Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

Engagement Contest – Shade Hotel

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Shade Hotel in celebrating the opening of their new hotel in Redondo Beach. It’s an architectural gem in the South Bay that has to be experienced! Like it’s sister property in Manhattan Beach, the vibe is contemporary coastal chic. Their tag line says it all “It’s Cooler In The Shade”! With eco friendly succulent walls in their wedding and event spaces, you have built in decor that you can feel great about. With engagement season in full swing and their wedding venues booking up, they wanted to share the celebration with you by hosting an INSTAGRAM ENGAGEMENT CONTEST. Two lucky couples will win $2500 toward their dream wedding at either location by simply posting a photo of their engagement celebration on Instagram and tagging #ShadeWeddings. Be sure to follow @ShadeWeddings for the announcement which will be made on January 11th. Check out these photos from both locations and then post away. And if you need a wedding planner I know both properties well, and I’d love to meet with you! Happy Planning.

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Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach Courtyard Featuring a rock fountain and succulent walls. Photo: Zoom Theory

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Event Venue at Shade Hotel Redondo Beach featuring an open air space and marina views.

Your Engaged! Now What?

Congratulations on your engagement! You’re in love, and you’re embarking on a life as soul mate. Right now you’re on cloud nine. On your finger rests the promise of the future. I bet you’ve never felt so alive. What should you do next? Here is my best advice:

  • LIVE IN THE MOMENT: Enjoy the feeling. Revel in the joy that you and your fiance are feeling AT THIS MOMENT. For now, simply enjoy the outpouring of LOVE from all of your family and friends and show off that ring on your finger!
  • DREAM: Once the dust has settled and you’ve shared the big news with everyone, start dreaming. Get online and start getting ideas!
  • ORGANIZE YOUR IDEAS: Make an inspiration binder. Use the tabs for categories such as gown, venue, decor, music, food and beverage. Pull pages from the magazines, and print photos from websites. Now start filling your binder. Having your ideas organized and in one place will save your sanity. There is no reason to keep stacks of magazines filled with inspiration you don’t need.
  • START A PINTEREST PAGE: Start a page just for your wedding. This is a page you will share with your planner and floral designer. Knowing exactly the look you’re trying to achieve will save you and your vendors precious time. Worried your friends and family will see all the top secret details of your wedding? Never fear…Pinterest allows you to create a secret page that you can share with only those who need to see it.
  • BUDGETING: Next step is setting a budget. Not fun and pretty, I know, but it’s necessary. Get the money issues out of the way and let the fun begin. Before you can start planning your dream day, you must know what you can and can’t afford. The budget will be the road map for every single decision you make. Whether you’re paying for your wedding yourself, or getting support from your family members, you must decide what the overall budget is. Only then, can you begin choosing venues, vendors, and even your wedding gown.
  • HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER: The earlier the better. By getting a jump on the planner’s experience, you’ll avoid costly mistakes. Her fee will pay for itself when she helps you to make every penny of your budget work for you. As a planner I know how to take your priorities, your individual style and theme, and break down your budget. This means you get the absolute BEST for your hard earned dollars. Allocating your dollars to the proper categories, shows me which vendors are “right for you”. A planner’s years of experience and respect in the industry will also garner YOU preferred pricing and extras, you could never negotiate on your own.

    Rely on a planner’s hard earned resources. Sure planning websites have vendor directories. The best of those even have real reviews. But, have you looked at any yet? In just the category of photography, one site listed over 75, in Los Angeles alone. Orange County has 60! Planners work hard to know “who’s who” in the industry. A seasoned planners will save you time and money by streamlining the process for you. A planner’s true VALUE to you is her database and resource list. The other half is the ability to execute those resources into a magnificent, and stress free day.

These are just a few tips to get you started. I offer you a FREE CONSULTATION to determine your needs and explain how my expertise can be of VALUE TO YOU. My heartfelt congratulations to you and your fiance.

Now….go stare at that shiny ring some more, and shower your fiance with love and kisses. Then call me to set up your consultation. It would be my honor to become your partner in planning.

Wedding Style Guide by The Black Tux

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As a Wedding Planner in Los Angeles, this time of year finds me pretty excited. It’s engagement season and there are proposals taking place everywhere you look. If you’re a groom wondering what you’ll wear on your big day, we have the place for you. The Black Tux provides a service that takes the traditional tux or suit rental to new heights. They work with you to make a custom suit or tuxedo just for you. The best part is you don’t have to find time to visit a crowded rental shop, but instead order from the comfort of your own home. You simply go online and choose your style, upload your measurements and they create a custom suit for you that arrives at your door! They even provide packaging for you to return it! Let’s face it you’re all about customization, because you’re an original. We love that about you!

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Now that you know what you’ll wear, what will your guest wear to your wedding? Many people are confused about what to wear to your wedding. The Black Tux takes the guesswork out of it by creating  The Wedding Guest Style Guide that you can share with your guests. Thanks to The Black Tux for helping everyone look photo ready!

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Persian Sofreh Aghd – Cultural Wedding Traditions

Living and working in Los Angeles has given me the opportunity to work for clients from many interesting cultures. Most often, our clients are blending two cultures, and rely on me for advice in doing so. They understand that I embrace my own Latin Heritage, and I encourage them to incorporate their culture into their wedding. One the most touching traditions I’ve experienced is The Persian Sofreh Aghd.

Afsoon & Henry were married at The Westlake Village Inn. They had a very elaborate and elegant Sofreh Aghd. The Sofreh Aghd is the legal ceremony in the Iranian culture. The Sofreh altar (spread) is a detailed display of items believed to bring the bride and groom blessings in their life and marriage. The altar is displayed on the floor, facing the east, with the couple facing the light. Cushions are placed in front of the altar, as the bride and groom are seated throughout the ceremony. Each item on the sofreh has symbolism for the qualities the couple should possess in their marriage. Common items may be honey, coins, spices, candles, a mirror, and The Koran. Traditionally they are placed in a specific order, shown below.

Whether a sofreh is elaborate or modest, is the personal choice of the couple and their families. Symbolism of the items is what carries the most importance. The ceremony itself is filled with meaningful traditions that may not be fully understood if two cultures are being blended. For that reason I recommend a ceremony program that explains the importance of the sofreh, and the ceremony order.
Afsoon and Henry’s wedding was so meaningful to me. How lucky I was to experience these amazing traditions. Afsoon’s generosity in teaching me about her culture and her family traditions were a gift to me. She gave me the ability and confidence to plan many more Persian weddings in the future.
Resources: Persian Mirror Magazine http://www.persianmirror.com/

Do You Want More? Or Less?

By now you’ve seen those commercials on television with the kids sitting around a class room,with a business man in a suit, discussing what’s better. Bigger or smaller, faster or slower, more or less.

The basic premise is to ask kids common sense questions and see how they answer them. The tag line for the series is, “It’s Not Complicated”. The goal is to show adults that our choices have become so complicated because of “hype”, that we no longer use common sense. By stripping it down to common sense, with one or the other options, we should pick the better option right?

I’m a wedding planner, so I’ll use my profession as an example. Are you looking for a planner? Do you want MORE? Or Less? Of course you want MORE…it’s common sense. But couples today are consistently choosing less. By choosing cheap, DAY OF, wedding planners with little or no experience to manage their weddings, they are getting LESS.

An experienced wedding planner has all the MORE you deserve. MORE EXPERIENCE working at real weddings, MORE EXPERIENCE solving problems that arise at weddings, MORE EXPERIENCE with vendor relations, timelines, floor plans, deliveries and set-ups, not to mention MORE VENDORS in her vendor list, that are available to you. Her vendor list alone is a virtual who’s who in the wedding industry broken down by category, budget range, and quality of work. Trust me it takes years of hard work and experience to build a vendor list like that. The LESS planner would kill for my list.

I know what you’re saying to yourself..I can see you through the screen, rolling your eyes! You’re saying “I have a budget, I can’t afford MORE”. Common sense would tell you that cheaper is better. In all honestly, I don’t offer cheaper. I OFFER MORE. Instead of a DAY OF PACKAGE, I OFFER A MONTH OF PACKAGE, that includes MORE. It cost’s a little more, but you deserve it.

Wedding Jeannie lacing up corset for Bride Rita

Wedding Jeannie lacing up corset for Bride Rita

Example: You want beautiful images with your mom and maids helping you into your beautiful wedding gown. You also want pictures of you and your new husband (doesn’t that sound nice?) cutting your cake and feeding it to each other. OOOPS, LESS planner didn’t realize that the photographer’s package was only for 7 hours, and his contracted hours are up before the cake cutting.  She convinces him to stay. After all, he’s not completely insensitive. However, he requires an additional hourly fee, and he wants it in cash….now. Who’s going to go and ask your dad for some cash? What an awkward position to be put in on the happiest day of your life.

That AFFORDABLE DAY OF OPTION, wasn’t such a great idea after all. She didn’t save you money, she cost you money.  The MORE planner knew this up front, when she read your contract 30 days ago, warned you about it, helped you negotiate more time at a discounted rate with the photographer over a month ago, thereby saving you money.

I heard a saying recently that says “You think it’s expensive to hire a professional? Wait until you hire a NOVICE. That’s the truth about hiring inexperienced DAY OF planners.

Now ask yourself again. Do I Want MORE? Or Do I Want Less? It’s not complicated…of course you want MORE. You deserve MORE. So pay a little more for an experienced wedding planner. She will save you time, stress and money. Thanks for taking the time to consider the options. Back to your regularly scheduled program…..

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