And if nothing else, make sure you absolutely love it because a large portion of your budget will be going towards the reception costs.

Have fun looking!