Fun Find Time!


I just happened to be browsing Yahoo Weather because I am starting to plan my baby’s first birthday (ok, I know that leaving only 2.5 months of planning for my very own daughter’s birthday is just wrong but I have been so busy!) and I need to know the average weather for a day in October and the chances of rain since i’m looking for a park setting. 

So, I get forwarded to The Weather Channel and I find the following link that has a sunset calculator, typical weather, and other great info. for any upcoming month/day/year.  Great!

Click Here for the Wedding Weather Planner

Posted in Fun

Jamilah & Jordan

J & J – this was the great monogram this couple used throughout their wedding like on the beautiful dinner menus placed on guest tables.  Tables were draped in either aqua blue or lime satin linens.  Just perfect for a wedding overlooking the blue-green ocean in Rancho Palos Verdes.  White, blue and green paper lanterns hung from rafters in the cocktail area while guests mingled and enjoyed breath-taking views.

Jamilah is a cheerleading coach, so needless to say her energy was very evident.  Meanwhile, Jordan is very laid-back or so he seemed!  They compliment each other so very well and their love did shine the entire day from the moment Jamilah walked down the aisle, to the moment she changed into her “dancing and partying” dress and Jordan held her close on the dance floor.

Guests were dancing pretty much the whole evening from salads to cake – moving to the tunes of a 10-piece band ( for the first part of the night and then Carlos ( took over the later and very high-energy part of the evening.

I had a great team helping me on Sunday, which included my intern Kym, Desiree and her husband Garett.  Thanks to you guys for helping enhance such a beautiful setting!

And thank you to Jamilah & Jordan’s vendors who made sure the wedding was an absolute success.  Here are some great detail pictures from their Photographer, Robert Vlach (





The Big Picture

How easy it truly is to get completely overwhelmed and captivated by your wedding theme, colors, location, flowers, and all that other good stuff!  There are budgets, timelines, checklists, color swatches, taste testings, dress fittings, the list goes on and on.  These are such fun times during the wedding planning process and they are very important to your day because these choices ultimately affect the overall feel and look of your event.

BUT… (did you sense this word coming at ya?)

Don’t forget the reason why you are planning this celebration – for you, the happy couple and the purpose – to celebrate your union!  It is just too easy to leave your ceremony details in the back of your mind when trying to keep the reception planning on track.  I always encourage my brides and grooms to keep focus on why the wedding is taking place and make the ceremony yours with something special between the two of you. 

For example, I had a couple incorporate the memories of loved ones by reserving chairs with names and flowers as decorations.  At another wedding, the couple wrote their own vowes and sang songs to one another.  For a different wedding years ago, I had a couple hand out wonderful booklets/programs that explained each part of their religious ceremony and included names of family members and the bridal party and a little bit of info. on each of these special people.  These booklets also served as wedding mementos for guests, as well as the bride, groom and their families.

So enjoy the planning and let me know if you need help making your ceremony the ultimate focus of the day – it would be my honor!

Negotiating a Contract


I hear it all the time from my clients, that prices are just out of control these days when planning a wedding or other event.  And they want to know how to get the best pricing from all of the vendors they are interested in hiring.  Now, even if you don’t have years of experience working with vendors and building relationships with them, you do have power to negotiate pricing and the following tips will help do just that.

* Conduct lots and lots of research on the internet, in magazines, talking to other brides, etc.  Find out what style attracts you the most and find out as much as you can such as how much other similar vendors charge.

* Make sure you know how much you are willing to spend!  At this point, you should have a budget written up and you are going to stick with it.  Keep a cap on pricing for each item and only meet with those that fall in your price range.    There is so much talent out there and the pricing can range from very budget to very high-end so again, this is where research will really have helped!

* When you finally meet with your vendors, find out what options are available to lower the price.  The thing that doesn’t work – asking this question: “Do you offer discounts?” because the vendor can just give you a straight “no” answer.  Instead, ask open-ended questions such as “What can we do to lower this price?” or “What options do I have to receive a discount on your services?”  These types of questions will initiate dialogue and hopefully, bring you closer to achieving your goal price.  HOT tip: sometimes vendors will give you a 10-20% discount if you pay your total up front.

* Work with professionals newer to the business, as they usually offer lower prices, but make sure they have plenty of references.  If you do decide to go with a vendor who is lower priced because they are trying to build their portfolio or gain experience, make absolutely sure to get at least three references and call these customers to find out how happy they were with the service provided. 

* Find out if the packages are flexible.  Even if a vendor you really like shows only three or four levels of service on their website, ask them if they are willing to customize a package just for you.  For example, on the Charming Events website, I have three types of services listed, however, all of these can be worked around to fit a client’s needs.  What you usually see is what is most popular and usually requested by past clients.  Maybe you don’t need 10 hours of photography and 8 hours would be fine.  In this case, you can probably get a lower price or get something in return for the two hours you won’t be utilizing.

* Always get the pricing and/or discounts in writing.  Even the most well-intentioned vendor may forget what you discussed if it was not placed in writing soon after discussion. 

This isn’t the most glamorous part of your event planning but you will feel so good when you know that you did the best you could in getting the best price and the vendors you always wanted!

Fun Find Time


Yet another edible treat for suggestion!  When I read about the flavored fillings of these delicate chocolates, I knew I would have to add them on to my fun finds!  File this one under the favors category – your guests will absolutely love you for these treats.Each box comes with two pieces of chocolate and some of the heavenly fillings include: Dulce De Leche, Coconut, Champagne, Passion Fruit, Espresso, White Kona Coffee, Cinnamon, Creamy Caramel, Lemon Milk, and Manjari.

And yes, I being the professional, ordered several to try so that I could give you a very honest opinion!  Website info. below.


I had to add another item to my favorite list from MarieBelle New York (  These tropical fruit caramels shown above are from a family recipe and are handmade and packaged with beautiful vintage images.  And the flavors you ask – here they are: Condensed Milk, Kiwi, Piña Colada, Guava, Strawberry, Mango, or Assorted.  I need to make more room in my pantry.


Posted in Fun

Bridal Salon Gown Give Away


Mon Amie Bridal Salon in Costa Mesa is giving away 100 gowns to engaged military brides to be!  On Sunday, August 5, 2007, the bridal salon will give away hand-selected gowns to the first 100 brides that come into the store.  How great is that?

The give-away is scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  And now for the legality stuff: Brides must be engaged, be on active duty or have a fiance in the military on active duty.  You must show ID, copy of deployment papers, orders or anything else that will prove your identity  ;)  And you don’t have to be a Costa Mesa or OC resident to win one.

The Mon Amie Salon is located at 355 Bristol Street in Costa Mesa.  For more info., call 714-546-5700 or e-mail  or click here

Lucky Wedding Day

I’m very lucky to have been chosen by Rina & Nick as their wedding coordinator on 7/7/07!  What a great day to celebrate at the Anaheim Sheraton, which is right next to Disneyland and has a cute, castle look going on (thanks to Christina and other Sheraton staff for ensuring a completely successful event!).

The ceremony took place in the garden courtyard under the gazebo and near a pretty bridge and koi pond.  After the couple wed, guests were escorted to the upstairs Ballroom where they enjoyed cocktails and appetizers.

I have got to tell you about Rina & Nick’s first dance.  I have never, ever seen anything so exciting and fabulous!  It started out “usual” enough with a slow song and the couple swaying close.  BUT then, the music changed and these two dancing machines completely won the crowd over with a hip-hop, energetic dance!  I think every single person in that ballroom were on their feet.  If I can get a video clip from their lovely photographer, Leah ( I will share!

Here are the GREAT professional pictures taken by Jasmine (  Jasmine and her team did a such a wonderful job taking the day’s photos and she provided a slideshow to guests during the reception.  Absolutely a wonderful and fun photographer!











Fun Find #8

Not only can you delight your guest’s senses of sight, hearing and touch at your event but now you can add “SCENTS of smell” too! 

I imagine a child’s birthday party with the aroma of cotton candy or bubble gum.  Or a summer luau with coconut and pineapple in the air.  How about your outdoor wedding cocktail area with citrus scents.  I definitely need to try this out soon!

Check out the huge list of scent options and enjoy!

Posted in Fun